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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi, my name is Dor, i'm 21, i play the clarinet since the 3rd grade and in highschool i started playing alto saxophone.
i played mainly classical music in both instruments so when it comes to jazz improvisation, i recently started to get more serious about that/
i listen to all the great ones (john coltraine, charley parker, duke elington, etc...)
i practice scales each time i play.
i know that is it important to know chords in order to improvise trough patterns, does anyone have a good idea how to learn chord's in saxophone in a way that can be easily applied later when improvising?

another question is, that i want to but a selmer s-80c* or a selmer soloist mouthpiece, what ligature would u reccomend to go with them? would BG work?
 

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doriz: I taught myself chords by buying a piano chord book that showed all of the chords (well, almost all - I suppose there may be some out-of-the-box chords not shown) and playing them on a piano, then playing the same arpeggios on saxophone. Part of it was having a good ear for melody and harmony.

Once you become familiar with HEARING a chord and being able to identify it by its sound, then when improvising a tune, you can pick harmony notes and arpeggios to fit a tune's chord-pattern. I don't think improvising is a technique that is easily taught.

Try playing a simple melody on your clarinet, then finding the harmony notes, and try straying from the melody to add transitional notes and other fills to enhance the simple melody.

There is a huge discussion of ligatures in the LIGATURE section. To briefly answer your lig question, yes, a BG should work on those mouthpieces. My choice would be the stock Selmer metal two-screw ligature. DAVE
 

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There is a huge discussion of ligatures in the LIGATURE section. To briefly answer your lig question, yes, a BG should work on those mouthpieces. My choice would be the stock Selmer metal two-screw ligature. DAVE
I agree with that, A Selmer ligature is perfect for a Selmer mouthpiece. But Rovners also work nicely I find.
 

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How much do you know already ?
You say you know scales.
Do you play piano ?

Do you know how the basic chords, such as simple major triads,
are derived from the major scale of the same name ?
i.e. The 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of the scale.

To adapt chords to saxophone, you need to understand
the theory behind them, because you can only arpeggiate
them, unlike a guitar or piano.

If you learnt classical, then they probably covered this.

However, your post is a bit vague in this respect.
Give us a bit more information regarding what you know at this point.
Then we can provide some suggestions.

I would suggest you buy a cheap guitar and start to learn some
chords on that. There is plenty of information available for this.
You can pick up a cheap guitar for much less than a saxophone.
It would be a good investment if you intend to get serious about
learning jazz and improvising. It may take some time, but then
learning to play saxophone and improvise is no quick task either.

I'm not sure where you are from, but your spelling and grammar
need a bit of improvement.
If English is not your first language then that would explain that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
well, i practiced all major and minor scales, doing all the notes from lowest to highest.
that's what i meant when i said i know the scales.
i know that in order to achieve complete control over the scale you need to practice alot more than just that, i dont know exacly what.
at this point people usually suggest i should learn with a teacher, and i must explain to them that i can't really, i'm at the army (israel) and i only return home after three weeks, but i do have time to practice so i appriciate any advise.
indeed english is my second languege.

that's about what i know when i say i know scales, that and the I chord in each scale.
i know about the principle of tention and release (tunic, dominant, and subdominant) though i dont know how to aplly that principle when i improvise, even though i know that the I, III make up the tunic
the II, IV, VI, make the subdominant
the V, VII make the dominant.
i need good exercise in order to apply it.

by the way i dont play the piano.
and thank you to all who answered my question's so far, you have been very helpfull.
 

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I don't think one needs to PLAY the piano to sit down and sound out chords. I don't play piano but I can sound out all the chords on the keyboard so I can 1) hear them, and 2) see how they are constructed. Then, it is relatively simple for me to translate the sound and the structure on my saxophones/clarinets.

Before complicating the process by thinking of all the things you listed, just play simple melodies and find the harmonies, hearing them in your head. Then, play some grace-notes into the coming melody notes, follow a phrase with a chord extension (arpeggio), play unwritten variations on the melodies, etc.

Keep your weapon clean! DAVE
 

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indeed english is my second languege..
Okay, no problem.

dorlz said:
i know about the principle of tention and release
(tunic, dominant, and subdominant)
..
I don't quite follow this.
Tonic, dominant, and subdominant are the names of some of the notes
of a scale. It's not really related to the subject of tension and release.

dorlz said:
i know that the I, III make up the tunic
Your thinking is a bit foggy here.
I & III make up only part of a chord using the tonic note of the
scale as the root.
You are missing the V note.
Two notes is only a harmony. A chord, generally
speaking, requires a minimum of three notes.

dorlz said:
the II, IV, VI, make the subdominant
No. These notes are the II chord i.e D minor in the key of C
The subdominant chord has the scale notes IV, VI, and I.

dorlz said:
the V, VII make the dominant.
Once again, you really need at least three notes, which for
the dominant chord would be the scale notes, V, VII and II.

dorlz said:
by the way i dont play the piano.
As Dave says, you don't have to be able to play the piano.
It is sufficient just to know the names of the notes on the
keyboard. Then you can play the relevant notes together
to hear how they sound. This is something that you cannot
do on saxophone.

Some do play multiphonics, but that is not quite the same thing.

It is obvious to me, reading your answer that you need some basic
chord theory.
This is not a difficult subject.
You can teach yourself with a suitable book, and by trying the notes
on your sax and on the piano if you have access to one.

Learning basic chord theory is an essential part of learning music.
It's sort of like knowing what goes on under the hood.
 

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Okay, no problem.

Your thinking is a bit foggy here.
I & III make up only part of a chord using the tonic note of the
scale as the root.
You are missing the V note.
Two notes is only a harmony. A chord, generally
speaking, requires a minimum of three notes.

No. These notes are the II chord i.e D minor in the key of C
The subdominant chord has the scale notes IV, VI, and I.

Once again, you really need at least three notes, which for
the dominant chord would be the scale notes, V, VII and II.
I think dorlz is not referring to chord tones but to roots of diatonic chords.

ie chords I and III can be thought of as basically tonic, II IV and VI as subdominant, and V and VII as dominant.

I used to teach this on a simplistic level for beginning improvisers to think of tonic as home, subdominant as being a different place, and dominant as wanting to come home.

Of course, there is much more to it, but that is a neat way to start thinking about tension and release.
 

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I think dorlz is not referring to chord tones but to roots of diatonic chords.

ie chords I and III can be thought of as basically tonic, II IV and VI as subdominant, and V and VII as dominant.

I used to teach this on a simplistic level for beginning improvisers to think of tonic as home, subdominant as being a different place, and dominant as wanting to come home.

Of course, there is much more to it, but that is a neat way to start thinking about tension and release.
Hmmm. Interesting concept. I can see the logic.
 
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