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Discussion Starter #1
How is everybody doing? I know these type of threads are tiring to see, but yes I need help. I have been doing a lot of things to try and get the sound I am looking for. I have used different type and strength reeds. I have a yanigasawa metal 7 mouthpiece.
I put in a new reed and the sound is stuffy vs. my old reed which was kind of bright. I am trying to get a distinctive sound. Like a cross between kirk whalum and dave koz, bright and silky smooth. I am trying to figure out how to do this. I also do long tones once in a while, because I don't see how that is helping me this point in the game. I have been playing for 9yrs now.
 

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Long tones are good for more than just developing tone or beginners. They are a very important part of warming up to play. doing long tones properly with a good embrochure puts air into the horn, warming it up, gets the reed moving, and relaxes the jaw so its ready to play as well.

When you do your longtones(hopefully very regularly) think in your head the sound you want, listen, what can you do diferently to acheive the effect you want? it will take time, but eventually you will move closer to the sound you're after.

Longtones can be frustrating because they may not seem to be doing much good. believe me, they can make all the difference in the world
 

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The longtones are a great workout. Remember that you have to be a very critical listener to what may appear to be a very 'simple' sound. There are all different ingredients to a saxophone tone, and you must be able to identify which qualities are the ones you want to change and alter.

As far as a reed change changing your sound, you'll find that no two reeds will ever play the same, or for that matter sound exactly the same. I usually rotate up to 4 reeds I like at a time, that way I get the most out of them and they last for a fairly long time.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I know that no two reeds play alike but I am looking for a constant sound. I know the reed will have some type of differences. I am thinking that reed wouldn't change the sound as much as it did. I would think that my sound would be general tone will be very close.
 

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I know that most people will get mad at me for saying this - but maybe you need a mouthpiece with a bit of a baffle. I've played a few Yanni peices and they are great middle of the road mouthpieces. I like them! they play fantastic especially with a 7 opening - infact that's probably the best opening. I was thinking maybe you'd want to try like a berg mpc or something. it just sounds to me like you want brighter and more powerful and the yanni isn't letting you get to it!

then again tone building excercises are probably the best way to go. I wouldn't switch mouthpieces until you feel you have out grown that piece. and well you seem to like it so I wouldn't change until you were just damn sick of the piece. I changed my piece not too long ago because I couldn't get enough on a Rousseau JDX 7... And I changed to that from a Jumbo java which I couldn't control - but now that I can control it it's way too bright for me... I changed to that from the first mouthpiece I ever played on which was a selmer s80 C* - as a jazz player and a lover of that darker kenny garret sound there is no real need for an explanation.

But back on topic. I think you should definately imagine your sound more before you do your long tone excercises.
When I was doing more long tone excercises and harmonic excercises I was constantly asking myself - how would kenny Garrett sound if he played this note. What can I adjust to help me achieve that sound. I got pretty close until I discovered I had my own voice as well - I know that sounds ridiculous but there was a defining moment. From then on the question was always "is this the best sound that i could be producing? is this how I want to sound?"

Currently I'm in the first stages of my tenor long tone practice - I'm still looking for the absolutely fantastic tenor sound that I will try to model myself upon....

Anyways just keep up the hard work... I did long tones for 30 minutes atleast every day for about 10 months.


Good luck!
 

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I am not familiar with either player you mentioned, but I have heard their names before. What I've found is that many listeners often confuse "sound" with "technique" - many players blaze away with a million notes per measure and all one hears is the speed at which the guy plays and less (or little) of the actual tone the guy puts out. I've listened to many of the revered players (on this site) and they all sound like . . . SAXOPHONES being played.

I am not detracting from their skills . . . merely commenting that tone is subjective and anyone who tries to copy their favorite player is lucky indeed if they come even close to it. And, what you hear from them is probably more technique than tone.

So, the other posters have pretty much nailed it with long tones and reeds. I'll second the thought that a reed can make all the difference - maybe not so much to the audience as to the player.

Reeds are noted for being inconsistent, so you should go through all that you have, prep the ones you like, and put them in some sort of rotation. And, they don't last forever, so you must do this constantly. DAVE
 
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