Sax on the Web Forum Archive / Alto Saxophone / Air/tips

User ID: 0199184
May 8th 9:14 PM
When I tend t o play, and I have noticed some other more legendary sax players doing this too. When you play sometimes I notice this air sound hideing behind the note it happens on almost all the notes manly on everything under D. Is it supposed to have this sound or is there some way to kill it?

2nd Question.

Could some of the more Jazzy players give me some jazz solo improv tricks that tend to go over real well with a crowd?
soprano player
User ID: 0958254
May 9th 6:57 PM
Take out your fastest, longest lick and play it loud. Usually non-musician audience will love that. But that doesn't mean you're a good musician.
Ian O'B May 11th 10:30 AM
Well it all depends on the music. For example you wouldn't do anything with "higher louder faster" on a tune like Take Five, and you probably wouldn't try to play subtle on the faster tunes.

One thing I hear often in contemporary big band jazz, especially overseas stuff, is to play some pentatonic riffs in up and down thirds(1,3,2,4,3,5,etc.). It sounds pretty good in triplets. You can also use the blues note middle neighbor(don't know its exact name, but it would be G# in a D blues, C# in a G blues, etc.)slurring down to it's half step lower neighbor before a long run.

One thing I picked up from this cool big band latin jazz tune by a japanese band: an alto soloist starts out on the lowest note of the pentatonic(this is in a V7 feeling latin song)and then play the 2, 3, 1 and then run up to the third octave of the pentatonic.

Example in D pentatonic on a D7 feel: D F G D FG C A D' (gliss up) D''

Hold out the D'' for a full whole note to create tension, release on C' and grace note G# down to G, then gliss to D.

The '' marks D third octave, ' is in the second octave, and normal is in the low octave. The tune is called "Tank!", it was on my friend's CD. Search for it on the Kazaa, Morpheus, or whichever because I don't think it's published. This alto player gave me some really good ideas, he really knows what he's doing and has an incredible tone.
User ID: 0345364
May 14th 9:55 AM
To answer the first question, you are basically producing a subtone effect. Many people really have to work at getting that effect. It's actually something pretty good to have and the normal way to produce it is by some how starving the horn of air or producing an indirect air path. To get back to a pure tone, first pay close attention to how you are blowing into your mpc. Make sure you blow straight and level and are not angling down on the mpc tip. Second make sure you are filling the horn up with air. Fill your lungs full and blow evenly into the sax. Are you closing the reed off to much, maybe biting a little or playing on too soft of a reed. As your Emb. becomes more developed it often helps to switch to a harder reed, if you desire a pure tone. The opposite is true if you want more subtones.
Another cause could be a leaky octive key or upper palm key.