You are listening, and that is the most important part. You realize you are not playing in tune. If you do not have a good sound, nobody wants to listen to you. If you do not play in tune, nobody wants to play with you. Get a good tuning meter, and use it. Hear in your head what you want to play, and then just play what you hear. It is a matter of time, patience, and intelligent work. Hang in there, and play the music. You will keep getting better because you are being honest about your playing. Miles Davis left a lot of space, and even if he cracked a note, he made it sound great. He played the music.At age 52, I am now involved with a group that is putting together a full length 8-9 tune CD of original jazz material. I've been involved with recording parts or solos here and there but never this involved. I've spent most of my life in horn bands, wedding bands, society bands, etc. Never as the only sax player in a quarter - Bass, Drums, Guitar, Sax. Here's what I'm learning (even at my ancient age):
1) My recorded sound wasn't the sound I had in my head.
We're recording in the bass players home study. Since we have plenty of time and we want to socially distance, I play in the recording booth and we record all the rehearsals to gain experience. It took a couple months to get the right reed combo to get the sound I thought I already had. Altissimo still isn't there but everyday - I feel like I'm heading in the right direction.
2) Pitch Pitch Pitch and More Pitch
This is by far the MOST frustrating part. I'm having difficulty hearing 'in-tune' in the studio. I always thought I played fairly in tune but maybe not. Put on the headphones and stick me in a booth and I seem to lose the center. Definitely a learning experience. I hear ALL the issue during playback but not while actually playing. So Bizzare.
3) Simple solos seem to sound best.
I really want to crush something and prove to the world that I not terrible. Here's the problem. When I try to play something complicated and fast, it just doesn't work. Clearly a case of trying to hard.
Any advice from you pros out there. I know recording more always helps.