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Discussion Starter #1
Bonsoir,

I'm struggling to sound more like Barri White than Jeff Buckley on my tenor sax IYKWIM and I wonder if this is something I will be able to change. I naturally have more of a Buckley voice when I sing (no comparison possible though, the man's untouchable) than Barri White and I'm a short person which makes my lungs, diaphragm, throat and so on not as big as, let say Sonny Rollins which is a big guy. All those facts make me think about the possibility that I will have to live with an unchangeable part of my sound.

What do you think?

Victor.
 

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Yo Vic,
I don't think your height has to do with anything. It's all about breath support through the diaphragm and the lungs. One thing you can do is learn how to breathe throught eh diaphragm.. this wil take some time to practice and master.. also running helps too. see if that helps.

-Nathan
 

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There is a part of tone production that has to do with anatomy, I think, but not in such a way that you can't shape your shound to mostly overcome any inherent tendencies. I would say height has nothing to do with it. Johnny Griffin is only 5'3" (so I hear) and he's got an enormous, powerful sound.
 

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I see a saxophone as an instrument in three parts
Part one the metal bit (or plastic if your pedantic) "Grafton")
Part two The mouthpiece and reed
Part three the human body.
we start the air stream with the diaphragm and that air travels through the body to the reed. the way it travels determines how the reed vibrates, Opening the throat improves tone, Tongue position Et al. So it makes sense to me at least there could be some part of the anatomy which could affect tone and over which we have no control whether it be in the oral cavity or further down in the lungs themselves.
I do however have no idea what it could be but i doubt hieght would have an effect.
 

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I've heard a couple of guys of various shapes, sizes, and physical condition who can play all sizes of sax, flute and clarinet very well and sound like pros on all of them... so if there is a factor in the anatomy, it's very small and doesn't really affect the end product as long as your air support and oral cavity are being manipulated properly for the given instrument. Best advice: don't worry about it and don't think it's going to hold you back. Only your mind can do that ;)
 

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What i am saying is that Trane sounded like trane and Potter sounds like Potter because of Physical differences in the body that change the way the airstream hits the reed.
 

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Your mind can transcend any physical characteristics related to sax playing. So there is not necessarily a predictable correlation between anatomy and sound. To ascribe to such a notion could box one in. It really is in your head.
 

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Of course the part which mostly influences our tone is the part which is in direct contact with the mouthpiece, our facial structure/embouchure/lips. So to answer your question- yes , most tone production is inherent to personal anatomy.
 

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magical pig,the problem is you need a baritone or bass sax to sound more like Barry,Jeff was maybe more high tenor or alto. The factors that give people their own indivigual sound should include even subtle reasons.losing teeth is always disconcerting to my embochure,but I still sound like me.
 

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Sure personal anatomy plays a role in your sound. Especially your ears ...
 

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I've always thought this to be the case. Internal dimensions of the throat, tongue, oral cavity, size and weight of your head, lip size, lung capacity etc create your sound. Of course, it's the players that DON'T fight the their natural sound that seem to really get it going. This is YOUR SOUND, accept and move forward. You're still a good person.:D

Just my 2 cents.
 

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dirty said:
There is a part of tone production that has to do with anatomy, I think, but not in such a way that you can't shape your shound to mostly overcome any inherent tendencies. I would say height has nothing to do with it. Johnny Griffin is only 5'3" (so I hear) and he's got an enormous, powerful sound.
A little too much to drink, there? :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
A Greene said:
Of course, it's the players that DON'T fight the their natural sound that seem to really get it going. This is YOUR SOUND, accept and move forward.
That was one of the points I meant for you to address in the first place. If you have natural tendencies, why not make the best of them rather than trying hard to sound more like X or Y, or imitating apart more like not yourself?
Maybe this does not apply to Kenny G tendencies! :twisted:

Art Hazard,

what I meant with my comparison was more like take a girl and a guy sing the exact same pitch. In most cases you will know which is who. They'll have a different shape/sound to their pitch. That's what I'm talking about. Take Gene Ammons and Charlie Rouse. To my ears, the first sounds like a low voice male the second like a young grown-up. I don't know how to best explain this sorry...

Victor.
 

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A Greene said:
This is YOUR SOUND, accept and move forward.
Just think about these two standards

- The Song is You
- There Will Never Be Another You
 

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A Greene said:
I've always thought this to be the case. Internal dimensions of the throat, tongue, oral cavity, size and weight of your head, lip size, lung capacity etc create your sound. Of course, it's the players that DON'T fight the their natural sound that seem to really get it going. This is YOUR SOUND, accept and move forward. You're still a good person.:D

Just my 2 cents.
Don't forget the sinus cavities - There's a lot of empty spaces in the skull that must surely resonate and modify the sound a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It makes sense. Vibrations and sound go through the body and feet and resonate through the floor. Bigger feet = more projection...

Victor.
 

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Mope said:
Dizzy Gillespi said the sound starts in your ***.
That's because he was playing trumpet.;)
 
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