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Hey all,
Not sure if I’m the first not one, but when I growl, I can hear it, and so can other people. Is this due to bad technique or does this just happen? Please enlighten me
,Bigman01
 

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Hey all,
Not sure if I’m the first not one, but when I growl, I can hear it, and so can other people. Is this due to bad technique or does this just happen? Please enlighten me
,Bigman01
Try humming other notes that will cause a louder grisly distortion compared with the hum

Some hum being heard is inevitable though, try recording with the mic at least a metre away to get an idea of how it sounds
 

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So glad you asked this, because I had the same question. I’ve been trying to copy Clarence Clemons on this track:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=087mi1e46us

To get that sound i’m really making audible noises with my mouth. Think about prentending to be a monster to entertain kids, or the sound a dog makes when it’s threatened (yeah - growling, in other words). But I never imagined until actually trying copy Clemons that the sound would be so audible in my mouth.

In my case I just started last night trying to copy Clemons - I didn’t consciously think: ‘he’s growling here, that’s what I should do;’ it was more like that’s what I found myself doing to get the sound I wanted.

But I was pretty shocked when I realized what I was doing - Clemons sounded like this pretty much all the time I think? So does that mean he was always growling?
 

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P.s. I was playing this an octave down at first because of difficulty getting that alt. G until the phrase was more familiar but now playing it on the top end I’m still making noises but they are different I think - now they sound more like those incredibly irritating keening noises that Keith Jarrett insists he can’t help, and which ruin his piano playing. But I’m getting sidetracked- that’s another story!

I’m just trying his opening phrase - da, da, da, daaaaah / da, da ,Daah, da - it’s around an a minor 7chord I guess - starting on the fifth of the chord and jumping up to the 7th (altissimo g ) on the fourth note, then ending on the root of the chord:

e, e, e, alt. G, e, e, c, a. ( I think).
 

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Its 3,3,3, 5, 3. So if the first note is your E on tenor then its in concert Bb. Anyway, the reason you don't hear his vocalizations as being separate from the sound of the sax is he plays pretty loud. The growl he's doing also contributes to the timbre of his sound. He's growling on low frequencies which makes the sound darker in the middle ranges. Growlers always seem to naturally do this and the growl kind of parallels the sax but in an atonal way. I'm not sure it can be taught - you sort of just do it or you can't.
BTW, how do y'all like that improvised sax sling with the upper hook latched onto the octave key rod? I wouldn't recommend doing that to a sax you like.
 

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Some helpful stuff, there 1saxman, but I don't quite understand this:

Its 3,3,3, 5, 3. So if the first note is your E on tenor then its in concert Bb.
Can you explain what you mean by 3,3,3,5,3? Are you saying he's playing over a C major chord, so the E s are thirds in the chord, maybe?

Ah - I get it - I guess you are saying that if he's playing over a C major triad, then the chord is concert Bb; and it's in the key of Bb; is that right?
 

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If the humming can be heard, then the simple solution is to fill the horn with air and play louder.
 

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....also note the power and depth of Clarence’s voice. It undoubtedly impacts his growl...I’m equally sure he moved a lot of air when he played. Good luck on your goal.
 

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I can’t stand that sound. Irritating. It’s ok for an occasional effect but the constant growling reminds of all the ****** Rock sax players I’ve heard.
It makes me want me want to go put on my Coltrane Ballads record
 

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I offer this piece for all


To me this is perfect for the style. It's the kind of music I play the most. Gordon's playing is always really balls to the wall. It's great. Hark back to the old honkers in the 50's and 60's.

Now, I don't usually growl this much. Not half as much actually. But when I do I want it to sound like that.
 

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To me this is perfect for the style. It's the kind of music I play the most. Gordon's playing is always really balls to the wall. It's great. Hark back to the old honkers in the 50's and 60's.
Absolutely :cheers::cheers:
 

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My question is how do you all keep up the humming the entire solo? I guess it's just practice, but my throat gets tired. If I could vocalize for that long, I'd be a singer.
 

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My question is how do you all keep up the humming the entire solo? I guess it's just practice, but my throat gets tired. If I could vocalize for that long, I'd be a singer.
It is just practice, after all singers can keep singing for long periods of time once they are used to it.

But the other thing is don't think you have to actually "growl", The vocal side of it it can be quite light, it's the saxophone playing side of it that needs to be more forceful. The vocalising is really just a sort of catalyst that sets up an acoustic interference - you don't need to hum more aggressively to get a growlier growl. I know that seems a bit counter-intuitive, but it gets easier the more you practise.
 

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My question is how do you all keep up the humming the entire solo? I guess it's just practice, but my throat gets tired. If I could vocalize for that long, I'd be a singer.
Everybody's different. I have to make a conscious effort not to growl...


I guess it was all the kazoo I played during my formative years as a child.



Edit: A smaller child
 

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It is just practice, after all singers can keep singing for long periods of time once they are used to it.

But the other thing is don't think you have to actually "growl", The vocal side of it it can be quite light, it's the saxophone playing side of it that needs to be more forceful. The vocalising is really just a sort of catalyst that sets up an acoustic interference - you don't need to hum more aggressively to get a growlier growl. I know that seems a bit counter-intuitive, but it gets easier the more you practise.
Pete nailed it, also you don't have to try and hum along with the solo or the melody, you just start humming a note and then forget about what you are doing because whatever needs to happen just happens based on "biofeedback" in the broadest sense of the word. You can stop and start at any time but sometimes you get so absorbed that you forget to stop. But don't worry, your throat will eventually tell you that it's enough :mrgreen:
 
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