Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 54 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi!
I can't growl for the life of me, i've been trying all the different styles and tricks. and i can't sing or hum while playing, any tips? anyone?
thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
675 Posts
Can you whistle? If so, whistle a comfortable pitch that you can hit at a forte dynamic level. Then separately, hum a comfortable pitch at a mp-mf dynamic level. Now, start whistling, and try to transition into humming while maintaining the whistle.

It will feel awkward at first, but you'll get it eventually. The trick is to maintain the embouchure and breath support for the whistle, while engaging your vocal chords. It's the same exact muscle control required for growling on the sax, but you can practice it anywhere without your horn.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2010-2016
Joined
·
1,708 Posts
Hi!
I can't growl for the life of me, i've been trying all the different styles and tricks. and i can't sing or hum while playing, any tips? anyone?
thanks!
You don't have to sing or hum. Any kind of vocalisation - grunt, moan, say "ah" - virtually anything will set up an interference pattern with the frequency of the reed resulting in a "growl" effect.
 

·
Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
Joined
·
8,588 Posts
You don't have to sing or hum. Any kind of vocalisation - grunt, moan, say "ah" - virtually anything will set up an interference pattern with the frequency of the reed resulting in a "growl" effect.
What Pat said... Any noise coming out of you while playing will have the effect. That said, I hate doing it. Tickles my throat and makes me want to cough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,166 Posts
Two options.
First, hum, as you've found. Btw, you don't need to match the pitch. I couldn't tell you what note I hum, but I can tell you it's the same for every note of every horn in the whole quartet, give or take ten cents. Basically, as patmiller said, say "ah".
Second, do a sort of hiss or gargle. This is better for gnarly growls but it takes its toll on your endurance. Some people do it with a gargle or choke type thing in the top of their throat. Others do it on the back of the roof of the mouth (if you hiss that way, just move back a bit and turn it into a rumble). I do the latter but it is considerably more tiring, so if you can do the gargle without coughing I'd recommend it.
Both feel really awkward at first, but just keep trying and you'll get them eventually.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
826 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2011
Joined
·
13,131 Posts
I can play a kazoo all over the place but for the life of me I can't growl. My problem is that I can't help but hum the same pitch as what I'm playing. It's automatic. I'm thinking the notes as I'm playing so I sing/hum the same notes. I'm going to try the "ah" or gargle technique -- try and make a noise that's not a pitch.

I can flutter tongue but I can't growl. I know others on SOTW who say they can growl but they can't flutter. I wonder how many people on SOTW can do both. :baby:
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,120 Posts
...or learn to play expressively without having to resort to cheap gimmicks like growl and flutter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
826 Posts
...or learn to play expressively without having to resort to cheap gimmicks like growl and flutter.
Oh, come on! What a silly statement to make. Those "cheap gimmicks" have been (and continue to be) used by most of the biggest names on the planet at some point.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
826 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2011
Joined
·
13,131 Posts
Doesn't matter. Any pitch will produce the effect.
Does too. Hum the same pitch as the note you're playing and no growl. Neener neener.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
826 Posts
Hum the same pitch as the note you're playing and no growl.
Does too. You must need to improve your throat musculature with a patented gadget that's sure to cost a fortune, with a new & improved model bound to come out just as you've paid off this one.

Seriously though, even humming the same note slightly off-pitch should produce a growl....although that'll definitely be a problem if you have perfect pitch!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
675 Posts
The same pitch produces no growl, and nearly the same pitch produces more of a slow "warble". The hummed and played pitches need to be different enough to produce an interference pattern with a fairly high beat frequency, because that's what produces the nice dirty growl that most people shoot for.
 

·
Moderator
Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
Joined
·
29,550 Posts
I don't think it's worth getting into finding what exact note to sing, but a good exercise is to hold a note and then vary the pitch of your hum and listen to how it affects that one note. While playing it's not always easy to hear what pitch you are humming, so once you have found a good growl on one note you can try holding it, then remove the horn and you will find out what note it is.

Again, you don't need to learn and try to always hum that note with the specific note on saxophone, it's just an interesting thing to try.

Once you get a good growl this way one note, move on to another one.

Sooner or later it becomes second nature and you'll be growling all over the place. Then you learn to use it appropriately.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2017
Joined
·
6,152 Posts
Problem:

I can play a kazoo all over the place but for the life of me I can't growl. My problem is that I can't help but hum the same pitch as what I'm playing. It's automatic. ...:
Solution: Hum a harmony...That should come more naturally if your brain just forces you to maintain pitch...Me- I just use a steady low Grrrrrrr....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
583 Posts
it took me a week or two to get used to the feeling, but it was worth it. sometimes i don't notice i'm doing it and sometimes it takes me a minute to figure out if i am or not. odd. the cool (or uncool, depending on how you look at it) part is playing lower than you are humming (pretty warbly). feels like playing into a circular fan. hmm, i wonder how it would sound to play into one of those non-blade dyson fans. in any case, i also like fading out with a growl or growling quietly (purr?), especially in the lower half of the staff.
as of now i still need a ton of air for a flutter tongue. sounds like an extreme growl. now growling with a flutter tongue, that's just insanity. i'm on it.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2011
Joined
·
13,131 Posts
now growling with a flutter tongue, that's just insanity. i'm on it.
hmmm. interesting concept. can anybody do this? I think it would sound something like a chainsaw.
 
1 - 20 of 54 Posts
Top