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In several videos of him talking (masterclasses, rico, etc.) he stresses the fact that he has his students use no tongue at all and straight eights.

I'm guessing the "no tongue" approach really means he thinks people are tonguing too much?

Anyways, if anyone has any insight regarding Garzone's approach to rhythm (not necessarily specifically tonguing) and wants to share, Ic/d love to read it.

Thanks all!
 

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I studied with Garzone when I was at Berklee for one semester. He was always on my case about tonguing too much. I didn't stop tonguing or lessen it but I did make it a lot lighter during that time because he drew my attention to it. I used to go to the Copley hotel and see him playing standards there every once in awhile. He was amazing. He wouldn't take it super "Fringe" out because of the type of gig it was. I really loved his inside playing. He was so free with his note choices and rhythms. I'd always go home after and play until 4 or 5 in the morning.
 

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yes...you got it right!! the no embouchoure embouchoure...etc.etc

it only means relax...be natural...and dont be TOO technically conscious....

...however to me ,when you add a bit of technical focus to being relaxed then your on top of your game

my approach to all wind playing be it brass or woodwind is that the point where a note begins is the crucial point

I dont care if youve been playing 4 months,2 years 8 years or 30 years... if you can get the note out you can support it.... so my focus is at the beginning of notes...and i let my experience and equipment do the rest of the work

this approach has let me develop more effortless playing and makes playing lead trumpet possible!!!!!
 

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no embouchure is Gonz not Garzone.... anyways...same stuff
 

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I studied with George too and he had me do the same stuff in terms of practicing things with no articulation or swing feel.

My understanding was that most people (certainly including me) tend to tongue unintentionally and swing their eighth notes in a way that may not be on purpose. By stripping things down to their most basic form, it exposes all of these little glitches and habits so that you can get rid of them. It's actually really hard to do! The idea isn't to play that way in real musical situations, but to get to the point where everything that you do in terms of your articulation and time feel is a conscious musical decision.

It's a great way to practice, and especially helpful if you're someone that has to play in a lot of different styles. You become aware of exactly what makes Lester Young's phrasing/time feel different from Sonny Rollins for example ... good stuff!
 

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I thought he meant something like this.
I'm not saying he meant this but that is what I did. I have taught a few students who said they studied with Garzone and he gave them a hard time about the tonguing thing also. I just think it is a sound and trait he doesn't dig so much. I personally like the sound of my tonguing so I kept it. I feel like it gives some definition and clarity to the line that guys who don't tongue at all don't have. It's a personal thing.
 

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George told me you can "articulate with your fingers" by using really clean, strong finger technique. Still haven't totally wrapped my brain around that one...... I still tongue a lot when I play, but I definitely feel more in control of it than before I worked on Garzone's stuff.
 

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I too, studied with George Garzone, but I can't offer any insight. I did my placement audition with George at the beginning of my first semester at Berklee, and didn't work with him again until my last couple of semesters...at which time he was my flute instructor of all things. Imagine that. Private lessons with George Garzone, and not a word about the saxophone.
 

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I think this is a valid practice technique. But if you want to play in a section you need to tongue with the lead alto. On the other side of the coin, it is also good to practice tonguing every single note!
 

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His thing isn't about changing your style, it's about gaining total control and awareness of how and when you tongue. Some of his most famous students tongue quite a bit when they play, but it's done with a really high level of musicality and accuracy.
 

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When I read things like this, it always reminds of Al di Meola's obsession about up/down picking on the guitar. There's a story that goes that someone else is showing Al a line on his guitar, and all Al notices and comments is that the guy isn't strictly alternating up and down strokes with his pick, and nothing about the musical fragment itself. I think it just shows that the 'greats' also have their own idiosyncracies when it comes to certain aspects of technique..
 

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Yeah, Al DiMeola has amazing extremely fast alternative picking technique which in the sax world equivalent means tonguing every note in extremely fast passages.

Then there is Allan Holdsworth who is the opposite to Al DiMeola with Holdsworth using a lot of legato and not picking (tonguing) every note and Holdsworth tries to emulate a sax player somewhat by doing this.

These different Allard, Teal etc approaches should be taken with a grain of salt IMO as the player has to eventually work it out and sticking to some forced rules that seem unnatural to the player is going to lead to a dead end in the long run.

I play guitar as well as a bit of sax and I've tried DiMeolas alternative picking approach and Holdsworths legato approach and I can't keep up to Al DiMeolas speed for too long but I use both the alternative picking and the legato picking techniques depending on what I'm playing at a particular time.

So I don't stick to any picking or tongue position or tonguing or whatever rules too much and I am aware of all the different techniques and I just do my own thing based on my judgment and do not follow rules.

If a player can't eventually make up their mind on how they want to play an instrument then no one else can make up their mind for them either so why play if someone doesn't know what they want to do and needs all these rules to follow?

All players of any instruments have different approaches.
Obviously Django for instance had a very different approach to playing the guitar than Holdsworth or DiMeola etc and if DiMeola just followed Djangos so called playing rules then there would not be a Al DiMeola way of playing the guitar.
Al DiMeola eventually went his own way using his own judgment and the same goes for sax players and trumpet players or whatever.
if Coltrane just followed Parkers so called playing rules then there would not be a Coltrane way of playing the sax.

Picking up tips and techniques from teachers and other players is all part of learning but these tips and techniques will not always be what a player wants or uses and in the end it's up to the player.
 

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you can pick your friends....and you can pick your nose............but you can't pick your friends nose
 

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Lets say I use Allards tongue position and Teals embouchure and Garzones No Tongue deal.

Well just the sound of it seems pretty weird and I am not playing a sax like that.
 

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Yeah, Al DiMeola has amazing extremely fast alternative picking technique which in the sax world equivalent means tonguing every note in extremely fast passages.

Then there is Allan Holdsworth who is the opposite to Al DiMeola with Holdsworth using a lot of legato and not picking (tonguing) every note and Holdsworth tries to emulate a sax player somewhat by doing this.

These different Allard, Teal etc approaches should be taken with a grain of salt IMO as the player has to eventually work it out and sticking to some forced rules that seem unnatural to the player is going to lead to a dead end in the long run.

I play guitar as well as a bit of sax and I've tried DiMeolas alternative picking approach and Holdsworths legato approach and I can't keep up to Al DiMeolas speed for too long but I use both the alternative picking and the legato picking techniques depending on what I'm playing at a particular time.

So I don't stick to any picking or tongue position or tonguing or whatever rules too much and I am aware of all the different techniques and I just do my own thing based on my judgment and do not follow rules.
Yeah Alan Holdsworth rocks, and I'd take him over Di Meola most days, which ironically puts me more towards the Garzone 'no tongue' approach. When I hear a sax player play too many heavily tongued passages, or even sometimes just some at the worng places, it does kinda grate on me. But some fast tongued passages are dazzling too when done right.

And to think Holdsworth developed his legato approach out his desire to sound like a horn, and to get away from the ugly tick tick tick picking sound - I start to get Garzone's vibe now. Holdsworth is on record many times as saying he really dislikes the staccato pick sound on guitar, and his approach to playing the maximum amount of notes with the minimum of picking. He even uses subtle volume swells to cut off the initial attack of the note, to sound even more horn like...

On sax, I don't do much heavy tonguing anyway, most of the time, unless playing some legit stuff.
 

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You use your fingers, the way they hit the keys & your airstream, not the tongue. I never studied with him, but thats what I think he means. I got this from George Coleman. I think Eric Alexander does a whole thing on this, when he does a clinic. (Somebody who went to one told me this.)

I think alot of what we hear on records, what we think we hear is tonguing, is not, but this. (except with Johnny Griffin, of course)

You hit a few keynotes with the tongue, as an accent or color, but not much.

When I was pretty young, I went to a Nathan Davis clinic & he talked about "doodle tonguing" or some such nonsense, he claimed that that was what all the "cats" did, I couldnt buy it, even then.

I hear this kind of "over-tonguing" alot, on the clips of amateur or student guys posting here on SOTW. It is one of the biggest problems & make them sound less authentic.

Garzone is 100% right.
 

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FWIW, when I studied with George everything was played with NO tongue and STRAIGHT 8ths at every tempo and over every kind of feel, even when playing tunes in his ensemble (I had ensemble and lessons with him back-to-back). The focus was on making the time and timbre COMPLETELY even, using ONLY the fingers.

He frequently referred to the tongue as a "crutch" - meaning a mechanism for making up for the laziness/inaccuracy of finger motions.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
He frequently referred to the tongue as a "crutch" - meaning a mechanism for making up for the laziness/inaccuracy of finger motions.
This makes a whole lot of sense to me in the practice room, but to me, it sounds like Garzone uses his tongue when he plays. But maybe :


what we think we hear is tonguing, is not.
 

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Barry Harris gets horn players to play in a similar way-he's a pianist, but he wants everything slurred, so the fingers have to hit the rhythm. One of his best known students was Charles McPherson (also someone called John Coltrane :-0) and I can hear something to do with this in Charles playing.
 
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