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Discussion Starter #1
Have at it:


I left out the reverb so its more pure to what the sax actually sounds like. There were just a few tweaks... one quiet section I turned up... and a few booming Bb's that I had to still turn down even though I tried backing the sax away from the mic.

Sax:1919 Conn "Wonder" C-Melody Tenor
Mpc: Rico Metalite M7 Tenor
Reed:Vandoren Blue Box 2.5
 

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Any feedback guys n' gals?

I think its mostly terrible, some notes I let the intonation slip and on some notes I was way off pitch. I've been playing saxophone for six months as of today 8-1-11. Watching myself play I can see that I am badly guilty of "flying fingers" as well.... maybe its time for a little double stick tape

I'd appreciate some thoughts/advice/criticisms please. Thankyou for looking!
 

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Lots of encouragement. For six months this is very good. You have a sense of melody timing and drama. Better note choices come with time. I'm guessing that you play other instruments and are bringing along that musicality.

Dump the C and get a sax that you don't have to fight to play in tune. You're not fixated on reading music anyway so why the C? If you really want/need to play the C then work with a tuner that will let you know where you are so that you can "adjust" and play that instrument in tune. This advice carries a hazard warning: If you learn to adjust your playing to sharpen and flat certain notes this can carry to other instruments (which may have good intonation) and you will either play out of tune or have to re-adjust to how you should be playing in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wade, Thank you for the positive comments. You guessed it right I am a multi-instrumentalist!

As far as dumping the C I will say that I am a C Melody player! Kind of hard to say that if I dump the C. This is not an option... I do not believe the horn has poor intonation I believe that the player does!


In a couple of years I will probably get a Conn Bb tenor but the C will always be my main horn. The tenor I would get would still be a "Wonder" or "New Wonder" series... I really like the mechanisms and ergonomics work well for me. That will be after I hopefully achieve my dream C Melody though of course....
 

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I played a C Melody recently Danny - trust me when I say a C Melody can play very out of tune from one register/note to the next. I mean, can you hear that when you play in the lower register on that thing, you are mostly in tune - but the minute you hit the middle D up to F natural, you are like waaaay sharp? It's not you. The one I played raised almost a half step in the upper register. Tuning can be a little tricky to hear at first with an instrument that is connected to your internals making your head and ears vibrate while playing.

For 6 months you sound good - decent phrasing, nice left hand work, but yes, keep those right hand fingers down bro!

Try out a D minor pentatonic over those changes, see what you think.
 

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Thank you for your advice Chuck! I will try the double stick tape method for a bit on my right hand to see if I can reduce my flying fingers. I will also work some pentatonics in... that is such a great idea because I only ever practice the full minor/major scales. I also always note (punny :)) where my blue note is for that key and where my harmonic minor note is (i.e. in D-Minor you can play a C# for that ethnic feel). All of this comes from my guitar playing, and I will surely work some pentatonics and arpeggios next!

I can hear what you are talking about on the sharpness... but it is most prominent on middle D. To avert this I have been learning to use the palm Eb key in the lower register to get a nice middle D, lipped down a bit or else its sharp. Using that palm key it sings out and has better tone than the octave middle D. I still have the habit of hitting that D when coming down from the higher register though, rather than releasing the octave key and going for the palm key. Other than that note, I think that my Conn mostly has great intonation... but I have heard about issues with other brands of vintage C-Mels. What kind did you happen to play recently?
 

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I can't remember - it was an old vintage too, my trombone buddy bought it and wanted me to give a ride. The middle upper register was just sharp as a knife, LOL. I felt bad because He doesn't have 20+ years of embesure control to work from to help out.

Ok so you came from guitar right? You guys have boxes (cheaters, LOL)... The minor pentatonic is basically a box on guitar, but better. Once you get it under the fingers, you can open up your solo lines easily and bottom to top your horns range in one second easily. The bad news as you know, is we can't use bare chords, so gotta learn the keys on a sax- hey sorry.

You can combine the D minor scales with combination of the minor pentatonic to create some nice lines. You already use nice melodic ideas like a singer would, so keep that! But when going from one place to the other - a scale works nicely, and the pentatonic gets you there fast. Just play around with it, it's a lot of fun on rock tunes.
 

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Agreed, I will begin transferring some more of my "cheats" on the fretboard into my keys :bluewink:. I had wondered where my practice routine would head next and I think you have set me on a good path (plus long tones as suggested by another)... thank you!
 

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Ah, the never ending topic and search for the best way to practice. I hear ya. But I can say this with hindsight. The great news on pentatonics is that there are only 5 notes, and although major and minor - they contain the SAME NOTES - what makes them major or minor is the chord you play them over. They lay on the fingers great - ie, they are comfortable. And best yet, in my personal opinion, a very easy way to get some practical improvisation tools.

And another HUGE benefit is once you have your minor pentatonics comfortable on the fingers and mind, all you have to do to get a blues scale is flat the 5th! Blues Scale learned in...5 seconds. And the amazing part of me is that actually playing the blues scale and the related minor pentatoic over some changes, does NOT sound that much alike. They still have their own sounds.

As always - start slowly and get the notes right. I know nobody wants to practice slow I know. I didn't invent the human brain, but it works this way.
 
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