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Forum Contributor 2015, SOTW Better late than neve
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, so I'm playing my soprano the other day and I notice sometimes it has a biting tone while loosing the sweetness I go for. So my first thought was that I need to practice ever more long tones. But, that got thinking, what in my long tone practice or otherwise does one do to change the tone of the instrument. If I want to be more "dark" or "bright" or whatever, is there something I should be concentrating on and making changes to? Is there a technic within my throat control that different for each tone concept?

I feel there has to be ways to change and evolve my tone without buying new gear. That's a hit or miss game as we all know.

Discuss...
 

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I saw Joshua Redman in Albuquerque this week. One of the things that amazed me was his ability to control his tone. He'd produce a cutting, edgy tone for a bit. Then he'd play pretty with the smoothness of melted butter. There weren't any equipment changes to accomplish this.

So I'm wondering what he might be doing, too.

Susan
 

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My guess, not being a sax teacher and having limited soprano experience, is that you should get into all the tone production exercises you've read about here and in formal lesson books.

Do everything right, do it long and often enough, and you'll get the best tone possible given your setup and physiology. If that's not what you want, something in your setup has to change.
 

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Forum Contributor 2015, SOTW Better late than neve
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Al Stevens said:
My guess, not being a sax teacher and having limited soprano experience, is that you should get into all the tone production exercises you've read about here and in formal lesson books.

Do everything right, do it long and often enough, and you'll get the best tone possible given your setup and physiology. If that's not what you want, something in your setup has to change.
Yes, that's my guess as well, but I was hoping some folks could share what they've done in this area. I've have likely too many books for reference given the time I have to actually play. Buying books is almost like buying more gear anymore. Also, I was speaking of not just on soprano, but on any pitch.

Thanks :)
 

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Play along with recordings of players who have a sound which is more in the direction you'd like to head in?
 

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Tim: I'd experiment with embouchure; e.g., more or less "smile", different mouthpiece depth inside your mouth, mouthpiece angle at entry, tongue position, throat tightness, etc.

I know you said you didn't want to change equipment, but mouthpieces really do make a difference, and so do reeds. DAVE
 

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Tjontheroad, are you looking for the classic growl sound(NOT the flutter tone)? That is a rougher sound than your usual sound due to humming a deeper sound while playing a higher note. That gives the horn an edgy sound. If that is what you're looking for, the best book I've found about tone tricks is Mr. Laughter's book "Rock & Roll Saxophone". It has some great chapters on how to change your tone or do some different sounds on the Sax. Here is an article that he wrote on SOTW http://www.saxontheweb.net/Rock_n_Roll/Growl.html
Me being a primary Soprano player, it is a little tougher to get the growl sound on the Soprano. When I play my tenor it is really easy. Hope this helps.

Rob
 

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saxmaam said:
I saw Joshua Redman in Albuquerque this week. One of the things that amazed me was his ability to control his tone. He'd produce a cutting, edgy tone for a bit. Then he'd play pretty with the smoothness of melted butter. There weren't any equipment changes to accomplish this.

So I'm wondering what he might be doing, too.

Susan
Practicing.

You're right. He can get a huge range of sounds out of the same set up.
 

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Forum Contributor 2015, SOTW Better late than neve
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
RootyTootoot said:
Play along with recordings of players who have a sound which is more in the direction you'd like to head in?
For tenor and alto, I do have certain favorites in players to draw from. For soprano, I'm not really thinking of any one who rings in my ears. I guess I'm after an oboe like sweetness in my sound.

Dave Dolson said:
Tim: I'd experiment with embouchure; e.g., more or less "smile", different mouthpiece depth inside your mouth, mouthpiece angle at entry, tongue position, throat tightness, etc.

I know you said you didn't want to change equipment, but mouthpieces really do make a difference, and so do reeds. DAVE
Dave, these are the ideas I'm wanting to try out. Maybe we all can establish what general effect can be expected of each alteration. Obviously, everyone is different. Still, there has to be some thought as to each effect of different embouchure style.

No doubt, gear can make a difference. For now, call this the anti-G.A.S. thread. In other words, what can be done without reaching into your wallet.

Pure Magic said:
Tjontheroad, are you looking for the classic growl sound(NOT the flutter tone)? That is a rougher sound than your usual sound due to humming a deeper sound while playing a higher note. That gives the horn an edgy sound. If that is what you';re looking for, the best book I've found about tone tricks is Mr. Laughter's book "Rock & Roll Saxophone". It has some great chapters on how to change your tone or do some different sounds on the Sax. Here is an article that he wrote on SOTW http://www.saxontheweb.net/Rock_n_Roll/Growl.html
Me being a primary Soprano player, it is a little tougher to get the growl sound on the Soprano. When I play my tenor it is really easy. Hope this helps.

Rob
R-n-R tricks are not really what I'm after. Nothing wrong with them, but I was speaking of overall pure basic tone.
 

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[Similar to what's been said.] Listen and mimic the effects that you like in other players' sounds. Then study your self, figure out how you did it, gain control, then you can get whatever sound/effect that you want.
 

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saintsday said:
Practicing.

You're right. He can get a huge range of sounds out of the same set up.
But I think TJ is asking for specific suggestions on what the variables are that contribute to changes in tone.

I think there are three main ones: 1) the air flow, 2) the embouchure, and 3) the most interesting and nebulous part, everything between the air source and the embouchure that "shapes" or "voices" the sound - the throat, tongue, soft palate, etc.

I know you've said you have too many books, but if you don't have a book like Sinta's and Dabney's Voicing you might want to consider getting it.
 

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Forum Contributor 2015, SOTW Better late than neve
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
chitownjazz said:
But I think TJ is asking for specific suggestions on what the variables are that contribute to changes in tone.

I think there are three main ones: 1) the air flow, 2) the embouchure, and 3) the most interesting and nebulous part, everything between the air source and the embouchure that "shapes" or "voices" the sound - the throat, tongue, soft palate, etc.

I know you've said you have too many books, but if you don't have a book like Sinta's and Dabney's Voicing you might want to consider getting it.
I do have Sinta's Voicing. Very good stuff.

I think what I'm after will come from opening up my throat more. For me, that has the effect of deepening the sound.
 
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