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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,
Just wondering what kind of kind of embouchure should be used for rock&roll. I know how to growl and phrase and tongue ( I also have a decent altissimo), just seem to be missing something and I suspect it might be my embouchure. I know that a higher baffle or a brighter mouthpiece can help, but I will still have to learn the "proper" embouchure at some point. If anybody could give me some pointers that would be great.
Cheers :):):):):):line6::line6::line6:
 

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why would you look at the embouchure while you may just need a change of reed?

There are thousands of things that you can do and there will never be anyone able to tell you anything at a distance without, at the very least, a video of what you do with playing.

watch this.


as for a R&R approach, observe and reproduce (if you can)



 

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Big man I play everything from Clarence Clemons to straight ahead and even smooth jazz on the same set-up and embouchure. So I don’t think I would suggest anything drastic. What helps me most is playing allow with recordings. Not even transcribing, just play along and eventually you’ll start to sound like the players you’re listening too.
 

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What an interesting question. I have found from personal experience that playing with a classical sound is facilitated by using a different set-up and embouchure than does playing with a "jazz sound". Realizing how broad a spectrum a "jazz sound" can include, I cannot say if there is a line between what constitutes a rock and roll sound and say a "fusion jazz" sound. I would be interested if someone can define a distinction between the two.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I would be interested if someone can define a distinction between the two.
I can't define it because both of those can vary from player to player.

Many people might think a rock and roll sound must have growl or be edgy, but that isn't. Just compare the greats: Lee Allen, Herb Hardesty, King Curtis, Rudy Pompilli, Jim Horn, Plas Johnson. All very different.
 

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I can't define it because both of those can vary from player to player.

Many people might think a rock and roll sound must have growl or be edgy, but that isn't. Just compare the greats: Lee Allen, Herb Hardesty, King Curtis, Rudy Pompilli, Jim Horn, Plas Johnson. All very different.
+1

Add Derik Dyer
 

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SOTW Columnist/ Forum Contributor 2014, Disti
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Many people might think a rock and roll sound must have growl or be edgy, but that isn't. Just compare the greats: Lee Allen, Herb Hardesty, King Curtis, Rudy Pompilli, Jim Horn, Plas Johnson. All very different.
+ 1
 

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I would say (only half-seriously) that in order to play with a rock 'n' roll embouchure, you must have listened to and played a lot of rock 'n' roll sax so that it's in your ears and in your head and you can't NOT play with a rock 'n' roll sound. It also depends on which era of rock 'n' roll you're playing. Is it a 50's rock 'n' roll embouchure you want? Or 60's? Or 70's? A Clarence Clemons embouchure or a Bobby Keys embouchure?

I like to play rock 'n' roll with a very loose embouchure on a wide open Metalite mouthpiece. YEMV. (Your Embouchure May Vary.)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I would say (only half-seriously) that in order to play with a rock 'n' roll embouchure, you must have listened to and played a lot of rock 'n' roll sax so that it's in your ears and in your head and you can't NOT play with a rock 'n' roll sound. It also depends on which era of rock 'n' roll you're playing. Is it a 50's rock 'n' roll embouchure you want? Or 60's? Or 70's? A Clarence Clemons embouchure or a Bobby Keys embouchure?

I like to play rock 'n' roll with a very loose embouchure on a wide open Metalite mouthpiece. YEMV. (Your Embouchure May Vary.)
Hard to say, but I would say almost a Clarence Clemons/Junior Walker embouchure. I’m looking for a more dirtier sound, with a lot of punch. I do get a jazz fusion kind of sound, but that’s not what I’m looking for. Not that it matters, but I play on a vandoren t25.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Hard to say, but I would say almost a Clarence Clemons/Junior Walker embouchure. I’m looking for a more dirtier sound, with a lot of punch. I do get a jazz fusion kind of sound, but that’s not what I’m looking for. Not that it matters, but I play on a vandoren t25.
Surely what you are after then is a sound not a specific embouchure? having the same embouchure (even if it were possible not having the same mouth as someone else) won't make the sound the same as there are many other factors that aren't part of embouchure, ie how hard you blow, growl or not etc.)

Typically a dirty sound might include some growl but as said, that isn't really embouchure.
 

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There is an exercise you can do to ready your lips for rock and roll. First apply your lips to the open end of a bottle of beer. Take a swig. Then it's on to the shot of whiskey. Reshape your lips around the top of the shot glass for an easy pour down to the back of your throat. Swallow, then it's back to the bottle of beer for a second swig. Now you're ready to play some rock and roll.
 

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I’m looking for a more dirtier sound, with a lot of punch.
I think a dirty sound with a lot of punch is as much in your mind as in your embouchure. If you can hear it in your head, then that's what you work towards. If you're looking for physical things to make your sound dirtier with more punch, I hate to start you on the endless mouthpiece search, but I suggest trying a Metalite. It will only cost you about $25 to find out how much a mouthpiece will make a difference. You have to play it a while to see if it's for you. If it's not, you're only out a small amount of money for the experiment, and you can probably sell it on SOTW for what you paid. See the long thread about Metalites.

Also, the horn can make a difference. I love my Martins – they're great rock 'n' roll horns. But ultimately any horn can be a rock horn. As keeps being said on SOTW, the difference is mostly in your sound concept and striving to achieve it. I'd love to sound like Junior Walker or King Curtis, but I never will. I have a pretty good rock sound, but I will always sound like me and not them. To quote Dirty Harry, a man's got to know his limitations.
 

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There is an exercise you can do to ready your lips for rock and roll. First apply your lips to the open end of a bottle of beer. Take a swig. Then it's on to the shot of whiskey. Reshape your lips around the top of the shot glass for an easy pour down to the back of your throat. Swallow, then it's back to the bottle of beer for a second swig. Now you're ready to play some rock and roll.
Okay...........now that is good. I learned that technique when I was 16 years old playing in my first Rock & Roll garage band :cheers::cheers:

Bigman01, would you post a couple of Youtube clips of the sound/style/attitude that you like? Just curious what you are listening to. It can be a lot of fun! Thanks
 

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There is an exercise you can do to ready your lips for rock and roll. First apply your lips to the open end of a bottle of beer. Take a swig. Then it's on to the shot of whiskey. Reshape your lips around the top of the shot glass for an easy pour down to the back of your throat. Swallow, then it's back to the bottle of beer for a second swig. Now you're ready to play some rock and roll.
haha! Nominated for post of the week.
 

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I was just watching the documentary about Big Jay McNeely that's linked to in the RIP Big Jay thread. He said something that many others have said but it reminded me that a very important part of playing with power is to play from the diaphragm. I think that's more important than embouchure if you want a big sound. Big Jay said the important thing he was taught was to play from the diaphragm and with a "no pressure" embouchure.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I was just watching the documentary about Big Jay McNeely that's linked to in the RIP Big Jay thread. He said something that many others have said but it reminded me that a very important part of playing with power is to play from the diaphragm. I think that's more important than embouchure if you want a big sound. Big Jay said the important thing he was taught was to play from the diaphragm and with a "no pressure" embouchure.
Kind of echoes what I said, embouchure is not so relevant to rock and roll, but blowing is.

hey. Lee Allen used a double lip embouchure on a Selmer D, but that isn't what gave him the power and grit.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Surely what you are after then is a sound not a specific embouchure? having the same embouchure (even if it were possible not having the same mouth as someone else) won't make the sound the same as there are many other factors that aren't part of embouchure, ie how hard you blow, growl or not etc.)

Typically a dirty sound might include some growl but as said, that isn't really embouchure.
Is it a sound I’m looking for, just wondering if there is specific embouchure to help get that sound.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I think a dirty sound with a lot of punch is as much in your mind as in your embouchure. If you can hear it in your head, then that's what you work towards. If you're looking for physical things to make your sound dirtier with more punch, I hate to start you on the endless mouthpiece search, but I suggest trying a Metalite. It will only cost you about $25 to find out how much a mouthpiece will make a difference. You have to play it a while to see if it's for you. If it's not, you're only out a small amount of money for the experiment, and you can probably sell it on SOTW for what you paid. See the long thread about Metalites.

Also, the horn can make a difference. I love my Martins – they're great rock 'n' roll horns. But ultimately any horn can be a rock horn. As keeps being said on SOTW, the difference is mostly in your sound concept and striving to achieve it. I'd love to sound like Junior Walker or King Curtis, but I never will. I have a pretty good rock sound, but I will always sound like me and not them. To quote Dirty Harry, a man's got to know his limitations.
There is a Rico m7 metalite for about 30bucks in my area, I’ll have to give it a try. I have heard they are good mouthpieces, just wondering why they are so cheap? Is it the material?
 

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