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How to bend a note. An audio guide

old git

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Taz,
It is very easy to bend a note,
.
Not sure if the plastic ones will be so amenable.
 

Jeanette

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Pete

I'm sure you would make a bomb recording audio books with your voice :)

Jx
 

kevgermany

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Taz, err good, but err please cut out the errs. It err drives me nuts err thanks.
 

Andrew Sanders

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To Err is human, to forgive is divine. I thought the errs made the piece.
Good work Taz.
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
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Sorry err Kev, I was err working without an um script. I hadn't even thought about what I was err going to say!

Funny I actually did realise how many times I did that.
 

kevgermany

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I used to teach public speaking, one thing we got everyone on the courses to do was count everyone else's ums, errs, etc. Made for a good laugh when someone thought they'd spoken cleanly, only to be corrected by the others.

Apart from that your voice is good - clear, knowledgeable and without an intrusive regional accent.
 
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Alexandra

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Taz, I thought you sounded great!

Jumping aboard this post because I dont want to start a new one on bending. Can someone clarify...should the tongue drop down in the mouth or back? Or both? I've also watched Pete's excellent tutorial but I'm really struggling! I keep losing the sound all together or it's a tiny bend. Being a massive Hodges fan, I want to BEND.

I'm on a Yanagisawa alto that's less than 1 year old. NY Bros 2 (6) MP and Rigotti Jazz 2.5 Strong reeds with Vandoren Optimum lig. Is there a case for bending being easier with a wider tip opening? Does the chamber size make a difference?

Thanks.
 

Colin the Bear

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Try playing tunes on just the mouthpiece. It's not about reeds or tip opening imo. It's hard to bend a note down if you're playing at the bottom already.
 
A

Acc6441

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@Alexandra I second Colin's advice, although it's painful for spouses and neighbors. You want to be able to move the pitch up and down as far as you can with just the mouthpiece. You can also put the mouthpiece on the neck and again, try to vary the pitch. Finally, when that becomes easy, try the same thing on the whole instrument.
 

spike

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I played blues harp for several years before my saxophonic adventures.
Bending notes on the harp is a case of chewing the notes in the mouth.
It's easier to do in the beginning with the inhale - suck - notes but with time and using the same techniques the blow notes will bend as well.
This is my take after doin' an awful lot've blowin' air down curly tubes.
I form my notes in the oral cavity, there's a lot goes on before the airstream even sets the reed in motion.
As far as I'm concerned it's the mouthbox where each note is created.
Just as I can chew, bite and chomp and manipulate food I also do the same to manage the air when I speak to produce dialects and manipulations of the sounds created by my vocal chords.
The same goes for creating and bending the notes on the saxophone.
It's not mouthpieces and reeds, it's controlling mouthboxes and tongues and lungs.
 
A

Acc6441

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I think you're right, it all happens in the mouth and possibly throat, but the reed makes the noise, so it's good practice to play with the mouthpiece and reed while varying the mouth shapes. That's what helped me get up to speed quickly, anyway.
 

Alexandra

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Thanks @randulo
I'll persist with just the mouthpiece as you've suggested. No partner/spouse to worry about, but in an apartment surrounded by neighbours. They'll have to suffer for my art! :banana:
 

Alexandra

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I played blues harp for several years before my saxophonic adventures.
Bending notes on the harp is a case of chewing the notes in the mouth.
It's easier to do in the beginning with the inhale - suck - notes but with time and using the same techniques the blow notes will bend as well.
This is my take after doin' an awful lot've blowin' air down curly tubes.
I form my notes in the oral cavity, there's a lot goes on before the airstream even sets the reed in motion.
As far as I'm concerned it's the mouthbox where each note is created.
Just as I can chew, bite and chomp and manipulate food I also do the same to manage the air when I speak to produce dialects and manipulations of the sounds created by my vocal chords.
The same goes for creating and bending the notes on the saxophone.
It's not mouthpieces and reeds, it's controlling mouthboxes and tongues and lungs.

Your description of the 'mouthbox' and 'chewing the notes' is resonating with me. Very tactile. I dont think I can fully relate yet as I'm too new to the sax, and come from a flute background. A lot less chewing. But I feel inspired (and also a bit hungry)! Thanks for your words of wisdom.
 
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