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 Post subject: Saxophonist's Sandpit
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:56 pm 
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Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Well, everyone else had one. Anyone else besides me play the sax?


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 Post subject: Re: Saxophonist's Sandpit
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:48 pm 
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Location: God doesn't love us because we're good, He makes us good because He loves us.
My favorite sax performance of all time.


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 Post subject: Re: Saxophonist's Sandpit
PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:14 am 
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I want to play, but ive been told its really hard to get into and learn, and that its expensive to find a good quality sax.


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 Post subject: Re: Saxophonist's Sandpit
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:30 am 
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I wouldn't say so. I'll admit it's a difficult instrument to learn compared to the few others I've learned, but thats all tone. Learning to play tunes, especially if you're doing it by ear, won't take long at all. Getting that gorgeous hot sound takes years of practice, and dumping a few grand on a nice sax certainly helps.

But if you have access to a cheap sax and are willing to put in some effort, you'll be jamming in no time, especially if you have a good ear.


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 Post subject: Re: Saxophonist's Sandpit
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:32 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:09 am
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Location: Iowa
I play the alto sax.


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 Post subject: Re: Saxophonist's Sandpit
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:34 pm 
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Have you been playing long? Do you play in a band?


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 Post subject: Re: Saxophonist's Sandpit
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:44 pm 
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About 8 years. I've only played in school bands in jazz, classical, and marching variety. I just figured I'd mention it since this is a sad lonely thread.


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 Post subject: Re: Saxophonist's Sandpit
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:46 pm 
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Location: Auckland, New Zealand
It is. :sad: The sax gets little talk on this board sadly. I'm an Alto player too, mostly.


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 Post subject: Re: Saxophonist's Sandpit
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 9:31 pm 
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Do you have much experience with jazz improvising Mitch? Over the summer I want to become good at improvising over chord changes and things, but I'm not really sure how to practice and what all the different scales are.


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 Post subject: Re: Saxophonist's Sandpit
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 10:15 pm 
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Buy a basic improv book if you have the cash, I highly recommend the Essential Elements Improv book for saxophone:

http://www.amazon.com/Essential-Elements-Jazz-Ensemble-Comprehensive/dp/0793596211/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1368069172&sr=1-5&keywords=essential+elements+saxophone

It takes you through the basics of jazz chords, i.e. how to recognise and play different types of seventh scales, which jazz is mostly based in. It takes baby steps until you are soloing over basic blues progressions, and keeps going from there.

I should probably ask though, have you ever done any sorts of improv before? It might be easiest to just start on majors and minors if you aren't familiar with them first.


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 Post subject: Re: Saxophonist's Sandpit
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 10:23 pm 
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Thanks for the book link. I have soloed a lot, but always just playing it by ear never actually reading charts.


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 Post subject: Re: Saxophonist's Sandpit
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 10:33 pm 
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Oh I never read charts either, you've got to memorize everything. Well, not everything, there are plenty of times when one scale will work across multiple chords, but I don't think any soloist actively looks at lists of chords whilst soloing.

The charts are there for you to do homework. Become really familiar with the sound and feel of each chord and its corresponding scale. Depending on how fast the chord changes are, you'll want to find ways you can transition between chords without it sounding like a disaster, or like you're just playing scales. There are heaps of "wrong" notes that sound right if played in the right spots.

I really recommend "These Autumn Leaves" as a starting off point for learning jazz soling. It's the classic jazz progression, but it's much more complicated than a basic blues progression. It's a great one for if playing by ear if you don't want to memorize everything.

Once you've got that covered, I'd try a bossa nova standard like "Wave", "The Girl from Ipanema", or if you're really masochistic, "Desafinado". That will be much more challenging from a harmonic perspective, and force you to be really creative about how you manage the masses of potential notes you could play.


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 Post subject: Re: Saxophonist's Sandpit
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 11:28 pm 
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The greatest sax break in rock and roll history.

Jimmy Wright



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 Post subject: Re: Saxophonist's Sandpit
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 10:26 am 
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Mitch NZ wrote:
Oh I never read charts either, you've got to memorize everything. Well, not everything, there are plenty of times when one scale will work across multiple chords, but I don't think any soloist actively looks at lists of chords whilst soloing.

The charts are there for you to do homework. Become really familiar with the sound and feel of each chord and its corresponding scale. Depending on how fast the chord changes are, you'll want to find ways you can transition between chords without it sounding like a disaster, or like you're just playing scales. There are heaps of "wrong" notes that sound right if played in the right spots.

I really recommend "These Autumn Leaves" as a starting off point for learning jazz soling. It's the classic jazz progression, but it's much more complicated than a basic blues progression. It's a great one for if playing by ear if you don't want to memorize everything.

Once you've got that covered, I'd try a bossa nova standard like "Wave", "The Girl from Ipanema", or if you're really masochistic, "Desafinado". That will be much more challenging from a harmonic perspective, and force you to be really creative about how you manage the masses of potential notes you could play.


Thanks Mitch.


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