Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 39 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ive recently been having some jam sessions with my friends band and I was wondering if there were some techniques and equipment that would help me blend with the guitar. Playing without sounds okay, but its hard to get my sound to sound to fit with the style. Any advice? Also would reverb help?

Setup:
Tenor Sax -
Cannonball, Selmer s190 (I have a metal otto that I played around with for a little, with 3 or 3.5 vandorean javas
Alto Sax -
Bundy, Brilhart, 2.5-3 vandorean javas

If youd like an example, one song weve played is sweet home chicago by the blues brothers.

Thanks!

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

·
Moderator
Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
Joined
·
28,883 Posts
Ive recently been having some jam sessions with my friends band and I was wondering if there were some techniques and equipment that would help me blend with the guitar. Playing without sounds okay, but its hard to get my sound to sound to fit with the style. Any advice? Also would reverb help?

Setup:
Tenor Sax -
Cannonball, Selmer s190 (I have a metal otto that I played around with for a little, with 3 or 3.5 vandorean javas
Alto Sax -
Bundy, Brilhart, 2.5-3 vandorean javas
I'm not sure what you mean by "blend" - it's a different instrument so does not, and should not, blend as it's a different tone and shouldn't sound like a guitar or a bass.

Vive la difference!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I'm not sure what you mean by "blend" - it's a different instrument so does not, and should not, blend as it's a different tone and shouldn't sound like a guitar or a bass.

Vive la difference!
Fair enough, I should have been a little more specific. What are some ways for me to add some pizzazz to my playing is a better question. I know about effects such as flutter tonguing and growling but im not sure what other techniques are useful/fundamental for rock and roll

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,005 Posts
Stick with the Tenor sax, at least mostly. If you are talking about doubling up and playing lines with the guitarist (a cool thing to do), I find the tenor sax is a better fit (than alto) with the electric guitar. Not that it "matches", on the contrary it gives a nice contrast in timbre but also results in a big sound (hard to describe) in combination with the guitar.

If you're looking for that rock&roll/blues sound, it's mostly up to how you play, but since you mentioned equipment, you might look into a med to high baffle mpc (as opposed to an Otto Link). You'll want to go up in tip size to balance out the baffle and probably a med strength reed (2.5 or so, as opposed to 3.5).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
457 Posts
Sounds like what you're talking about is more of a style difference. Is that right? A brighter setup with an edgier tone may be more 'rock', but if you don't like that or feel comfortable with the sound or equiptment it won't help. I'd say keep whatever your setup currently is the same and don't worry about having a "rock and roll" tone.

To fit in with rock players you'll want to be playing more licks than lines: Blues licks. Lots of blues licks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
718 Posts
Here is what I do; you can add this to all of the other suggestions and hopefully get a good direction towards your goal. I find a higher baffle mouthpiece makes it easier for me to play an aggressive, cutting sound to get through the mix and match the attitude of the guitars. And that really the gist of "blending" for me is matching the attitude- sometimes copying licks or variations of them, sometimes bust out screaming something different to keep things fresh and non-repetitive. Really listening and getting the groove of what is going on works best. Because my rock band covers some ballad/ country-ish tunes as well, I don't go with anything too severely shrill, and besides, I dont like the way shrill sounds. I have settled (for now) on a 10Mfan Showtime in a 7 tip with Rigotti 3light reeds. The Rigottis also add a bit more brightness than the Javas in my experience, and they are sorted to a narrower range of strength which my them more predictable. That setup covers Brown Sugar to Big Legged Woman to Tennessee Whisky well enough that I havent been kicked out of the band yet.

Most of all, have fun!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Sounds like what you're talking about is more of a style difference. Is that right? A brighter setup with an edgier tone may be more 'rock', but if you don't like that or feel comfortable with the sound or equiptment it won't help. I'd say keep whatever your setup currently is the same and don't worry about having a "rock and roll" tone.

To fit in with rock players you'll want to be playing more licks than lines: Blues licks. Lots of blues licks.
Thank you, Ive been trying to figure out what the best way to find blues riffs were. Do I just listen to blues and pick and choose any licks I find cool? Or do I just make them up in my free time and learn them in every key?

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
328 Posts
Thank you, Ive been trying to figure out what the best way to find blues riffs were. Do I just listen to blues and pick and choose any licks I find cool? Or do I just make them up in my free time and learn them in every key?

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
Mainly learn them in concert A, E, G, and C. Those are the guitar keys. Buy yourself a Metalite mouthpiece for both horns. It's a cheap high baffle design. Some people love them, others hate them, but for the price you can't beat it. It will make you cut through.

Then put on either a spotify or amazon playlist of electric blues. There will be enough sax in there for you to get an idea of riffs to imitate.
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,005 Posts
Thank you, Ive been trying to figure out what the best way to find blues riffs were. Do I just listen to blues and pick and choose any licks I find cool? Or do I just make them up in my free time and learn them in every key?
This is a big topic, actually. But you definitely want to listen to a range of top blues players for a start. Anyone named "King": BB King, Albert King, Freddie King... Also Albert Collins, King Curtis, Fats Domino, Louis Jordan, Wynonnie Harris, Duke Robillard (Roomful of Blues), T-bone Walker, and many more. Most of these players had a sax or horn section in the band (of course King Curtis was a sax player) and you definitely want to pick up some of those lines and riffs.

Don't underestimate the blues; just like any other style it takes time and practice. Here's a SOTW resource to check out for some good tips and info:

https://www.saxontheweb.net/Rock_n_Roll/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,297 Posts
Listen to Coleman Hawkins, Johnny Hodges and Deric Dyer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGYVcLVoc6E and once you know the guitar player a bit suggest a back and forth with him instead of taking turns with solos. It adds a lot more dimension to the music. Otherwise, to quote Ron Coelho: There is no excuse for a good sound (meaning nice sound)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,043 Posts
Get on YouTube and listen to and watch recordings by Morrissey-Mullen. This was a British jazz-funk group prominent in the 1980s, which featured the late, great Dick Morrissey on tenor ( and sometimes soprano and flute), and (the Wes Montgomery-inspired) Jim Mullen on electric guitar. The band was rounded out with keyboards, electric bass, drums, and sometimes an added percussionist. A feature of this band was the doubling of lead lines (often quite complicated) by tenor and guitar. Here's a sample:


Note that on this clip Morrissey is playing into an omni-directional mike on a straight stand — no clip-on radio mike. Also I believe he is using an Otto Link STM mouthpiece on his Selmer Mk VI tenor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Don't let volume confuse the situation either, Many Guitar players are notorious for playing way to loud and that tends to frustrate the player.
The "keep up" thing could be more of a volume issue than you even realize, Stay clear of a screaming loud amp when playing. Make sure your monitor
or main volume matches that of the other instruments. Putting a hint of reverb in your monitor "and just a hint" can make it more enjoyable as well. If all
else fails do what i do, punch the guitar player right in the face.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,585 Posts
I think about this a lot because I play woodwinds and guitar and have had some really good and bad experiences, partnerships and jamming partners that play guitar as well. Short term goal, play the song list the band is interested in and more long term, start really listening to your sound with other instruments. Serious guitarists have a variety of instruments, acoustic and electric and can describe to you in detail about the gear they're playing and why those choices are important to them. Consider the very important fact that a solid body electric is configured to be a very versatile instrument, the pickup and tone/volume configurations cover a lot of possibilities. Getting together in a rehearsal space where both of you can find a balance is also key. I wish you success and keep your eyes and ears open for any portals of discovery that you happen upon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,297 Posts
Don't let volume confuse the situation either, Many Guitar players are notorious for playing way to loud and that tends to frustrate the player.
The "keep up" thing could be more of a volume issue than you even realize, Stay clear of a screaming loud amp when playing. Make sure your monitor
or main volume matches that of the other instruments. Putting a hint of reverb in your monitor "and just a hint" can make it more enjoyable as well. If all
else fails do what i do, punch the guitar player right in the face.
+1 The guitar players are one issue, especially if they are using their own amps as monitors and you are playing through the PA which often enough also projects the drums (which is the second problem). So you may get caught between trying to listen to your own sound (from the PA) and dodging the drum beat, which can be deafening to the point that your hearing cuts out for a few seconds on some of the drum beats. Try to find a center spot on the stage just for the sake of staying clear of the PA speakers but it is more often than not a trade off between that and the guitar amps. If I have the choice, I get closer to the bass than anything else.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,920 Posts
If you’re playing in a small environment. Like elbow to elbow almost sitting on base drum. No monitor so you can hear yourself. Guitar amp blasting beside. Try a deflector. This thing works surprisingly well.

https://www.jazzlab.com/en/deflector/
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
17,960 Posts
I have read this thread up and down 3x :| and I am still confused as to exactly what the question is, honestly....

So I have a question for the OP:

BEFORE you started going to these jam sessions which are attended by an electric bassist and an electric guitar player....what sort of band contexts did you play in ? What instrumentation in a group context are you more familiar with ?
What genres of music ?

Is it REALLY the presence of an electric bass and guitar which is challenging you somehow?

I am just unclear on whether the problem is one of playing a different genre of music...playing in a group with a completely different volume dynamic than you are used to....or....something, something...else....(?)
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,005 Posts
senorsax, as per Jaye's questions above, it would be helpful to get a bit more info on your experience level. I got the impression you are just starting to play with others in a blues jam situation (you mentioned "Sweet Home Chicago") and would like some tips on playing in that style. Are you aware of the 12 bar blues form, the I-IV-V chord progression? When you say "match/blend" with the guitar, that's one issue. Playing in a given genre/style is another. Both are obviously related, but it would help to clarify what your questions are and where you are experience-wise right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,585 Posts
I guess we all tried to offer what clearly is only conjecture, multi faceted at that. That’s the best we can do I suppose and whether or not that coaxes more specific/indicative questions from the OP seems to be irrelevant at this point.

I have read this thread up and down 3x :| and I am still confused as to exactly what the question is, honestly....

So I have a question for the OP:

BEFORE you started going to these jam sessions which are attended by an electric bassist and an electric guitar player....what sort of band contexts did you play in ? What instrumentation in a group context are you more familiar with ?
What genres of music ?

Is it REALLY the presence of an electric bass and guitar which is challenging you somehow?

I am just unclear on whether the problem is one of playing a different genre of music...playing in a group with a completely different volume dynamic than you are used to....or....something, something...else....(?)
 
1 - 20 of 39 Posts
Top