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Discussion Starter #1
As you can see from another recent thread, I'm now in a concert band (brass and woodwind). The query I have, not being an expert on concert bands, is the other saxes don't sound like saxes. The 1st altos to the right of me have a very strange 'non-sax' sound, very subdued with no character, almost a French horn-like sound. I presume it's down to their setup; what is the 'standard' classical sax setup - close lay and a hard reed? Or is it the players just don't have what I personally think is a good tone?

When I first spoke on the phone to the conductor, I jokingly said 'I promise not to use my Dukoff' and he replied 'no, please don't'!!!! I'm playing on my Meyer HR 6M with a Java 2 1/2 reed. So I'm also playing 'subdued', as I call it and hope I don't forget what I'm playing and put the pedal to the metal and get told off by the conductor! :D
 

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Saxplayer67 said:
...the other saxes don't sound like saxes. The 1st altos to the right of me have a very strange 'non-sax' sound, very subdued with no character, almost a French horn-like sound...Or is it the players just don't have what I personally think is a good tone?
Dude - I'm drinking a cup of tea right now. Is it too cold or too hot?
 

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gary said:
Dude - I'm drinking a cup of tea right now. Is it too cold or too hot?
I say too cold. If it were too hot, you wouldn't be drinking it yet. You were typing too much to drink it when the temperature was optimal.

Unless you're one of those one-handed typists DogPants always talks about!





BTW, what's considered too hot in Germany?


(he pauses coyly, hoping for Hoff's return!)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So what are you saying Gary? :?

btw my fave cup of tea at the moment is made with Yorkshire Tea for hard water areas - you can make a great brew of Seargent Major's with it. It almost eats the spoon and would probably strip the laquer off a sax in no time at all!
 

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Saxophones in concert band are there to blend, not scream out with the same fire you hear in rock or jazz. Sometimes that can sound bland. It's just a small piece of the puzzle. The big sound is out front to the audience.
 

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Nicely said, TJ. "Good tone" on sax varies with the type of ensemble, where the sax part "fits" into the composition (e.g. melody, counter-melody, harmony, back-up, color, etc..) I've played with a few so-called sax players who come into a concert band situation using the same set-up and style that they use in a jazz, rock, funk, whatever--setting and it sounds god-awful. That's probably why your director shuddered when you mentioned your Dukoff. Even the Meyer might be a little much unless you have excellent control over your instrument. You need to broaden your musician horizons, Sax67, listen more, and become a little more stylistically well-rounded.."Playing subdued" , as you put it, isn't really quite enough.

(sorry for the mini-rant----I'm old and more than a little grumpy after a rehearsal last evening with a percussionist who has no rhythm sense and can't follow a tempo change, and an alto II player who can't seem to locate his entrances!)
Ruth
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks, guys.

Ruth, I do have excellent control over my instrument, having played for so long, so am having no trouble with blending.

And I think my musical horizons are pretty broad, both in what I listen to and play, 'from baroque to rock', jazz, film music - which itself encompasses many musical genres, etc. I play and am aware of different styles, tones and so on (with minimal setup changes) when playing with my students or solo to backing but of course have a defined 'core sound'. Just a few months ago I was lamenting the fact in a thread that I was sounding 'too polite' - now from actually sitting in with a concert band, they're even more 'polite'! ;)

I can think of one example where a jazz setup has worked very well in an orchestral situation - Michael Kamen's Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra, where David Sanborn used his jazz setup with the National Philharmonic. It's an amazing work, I'd love to play it myself someday with an orchestra.
 

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Have you guys ever heard people play at the Navy Saxophone Symposium, or just recordings? The sound of saxophone orchestras are anythnig but saxophone like. I was able to hear a couple of recordings from the opening group on my teachers ipod, of course, there was a bari solo and a soprano solo that were clearly recognizable, but as a whole grou of about 20 people ( I think), you can't really tell that they were saxes just by listening. I wish that you would hear more of this in movies, or other things, like NPR or such.
 

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Just remembered, when the conductor introduced me to some of the other players, he said 'Dirk's an alto player - but don't hold that against him' - showing there is still 'racism' against the saxophone a hundred and sixty-one years since it's patent...
 

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martysax said:
I say too cold. If it were too hot, you wouldn't be drinking it yet.
Touché Marty. Should've said "is it warm or cool?"

Saxplayer67 said:
So what are you saying Gary? :?
What I am saying is that how do you think we would know if the other saxes in the section are sounding characteristic or not without hearing them and without knowing what you think a characteristic sound is. Maybe you think saxes in concert band should sound like Dave Sanborn, we don't know.

It's like asking, "guys is the sunset is yellow enough", when we are not looking at your sunset and without your describing exactly what you are looking at and relating it to something else that's tangible. That's just not enough information.
 

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There are some pieces we play that feature the sax (Sinatra and Funny Girl) and even then the sound is a bit subdued. Most times you'll be backing up the brass, flutes or clarinets as they get the melodies. I've been also doing lately on a jazz combo band to get my saxy sound fix where I can wail away as much as I want.. My concert band time is the complete other side of the fence.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
tjontheroad said:
There are some pieces we play that feature the sax (Sinatra and Funny Girl) and even then the sound is a bit subdued. Most times you'll be backing up the brass, flutes or clarinets as they get the melodies. I've been also doing lately on a jazz combo band to get my saxy sound fix where I can wail away as much as I want.. My concert band time is the complete other side of the fence.
I believe that music is music, regardless of genre. I have my friend Lalo Schifrin to thank for that philosophy. He quoted Jorges Luis Borges' story 'El Aleph', which he also used for the name of his record label, 'Aleph Records'. So I am making the effort to combine, either mentally or artistically, all musical dicsiplines. I am not racist against other instruments and musical genres (or try not to be) but orchestral musicians do seem to be racist against the sax still.
 

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Saxplayer67 said:
I believe that music is music, regardless of genre. I have my friend Lalo Schifrin to thank for that philosophy. I am not racist against other instruments and musical genres ...but orchestral musicians do seem to be racist against the sax still.
sp67, your job in community band is to play each piece of music charicteristically in the style it was written and intended. If that means blending with the horns, you blend with the horns. If that means leading the section on the Pink Panther, then you do that...and they're not the same.

Please give us the name of a saxophone player you sound the most like, and who (or what ;)) the other sax players are sounding like.
 

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Saxplayer67 said:
I'll have a think though and post more when at home, before my boss spots me typing this!!!!
LOL. But you get the point, don't you? I would like to help you but what can I say if you don't give any indication of what you sound like. Surely you sound more like somebody and your section mates more like somebody else?

DUCK!!!

Quick. Look out! Your boss is coming up just behind you. :yikes!:

:D
 

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Saxplayer67 said:
Just remembered, when the conductor introduced me to some of the other players, he said 'Dirk's an alto player - but don't hold that against him' - showing there is still 'racism' against the saxophone a hundred and sixty-one years since it's patent...

hey, there's also racism against percussion, how long does that exist allready? ;)
 

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Hammertime said:
hey, there's also racism against percussion, how long does that exist allready? ;)
And rock guitarists! And have you ever heard what the woodwind players in an orchestra have to say about the brass players? :D
 

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Folks - I think the term you want is "prejudice" or "discrimination" or some such, not "racism". :)
 

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gary said:
Folks - I think the term you want is "prejudice" or "discrimination" or some such, not "racism". :)

There'll be a trumpet hanging at a burning trombone slide at midnight.:twisted:
 

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gary said:
Folks - I think the term you want is "prejudice" or "discrimination" or some such, not "racism". :)
Yeah, that's been bugging me through this whole post. Dealing with someone who doesn't like the saxophone is far different than all the possible problems associated with racism.
 
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