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NEWBIE dilemma

Pete Effamy

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And your point is what exactly? There's generally only one 'way' to play most instruments. Most of the rest is down to the genre.
You seem to be implying that you are playing in a different style because you were rubbing shoulders with different musicians and had to play a few repeated riffs. This isn't changing your interpretation or language is it.
 

Pete Effamy

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You seem to be implying that you are playing in a different style because you were rubbing shoulders with different musicians and had to play a few repeated riffs. This isn't changing your interpretation or language is it.
When Goodman played the Copland clarinet concerto he didn't play it like he usually did when he was with his swing band or jazz combo. Ditto Artie Shaw.
 

tenorviol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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Really? You would play that same way for Mozart and Stravinsky? Or you play differently?
There are stylistic variations depending on era and to some extent composer. bowed note are bowed - whether legato, spiccato, col legno, martello, sul ponte, plucked notes are pizzicato and there are several ways of doing that. But they are all basic instrument techniques. Composers of earlier eras used fewer of them, more modern ones use more of them.
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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Getting back to the OP’s question, here is my tuppenyworth:

I came late to the saxophone and to Jazz, after singing and playing “classical” music (whatever that means) since I was a child.
In my opinion, Jazz is another style of music, like French Baroque or Viennese Classical, and each of these styles have their own peculiarities that need to be mastered in order to play well. There is absolutely no reason why someone cannot become competent in several styles, and there is nothing about Jazz that makes it intrinsically different from the other styles. (For example, improvisation has been a feature of classical music for hundreds of years and after a brief lapse in the 20th century is becoming more prevalent again.)

However, a straight, note-reading player like me has a lot to learn in order to play Jazz competently. It’s not easy.

@Jethro - if you want to play Jazz, then my advice is to find a teacher who can help you do this and then choose the grade syllabus that they recommend. In my opinion it’s the teacher that matters, not the syllabus.
 

Pete Effamy

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French Baroque or Viennese Classical
Yes all good points, but the distance between the above and then jazz is light years, and my main slant is that some people seem quite dismissive of this: I can cook a roast dinner and if I buy different ingredients I can cook...

Just because someone emigrates it doesn’t make them a native.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
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I have been thinking about this thread a bit and actually wondering...a question which arises, perhaps implied by @Jethro if not specifically asked (and if you did I apologize, this is becoming a long thread)...might be:

OK so if you have a player who ultimately wishes to get into Jazz playing, at what 'level' might it be wise to exit off of the classical/legit highway and find that Jazz teacher/program ?

IOW, would having completed a level 3 (oops...'Grade 3' :doh: ) be a good point ? Or might it be wiser to complete one more ladder rung ?

(Apologies if I am putting words into OP's mouth...and apologies for my mixed metaphors....)
 

Pete Effamy

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at what 'level' might it be wise to exit off of the classical highway
You might not necessarily need to, so long as you immerse yourself enough in jazz so that you know what you're attempting to sound like.

To quantify that though, I know certain top players hate playing older forms of jazz as it screws up their playing. It comes down to however near you want to get to really speaking the language and sounding authentic. You can dip a toe anywhere, anytime you like and have tremendous fun. You'll probably not get too near to becoming a fluent speaker though. However, this may not matter to you.

The best 'jazz programme' for me was to transcribe heads and solos and learn to play with all the nuances as the recording. That's how we learn to speak, after all. We develop our own preferences for vocabulary and sentence construction as we go.
 
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Jethro

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Oh in my question I didn’t mean to touch nerves and trigger emotions, but thanks to all for these inputs and comments. I guess I still have some way yet to go to feel competent with the instrument, however, as has been pointed out commencing to try to develop a style that encompasses elements of jazz would definitely be worthwhile and a means to develop my own expressionism. So the responses in this thread have helped me to develop a stawman in my own mind. Now I’ve just got to start work on the details to get there.

Once again thanks to all.
 

Pete Effamy

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I have to agree with what @jbtsax has said - there's an artificial dichotomy between classical and jazz. The 'classical' syllabuses provide grounding in technique and it's structured. Jazz is just an additional genre...
I can’t disagree with you as far as strings go but most of your points seem to be string focused. I’m a sax and clarinet player. You just put air into the horn in a completely different way with classical and jazz, it’s not just changing inflections and accents. Most classical players use diaphragm vibrato and jazz uses jaw (and also adds diaphragm particularly on ballads for that modern pulsating in-time subdivision of the beat. These are different techniques, otherwise my old clarinet prof with all his ability would be an ace jazzer too.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
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I can’t disagree with you as far as strings go but most of your points seem to be string focused. I’m a sax and clarinet player. You just put air into the horn in a completely different way with classical and jazz, it’s not just changing inflections and accents. Most classical players use diaphragm vibrato and jazz uses jaw (and also adds diaphragm particularly on ballads for that modern pulsating in-time subdivision of the beat. These are different techniques, otherwise my old clarinet prof with all his ability would be an ace jazzer too.
This is very true...which is why characterizing the playing of Jazz (or any other genre) as just 'switching hats' isn't quite accurate. It is more than simply a matter of "ok so now I am playing THIS genre, so I gotta phrase like this and open up my Jazz bag of tricks".

This is why it isn't unusual when someone who is primarily a classical player sits in a jazz chair (say, for example, occupying a chair in a big band), many others in the band will quickly recognize "that guy/gal plays mostly legit , don't they ?"
 

Pete Effamy

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This is very true...which is why characterizing the playing of Jazz (or any other genre) as just 'switching hats' isn't quite accurate. It is more than simply a matter of "ok so now I am playing THIS genre, so I gotta phrase like this and open up my Jazz bag of tricks".

This is why it isn't unusual when someone who is primarily a classical player sits in a jazz chair (say, for example, occupying a chair in a big band), many others in the band will quickly recognize "that guy/gal plays mostly legit , don't they ?"
Yep.
 

jbtsax

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I can’t disagree with you as far as strings go but most of your points seem to be string focused. I’m a sax and clarinet player. You just put air into the horn in a completely different way with classical and jazz, it’s not just changing inflections and accents. Most classical players use diaphragm vibrato and jazz uses jaw (and also adds diaphragm particularly on ballads for that modern pulsating in-time subdivision of the beat. These are different techniques, otherwise my old clarinet prof with all his ability would be an ace jazzer too.
In my experience the vast majority of classical saxophonists use the jaw/lip vibrato. One of the main differences in the two styles is that in classical playing (at least "old school") the vibrato is continuous or used primarily on longer notes. In jazz saxophone playing the placement and duration of vibrato varies from player to player. I have heard that jazz instrumentalists try to mimic the vibrato used by jazz vocalists.

I would be interested to know which classical saxophonists are known to use air pulse/diaphragm vibrato such as used on flute and double reeds.
 

Pete Effamy

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In my experience the vast majority of classical saxophonists use the jaw/lip vibrato. One of the main differences in the two styles is that in classical playing (at least "old school") the vibrato is continuous or used primarily on longer notes. In jazz saxophone playing the placement and duration of vibrato varies from player to player. I have heard that jazz instrumentalists try to mimic the vibrato used by jazz vocalists.

I would be interested to know which classical saxophonists are known to use air pulse/diaphragm vibrato such as used on flute and double reeds.
Ah, my experience is vice verse, as diaphragm Vibrato is ‘gentler’, though this doesn’t necessarily hold weight as jaw can be gentle too.

The only thing that doesn’t work is always using diaphragm vibrato for jazz as it can’t be wide or fast enough when needed (but I’m preaching to the converted here).
 
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