Questions tagged [saxophone]

One of a family of single-reed woodwind instruments with a brass body

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28
votes
4answers
6k views

Why is the saxophone not common in classical repertoire?

Other than the fact that its relatively new compared to other orchestral instruments (e.g. the violin), why is the saxophone (any of them from the family, alto, baritone, tenor etc) not more prevalent ...
23
votes
4answers
1k views

Where can I get started with my improvisation?

I have been playing the alto saxophone for a while now. I have also improvised from time to time and have some theoretical and practical background on the instrument, harmony, scales, etc. I have ...
13
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4answers
4k views

Is “horns” a common term to describe saxophones?

Im attending a jazz performance that promoted a horn section. It is two saxophones. I was expecting trumpets or related siblings. Did I misunderstand the use of the term?
13
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5answers
16k views

Tips on playing quietly/gently?

I am amateur self taught musician and I am new to reed instruments. I decided to try out saxophone, but the problem is, it is way too loud. Each time I try to practice I need to blow very hard to ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Playing saxophone without using the octave key

A few years back, I have noticed by accident (I forgot to press the octave key while practising one of the musical pieces) that I can play all the notes on the tenor saxophone that normally require ...
11
votes
3answers
9k views

What are the best techniques to play overtones in the saxophone?

I play Alto Saxophone, and I've been wondering this for quite a while now. I've not played one single overtone yet, so what are your suggestions?
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does C# sound extremely flat when saxophone is tuned to G?

Note: when I mention the name of a note in this question, I'm referring to the saxophone pitch, not the concert pitch. I play the alto saxophone, and lately I've been practicing mostly with a tuner. ...
10
votes
1answer
635 views

N.V. Meaning in Jazz

I play in a big band. One arrangement we play has "N.V." In quite a lot of the parts. Particularly in trombone and saxophone parts. Any ideas what it might mean?
10
votes
3answers
19k views

I want to learn the sax. Where should I start?

I do not have any prior musical training. I do not know how to read music. The only instrument I have played are a keyboard and a harmonica. I think I can learn the saxophone if I remain as ...
10
votes
2answers
773 views

What are these dots above a note?

I was going through some jazz music and I encountered these four dots above a note leading into an improv solo: What do they mean? Is it a doit, or does it signify going up in the following solo? ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Learning flute as a saxophone player

I've played sax for around 20 years. I recently picked up a cheap student flute from a pawn shop. Can anyone provide tips on proper embouchure? Any other tips on getting a decent sound would be ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

Getting back into music after a long hiatus

A little background: In high school, I was first chair tenor saxophone all four years in the school's top wind symphony section, and even played in the honors district band. I did jazz band both in ...
8
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3answers
3k views

Playing the saxophone in the rain

I've been given the opportunity to play in a one-day marching band sort-of deal in my local town. However, the scheduled date is set to rain, but the stubborn director says we're going to play on that ...
8
votes
2answers
388 views

Warnings/Comments/Suggestions for low brass player learning tenor sax?

Let me start by saying that trombone is my main instrument next to piano and I've been playing it for several years. I had a fleeting thought about attempting to learn tenor sax. I'm already ...
8
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1answer
1k views

Single reed mouthpieces: How do Facing Lengths, Tip Openings, and Chamber Sizes affect playing?

When buying a new mouthpiece for a clarinet/saxophone - you're faced with a whole table of information on facing lengths, tip openings and chamber sizes. How do all these specifications relate to how ...
7
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3answers
5k views

Squiggly line in Alto Sax score

I just got some new sheet music for alto sax and wonder how to play this notation: For example in these contexts:
7
votes
11answers
3k views

Playing Sax and Clarinet

I currently play tenor sax but would like to pick up clarinet in the near future. How difficult would learning to play Clarinet be, given my experience as a tenor and long time piano player? How much ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Why saxophone is so common in Jazz Music?

Since the invertor of the saxophone was from Belgium, how did the saxophone become so popular in jazz music? I mean, it was created by a European in the 1840's, it wasn't created by Americans at the ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the best position for a Sax reed?

What is the best position for a Sax reed? Is it to be level with the front edge of the mouthpiece or slightly ahead or behind the front edge? By how much. Is this the same for Clarinet too? I have ...
7
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2answers
3k views

Adjusting clarinet or saxophone reeds

How do various techniques and equipments for adjusting reeds compare? e.g. (blade perpendicular strokes) (Tom Ridenour's Tools + DVD) ...
7
votes
2answers
945 views

Starting Jazz Improvisation on Saxophone

I've always wanted to be able to do jazz improvisations and I think I am almost at a point where I should start, though I know little about improvisation. I would like some pointers on technique and ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

How to get a darker sound on Tenor Saxophone

I currently play on a Cannonball Sceptyr Tenor sax, an Otto Link STM 7 and Vardoren Java Green box reeds. The sound is not what I am looking for as it is too bright and not that classy, warm, jazzy ...
6
votes
5answers
755 views

Why don't we see jazz music played on the church organ?

I'm just curious as to what about let's say a saxophone makes it very well suited to jazz music and what about the church organ makes it unsuitable for jazz music. Is there something innate to the ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Xaphoon: Which key, C or Bb?

I have been thinking about buying a xaphoon for a while. I have no experience with wind instruments of any kind (well, I can play the sweetflute) so I don't know whether to pick the C key or the Bb ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

On a saxophone, what is the difference between an overtone and an altissimo ?

I know about true or false harmonics tones on various instruments but I do not understand what an altissimo is. Just very high notes? Can you produce them on every kind of saxophone? Can you play a ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Saxophone sometimes out of tune by nearly a fourth

Our band's saxophonist has a bizzare intermittent fault with his soprano sax (so normally uses his tenor or alto sax). Sometimes it's fine and sings beautifully, but other times it'll be out of tune ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Alto Saxophone: tremolo using alternate fingerings

On Alto Saxophone, which notes can easily produce a "tremolo" effect, using alternate fingerings? It's a kind of "warble" effect I'm looking for, but without changing pitch (or without changing pitch ...
6
votes
4answers
746 views

Saxophone and Dentures

Some years ago I was a pretty hot alto player but the guitar was always my first instrument and I have been a busy pro for much of my working life. I had to drop the horn. Now I am thinking of ...
5
votes
2answers
7k views

Saxophone vs Trumpet: range, overtone series and intonation

Overtones I'm learning the trumpet, and I chose it over the saxophone because it has fewer keys to press. I also liked how the trumpet relies on the harmonic series to play all the notes since it can ...
5
votes
5answers
361 views

Do woodwind reeds (Sax, clarinet, etc) need break in to play better?

I was curious if woodwind reeds need a break in period to meld to the mouthpiece. I am learning saxophone and it seems the longer I use the same reed, it seems to play better.
5
votes
1answer
6k views

How did the saxophone come to be considered romantic?

The saxophone is often used in music and cinema to suggest romance or heart break, e.g. the saxophone solo at the end of Dan Fogelberg's "Same Old Lang Syne". Where and when did that association come ...
5
votes
3answers
672 views

What kind of saxophone is better to start learning?

I would like to start learning to play saxophone. I know there are many different ones but I am not sure whether should I start with soprano, alto, tenor or which other. Can you recognize and say ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What are some ways to improve my embouchure stamina besides regular practice?

I'm a saxophone player who recently signed up for a community concert band at a local college, but it's been about 7-8 months since I played with any regularity, and that wasn't much more than once a ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Alternatives to Marching with Bassoon

Situation: I am currently a bassoon player, and I am in marching band. I have marched only once with the bassoon before, and I know that the bassoon is both unsafe and impractical for marching. After ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Notes sound wet on Saxophone

I recently decided that I wanted to learn the saxophone and purchased one online. I've been working my way through the basics (embouchure, starting notes, etc) and I've noticed that the notes are not ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I improve my fingering on the saxophone in the high notes and overtones?

I have a couple of months working on my improvisation and I'm having some issues with fast passages on the saxophone's higher notes and overtones (starting from D with the left hand palm). I'm ...
5
votes
2answers
633 views

Vintage vs Modern Saxophone Mouthpieces

Believe it or not, there aren't too many resources stressing the differences between vintage and modern saxophone mouthpieces. What makes an old Otto Link from the 1950s justify a $500-1000 price tag? ...
4
votes
5answers
5k views

Switch to Clarinet or Saxophone, which one is easier for an oboist?

I used to play the oboe. Being in a rock band (mainly as a guitarist) I'd like to switch to the clarinet or the saxophone, as they are more useful in rock / jazz music. My question is, which one would ...
4
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3answers
1k views

Why is this tremolo here instead of a trill?

In my copy of Jacques Ibert's Concertino da Camera, I have this curious marking: In the first bar after 23, there seems to be a tremolo from a C# to a B. This shows up multiple times—why isn't this ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

How to make Electric guitar sound like a saxophone

I'm not talking about midi or synthesizers. I have a Digitech Rp 500 processor. I want to know what settings I must do to make my guitar sound (atleast in a rough way) like a sax.
4
votes
2answers
131 views

Practicing Jazz?

I have been playing the saxophone for about 4 years, but primarily in the style of classical music. I've always been interested in jazz saxophone, and want to learn how to actually play it. How should ...
4
votes
3answers
742 views

How does one play altissimo notes on an alto sax? specifically embouchure

Everywhere I look, it says something like "the embouchure needs to be modified" but never says how. so is there anyone who might be able to help?
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the 14 different types of saxophone?

I heard my saxophone instructor say that there are 14 sizes of saxophones. I've only heard of 4 (soprano, alto, tenor, baritome). What are the other 10 types?
4
votes
3answers
21k views

Comparing trumpet and saxophone

I'll try to make my story short as possible, sorry. I have ear training, not perfect, but good. I've never been able to attend music school as child, so no academic music education. After trying with ...
4
votes
1answer
718 views

Changing from bass to saxophone

I'm a professional, trained musician and yes I know that it's "never too late" to pick up something new. However: I play bass. I started 12 years ago because I actually wanted to play it. But over ...
4
votes
1answer
199 views

How can I tune a saxophone or other transposing instrument using a piano? [duplicate]

I am new to sax, but was a B♭ clarinet player in high-school band (years ago); now I play some guitar and piano. I just got an inexpensive soprano sax (Mendini). Since it is a B♭ instrument, help me ...
4
votes
4answers
197 views

Can't stop thinking about fingers

This is a problem I think I have always had, it has just become more apparent to me after a recent OCD diagnosis. I can't stop thinking about my fingers, especially when playing fast or difficult ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

The 25 Daily Exercises versus learning songs for beginner saxophone

3 months ago I started learning saxophone. I began with the normal tutorials. I've learned to play the scales and read the notes. I've also learned how to play basic songs on the saxophone. Now I ...
4
votes
2answers
76 views

How does Rainbow's End by Peter Weniger work?

This is Rainbow's End, composed by German saxophonist Peter Weniger. It first sounds like a straightforward 12-bar Blues in F, The melody sounds pretty normal, but as soon as it comes to the solos, ...
4
votes
3answers
444 views

Easy fingering for C6-D6-E6 on tenor saxophone

I am looking for an easy fingering for C6-D6-E6 on the tenor saxophone. I know there are different fingerings for each not possible on the sax and I did study the ultimate fingering chart, which is ...