Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
Joined
·
5,532 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a gig last night. Did it but I could feel my low abs and low back involved and I didn't like it. So I decided to add a three octave slow Csharp scale to my daily warmup. Just to practice getting up there and playing as relaxed as possible. Hope this helps you guys who play in loud bands like i do. I have a guitar amp right behind me, Yuk yuk yuk https://youtu.be/o8XEB6Z0GPo
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,980 Posts
Very wise, Keith. For my next gig, I'll have two guitar amps, a bass amp, keyboard amp, and a LOUD award-winning drummer behind me. I'm monitoring myself with a decent, if older and second-rate, Shure wireless pack, and only hope intonation's not an issue.

For my back issues (and recent intercostal tear), stretches, running, some yoga, and a Balam neckstrap help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,370 Posts
I had a gig last night. Did it but I could feel my low abs and low back involved and I didn't like it. So I decided to add a three octave slow Csharp scale to my daily warmup. Just to practice getting up there and playing as relaxed as possible. Hope this helps you guys who play in loud bands like i do. I have a guitar amp right behind me, Yuk yuk yuk https://youtu.be/o8XEB6Z0GPo
What is the correlation between loud band and low abs and low back?? How exactly will a 3 octave C# scale help? Explain?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,204 Posts
Sounds like you've got some lower-back-pain and muscular-strength issues, not some saxophone playing issues. I don't have a specific recommendation on which direction you ought to go but it sounds to me like you have a non-musical issue.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
Joined
·
5,532 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I may be wrong but most of my gigs require loud playing. I share a monitor with the vocals so I can't be too high in the mix or theres complaints. I have to hear myself with little monitor and with a guitar amp right behind me. So I deal with it (same band for 18 years) My point is that I believe its possible to play with a full tone in the altissimo and do it in a way that doesn't cause pain or discomfort. thats my point. But if you can do that for 3 hours with no problems you are in much better shape than I am. Happy for you K
What is the correlation between loud band and low abs and low back?? How exactly will a 3 octave C# scale help? Explain?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
Joined
·
5,532 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Last night I got audience comments like you are great , you are amazing, wow, never heard a sax with those high chops. I'm not saying I'm great. I know a few guys locally I consider much better than me, but I put on a good show and its kind of what people expect when they hear me solo. . My ability to get up in the alt has gotten better over the years and now I'm developing more chops up there. Its a part of the horn I like and there are times its easy. Thats my goal. I know I can work on my embouchure and air focus so all that comes with no low back pain. I lived on alleves for years some 10 years ago when I had chronic pain from a physical job. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. Now its only the occasionally anti inflammatory. K
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
Joined
·
5,532 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
And with these videos, If you can do all this easily you don't need to watch it. If you have no issues with your back dont watch it. If you have a solid altissimo and play well up there, dont watch it. I think this really is aimed at the weekend warriors like I was before I retired 9 years ago. Then I did a regular routine with limited time to keep chops up for the jump blues and Rnb /rock stuff I did on tenor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,980 Posts
Are muscle relaxants a controlled substance in CA? I learned all too late on a recent vacation in Florida that they're not considered over-the-counter meds locally.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,370 Posts
I may be wrong but most of my gigs require loud playing. I share a monitor with the vocals so I can't be too high in the mix or theres complaints. I have to hear myself with little monitor and with a guitar amp right behind me. So I deal with it (same band for 18 years) My point is that I believe its possible to play with a full tone in the altissimo and do it in a way that doesn't cause pain or discomfort. thats my point. But if you can do that for 3 hours with no problems you are in much better shape than I am. Happy for you K
I don't spend a lot of time in altissimo and don't have any lower back/abs pain. However, I do have trouble with my right shoulder caused by carrying two speaker cabinets in a poor fashion up stairs. I had to go to a doctor then physical therapy for it and it is not 100% even after about a year. I did play with a loud band last night so I get that "loud" thing. Hope you feel better soon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,741 Posts
Thanks for sharing. Related to weekend warriors and loud bands, I've found the best way to compete, is a loud setup, with plenty of edge. A nice, round, sultry tone won't cut it - literally, as in it will not cut thru. I know some here consider that capitulation, selling out, somehow a badge of shame to compromise soft jazz tone, but in listening to Sanborn and Brecker, I hear lots of edge combined with air support. Finally, I'll point out the physics: you can always play a loud setup softly, but not the inverse. Just offering my approach, after I tired of blowing my brains out, and found another way to contribute and relax about the volume thing.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2013-2019
Joined
·
1,028 Posts
Keith - I'm an an identical situation as you both as to back pain (and sciatica) and band set-up. I also play through the FOH PA along with the vocals, and I too stand in front of the lead guitarists amp (and I always have to turn it away from me a bit when he's not looking). We also have a couple of floor monitors for the band. I've been dealing with degenerative discs and a herniation for a good number of years. Two weeks ago (just before a run of four gigs in two week) I developed spondylolisthesis in all 5 lumbar vertebrae - producing big time sciatica in addition to lower back ache. I've been doing 30 minutes of back and core exercises and 60 minutes of elliptical every morning for 20 years and my back is still degenerating. Hate to imagine what the next 20 is going to bring. I've been playing off a high sax stand when practicing for the past couple of years, and while it's a bit awkward it does help the back. But I use a strap at gigs. (by the way, I've tried a bunch of different straps and the one that has helped my back the most is the Balam strap from Boston Sax Shop). I've taken a stool to the past couple of gigs, and sat down between tunes and that helped a bit. Interestingly by the end of the last couple of gigs my back actually felt a bit better. Ibuprofen and naproxen do absolutely nothing for me to relieve pain. I'm getting a cortisone shot in a couple of weeks. I get about one per year, and that always seems to help for 6 - 12 months. As to getting a good sound - that's a never-ending discussion. I use the old play-softly-at-soundcheck trick, and just make sure I'm up in the floor monitor so I can at least hear myself. I use a slightly bright mouthpiece and let the mic do the rest of the work. No matter what setup you use, once you go through a sound system it usually seems to end up as crap anyway. Hope you get your back issues under control.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2016, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
13,072 Posts
I bought my own personal monitor that just the sax runs through. I'm deaf in one ear which I have turned into a benefit by turning that side of my head towards the guitar amp and drummer. My right ear is facing my personal monitor. I can hear the rest of the band fine with it in the monitor. I was so frustrated with a whole band mix in my monitor and feeling like I was going deaf in my one good ear that I opted for my own monitor instead.......
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013
Joined
·
7,356 Posts
Are muscle relaxants a controlled substance in CA? I learned all too late on a recent vacation in Florida that they're not considered over-the-counter meds locally.
Robaxacett should be fine though. Over the counter.

My sciatic pain has gone down a bunch since I've been doing more core exercises. Planking mostly. Although when I was younger it used to make the situation worse. I'm not sure what changed but now if I don't do them I notice me back hurting more and more without doing any playing or lifting. Just walking around doing normal stuff.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
Joined
·
5,532 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I have no idea. I just know that if I push too hard I am likely to get a sharp pain in my lower left SI joint area. Im positive I injured myself at work years ago and this still lingers under the radar. So I have to train myself to not push too hard even if I can't hear myself or if I get excited and sit on a high note. (I"ll hold an A for a chorus of blues or the like. ) I wish I didn't have this problem but I've been dealing with it for years. I'm much much better with the 7 day a week workouts for the last 6 years but I still have to be careful. I think what sets it off is if I build up to a high note for the end of a solo I really make sure it comes out and thats over push air support. (low abs and low back) I do lots of other quiet gigs with a duo and trio gigs in convalescent homes restaurants etc and then its not a problem. And I do play a set up where i can get a nice core at soft and then loud when i need it.

I was just demoing one thing I know I need to do more often. If I plan to hit this area of the horn I need to warm up there and make it as "normal" as the regular register. Its the same thing on flute. , special time in the extreme range (BC) or they just aren't reliable.Notes you can count on. My old warm up had overtones, long tones, scale time lock exericises but nothing in the alt so thats why I added this. And for those of you who can't understand why its a problem , you are really fortunate. There was a 5 year span where gigs were either 2 or 3 alieve gigs to make it though the night. Be well, everyone K
What does altissimo playing have to do with lower back pain? I have never associated the two and am curious.........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,980 Posts
Funny, I'm very inexperienced at altissimo, but have it easier when I don't blow hard, but just treat it like any other register, or even let up a bit on my airflow and breathe gently. I can only hit an A or above if I relax my jaw and slow down my air column.

At least in theory--it'll be put to the test at my upcoming gig, when I'll be back on my Shure wireless monitor with ambient earplugs to mute my guitarists and drummer as much as possible, and hopefully prevent myself from overblowing. I agree with Steve that a personal monitor can be really helpful, although the sheer adrenaline of a wailing solo can always get you in the end.

Also, try Robax, if it's legal in your state. I've heard acupuncture can work wonders too.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top