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How to end a note correctly?

culfy

New Member
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4
Hello everyone this is my first post so i will introduce myself first.
I live in Berlin and have been playing sax for about 6 years a few lessons early on and then a lot of reading and listening and i also get help from my girlfriend who is a violin teacher. I play an Adolphe Tenor Sax (1920-30) with a selmer short shank soloist D mpc which was passed on to me from my father. The sound is great. I`m really into ballads in the stye of D. Gordon, D.Gordon and play a few transcribed pieces from these artists.

My question is how to end a note particularly long notes in ballads correctly. There is a lot on the web about tonging notes (attack) but not finshing notes. my long notes sound like they are dying sometimes.
Should i be finishing the note using my tongue or through breathing.
does anyone know of a good video lesson explaining this .

I know i should find a teacher but if anyone could it would be grateful.
 

Pete Thomas

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I think the "correct" way is to use your tongue, which should stop the note cleanly. However in more solo type situations you can just stop the note without the tongue. Ideally this is done by breath, not constricting the throat, so you need good diaphragm control to just stop the air without throat or tongue on the reed.

I have read of some classical players using this as a an expressive technique.
 
Messages
69
In ballads, the "dying note syndrom" that you mentioned is rather common. This is because most people do not keep the airspeed constant all the way to the end of the note. In order keep the long note sounding beautiful, there are a few things to think about: airspeed, air intensity, embouchoure, keeping your throat open (which is something that most people don't do), tone, and not settling for less than your best.
Something I have noticed in my playing ove the last couple of years, is when I end a long note, I usually end with a vowel sound, such as "ah" or "oo". I find thatthe note ends with the same intensity as it began.

Viel Gluck!!
 

culfy

New Member
Messages
4
Thanks for the help i guess it is back to the long tones but do you actually end the note with your tongue or is it always through breath control. Your personal experience is really appreciated it always helps to know other people have gone through the same phase.

Culfy
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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21,947
There's a section on this in Larry Teal's "The Art of Saxophone Playing" (highly recommended, amazon.de have it http://www.amazon.de/Art-Saxophone-...0577/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1309113241&sr=8-1).

Sorry for not replying sooner, but my copy was out on loan.

Too much to repeat, but both tongue and cutting off the air are valid, depending on how you want to stop the note. In general, tongue when another note follows, stop the air when a rest follows, but in both cases maintain embouchure until the note has stopped completely. He also says that use depends on situation and desired effect, and both may be used together....

So I guess it's learn to use both, and let instinct take over. Which is what I do. I don't consciously think about it, just on how I want the sound to be.
 

Randy Hunter

Member
Messages
34
You will also benefit by listening closely to the way a variety of players end notes. You mentioned Dexter...the way he ends notes is a part (only a part) of his unique style. You'll often hear short, tongue stopped notes by a lot of players at the ends of phrases often characterized as "dot" articulated tones. Dexter will often perform notes in this situation with a strong "dah" articulation that ends with a slight downward bend and air release. You'll often hear his air release with vibrato at the end of a long note in a ballad. I listened several times yesterday to one of his famous cadenzas on "Body and Soul." The last note is a beautiful low tone- a C I believe, that fades to air- the last thing you hear is the vibrato resonating in the long air release.

Randy
www.randyhunterjazz.com
Lessons page: www.beginningsax.com/Jazz Improv Lessons.htm
 

culfy

New Member
Messages
4
Thanks for the tips. I find trying to listen to music and working out what the artist is physically doing is a bit like watching a swan swimming on a lake and not knowing what is going on under the water. Your description Randy of listening to the different elements involved is very helpful. I will try to listen more closely now that i know what i should be listening for and moreover what the possibilities are. I still have not found any videos which explain and demonstrate the differences and the effect they have. Any ideas? The L. Teal book is on order from the library. THanks for all the help.
Culfy
 
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