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Trying for tone...

TimboSax

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I found an old guitar sketch I recorded a few years ago, and just recorded this over it. I'm trying to improve my tone and lose the honks and squeaks, but I listening back I think I also need to work on intonation! As always, all comments and suggestions for improvement welcome.

https://soundcloud.com/timbo_music/dreams

(PS, there are some fluffs in the backing track - it was just a sketch - but if anyone wants a copy let me know).
 

thesaxman71

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I like the whole idea of your piece, very warm, spaced out well and smooth, i will take you up on that kind offer of a copy of your backing track, we can sort that on PM later, thanks.

Anyway, a couple of tips as i see you seek constructive feedback and in my eyes that should include warts n all feedback, i am sure you will not mind me being straight to the point and constructive as i do tend to think people on this forum tend to leave a lot of "nice" comments and less 'warts n all' comments for picking out things to work on...
Slow your vibrato down unless you intend on sounding like Bechet, naah thought not, his vibrato is damn OTT but was maybe ok for the time he was around.
Also try less swoops/bends up to notes, use them sparingly as they can be a nice effect and it will sound much better hearing them a few times well placed instead of hearing them most the time on most notes.
Try to hit straighter notes and this will really develop your tone. After you developed a sound you are happy with and can play clear and precise then it is better to add the 'effects' like swoops, bends etc etc, not before as it will only give you bad habits in the long run...
Hope these tips help,
I only say this from similar advice that was given to me years ago and I was so glad i followed it, i tackled these little habits at that point and it has saved me the huge headache of correcting bigger bad habits in later times.
regards,
Ian
p.s.
Wade if you read this i am starting to sound like you fella! haha
 
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Wade Cornell

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Excellent advice from Ian that you should definitely take note of. Most important from my perspective is that you played melodically as this backing demands it. The tune you came up with fits perfectly. Maybe I could play it with better tone, but I don't think I could spin a better tune. We can all improve our tone, and dexterity, but spinning tunes is a talent. Keep this as the basis of your playing and it will serve you well.
 

TimboSax

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Thanks Ian and Wade.

Great comments, 'critical bastards' always welcome >:)

I'm going to concentrate on the two things for the next little while: vibrato and hitting the notes dead on.

I must admit to not really having a clue about vibrato: I often find myself doing a guitarist's wiggle of the instrument to get some! Not heard of Bechet before, but just listened and see what you mean. Distinctive, but not really what I'm after...

Ian, you asked for the backing track, here's a dropbox link:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/zyytpwstisio3os/dreamsbt.mp3

Cheers,

Tim
 

Jamesmac

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As I said I enjoyed the music, and I wouldn't make a point about the actual , ie being in full control of the sax. I heard music, and a guy trying to control the sax and play music. I don't feel in complete control of my newly aquired Tenor Sax and MP. myself, so I know the feeling.
 

thesaxman71

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As I said I enjoyed the music, and I wouldn't make a point about the actual , ie being in full control of the sax. I heard music, and a guy trying to control the sax and play music. I don't feel in complete control of my newly aquired Tenor Sax and MP. myself, so I know the feeling.
but the point being once you are in control of it , using some tips i made will help that, you will bring the music more alive and inject more feel if you are able to control and put out what you really want to play
 

TimboSax

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Thanks James. At the moment I sometimes feel as if I'm just hanging on for the ride!

I hear what Ian is saying though: right now this is the absolute best that I can play (this is why I record these things, as markers to put down so I can go back and gauge any progress). What I'd like to do is have the option of different vibrato (which i don't at the moment, it's all or nothing), and the ability to choose when to play the swoops (which, again, I don't really at the moment: some of them are there because I honestly think they go with the music, but some will be there as a means of hitting the note eventually. I just need to get the ability to hit the note straight off, and then use the swoops when I want to, not when my ability level dictates.) It's all good, and I have a lot to learn :D

This tune was the first one, though, where I had the music come up in my head and was able to play it first time (more often than not), rather than hunting around for the note. That's a big thing for me: being able to relate the finger positioning to the notes.

Even my wife said it sounded like a sax, which is quite a major breakthrough in the Timbo household :thumb:
 

Colin the Bear

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You've come a long way in a short time. Practice will sort all your problems but bear in mind, the better you get the slower the progress. You have a natural musicality and a good ear which disguises your relative newness to the instrument. Keep going.
 

Chris

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You really are heading in the right direction Timbo, a good ear and being musical will serve you well with the sax..

Chris..
 

Profusia

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Thanks Chris. it's getting there. Slowly, but it's getting there :)

Not that slowly in your case mate!

Trying to catch up on my listening and finally managed a listen to this last night. VERY nice indeed well done. So now you can play your own guitar backing AND improvise sax solos over the top. You're a composer, arranger, soloist, one man band, the works! That's very cool.
 

TimboSax

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Thanks Thomas.

Yeah, I've got the guitar, got the sax, got the bass, drums, etc...doesn't mean I know how to use them properly!

I've got a hammer as well, but I don't know how to build a house. ;}
 

Profusia

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Thanks Thomas.

Yeah, I've got the guitar, got the sax, got the bass, drums, etc...doesn't mean I know how to use them properly!

I've got a hammer as well, but I don't know how to build a house. ;}

THAT track says you do! (Although you might crack a few bricks with that hammer!)
 

TimboSax

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Wade sent me a track with him doing a quick improv over the backing. I like :thumb:

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