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Discussion Starter #1
Thanks for the kind words about the last recording I posted here

I need some honest criticism and help with this one;

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=viIQAWjn8KU

Be as brutal as you like. I seem to struggle with faster stuff.

When I play ballads, I just play what comes into my head, and it is normally pretty melodic, I am in my comfort zone with anything below about 120 bpm. With faster tunes I tend to rely on licks and trills, and this is when I get in a rut.

In this tune, I play one scale and that is about it.

To move up to the next level I need to do some serious study, learn changes, and become less reliant on my ear. I listen very heavily to jazz, of all types, so the "listen and learn" principle does not work for me at this speed.

I will re-record this after a few weeks, taking your suggestions into account, so please be free with your comments, and please don't worry about offending me, I am not happy with this one!
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
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Nice Sound

I am no professional by any means, but I have studied with some very great musicians. I personally think you should rely on your ear, because otherwise you start program playing. Thats a rut that I am working out of, as I put sax down for several years, and when I started back playing, I rely on the riffs and whatnot that I remember from when I used to PLAY. I think you are doing a great job, but one thing you might want to try to do is very your dynamics more. A big problem with that song is that Coltrane showed most of us how to approach it, and if we dont do what he does we feel that were not playing well. Just play what you hear. You have a nice tone. I wish I could play alto like I used to, but now it seems I can only blow a tenor and sometimes my soprano.
 

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I'm not gonna start giving lessons out to characters that are already out of my league.
However one thing I would recommend would be to join in the TOTM quest.
Only just joined it myself but having various approaches to the one tune is certainly a great way (I think) to pick up some valuable tips.
cheers, Mark.
 

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Crazy, as always, for a guy who hasn't been playing long, you get a nice
alto sound.

The problem with these faster tempos and especially modal tunes like this
is that you really do need good chops to play anything useful.

Doodling won't cut it. Get stuck into those scales and patterns.
Then you will still be able to play your own ideas, but you will
have the technique to pull them off.

A few times you just seem to be randomly twiddling your fingers in an
attempt to play double time.

I think if you are not up to double time playing, then you are better
to stay clear of it for now and concentrate on what you can do well.

Some of those little flutters can create a nice emotive soundscape, but I
think you need to be more in control of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
kavala said:
Crazy, as always, for a guy who hasn't been playing long, you get a nice
alto sound.

The problem with these faster tempos and especially modal tunes like this
is that you really do need good chops to play anything useful.

Doodling won't cut it. Get stuck into those scales and patterns.
Then you will still be able to play your own ideas, but you will
have the technique to pull them off.

A few times you just seem to be randomly twiddling your fingers in an
attempt to play double time.

I think if you are not up to double time playing, then you are better
to stay clear of it for now and concentrate on what you can do well.

Some of those little flutters can create a nice emotive soundscape, but I
think you need to be more in control of them.
Thanks Kavala, helpful stuff, I can just about get away with it on a faster blues number, but these pieces are beyond me at this stage.

There are no shortcuts in life, I also acknowledge that I cannot actually sing over this stuff, so God knows how I am supposed to play anything over it!

I take your point about the flutters, I can repeat them and pre-hear them, so they are not random as such, but they are a lazy way of filling space. A musical equivalent of the spoken "ermmmm" or "basically"; superfluous and probably annoying.

Right, back to the ballads!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wilbur Weltklang said:
I'm not gonna start giving lessons out to characters that are already out of my league.
However one thing I would recommend would be to join in the TOTM quest.
Only just joined it myself but having various approaches to the one tune is certainly a great way (I think) to pick up some valuable tips.
cheers, Mark.
Wilbur, I have done the TOTM (Tune of the Month in "post your soundclips here") a few times, and enjoyed it. I have a problem though in that I hate playing over midi/biab files, and unless I have the relevant Aebersold, then I just don't enjoy it. The other problem is that we are ever so polite to each other in that thread, so sometimes coming out here gets more of an "honest" response. I also need to feel inspired to record something, so unless the tune hits the spot...... Oh, and if you post anything offtopic, it tends to be ignored. I sort of lost interest when an 18yr old posted a lovely take of "confirmation" about 8 months ago there and it got wholly disregarded.

It is a great thread though, and long may it continue....... (I am sure it will)
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
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You play the head with taste but can get unmusical with your attacks on some of the soloing. The head was really good, you layed back and did a nice job. You really hit a clam on one chord before the bridge where you did a minor third and it called for the major tonality. As you start your solo watch overblowing the mik with your loud attacks. Your recording quality is good. At the level you play you really should just listen back and decide what reflects "you" and what is just junk you threw in to kill time. I hope this doen't sound too critical. Its what I pay for when I get a lesson or give one. You also get to your "chop level" way too quick. When you're there where can you go??? So, I'd back off and build a solo rather than get too busy too fast. K
 

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Crazy...
Overall I like your Alto tone... especially since you've only been playing for a year????? If that's the case, you've got a really good concept. Is that a "the Martin" horn? The upper register/palm keys does get a little shrill sounding, like every tone might split.
I kind of agree with Keith, I think you need to develop the solo more. You want to start easy, build through the middle and then take us out, like telling a story.
Thats a pretty long tune, and you were sort of stuck needing to fill-in a lot of time, without necessarily having anything more to say.
As far as the Tenor tone, it doesn't have as much character as your Alto tone. Especially down low. You need to put more air in the horn.. not more volume.. just air support. Your guitar playing is very tasteful... and I enjoyed the video work quite a bit, as far as transitioning between horns etc..
 
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