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Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
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Thanks for the comments, Alex. I think I need a harder reed to improve the intonation. I’m very much enjoying the synthetic fiberreeds and I’ve used the same medium soft for a while. The medium was too hard - but I just got a black diamond reedgeek so maybe I can adjust it.
Reeds can help, but definitely need to work tuning. Run the chromatic scale and find where each note is in tune. People make subtle adjustments to their oral cavity/embouchure across the range of their horn to stay in tune. Here's a free tuner:
 

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Well the overall tuning is very sharp. It sounds a little better on some of the lower notes in comparison to the backing track. Did you use a tuner? You really need to do some work on this otherwise it really renders most of what you’re playing non listenable (at least to me) I don’t mean to be harsh but you did say that C and C are welcome. Do you have a teacher? Just a few lessons with someone could knock your tuning into shape I’m sure. As for the improvisation I really can‘t hear where you’re going with that. Again lessons will help you immensely. There are times when you’re playing the head that you play a nice phrase that works harmonically so I can hear that you have ideas that can work. My recommendation is to get a teacher and if you can‘t source one locally go online as there are many very fine teachers out there that will be able to help you. Thanks for posting.
So I recorded another track, darn that dream for b&i thread - I pulled out my mouthpiece a little (very small amount) but after I posted my recording someone thought I was flat. This is confusing because I thought I had recently tuned my sax and found the best position for the mouthpiece was pushed all the way in. So I’m wondering if I need to further adjust the mouthpiece somewhere in between. The problem I have with tuning apps is because of the flexibility of the reed and my tendency to adjust, I don’t find them useful. Will I have to go back to using cane reeds? I like the medium soft fiberreed a lot, it’s so easy to play, but I think my intonation suffers a little because of the softness. I have tried the next strength up but it’s unplayable for me even after trying to adjust it with a reedgeek tool.
 

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Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
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So I recorded another track - I pulled out my mouthpiece a little (very small amount) but after I posted my recording someone thought I was flat. This is confusing because I thought I had recently tuned my sax and found the best position for the mouthpiece was pushed all the way in. So I’m wondering if I need to further adjust the mouthpiece somewhere in between. The problem I have with tuning apps is because of the flexibility of the reed and my tendency to adjust, I don’t find them useful. Will I have to go back to using cane reeds? I like the medium soft fiberreed a lot, it’s so easy to play, but I think my intonation suffers a little because of the softness. I have tried the next strength up but it’s unplayable for me even after trying to adjust it with a reedgeek tool.
As before, a reed can help - but it isn't a problem with the reed, just a lack of muscle memory of the positions that apply to playing notes in tune across the range. You have to build the habit of how to adjust your oral cavity on a setup you feel comfortable with. For example, I can tune my horn to itself (Low Bb 2nd overtone match pitch with middle Bb) - and my Middle D is naturally very sharp on alto. It took me a long time to find the position, where I have to open my throat a lot to bring that note down and in tune. There is no spot to 'put the mouthpiece on and everything is automatically in tune' people make subtle adjustments without realizing it, or, like with my middle D and some other notes across the range, by practicing and realizing what major adjustments are needed and memorize the positioning so it no longer impacts my ability to play those properly in a song.

What you need is a routine to help you learn these tendencies of your horn and how to wrangle them. I was able to do this by playing long tones chromatically with a tuner and don't let the note fluctuate out of the green (within +/- 10 cents)! It's boring - but it's something you really need to consider being a part of your practice routine to be able to play these songs and stay in tune. I wouldn't trust your ear at this time, and only use a tuner. Later though, If you can train your ear to hear the dissonance of what you're playing, you will begin to hear the intonation problems that make it hard to listen to.
 

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After Peter’s excellent additions I offer my own.

Recorded in my studio (or should I say sauna?) this afternoon. I’m going through the process of trying various brands of reeds. My usual are BSS. This is using a standard La Voz.


Thank you as always for listening.

Alex
Outstanding! Great sound and great backing track. Really like it.

Huh -- that's not Aebersold track you posted -- did you make it? Can you post it, or tell us where to get it?

Looking forward to joining these when I can find the time. Fun!
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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#3 - sorry for all the false takes. I am using the Ted Klum Acoustimer here! C&C welcome.

That is really nice, very smooth and fluid sounding.

It's a really nice tone and great feel lyrically. I would pay so,e attention to tuning, sounds a bit flat at times? That isn't always a bad thing though.

It may be related but if you can add some ambience/reverb to the recording it might help. Or it may be something in the mic the drums sound very loud compared to the saxophone.

NB: I notice you deleted a previous Youtube recording, if you do that can you also edit the post to remove the youtube embed/link, thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Outstanding! Great sound and great backing track. Really like it.

Huh -- that's not Aebersold track you posted -- did you make it? Can you post it, or tell us where to get it?

Looking forward to joining these when I can find the time. Fun!
Hi. Thanks. This backing track is one of the many available on YouTube. There are some that are poor Band in the Box efforts but some are much better. Just check them out. You may find one you like even more than the one I used in my recording.
 

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Here is a recording from March, 2019 at a jam session I played at in Austin, Texas...with a "loose" interpretation of the melody...not my best playing, but at least it's the right tune. One thing I learned about this tune is that if you don't play the triplet at the beginning straight, it can throw the band off by a beat or so. They are hearing the melody in their heads and expecting that triplet as a landmark. So don't mess with that triplet. I probably messed with it too much here.

I'm interested in what you guys think...not that proud of it...just walked up and played it without any warmup and it was the first tune of the jam session. My inflections were a bit sloppy without warming up. Any feedback on style, intonation, tone, note choices, time, etc would be interesting to hear. I hacked out the middle and left just the last chorus to shorten it.

When Sunny Gets Blue

I take my soprano with me to conferences and try to hit a few jam sessions. This is on a Series III soprano with a Lebayle Studio 7* mpc and 2.5 Fibercell. Haven't been able to practice/play during the pandemic, but will return in force.
 

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Here's a slightly older one, then - from last Springtime. Conn 6M, Florida STM. Piano backing is mine. Hope you enjoy!
One of the prettiest renditions I've ever heard. Just beautiful.
 
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Discussion Starter #49
Here is a recording from March, 2019 at a jam session I played at in Austin, Texas...with a "loose" interpretation of the melody...not my best playing, but at least it's the right tune. One thing I learned about this tune is that if you don't play the triplet at the beginning straight, it can throw the band off by a beat or so. They are hearing the melody in their heads and expecting that triplet as a landmark. So don't mess with that triplet. I probably messed with it too much here.

I'm interested in what you guys think...not that proud of it...just walked up and played it without any warmup and it was the first tune of the jam session. My inflections were a bit sloppy without warming up. Any feedback on style, intonation, tone, note choices, time, etc would be interesting to hear. I hacked out the middle and left just the last chorus to shorten it.

When Sunny Gets Blue

I take my soprano with me to conferences and try to hit a few jam sessions. This is on a Series III soprano with a Lebayle Studio 7* mpc and 2.5 Fibercell. Haven't been able to practice/play during the pandemic, but will return in force.
I think that’s a really nice take. Are you playing a curved or straight Soprano? The sound is mostly the bell sound so I’m wondering if it was pointing straight at a microphone? Regardless of that your playing has a lot of great attitude in terms of your melodic statements whether it be the melody or the colouring thereof. Certainly you’re a strong player without knowing anything about you as such. I like it a lot. More please!
 

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I think that’s a really nice take. Are you playing a curved or straight Soprano? The sound is mostly the bell sound so I’m wondering if it was pointing straight at a microphone? Regardless of that your playing has a lot of great attitude in terms of your melodic statements whether it be the melody or the colouring thereof. Certainly you’re a strong player without knowing anything about you as such. I like it a lot. More please!
Thanks very much. Coming from you that is meaningful. Straight soprano, and yes, I lowered the mic to the floor and played into it straight, about a foot away. I like a lot of edge in my sound, so I did that on purpose. Fortunately they had a good PA, but no monitors on, so a bit challenging for nuances. I just restarted playing again about 4 years ago after a 25 year break. Normally I play tenor, but soprano has helped me grow both technically and musically.
 

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Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
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So many wonderful takes already! I'm beginning my work on this tune, but I just wanted to thank everyone who has contributed so far for the inspiration!
 

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I haven't been around for quite a while but I have a version of this song, so I would like to share it with you. I recorded it about two or three years ago and I was trying to capture some Charlie Rouse vibe. His version of this song on the Unsung Hero album is exquisite.

My take:Box

I don't play much anymore and haven't recorded anything for a long time.
 

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I haven't been around for quite a while but I have a version of this song, so I would like to share it with you. I recorded it about two or three years ago and I was trying to capture some Charlie Rouse vibe. His version of this song on the Unsung Hero album is exquisite.

My take:Box

I don't play much anymore and haven't recorded anything for a long time.
That was really nice playing. Such a shame you’re not playing so much anymore. It would be so nice to hear you playing again. Any chance? I hear the CR vibe in your playing and sound. I’d love to hear more.
 

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I'm starting to recognise the same faces from cafesaxophone forum :sneaky:
Are they linked? Sorry but I'm quite new to these forum's
 

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Discussion Starter #58 (Edited)
I'm starting to recognise the same faces from cafesaxophone forum :sneaky:
Are they linked? Sorry but I'm quite new to these forum's
I don’t think the sites are linked Paul but I think it’s fair to assume that guys will frequent more than one saxophone based forum. I don’t personally.
 

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OK People. Here is my first attempt. Decided to play this one on Soprano. There are a few dodgy notes :confused: chords are a bit much to handle at the moment, but then again, thats the point of learning the tune! Any tips on how to approach these chords would be much appreciated (y) I normaly post a version at the start of the month, work on it and hopefully have a improved version at the end. Anyway, let me know what you think.

 

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OK People. Here is my first attempt. Decided to play this one on Soprano. There are a few dodgy notes :confused: chords are a bit much to handle at the moment, but then again, thats the point of learning the tune! Any tips on how to approach these chords would be much appreciated (y) I normaly post a version at the start of the month, work on it and hopefully have a improved version at the end. Anyway, let me know what you think.

Nice sound. I appreciate your courage! Great way to do it. It didn't sound as bad as you think.

I am not much in the position to give advice, but the way I think about this tune is

(1) listen to vocal versions, such as the following version -- I very much like her interpretation:

When Sunny Gets Blue - accompanying a singer

There are many good vocal versions. Check out the one by Barbara Streisand also:

When sunny gets blue - BARBRA STREISAND

When I am playing this, I think like a vocalist, singing in my head and trying to play what I hear in my head. Vocalists take liberties with time, pushing and pulling, and they often imply chord substitutions that open a new window in the melody. I have been caught doing similar things, based on what I hear in my head. As Alex suggested, the better you know the melody, the more you are going to hear in your head and the more magic can happen.

(2) Analyze the chords. In concert key, the A section is in F-major, but it modulates here and there. The first bar is a ii-V in Fmaj, but the second bar (ii-V in Abmaj) comes between it and the Fmaj7 resolution in the 3rd bar. If I were more advanced, I might be able to recognize the function of the 2nd bar, but I don't. Maybe it's just a temporary modulation to Abmaj. The 2nd chord in the 3rd bar is a ii chord, then the 4th bar is a ii-V of Gmaj. Then the 5th and 6th bars start off with a minor ii-V-I in Aminor, but the V chord is kind of a tritone substitution (it walks chromatically down from the ii to the I. All goes here -- it is just building tension. Then the 6th bar is like the 5th bar, but a whole step lower, heading into a ii-V in Fmaj, the home key, in the 7th bar. The 8th bar (1st ending) always sounds wrong to me and I don't know what to do with it. The second ending is just a ii-V leading into the I (Dmaj7) of the B section. In the B-section we are in the key of Dmaj in the first four bars, where we have the sequence: I-ii iii-VI7 ii-V I. Then the second 4 bars appears to modulate to the key of Cmaj, where we have the sequence: ii-V I-ii (7th and 8th bars I think should be a ii-V-I in Cmaj, like the 3rd and 4th bars are in Dmaj, but there is some extra color). At the very end there is a ii-V-I in Fmaj, but the V is again a tritone substitution to add more color and tension. This is not an authoritative analysis, just based on the Real Book version and my amateur understanding.

So what to do with this knowledge? Well, I'm learning as much as you all are... but I usually try to know what my key center is at any given time and often just play in that key and throw in some chromaticism, using my ear and knowing the melody. If I had more time to learn and memorize, and practice, I would aim to really understand the functions of the chords (tension/release/temporary modulation/etc) and see how the melody fits them. But since I don't practice a heck of a lot, I have to think fast on my feet, especially when reading the tune in concert key and transposing, which is what I do most of the time. I am usually scolded for this, and as I understand it, most real musicians memorize tunes by knowing their chord progressions (which are usually variations of going around the cycle of fourths within the key, like I IV iii vi ii V I).

I would like to hear how everybody else thinks. I'm always impressed when I go to a jam session and the band knows every tune from memory. Some have amazing ears, and some know how each tune works internally.
 
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