Videos spliced with a funky beat
Even a little saxophone in there
Videos spliced with a funky beat
Even a little saxophone in there
Neal, interesting Circle of Fifths picture. A couple of questions for you. My favorite diagram goes the opposite direction with the flats on the left side of the diagram. Is that a circle of fourths? Have you seen Jamey Aebersold’s discussion of scales. It’s very thorough.
Actually, I think it’s more common to think of it as the circle of fourths. Hadn’t realized that it actually went the opposite direction in other diagrams, thanks for letting me know about that. The whole moving in fourths happens more in music, so it sounds more natural to go in that direction. What happened was I originally learned it as being the circle of fifths for whatever reason, maybe it just was easier for me to think of moving in fifths.
I’ve seen the Jamie Aebersold material on it, but I’ll go look and it more closely.
“I was unfashionable before anyone knew who I was.”
“I tried practicing for a few weeks and ended up playing too fast.”
“I think I had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to sound like a dry martini.”
On the secret of his tone: “I honestly don’t know! It has something to do with the fact that I play illegally.”
When asked by Gene Lees what accounted for the melancholy in his playing he replied,
“Wellllll, the fact that I’m not playing better.”He was an English major in college. His reason for not pursuing a literary career,
“I could only write at the beach, and I kept getting sand in my typewriter.”
“Writing is like jazz. It can be learned, but it can’t be taught.”
Of writer Jack Kerouac he said, “I hate the way he writes. I kind of love the way he lives, though.”
Of Vogue fashion models, he said, “Sometimes they go around with guys who are scuffling — for a while. But usually they end up marrying some cat with a factory. This is the way the world ends, not with a whim but a banker.”
“Sometimes I get the feeling that there are orgies going on all over New York City and somebody says, `Let’s call Desmond,’ and somebody else says, ‘Why bother? He’s probably home reading the Encyclopedia Britannica’.”
His response to the annoying banality of an interviewer, “You’re beginning to sound like a cross between David Frost and David Susskind, and that is a cross I cannot bear.”
Shortly before the Dave Brubeck Quartet disbanded, “We’re working as if it were going out of style — which of course it is.”
Of yogurt he said, “I don’t like it, but Dave is always trying things like that.
He’s a nutritional masochist. He’ll eat anything as long as he figures it’s good for him.”
Of contact lenses: “Not for me. If I want to tune everybody out, I just take off my glasses and enjoy the haze.”
On Ornette Coleman’s playing, “It’s like living in a house where everything’s painted red.”
Doug Ramsey wrote that Desmond on seeing Barbara Jones’ oil painting of four cats stalking a mouse said, “Ah, the perfect album cover for when I record with the Modern Jazz Quartet.” Ramsey pointed out that the mouse was mechanical and Desmond responded, “In that case, Cannonball will have to make the record.! ”
Desmond’s fondness for scotch was well known. So in early 1976 when a physical examination showed lung cancer, he was ironically pleased that his liver was fine. “Pristine, perfect. One of the great livers of our time. Awash in Dewars and full of health.”
The other day I found Randy Hunter’s website.
His etudes have an endorsement by sax player Jerry Bergonzi, who said,
“Randy’s Jazz Etudes for Saxophone are tailor made for the musician who wants to read & study great accessible jazz melodies that are totally in the tradition of jazz. The are fun and great for the ear.”
So I went and checked them out.
The ones on the site seem to be for beginner-intermediate saxophone players. Level Three Jazz Etudes for Saxophone are available and are at a more advanced level.
Here is a clip of Randy Hunter playing- he is on bari sax.
The site has two free etudes and one duet arrangment that you can also download and hear.
Find a favorite player, listen to them a lot. Try and sound like them.
Sounding like your favorite will be great practice.
From there you can branch out and start taking elements from other saxophone players.
You can try and phrase like one player, use the Afro-Cuban rhythms that another player tended to play and try and incorporate the classical influence you hear in another.
And you can take elements from other instruments and voices.
Miles Davis really loved the phrasing of Frank Sinatra.
It takes some time to create your own sound on sax and you need to really listen….
Nat McIntosh plays multiphonics on tuba.
I thought this was cool, had seen multiphonics by Brecker on sax, but not on a tuba before.
“I’ve received hundreds of questions about my solo feature, “The Warrior Comes Out to Play”. I wrote this piece about seven years ago, designing it to be a showcase for all of the extended techniques I had perfected up to that point, including multi-phonics, (singing and playing simultaneously), emulation of electric bass and guitar sounds (done trough manipulation of the embouchure), DJ scratch effects, (high percussive rhythmic patterns made with extreme register playing, and what I call “Cosmic Bass”, (sound alterations most akin to a flange or didgeridoo).
There are so many unexplored possibilities of the sousaphone and being a longtime fan of groove-based, high energy music, it is very rewarding to utilize my instrument’s versatility to play something that is both technically impressive and funky at the same time. Hope you enjoy it!”
Stan Getz Plays Wave
Brazillian style jazz- the tune is called Wave by Antonio Carlos Jobim
How I did it:
Started on clarinet.
Began saxophone three months in (continuing to play clarinet).
Played in an orchestra, concert band, jazz band in middle school.
Then marching band, jazz band, swing band in high school.
With private lessons during this time.
Started practicing ~30 minutes a day in the beginning and gradually more as I got better and it became more fun.
Long tones every day.
Learned all major schools during middle school.
Practiced with a metronome.
Lessons & tips:
Play less material, but really master it.
Play long tones every day (takes about 8 minutes)
Use a metronome!
One day when I was about 13 years old, I went up to Herman Riley and asked him about sound on saxophone. I wrote down some key ideas all related to saxophone sound, here are the notes I took about components of sound:
So there are a lot of parts to sound! Herman Riley taught us a long tones exercise which I do everyday. He also told us to breath with our stomachs- like babies do naturally.
Posture affects breathing too.
Don’t get overwhelmed with all of these things, but keep them in mind and gradually you can work on all these elements in improving your sound on sax.
The mouthpiece can make a huge difference in your sound!
Using the mouthpiece that comes with the horn is fine initially, but after 2-3 years you may want a new one.
Different players will give varying advice on what sounds the best and the discussion could probably last for days. The main thing is to try them out and see what you like.
The Search– Once you have been playing for a while it may be a good idea to look for a new moutpiece. Paul Contos says that it’s a good idea to bring another musician with you when you try one out too, since they can also hear the differences in tone quality.
Number-The number assigned to a moutpiece refers to the tip opening, which will making it necessary to use more air to make the reed vibrate, thus making the mouthpiece more powerful. You should also use softer reeds for more open moutpieces, as I said in the article about reeds. And while a powerful sound is cool when you’re soloing and such, it might not work as well in an orchestral setting. Some people solve this dilema by getting multiple mouthpieces, but I wouldn’t go overboard and buy way too many.
Metal vs. Rubber vs. Crystal?– The material that a saxophone moutpiece is made out of also makes a difference. Plastic is usually the material for stock moutpieces, and is not really the greatest. More professional mouthpiecs are made of hard rubber and metal most times. However, some nontraditional moutpieces are made out of crystal and other materials. The metal moutpieces are said to have a “brighter” sound, but it is harder to control them.
After the stock moutpiece I would recommend getting a hard rubber moutpiece. I have Vandoren V16 and a Meyer 8*, which may be a little bit too open for some people. I also have a metal Selmer 7*. On a really basic level you will want a rubber mouthpiece for orchestral or concert band types of groups. They also work for jazz, but metal will give more power and a brighter sound.
Brand– One of my saxophone teachers had a plan to get all of the same brand mouthpiece with exactly the same specifications for all his saxophones. Unfortunately the plan didn’t work perfectly. He seemed to like one thing on tenor, but it might not work on alto or soprano. Just try out some different types to see what you like on a particular horn.
Cost-Some moutpieces, like guardala, cost insane amounts of money (over $1200 for some models) and do play pretty well, but I do not think they are worth the cost. Also, if you want to sound like Michael Brecker, don’t necessarily get the Guardala brecker mouthpiece. He needs an unusual moutpiece because he hurt his throat from excessive playing in his earlier days. Someone asked me if I was playing a Guardala the other day, I had played one before, but my Selmer metal feels and sounds fairly similar.
My setup-Right now I am mostly using my Vandoren V16 T9- that is the V16 mouthpiece for tenor sax with a 9 tip opening. A size 2.5/3 reed seems to work well with it.
About Herman Riley, Lavay Smith said, “The way he played was everything I love about jazz,” Smith said. “He was so unbelievably soulful. When I listen to the record he recorded with us, I love it. It’s just as good as it gets.” (Stewart article)
I knew him through the Monterey Jazz Festival, since Herman Riley taught at the summer jazz ‘camp’ connected to the Monterey Jazz Festival for several years.
When I was about 12 years old, I went to him and asked about sound on saxophone.
He told me that you need to know “what to practice, and how to practice” and “what to listen to, and how to listen.”
That has always stuck in my head.
Herman Riley was a great sax player. Unfortunately he passed away a few years back.
His “hard-driving, soulful playing as a sideman and accompanist with artists such as Count Basie and Jimmy Smith earned him critical acclaim” (Stewart article)
Herman Riley was born in New Orleans on August 31, 1933. As he told us in saxophone class, he tried sports in high school, but when that didn’t work out, he took the discipline he learned from athletics and transferred it to music.
In New Orleans, Mr. Riley saw jazz from early on. He went to Southern University and played with the marching band before his draft call came and then he played with a military band in the army.
Herman Riley played saxophones, clarinet, and flute.
“His primary goal was to attain that level of spontaneity that comes from building the vocabulary in jazz,” Jackson said. “He loved Eddie ‘Lockjaw’ Davis, Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane. We talked about the dues that they paid, and our willingness to pay dues like that to get to that level.” (Stewart article)
Herman Riley had one album as a leader, “Herman,” in 1984.
Here is a clip of Herman Riley on tenor sax, live at Giannelli Square on April 30, 2006
Herman Riley – tenor sax
Roy McCurdy – drums
John Giannelli – bass
Llew Matthews – piano
Source: Jocelyn Y. Stewart, Los Angeles Times | April 26, 2007
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