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New Direction

Chris

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I was playing around with the backing track software this side and this https://www.box.com/s/ymo72924jm829tfujrnr. Came out, if anyone wants to use feel free, but please use it rather than just having it sat on the hard drive of your PC. It would be nice to hear what players do with it. It's in concert 'C', has 4 bar intro and x4 16 bar choruses, tempo is 79. It doesn't really do anything it is what it is.. Have fun..

Chris...
 

Mike

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I like the piece Chris. Personally, what you did here stands on it's own without
having to add anything else to it. It's kind of like watching a bride come down the aisle in a non-traditional musical setting.

Yes, I enjoyed the listen very much!
 

Chris

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Mike, I just wanted to try something different from the usual jazz tunes I write. This was first done as a track for the new 'Toys' we have been playing around with. Lovely description btw..

Chris..
 

Wade Cornell

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I agree with Mike (it happens occasionally). It's all there already with a nice choice of cello and piano kind of trading off in the melody or in tandem. Would potentially make it muddy to sit another instrument on top as there are two moving lines already.

Definitely has that (impossible?) I will love you forever vibe.

Very romantic and lovely.
 

Chris

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Wade, I think you and Mike are just a pair of hopeless romantics at heart. Perhaps someone might be brave enough to try and put a soprano line on this track though. That's what I was thinking at the beginning anyway. So Jeanette looks like we heard this the same way. thanks to the pair of you for listening and commenting..

Chris.
 

Colin the Bear

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Lovely track, and yes the sop sprang to mind straight away. If I ever get the pc up and running again I'll give it a go. It'll be a couple of weeks at least.
 

Chris

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the chords basically seem to stay within the key centre. Or am I being dumb ?

Rhys

Do you really want an answer to that question Rhys>:)>:)

Joking aside the tune was really written as a backing for an 'Irish Whistle' which is just one key. Until you have the skills to half hole etc.. That was a fair attempt at this, it's never easy when the chords don't move anywhere. I hope some more guys have a go at this..

Chris..
 

Wade Cornell

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[FONT=&quot]You've got a good melodic sense in your playing Rhys. Not sure why, but you seemed to lack confidence compared to the following piece on your site and had some intonation problems. Also not sure why you chose to use so little of the horn and hung around in such a limited range. Attitude and intonation are easy fixes, having a good melodic ear is something rarely found on sax sites and heartening. Could you be encouraged to do another version?[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]
Once again want to thank Chris for kindly posting this and offering it up to anyone who wants to give it a crack. If you want more people to give this a go, maybe it would be better offered up in sound clips as that's where those sorts hang out? A bump for now. [/FONT]
 

Wade Cornell

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it's never easy when the chords don't move anywhere. I hope some more guys have a go at this..
Chris..

It's only difficult if a player has not developed a melodic sense and can only diddle with playing changes. This is an extremely valid exercise that demands melodic playing. The irony is that if this was given to almost any player from the 1950s or 60s they would have had no problem at all. Most music was melodically inspired and even the most hard core mainstream players were often playing alternative melodic lines. This has somehow got perverted by a teaching industry that found it easy to make rules that amount to paint by the numbers for "playing changes". Jazz and sax playing isn't one dimensional and just about being the fastest (technical) gun. If you want to be/become a real player this is the type of exercise for you, even if your ambition is to play nothing but mainstream.
 

rhysonsax

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You've got a good melodic sense in your playing Rhys. Not sure why, but you seemed to lack confidence compared to the following piece on your site and had some intonation problems. Also not sure why you chose to use so little of the horn and hung around in such a limited range. Attitude and intonation are easy fixes, having a good melodic ear is something rarely found on sax sites and heartening. Could you be encouraged to do another version?

Very fair comments Wade - thanks. There certainly is a lack of confidence when improvising, as opposed to when reading or regurgitating. I think a couple of my (many) difficulties are keeping track of where I am in the form and then 'hearing' a phrase that I want to play before I play it.

I look forward to hearing some other versions soon.

Rhys
 

Profusia

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I've spent this afternoon messing about with a new soprano mouthpiece and reed. Chris' new tune was fun to record, as well as a couple of others.

https://soundcloud.com/rhysonsax/different-rhys-sop-take-1

Some pitching issues higher up - sorry Chris. I also found it quite difficult as the chords basically seem to stay within the key centre. Or am I being dumb ?

Rhys

I thought you handled that with great sensitivity and it worked very well. In some places very well indeed. Well done.
 

Profusia

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I was playing around with the backing track software this side and this https://www.box.com/s/ymo72924jm829tfujrnr. Came out, if anyone wants to use feel free, but please use it rather than just having it sat on the hard drive of your PC. It would be nice to hear what players do with it. It's in concert 'C', has 4 bar intro and x4 16 bar choruses, tempo is 79. It doesn't really do anything it is what it is.. Have fun..

Chris...

I'd love to have a go at this, but having had a listen am really not sure what more I could bring to it. Think I'd just get in the way. Hope to at least have a try over the next few days.
 

Wade Cornell

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Not sure if you wanted comments, and also don't know if that would include suggestions. But if I've stepped over the line then you can say so.

You've got a good concept of lyrical playing and the potential for being a good melodic player. As it is this is currently manifest as playing up and down the (correct) chord's scale with slight hesitations and accents. That's a good start and your feeling for the tune is very sensitive/fitting. The next step is to make this your own. Unfortunately there is nobody (that I know of) who can teach melodic creativity. It can be encouraged, but the last thing that should be done is for anyone to blindly copy melodies. To be valid it has to come from you and be your own voice. Most everyone can judge what makes a good melodic line, but it's often hard to define. In simple terms it's often something that "sounds right". It's often thought of as "catchy" and can be remembered by non-professional listeners who might hum or whistle it after just one listening. Common devices are repetition, tension and release, and climaxes, which can be studied, but IMHO (as in specific melodies) shouldn't be copied. It's a common trap that students can fall into when studying any of the creative arts...being so enamoured of what's already out there that they just copy those things without creating anything of their own. Listen and absorb and try to understand what makes melodies work without getting trapped.

An often mentioned method for developing melodies is to sing what you would play. It shouldn’t be surprising that this may not be anything like what you may have played on your horn. Singing MUST come from you, whereas sax players are too often taught to just play changes, which is often diddling within the chord structure and usually not melodic. Being able to play what you would sing is to be one with your instrument. That IMHO is what it’s all about. If it’s not coming from you what are you offering up?
 

Profusia

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Not sure if you wanted comments, and also don't know if that would include suggestions. But if I've stepped over the line then you can say so.

The main reason for being here from my point of view is to learn and improve. Therefore suggestions are always very much welcomed. Criticism can be hard to take but its important to try to take it anyway in my view.

You've got a good concept of lyrical playing and the potential for being a good melodic player. As it is this is currently manifest as playing up and down the (correct) chord's scale with slight hesitations and accents. That's a good start and your feeling for the tune is very sensitive/fitting. The next step is to make this your own. Unfortunately there is nobody (that I know of) who can teach melodic creativity. It can be encouraged, but the last thing that should be done is for anyone to blindly copy melodies. To be valid it has to come from you and be your own voice. Most everyone can judge what makes a good melodic line, but it's often hard to define. In simple terms it's often something that "sounds right". It's often thought of as "catchy" and can be remembered by non-professional listeners who might hum or whistle it after just one listening. Common devices are repetition, tension and release, and climaxes, which can be studied, but IMHO (as in specific melodies) shouldn't be copied. It's a common trap that students can fall into when studying any of the creative arts...being so enamoured of what's already out there that they just copy those things without creating anything of their own. Listen and absorb and try to understand what makes melodies work without getting trapped.

An often mentioned method for developing melodies is to sing what you would play. It shouldn’t be surprising that this may not be anything like what you may have played on your horn. Singing MUST come from you, whereas sax players are too often taught to just play changes, which is often diddling within the chord structure and usually not melodic. Being able to play what you would sing is to be one with your instrument. That IMHO is what it’s all about. If it’s not coming from you what are you offering up?

I hope I don't copy anything. Certainly I don't consciously do so. What happens underneath is harder to fathom. My approach to improvisation so far is extremely simplistic. I listen to the backing track and hope that the feel of it will suggest a melodic line. I don't make any conscious analysis other than trying to work out what key I should be in. I don't think about chord changes. Basically I just start to blow and hopefully something melodic starts to come (sometimes/eventually). The first pass is rarely much good. Possibly I should analyse and study the nature of melody and take a more scientific approach, but I'm not quite convinced at the moment. I kind of like the notion that true art is just a spontaneous expression of emotion at the time, without any thought about what technically might or might not work. Of course that's all very noble sounding but it only holds if I get any good at it.

This wasn't put up as in any way a polished piece. I'm too spontaneous/impatient for that, and also aware that there are so many players on this forum that are so far advanced of me that trying to put up something to compete for polish at those levels would be ridiculous for me at the moment. Chris asked people to have a blow over the track and I relished the opportunity to have a bash. I didn't feel I really found a melody as such. Merely, as you say, fairly melodic noodling up and down the scales. But that was what the backing track was saying to me - what it seemed to call for. In a way I didn't want to impose on the beautiful backing by forcing my own melody over the top. Not that I had one to give anyway. Rather I just went with the flow. I'm very new at this. Having said that, if I had another go next week who knows what might come out!

Thanks for taking the time to listen and to feed back so much. As a beginner its hard sometimes to sort through suggestions, particularly those from very advanced platers, and understand how best to use them. But please do keep them coming.
 

Ivan

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Wade, I think you and Mike are just a pair of hopeless romantics at heart. Perhaps someone might be brave enough to try and put a soprano line on this track though. That's what I was thinking at the beginning anyway. So Jeanette looks like we heard this the same way. thanks to the pair of you for listening and commenting..

Chris.

I need a bleedin' soprano

Must....resist.....GAS
 

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