Home Alt Forums General Questions Seeking Skat Sounds?!

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    Hello Everybody! 🙂 itz me ‘the ass on the sax’ lol
    (akin to an ass at the lyre / one ignorant of music)

    Heya, check out

    1. the link below about bebop skat sounds.

    2. King Kurtis air, Da-Duh-Dah

    Thinkin’ am missing out here on my continuing musical education hear and lacking bigtime in somethink ..

    Do you think of riffs like, for the sake of example, say, sha ba la bup dada bah ??
    Does it helps you remember thangs? like blues / rox licks / songs ??

    There must be a gateway here 4 sure / have you been there and be so kind as to share the path? Shed some light?
    Ya know wot i mean? itz not you can sing/skat re re mi mi la si do hey?? Is it? Please help. Good karma to you!

    Thanx in anticipation!!

    The “Easy Easy Bebop” Method of Learning Jazz as a Language

    ————- / —————


    When it comes to instruments you blow into, words play a very useful role, not just for the player, but also for the band leader / teacher to communicate to the player how the note or phrase should be articulated by the player.

    The words can be used in two different ways,

    1st way is to indicate the length of the note ex play a ‘Da’ and play a ‘Dah’ the 1st one generally means play the 1st note shorter than the 2nd note. When you get into difficult music sheets, it’s a lot easier to learn the timing in words rather than counting 1,2,3 etc . When you look at a new sheet, its very easy to play the timing in your head using da dah dat du bap etc (it is a skill to learn) and it’s far more reliable than counting numbers. So you can go da da dat da dah da in your head and hum the various notes on the sheet – you cant do that by counting numbers on the sheet. Every jazz learning music book will use words.

    2nd way, and with sax’s when you blow the same key, you can change the pitch of the notes by saying different words while you are blow – get your tuner and watch the difference when you blow a key with a long ‘eeeee’ sound and compare it when you blow with a long ‘ooooooo’ sound or a long a ‘aaaaaaa’ sound. example In jazz, you’ll see words being used like ‘du’, ‘ba’, ‘de’ and the band leader will say i want to hear like you’r saying ‘du’ ‘be’ ‘du’ ‘eh’ ‘eh’ and if you word the sax notes like you saying ‘du’ etc it will improve your phrasing technique a hell of lot.

    There’s no general information on wording as different teacher use different words, but it all boils down to the same thing.

    So next, try playing a simple music sheet timing exercise using words to keep in time instead of counting numbers and see the difference, also try and hear the difference when you play the same sax key by blowing out in exactly the same way you would speak the word (embouchure wise)


    Even Sinatra said it…do be do be do!


    Thanks kind Sirs 🙂

    I saw band down the bowling club last Friday night doing, “The Way You Make Me Feel”. They played in E. I checked Dr Google looks like original key. I wanna learn this song and jam with them on it soon. F#
    Could you help me learn it via scatting please?
    What sounds might one use being with respect to James’ insight per duration? I’m totally open to suggestions here, I like ba da la sha to start thangs rolling. Please help, thanking you!
    Much appreciated

    Here’s easy one in G – and will find one in E later ….


    listen to bars 20 to 21,
    in bar 20 you should be hearing
    da dah da dahda dahda
    in bar 21 you should be hearing
    daaah dadadaah

    try 20 – be dab be dubee dubee
    try 21 – bah daba-daah

    you have to come up with phrases that suit your local lingo,
    but make sure you give identical words the same playing length.
    ex all the ‘be’ words would be played for the same length

    Someone else in the forums, might have better words, but the whole idea is they play the same role. If you start using this technique, when you jump to a new music sheet, you’ll find you can reuse these words all over the place. Makes sheet play a lot more sexy playing that way, and you’ll find you groove a lot better – swing to the music sunshine.


    Now that you’ve tried using words for timing, listen to this simple tune

    it’s very easy to sing the words of the song in time with the youtube track – ‘Close your eyes…’ etc..

    But what is also easy, now try singing the words ‘da da dah’ instead of the words ‘Close your eyes’ along to the youtube track. What you’ve now got is the perfect timing for the sax keys without even looking at any timing on the music sheet.

    So if you play by ear, you can now play by ear in time.

    Also you can take it a step further by reverse engineering the ‘da da dah’ words and write out the timing of the keys on a blank music sheet…..

    good luck


    Yo James,

    Thank you very much for your considerste time and wonderful insight, very much appreciated. You beauty! All my lovin’ too. I realize there is no magic pill here but hard work required. Ya got me rolling.
    I’m getting over being way tone deaf so I need to work out a way to supplement the da da dah timing with tonal intonation eg la tra sha la da. From the Latin, I shall either find a way or I will make one. Hahabaha. It prob starts with Do Re Mi from, “The Sound of Music” being to learn to play by ear and in time. Also the number thang e.g. say 1 flat3 5 etc is certainly helping. I gotta long ways to go … will get bavk to yoh in a month or so ok.
    From a guitar teacher I know – An amateur practices till he gets it right, a professional practices until he can’t get it wrong.
    Hey mate I like your choice of song! If you check out Scott Paddock on YouTube he always seem to close his eyes when teaching and playing riffs. You dig? And as Jr Walker might sing, potatoes or tomatoes? lol

    Again, thank you very much, James.
    All the best- cheers Mark


    try everything once, you might surprise yourself, but if you don’t try, you might regret having never tried at all. Opportunity knocks and opens a door, step inside to find out whats in store.

    In my experience when i first started using words in relation to timing and intonation – in the early stages i was changing and refining a lot of the words i used over a period of several months.

    In some cases when changing from ‘swing’ music to ‘non swing’ music you will be using a different set of words. ex in swing music if you play a pair of 1/8th notes, the 1st note is played longer than the 2nd note – my teacher uses the english word DerBy as the Der part is sounded longer than the By part (the “y” in “By” pronounced as a very short “e” sound). Whereas in non swing music just play the pair of 1/8th notes equally as ‘dada’.

    What i’m trying to say, don’t expect to start out with a perfect set of words, as eventually you will refine them. At least start out with any old crap words which is better than nothing, out of chaos comes order.


    Heya, James, i love you like a brother too mate and assuredly your cave is in order.
    And your sax playing doesn’t even sound underwater !!

    Check Grace out here ~


    Good stuff.

    One of things i do is close my eyes, and visualise where all the key positions are on the sax, then i hold a 12inch ruler in my hand and then play all the finger positions on the ruler with my eyes shut as well as imagining the sounds.

    The best tried and tested way to learn to play by ear, is to set yourself a goal of learning to play 25 songs by ear. Don’t use a music book to find the key position at all! use your ears and fumble around the keys on the sax to find the correct key. It’s just like any other skill, like typists learn to type without looking at the keys on a typewriter.

    The hardest bit is the first 12 songs, if you persevere, after that gets a lot easier to find your way round the keys by ear.

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