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Rock plus . .

2491 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Grumps
I don't know if this is the right forum for this question, but since there's no "Anti-rock Sax" sub-forum, I'm gonna start here, anyway.

Most of my long-ago pro playing was in rock and the blues. So I got away with what I will charitably call a "primitive" approach. I'm not proud of it, but it served our ultimate ends.

I'm currently working up an act that will certainly be "rock" of various sorts, but will, I hope, appeal to somewhat more sophisticated ears. So I need to make my playing sound more contemporary, and a degree more musically advanced.

I got my scales and chords down pretty well (though never well enough, lord knows). I am working on mixing in major and minor pentatonics and chromatic with regular maj and min scales. But when I record what I do, it still sounds rather crude.

So 2 questions:

1. Who can I listen to that plays what could be called contemporary pop / rock / blues / jazz sax?

2. Can anyone suggest any technical things I can begin working on to make my playing more modern and (musically) sophisticated?

Thanks for any suggestions.
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I'll let others advise you on contemporary pop/rock/blues/jazz, but just a couple of thoughts that your post gave me:

I don't see contemporary and 'musically sophisticated' as equivalent. Old school blues & jazz was certainly sophisticated and required just as much ability and knowledge to sound good, and not sound crude, as anything contemporary. So I'm a bit confused about that part of your post. If you're talking about the blues, I think you have to look back to the jump blues era of the late '40s/early '50s to find the basis of a 'sophisticated' urban-style blues. Jazz hasn't gotten more harmonically sophisticated or complex since the '60s, although it has branched out in some different directions. But that's just my opinion. As to pop and rock, I don't hear anything contemporary that I'd want to play so I can't help you there.

In general, the better you can play your instrument, the better you'll sound. But of course you also have to learn the stylistic elements of whatever genre you want to play. I think the way to do that part is to listen to & play along to (transcribe) the music you want to play.
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