Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
960 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Chad made this video showing his point of view on articulation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CE6JRUyJS8g&t=464s

But....about minute 5 he explains it like i never heard before. When ascending the scale you tongue on the downbeats and when descending you tongue the upbeats.
I bet that 99% of us thought that the "right" way of practicing it was to tongue the upbeats.
Of course there's no automatic way of articulate because it depend on the player, the phrase, and so...But this tonguing the downbeats thing still feels strange to me.
What do you think of it?

He also plays two examples from solos by Lester Young and another player that i don't remember now who he was.
And also we could talk about the "ghosting" he does on upbeats when ascending the scale.
For me it sounds forced, not so natural.

Again, best way would be to transcribe and imitate for sure, but..for the academic world, those who teach...how do you explain this to your students?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
397 Posts
I've never heard this before, but it doesn't sound any more or less valid.

I think "jazz tonguing" is an over-simplification as it stands and the truth is much, much complicate and individual.

The new(ish) Cannonball and Sonny Rollins Omnibooks have accurate and specific articulations and in my playing and study of them, they hardly use "typical jazz tonguing." I haven't put together a cath-all theory or anything, but they do downbeat tonguing more than I expected.

I think CLB has an interesting take on it and, to my ear, doesn't sound or seem completely out of left field.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,069 Posts
I would take anything Chad has to say as a gospel truth.
Hah, well, on the one hand I'm sure he would be extremely flattered, and on the other hand I'm very sure he would encourage you to take anything he says with the same grain of salt as any other creative type!

Chad is a good buddy of mine and I've been privileged to play many gigs with him over the years. He's a very smart, methodical, and thoroughly-thought-through musician who also understands the importance of real-time energy and spontaneity. He's spent a LOT of time working his stuff out, and his insight, methods, and exercises will end up being very helpful to most players, I think... and is new exercise books are definitely going to be helpful and fun practice tools thanks to his well-organized brain. But I'm confident he would also be among the first to tell any other up-and-coming artist that the experience of playing and creating is different for everyone, and that no one person's approach is going to work exactly perfectly for another artist. If you were to take three of my very favorite modern saxophonists -- let's say Chad, Troy Roberts, and Tivon Pennicott -- you would get many shared values and practices along with some very different (and equally valid) concepts about articulation, dynamics, and improvisation as a whole.

Regardless, Chad is the man, and I'm glad he's getting some well-deserved recognition! Definitely go see him if he plays a show in your area, he's a special musician.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
960 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Hah, well, on the one hand I'm sure he would be extremely flattered, and on the other hand I'm very sure he would encourage you to take anything he says with the same grain of salt as any other creative type!

Chad is a good buddy of mine and I've been privileged to play many gigs with him over the years. He's a very smart, methodical, and thoroughly-thought-through musician who also understands the importance of real-time energy and spontaneity. He's spent a LOT of time working his stuff out, and his insight, methods, and exercises will end up being very helpful to most players, I think... and is new exercise books are definitely going to be helpful and fun practice tools thanks to his well-organized brain. But I'm confident he would also be among the first to tell any other up-and-coming artist that the experience of playing and creating is different for everyone, and that no one person's approach is going to work exactly perfectly for another artist. If you were to take three of my very favorite modern saxophonists -- let's say Chad, Troy Roberts, and Tivon Pennicott -- you would get many shared values and practices along with some very different (and equally valid) concepts about articulation, dynamics, and improvisation as a whole.

Regardless, Chad is the man, and I'm glad he's getting some well-deserved recognition! Definitely go see him if he plays a show in your area, he's a special musician.
Thanks for commenting,
all the material he is publishing is really great, and hearing him...is a monster!
Today i tried that articulation on tenor and sounded a bit better when practicing a scale. Anyway, it seems that after repeating it it sounds right to my ears. Just another point of view, yes.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2016, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
12,793 Posts
Chad made this video showing his point of view on articulation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CE6JRUyJS8g&t=464s

But....about minute 5 he explains it like i never heard before. When ascending the scale you tongue on the downbeats and when descending you tongue the upbeats.
I bet that 99% of us thought that the "right" way of practicing it was to tongue the upbeats.
Of course there's no automatic way of articulate because it depend on the player, the phrase, and so...But this tonguing the downbeats thing still feels strange to me.
What do you think of it?

He also plays two examples from solos by Lester Young and another player that i don't remember now who he was.
And also we could talk about the "ghosting" he does on upbeats when ascending the scale.
For me it sounds forced, not so natural.

Again, best way would be to transcribe and imitate for sure, but..for the academic world, those who teach...how do you explain this to your students?
That is interesting. I have never heard that before..........I wonder why he does that and where he learned it from?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,027 Posts
I always felt articulation comes from technique.
Sounds like something else too overthought. I’ve heard a player lately who use a double lip embouchure and too many odd inflections and articulations. I find it annoying.
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,012 Posts
He's obviously a great player and knows what he's talking about.

And yeah, it's an interesting idea and I never really heard it put this way (articulating the down beats when ascending & up beats when descending). It's worth experimenting with.

Thanks for sharing the clip!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
When ascending the scale you tongue on the downbeats and when descending you tongue the upbeats.
I bet that 99% of us thought that the "right" way of practicing it was to tongue the upbeats.
Maybe it would help to think about it from a slightly different angle.

When ascending, it could be less important to tongue the downbeats than it is to ghost (or doodLE or doodEN) tongue the upbeats.

If you were to play his example phrases and tongue the downbeats while slurring the upbeats with a full tone into the downbeats it would not sound as "jazzy" or "correct" as his examples.

However, if you ghosted/doodled/dooden'd/half-muted the upbeats, then the downbeats would be emphasized automatically and it would sound more "jazzy" and more in line with what he actually played.

By ghost/doodle/dooden/half-muted I mean to gently put part of your tongue onto the reed, be that the very center or off to one side, and still let the note sound, but not at full volume, perhaps closer to 50% or 33% of the full-tone volume. That tonguing creates a muted sound and when you take your tongue off the reed it creates an accent. This creates the illusion of tonguing the downbeat. It's not like you actually "tongue" the downbeat, but you release the tongue from ghosted/muted upbeat when you play the downbeat.

You can stretch this concept a bit further and say it's most important to ghost/doodle/dooden/half-mute the (eighth) note preceding the peak of a phrase. This makes the top note of a phrase pop. When I listen to Charlie Parker, I can really hear his top notes being accenting in this way. It's not always on the downbeat. The accented note can also be on the upbeat with the ghosted/muted note being on the downbeat.

Happy listening, playing, and experimenting!
 

·
Moderator
Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
Joined
·
28,914 Posts
I'm a bit perplexed by this concept.

I would advise people to practise tonguing upbeats, downbeats, all beats, no beats, groups of 2, 3 4 etc, ascending, descending whatever. It's all good

To be so regimented as to practice tonguing one way up a scale and another way down is probably not the best way to go for most people IMO - I believe it's better to be versatile than regimented.

But if that is the only way you want to articulate while playing, then I can see it makes sense.
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,012 Posts
I have to admit I have no formula for tonguing notes. I do what feels natural and in sync with the music or the 'groove'. Probably I should pay more attention to this at least when practicing. I think Pete's idea of being able to tongue on any downbeat or upbeat in order to gain control & versatility is a good one. But ultimately, like everything else in music, it has to sound good and fit the style/tune being played. I suspect it's something you get a feel for. Easy to overthink the whole thing.
 

·
Moderator
Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
Joined
·
28,914 Posts
I do what feels natural and in sync with the music or the 'groove'.
This is the crucial thing

Probably I should pay more attention to this at least when practicing.
I always find that if I set myself these little things to think about, ie varying the articulation, then it helps me actually concentrate on praising. If I had a set routine, like tongue on upbeats or downbeats, then I'd soon go into autopilot and get less use of the practice session.

Some people are different though of course.
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,012 Posts
I always find that if I set myself these little things to think about, ie varying the articulation, then it helps me actually concentrate on praising. If I had a set routine, like tongue on upbeats or downbeats, then I'd soon go into autopilot and get less use of the practice session.
That makes total sense to me. And with any kind of success in this area, folks will be praising my phrasing! (sorry, couldn't resist :))
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
495 Posts
When
ascending the scale you tongue on the downbeats and when descending you tongue the upbeats.
I bet that 99% of us thought that the "right" way of practicing it was to tongue the upbeats.
Maybe it would help to think about it from a slightly different angle.

When ascending, it could be less important to tongue the downbeats than it is to ghost (or doodLE or doodEN) tongue the upbeats.

If you were to play his example phrases and tongue the downbeats while slurring the upbeats with a full tone into the downbeats it would not sound as "jazzy" or "correct" as his examples.

However, if you ghosted/doodled/dooden'd/half-muted the upbeats, then the downbeats would be emphasized automatically and it would sound more "jazzy" and more in line with what he actually played.

By ghost/doodle/dooden/half-muted I mean to gently put part of your tongue onto the reed, be that the very center or off to one side, and still let the note sound, but not at full volume, perhaps closer to 50% or 33% of the full-tone volume. That tonguing creates a muted sound and when you take your tongue off the reed it creates an accent. This creates the illusion of tonguing the downbeat. It's not like you actually "tongue" the downbeat, but you release the tongue from ghosted/muted upbeat when you play the downbeat.

You can stretch this concept a bit further and say it's most important to ghost/doodle/dooden/half-mute the (eighth) note preceding the peak of a phrase. This makes the top note of a phrase pop. When I listen to Charlie Parker, I can really hear his top notes being accenting in this way. It's not always on the downbeat. The accented note can also be on the upbeat with the ghosted/muted note being on the downbeat.

Happy listening, playing, and experimenting!
Thx for this. I've been looking for a starting point to introduce this articulation into my somewhat binary articulation tool box.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top