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Beginner This question is for you Pete Thomas (with due respect)

anifalas

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My name is Lowo and I play with the 4seasonsband, if you check the "Atepa" video on youtube, I am the black man on the alto saxophone. I have been playing saxophones for about 12 years now but on your tutorial video showing the daily warm up exercises, in the intermediate one where you added a little embellishment. What did you do & how? You didn't mention, it's kind of up to the audience to go work it out. I think that detail ought to be added or at least explained for clarity's sake. I can think of quite a number of things to do to produce that sort of sound, I think this will save the beginners some time in trying to work it out. Thanks
 

Pete Thomas

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I'm not sure what you mean by embellishment. Can you tell me at what point in the video you hear the embellishment?
 

anifalas

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Good day Pete and thank you for the swift reply. I bought a copy of your DVD titled "the saxophone" about 9 years ago and the fact that it had mentioned the effect called "the fall" was a very good thing for me, it took my playing to another level especially as it forced with to go and re-familiarise myself with the chromatic scale plus it answered the question of "the fall" for me once and for all. The actual clip I am referring to is titled "Focussed practice part 1". You were using the daily warmup exercise to show possible ways of making practising less boring by using embellishments. On 0:58, 1:00 & 1:03. I think you ought have explained your actual action there. Thanks
 

Chris98

Senior Member
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I think Pete is just playing the notes around the top note in quick succession before coming down again, would this be a 'turn'?

But my understanding was that the video's intentions was to illustrate that you can extend a simple exercise by choosing to embellish certain notes once you've got the main bit of of under your fingers. The actual nature of the embellishment isn't that crucial.

Anifalas, I'm sure with your 12 years experience you embellish notes with ease and can hear better than me what Pete was playing, do you think I'm right, or is it a 'mordent'? I always get the two confused and often have to skip them in a passage as I'm still trying to get my fingers up to speed.

Best wishes,

Chris
 

Pete Thomas

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Thanks for bringing this topic up, I'd totally forgotten to reply.

Yes, it is indeed a mordent, basically a very short trill. It consists of the actual note, the note a step higher and then the note again, all played in quick succession.

I did not get into what that actual embellishment is because, as Chris pointed out, the point was to show how you just develop any exercise by adding embellishments of your choice. A bit like when you buy a prepacked meal from waitrose, they might be a picture on the front including a "serving suggestion", but they don't actually tell you what it is. You have to work out that it's piece of parsley or a knob of butter.
 

Fraser Jarvis

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Interesting, of late im using a similar kind of turn, lets say "the note" is E i step up two semitones (F#) back to the note, then drop one semi-tone (Eb) then end back on the note (E in this case) i tend to think in terms of key signatures when doing this and it always works out....but there again i guess it would do right?

So the one you mentioned Pete is called a Mordent...is there a proper name for mine? and how many recognised variants are there? BTW, whats an "aki aka chora"? i'm sure i've spelt it wrong but am sure it's something similar.
 

jthole

Member
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226
Interesting, of late im using a similar kind of turn, lets say "the note" is E i step up two semitones (F#) back to the note, then drop one semi-tone (Eb) then end back on the note (E in this case) i tend to think in terms of key signatures when doing this and it always works out....but there again i guess it would do right?
I am working with Yusuf Lateef's "Flute book at the blues" currently; pieces that are focused on expression rather than technical complexity. These are good study pieces for working out such enhancements ("versieringen", we call them). Moreover, listening to Lateef also gives me a better understanding in what he meant to say when writing his etudes.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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So the one you mentioned Pete is called a Mordent...is there a proper name for mine? and how many recognised variants are there? BTW, whats an "aki aka chora"? i'm sure i've spelt it wrong but am sure it's something similar.
acciaccatura
try looking here, everything's together and well explained:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ornament_(music)

In these ornamments, assume scale note unless something says otherwise.
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
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3,552
acciaccatura
Also called a "grace note" I believe. I tend to think of it as a fleeting glance at the "little note" before hitting the main note. It makes for quite an interesting sound if you can hit it short enough.
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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Interesting, of late im using a similar kind of turn, lets say "the note" is E i step up two semitones (F#) back to the note, then drop one semi-tone (Eb) then end back on the note (E in this case) i tend to think in terms of key signatures when doing this and it always works out....but there again i guess it would do right?

So the one you mentioned Pete is called a Mordent...is there a proper name for mine? and how many recognised variants are there? BTW, whats an "aki aka chora"? i'm sure i've spelt it wrong but am sure it's something similar.
It's basically a turn, symbol for it looks like a figure 8 on its side, but not quite completely joined into a continuous line. You would normally use notes that are in the key signature not any accidentals. It's in here - probably the same ref as quoted above.
 
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