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Beginner Help Identifying Alto sax note for a project

ibrahamood

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Galway, Ireland
Heyy guys =)

so my friend is working on a music project with a number of local musician and I'm participating as well but I'm having trouble identifying the notes that are being played in the demo. I was thinking of playing in sync with the same notes as what seems to be an electric flute that comes in around 1:30 min in the video. Any help in identifying any good notes with similar intervals would be greatly appreciated.

View: https://youtu.be/ibeSR5xu79E


if you have any suggestions for any other part of the song (15 seconds are more than enough I will need the notes please) that I could play a sax with or on that'd be great.

Please note that my friend plays by ear so he's not sure of the notes himself, other than that the song is only half in English but you can ignore that =)

Thanks so much!
 

Wade Cornell

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You need to develop your ear and learn to play what you hear. If you're going to be limited by only being able to read, then this is not the route to becoming a musician. The sax is an imperfect instrument. If you can't hear the note you're playing then you will not have adjusted your embouchure for that note and likely not play it in tune or with feeling. Start exercising your ear by playing simple tunes you know. Use random start notes and see if you can play through without mistakes. Ideally you want to get to a point where you can hear a new tune and then play it. If you have any interest in improvisation, then this is also the key...otherwise it's just mechanical finger memory exercises or reading as an eye to hand coordination exercise without a musical thought from you..

A preliminary exercise for your specific track is for you to see if you can hum/sing the line you are trying to copy, or want to hear (harmony or counterpoint). If you can't then that's not a good sign. If you can, then it's literally a matter of making the sax your voice....and that's a lot of work, but very worthwhile.

The tune is charming. I will give you a couple clues: There are mainly two chords used Concert E Major and C# minor. If you're playing tenor or soprano that's F# Major and Eb minor. For Baritone and alto that's C# Major and Bb minor. If you can play either of those scales you may find notes that make up the melody, but really want to be consciously trying to play what you would sing. There's also a simple "bridge", but may as well start with basics.
 
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OP
I

ibrahamood

New Member
Messages
10
Locality
Galway, Ireland
The answer should be obvious. You need to develop your ear and learn to play what you hear. If you're going to be limited by only being able to read, then this is not the route to becoming a good sax player. The sax is an imperfect instrument. If you can't hear the note you're playing then then you will not have adjusted your embouchure for that note and likely not play it with feeling. Start exercising your ear by playing simple tunes you know. Use random start notes and see if you can play through without mistakes. Ideally you want to get to a point where you can hear a new tune and then play it. If you have any interest in improvisation, then this is also the key...otherwise it's just mechanical finger memory exercises.

A preliminary exercise for your specific track is for you to see if you can hum/sing the line you either hear, or want to hear. If you can't then that's not a good sign. If you can, then it's literally a matter of making the sax your voice....and that's a lot of work, but very worthwhile.
Hi Wade, thanks a million for your reply.

Ideally I would want to develop my ear and learn to play what I hear and I'm of course aiming for that in the long run. However, as the music project has a deadline that is very soon I would ask the experts to help me by identify the matching notes.

I had a run at it using the notes G, A,B and trying to hum the same tune like you said. The problem is while it does have a very similar "feel" as the tune In the video it still sounds a bit off and maybe a bit "deeper" in sound than the tune in the video Hence putting them on top of each other or using them interchangeably makes it sound off if that makes sense. I also tried playing the same notes with the octave key pressed and while it does sound a lot better suited it still sounds a bit off.

I apologize as my understanding of music is very limited and I'm a beginner learner. Normally I would try to develop the necessary techniques to identify the notes and play it by ear but due to the urgent nature of the matter I have opted to ask for help. I would be able to do the count and note spacing by feel but I'm not sure how to choose the most optimized notes for this song.

Cheers!
 

Wade Cornell

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Best of luck. I haven't got time to write this out. Hopefully you will get the help you need from someone who is at home and not working right now.
 
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nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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First the bad news: The piece is in concert E major, which means it's in C# major (7 sharps) for the alto sax.
This may be a bit of a struggle for a brand new sax player.

I think these are the notes he is playing on the electric flute the first time round, transposed for alto sax. Since it is in 7 sharps, the starting E is actually an E# (the same as F). He changes it a little bit second time round, but you could play the same notes.

Fragment.jpg
 
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ibrahamood

New Member
Messages
10
Locality
Galway, Ireland
First the bad news: The piece is in concert E major, which means it's in C# major (7 sharps) for the alto sax.
This may be a bit of a struggle for a brand new sax player.

I think these are the notes he is playing on the electric flute the first time round, transposed for alto sax. Since it is in 7 sharps, the starting E is actually an E# (the same as F). He changes it a little bit second time round, but you could play the same notes.

View attachment 14561
Thanks so much! I really appreciate you taking time to write this. You're absolutely right, the C sharp major scale has proven difficult to play as I'm not used to using the pinky keys.

Again, thanks for the help. All the best
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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Bristol, UK
You could try playing it in Db
I thought about that, but I felt that writing Gb instead of F# would probably be just as difficult for a sax beginner as writing E# instead of F. Maybe it's just me, but I find the flat key signatures harder than the sharp key signatures.

And the need to learn to use the pinky keys is the same.
 

thomsax

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Sweden
I just played along on tenor. I used the F# major pentatonic scale. (F#, G#, A#, C# and D#.) On alto it's; C# major pentatonic scale: C#,D#, E# (same as F), G#, A#.

I played the A# with the middle Bb (bis) .key since I use it all the the time.
 
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