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Flip Flop & Fly - A Little Rock n' Roll

Veggie Dave

Sax Worker
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Citizen of Nowhere
As the lockdowns continue, The Lockdown Jams continue. :cheers:

Bizarre as it may sound, this is the first time I've ever played traditional rock n' roll ... on any instrument. The horn parts (based on the original Big Joe Turner recording but revamped by the keyboard player) were surprisingly tricky to play cleanly. To be honest, I was more than a little worried about the solo, too. Rock n' roll has a very iconic sound, a sound I've never even attempted before. I think I mostly got away with it and it doesn't sound too obvious that I'm not a traditional rock n' roller.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTq5iQ20rB8
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
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Burnley bb9 9dn
You got away with it fine. If I had to criticise I would say it's a little legato. Maybe a bit more tonguing and articulation on each note. You can easily get away with one note phrases with this genre.
I'd like more sax and less harp too but maybe I'm biased. ;)
You seem to have a very talented array of musicial connections.
 

Veggie Dave

Sax Worker
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Citizen of Nowhere
If I had to criticise I would say it's a little legato. Maybe a bit more tonguing and articulation on each note.

That's one of the problems with these types of recording. The song I played to was made up of VST instruments, which gave the song a completely different feel. Initially I tried a more rhythmic and growled solo but it didn't work at all with the backing as the sax sounded really dirty while the backing sounded really clean.

In the end, rather than growling I moved the mic to get a brighter sound and ran the whole recording through various analogue emulators to try and give it that slightly overdriven/clipped sound you hear on the old rhythm & blues/rock n' roll recordings and backed off the aggressive rhythms a little.

I didn't hear the finished song, with all the real instruments, until it was posted on YouTube. I didn't even know there was harmonica until I saw the video. If I had the chance to rerecord it having now heard the rest of the mix I'd go for a more mellow tone but played more rhythmically.

I also have to trust the keyboard player, who arranges most of the horns, because his arrangements are rarely 'horn' arrangements, which are always an octave higher than you'd expect, that often sound melodically odd until the other trumpet parts are there. Again, I didn't hear the trumpet parts before I saw the video - I wasn't even sure if there was a trumpet player. Hopefully the lady in the vid (who I believe some on here know, Vicky Flint) will become a regular.

You seem to have a very talented array of musicial connections.

John, the keyboard player, has to take most of the credit as far as I know. There has been talk about taking the whole thing onto a real stage. It would be nice but it's a lot of musicians to organise.
 

Colin the Bear

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So long as the rhythm section turns up, everything else is a bonus.
As far as the recording goes, if you make the final cut it's a success. ;)

Those arranged parts can be tricky. The leader of a band I used to play with bought an arrangement and presented it to us at practice. Mine was a trombone part, in bass cleff, to play on baritone sax. I struggled at practice so when I got home I typed it into a sequencer to hear how it went. Next practice was better. :rolleyes:
 
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Taz

Busking Oracle
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3,664
Location
Rugby UK
Nice one Dave, loving the way you‘re so happy to step out of your comfort zone! I think I’d have played less notes and tried to take it up the register but if your following an orchestration (if that’s the right word) then you did a great job mate. It’s very hard to play to an automated track, it makes you feel a little restricted. Try to relax and give it your own soul. It’s a favourite tune of mine and you certainly did it justic.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
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4,052
Location
Sweden
Me like. Well done. The trumpet could be higher in the mix. Hard to hear her. Are you playing split tones? I can't play with hearphones and record like you can.
 

Veggie Dave

Sax Worker
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3,241
Location
Citizen of Nowhere
loving the way you‘re so happy to step out of your comfort zone!

I am really enjoying playing stuff 'on demand'. I like the challenge it presents. Well, I do at the moment because I've always managed to play something. ;)

As long as they never ask for something jazzy I should be able to maintain the illusion that I know what I'm doing. :rofl:

I think I’d have played less notes and tried to take it up the register

I couldn't take it higher. In fact, this is the first time I've ever successfully hit alt. G. :banana:

I think this arrangement would suit an alto solo better but it said 'tenor solo' in the score, so tenor solo it was. It's all part of the challenge because I never would have used the tenor if it hadn't specified it.

The trumpet could be higher in the mix.

I think so, too.

Are you playing split tones?

I had to look that up - there's so much stuff I still don't know...

If this is what you mean ('The idea is to have your air stream so focused that the saxophone is almost over powered.'), then yes but I had no idea it was a specific technique.

I can't play with hearphones and record like you can.

Practice. I really couldn't do it at first but practice (both with the headphones and also creating a decent monitor mix in the cans) fixed that. You can record with one ear uncovered. In fact, you can create your own mix by how much the headphone covers the ear. You'll be amazed how much control you have from just moving the cans slightly. At least with proper old school headphones.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
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Location
Sweden
I had to look that up - there's so much stuff I still don't know...

If this is what you mean ('The idea is to have your air stream so focused that the saxophone is almost over powered.'), then yes but I had no idea it was a specific technique.
If the trumpet plays the root tone of the chord the tenorsax can play the 5th tone and the alto takes the 7th. Dom 7th chord. If alto/bari are playing a song in G major and the birst chord is a G then the trumpet play G1 and tenor plays D2 and alto/bari plays F# Just a sample. Maybe I'm complete wrong?!?!?!
 

Veggie Dave

Sax Worker
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Location
Citizen of Nowhere
If the trumpet plays the root tone of the chord the tenorsax can play the 5th tone and the alto takes the 7th. Dom 7th chord. If alto/bari are playing a song in G major and the birst chord is a G then the trumpet play G1 and tenor plays D2 and alto/bari plays F# Just a sample. Maybe I'm complete wrong?!?!?!

This was the only reference I found regarding split tones
which I guess isn't what you're talking about at all. ;)

Regarding the Lockdown horn parts; yes, they're all harmonised, usually four part (two sax, two brass) although some also have a third sax (bari) and third brass (trombone).
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
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4,052
Location
Sweden
This was the only reference I found regarding split tones
which I guess isn't what you're talking about at all. ;)

Regarding the Lockdown horn parts; yes, they're all harmonised, usually four part (two sax, two brass) although some also have a third sax (bari) and third brass (trombone).
The Growling & Split tones video is good. Split tones can also be called "mutiple tones". Some guys can sound "multiple" or "split" without doing any at all . Listen to how they talk(ed) or sang. Listen to Clarenence Clemons or Eddie Shaw. You can also have a "multiple/split" tone with playing without using the octave key, use a baritone reed on your tenor mpc, cut the reed with a razor blade .... .

You seems to know a lot about recording so I'm not the right person to give you advice when it comes to this.

I did a video for you called "When The Other Horn Doesn't Show Up". She was there, but maybe there is something you find interesting on videoclip? It's a Andrew Clark track (who else, I use his stuff a lot!! Let me know if you think it's too much AC!!) giving us some tips.

I like your videos and I use to watch and hear them over and over ..
View: https://youtu.be/-JhjqH84Akc
 

Pete Effamy

Senior Member
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2,926
Location
Hampshire
If the trumpet plays the root tone of the chord the tenorsax can play the 5th tone and the alto takes the 7th. Dom 7th chord. If alto/bari are playing a song in G major and the birst chord is a G then the trumpet play G1 and tenor plays D2 and alto/bari plays F# Just a sample. Maybe I'm complete wrong?!?!?!
The 5th is the least important note. It’s not a Dom 7th without the 3rd.
 

Pete Effamy

Senior Member
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2,926
Location
Hampshire
Dave, why don’t you arrange some horn parts? Don’t underestimate unison lines, especially when only two horns and the trumpet doesn’t have a big lead sound/range - not that it would be used much anyway.
Some bluesy lines in unison would sound great. Beware of 3rds (esp major 3rds) in this genre - far too happy!
 

John Laughter

Member
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406
Location
Macon,GA
("You can also have a "multiple/split" tone with playing without using the octave key")

Good technique to use to get a mix of the lower and middle octave at the same time.

Back in the late 50's (heyday of Rock and R&B) I talked to a local blues tenor player about it after watching his fingers. He had a steady gig at a club that was packed every weekend. I stood outside the back door to listen to the band and later met him at the local music store. He never used the octave key and got (at times) some nice raunchy tones. He explained that he tuned a little sharp and relaxed his jaw so that he could play a lot bends and gliss's. He said the loose jaw along with no octave key is what gave him the rock/blues sound. And of course the growl and flutter when the floor show was going on featuring a lady dancer. I really did not understand all of what he was talking about at the time. Especially the tuning thing.

He was funny and told me "if you white kids want to play the blues you got to stop playing so nice" :D
 

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