March 9, 2019 at 5:41 pm #83165
I just bought an Otto Link Super Tone master 8* and I am using Vandoran 2 reads. I would not say that upgrading was a miracle sound change, however it did provide greater dynamics. I can play very soft low notes now and I can bend the notes – all very cool. But I am still not producing the sound that Johnny does. OK now please spare me all of the knee jerk responses like “the biggest improvement to changing sound comes from the user not the mouth piece” etc – yes I am aware of that. I need some not so common advice because I have already applied all of the common advice. I have watched sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo many videos and they all say just about the same thing – drop the jaw, relax the embouchure, do this with the upper lip/that with the lower, use the diaphragm, check for leaks, play loooooooong tones etc, etc. I have done all of that and following all of that advice was good because now I can produce very nice and steady and in tune – boring sounds. I even played a very nice top-end intermediate sax and still no Johnny sound. Yes I know Johnny has is own sound – we all have to find our own sound. I found my sound but I cannot produce it. Johnny’s is my sound. Something else is missing. My top end sounds great, very bottom sounds great, middle notes are smooth and in tune and boring. Now keep in mind, I am 53 and not an idiot and I have seen many online sax videos, but there is something not covered in the online videos. Something that allows us to sound like Johnny but I have not seen so far. A sax friend of mine said to get those notes that johnny plays (such as in first date – which is what I am trying to play), you have to use diaphragm yes – but also your chest and vocals and produce a humming sound (he was not talking about growling) i.e. singing while blowing. What? Johnny are you doing this?March 9, 2019 at 6:27 pm #83166
Clean, perfect and yet booooorrrrring sound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ntq0l4zbdPw – 1:32. This is not me but it sounds almost like me (I think I sound a little better – of course). See the timbre, intonation, sound whatever u want to call it sucks. It sounds too clarinet like. Where is the electricity? Even if I blow harder, this is all I get. No punch! Again – Jupiter Tenor 770 blah blah
Johnny what reeds brands and hardness do u use?March 9, 2019 at 6:48 pm #83167
Johnny your video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCPglgwmzuk Growling to Get That Nasty Sound, has a cool growl – but that is not what I am talking about. Your sound is very nice on the normal tone at 53:sec. Your sax at 53 sec does not sound like a clarinet like this guy at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ntq0l4zbdPw – 1:32. Why? Remember I already have a descent student sax and Ottlo Link Super Tone Master MP. I know I need to also but practice, but just practicing without know what to practice is not good practicing. I know how to practice cuz I did it for 5 years on guitar. I need specifics – meaning what are you doing or posses which that guy does not? I hate saxophones that sound like clarinets and in the middle range that is what I sound like. Puke!!March 9, 2019 at 9:54 pm #83169Michael BishopParticipant
Really cool to hear Johnny’s sound has turned you on to the Sax, don’t blame you at all 🙂 Johnny’s sound is unique to say the least and it’s very distinct. Even if we didn’t see a video of him playing, we could still recognize his playing simply by the sound. That’s really cool you’ve discovered your sound and you know how you wanna sound.
Johnny is using Guardala MPs and not Otto Link Tone Edge MPs. The facing/chambers of the Guardalas is completely different than an Otto Link, and this will have an impact on your sound. Guardalas have a lot more ‘punch’ to them than an Otto Link does. Otto Links are no where near as bright and edgy as Guardalas. Have you looked into the Guardala line of MPs? If you’re serious about getting that Blues, Rock and Roll sound, then you definitely look into a Guardala. https://www.howtoplaysaxophone.org/guardala-saxophone-mouthpieces/
In conjunction with having the right MP, getting that raw, edgy, rock and roll sound comes from pushing from your diaphragm like crazy and keeping an open throat. Yes, some sax players will hum a little bit while playing. It’s not quite as strong as growling–it’s more of a ‘humming’ type of technique.
It’s also important to have the right concept of sound in your head. You gotta hear the sound in your head before you can play it. Even with a powerful MP like a Guardala–which is designed for getting that sound your after–it won’t do you any good if you’re listening to Kenny G or Ben Webster all the time. To the other extreme, listening to King Curtis and Junior Walker won’t do us any good if the MP were using is limiting us from getting the Sound we wanna get.March 10, 2019 at 12:32 pm #83205SimonParticipant
I think you need some time to get used to new mouthpiece.March 10, 2019 at 1:24 pm #83211Michael BishopParticipant
@ Simon For sure–like you said, it takes quite a bit of practice to readjust to a different MP.
@ John One other thing to remember is that, even with an MP set up like Johnny has, we’re not going to sound exactly like Johnny. Our internal anatomy affects the way we sound.March 10, 2019 at 1:28 pm #83212PeteParticipant
Welcome to the art of saxophone playing and all the problems we have over our lifetime, Johnnys sound is his sound not yours
you will get your own sound one day?March 10, 2019 at 3:32 pm #83223JohnnyKeymaster
hey John, well, lots of good replies for you so far. I can chime in on a couple things…
the otto link is a good mp but it’s the one that Dave Guardala used as a base to develop his, so they are in my opinion and many others just a bit more advanced and better obviously. But you’ll do well to spend some time with the otto.
My reed ‘s are 3’s (medium) but that doesn’t mean if you’re on a 2 you should jump to a 3. if the 2 doesn’t feel super hard then by all means see what a 2.5 feels like. If it’s just a little too hard stay with the 2.5 but try sanding it down a bit si the difference isn’t as great.
The natural cane reeds I used for decades are Vandoren Java. Now I use Fiberreed Onyx.March 10, 2019 at 4:00 pm #83225brother cavefishParticipant
from my experiance the super tone masters are very inconsistent , most need railwork and tip work,, I had 2 sold them, they are not reed friendly nor does the reed fit the tip, . most refacers will tell you the same,, Honestly if your having MP issues this is not the best MP to start up on, there are many better to chooose from, V16 rubber are ok, Gerber Trad are great, Durgas well they just growl on their own, most Theo wanne are good for growling, slant sig,, bari hybrid,,, personally i wont tough an otto link unless its rubber and i need to see the rails and tip, or buy a cheap one and reface it, but Otto rubbers are good for my ballads and slow greasy blues, spread out and washed away sound, there are many videos by UK sax that plays MP choices, look and listen, Steve Neff does demo on most everything worthy , you can here your sound first hand, , then buy and sell buy and sell till you find your match,, reeds well there another nightmare,, i found V16s, trade, select reserve unfiled, Hemke, and Javas are nice, (actually got hooked on Javas from Johnny) , that used to be his reed i believe for yearsMarch 10, 2019 at 4:03 pm #83226brother cavefishParticipant
i agree dont try to sound like Johnny or anyone else ,from what i see , Johnny likes his growls and fall offs, that is a technique , but his style,, do your own sound, ,, it will happen later, and each MP and reed will change , this takes many months if not years
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