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Clive333

New Member
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4
Location
Manchester
Hi all, my name is Clive, a 51 year old who has taken up the alto sax in the last year but who needs a little help.
I'm not really sure how to explain the problem or what the right terminology is but whenever I purchase or download sheet music it follows the tune or melody of the song rather than the specific part for the instrument. Can anyone tell me what to look for or whether I have got it completely wrong
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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Bristol, UK
Hi all, my name is Clive, a 51 year old who has taken up the alto sax in the last year but who needs a little help.
I'm not really sure how to explain the problem or what the right terminology is but whenever I purchase or download sheet music it follows the tune or melody of the song rather than the specific part for the instrument. Can anyone tell me what to look for or whether I have got it completely wrong
Welcome.
Can you give an example of the sheet music you are talking about?
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "the specific part for the instrument" - are you looking for a part in the right key for an Eb alto sax?
 

Tiberius

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,054
...whenever I purchase or download sheet music it follows the tune or melody of the song rather than the specific part for the instrument.
Yes, I think I know what you mean. When I was a teenager, I tried to learn guitar (for about 2 weeks :)). Being a fan of Rush, I bought the Hemisphere's book and as you say, it didn't reeli tell me what Lifeson was playing, but rather the general chords and overall melody.

Yeah, that's the way it is. You have to 'interpret' it as you will. Generally for sax music, it's not so much of a problem as the sax usually is playing the lead melody, so the only worry you have there is whether the song is written at concert pitch, or for Alto of Tenor. You either get the right one, or migrate it yourself.

But also in general, all players make an interpretation, very seldom do they play exactly what's written, even classical players. So there may be grace notes added, long notes may be split into a 'run' or just a repetition of the same note. Notes may be scooped and vibrated etc, or occasionally just plain changed from what's written. And that's before we even start on improvisation.

Relax, play what you think sounds good.
 
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Clive333

Clive333

New Member
Messages
4
Location
Manchester
Yes, I think I know what you mean. When I was a teenager, I tried to learn guitar (for about 2 weeks :)). Being a fan of Rush, I bought the Hemisphere's book and as you say, it didn't reeli tell me what Lifeson was playing, but rather the general chords and overall melody.

Yeah, that's the way it is. You have to 'interpret' it as you will. Generally for sax music, it's not so much of a problem as the sax usually is playing the lead melody, so the only worry you have there is whether the song is written at concert pitch, or for Alto of Tenor. You either get the right one, or migrate it yourself.

But also in general, all players make an interpretation, very seldom do they play exactly what's written, even classical players. So there may be grace notes added, long notes may be split into a 'run' or just a repetition of the same note. Notes may be scooped and vibrated etc, or occasionally just plain changed from what's written. And that's before we even start on improvisation.

Relax, play what you think sounds good.
Thank you Tiberius that was very helpful, I feel like I have started adding 'grace notes' to pad the tune out a bit in parts but not sure I'm at the stage where I can 'interpret' as yet but I hear what you are saying. Thank you again

Welcome.
Can you give an example of the sheet music you are talking about?
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "the specific part for the instrument" - are you looking for a part in the right key for an Eb alto sax?
Thank you Nigel, I think Tiberius has put it better than I can. For example, when I watch a band playing I rarely see the sax playing the whole of the song, the player appears to join in at certain times and I wondered whether there is such a thing as sheet music for the particular part played by the sax if that makes sense
 
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Tiberius

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,054
Come join is in the Ballad of the Month and Song of the Month sections. There's a music sheet for each song, along with a backing track, and you'll hear how everyone, from basic beginners, to the more advanced members treat it. You don't need to be advanced, when I first stared, all I played was the first chorus.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Just north of Munich
Big welcome from me.

For example, when I watch a band playing I rarely see the sax playing the whole of the song, the player appears to join in at certain times and I wondered whether there is such a thing as sheet music for the particular part played by the sax if that makes sense
If you buy a full score, you'll get what you're looking for, but it's rare to find them for non-orchestral or big band pieces. What most people look for and buy is the melody/song for their instrument.

An alternative is to go to somewhere like saxsolos.com, where the sax solo is transcribed from specific performances. I think tjis is what you're looking for, but.... Most of these aren't easy as guys want to play the iconic sax solos, not just a few bars of fill here and there.
 

David Dorning

Senior Member
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Chichester, UK
Big welcome from me.



If you buy a full score, you'll get what you're looking for, but it's rare to find them for non-orchestral or big band pieces. What most people look for and buy is the melody/song for their instrument.

An alternative is to go to somewhere like saxsolos.com, where the sax solo is transcribed from specific performances. I think tjis is what you're looking for, but.... Most of these aren't easy as guys want to play the iconic sax solos, not just a few bars of fill here and there.
I wonder if you are facing the problem I had when playing in a soul band. You can find the melody of songs like Midnight Hour or Knock on Wood quite easily but not scores for the sax breaks. I found the simplest way was to listen to the recording and work it out by ear.
 

Tiberius

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,054
... when I watch a band playing I rarely see the sax playing the whole of the song, the player appears to join in at certain times and I wondered whether there is such a thing as sheet music for the particular part played by the sax
I doubt it, a lot of the time the sax player is just improvising over the tune. Sometimes it's simple and will mostly be the same, e.g. I think if you watch several recordings of Baker Street, the sax riff is pretty iconic, so it will seldom change. But take a look at Ladies of the Road by King Crimson. There, the sax parts in the live performances only vaguely follow the studio version.

Also take a look at Dave Sandborn playing Little Wing with Clapton and Sheryl Crow...There's no way that is written down newhere. I'm not sure you even could write it down! (Sanborn 'starts' about 2:20...then...well, just watch :))

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJbkFwjeGIo
 
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Clive333

Clive333

New Member
Messages
4
Location
Manchester
I wonder if you are facing the problem I had when playing in a soul band. You can find the melody of songs like Midnight Hour or Knock on Wood quite easily but not scores for the sax breaks. I found the simplest way was to listen to the recording and work it out by ear.
Hi David, That's exactly what it is, I'll try your suggestion thanks

Big welcome from me.



If you buy a full score, you'll get what you're looking for, but it's rare to find them for non-orchestral or big band pieces. What most people look for and buy is the melody/song for their instrument.

An alternative is to go to somewhere like saxsolos.com, where the sax solo is transcribed from specific performances. I think tjis is what you're looking for, but.... Most of these aren't easy as guys want to play the iconic sax solos, not just a few bars of fill here and there.
Thank you Kev I'll visit the site

I doubt it, a lot of the time the sax player is just improvising over the tune. Sometimes it's simple and will mostly be the same, e.g. I think if you watch several recordings of Baker Street, the sax riff is pretty iconic, so it will seldom change. But take a look at Ladies of the Road by King Crimson. There, the sax parts in the live performances only vaguely follow the studio version.

Also take a look at Dave Sandborn playing Little Wing with Clapton and Sheryl Crow...There's no way that is written down newhere. I'm not sure you even could write it down! (Sanborn 'starts' about 2:20...then...well, just watch :))

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJbkFwjeGIo
WOW!!!
 
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kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
22,004
Location
Just north of Munich
Also take a look at Dave Sandborn playing Little Wing with Clapton and Sheryl Crow...There's no way that is written down newhere. I'm not sure you even could write it down! (Sanborn 'starts' about 2:20...then...well, just watch :))
You'd be surprised. If it isn't there already, you can request saxsolos.com to do a transcription.
 

SaxoFREAK

saX on the bEaCH..
Messages
628
Location
Liverpool
Hi Clive welcome to the Café, the answers above are way beyond me so just enjoy your stay and soak up the info..:sax:
 
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