Saxophone Forum


by frostshardz
(23 posts)
10 years ago

how do i bend a note?

hi... ive heard that clarinet's almost like saxophone since both uses reeds and the fingering's are almost alike... ive heard this song in which in one of the clarinet's solo bends the note a semitone down then 1 full note up... the song is blue shade bout 8 min from the starting... can a saxophone do that too? and how?

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  1. by golferguy675
    (600 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: how do i bend a note?

    Man, if you want to hear a sax player bend a note, get some Johnny Hodges. He can go up an OCTAVE with just bending it. Most generally on saxophone, you bend a note with your jaw, move it down or up, but to get a serious bend like more than a whole step, you need to learn to do it with your throat. I used to be able to go up about an octave, but I quit doing it because it hurts so bad. You have to tighten your throat so much you feel like you're about to gag. You could try practicing the bend with your jaw just on your mouthpiece first, then try it with the sax.

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    1. by wesmiller
      (55 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: how do i bend a note?

      Also, Hodges played in the Duke Ellington Band as lead alto. So that should help you find recordings of him. Just look for Ellington. He also has some combo recordings that were done. Hodges used very exacting technical control over the instrument to accomplish those bends as well as some jaw motion. In other words, he very fluidly lifted and lowered his fingers on the keys to produce those liquid sounding bends. He was the master of "bent notes", of that I imagine most will agree. Golfeyguy mentions use of throat that causes pain. Not sure about that; may be usefull sporadically. But there is always more than one way to do something.

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      1. by golferguy675
        (600 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: how do i bend a note?

        Yeah, and easy note to bend is middle B. Like wes said, fluidly lift the A or Bis key, slowly, and it will bend without having to do any jaw or throat motion. And yeah, going up an entire octave hurts, because you close your throat up so much. Clarinet is a lot easier to do it on. Benny Goodman does it sometimes.

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