So, you want to play in a band… and why you should
One of the best things that you can do as a musician – whether you are very experienced or an absolute beginner – is to play together with other people. There are many reasons why you should do it. Unfortunately, too many people shy away from it thinking that they’re not good enough, or that they will let themselves down, or that they will embarrass themselves, and so on. In this post I am going to talk about what’s involved and what to expect when joining a group. I’ve made this general as I’m a string player (cello and viol) as well as a sax player, but the principles apply to all.
The first myth to bust is: am I good enough? The answer is yes you are, but obviously you have to find...
Who is this for and what do you need?
This is for anyone who wants to make recordings of their playing (or singing) along with basic backing tracks. This isn't meant to be an advanced or even complete tutorial on mixing, and I will be looking at a typical scenario:
Backing tracks from an audio file (e.g. Aebersold) or self generated using Band in a Box or iReal Pro.
A single recorded track of your saxophone playing (or other instrument/vocal). As the article is about mixing, we assume you have already recorded this. If not then you can download the tutorial tracks supplied which consist of a backing track and a saxophone track.
I will be concentrating on Audacity as the audio application as it is very popular. Loads of people use...
The subject of Coltrane comes up on here every so often, so I thought it best to provide a place to air those opinions instead of us cluttering up other folks threads..
This is purely my own idiosyncratic viewpoint, I'm not trying to be populist here and give you a general introduction to his music, just pointing out some aspects of his playing that may not be immediately apparent. I'm not trying to convert anyone to Coltrane fandom, just showing that there's more to him than you may be (un)familiar with.... feel free to disagree (and I'm sure you will)
When people say they don't like John Coltrane I sometimes wonder if they've just not heard the right bits of his lengthy discography. Of course it's not compulsory to like him and there...
This guide was compiled mostly out of personal curiosity on these saxes and hopefully it will also serve to all those trying to identify the different models produced by this famous Italian manufacturer.
It is somewhat peculiar that although Grassi was one of the largest producers of wind instruments in Italy, very little is known about the company and its products.
There is much confusion around Grassi saxophones and it is easy to understand why:
• There are no known details about its production
• Grassi produced saxophones from the 60s to the 90s with similar model names, however with very different designs
• There seems to be no real chronology to the models
• Different models were produced around the same time which...
When you buy, borrow or hire your first saxophone without any experience to speak of it typically throws up a few challenges over the coming months.
High ranking on the list are squeaks or the inability to produce certain notes. It's probably much less common to be lucky enough to have avoided these genuine issues than needing to overcome them.
This in turn throws open many questions about why its happening and then discussions on the variety of ways people are struggling.
At this stage the forum gets lots of posts about these problems and old ground is covered on many occasions.
The enthusiastic but frustrated learner typically questions some of the following:-
The reed strength.
I was going to put this in the current thread Help with the next step please, but this some how grew into something that should have its own thread I think. This is one of those things that crop up from time to time in various discussions
My take is that it is now inevitable that mainstream or straight ahead jazz of the 40s/50s (golden era?) is often concentred on by teachers and learners and is for several reasons:
It may be fair to say that jazz (and its evolutionary forms) as we know it mostly started out in the US (with roots in the slave plantations and ultimately Africa)
It was originally considered as dance music or brothel entertainment (ie way below Classical in terms of "artform").
1940s/50s bebop innovations brought its...
The modern digital era has made necessary for anyone on the Internet to acquire at least a minimum of photographic skills in order to be able to use pictures for a number of purposes on the web.
Of course we all know the old proverb: “ A picture is worth a thousand words “ so, in many ways taking pictures helps anyone to better describe anything also when attempting to ask for information on something that we are trying to identify or perhaps sell.
While in order to pursue this goal it is not necessary, for most of us, to become an accomplished photographer and acquire backgrounds, studio lights or an expensive camera to make what we want to show particularly “ beautiful”, it is at lest desirable that we can, at the very least...
I know there are the odd articles regards sending Saxophones, but none show you what I feel is the safest way to post one to avoid any damage in transit. Please remember poor packaging is the foremost cause of damage to instruments in their cases whilst in transit.
Especially when they are old because the cases can be worn, the majority are ill fitting and allow too much movement inside.
We have been selling musical instruments for a while and sold a lot of Saxes, We always pack them in this manner and have never had one instrument damaged in transit- even by the worst known couriers.
So here is our personal step by step guide with photos.
We hope it is useful to you
Before packing a Saxophone always make sure you plug the neck...
Obviously we often use the words tone & sound interchangeably, but when you are learning an instrument like the saxophone, it’s very useful to consider them separately.
Tone: you can think of this as the “raw” unprocessed sound of your saxophone.
Sound: this is the end result after you have used your technique as a musician to manipulate the tone into something that an be more personal or expressive.
We tend to associate tone with expression, and sometimes confuse the two. Even the word “tone” is confusing. It can be used to mean the sound you get when you merely blow down the saxophone without adding anything extra, or it can mean the sound you get after you have applied various techniques, such as vibrato or dynamics.
In my collection, I have a tenor piece by Selmer, not the usual French made, but one made in England... There's very little on the web about them. What there is suggests they weren't interesting to play (I'm pretty sure Mr Wyver would describe this as the dullest piece he's played).
I was discussing it by PC recently with another member and was asked for a few pics. The mouthpiece is nice, big, dark warm sound, not loud, but almost homely. Suits me.
It's gold plated brass, seems to have the gold straight on the brass, which means that over time the brass will migrate into the gold, affecting the colour/finish. Unlike links, which have layers of plating under the brass, and when the thin gold goes, they turn white/silver.
I have done a bit of transcribing and use Transcribe ! software which is brilliant in every way. It helps me enormously.
My sense of relative pitch and my ability to translate rhythms from their sound to their notation and vice versa are not good at all, but I think it is worthwhile trying to get every aspect of the transcription right (key, harmony, pitches, rhythms, articulations and effects). You can always go back and refine your transcription later on.
Here is a rough outline of my transcribing process (I use Transcribe! and Sibelius simultaneously open), but you can do it onto paper or whatever you want.
Get the version of the tune that you want to transcribe (er, obviously !) - that might mean capturing it from YouTube or...
As a veteran of more function gigs than I care to remember me and my merry men (and ladies) have fallen foul of a wide array of things that can potentially go wrong, misunderstandings and the like. In the spirit of making our shows run smoothly, and in conjunction with my work colleagues here at sax.co, I’ve devised a letter which we now send out with our booking to try and head off some of the more predicable pitfalls. Feel free to use/modify/ comment for your own projects….
Thank you for your booking. To ensure your event runs smoothly on the day we
would ask you for the following provisions-
-Vehicle parking for up to 3 vehicles within easy access of the playing area (we travel reasonably light but drum kit and keys can be quite...
I am Aldevis Tibaldi, forum member and London based professional musician. www.aldevis.com
Currently, I am representing and selling Sequoia saxophones in the UK.
I am pleased to endorse and represent Sequoia Tenor Saxophones, by Roberto Buttus and Marcel Jansen
a- Why I decided to endorse them:
1- Mr. Buttus himself. Excellent repairer with a past as a professional musician: he knows his stuff.
2- I tried the instrument out of curiosity, and I fell in love with it immediately. When compared it with other horns, I decided I had to have it.
3- They don't spend money in marketing: it means you pay for the saxophone, not for the ads.
4- It is exactly the instrument I need: flexible, professional, pretty affordable.
5- The guy is really...
I’ve only been playing the sax since November 2004 when my lovely wife bought me an alto, supposedly for Christmas. Well, we got it home and she let me have it there and then! (The saxophone that is!) After around an hour, I could do a bad rendition of several very well known tunes, not in time and not in the right key for that matter!
My idea of practicing (probably not recommended by the highly disciplined Mr Thomas) is to turn on my computer, find itunes, and work my way through the myriad of musical treats that I have saved on my hard drive, until I find something that sound like its in the right key and to try to play along until I feel like I’m really contributing to the piece. In this vein, I’ve played with some of the best...
Now this is something I know a lot about as I work for a parcel-carrying company both as a driver and a trailer loader. In the past I have worked for other parcel carriers as a trunker driver and general dogsbody.
My advice? Unless you feel lucky, take it yourself! :devil::devil::devil:
More seriously. Parcel companies are much the same, only the price differs. No one is deliberately going to destroy your parcel (I suppose there are exceptions, but rarely). Most damage is caused accidentally at the depot or hub by occasional dodgy handling or by something heavier falling on a parcel (more likely).
Companies like ParceltoGo, 3B, Interparcel etc. have no transport of their own and use their bulk-buying power to get a decent rate from...