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Discussion Starter #1
OK guys, tonight was a momentous occasion for me and I need to "share" it. Tonight was my first ever public appearance at a jam session. I can't sight read very fast so I couldn't play the heads but I took a solo on every tune and everyone did the whole polite applause thing and several commended me afterwards including one slightly eccentric but very nice older lady singer who had quite obviously been eveywhere and done everything who said "you definitely have the potential, come back next week". I had a fun night!

So I'm no longer a sax virgin and the evening confirmed what I already knew - I need to learn tunes, sight reading and technical mastery of the sax and I need to do what Gary has told me to do a thousand times - listen to the musicians I love and absorb their ideas as much as I can.

So now I'm ordering my roll neck sweater, dark sunglasses and beret "jazz man kit" off eBay tonight :D
 

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Rick Adams said:
So now I'm ordering my roll neck sweater, dark sunglasses and beret "jazz man kit" off eBay tonight :D
...and don't forget the Bike jockstrap and Hebrew National Salami; required accoutriments. :D

Glad to hear it, Rick. If they weren't emptying their ash trays on your shoes, ya done good!

On my first sax-playing jam session, I must have gone around the room several times after playing just sucking up to the other musicians on the bandstand, hoping they would say something -anything- nice. Shameless and pathetic, LOL. Keep it up my man (the playing, not the sucking up, i.e.).
 

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Cheers bro, nothing wrong with a bit of sucking in the right circumstances.

I reckon I did OK - I even used the blues scale at one stage :D
 

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Rick Adams said:
I reckon I did OK - I even used the blues scale at one stage.
Which one? :twisted:
 

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gary said:
...and don't forget the Bike jockstrap and Hebrew National Salami; required accoutriments. :D
There's armadillos in our trousers!
 

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There's no greater feeling than being encouraged to do great things by your peers.
 

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Rick Adams said:
one slightly eccentric but very nice older lady singer who had quite obviously been eveywhere and done everything who said "you definitely have the potential, come back next week".
Yes, but potential for what ??? ;)

I'd watch out for her. Be careful.

Some of these old ladies prey on newbie sax players,
tellling them how good they sound, and other such compliments.
 

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Congrats Rick

..and which blues scale was it again?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Those extra items weren't in the kit so I'm having to hunt around and make do. Will bratwurst, a rubber g-string and an echidna do? :D
 

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I went to my first jam session when I was in high school. I worked up a tune and was extremely nervous. I called the tune and the piano player asked, "what key?" I confidently yelled out the key...but not in concert, my key in alto. He smiled and gave the down beat before I even knew I had doomed myself. It's amazing how well you can transpose on the spot when your on stage with a room full of eyes on you. That was a BIG lesson! #1) Nobody cares what pitch an alto player is playing in...and #2) The house band loves to catch new young players off guard and feed them to the wolves.
 

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sinkdraiN said:
I confidently yelled out the key...but not in concert, my key in alto.
I saw Benny Goodman do the same thing. He called "Avalon," which we all know from the classic quartet record, he plays in F. Pianist Mel Powell said, "What key?" Benny said, "G." which is the clarinet key. Mel smiled knowingly and kicked it off in G. It took Benny about a measure to figure out what had happened, after which he gave Powell the "ray" and burned the tune in G.
 

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You go Rick! You da man!! You only do it for the first time once! (Thank goodness! :) )

BTW, I've enjoyed 99.9% of your posts! (Gotta leave just a smidgeon there for improvement! :D )
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Aww now I'm embarrassed :D
 

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Way to go Rick!

Next time you go, bring a pal with a camera to take some little digital vids--you'll have a blast watching them!

Rory
 

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What tunes did you play? Which blues scale?
We need (gory) details!


Congrats, Rick!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well if you're sure...

They had 2 drummers, piano, bass, 3 singers, me on tenor, another tenor sax, an alto, trombone, guitar and (of all things) a harmonica player. The other tenor guy took control of the night and songs were selected by general consensus, but as I cannot sight read and don't know many standards by heart yet I just had to nod and smile a lot of the time. I can remember we played A Train, Blue Monk and perhaps about 8 others but my memory's not that great. I can't remember what the blues number was but I can remember it was in G (my G, that's a good tip to remember that crucial difference, there's no way on Earth I could transpose on the fly ;) ).

The other tenor player was very good, his playing was effortless and he kept everyone together. The pianist was very pretty and had the longest legs and shortest skirt I've seen in a while. She lacked a little confidence so played quiet and took no risks, but actually she was OK. I would be happy to offer her some one-to-one lessons in improvisational technique :) There were two drummers who took it in turns - an old guy who was way too loud (bull in a china shop stuff) and a teenager who had also come for the first time who was OK. The bass player was very good, knew what he was doing and played very tight (thank god for decent bass players) and the guitarist was good too. The alto was a beginner and she didn't really do much, I think she was a bit overwhelmed. Two of the singers were very good and the third was OK but less so than the others. The older lady I mentioned had been a professional singer all her life and it showed. The trombone player was OK and the harmonica player was a harmonica player.

It was all a bit shambolic but we worked out an order for playing the head, singing the head and soloing a chorus each and then worked through the numbers. Basically I just kept my head down and played the occasional fill until it was my spot to solo, regretting very much my lack of sight reading skills or knowledge of standards. I was really pleased with the solos though - no major booboos and some nice bits, in fact I think I surprised them all. When everyone turns to look at you, you know you've either just done something horrendously wrong or it's going well. Fingers crossed it was the latter :)

However I can now see that I'm going to have a big hill to climb to get good at sight reading and to be really tight with timing. My god - there's a world of difference when you're in a woodwind section and they've all come in exactly on time and you're playing it how you play it to the Aebersold backings :) This is going to be my biggest hurdle - improvisation comes very naturally to me as I've been doing it for so many years on guitar, but boy do I need to work on sight reading and on really knowing standards accurately, not sloppily like currently.

All in all the experience has done me a lot of good. More confidence, an understanding of what I need to work on (sight reading and accuracy) and I actually met some human beings in West Sussex!

The jazz kit arrived today and it's transformed me, although the goatee beard is a bit itchy. I'm practicing calling people "cat" and mentioning the word "swinging" as in "this cat's really swinging, d'you dig?". Strangely though, people seem to be crossing the road and walking away fast when I approach them with this line, am I doing something wrong? One more thing, do I wait until I'm famous to develop a drug dependency, or should I start now?

Oh and Gary it actually was the blues scale. I know - a miracle! :)
 

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Rick Adams said:
I can remember we played A Train, Blue Monk and perhaps about 8 others but my memory's not that great. I can't remember what the blues number was but I can remember it was in G (my G, that's a good tip to remember that crucial difference, there's no way on Earth I could transpose on the fly ;) ).:)
Well, of course "Blue Monk" is a blues, but it looks like you had another blues number in F concert. G for you, F for the piano, guitar, bass. First rule is to speak in concert key at all times. I even do this with another horn player just to avoid confusion!

Hey congrats Rick! Best way to learn is to get out there and play, as you already know, having played guitar for all that time. Nothing will encourage you to practice more than getting either positive or negative feedback. Let us know how it all develops.

Glad the blues scale worked out. Did you growl a bit and play it while looking at that older woman? Shame on you...no, I mean, good for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I should say that my guitar playing was limited to rock/reggae/12 bar blues only :) And actually I think it might have been Blue Monk I was thinking of. I'm not that good at effects like growling yet - 4 months in on the sax - but at least I managed some dynamics and was pleased with the way I built some tension in the solos. Lots to learn...

I think I was very lucky to turn up somewhere where everyone was welcoming and friendly and the standard of playing was appropriate to my abilities, with some better players there for me to learn from - perfect really!

Anyway, thanks all for your encouragement and help guys.
 
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