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Sax in Metal.

What

Member
Messages
314
So I was talking with a friend of mine who happens to be a vocalist in a local band about how I'm learning sax now. She though it might be cool to see how a sax could be used in a metal band. I think this would be interesting to try.

I think it could work especially if you listen to metal. You can hear the classical music roots in it. I know of metal bands that use slide trombones, and a few that use symphony instrument(most often strings and percussion). Have any of you heard of something like this?
 

Clivey

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,023
So I was talking with a friend of mine who happens to be a vocalist in a local band about how I'm learning sax now. She though it might be cool to see how a sax could be used in a metal band. I think this would be interesting to try.

I think it could work especially if you listen to metal. You can hear the classical music roots in it. I know of metal bands that use slide trombones, and a few that use symphony instrument(most often strings and percussion). Have any of you heard of something like this?
Yip it can work well. The very first guys I ever played with in the late 70`s with played rock, mainly Lizzy and Cream and the sax sat well in with that.Nowadays it`s even easier to sound good and in context. I`ve used "Amplitube" and more recently the "poulin le 456 virtual amp" sims on my Saxes and you can get a very good dirty distorted guitaresque sound indeed plus it`s a free plugin.
I recommend that you try and YouTube Some King crimson and Morphine for starters especially "21st century schizoid man" It`s not metal as such but if you have not heard it then it can be a bit of an eye opener. A lot of what you are suggesting was actually done quite well at the very start of the 1970`s when progressive rock bands were attempting to extend musical palettes by introducing alternative instruments to the boring guitar format.

Anyway if you fancy it give it a go. It`s all about making your sound and having as much of a good time as possible. Also you just never know. Nowadays something off the wall by today's standards could prove to be popular with fans.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,079
All music has musical roots. Metal is very simple musically. Any instrumental mix has credibility when played well. The more you listen the more saxes you hear. They're all over the place in all genres of music.

Pre electric, the saxophone and trumpet were the electric guitar equivalent of that era. Dance bands were lung powered. The bass sax is visible in a lot of old Fred Astaire black and white films, parked at the end of the front row of the band. Electrics took over as it became cheaper and more practical to have a small dance band amplified and the sax was relegated to novelty and jazz.

The main problem you'll have when playing with electric strings and a miked up drum kit, after explaining your transposing instrument to guitarists, is dynamics. You'll need some sort of amplification and that's a whole field in itself.

Back in the 80's I used to have a transducer that clipped onto the reed. It made all sorts of effects possible and allowed for stable amplification. I don't know if they're still available but worth a look.

Once you're amplified you have all the effects available to the guitarist at your disposal including synthesised sounds and the world is your oyster.

Putting a sax in a rock band isn't a new idea but it remains a good one.
 

jrintaha

Senior Member
Messages
283
Not exactly metal either, but saxes & trombone go well with distorted cellos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejgiIL6qCIQ

Most metal stuff is played rather quickly, and the sax played quick does not sound heavy at all in my opinion. But slow stuff might work well with a bass or baritone sax.

Incidentally, I play bass in a metal band (very technically challenging stuff with tons of time signature, tempo and scale changes in just about every song), and we're probably incorporating my tenor in a mellow outro section of one of our new songs... as soon as I can play it well enough. =)
 

Mack

Senior Member
Messages
518
Instead of putting sax into rock/metal, put rock/metal into sax music - try:


Or even Led Bib. Nice Sunday morning music. They used to be fans of Metallica etc before becoming left field jazz/noise artists.
 
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altissimo

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,355
this article discusses heavy metal sax - http://www.invisibleoranges.com/2011/11/heavy-metal-saxophones-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/
and there's these -
Shining - http://youtu.be/fkgXyaTD1gs - more industrial prog, than metal, but it's heavy.. video contains flashing lights and scary looking norwegians

The Mass - http://youtu.be/WrYt7s70BnE

John Zorn dabbled with metal in the late 80's with his bands Painkiller and Naked City - http://youtu.be/d7kIarBW5Vc

there's german rock band Panzerballett - http://youtu.be/H7kDgnlU-u0

there were a few punk bands who used sax - The Damned had Lol Coxhill guest on one song - http://youtu.be/odQQnVH2jLg
and there was Laura Logic with X Ray Spex - http://youtu.be/ogypBUCb7DA

and way back when The Stooges had Steve Mackay on sax, check out Fun House - here they are back together in 2010 - http://youtu.be/HaJiVXN5TFM

I think alto cuts through a rock band better than tenor, but it depends on the band ... and the tenor player
 

What

Member
Messages
314
Wow thanks. Lots of great stuff to look at and read now. I was thinking of listening through my metal albums and talking to a few band members I know, and looking at the more common metal cord structures. Now I have lots to go on.

the more I think about it the more I can hear the sax in metal.
 

dubrosa22

Senior Member
Messages
413
For jazz-metal-avantgarde John Zorn's Naked City:
 
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dubrosa22

Senior Member
Messages
413
And his grindcore-ambient-dub band Painkiller:
 
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jrintaha

Senior Member
Messages
283
I was thinking of listening through my metal albums and talking to a few band members I know, and looking at the more common metal cord structures.
Em-Em-C-D and Em-Em-C-Am, and you have 80% of Iron Maiden's songs covered. ;}
 
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