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My favorite sax player was Paul Desmond' he never shredded. On a jacket liner I have he stated that when he practicing too much, he started to play his solos faster, so he stopped. Another non shredder was Stan Getz. Listen to his solo on Girl from Ipanema. It's what your horn plays, not how fast. This is my opnion and I'm sticking to it.
 

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My favorite sax player was Paul Desmond' he never shredded. On a jacket liner I have he stated that when he practicing too much, he started to play his solos faster, so he stopped. Another non shredder was Stan Getz. Listen to his solo on Girl from Ipanema. It's what your horn plays, not how fast. This is my opnion and I'm sticking to it.
Certainly Getz did play very fast on several recordings, for example when he played along with Sonny Stitt and Dizzy. And, Getz eventually went fusion with his great Captain Marvel album at the end of his career with solos that beautifully balanced melody and lots of fast runs.
 

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Shredding is more than just playing fast; it's "a style of guitar playing characterized by extremely fast flurries of notes and extremely distorted tones" (Urban Dictionary)

Translated to the saxoverse, would that mean lots of overtones, split tones, trilling, growling, false fingerings, slap or flutter tonguing, meowing or detuning? or maybe just plain old squeaking? (in which case, Getz shredded a lot).
 

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Shredding is more than just playing fast; it's "a style of guitar playing characterized by extremely fast flurries of notes and extremely distorted tones" (Urban Dictionary)

Translated to the saxoverse, would that mean lots of overtones, split tones, trilling, growling, false fingerings, slap or flutter tonguing, meowing or detuning? or maybe just plain old squeaking? (in which case, Getz shredded a lot).
Like this maybe... (Marc Russo is amazing!)
 

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Shredding seemed to be started by guitarists to denote playing very, very fast without much letup.

If you shout all the time, shouting loses it's impact. If you play blazingly fast all the time, the effect loses its impact.

My best advice is to watch and feel your audience.
Notes nailed it nicely (sorry, I couldn't resist the alliteration). I do think playing double time or fast passages can be very effective, but in most cases only if you don't overdo it. There are some rare exceptions where a great player on a given tune at breakneck tempo can sound good; Charlie Parker comes to mind, but even in his case it can sometimes can wear out the listener. But he also played ballads and was extremely melodic.

Anyway, I feel the same way about altissimo. A little bit goes a long ways. Too much and it's just excruciating. It's all a matter of taste I guess.
 

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I can shred, I don't shred. I save my bursts of speed to small passages and only when my inner self feels the need for that.

If you shout all the time, shouting loses it's impact. If you play blazingly fast all the time, the effect loses its impact.

My best advice is to watch and feel your audience.

Insights and incites by Notes
Exactly, that is how I like to use speed. Partly because with shorter bursts I can do it a bit better I think. But manly yes, it makes more impact, seems to be a more creative use of improvement. IMO.

This is what comes to my mind when I think of shredding, and I don't believe that there is a saxophone equivalent. Playing fast is not what it is about.
Yes, I totally agree, doesn't really apply to saxophone. But I would sometimes use kind of "sheets of sound" more as a texture, and especially in more free form genres where such textures can really come into their own, but agin, often when used creatively in contrast with sparser textures.

Shredding is more than just playing fast; it's "a style of guitar playing characterized by extremely fast flurries of notes and extremely distorted tones" (Urban Dictionary)

Translated to the saxoverse, would that mean lots of overtones, split tones, trilling, growling, false fingerings, slap or flutter tonguing, meowing or detuning? or maybe just plain old squeaking? (in which case, Getz shredded a lot).
I don't quite think so. In fact I would dispute the Urban Dictionary definitions in that distortion is always necessary. Often it's there with lead guitar but not always , plus distortion can be there on slower lead guitar also.

So all those effects you mention aren't (IMO) shredding. All valid of course, especially meowing.
 

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Exactly, it's a revolutionary thing and about the sound, in this case. I would say Van Halen's Eruption is pretty much the North Star for shredders ever since; kind of like what Koko is to modern jazz or the Eroica Symphony is to classical music.

This is what comes to my mind when I think of shredding, and I don't believe that there is a saxophone equivalent. Playing fast is not what it is about.
 

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If "shredding" is a concept that can't be applied to the saxophone, then it becomes pretty easy to answer the OP's question. I assume we're all Ok with saxophonists who don't shred, if it can't be done on the sax?
 

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I think this is a good example of what you described. I've always loved Joe's creative juxtaposition in his phrasing.


Shredding seemed to be started by guitarists to denote playing very, very fast without much letup. The guitar equivalent of bebop.

This thread is the first I've heard it applied to saxophonists.

I can shred, I don't shred. I save my bursts of speed to small passages and only when my inner self feels the need for that.

If you shout all the time, shouting loses it's impact. If you play blazingly fast all the time, the effect loses its impact.

My best advice is to watch and feel your audience.

Insights and incites by Notes
 
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One of the things that eludes me as an adult recreational learner has always been fast shredding.
When I played trumpet I had the same issue, and an instructor once told me "so don't play fast".

Seems the sax, however, is one of those instruments that shredding is expected or tour just not a good player.
Don't get me wrong, I would love to have that ability and continue to work on it but it's not my wheelhouse.

Are there others here that are the same?
If you want to play fast you'll need to practice playing fast. As your fingers become more adept, your mind will begin to slow things down and playing speeds will increase. Two years ago playing something at 180-200 was a struggle. Today I'm working on an audition piece that hovers in the neighborhood of 300, which seems pretty quick. Music I used to find difficult to understand and listen to has slowed to be quite understandable and I can easily pick out the ideas and even the nods a player is performing to other pieces.

Have fun!
 

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If you want to play fast you'll need to practice playing fast. As your fingers become more adept, your mind will begin to slow things down and playing speeds will increase. Two years ago playing something at 180-200 was a struggle. Today I'm working on an audition piece that hovers in the neighborhood of 300, which seems pretty quick. Music I used to find difficult to understand and listen to has slowed to be quite understandable and I can easily pick out the ideas and even the nods a player is performing to other pieces.

Have fun!
This is interesting. I'd love to be able to play that way, not because I like it as a style (it gets boring) but because of the level of instrumental facility it implies. I've never thought about it improving one's ear, though, as you are saying, which is pretty interesting.
 

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<...snip...>There are some rare exceptions where a great player on a given tune at breakneck tempo can sound good; Charlie Parker comes to mind, but even in his case it can sometimes can wear out the listener. <...>
I feel the same way about Parker.

Richie Cole is another who I can listen to for a while without getting fatigued. But then he is one of the more melodic bop players.

Notes
 

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Discussion Starter · #78 ·
I was just watching a documentary on Mingus, and the camera panned down to an envelope with a quote from Mingus on it.

"Smart guys play short solos and leave people wanting more" - Charles Mingus

I think i will use this as my mantra, and signature ;)
 

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Good morning/evening all, depending on where you are. A while back, I remember commenting on how I thought that Sam Newsome's playing here reminded me of Van Halen, in particular the song 'Top Jimmy'. His use of harmonics, especially how they're cleanly articulated, is impressively similar to open string harmonics like Eddie's style. I'm wondering if Sam was consciously aware of the similarities when he was developing his style?

 

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My favorite players are Paul Desmond, Stan Getz and Pete Fountain. All three were not speed demons on there instruments. Instead, there speed was within the music being played. I have always played music for people to dance. Would you want to try and dance to a slow song with the soloist playing all sixteenth note solo? You are playing for the people at the event, not a jazz club. Each style of music should be played at the appropriate event.

Just my opinion. Take it for what’s it worth.
 
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