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Discussion Starter #1
I feel like I'm standing on the edge of a cliff with a bungee cord attached and it's time to take that first leap or pansy out.
So here goes.
Rather than a first-ever post of something that I've toiled over and mixed and edited, I decided the best way would be to attach a simple one-take practice jam. This way, I have plenty of cover if it is deemed terrible. It's got several clams (maybe more) and loses it's point here and there, but for me, it represents a quantum leap in my playing ability.
As many of you know, I have been mainly a semi-pro guitarist and vocal frontman for years, with the sax taking a back seat to a much better player filling that role. In December of 2017, I decided to retire from 2am coverband bar gigs and get back to playing the tenor. I took some lessons and have been playing over backing tracks and trying to get good in the more prominent rock and funk band keys.

This one is in Am (concert), recorded in Sonar with a little compression and reverb. It is recorded on my new-to-me '69 Mark VI with a .110 RPC Rollover piece and 2-1/2 Vandoren ZZ. The backing track is from "MyDarnJamTracks" available on Youtube.
I hope you enjoy.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
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Yeah Man! You've done the hard work. Nice Tone - Great Upper Register. Next step is to start finding solos you really like and start transcribing (Unwritten at first) to build solo vocabulary. If you can dig up some etude books for reading purposes - it couldn't hurt just to keep the technique smooth.

Above all else, enjoy yourself and keep posting stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah Man! You've done the hard work. Nice Tone - Great Upper Register. Next step is to start finding solos you really like and start transcribing (Unwritten at first) to build solo vocabulary. If you can dig up some etude books for reading purposes - it couldn't hurt just to keep the technique smooth.

Above all else, enjoy yourself and keep posting stuff.
Thank you for your kind words and spot-on counsel. I have such a long way to go. I just started compiling a list of my fave solos so I can do just that. When I first started recording my practices a few weeks ago, I was amazed at how difficult it is to fill 3 minutes and not just say the same thing over and over again.
and thank you...I am having a blast.
 

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Yes, overall I like it, your tone is solid and will only continue to get better from here if you keep putting in the work. A few constructive ideas:

1. Watch the vibrato on longer held notes. This is often a stylistic opinion, but to me, vibrato should be used sparingly and only at the trailing end of notes for effect. In a ballad, sure, use it more if you'd like.

2. Use more of the horn, and what I mean is, you were spending a TON of time in altissimo range and very little of it on the lower end of the horn. Save the altissimo fireworks for effect and build to them.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yes, overall I like it, your tone is solid and will only continue to get better from here if you keep putting in the work. A few constructive ideas:

1. Watch the vibrato on longer held notes. This is often a stylistic opinion, but to me, vibrato should be used sparingly and only at the trailing end of notes for effect. In a ballad, sure, use it more if you'd like.

2. Use more of the horn, and what I mean is, you were spending a TON of time in altissimo range and very little of it on the lower end of the horn. Save the altissimo fireworks for effect and build to them.
Thanks Buddy!
I have only recently been able to hit the altissimo notes so I tend to practice them A LOT. Great advice on the vibrato and lower phrases....I’m a serious work in progress.
 

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I really enjoyed that one. Nice production quality. The reverb was nice. I may have toned it down a little though.

Your phrasing and sound were great for the style.

The one thing I would suggest is not using such a hard attack and even note spacing throughout the solo or song. It's the two things that are the easiest technically to switch up but when you get locked into playing a certain rhythm or with a certain articulation it sticks out a bunch. That's sort of the next level part of really singing through your horn as if you were just kind of scat singing.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I really enjoyed that one. Nice production quality. The reverb was nice. I may have toned it down a little though.

Your phrasing and sound were great for the style.

The one thing I would suggest is not using such a hard attack and even note spacing throughout the tune or song. It's the two things that are the easiest technically to switch up but when you get locked into playing a certain rhythm or with a certain articulation it sticks out a bunch. That's sort of the next level part of really singing through your horn as if you were just kind of scat singing.
I totally get what you are saying.
#goals
 

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I'd suggest you work on making up little melodic lines instead of just playing a bunch of notes. In this way you develop themes for every improv and it gives you a foundation for further variations - and something to come back to on the out verse. Just like playing a song, really - play a verse, repeat the verse with the second ending leading to the bridge, then the rides start. End up with a verse, a bridge and the out verse with ending. The point is it always has to go somewhere - it doesn't have to follow that same pattern but that's the standard form. Its that way so guys can sit in and play 'Misty' and everybody knows what's happening. All they have to know is what key, and typically it will always be the original key - no reason to change it for an instrumental. So on your little song, its a 'round' (just repeats the verse over and over, no bridge) so that takes away a lot of the potential interest generated by chord changes, but you should still be able to come up with an 8 or 12-bar melody or 'riff' to call the basis of the piece, and come back to it at the end. As a singer you know every song has some kind of form - you can't just say random words until you decide to end it. The same thing is true of instrumental music - with the emphasis on being musical.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'd suggest you work on making up little melodic lines instead of just playing a bunch of notes. In this way you develop themes for every improv and it gives you a foundation for further variations - and something to come back to on the out verse. Just like playing a song, really - play a verse, repeat the verse with the second ending leading to the bridge, then the rides start. End up with a verse, a bridge and the out verse with ending. The point is it always has to go somewhere - it doesn't have to follow that same pattern but that's the standard form. Its that way so guys can sit in and play 'Misty' and everybody knows what's happening. All they have to know is what key, and typically it will always be the original key - no reason to change it for an instrumental. So on your little song, its a 'round' (just repeats the verse over and over, no bridge) so that takes away a lot of the potential interest generated by chord changes, but you should still be able to come up with an 8 or 12-bar melody or 'riff' to call the basis of the piece, and come back to it at the end. As a singer you know every song has some kind of form - you can't just say random words until you decide to end it. The same thing is true of instrumental music - with the emphasis on being musical.
Premium advice. Thank you!
 
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