Not talking about Bill Clinton (though playing some sax is an admirable trait).
Sometimes you hear a politician say something, but not really say anything.
When you play music, tell a story.
Don’t just throw in rhetoric because it ‘sounds good’.
Learning from other musicians is important and is a necessary step to finding your own sound, in my opinion.
It’s not just about playing something polished though.
Something with substance will be better than something that’s cleaner but lacks story.
You could play a Charlie Parker lick followed by a Sonny Rollins lick followed by a John Coltrane lick.
OR maybe you could play a John Coltrane Lick then a Charlie Parker lick and THEN a Sonny Rollins lick.
Each lick would probably sound good. They were crafted by saxophone masters.
If they sounded good together, in the order you played them, you would be a bit closer to saying something on your saxophone.
If you included an idea from someone else that ‘fits’ that’s a cool thing, you’re connecting with music.
Using an idea (or a couple) you have heard for part of your solo would probably even be better than playing three licks that you created yourself while meditating in the desert, if you play those same three licks the same way in every song and every solo.
You can get some volume out of your saxophone. With a microphone you can get more.
Play something that’s worth hearing, even if it’s not as clean as that thing you’ve played so many times before.