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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys.

Im a high school saxophonist, but Im very classically trained and have only played a little jazz. I made 1st chair in the second (of four) all district jazz bands but i think that was only because I could play the piece technically moreso than most of the other auditionees. Anyways, Im in my high school jazz band and my director decided to give me a solo piece (Since I Fell for You, I cant recall the composer right now). Its in F blues and I know the blues scale and the basics of improving, but I need some suggestions on how to make my improving more interesting. Ive been doing dynamic contrasts and some rare pitch bending, but what else can I do for it? Its VERY bluesy.

Thanks.
 

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Welcome to the world of Jazz saxophone. I am not familiar with the piece you mentioned but F Blues I can help you with.
I am going to assume you were talking concert pitch and also that it is a major blues and not a monor blues. Here are a few tips:

1.Learn the blues form and chords and scales that go with it.

2.I would stay away from doing to many gimicky things like bending pitches and sound effects. They can be great at times but should be used very sparingly.

3.The most important advice I will give is LISTEN. Listen to some good saxophone blues solos and transcribe them. There are millions out there. Here are some that I recomend:

Johny Hodges- C-Jam Blues
Charlie Parker- Nows The Time
Cannonball Adderley- Work Song(Not a traditional Blues form)
Sonny Rollins- Sonny Moon for 2
Dexter Gordan- Blues Walk
 

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Since i fell For You

Go out and get a copy of trumpeter Lee Morgan's rendition of "Since I fell For You" to hear a great jazz treatment by one of the greatest "bluesy" jazz soloists ever.
It shouldn't matter that he's not playing sax - what you can learn from this is beyond "instrument", its about making great jazz and getting the most out of a melody.
My version is on a "Best of Lee Morgan" type Blue Note compilation but obviously it comes from another record as well.
Your local public library should or could have this, as does mine.

Good luck -
Tom C.
Tenor Saxophonist
(admirer of Lee Morgan; especially his ballad numbers - Since I Fell is really a ballad with a Blues form)
 

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For a modern sax solo, and to learn the lyrics, there's Al Jarreau's version with Dave Sanborn on alto.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys.

This all seems like really sound advice, and jazz and blues are definitely starting to really catch my interest. Also, as you can see from my setup in my signature, its DEFINITELY not jazz based, so should I consider getting another piece to play in jazz? Or would a C* be fine? Ive been told to try ZZ and Java reeds as well. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks guys!
 

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C** is one of the worst mouthpieces ever made, IMHO. Even for classical I would still go for a Rousseau or something of that nature. I play an old selmer short shank soloist E myself. And of coarse there is always the trusty old Meyer. Check out one of the mouthpiece forums, ther is an endless supply of opinions and recommendations there.
 
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