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Phrasing: I thought this might be worth sharing

MikeMorrell

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I got this link via the alt sax player in one of my 2 Big Bands. The article (with embedded videos) is about ''musical phrasing. Being lousy at technique. 'musicality'; is my only saving grace as a sax player. So of course I clicked in the link.

It's nothing really new but IMHO it's worth sharing and might help some beginning soloists. Thinking about musical phrasing for improvisation
 

Pete Effamy

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I got this link via the alt sax player in one of my 2 Big Bands. The article (with embedded videos) is about ''musical phrasing. Being lousy at technique. 'musicality'; is my only saving grace as a sax player. So of course I clicked in the link.

It's nothing really new but IMHO it's worth sharing and might help some beginning soloists. Thinking about musical phrasing for improvisation
I bang on about this lots - making the notes that you already have better, nicer. Many just want to own more notes though..
 

Alexandra

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Thanks @MikeMorrell really useful information in that link. I'm a sax beginner so I'm not at the point of competent or confident improv, but I think it's so important to try early on, even if you have a limited musical vocabulary! I get so much enjoyment from my fun 'improv/phrasing' time at the end of a practice session. So much can be done with just 4 notes. Sometimes having less stored knowledge to draw on promotes greater creativity.

As a designer, limiting myself or my team to a 2 or three colour palette would work wonders!
 

jbtsax

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I was taught that a phrase is like a "sentence" in that it contains one thought or idea. In classical playing it is important to plan ahead where to take a breath and to breathe at the same place each time you play. I consider a breath to be somewhat like the period at the end of a sentence. Most of us are familiar with people who write and speak in run on sentences and avoid them whenever possible. :doh:
 

Pete Effamy

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One thing my arranging instructor always went on about as far as soloing ..... he always wanted to be able to hear the melody in some way.

He is a great bass palyer and was the staff arranger/bassist for the Glen Miller band for a few years way back.....and oh yes he's not keen on …..In the Mood
I bet whoever owns the commercial rights to it is!
 

randulo

Playing saxophone 21 months - 2.4% of my life
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Ironically, I was watching an Eric Marienthal response to a student submission, and he said exactly, "You should be able to hear the melody in your solo". It's certainly true that some people haven't a strong ability of abstraction. Is is possible that anyone can't see the Martin D28 and the Yam YSS-475 in this Picasso?
picasimage.jpeg
 

Pete Effamy

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@Pete Effamy Joe Garland - music Andy Razaf Lyrics

I cant imagine playing it almost every night for 3 years on tour
Yeah, think I agree with you. I used to be ready to pick up a loaded gun instead of my horn once I'd done a week of a show. Some of my mates who earn their crust in the West End have been doing the same show for 10 years. The major shows pay £1000+ per week though and you can take occasional breaks and put in deps. Hard to turn down that guaranteed amount. Not for me though.
 

Pete Effamy

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Ironically, I was watching an Eric Marienthal response to a student submission, and he said exactly, "You should be able to hear the melody in your solo". It's certainly true that some people haven't a strong ability of abstraction. Is is possible that anyone can't see the Martin D28 and the Yam YSS-475 in this Picasso?
View attachment 13475
Disclaimer alert: controversial opinion to follow.
Yeah, I mean, I can even see a master painter... oh, maybe not. :gathering:
 
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MikeMorrell

MikeMorrell

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For most of my 'jazz' life, I really didn't like listening to anything by Glenn Miller at all. To me, his +/- 1940's music sounded 'old school', boring, lacking in energy, etc. With some exceptions, I preferred 1950's jazz onwards Count Basie, Stan Getz, up until the current day.
festival
But one of my Big Bands is going to be performing at a local '75 year WWII allied liberation" commemoration day. So we added some tunes/songs to our repertoire that were popular in the WWII years:
- In the mood (GM)
- Pennsylvania 6-5000 (GM)
- Moonlight Serenade (GM)
- American Patrol (GM)
- Tico Tico (Andrew Sisters)

It surprised me just how difficult it was to play GM tunes well! The timing, blend, control and expression are excellent and difficult to replicate. It also surprised me that (although I don't enjoy listening to the) I do enjoy playing them. I also enjoy the challenge of learning to play them better. Fortunately our MD has upped the tempo of most of them so that they don't sound too outdated.

One thing my arranging instructor always went on about as far as soloing ..... he always wanted to be able to hear the melody in some way.

He is a great bass palyer and was the staff arranger/bassist for the Glen Miller band for a few years way back.....and oh yes he's not keen on …..In the Mood
 
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MikeMorrell

MikeMorrell

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I've had some email contacts with an (ex-)drummer in the UK on a range of topics.(personal, music, photography, ...). On drummers, he said he learned early on to distinguish between 'musical drummers' and 'shed builders'. In his view 'musical drummers' have a fine touch, play with variations on rhythm, sounds and dynamics to create rhythmic/musical phrasing: a melody with a limited set of tones that has structure, a sense of beginning, development and conclusion. There is always musical communication between the drummer and the audience.

'Shed builders', on the other hand, just thrash around demonstrating how many percussion instruments they can hit, how quickly and how hard.

The analogy with sax playing is not hard to follow.

Which is hard for drummers, but the better ones are able to to do this.
 

Halfers

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I've had some email contacts with an (ex-)drummer in the UK on a range of topics.(personal, music, photography, ...). On drummers, he said he learned early on to distinguish between 'musical drummers' and 'shed builders'. In his view 'musical drummers' have a fine touch, play with variations on rhythm, sounds and dynamics to create rhythmic/musical phrasing: a melody with a limited set of tones that has structure, a sense of beginning, development and conclusion. There is always musical communication between the drummer and the audience.

'Shed builders', on the other hand, just thrash around demonstrating how many percussion instruments they can hit, how quickly and how hard.

The analogy with sax playing is not hard to follow.
I could listen to this guy's music all day! Enjoy!

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1j1_aeK6WA
 

GCinCT

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For most of my 'jazz' life, I really didn't like listening to anything by Glenn Miller at all. To me, his +/- 1940's music sounded 'old school', boring, lacking in energy, etc. With some exceptions, I preferred 1950's jazz onwards Count Basie, Stan Getz, up until the current day.
festival
But one of my Big Bands is going to be performing at a local '75 year WWII allied liberation" commemoration day. So we added some tunes/songs to our repertoire that were popular in the WWII years:
- In the mood (GM)
- Pennsylvania 6-5000 (GM)
- Moonlight Serenade (GM)
- American Patrol (GM)
- Tico Tico (Andrew Sisters)

It surprised me just how difficult it was to play GM tunes well! The timing, blend, control and expression are excellent and difficult to replicate. It also surprised me that (although I don't enjoy listening to the) I do enjoy playing them. I also enjoy the challenge of learning to play them better. Fortunately our MD has upped the tempo of most of them so that they don't sound too outdated.
My Big Band is also doing Pennsylvania 6-5000. I do find it fun to play and it does have its own unique challenges to play it well as an ensemble.
 
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MikeMorrell

MikeMorrell

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I know nothing about drumming (or Purdie) but I thoroughly enjoyed this video! I immediately shared it with the drummers of my two Big Bands. He has an infectious, fun - and to my ears - well-structured teaching style. I'd never heard of 'Purdie' but he has a truly amazing CV: he's played with the very best of musicians. He has many more instructional videos (and masterclasses) on YouTube. I think it's wonderful that - like other top-musicians - he teaches what for him are basics - to aspiring and upcoming musicians.

Without getting soppy, this kind of videos are IHMO in the spirit of the café. Very talented and experienced sax players are always more than happy to help beginners learn and progress.

Mike

I could listen to this guy's music all day! Enjoy!

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1j1_aeK6WA
 
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