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Hey there guys, I am a bit of a newbie to sax but quite a regular browser to SOTW so please excuse my probably seemingly silly question! Basically, I want to know how I can practise/play in my solos the little sort of fast semi-quaver type semitone switches you hear in so many great jazz improvs. Now I know this question makes little to no sense but that's because I don't know how to word it, so I'll try increase its literacy with some youtube/song reference examples.

Paul Desmond, for a start uses the embellishment so often during solos and especially in say Blue Rondo a la turk, listen between 2.00-2.11ish and it's those little faster bits mixed in with the quavers and stuff.

Basically, I've always been a jazz listener and now that i've picked up the sax I'd love to be able to incorporate these little ideas into my solos like so many of the greats do so any help would be greatly appreciated.

This is such an awfully worded question I know, but I'm tired so please try to let me off! :p
 

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he's embellishing the blues scale there with little triplets in sixteenth notes, which is nice but gets old fast if you do it all the time. don't become a victim of the dreaded "hoodledoo--itis".
 

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Do you have a teacher?
If so ask them how to play 'grace notes'. If not... Google is your friend. :)
 

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he's embellishing the blues scale there with little triplets in sixteenth notes, which is nice but gets old fast if you do it all the time. don't become a victim of the dreaded "hoodledoo--itis".
Bird had a really, really bad case of 'hoodledoo--itus'.
 

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Bird had a really, really bad case of 'hoodledoo--itus'.
I get that sometimes.

Paul Desmond is using emebellisments that are often called turns. Basically this is a triplet (or something similar) on the first of a pair of 1/8 notes. It comprises of the note, then the note above and quickly back to the note:

So, e.g. instead of just a plain run G - F - E - D - C, it might go GAG - F - E - D - C.

He is also using some double time passages. This means that you establish a some typical strings of 1/8 note phrases which is common in jazz, but then suddenly though in some 1/16 note passages.

To learn more, the very best thing you can do is to start transcribling, ideally with some software that slows the music down so you can easily hear and analyse what is going on.
 

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Bird had a really, really bad case of 'hoodledoo--itus'.
And got away with it. Because of his tone, his rythmic complexity, his harmonic awareness, etc etc. in short because of his genius.
Those triplet embellishments CAN be very nice, especially when played by someone like Bird. But in the hands of lesser players they can also become somewhat annoying when over used.
 

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Yeah, I probably overuse them (and I'm no Bird). But anything can be overused. Growling, altissimo, double time runs, altissimo, vibrato, lack of vibrato, altissimo, arpeggios, and all sorts of other devices. Did I mention altissimo?

So it's good to be aware of the fact you need to use spices with care, so to speak.

But the OP likes those turns and wants to know what they are and how to play them. Altomatt, give those triplet turns a go that Pete outlined. You'll get the idea pretty quickly.
 

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Paul Desmond is using embellishments that are often called turns. Basically this is a triplet (or something similar) on the first of a pair of 1/8 notes. It comprises of the note, then the note above and quickly back to the note:

So, e.g. instead of just a plain run G - F - E - D - C, it might go GAG - F - E - D - C.
It's similar to a turn, but not the way a legitimate turn would generally be played in classical music...(which is how I learned to play turns and other classical embellishments). This is my own terminology, but I refer to what Desmond was doing there as a "flip". It's exactly the way Pete describes it though.

I actually tried to put together a very simple exercise last night to demonstrate how you can practice this effect, but I was having computer issues so I came back tonight and started over. You can create your own exercises using the same ideas on scales in any key or mode and using a variety of interval exercises within the scales you choose to practice. They're extremely simple, so if you throw some of these flips into your daily scale exercises, it shouldn't take long before you're naturally trying to throw them into some of your improvised solos. Once you start doing it, it's kind of hard to stop, so be careful about throwing them in too often. I use them more than I should myself. It's sort of like the old saying..."When in doubt...trill". I loathe hearing trills in improvised solos because it's usually a case of the player being stuck for ideas. Throwing in too many superfluous flips (or turns) can have the same negative effect on the listener.

Anyway...start with this very basic kind of exercise and then create your own in different keys and different patterns.
Slope Font Rectangle Parallel Number
 

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Like this?

exactly, obviously the guy knows his stuff end especially his altissimo.
Nice from a technical point of view I guess. But what is it really that he's trying to say to me ? sorry to be so off topic, to get back to OP; now you know what it is , study the ****
out of it and use it. With taste.
 
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