Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I have recently been attempting to play more jazz when I practice, but I have recently got overtaken by a barrier of mine. I play on a Meyer G Series mouthpiece and have never been able to get a good jazz sound. I have done long tones and overtones but i'm not sure how long it takes to find that good sound on a jazz mouthpiece. We don't have jazz band at my school so it sometimes gets hard to play on it everyday, but students from other districts that I have heard all have a good sound, and they said they've never really done long tones. So I was wondering if there is something i'm doing wrong, such as not using a "jazz" embouchure, or if there's something that I just can't do right.

-Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
645 Posts
Jazz embouchure is different from classical embouchure. The big thing is that when playing classical, your voicing is very neutral, while jazz players typically voice low. Try transcribing as well: find a jazz player you like and learn a couple of solos of theirs by ear, playing with the recording. It helps a lot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
Different reeds can make a lot of difference. Also you're probably going to pull your lip out more to get the sound you're looking for.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 4
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
645 Posts
Davesax36 makes a good point. What reeds are you playing on currently? Blue Box Vandorens, while great for classical stuff, always seem to kill my jazz sound.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
As cliche as it is, music is a language. There are different dialects and accents in every language. Lets say a child is born in New York but he's raised around British people with British accents. He is going to end up speaking with a British accent if he develops his language around them. This is because babies learn through imitation. Whatever they hear, they repeat, and what they repeat, they remember. If you apply this to music you will end up imitating whoever you listen to the most. You will end up sounding like those you imitate. The best advice for getting a jazz sound is to learn the solos of your favorite players by ear. At first it will be a drag and you will want to find a written out transcription to learn it faster. What this does is take out the most important part out of the equation. The sound. The little bend or the powerful growl that your idol played in the recording will not be on the page. By learning things by ear you will pick up all the subtleties of the players sound and make them your own. The best part is that the more you do it, the easier it becomes and eventually you will be able to take in more information at a faster pace.

Also when it comes to equipment don't let products associated with classical or jazz music throw you off. My teacher, Steve Wilson plays on those blue box vandoren reeds and gets a beautiful jazz sound. Also after several years of playing i had my mind opened up to soft reeds. While learning at first I thought that you had to move up in reed sizes if you wanted to have a great sound. I was playing on 4 and 5 strength reeds and getting a good sound but at the cost of my comfort. A sax player at a jam session told me to try out a 1.5 strength and I ended up playing with a much better sound and was able to project much more than before. Just saying to keep your options open and don't let what other people tell you about equipment influence your decision too much. Until you actually try something you won't know what YOU sound like on it.

Good luck finding that sound!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Sorry I didn't mention my reeds, when I practice jazz I prefer to play on Vandoren V16s size 2.5
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
406 Posts
+ 1 on listening and imitating until yours starts to come out naturally. Don't discount a good classical sound, though. I think it's applicable in all contexts.
 

·
Distinguished Member, Forum Contributor 2012-2015
Joined
·
5,880 Posts
Different reeds can make a lot of difference. Also you're probably going to pull your lip out more to get the sound you're looking for.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 4
This is absolutely true. Embouchure and reeds are the secret. What reeds are you using?

OK, now I see that you already answered that in post #8. There is no reason why you cannot get a good jazz sound on those reeds, but I suggest that if you like Vandorens, you try green Javas. They are buzzier and softer than the V16s.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
4,881 Posts
Yeah, the jazz sound comes from a looser embouchure, dropped jaw, and an open throat. Loosen your lower jaw and lip until you can feel the reed vibrate against your lip. If you can't feel the vibration then you're too tight below. Now open your throat as if you were yawning into the mouthpiece. The tone and pitch will probably be generally flat and wavering all over the place -- however the color will be full, bold, and vibrant. When you're doing it right it'll sound like you've gone from black and white TV to full HD. Your jaw, tongue, mouth, neck and throat will feel all kinds of weird at first, but you'll adapt.

From here, you just gotta work on steadying the tone and pitch by playing long tones with the tuner and metronome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,126 Posts
There is nothing like a jazzsound, a jazzmouthpiece or a jazzembouchure. Jazz is music style, you can play it with the sound, the mouthpiece and embouchure you like the most and with which you feel comfortable.
If you listen to a lot of different players and also watch them, you will hear and see: different sounds, different kind of embouchures and different mouthpieces.
The question is what kind of sound you want to have. Start hearing lot of recordings of saxophonists and learn to describe as accurately as possible how they sound to you and what you like or dislike about their sound. Then try to learn what would you like to integrate in your sound and try to imagine it and copy it. Take the mpc you feel comfortable with. You will find many great players using mouthpieces others would consider as a mpc for classical music. According to Selmer (we had some of their people at a workshop lately) the Mark VI and the Soloist mpcs were developed for players playing classic not jazz, still they are pretty popular among jazzplayers. The same goes for the embouchure, you can use different embouchures to play jazz, it doesn't matter.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,309 Posts
There is nothing like a jazzsound, a jazzmouthpiece or a jazzembouchure. Jazz is music style, you can play it with the sound, the mouthpiece and embouchure you like the most and with which you feel comfortable.
If you listen to a lot of different players and also watch them, you will hear and see: different sounds, different kind of embouchures and different mouthpieces.
The question is what kind of sound you want to have. Start hearing lot of recordings of saxophonists and learn to describe as accurately as possible how they sound to you and what you like or dislike about their sound. Then try to learn what would you like to integrate in your sound and try to imagine it and copy it. Take the mpc you feel comfortable with. You will find many great players using mouthpieces others would consider as a mpc for classical music. According to Selmer (we had some of their people at a workshop lately) the Mark VI and the Soloist mpcs were developed for players playing classic not jazz, still they are pretty popular among jazzplayers. The same goes for the embouchure, you can use different embouchures to play jazz, it doesn't matter.
David...This is (by florian) the most accurate and intelligent answer to a post that I've seen here on SOTW in a long time. Take heed, once you get "jazz" in your head, it will come through your horn.

JR
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top