43

This question has been asked many times and various reason have been proposed: The saxophone is too loud or doesn't blend There are numerous recordings proving that the saxophone in the hands of a good player can play extremely quietly and blend anywhere. There was a cartel of French instrument makers who wanted to protect their market and hindered ...


16

The "N.V" just means No Vibrato.


14

Yes, you did. But you shouldn't feel bad about it — the term "horns" is commonly used to mean a variety of overlapping things. For example: Horns, meaning wind instruments, as opposed to the rhythm section in a jazz combo. Horns, meaning brass instruments, as opposed to the reeds (i.e. woodwind) instruments. (Somewhat less common — more typical to say brass/...


13

The distinction here is presumably one between a measured tremolo and a trill open to your interpretation. With the trill, you can determine how quickly you play it (16ths, 32nds, triplets, or something else?), how consistently you play it (will it begin at the same speed that it ends, or that it is in the middle?), etc. But the measured tremolo here must ...


12

Playing quietly through a sax is all about having a sufficient embouchure (mouth position/tension), to create a sound when pushing less air through. It's very normal to initially be playing loud when first learning the sax, and your embouchure is less developed - unfortunately this develops mainly through sustained (loud) practice. I wouldn't say there's a ...


12

The all-open C# is a tricky note on all saxophones. It tends to be very flat compared to the other notes, but it is also very sensitive to changes in embouchure. Personally, I don't think it is a great note to tune to on saxophone. When possible, I produce this note by use the low-C# fingering with the octave key pressed down. The tone of this fingering can ...


11

As has been said so many times - get a good teacher - at least for a while. I believe anyone can learn to play an instrument by themselves - if they live long enough !! A teacher will guide you to a suitable sax, be it soprano, alto tenor or baritone (quite expensive). Watching videos and using tutor books is good, but they won't answer a question you ...


11

Okay, I hit google and did some research. The book you want to read is The Saxophone by Stephen Cottrell. It has a chapter, eight, "The Saxophone as Symbol and Icon". As I thought, long before the sax was associated with love, it was associated with sex, and it was substantially sexualized because of its use in early jazz, and thus it got tangled up in ...


10

To follow up Wheat's definition answer, here's how I would play this: When playing glisses on wind instruments, especially in a contemporary or jazz context, the change in pitch should be as continuous as possible. In contrast, a piano is only capable of playing absolutely defined pitches, so glisses all sound like a fast scale (chromatic or otherwise). ...


10

All instruments are equally difficult for different reasons. You can't escape by choosing an "easy" instrument because there are none. All pitches from all instruments have overtones. It is impossible not to use an overtone as they are inherent in the physical properties of vibration that actuate the pitch. It is precisely the reliance on the ear to ...


10

I've run into this situation before. Long story, but I was playing in a marching band, in the middle of Shanghai, in the rain, with my tenor, for about four hours. I think the reed is the least of your concerns. They get wet all the time, and you're not going to be playing underwater (I hope). They are also relatively cheap, and wear out all the time anyway....


9

I play all 3 instruments. Saxophone is simply an easier instrument than clarinet overall, and is more commonly used in rock music. It's the natural choice. That being said, oboists often find clarinet easier because the embouchure is a bit firmer, which they're used to. Sax embouchure can feel awkwardly loose, especially on tenor and lower saxes. I know ...


8

When I am starting a beginner on saxophone or clarinet, I tell the student to align the reed so that it looks like the tip of the reed lines up with the tip of the mouthpiece when the student is holding the mouthpiece with the reed facing them. In doing so, typically, when viewed from the non-reed side of the mouthpiece, the reed will appear to protrude ...


8

First, of course, is to play single notes. The Sax is a single-voice instrument, and double stops will not sound sax-y. Next, you'll have to change the attack-decay-sustain-release characteristics of the guitar to match the saxophone. The sax has sustain as long as the player has breath, and there are techniques like circular breathing that expand that. You ...


8

Disclaimer: former clarinet and sax player, never double reed. As Edouard points out, the sax goes in octaves just as an oboe does. However, it doesn't take long to get the "feel" of the octave+fifth that the clarinet uses. The clarinet requires a somewhat tighter embouchure than the sax, so you may find it less of a jump from the extremely tight oboe ...


8

C4 as 440Hz (1) seems highly unlikely. Tuning standards have changed a lot over the years but it is fairly fixed today (outside period ensembles). The saxophone is a relatively new instrument and won't appear in these period ensembles (unless it is imitating an unavailable obsolete instrument). There is a complication with the saxophone which is that it ...


7

I picked up an excellent second hand one for £200, so I would suggest looking in pawn shops and second hand shops as well as new. Things to look for in a 2nd hand one: all the keys work smoothly each note is in tune no dents or dings consistent tone across the full range That's about it really - I tried 3 different tenor saxophones, which were all fine, ...


7

Breath control, breath control, breath control! I recall one of the top University Marching Band directors talking to us (Midwestern Music & Art Camp circa 1970 :-) ) about his "aha" moment. He was a trumpeter & got a summer job (high school or college age for him) with a circus orchestra. First couple performances, his embouchure collapsed half-...


7

I think the reasons are economic rather than musical. I don't really buy the argument that it was "invented too late", because it's just 11 years younger than the tuba (1846 vs 1835). And composers did start using it pretty early on - there are pieces by Bizet, Delibes, and others who included the sax. But composers didn't really start considering the sax ...


6

Is this a school band? As a band director, you should feel comfortable triaging each instrument yourself. Were I in this situation, I would go fetch my own soprano sax mouthpiece, take the instrument, and either verify it is working correctly or demonstrate the correct embouchure. Those are really the only two possibilities: either there's a major ...


6

If you are just need the "comping" (chords and rhythm) check out iReal b for iOS and Android devises. When I purchased it, it came with a huge library of all the standard Jazz tunes, but since then they have faced some legal challenges. Now the app does not come with any tunes, but you can download a pack of 1200 Jazz standards from their user form (the app ...


6

Tips on proper flute embouchure: Aperture (space between your lips) should look like a flat football. Use a mirror! Think of whistling = corners of mouth together and open aperture, then bring corners back and down (like a frown.) Lips should be smooth so air stream can be smooth. Aim air stream for edge on the far side of the opening (that's where the air ...


6

This type of technique is known as a timbral trill where normal fingerings are toggled with false or alternate fingerings in order to produce subtle timbral shifts without actually changing pitch. Technically speaking, it is actually a repeat tremolo as the pitch is being changed at the microtonal level due to tuning and intonation of the instrument and ...


6

What makes this complicated is that different brands of mouthpiece makers use different labeling methods for these characteristics. Generally speaking though, you can make the following deductions: Tip Opening: This is the distance from the tip of the reed to the tip of the mouthpiece (when a reed is in place). The wider the tip opening (or higher the ...


6

It is important to remember that you are a human being first, a musician second, and a bassist third. Musical instruments are not monogamous. As a musician, you feel a need (on some level) to express yourself. The manner in which you do so may change throughout the course of your life, and that's okay. Personally, I cycle through several instruments, ...


6

I'm going to suggest two primary techniques for working up a line of fast passagework like this, but in the end I would suggest combining the two processes into one. Also, I'm changing the 32nd notes to sixteenth notes in my examples, because it makes them easier to read and, at first when you're practicing at slower tempos, it indicates the feel. Technique ...


6

First, I strongly recommend that you find a teacher who has experience working with people with physical ailments like this. This is highly nonstandard and trying to make recommendations based on written descriptions is going to have limited value. Anything a qualified teacher says should override anything I or anyone else says here. That being said, I have ...


6

If you are going to play from dots, there are two options. The C xaphoon (like any C instrument) will play in the correct key for any music written for piano, guitar and such like. So if there's a piece in, say, F, you play it as writ, it comes out at concert pitch. The Bb instrument will be good if you wish to play stuff written for Bb instruments - tenor ...


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