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Critique wanted please

Taz

Busking Oracle
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Rugby UK
I recorded this earlier this evening. I've been playing around with the recording/mixing and generally producing this track. Have I got it right or am I still way off? Have you ever seen the rain by Creedence Clearwater Revival. I think the quality is better than my previous efforts, but now it's up to you. What do you think? I wont be offended by your opinion, after all that's what it is and I'm asking for it >:) :w00t:
 
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Jamesmac

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1,872
I recorded this earlier this evening. I've been playing around with the recording/mixing and generally producing this track. Have I got it right or am I still way off? Have you ever seen the rain by Creedence Clearwater Revival. I think the quality is better than my previous efforts, but now it's up to you. What do you think? I wont be offended by your opinion, after all that's what it is and I'm asking for it >:) :w00t:

Nice one Taz, Perhaps up a few tones, and more of the Sax sound in the mix. good rendition.
Jamesmac
 
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Wade Cornell

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New Zealand and Australia
Fine tone and good playing. I guess this is how you wanted to hear this tune, so you've got 100% in carrying this out with consistency.

I've got to be honest in saying the interpretation doesn't appeal, but this is just my opinion. There is a rather hard rock drum behind you and many would be familiar with the original and its rather crusty vocals. There is no edge and it’s become a light ballad including trills and frills. I guess there was no intention of improvisation and the repeated lines makes it seem as though being read rather than "owned".

It's not clear to me whether you are just wanting to know how you've played (which is very good), recorded (which sounds like a pretty good mix), or the arrangement/interpretation of this tune (which I don't like).
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Reading between the lines in your post, you're not that happy with it, but weren't sure why?

I wish I'd listened to this before reading Wade's comments. It's difficult to listen without doing it as an evaluation of his comments. I think I'd have said nice, something missing. But Wade's said it much better than I could.
 

Clivey

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Edinburgh/Hot Rock off African Coast
I recorded this earlier this evening. I've been playing around with the recording/mixing and generally producing this track. Have I got it right or am I still way off? Have you ever seen the rain[/DLMURL] by Creedence Clearwater Revival. I think the quality is better than my previous efforts, but now it's up to you. What do you think? I wont be offended by your opinion, after all that's what it is and I'm asking for it >:) :w00t:

Taz. You are a brave guy to post a tune and then ask for critique but since you are a brave guy you will also be able to use any criticsm to your benefit.

Your recording was great and the playing perfect. (Heres the but part coming up) Taz if you want to start playing like your heroes then you are going to have to tackle the thorny subjects of Improvisation,Tonal textures and God i hate this bit, Theory. There I said it.

Like a lot of good players you have reached a plateau and probably require some " Prodding " to move on. Some of us are happy to plod for years then all of a sudden we want to be better and when that happens it nearly always means " Danger Hard Work Alert" .I hope Sean Winter will not mind me using him as an example. Sean is a Gifted player who in his opinion had reached a plateau. He just recently took a learning approach to his Sax and in the short time since has become scarily better He Sounds Great and is going to get better. DaveySax is another one Look at his work load and listen to the improvements he is making. I think it might be time Taz for you to have a private word with Pete or someone else about some coaching.

Taz I hate theory so much as I sometimes think that it gets in the way of my playing and I hate standing in front of a music stand as I prefer a MIC but I`m one of those that wants to like the sound of what I am playing and so It has to be done. In my humble opinion you just need to be careful of letting theory stifle you Taz..

I hope this is useful Taz and if you think it is nonsense I won`t mind a bit.
 
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Andrew Sanders

Northern Commissioner for Caslm
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Ilkley West Yorkshire
I think Taz is looking for a critique of the recording technique rather than the playing aspect. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Listening to the track I feel that the sax should be further forward in the mix, easily fixed.
It sounds like you've got a bit of "Oh my god it's recording!" going on. You play much more freely when you're busking. Just forget that the record button has been hit.

If you don't want to go the theory route, then don't. Just listen to a load of good players.
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
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Location
Rugby UK
Some great comments there, thanks guys.

Wade, if I hadn't wanted your opinion I wouldn't have asked. Your comments are exactly what I need to take this project further. It is a little like elevator music so your absolutely right in that aspect. I thought I'd try to stick to the melody instead of "owning" it. I'm wondering now if I've made it too bland. My wife did say the same, Clivey also hit the nail on the head with his comment on tonal textures. I think I need to be a little more dynamic when I do this. Funny, I play totally differently in front of an audience, but stand me in front of a recording set up and I play like crap! Not sure whats going on there. Oh well thanks again for the opinions, please don't be shy about sharing your views, after all, that's what I asked for!

Thanks to Kev and James too ;}
 

Chris

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Pete, perhaps the sax higher in the mix( louder). Perhaps use two sax tracks?? Try and get some bottom end on the backing track?? Perhaps get rid of some of the top end on the backing. Playing around with the backing track can be hard work when you don't have access to the individual instrument tracks. A lot of this is down to personal taste, plus what you hear is dictated by the quality of the speakers you use to listen on.. Trev(saxlicker) and Davey have both gone through this phase, what can sound OK on the HiFi, sounds crap in the car and vice versa.. It all depends on why and who you are recording for, to sell you sax playing to clients, or is it to try out new tunes and see what they come over as a listener when you are out busking.. Your post might pose more questions than answers.. Chris..
 

thomsax

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Sweden
Very nice Taz. Laid back and playing without efforts. I also think you should have your sax more out in the front. But otherwise the recording sounds good.

You have a nice tone. The low and mid tones comes out great but you might put in some more edge in the in the higher register. Are you blowing a big chamber mouthpiece? Any baffle?

I use to sing (in my younger days) and play this song myself. I love it and CCR/John Fogerty is a great musician. I use to play in concert A (B on tenor). When I play "I wanna know ..." part, I really want my sax to sing out the high tones in a loud way. Honking and screaming on the palm keys are great in this part. For me a medium chamber mouthpiece with baffle help me get better high tones. To make the song more intersting maybe you can play some alternative fingerings. Sometimes I don't use the octave key. It gives the tone more spread. This i good when are the only saxplayer on the stage. And listen to Bruce Springsteens recordings with Clarence Clemons playing tenor solo. They are not on Spotify any more but maybe you can find them elsewhere.

I like your recording. And I hear that you are not reading. I think this kind of music should be played like this.
 

jbtsax

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Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
To demonstrate how a musical performance in the U.S. system of music education is evaluated, I will offer my critique using a common adjudication format. Of course under real conditions, the adjudicator would not have the time to go into as much detail a I have in this demonstration.

- Overall tone quality
(resonance, control, clarity, focus, consistency, warmth)

Excellent control and focus of the sound. Work to develop a wider range of dynamics. Strive toward more projection and "edge" to the tone---especially for this particular style of music.

- Intonation (within ensemble, with accompaniment, accuracy to printed pitches)

Intonation in relation to recorded accompaniment is excellent. Keep up the great listening in this area.

- Rhythmic feel (adherence to pulse, accuracy of note and rest values)

Very measured and precise playing in this area. Good preparation. As a suggestion, for this style of music you may want to experiment with taking a few liberties with the rhythms of the melody in order to add a touch of spontaneity to the performance. Sometimes things can be "too perfect".

- Balance, blend (likeness of tone qualities, awareness of ensemble/accompaniment)

The melody needs to be more "out in front" of the accompaniment. Playing more aggressively and assertively will go a long way to address this concern. Adjust the mix a bit ONLY if you are unable to correct the balance by how you play.

- Interpretation (style, expressiveness, sensitivity, taste, emotional involvement)

This is an area that needs more attention. Just playing the correct notes and rhythms is only the beginning. To play the MUSIC requites going to the next level. Listen some more to the the original recording of this song. Take note of which individual notes (words) are given more stress (weight) by the vocalist. Work to emphasize those notes when you play. You might even want to experiment with a growl in some places to mimic the singer. Listen to the change in energy/intensity on the bridge. Try to emulate that in your playing. Remember all wind instruments are an extension of the human voice. Try to think in terms of "singing" the song through your saxophone.

- Technique (attacks, releases, control, accuracy, articulation)

The technical skill is more than adequate for the demands of this piece. The entrances and releases of notes are well done with good rhythmic accuracy. I would suggest trying more marcato style of tonguing for this particular style of music. There is a lot of rhythmic interest happening in the melody that can be given more clarity and energy with a more aggressive style of articulation. The legato "du" style of tonguing just seems to get in the way of the melody instead of enhancing it.

- Musicianship (tempo, dynamics, phrasing, choice of music)

This is an excellent "pop" song to study for the mastery of this style of playing. "Canned" accompaniments often do not provide a lot of dynamic contrast. Do not let that fact keep you from exploring what parts of the song can be played louder (or softer) and how to "shape" each phrase to bring out the musical expression.

Nice performance. It takes a lot of courage to record yourself and let others listen. Keep up the good work.

WARNING:

NEVER ASK A RETIRED MUSIC TEACHER TO CRITIQUE YOUR PERFORMANCE---HE JUST MIGHT TAKE YOU UP ON IT.
 
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Taz

Busking Oracle
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Location
Rugby UK
Thanks Thom I love this song too, I think it works really well when I'm busking, however I also think that because of the busking I've gone a bit soft in my playing style.

Jbtsax, what can I say? Thank you so much for taking the time (retired..... so you obviously have plenty :w00t:) to listen and then give this piece such a detailed review! All of which I think is spot on, as has everyone! Now that I know your a retired music teacher, I may put you to the test more often :)

So between you all so far, the common faults are lack of "me," be a bit more experimental with the tune and dynamics and try to push the boundaries a bit more. Excellent, thank you all so much.



Clivey, theory? Really? Actually you'r probably quite right. I have no knowledge of theory what so ever (I even had to look up marcato :)))) I'm sure some would help me. I know that a more structured practice regime would be a benefit for sure. My only practice at the moment is three to three and a half hours a day busking! Onwards and upwards as they say :thumb:
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
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3,667
Location
Rugby UK
@Jeanette im really sorry but I appear to have lost the original track that this was linked to, could you delete the thread or whatever you need to do :)
 

Jeanette

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@Jeanette im really sorry but I appear to have lost the original track that this was linked to, could you delete the thread or whatever you need to do :)


The dead link has been removed, there are some useful comments so I think we should leave the thread open but will delete if you really want.

Jx
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
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Location
Rugby UK
No, do whatever you think is best. I saw the deleted link thingy and didn't really know what it meant..... I told you once before whenever I operate technology I need a small child to advise me
 

Jeanette

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No, do whatever you think is best. I saw the deleted link thingy and didn't really know what it meant..... I told you once before whenever I operate technology I need a small child to advise me


You'll have to put up with a blonde!!

Jx
 

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