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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I'm not sure if any of you remember my previous post, but I mentioned that my very first gig is coming up on December 10th. My teacher decided that I should play the ever-so-popular (yet ever-so-overplayed) Pink Panther. I've been practicing for about a week and I just started playing the sax about four months ago.

If you guys could listen to my version of Pink Panther and give me any constructive criticism, I'd very much appreciate it!

The link is:

It's just me on alto sax. No backing track or metronome. However, in the concert, I'll be backed with drums, bass, and guitar. Possibly piano. I don't think it's too bad for a week of practice, but I'm having a little trouble keeping the bit where it's D#, E, F, F# and then F, E, D#, D (at the beginning) in tune as well as the high Bb. Suggestions?
 

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Hello !

The primary critique I have about the clip is...you are playing it out of time. If you take a metronome to your recording, you will see that it is not at a steady tempo. Some phrases lag behind, & others are ahead of, the tempo.

I know, you mention it is just you and you will be playing with a band. BUT....it's a bad habit to practice out of tempo and then expect all will go smoothly when you have a rhythm section behind you. Better to nail it down in the woodshed.

So, that's probably pretty easy to correct. Just practice with a metronome.

Regarding intonation, it didn't jump out at me as being off. Those notes you feel you are having issues with...can you lip 'em up/down (individually) to where they should be ?

With that said...your tone is very, very nice. Full and wide alto sound, which a lot of players cannot seem to coax from the alto.
And you are playing the notes with confidence, which is very important. You also hit every note almost dead-on (i.e. no clunkers, squeaks, octave jumps or such). You sound good ! Just turn on that metronome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hello !

The primary critique I have about the clip is...you are playing it out of time. If you take a metronome to your recording, you will see that it is not at a steady tempo. Some phrases lag behind, & others are ahead of, the tempo.

I know, you mention it is just you and you will be playing with a band. BUT....it's a bad habit to practice out of tempo and then expect all will go smoothly when you have a rhythm section behind you. Better to nail it down in the woodshed.

So, that's probably pretty easy to correct. Just practice with a metronome.

Regarding intonation, it didn't jump out at me as being off. Those notes you feel you are having issues with...can you lip 'em up/down (individually) to where they should be ?

With that said...your tone is very, very nice. Full and wide alto sound, which a lot of players cannot seem to coax from the alto.
And you are playing the notes with confidence, which is very important. You also hit every note almost dead-on (i.e. no clunkers, squeaks, octave jumps or such). You sound good ! Just turn on that metronome.
I originally did attempt to record it with a metronome (at 96) but my pc recorder only records 60 seconds, and for some reason I found it difficult to squish that snippet in 'cause with a metronome I have to wait a bit (to get the beat) before jumping in and there just wasn't enough time! I practiced it today with the drummer and I was pretty much on time but yeah, I think I need more metronome practice...

Yup, I can lip 'em up individually just fine, it's just when I'm playing them all together I get a bit excited and over or under-do it! :D I'm worried 'cause I know I'll be extremely nervous come gig-time and might possibly mess it up!

But, thank you very much for your input! I'm glad to hear I've got a good tone! You made my day, there!
 

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As a long time drummer more than a sax player, I'd heartily second the encouragement to practice with the metronome (though it can be tricky at first). IME all too often lead instruments (guitar, sax etc) tend to concentrate least of all on timing, for obvious and understandable reasons.

I don't know if you've played much with a rhythm section but you must follow their timings, not vice versa, if you get out of tempo they can't do much to help. That said, from the sound of it I reckon a bit of practice with the metrome will fix it, the rest sounded pretty decent to me.

Good luck with the concert.

Edit: Ah! you posted again while I was writing this
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
As a long time drummer more than a sax player, I'd heartily second the encouragement to practice with the metronome (though it can be tricky at first). IME all too often lead instruments (guitar, sax etc) tend to concentrate least of all on timing, for obvious and understandable reasons.

I don't know if you've played much with a rhythm section but you must follow their timings, not vice versa, if you get out of tempo they can't do much to help. That said, from the sound of it I reckon a bit of practice with the metrome will fix it, the rest sounded pretty decent to me.

Good luck with the concert.

Edit: Ah! you posted again while I was writing this
Duly noted! As an Amateur (with a capital A) drummer myself, I totally understand. More metronome practice it is! Hopefully I'll get it down in time :shock:

Thank ya kindly!
 

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So, I'm not sure if any of you remember my previous post, but I mentioned that my very first gig is coming up on December 10th. My teacher decided that I should play the ever-so-popular (yet ever-so-overplayed) Pink Panther. I've been practicing for about a week and I just started playing the sax about four months ago.
Great work so far!

This is one of my favourite tunes, don't worry that it's been overplayed, people love it.

I agree about the timing, you must practise with a metronome or better still a backing track. But you could also try tapping your foot, I find that tapping alternate feet so you get a kind of dancy rocking motion can really help with your time, but depending on the gig you might not want to do it on the gig.

Do you know this tun without the music? If not you must learn it - you'll be able to do a much better performance if you don't look at music, you can look at and connect with the audience - it really works. (Or even work out a little movement routine if appropriate).

I may be imagining it, but it sounded to me like the intro was in a different key, like in F# or something and the tune when you played it was in B.

If that is the case I'd need to ask you why?

This tune works best at a lower pitch than B on alto.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great work so far!

This is one of my favourite tunes, don't worry that it's been overplayed, people love it.

I agree about the timing, you must practise with a metronome or better still a backing track. But you could also try tapping your foot, I find that tapping alternate feet so you get a kind of dancy rocking motion can really help with your time, but depending on the gig you might not want to do it on the gig.

Do you know this tun without the music? If not you must learn it - you'll be able to do a much better performance if you don't look at music, you can look at and connect with the audience - it really works. (Or even work out a little movement routine if appropriate).

I may be imagining it, but it sounded to me like the intro was in a different key, like in F# or something and the tune when you played it was in B.

If that is the case I'd need to ask you why?

This tune works best at a lower pitch than B on alto.
Thank you!

I'll definitely try alternate foot-tapping, thanks for the helpful tip!
Yup, I can play it without having to look at the music, although I have no clue as to what movement routine I can incorporate there! :D

I'm not exactly sure, just playin' it the way my teacher wrote it down for me. I don't think the intro is meant to be played on the sax ' cause most versions I've seen, the sax starts playing the doo-doo-doo-doo bit after the intro is played on piano or bass guitar so maybe that has something to do without..erm..I don't know, I kinda lost track of my point! xD
 

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although I have no clue as to what movement routine I can incorporate there! :D
No need for a big production, could be corny anyway. Maybe just something very subtle that makes it a performance rather than a recital. It could just be your eyes.
 

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I'm not exactly qualified to comment, being a rank amateur myself, but what I heard I thought was pretty good.
Good strong tone, played confidently. The timing was the very first thing I noticed too, and on that note, I concur with the others - metronome is a great idea.
 

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I think in line with what Pete was saying about swaying to the beat or taping each foot one after the other and dancing a bit to keep time is a great way to develope good feel in your playing. When your whole body is moving with the beat you can lock in better and really put stuff where you want it. Use a metronome and get your whole body locked into the the little red pulsing light. Feel the Force Luke.:D Good job by the way. Keep it up. Remember no short cuts but to forget to have fun.
 

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Pretty good. I agree your tone works very well for this tune.

I agree with those saying practising with a metronome. This tune is so simple and famous that it has to be spot-on in terms of the rhythm played.

I also think you've got to hit this one with CONFIDENCDE. A kind of DO-OR-DIE kind of confidence. Almost arrogance.

This tune is all about the confidence of a panther. Be the panther! LOL :D:D
even if you fluff a few notes your bravado/confidence will carry it through.

I also think that with some pieces of music you have to have a picture in your head. For me this one is about approaching the prey, note by note, then pulling back.
So the phrasing is famous for tuning in with that picture. So, also think about accentuating those notes, ready for the pounce.
 

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I have only been playing sax for a year but keyboards for many years and this group has been very helpful.

You are not bending the notes enough or as much as the original recording. I am playing a new sax and I noticed it's much more difficult to bend notes than on the very old one I originally had borrowed, on the other hand, it's easy to play in tune with the new saxophones (provided you have good one). Your intonation was slightly off. Besides practicing with a metronome, you should practice with a chromatic tuner. All sax players should have one of these unless you are an expert with a great ear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey folks!

I thank all of you very much for your guidance, I had my show and it went great! Laurel, I was thinking about your whole picture in your head suggestion while I was on stage and I gotta say, it really helped! I can't seem to be able to put down my sax now 'cause I simply can't wait 'till the next concert!

Once again, thanks guys!
 

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i compared your video with a few other alto vids on youtube and you were on par or better. BUT...

the thing that i would like to hear improve (sitting in the audience) is your accent/articualtion. some volume dynamics (louder/quieter accenting). maybe you aren't ready for a fall-off, that's ok, but one or two would be nice.

here is mancini doing it (if you haven't seen it already)...
mancini playing the pink panther

you can hear the accents/articualtions. it kinda adds life to your sound - makes it more "animated".
 

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Plas Johnson at his finest! He's the guy that inspired me (cough, cough) years ago. :D
 
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