Showing posts with label Tenor Saxophone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tenor Saxophone. Show all posts

Saturday, August 19, 2017

TENOR SAXOPHONE: Some Basic Techniques and Knowledge

If you're interested in learning how to play tenor saxophone, there's much to learn and much to practice. So, here we would like to share some important tips for learning and mastering the incredibly expressive musical instrument that is that tenor saxophone.

It's important to touch upon the various basic effects that you should be aware of and practice on your tenor saxophone. With these effects under your hat, your playing will be far more adept, musical, and varied. You will also be able to use these effects in your own unique combination so that you can forge your own personal, distinct style of tenor saxophone playing.

Mick Nock[p] Phil Slater (trt), Karl Laskowski (tr sax), Ben Waples (bs) James Waples (dms)
Tenor Saxophone - Photo  by   PeterTea 
Flutter Tongue: This is a Growling-like effect that is produced with the tongue. Achieved by placing the tongue very lightly on or close to the roof of the mouth and breathing out heavily through the mouth while blowing.

  • Growling: Achieve this by humming while at once blowing.
  • Honking: Use this effect to make your tenor sax honk just like a goose.
  • Note Bending: Heavily used in jazz and blues playing, bending means you sharpen a sustained note after sounding it non-sharped or even flatted. When you become quite advanced you can also start a note sharp and then bend it down in pitch.
  • Slap-tongue: This produces a popping sound.
  • Slurring: Fluidly playing up or down a scale without pause.
  • Tonguing: With this technique, you use your tongue to touch the reed between notes. By putting your tongue on the edge of the reed in between notes, you make the reed cease from making a sound, and this forces a rhythmic break between the notes that you're playing.
  • Trilling: This is a fingering technique-effect. Begin on one note and then rapidly and repeatedly move back and forth between that note and the next one either higher or lower while sustaining your blowing. (Very advanced tenor saxophone players can do Trilling independently of using this fingering method.)
  • Vibrato: This brings more depth and color to the note that you're sounding. You should start with the Lip Method and then, once you are more advanced, you can use the more difficult and more subtly expressive Diaphragm Method.

The tenor saxophone is the second most widely played sax in the music world. Exemplars of great virtuosity on the tenor sax include Plas Johnson and Stan Getz. The saxophone is associated with jazz, blues, and some subgenres of rock music, however, it actually began as a classical orchestra instrument, and it's possible to find recordings of classical music making use of the saxophone.

But in addition to learning the effects listed above and listening to tenor saxophone greats to pick up inspiration, in order to play great tenor saxophone [] you need to buy yourself a quality tenor sax. But a quality tenor sax doesn't need to be overly expensive, especially if you are first learning. And yet, you don't want to get a cheap tenor sax that will easily corrode or break, or which won't yield a fulfilling sound. Choose your tenor sax carefully to strike the perfect balance between affordability and quality.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Buying a New SAXOPHONE - Things to Consider When Buying a New Saxophone

Buying a new saxophone requires minimal knowledge of the types of saxophones available in the market as well as the differences that distinguish them from each other. Saxophones are generally categorized into four types. The first would be the soprano saxophone which is in the key of B flat. Its sound or pitch is higher compared to the other saxophones and is therefore generally considered as the hardest to play. This is not recommended to beginners who are not yet adept at playing the instrument. The second type is called the Alto Saxophone and is in the key of E flat.

Tenor Saxophone

It is the one commonly played most especially by beginners. This type of saxophone is recommended to beginners because most of the practice materials and compositions for beginners are in the alto pitch. The third one is called the tenor saxophone. It is in the key of B flat and is mostly used for playing jazz and blues as well as rock music. However, the neck of this kind of saxophone is longer than the other types of saxophone making it more prone to damage. The fourth kind is the baritone saxophone. It is usually played for jazz solos. It is the largest among the other three types of saxophone that its players will have to wear a harness to support its weight.

The person buying a new saxophone must determine first the exact purpose(s) for which the instrument is to be purchased. For instance, if one is looking at buying a new saxophone to play mostly jazz or rock music, then the best choice would be the tenor saxophone. But if the person using the instrument is a beginner and wishes to learn more about playing the instrument, then the Alto Saxophone is the best pick. Since these saxophones also come in different shapes and sizes, one who intends to use the saxophone regularly and wishes it to be more handy and manageable as opposed to heavy and sturdy will have to do away with baritone saxophone.

After delimiting one’s choice to any particular type of saxophone, the next consideration would be the price. This is very important especially if one has to work with a limited budget. Nevertheless, price consideration is also important vis a vis the market value of the instrument. One would not want to purchase an extremely cheap saxophone as it may render the quality of the instrument in doubt; neither is it wise for anyone to just rush and purchase a new instrument for a price twice its real market price. That would be a total rip off!!

Checking out the manufacturer of the saxophone may also help in ensuring that the saxophone is going to be good quality. This is especially important to ensure that one does not buy an instrument which is difficult to tune, has bad or weak tone, or is easily broken. The model of the instrument may also be helpful in buying a new saxophone. However, for students who wish only to purchase new saxophones for practice and casual playing as opposed to professionally using the instrument, being particular with the model may not be necessary. Finally, when the questions on the type of saxophone, its price, manufacturer and model have been settled it is important to make sure that the instrument is in its best condition. Check for faulty hardware, breaks, leaks, or bent parts. When all these have been observed, one may then proceed to purchase buying a new saxophone.

By Will Thompson
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