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Ok I heard this young man a while back and pretty much the sound I’m looking for. I have tried playing around with my embochure but still sound the exact same. I’m trying to get a sound just like this: https://youtu.be/ei-zTb4A5LA. I currently sound like this: https://youtu.be/_vhJdCM4-DM. I don’t know what to do to get to there. I’m current trying to work on my jazz vocabulary, that’s another topic (more like a life long journey to nowhere for me since I can’t seem to connect the dots). I need some help please.
 

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try a different mouthpiece and reed , that edgy and bright sound comes from mouthpiece, reed and of “ thinking” that sound, work on it it will come to you (not so much by playing Church music, I am afraid).

The sound you seek seems to be a smooth jazz sound ( not what I would call a Jazzy tone but I must be much older than you and have different reference points)

There are many threads on this

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?145834-Smooth-Jazz-Sound
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?228396-Smooth-Jazz-Sound!
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?175636-Contemporary-Smooth-Jazz-Sound
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?164805-How-to-get-a-smooth-funk-sound-on-Alto-Sax

There are tons of threads already opened in the archives about almost anything, using them is a celebration of the culture kept by this forum :bluewink:
 

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He has a good fundamental tone and it is bright/smooth jazz-Like...but the video would indicate a recording studio, maybe. I could be mistaken but the recording sounds like it has some sound engineering, certainly a bit of reverb added. My point, I would like to hear his non-processed sound.
 

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He has a good fundamental tone and it is bright/smooth jazz-Like...but the video would indicate a recording studio, maybe. I could be mistaken but the recording sounds like it has some sound engineering, certainly a bit of reverb added. My point, I would like to hear his non-processed sound.
That was my reaction, too: 'sound thru processors.'

Not far off, otherwise.
 

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After accounting for differences in recording environment, both clips sound very similar to my ears.

I'd suggest putting in some listening time to the masters. Some suggested alto players with a variety of tonal qualities:

Johnny Hodges
Paul Desmond
Charlie Parker
Pete Brown
Arthur Blythe
Lee Konitz
Cannonball Adderley
Earl Bostic
Lou Donaldson
Sonny Stitt
Sonny Criss

Then spend some time on general tone/embouchure building (I always recommend playing outdoors where there's nothing to bounce the sound back to you - it will force you to play with a big sound).

With practice you can put as much or as little edge to the sound as you want. For most people a moderate setup works well on alto to get a wide range of tones as needed. The Meyer 5, 6, or 7 is a popular choice (it's mine) but there are others.
 

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try a different mouthpiece
One on Ebay (Vintage Saxo). I don't see any US shop that might carry it. The store in Japan appears to only carry guitar equipment. Check out the "baffle" if you are not familiar with this style. Not too high on this m/p.

As previously mentioned, this style can help to get you going in that direction. There are many m/p's that have a similar design that you can order from WW&BW on a 45 day trial. Take a photo of the Ebay pic and send it to WW&BW. They are good at giving advice. Or maybe an SOTW member can look at it and make a suggestion for a m/p that might come close to the same design.

You can also contact the player by leaving a message on Youtube. He has a lot of sound clips.

https://www.ebay.com/i/273971161732...aQmQUkehuihTwNRzFx9IV7wfqpb_e54RoCq1EQAvD_BwE
 

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I always thought Johnny Hodges had a bright sound. Unusual for that time.
Just get right in the mic and turn up the treble and reverb.
 

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I don’t think that the two tones are all that different. I imagine the similarity would be even greater if you were playing the same kind of tunes (ballads, at this point).

Air stream and attack will make up much of the difference.



P.S. and OBTW: Have you ever listened to Maceo Parker? His sound did NOT come from a high baffle mouthpiece. I’ll leave you to do your homework on his sound.
 

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P.S. and OBTW: Have you ever listened to Maceo Parker? His sound did NOT come from a high baffle mouthpiece. I’ll leave you to do your homework on his sound.
Correct. Brilhart Ebolin mouthpiece #3 w/ Vandoren Java 3 and a half reeds.

My apology for the suggeston. I should have stated that the player that iceman is referring to is using a m/p with a baffle. I agree, not necesarily needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I don’t think that the two tones are all that different. I imagine the similarity would be even greater if you were playing the same kind of tunes (ballads, at this point).

Air stream and attack will make up much of the difference.



P.S. and OBTW: Have you ever listened to Maceo Parker? His sound did NOT come from a high baffle mouthpiece. I’ll leave you to do your homework on his sound.
Oh man Maceo Parker is great, his sound can cut through any band. I've watched a few of his videos on Youtube, and his mouthpiece looks like a Meyer HR (don't know what facing or any modifcations done to the mouthpiece).
 

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Oh man Maceo Parker is great, his sound can cut through any band. I've watched a few of his videos on Youtube, and his mouthpiece looks like a Meyer HR (don't know what facing or any modifcations done to the mouthpiece).
Maceo Parker plays on a stock Brilhart Ebolin #3 and always has. See post eleven above.

Taken directly from his web page
http://maceoparker.com/faq.html


"What kind of Horn, mouthpiece and reeds does Maceo use?
Maceo plays a Selmer Mark VI, (which he has had goldplated) and a Brilhart Ebolin mouthpiece 3. He uses Vandoren Java 3 and a half reeds."
 

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A "bright" tone contains stronger and higher harmonics. It is well known that raising the baffle inside a mouthpiece helps to generate these harmonics. Since all of the harmonics above the "cutoff frequency" (around F#3) travel past the open toneholes and go straight out the bell, placing the microphone directly in front of the bell helps to pick up these frequencies above the fundamental and first and second partials (depending on the register of the note being played). Vanessa Hasbrook's study found that playing lower on the mouthpiece input pitch also increases the upper harmonics. The question then is what voicing does the player use to accentuate and support the production of this "bright" and sometimes edgy tone. Is it as simple as raising the back of the tongue to an "EE" shape, or is there more to it than that. This is something I have wondered about as well.
 

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We all know that a (high) baffle can produce brighter tone, but so can a couple of other things:

  • Use more mouthpiece in your mouth. Personally I would only ever use a lot of mouthpiece in my mouth for effect, but if you have a less bright or stuffy mouthpiece this can be useful. However I would recommend you practise being able to quickly and smoothly adjust the amount of mouthpiece for maximum expression
  • Growling can dd a lot of edge as we know, but one very useful aspect I find is to reduce the amount of growl so it is (almost) imperceptible as a growl, however it can add just a bit of edge, brightness or sparkle without actually having the full on aggressive growl effect.
 

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Yes, a baffle can make a difference and I switch mouthpieces according to the style/tone required. The extremes of these that I use are a Morgan jazz vs. a Theo Wanne Shiva, or Lamberson DD. The two later being incredibly bright and powerful while the Morgan is wonderfully mellow. I tend to also agree with Dr G. about air stream and attack. Hitting the note with the tone you want cleanly reflects confidence and works for most all genres. As a side issue posture can make a difference to airflow and other issues. You're tending toward hunching over with your head down. This is not a great look and can eventually lead to a hunchback type of condition when you get older.

You've got good tone, use dynamics and play well. Many here would be very satisfied with your tone and playing. A church is obviously not the same as other performance venues however it's still about communicating to your listeners.

This may sound a bit esoteric or strange but here's the overall impression: It feels like your keeping the music to yourself and letting others just listen. Great players/performers are projecting themselves and the music to their listeners and sharing the musical and emotional content. You accomplish this in your high held note/climax, and the listeners respond. Try to be in that mode all the time where you are "giving" and not just heard/observed.
 

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It seems to me that you're classically trained (as I was, and trust me, I do know the frustration you're going through far too well :)). So here is what I came up with after many years of studying jazz. Mouthpiece speeches apart (which does make a difference, but it's not as some magic box that will change your tone in a second...you're more likely not going to be able to play at all, as soon as you get your hands on that miraculous super opened/super baffled piece); the main difference in the tone production between classical players and jazz players is in HOW the air is pushed inside the horn. I'll explain better; playing saxophone as a classical musician means that you're likely going to study a piece which will require you to perform a determined number of specific lines. They're always going to be the same, so your body gets accustomed to prepare itself in order to get those, with that interpretation, that tempo, that articulation. In order to achieve the classical "strings feeling", a lot of vibrato is required as well. All of this factors tend to place the origin of your tone right inside your oral cavity. In jazz, on the other side, you "never know" (we all know it's not entirely true, but bear with me) what you're going to play after that specific note, so you need to get a sound with a great projection, which makes your horn able to respond instantly to whatever your fingers will decide to do. The main things you will want to work on in order to achieve this are your embochure, your overtones and your tecnique. Your embochure needs to be muuch more relaxed all over the register, your lip not that tucked insode (see the davod liebman embochure videos on youtube), which will allow the reed to vibrate more freely and to enhance the upper overtones. You're likely going to loose your tuning by doing so, as your reed will lack the lower teeth support and it's therefore going to sound quite flat. The tuning must be compensated with proper diaphragm pressure and rear tongue position to correct the direction of the stream of air. To learn practicing overtones this way, check again the liebman method about personal sound production on the saxophone. Finally, technique wise, you want your fingers to stay stuck in contact with the keys. Always, no matter how fast you play. Relaxed, but firm on the pearls. Feeling the horn vibratioms this way can make a huge difference in your tone.
 

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I think the best way to go about it is to put on the music of your favorite player(s) and play along with them. You'll need to tweak your equipment along the way as well. I think there's very few people playing that haven't done this. David Sanborn was a Hank Crawford fan when he was young and you can hear Hank in his sound today.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdX9roN_3kg
 

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I agree you can approach that tone with your air and embouchure control. For me, I got there quicker with a bright, open tip mouthpiece, and a softer reed, like a Plasticover #2. After I got used to that tone, I found I could get close with a different reed, and even a Link STM. My Link is not as loud as my paintpeeler, but I can get a lot of edge that translates in a moderate environment, and a mic. So, my advice is get a bright mouthpiece (Bellite, Dukoff D, Quantum, even a lowly Metalite, etc), get some soft reeds, and get that tone in your head.
 

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Raise your tongue at the back and anchor the back your tongue with your back molars.
Blow.
 
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