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Forum Contributor 2010-2016
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was just watching A Song is Born (1948) on Youtube and noticed something odd. Charlie Barnet is playing the alto without a sling. I realise this is a film and they're all miming to a prerecorded track, but he looks pretty comfortable.

I once had to try to play tenor without a sling and it was impossible. But I've never tried alto. All sorts of things are possible but not advisable I guess.

 

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Forum Contributor 2010-2016
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's been years and years since I saw the movie so I just watched all of the parts (OK so I fast forwarded a bit.) It's a corny story but it has the most musicians of that era I've ever seen. Usually in films the band gets to play a few bars then they cut to the love story.
 

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I don't think he's actually playing in the clips--they probably synced the shots to a pre-recorded track, and had him leave out the neckstrap because it isn't as nice visually (I guess).
 

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Hadn't seem the clip before. The melody comes from the Largo from Dvorak's New World Symphony which was also the basis for the song "Going Home".
 

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I don't think he's actually playing in the clips--they probably synced the shots to a pre-recorded track, and had him leave out the neckstrap because it isn't as nice visually (I guess).
With a couple of important exceptions (portions of Funny Girl come to mind), ALL movie musicals were synced to pre-recorded tracks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It all went fine until you had to play a C#2, right Pat?
:) Well, what I remember was that none of it went well at all. There was a lot of weight in that tenor for my poor old right thumb. But yes, the C# did present particular difficulties.

On the subject of syncing in that clip, I watched all of the music bits in the movie and they're all done very well. At no point does Charlie Barnet use a sling for his alto, yet he looks pretty comfortable playing. I can't imagine for a minute that the film director made him take it off.
 

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I saw Woody Herman and his Herd back in the early 70’s at the Prom Ballroom in St. Paul, MN. He never used a sling for the short solos he did on his alto. He held his horn close to his body though.
 
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