Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,629 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
How many of you use phrasings (vibrato, scoops etc.) which feel approriate and "hip" at the moment but when you listen your recorded playing those habits just annoy you very badly? My habits are so strong that I feel I really must concentrate hardly to avoid those. Especially my alto playing has those things that I hate. I really like a modern alto jazz sound without much vibrato (for example Will Vinson, Tim Green, Steve Wilson) but when I try to imitate this style I always find myself using too much vibrato. My style reminds me more of Johnny Hodges or other old-school players that used lots of vibrato. Nothing wrong with Hodges, but I'm aiming for something different (phrasing-wise). How have you managed to "change" your style? I like vibrato but not that fast kind of vibrato used all the time. I tend naturally to use vibrato almost all the time.. Some modern players use only jazz vibrato in their playing (straight tone which ends to a rapid vibrato) or they use a vibrato which is slow and lazy (cool sounding vibrato IMO).

Any ideas and experiences?

Thanks!
-TH
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,832 Posts
I'm a rare bird on this site as I don't do, nor do I have a strong desire to do, any jazz. Most of what I do is adding sax into more 'contemporary' stuff that has no sax in it to begin with. We do quite a bit of stuff with a modern country flair and my phrasing there goes a bit overboard on note bending to emulate a slide or pedal steel guitar. There's no way I can get the range on the horn that a slide down the fret gives and a lot of times it comes across as cheesy, especially when overdone. The tenor sax fits in surprisingly well on this knd of song without all the theatrics of note bending and it takes an effort on my part to keep it tastefully simple.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,336 Posts
This is a great question. I think you already have most of the answer in recording yourself and critically listening to the style that you play. It has to do with both concept and playing technique. If you can get a transcribed solo played by and alto sax player that you would like to sound like, you can listen, imitate, play along with the recording, and lastly record yourself and compare the two. If you have the skill to transcribe the solo yourself, that's even better.

The best players I have heard can pick up their sax and play any style they choose---from Johnny Hodges to David Sanborn and everything in between. It begins with the concept in the player's head and then comes out the sax through their playing skills which allow them to play what they "hear" in their mind.
 

·
Moderator
Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
Joined
·
28,943 Posts
The vibrato thing is very common. Doing a constant or uncontrollable vibrato is almost as common as being unable to do any vibrato, or not doing it when it is appropriate.

I have found myself in that very same boat, and so I developed a special exercise which is aimed at helping you not just to do vibrato, but to be in command of the type of vibrato and be able to turn it on and off:

http://tamingthesaxophone.com/saxophone-tone-control.html

Before doing that control exercise, you should possible start the previous vibrato exercise from scratch
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
6,862 Posts
If I got rid of my bad habits, I wouldn't be playing :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
The best way to stuop doing bad vibrato and scoops is to practice and learn how to do it properly. Pitch bends and doing vibrato with a metronome is a good way to become more conscious and in control. Recording yourself helps too. Once you do it enough in practice the way you want it it will come out in your playing
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,369 Posts
Get your wife/girlfriend to listen to you play and ask her to slap you and call you names every time you fall back into the bad habit. :mrgreen: The problem is I'm sure some people would love being treated like this. :shock:
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
Joined
·
7,442 Posts
Like already said, record yourself every time you play or rehearse. By doing this you become a 'feedback' machine where over time you will modify your playing habits to more closely fit that ideal sound floating around in your head. Fortunately, casual recording is easier now than it ever has been before. Get those 'band minus one' CDs/sheet music and start getting into what you think you want to do. And, some lessons from a sax pro would fit into this nicely to help you get where you're going faster without the blind alleys.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top