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Discussion Starter #1
Every year at my school we have a talent show, which I can never get up the guts to perform in. This year, seeing as it's my final year at school, I'd like to do it on my tenor sax.
I would like to either play a song that people will recognise, or one that will sound nice, and impress them. I'm not great at playing fast songs in front of crowds, so would like to play something slow-medium. No matter how much I practice a fast song, once the nerves kick in, it sucks. One that has long tones with little fancy bits would be ideal... I thought Wedding Song by Kenny G would be nice (on soprano), but it's a little boring.
I considered doing Harlem Nocturne or Smooth Operator, or something like that. I think I'll play along with a backing track, or maybe a pianist.
Any suggestions would be great! Thanks in advance!
 

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Have you thought of playing "Tears in Heaven" by Eric Clapton? Have a friend who plays guitar and accompany you while you play the melody/voice line. And if you're a jazz musician or know how to improvise, improvise over the changes before going back to the head of the tune.
 

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Harlem Nocturne is a good tune. Personally, I like "'Round Midnight" by Thelonius Monk and Cootie Williams. I played that in one of my first public performances on the tenor saxophone many years ago (as in before you were born). Just a personal bias, but I think a piano is far more classy than a backing track. Do what seems right for you and just have FUN. Hope you're going to keep playing after high school is over. Break a leg!
 

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The Pink Panther.
That's a good suggestion. "Over the Rainbow" is nice, and you can noodle around a bit in the key at the ends of phrases. Those a tunes that it's impossible not to know so they are popular but still musically interesting (IMO)
 

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Not meant to offend anyone, but, I would not be looking at music that we (on this forum) think is good sax. An eighteen year old who does not play an instrument or probably does not even like jazz will be yawning after the first three bars of Round Midnight (if it is the standard version). Tears in heaven might work. You have to ask yourself what the kids are listening to in your area.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Not meant to offend anyone, but, I would not be looking at music that we (on this forum) think is good sax. An eighteen year old who does not play an instrument or probably does not even like jazz will be yawning after the first three bars of Round Midnight (if it is the standard version). Tears in heaven might work. You have to ask yourself what the kids are listening to in your area.
We think it's good music because it sounds great though. I have to please both kids and adults, so can't just aim my choice at kids.

All great ideas, thanks... I'll have to do some listening. I actually hadn't thought of Pink Panther, could be a good one. I've heard some pretty funky arrangements of it.
Thanks all. :)
 

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Peter Gunn Theme, Baby Elephant Walk, Tequila, Sir Duke

Rhapsody in Blue? Eh, maybe a bit much.
 

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Sir Duke is gonna be in C# on tenor. No big deal if you know it and for sure it's a crowd pleaser, but it's hardly long tones. I've got my kids playing this at the moment. On the plus side, the whole playground comes to the window and watches when we do this tune. On the down side, it's one of those tunes you just have to have pretty much memorized to get through it without messing it up.

We were talking about Pick Up the Pieces on another thread recently and this is always a crowd pleaser. Having done the "Band recruitment Demo" a zillion times at a zillion schools now, I can add the following;

Jazz tunes: Kids will fall asleep.

Well known pop tunes: Kids will stay awake long enough to realize the tune sounds better with a full band.

Pink Panther: Kids will start to get interested just as you finish (Unless you improvise, the main tune lasts all of 20 seconds right?)

Funk Tunes: You've got half a chance as long as you pick something that grooves and play it with good feel.

When all's said and done, there is no harder gig than solo sax. If you can rope a few friends together and play as a band, your chances go up exponentially.

If not, just play whatever you like and enjoy playing for your own sake. You'll lose out to the guy with the rubber chicken, but that's life.

Good luck.
 

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get yerself a drummer, guitar player and bass player from school and "rock-out" on "Smoke on the Water".

It's stupid simple for your "band" if they play in standard tuning on the E strings, and the notes in the riff are easy to do on Tenor (F# A B F# A C B F# A B A F#) add a C and an E to your "scale" and just BLOW.

Crowd pleaser, easy to do so you won't look foolish.

dv
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Lotsa good ideas... I definitely agree with the band idea... Maybe even a duet would be better. I like the idea of Pick Up The Pieces, but we're playing it in big band, so maaaybe not. I thought maybe Smooth Operator or Billie Jean, they could keep the crowd interested.
 

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I've done this kind of gig a few times: If you can, get either a band together, or form a sax quartet. With that in mind, I recommend: go to the 4a4 quartet website, you can find a ton of good stuff..

I've played their versions of Birdland, Baby Elephant Walk, and I Feel Good.
Pick up the Pieces is cool, too, as is, if you've got the chops for it, finding another tenor player and a drummer and doing a tenor battle. I've seen kids that listen to Ke$ha go nuts for an old school tenor battle. There's something about it that makes everyone understand, even if they think that Jazz is what grandma listened to, and it died in 1945.
 

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even if they think that Jazz is what grandma listened to, and it died in 1945.
How did jazz die in 1945? It lives on in each of us, in our hearts. Now, seriously, it died when Kenny G became popular and scored hits.

A tenor or sax battle would really work. Start with a basic funk tune; then attack each other (not literally, but if you did, it would definitely be a crowd pleaser). Just make sure it remains somewhat melodic and technical.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I have been considering trying to get last years' sax quartet together again for it, that'd be great I think. I'll check out some charts and have a chat to them, see what they think.
 
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