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Members Saxophone Music Videos #1

By July 11, 2013 March 22nd, 2015 saxophone music videos by members

Saxophone Music Videos From Members

sax-video

This is part one of this popular post… don’t forget to check out parts 2 and 3 above for more saxophone performance videos submitted by members of HowToPlaySaxophone.org

136 Comments

  • Tenor Sax Growly Funk

    Submitted by Alex from Italy

    Jhonny!…i used a tenor Amati super classic made in 1980…and i found inda web an original metal mouthpiece…very rare…is similiar at the well-know dukoff muothpiece…aperture 8 and i used reed rico royale 2.5 for training and rico plasticover nr. 3 when i play live…in my video i create a base track for my self and, after a well traspositions, i improvvise under whit a (tone in C) combined major and minor pentatonic scale, i recorded in to my own smaller closet self builded by a condensator pre-amplified microphone so i add a riverbero’s effect and in this way the sound is more clean….
    i study a improvvisation about 1 years but i detached from a classical jazz improvvisation and i start to try to immprovvise on a funky beat….its more funny! now i like to composer a self base track in different tone and improvvise under during my live into local jazz pubs….in finally, i dont like play a cover…i like to play and i like to show how my music starting from my heart to my mouth…this is art…and this is the all musician’s gol…i think….

    bye alex…

    • Johnny Johnny says:

      Reminded me of a little bit of Gato Barbieri who always played with at least some growl to his tone. You got it happening Alex, way to go..many people have a hard time getting the growl, it’s a good accomplishment.

      One thing I noticed was your intonation goes a little off the more you growl. This is natural because we are making big adjustments to our breathing and embouchure when doing that.

      As you increase the growl it’s necessary to adjust the tuning. In your case I believe it goes a little sharp so try less tightening up with the embouchure… remember, to play sharper we tighten up, to play flatter we loosen up… keep workin’ it!

    • Kevin Kevin says:

      Alex, The results you got with your recording- clarity, reverb, etc. I thought were very good. I also liked the backing track- catchy bass line!
      Your tone at the start was very pure, smooth and well in tune. Though the intent of your video was to showcase the “growl”, I found myself rewinding to the start of the video to hear your sound before you added it.
      Sure would like to hear you play a “Smooth Jazz” piece…

    • SaxoKlaus SaxoKlaus says:

      Hi Alex, great sound , I love that growl sound… Ciao, Klaus

    • Thanks Jhonny for The compare to gato Barbieri…. He is my favorite sax player…and i keep working to high note intonation!!!….thanks 4 your technical Sentence!

      Bye alex

    • Thanks guys 4 u opinion!!…i’m uploading a new video..Also 4 your enjoy kevin!!…
      Hi Alex

  • Kevin Kevin says:

    Sara Smile
    Submitted by Kevin from Michigan

    Johnny,
    This was my first attempt to record my sax, make a .wmv, upload to internet, etc.
    I’m disappointed with these newbie results, but hey got my feet wet, and have a reference from which to improve.
    The recorded sound of my sax was also a let down. The sound I hear near the instrument was beginning to sound “OK” to my ears, but this recording gives me a whole different perspective about my “tone”, and I have more instrument, mouthpiece, reed trials ahead of me to get that desired sound…

    I’m 55, l wanted to learn the sax, so bought my YAS-52 march 2012 and began my learning process.
    I just bought a Jody Jazz HR 7m mouthpiece that I’m playing in the video, and use a Forestone 2-1/2 synthetic reed.
    I haven’t yet even tried to play a tenor sax, but am thinking the “sound” I ultimately want to achieve will likely require a tenor…

  • hi kevin,4 my opinion you must to improve yuor breathing tecniqnues and u need to keep your focus on high note’s intonation… but yuor articolations is not bad!…
    bye alex!

  • Johnny Johnny says:

    Kevin, you didn’t say if you’re reading from a chart or have it memorized but whatever, you play it with very good rythme and feel..timing is excellent, which is good because feel is a hard thing to teach.

    As for future experiments with equipment I would be interested to hear the difference you get with a good cane reed. Maybe try one of the popular brands like Vandoren or Rico. Sometimes we have to blow thru half a box to get a good one but then it’s good, and I’ve never tried a synthetic that can beat out a cane for good tone.

    When you practice, play twice as loud as you’re playing now. Some notes have a waver which tend to go a bit flat…this is your sax telling you “give me more air”

    That extra air has got to come from the diaphragm. Once you get this going be more dominating with how you handle your notes, specifically how you end them. Don’t let them disappear or fade out on their own, make sure to stop them when YOU want with the tip of your tongue. It’s these little things that can make a big difference in how you’re coming across as an instrumentalist… keep good air going right until you end it with your tongue.

    • Kevin Kevin says:

      Johnny, thanks for the critic. Upon hearing my recording before submitting it, I was telling myself- start and end the notes with more “something”… so your comments were good to hear and give me things to practice!
      The backing track is a Sam Levine karaoke track that I purchased and downloaded from Itunes. I also purchased the track with him playing it, and transcribed it note for note using “MuseScore” software. So that exercise of writing the notes in their played rhythm helped with the feel, and since Sam recorded it with some improvisational riffs it helps me learn something towards that as well…
      Plugging in a synthetic reed and having that be consistent from practice to practice was something that to me seemed helpful during my learning struggles. With all the maintenance, sorting and short life of cane reeds, I’m reluctant to try that again, but I will take your advice since I’m now perhaps up to a level where I want and need the tone to improve…

  • bill thomas says:

    I am new to playing, but not new at listening. Not bad at all. Sounds pretty good to me.
    People like you are the reason I don’t put a recording up on here. ha ha ha
    Seriously, sounds good to me.
    Bill

  • bill thomas says:

    That comment was for Kevin, and I will take to heart Johnny’s positive criticism.
    Bill

  • Fever
    Submitted by Joseph

    I’m 70 years old, after finally giving up on years of trying to play guitar.

    I should have tried the sax sooner; I’d be much farther along.

    I bought a new Yamaha tenor 62-2 sax about six months ago. I’m using the Yamaha mouthpiece and ligature, and in the video I’m using a Fibracell 2 1/2 reed.

    Those first two videos posted are pretty good.

    • Johnny Johnny says:

      The audio level is low but if you crank it up you can hear an awesome natural reverb in the room, I know engineers that would kill for this!

      Anyway Joseph, nice horn indeed and I can hear a beautiful full tenor sound trying to get out. Which Yamaha mouthpiece is it? I’d start there, and like I always say, see what a real cane reed can do as well. Have you tried them and prefer the synthetic or what?
      I think the reed is giving you problems, every time you hit your low E it breaks. Seems to be a little too stiff. That melody should be lightly tongued which may be tough to do with your current setup.

    • Kevin Kevin says:

      Joseph, I agree with Johnny that you have purchased a good instrument and have a good tenor “tone” going. I know I had more “squeeks/squaaks” sneaking out on the low notes when I was at the 6 month juncture…
      Keep up the momentum. I would like to hear you play a piece with a backing track!

    • SaxoKlaus SaxoKlaus says:

      Hi Joseph ! Sound great to me. I really like this tune ‘Fever’. Would it be possible to transmitte the Notes to me ? my email klaus.gscheidlinger@gmail.com
      We might could share some notes out of my archiv.. Kind regards, Klaus from Austria

  • Johnny and Kevin, thanks for the comments.

    I’m using the Yamaha 4C mouthpiece that came with the sax. I’ve used cane reeds as well, 1 1/2, 2 and 2 1/2.

    I’ve been using the Fibracell more often because I seem to be playing “too wet” lately with the canes. A couple of times, the left hand keys even got wet. Maybe my embouchure was getting too loose?

    I played this in my home theater, about 22′ x 20′, which is the reason for the dark background — brown side walls and a black wall behind the screen, with wall to wall carpet.

    I thought it gave me a much better sound than my usual practice area, my office/computer room with hardwood floors.

    I may practice more downstairs, and use the white screen as the background for any future videos.

  • Thanks for adding this feature to the site Johnny, SO COOL to actually SEE members playing 🙂

  • Summertime on alto:

    Wade in the water on tenor:

    Hi Johnny,

    here is my first attempt recording me playing my horns.

    Summertime is played on my H. Couf Royalist alto sax which has been build in the 70s. The neck is a selmer USA, mp is an otto link STM 5* with a queen 3 1/2 reed.

    Wade in he water is played on my Hammerschmidt Klingsor tenor which has been build in the late 70s. MP is an otto link STM 6* with a vandoren java #3.

    The recordings are from a practice session at home without any backings.

    To my person: I am 46 years old and started playing sax about 2 1/2 years ago. I stared with alto and extended to tenor in march this year.

    When i was 14 i played the trumpet in a church brass band for one year and now 30 years later i am with the sax.

    Comments helping me becoming better are welcome.

    • Johnny Johnny says:

      Hi Dirk, nice going. The first thing I noticed is your embouchure… looks like you would do better by putting a bit more of the mouthpiece in your mouth. Try biting up a little further, just a little at a time.

      The other thing that’s very obvious is your vibrato. Vibrato is a good thing to use but there are different ways to do it and different ways to practice etc. While I can’t say everything about such a big subject, I would try to not do it at the same intensity all the time. Take some time to focus on it and try to make the waves go in different degrees – very wide, and then very narrow. Hope you understand…it’s a big topic for here and that’s about all I can really say in this comment.

    • Hi Johnny,

      thanks for the comment. My teeth are about 1cm away from the tip of the mp. I will try to get it a bit more in my mouth.

      The vibrato is quiet anoying because as i atarted i wasn’t able to produce any vibrato at all and now i cant’t get rid of it. May be playing long tones for a while could help.

  • Thanks Jhonny for The compare to gato Barbieri…. He is my favorite sax player…and i keep working to high note intonation!!!….thanks 4 your technical Sentence!

    Bye alex

  • SaxoKlaus SaxoKlaus says:

    Aint’t No Sunshine
    Submitted by Klaus from Austria

    Here is a tune ‘Aint t no sunshine’ just downloaded and teached by Johnny. Clear, there is some room for improvement, but anyway, great fun !!

    • Johnny Johnny says:

      It’s coming along Klaus, some good stuff there. I like that you are blowing good and loud, this is important to develop a good tone.

      Couple of thoughts…

      You rythme is jerky at spots so playing with the backing track (or metronome) can help you with this. I would memorize the main melody only and play along with the music until it feels natural. After you can add the next parts and so on.

      I think there’s a better way to trill that F# note as it’s a little rough – hold it down while fingering the A.


  • I started to learn to play the Saxophone 2 and half months ago–I looked around locally at the Music Shops, and even at a local school that teaches Music. Virtually no one here teaches how to play the Saxophone. I found Johnny’s site online and things started happening from there. I’ve been working with a metronome and little by little it’s helping a lot, as well as all of the fundamental exercises we find on the home page. I’m getting there and in about 3 months or so I’ll do another video, helps to monitor my progress 🙂 Peace to everyone!

    • I do know that I made a couple of mistakes while playing this-and admittingly I was tired from studying today–8 months to go before I finish my degree as an RN!–but I’m a beginner and it’s not realistic to think that anything I play right now is gonna be perfect, going through the learning process and above all just wanna have fun with it.

    • Johnny Johnny says:

      Michael, this is great after only 2 months! Good for you for showing us and for attempting a “real” song.

      When we read a piece of music, we must always check the “time signature” which is at the very beginning. In this case you will see a B flat, therefore every time you encounter a B you must play a B flat. In your performance you are playing a B natural and so it’s the wrong note… the good news is you’re getting all your notes out and so keep going you’re doing great!

  • SaxoKlaus SaxoKlaus says:

    Thanks for your comments, Johnny.
    Indeed I need to work on the rythme..

  • Thanks Johnny, your website as really helped me. I thought that I did hit a Bb; I know I was supposed to. I’ll check it out. I will say that my Saxophone does need servicing; taking it this week. The Octave key has been getting stuck and it’s been driving me a little crazy as you can imagine. Pads need to be replaced too; but that’s all getting done this week; It was a used Student Sax. I was playing with the new mouthpiece; Yamaha 4C and the Rovner Ligature and the difference is like night and day from what this student Sax came with. I’ll be playing it shortly with the backtrack music, one step at a time.

  • I COMPOSED THIS SONG FOR MY WIFE…THE NAME IS NATASHA…, SHE IS SO SWEET BUT SOMETIMES SHE BECAME IN A ANGRY DEVIL!!!..ABOUT THE PIECE:
    i wrote this by only 5 notes: D E Gb G A…I USED A CLASSICAL JAZZ STRUCTURE QUESTION – ASWER…ABOUT THE BASE TRACK:
    I FOUD THIS BASE ON A YOUTUBE..I TRANSPOSED IN A GOOD TONE FOR TENOR SAX.. (I THINK)..AND THIS IS A RESULTS….I HOPE IS GREAT 4 U EARS!::
    BYE ALEX

    • Johnny Johnny says:

      ya, cool melody and groove Alex.
      Your wife must have liked it!
      Your sax is out of tune with the track…maybe sharp I think.
      The problem sometimes with getting a backing track and then transposing etc is anything can happen. Maybe your sax is in tune with itself but this track is not in perfect A 440 pitch so you either have to adjust the track, if you have the software or you must adjust the sax.

      In this case, it’s not a lot, so a slight mouthpiece adjustment might do it. Sometimes the track is so off that it’s too hard to make the sax get in tune with it.

    • ya Jhonny thanks…i havent a software but 4 the future i’ll do much attention during a base tracks choice..but what you think about my interpretation & about my timbre??
      hi Alex!!

      • Johnny Johnny says:

        Besides the tuning, your actual sax tone is quite smooth and full. Very nice to listen too. Are you always using a 2 1/2 reed? I would be interested to see you experiment with different mp’s and maybe a #3 reed???

    • Kevin Kevin says:

      Nice piece Alex! Great 4 the ears!
      My only hopefully constructive comment is that the simplicity of the 5 note composition for me feels like your not giving us as much as we want to hear. Need to showcase some of those “mad” skills, give the dynamics a wider range from soft to loud.
      That would in my opinion make for a more “inspiring” result.
      Great job though!

    • Ok kevin!….i’ll try 4 the next pieces…However i thiks when u used a simple structure u Are able to do
      A mad thiks whit more semplicity….

      Thaks kev.

      Jhonny!…i’ll try whit another setup….thaks Jhonny!

      Bye guys. Alex

  • Hey Johnny, we actually just got back from taking my Sax to the Music repair shop and they said that it’s out of tune; which is to be expected with a used alto Sax but said that it’s in awesome condition; nothing that servicing can’t solve and said I will be good to go for quite some time on this Sax. I was playing a few small tunes for them to show them where I’ve noticed it needs attention and when I told them that I have been playing for a little over 2 months, the repair man told me outright he thought I was lying. I played-they asked me to- the falling in love song by Elvis and Killing me softly for them and they told me that it takes most player months to be able to hold nice, long, clean notes that I played. I don’t know about that, I’m just happy to be learning how to play the Sax after 17 years of waiting to get my hands on one. When he told me that, I just smiled and said to him that I’m only going to continue to get better 🙂 I’m on page 54, taking my time to learn it all right and avoid developing bad habits. I bought your killer blues ebook just to have it for when I’m ready and my wife checked it out. She tells me that by the time I learn everything in that book…………..I’ll be a Sax player 🙂

  • Leny Nigro Leny Nigro says:

    Johnny B Goode
    Submitted by Leny

    the tutones@the fine grind ( chuck berry) this is where my video it…thanks leny

  • Johnny Johnny says:

    Go Leny Go!
    Hey that’s a pretty cool trio you got there. Shouldn’t it be called the thretones? Very entertaining and you sound really good Leny.

  • Kevin Kevin says:

    Ain’t No Sunshine
    Submitted by Kevin

    Johnny,
    “Midnight Sax”. Don’t know who does the sax melody, but I was inspired by the swing feel and improvisation. So I notated it to try to learn it. It was played on a tenor in the original, so there were some low notes I had to change in my version played.
    This was recorded using a Zoom 8-track digital recorder($110 on ebay), using a Beringer condensor mic($60 on ebay), and using one of the mic effects in the Zoom recorder.
    There was no backing track for this, so I put the volume of my Alto loud enough to be heard above the original recording.
    Since recording my sax last week for my 1st video upload, taking your advice, listening closely to the tone, and fiddling with mic/effects I feel like I made some noticeable improvements. Perhaps the biggest being my embouchure position(not being position to sound so bright).
    Should’ve fixed the bad note a 2:05ish, but got to learn how to do that first on my recorder (without having to record the whole thing again!)
    Perhaps it’s hopeful thinking on my part…but I think this is a step or two in the improvement direction…

    • Johnny Johnny says:

      Kevin, yes, I agree, there is a definite improvement in your sound, comes across as fuller and maybe more in tune but it’s too hard to tell because you did a very difficult thing… and that is to play along side another recording with lead sax in it!!
      This is an almost impossible thing to do. Good practice mind you, but not recommended for such a recording.
      Anyway, keep it up cause otherwise sounding very nice.

  • SaxoKlaus SaxoKlaus says:

    Hi Alex, Natascha sounds great !! Really well done ! Molto bene !! Ciao , Klaus

  • James James says:

    Nice sax playing there, Leny.

  • paddy jordan says:

    with regards to alex use of five notes kevin its the level of skill rather than the use of notes that can achieve the dynamics you refer to even less notes would suffice alex is is on the right track kind regards paddy

    • Kevin Kevin says:

      Alex, Paddy,
      In retrospect I would withdraw that part of my comment, and agree with both of you. Please disregard those words, but I would emphasize the last part of my statement- “Great Job”…

  • Johnny, this is great. The chance to make a video and have you help us novice sax players with your professional comments,corrections and tips. Warm regards from sunny Los Angeles California.

    • For sure, for sure Marc Justiniano! I was really happy too that Johnny added this aspect of us beginner players of being able to upload videos for Johnny to check out, it really helps to know what you’re doing right and wrong. By the way, if you haven’t gotten Johnny’s ebook “How to play the Saxophone”; do yourself a favor and buy it. Everything that he teaches in his book is worth WAY MORE than the price he sells it for. He could have easily of offered to sell it for way more than he does. AND BY THE WAY JOHNNY: I got my student Alto back from servicing and one of the valves wasn’t closing/opening as it should, made my Bb sound just like a B–ironic because I started learning yesterday the Bb major scale in your ebook and learned that there is more than 1 way to hit a Bb; I didn’t know that when I uploaded Killing Me Softly here 🙂

  • Johnny Johnny says:

    Ya, I figured something was up with your sax cause it didn’t sound like a Bb.
    After you feel comfortable with the fingering for Bb learn at least 3 of them (there are 4) There is a complete video lesson for this.

    • I’ve been taking my time and learning everything the right way, I’m not in a race; and that includes all the videos. For me, I had to take my time in the “Gs’ in 3s”; in the beginning it’s not quite as easy as it looks:) It’s mind-boggling to see pros play like they do–hitting 8th and 16th notes so quickly and so good. I’ll do another upload in a couple of months, help to monitor my progress. And I do plan on booking a private lesson with you Johnny, right now the ebook answers just about every question that I have, really cool!

  • Kevin Kevin says:

    Johnny,
    Haven’t seen any new video’s added lately. My intention was to perhaps go a month for my next future video, so my improvement would be more noticeable. But since the Blog is a bit slow, thought I would post another to hopefully stimulate some comments.
    I’ll not name this piece to see if anyone recognizes it and can name it. It was originally played/recorded on a soprano sax. Perhaps my tone favors that somewhat maybe because subconsciously I’m trying to sound like the original recording. Hope I can subconsciously get the sound of a tenor sax out of this alto in the future LOL…
    So I’ve been working on Long tones and Octaves along with a tuner, and I ‘ve been experimenting with mic, eq, and effects. This time the effect was a “real plate” added to my instrument track at mixdown. Hopefully my intonation is improving…
    Anyway hope this helps get some Blog activity. Please critique it guys. My last post didn’t get any comments (accept Johnny’s), so it must not have went over so well…
    Hopefully this one will appeal to someone out there???

    • Johnny Johnny says:

      Hey Kevin, you are making huge strides my friend, time to be proud! When I jumped up to your first video you are sounding like a different player. I hope others see what practicing long tones and octaves can do. You went an extra step to the good and used a tuner as well…the difference is big. Also, you are taking better command of your notes, like starting and ending them, this is important to making anyone sound more polished and professional (intonation too)
      I noticed quite a bit of embellishments which for the most part came across nicely. As you work on thos also consider doing big long glissandos perhaps. I did a lesson video on those which you might want to check out. New mouthpiece for you here?
      Sorry but I didn’t recognize the tune, but regardless it was a pleasure to listen to you play it.

    • I recognize that tune!! We sing it at my church – All to Jesus I surrender.

      Your tone is sounding great Kevin.
      When I have time, I will make a video of me playing.

      Lucy

    • Hi Kevin–I saw your first video, Sara smile and as I’m new to playing the Saxophone I’ve been more in a position to watch and learn from other players here on the blog; rather than provide any constructive criticism. But I will say I can definitely see a major difference in your tone between Sara Smile and this video!!! There’ a nice, smooth, even flow in the way you’re playing here. I also think like Johnny mentioned a glissando definitely has a place here in this song. This is certainly an encouragement to me as a beginner, it shows that you get out of what you put into your practice time. I uploaded a video “Killing me Softly” and did it without backtrack Music simply because I’m a beginner and just getting into the swing of it. I will be uploading another one in about a month and wanted to do it with backtrack music but as of yet haven’t found any suitable back track music for the song I wanted to upload. Great job Kevin!

    • Kevin Kevin says:

      Johnny, thank’s for the encouraging words! All the practice hours I have done up to the time of uploading these recordings, (though beneficial to muscle memory, and learning the instrument) were in hindsight not focused on key basic fundamentals. Hearing that first recording (Sara Smile) of my playing was truly an “ear” opener. Now I record something nearly every practice session to reinforce hearing back what I’m striving to learn and for tone development.
      I’ve been working on a glissando, but it is not yet fast enough to put to use, especially if it has to cross-over the octave key. That is proving a challenge to me…
      This was a different mouthpiece(but still the Forestone reed). I actually intended to put the Jody Jazz HR back on, but forgot. This is a metal mouthpiece that I machined my own facing for-(I am an engineer, and have a CNC mill) When I initially tried it upon receiving it, it was not anywhere close to being a playable MP for my liking. So I read all I could find about MP facings and measured ones with precision calipers that were working for me, and machined the facing on this with what I have learned to date and the results are favorable. I thought it was a brighter tone than the Jody Jazz HR, but upon hearing it’s recorded sound I’m thinking this one is better.
      Still haven’t found a cane reed to suit me. Found one that had better tone in mid-to-low range but can’t get an E or above out of it at the high end.

    • Kevin Kevin says:

      Also thanks to Lucy, Michael and Sandie for comments. They are appreciated!
      Michael I’ve done a bit of searching for backing tracks(and karaoke tracks), and have purchased about 20 to date to practice with (some from Johnny’s choices), so I may be able to help find your particular song you are looking for…
      Thank’s again to Johnny for putting who knows how many hours into developing and maintaining this website!

    • SaxoKlaus SaxoKlaus says:

      Hi Kevin, sounds great. Specially the ‘higher’ notes are very clear. Nice song..

  • cactus says:

    Hi Kevin
    I can’t comment on technique as I have only been learning since February, but I think it is sounding good and I noticed an improvement between your videos. Sorry, I didn’t recognise the piece of music. Maybe one day I will record myself, when I figure out how to do it

  • John Clark John Clark says:

    Johnny, you really hit the center of the bulls eye when you set up this part of your sax site….

    I don’t see how on-line instruction could be much better than this especially when combined with all of your other material….

    From a student’s perspective, the value here in watching others play and having you and others critique the video is priceless and tremendously inspiring to serious students.

    You are the best…..Thanks for all you do.

    • Johnny Johnny says:

      Thanks John, I did see the potential benefit, just didn’t know if people were going to want to record themselves and then upload. Hey all this requires extra effort but here it is. Good for everybody that’s doing it.

    • You are so right John, Johnny is the best 🙂 He’s 100%, the real deal–it’s awesome to see how he so willing to help the rest of us. I, too, was really happy to see him add this facet on the site; we can actually see each other play, Johnny sees us play-provides awesome insight, so that were not just reading about what were all doing. At the same time, let’s not all forget about the Forum too and the benefit we also derive from it.

  • jake jake says:


    I have been playing for around 10 months now and recently changed over to the tenor past month now. I have been following this forum and I think it is great. Thanks for all that you are doing!

    • Johnny Johnny says:

      Hey Jake, thanks for submitting, way to go.
      You obviously have a good sense of rythme and musicianship. Those qualities are harder to teach than the other points I will give you.
      The first thing I noticed (besides the color of your sax) is it needs much more air from you. You said you just switched to tenor so I’m assuming you were playing an alto…
      Bigger horn so more air. You aren’t getting your air supply from down deep in your diaphragm…when you do everything will change – the broken notes, the flat intonation etc. This is a major key: air supply from your diaphragm. Blow that horn loud when you’re practicing if you can, that will help get more air out. What’s your mp & reed setup?

    • jake jake says:

      Yea, started with the alto. When I play with my alto sax I am surprised at how easy it blows in comparison to the tenor. You are right, it takes a ton more air and I find myself getting winded more easily on the tenor. I have a metal mouthpiece, I believe it is a china made, no name on it, #5 opening with a 2.5 java red vandoren reed. I haven’t found a setup yet and am experimenting with different reeds/mp. I have an older Vito tenor that I think has some leaks because certain notes would squeak rather loudly. I found this red tenor online, the brand name is a Hawk (prob China made). It was actually cheaper than having my old tenor repaired. I had read a ton of mixed reviews on the Hawk, so I decided to give it a try. I felt I could get good practice in on it before I moved into a more professional sax, which is my eventual plan. Thanks for the feedback, I haven’t had as much time to practice as I would like, but hopefully that’s a bout to change!!

  • Kevin Kevin says:

    Jake,
    Good song choice. And might I say the tenor just “looks” like it suits you! Your stage presence and “groovin” to the music with that big tenor sax just seems to come natural. Look forward to hearing more from the “red” sax…

    • Have been playing the sax off and on during the past years (more off than on). Recently I have picked it up again and have been enjoying,relaxing, and just having fun playing. I plan to keep on practicing to improve and most of all, the saxophone is really a part of me now, as it should have been in my earlier years. My Tenor is a Chateau 97F made in Vietnam I think thats the same factory that is making the P Mauriats, at least thats what I was told.. Using a vintage Berg Larsen 110 mouthpiece, Vandoren java 2 1/2 reed. the song is a song pace song, but its easy to play. Thanks Johnny for the upload info…Take care.

    • SaxoKlaus SaxoKlaus says:

      Hi Marc, this sounds great, very ‘jazzy’.

    • Johnny Johnny says:

      Very cool Marc. Reminds me of one of my favorite players Ben Webster-rea kinda tone. A little thin and wavery at the top end which you might work on taking in just a little bit more mouthpiece into your mouth. This is a big change in embouchure but I think with some time your tone will improve if you are able to do it.
      A technical thing for your recording – place your microphone a little further away because you were getting some clipping there which happens when the signal is too hot.

  • Leny Nigro Leny Nigro says:

    Johnny..here’s my web site..lenymusic.com..go to the tutone page,,look for demo,,thanks Leny

    • Kevin Kevin says:

      Hey Leny, do you take requests?
      Your sax sounds great (flute as well), but we only get to hear short improvs. Your chops and technical skills sound well advanced, so getting to hear you do a full instrumental would be great!
      So my request is- I would like to hear you play “Pick up the Pieces” along with Johnny’s backing track (found in the Saxphone Music section of this Website).
      Or any other upbeat full instrumental piece of your choice!
      Want to hear more of that Tenor sax!!

    • jake jake says:

      Nice sounds Leny. I have been working on the Wanderer solo myself. I like the sounds and progression of it. When I play mine, it tends to sound flat. How do you get that gritty classic sax sound? It it your setup or more of your technique??

  • Leny, Your growl while playing really sounds cool. Also enjoyed the classic oldies from the 60’s and 70’s. As Kevin mentioned, you playing is well advanced and your flute playing was well played. All of us as sax players have the ability to play other instruments like the Flute, Clarinet due to similar fingering. I have a flute but the hard part is learning to blow into it…I just get winded trying to blow into it. lol. You appear to be very talented in playing and the ability to sing. Enjoyable video !

  • Hi Klaus, thanks for you nice comment on my playing. Your playing was also very nice. My comment with the song you are playing would be, to slur more of the notes and not tongue every note. We sax players tend to somethings hit the reed too hard when playing. Specially on tenor sax which requires more air than the alto sax. So, try slurring some of the notes while easing off on tonguing the notes too hard. I think that would smooth out the song while you play. Your tone sounds strong. Great sound! and enjoyable to see you play…Hope to see more of your playing from downunder as we Americans say.

  • SaxoKlaus SaxoKlaus says:

    Hi Marc, thanks for your comment. Yes, you are right, I hit the reed too hard (that’s also what my wife says and she is always right 🙂 . More stuff is coming up soon..

  • SaxoKlaus SaxoKlaus says:

    Hello Johnny, here is some more stuff. This time with backing tracks. It’s a piece out of Fred Lipsius Etudes for Tenor Sax. Thanks for posting it !

    Best regards, Klaus from Austria

    • Johnny Johnny says:

      Way to go Klaus. You’re groovin on this one (good rythme). Your next thing to focus on should be intonation. You are often out, especially on the higher notes. Focus on octaves and long tones and even playing to a tuner as Kevin took the time to do and showed quite a bit of improvement which was immediatley noticeable…these things will help you too!

  • SaxoKlaus SaxoKlaus says:

    Here is another tune, also from Fred Lipsius Etudes for Tenor Sax.

    • Kevin Kevin says:

      Klaus, definite improvement since first video, on the rhythm for sure. Thanks for posting these last 2. I for one haven’t come across the Fred Lipsius practice Etudes(with backing tracks) yet. They sounded both challenging and fun!

  • Hi Johnny, thank you for your comment. I will try moving up on the mouthpiece as you suggested. I am having a hard time reaching the higher notes (E,F) while playing from mid range and then suddenly having to jump up to E or F. Tenor is easier with these notes but much harder with Alto. My recording is done thru my computer webcam which most likely has not the best mic. Once again thank you for the tips. Ur the best ! Klaus, your playing sounds really much smoother. Great impovement my friend ! Keep it up.

  • Kevin Kevin says:

    Johnny,
    It’s been just over a month since my 1st Sara Smile video. So I recorded that song again for a comparison. I’m curious as to your comments on the alto sax tone this time.(Since I’m a newbie and still shaping my opinion of what I would like to sound like). Also I would like your comment(s) on the aspects of the recording.
    Still playing my synthetic reed. I had a box of Rico- 2-1/2’s that had 6 reeds left in it (bought 1 year ago), and I couldn’t get any of those to play to my liking. Either I couldn’t from low Bb to the high F#, or when I did find one that could just about play those, I couldn’t control the intonation as easily as my synthetic. So I’ll be purchasing a new box here shortly- perhaps Vandoran Java #2’s this trial…
    This synthetic reed has gone through approx. 8 months of 60-90min/day practicing, and I am noticing it chocking down when I try to push it on the higher notes.
    I do plan to opt for a private lesson with you soon, but I do have to get a wifi extender to reach to where I do my practicing(my shop). Look forward to meeting you on Skype!!!
    (Sorry for the glaring shop light in the video…)
    I was hesitant to bore you all with the same song again, this will be Sara’s last “smile”…

    • Johnny Johnny says:

      A month is not a long time in the world of saxophone playing unless of course someone actually gets a bit serious and puts in valuable practice time as you have been doing Kevin, good work! Playing for an hour a day is not the same as practicing certain things for an hour a day and the most obvious thing between then and now is your intonation. This is huge and goes a long way to starting to produce a better tone, obviously we have to play in tune to sound good. Because of this improvement you confindence level has gone up and I can hear it in each and every note. Not once did you break a note whereas before you did etc. As for the setup, I’m a cane guy so I will always believe someone can get better results from the right cane reed. While it’s obvious your reed is still working for you it’s still my belief you’ll do better with a good cane reed. It can get a bit involved, getting the right brand and size. I use Vandoren java with my mouthpiece but I never liked them on anything else. When I was recording on alto recently I used Vandoren ZZ which come ready to play right out of the box so if you can try those. Let them all sit in a glass of water for 10 minutes then try them one by one. Do this on whatever reeds you by. Remember, there’s only a few good ones in a box so trying 2 or 3 and then deciding just doesn’t make sense because those may be the crappiest ones in the whole box!

    • Hi Kevin,

      what a big improvement! I think you are more than a beginner. I like the tone. Is it a Jody HR? I also liked the metal one you changed by yourselve, because i pay on metal ones also.

      In my opinion you should pay pn the hard rubber. It sounds so warm and full a it should ( maybe not for rock but…).

      I hope i can improve myselve like you did.

      Cheers and keep going.

      Dirk

  • Hi Kevin, I totally agree with Johnny. You should try a cane reed. You may find that the sound is much richer than a fiber reed. Nice to hear you play. keep it up Kevin !

  • Hi Kevin, I’m eager to see your new video just as soon as the cpu of mine is repaired; of all things the sound is not working–go figure. I saw your first video and your second video and I could definitely see a major improvement in your tone!!! It was awesome; great job there for sure. I was about to upload here to the blog my 2nd video this weekend; and this time playing with no sheet music and along with the back track 🙂 I’m a beginner but being able to play the song without looking at the sheet music and along with the back track was something I’m happy about; a sign of progress. I think the back tracks really help to know whether or not you’re playing everything correctly; we can look at the sheet music and get a feel for it but then when you play along with back tracks that’s when you know whether or not your playing the song correctly-provided tone and everything else is right. Above all, it’s just plain fun; makes you feel like you’re part of a band.

  • Hi Kevin, I got to the public library where I have a membership and got to see your new video upload–the bad news is that my cpu. is being shipped off to HP for them to repair, so it’s going to be a few weeks before I can upload my second song here to the blog. By the time I get my cpu back, I may be ready to have my 3rd song ready to upload here to the blog, we’ll see. You’re definitely improving by leaps and bounds! Great job buddy. I, too, can here your confidence when you play; lots of people just play notes on a page. Question: Have you ever tried a Cane Reed before?

    • Kevin Kevin says:

      Michael, (Dirk and Marc)(and Johnny of course)
      Thanks for the positive feedback. That is certainly the fuel that powers our resolve to strive to improve our skills on this instrument…
      I ordered the Vandoren ZZ reeds and should have them next week when I return from travelling. Michael I have tried cane reeds- Rico Royals 2-1/2. I did not have a good experience at the onset with these. One reed out of a box of 10 was all that stood out as a good player, and it lasted maybe 6 weeks, then split on me. I continued trying to sort, sand, and get another “good” one out of the remaining 9 reeds, but it ended in frustration. During that era (about 6 months from first beginning to play) I ordered a synthetic reed and when first putting it in I was able to play from low Bb to high F# (haven’t learned any altissimo yet, though I have produced a few of them experimenting), and every time I practice I could instantly begin playing, and as I mentioned in last comment- I have been playing on this reed for 8 months. So in that respect the synthetic reed provided a reliable solution to practicing.
      I hope to find a good cane reed in the near future that proves to have that richer tone, and hopefully prove that my first box of 10 reeds was a bad experience that is the exception and not the “rule”.
      Still got a lot to learn…
      Anxious to hear some new videos from you guys-
      and from Alessandro, Jake, Klaus, Leny, Lucy, & Sandie
      (and those of you that have yet to post a video or comment)

  • Hey Kevin, if you’re looking for a great quality cane reed, I would highly recommend that you give Juno cane reeds a try–I was having the exact same problem with Rico reeds. With the Rico reeds you maybe get 1-2 good reeds out of a pack of 10, just as you mentioned. The Juno cane reeds cost a few $ more but have been well worth it. Not once have the Juno cane Reeds split on me and they are packaged individually when you buy a set. Every single one of them have been of very high quality v.s. only finding 1-2 out of 10 that are good. To give you an idea of how good they are; I bought a pack of 10 Juno Cane Reeds in late June–I practice 6 times a week for about 2 hours a day, on some days even longer. I have not had to get rid of one single reed, meaning I have 2 that I opened out of the pack and use/alternate=I still have 8 extra reeds unopened. Coupled with taking care of/treating my reeds the way Johnny teaches here by letting the soak in a cup of water every week. Check em out when you get a chance and I’ll post another video as soon as my cpu comes back–this time not looking at sheet music and playing along with back track; it’s progress and fun!

  • Hi Johnny,

    I know its hard to make a “simple” song sound interesting, so I choose this one.
    I recorded maybe 20 versions, and this one is the most interesting.

    I’m still not satisfied….. Do you have any tips for me?

    Greetings, Dion

    • Johnny Johnny says:

      Dion, you’re on the right track and have included some nice things in your recording.
      We are only limited by our imagination and these simple songs require some for sure. The most obvious thing I noticed that you did not do was volume… it was the same level all the way through. So for example play the 1st verse very softly in the low octave then the 2nd verse play slightly louder in the 2nd octave, this creates more excitement while still only playing the same part twice. When you get to the chorus play louder to add even more excitement…these are the things I always do.

    • jake jake says:

      I liked the various effects in that piece to liven it up. Your tone is smooth and even throughout. I have only been playing for about a year and find myself with occasional squeaks, probably due to my embrochure and lack of air supply. When I play various songs I do as Johnny stated, I find myself changing octaves. This helps mix it up even tho the notes are the same. It gives it a different type of a sound, and I tend to like the higher octave sounds. How long have you been playing?

    • Kevin Kevin says:

      Dion,
      Nice job! I particularly like how you did the “Fall-offs”. Your intonation sounded good in the lower octave, but it sounded on the sharp side of the pitch to me in the upper octave, perhaps due to the difficulty of adding the growl effect to the tone. Hat’s off to you for attempting all the difficult “tricks” to make the song more interesting!
      What model tenor are you playing? MouthPiece? Reeds?
      Enjoyed hearing this piece!

  • Thanx Johnny, I keep that in mind!

    • Thank you all for the critical response. I bought my first tenor sax when I was 18 years old. So about 38 years now, but I was very lazy ….. And practiced not really effective. But I enjoy my hobby playing in a Big Band. I play on a Martin Committee II Lion and crown from 1938. Mouthpiece is a Otto Link NY 8, and the ligature is FL. The Reed I use is legere studio cut 2.5

  • Mike Ma Mike Ma says:

    Just wanted to say that this is a great site. Johnny is a true master of the saxophone. Enclosed is a Youtube of a old YTS21 That I sold , I used a fibracell reed, sorry for the poor sound on the recording. I used a cheap digital camera. I also did a cover of Johnny’s rendition of Samba pa ti, but it needs a do over. Once again Great Site Mike from Mass

  • jake jake says:

    Played on my Vito tenor. Think it’s from the 70’s

    This is my new Hawk (china made) sax. I wanted to compare the two. Used same mp and Reeds for both. Just getting back into playing steadily. Took couple months off due to business. Noticed some squeaks but really think its due to my em brochure. I really notice them when I change octaves, especially going from high to the low register. I need to rewatch Johnny’s. video lessons and practice the low to high octave exercises. I’m still looking for that gritty sound that will hopefully come with time. So I guess the point of these videos are does it matter what one I practice and play on? I think the Vito sounds a little better but the hawk feels better while playing? Any thoughts. Thanks

  • Hey Jake, thanks for posting your video here on the blog. I remember all too well this song, “the Wanderer” as I grew up with my Dad in his garage; he restored Muscle cars for a living and was very, very good at it. My personal favorite he restored was for himself; a 1962 SS Impala with the 409; I smile everytime I think about being in that car with him and my older brother! I can still remember the radio announcer playing this song by request, it was in high demand from his listeners for sure—I would recommend that you practice Johnny’s video lesson on growling, not only to get that gritty sound you’re looking for, but also because that’s what they did on the original solo for this song. A common problem with squeaks is not just the embouchure but also make sure you’re getting enough air for your diaphragm, as the Tenor is a larger horn than the Alto and seems to be something lots of Tenor Sax players are being told to focus on. For sure practice those low-to-high octave exercises just because it’s such a great practice exercise and the gains to be made are huge. I smiled when I saw this solo you played because I have some really fun memories with it saying to myself, “I remember this song!” Makes me smile to think about it, thanks!

  • Kevin Kevin says:

    Jake,
    I’ll offer my learning perspectives, that may at least apply in some respect to your comment(s)-
    The 2 magic pills to my recent playing/learning experience were practicing Long Tones (and octaves with a tuner), and listening to a recording of my practicing.
    Practicing long tones is instilling the muscle memory to control a pitch and not hear a note that is “wavering” or weak. It also is giving me the feel of the shape of the oral cavity that is resulting in a fuller, bigger tone, and because you have to fill your lungs to prepare for that long tone it is training those muscles (and diaphragm) to deliver a fuller flow of air to the horn. So starting practice with this exercise makes me strive to deliver the air to the horn, and hold my mouth and embrochure to produce bigger fuller tones.
    In hindsight it is evident to me that I was being lazy and using a small oral cavity to provide the air to the horn and/or I was changing that cavity to make it easier to produce some of the notes which gave a weak “honky” tone that also resulted in more reed squeeks and unwanted overtones. I think I was also playing at lower volume so that my practicing would not be heard, but this is the worst thing I could be doing as a student of this instrument.
    So now that I’m hearing and feeling at least some of the notes I play have a fuller tone, I have the beginnings of the muscle memory to use and apply to the other notes that I’m striving to sound full. For me the easiest notes are ones that have more than 2 fingers down, so the B, C, and C# (in the lower octave) are my struggle, they sound weak. And when I provide a large oral cavity with a full air delivery on those particular notes they are flat in pitch. Still struggling to work that out…
    Hearing the recording is the next reinforcing feedback. When I playback a song, there are those notes that don’t sound as full as they should, so I can work on those, re-record and determine what I did that was wrong. For me it is usually getting lax in the air delivery or in keeping an “open” oral cavity.
    Still gotta long way to go, but these 2 things have instilled some confidence that I can “get there”…

    • Johnny Johnny says:

      Kevin , you are an excellent student. You are going after things in the exact way to do them. I always say to record yourself, that’s why I have a section in the forum devoted to this…(not much action there though), the recording doesn’t lie and so it’s the best way to know where you’re at.
      The other very important thing that I have stressed many times to students and on the forum etc is practice as loud as you can… you can’t develop your tone by playing softly…won’t happen.
      Everyone one reading this read Kevin’s post again, it’s got some very good points, and if you haven’;t done it yet, listen to his 1st song video upload at the beginning of this blog page and then scroll down to his 2nd recorded sometime later after he put those things into practice…the proof is in the pudding as they say!
      Thanks for your contribution Kevin.

    • jake jake says:

      Michael, thanks for your comments. Its amazing how when you hear some music the various memories and thoughts that are envoked in regards to it. Yea, I’m trying to work on the growl, it is a skill I would like to master!
      Kevin, thanks for your comments. I will definitely start adding the long tones and tuner to my practice sessions. I often find myself with a lot of practice material and don’t have a good organized practice. I find myself roaming from different songs and scales and it seems like a free for all more than a planned practice. You have definitely should improvement and act as an inspiration for us learning. You show that it can be done! Thank you for that!

  • A couple of weeks ago, I watched Kevin’s first video and then scrolled down to his second recording and the difference between the 2 was pretty amazing. You can check out the comments I left about it, way to go Kevin!!! I really appreciate Kevin’s tips/insights too because it helps me out a lot. BY THE WAY KEVIN: I sent you a personal message regarding sheet music/back track for the Song you played, Sara Smile. I looked online and couldn’t find sheet music for that song. Where can I get it? Is the backtrack on Karoke? HELP ME OUT–your awesome Kevin! Talking about Kevin’s 2nd recording, in 1-2 weeks I will be uploading here my 2nd recording here to the blog-just waiting for my cpu to come back from HP, they shipped it out today and is scheduled to be here on Friday, so about a week or so afterwards I will upload as time permits with my school schedule. I finish my degree in the Spring–trying not to think about it. Just remember that this will be my first time EVER to play with no sheet music and with backtrack too. I think my first video was in July? So this is a sign of progress for me……with the help of Johnny’s ebook and insights too that is. And like Kevin said so well, it makes you say to yourself that yes, I CAN do this. 🙂

  • JOHNNY: Where in the forum is the section about recording yourself? That’s definately going to happen for me. I eventually plan on setting up a modest, home-recording studio and definately will need help/guidance for that–I will be pulling my hair out without and pro direction in this regard for sure.

  • Never mind Johnny, I found it on the Forum. Will still need help/guidance in setting up a home recording studio when that time comes. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it as they say.

  • Kevin Kevin says:

    Hey I received my Vandoren ZZ #2 reeds earlier this week, and I am pleased with the purchase! Each reed comes in a sealed plastic pack, so I conservatively opened just 3 of the 10 hoping for the best and not wanting to compromise the sealed packing on the remainder. And I must say all 3 reeds played very well. One stood out slightly above the others. So I prepped those and played on each of the 3 a little for the past 3 days, and I am now a believer in Johnny’s conviction about cane reeds.
    This video is my first recorded video using a cane reed.

    I did find that my .083″ tip opening(on the JodyJazz HR MP) is still a bit to open for these #2 ZZ reeds, so I had a .060″ Meyer HR MP that I had received with the original purchase of my sax. It was never a preferred MP for me but was “OK”. When I tried it with the ZZ reeds, it played pretty good but was lacking that bigger sound the larger tip openings give, so I did a re-face on the Meyer MP (in my CNC mill) giving it a .073″ tip opening. That did make the sound bigger and still playable for me with the #2 ZZ reeds (at least for my current embrochure strength).
    So curious to hear what others hear from this recording…

    • Johnny Johnny says:

      There’s a warmness and sweetness you have now that is not there with the synthetic reed. Don’t worry about opening the packaged ZZ’s, that closed packet doesn’t do anything, just put em back in the plastic casing. I’ll put them all in a glass half full of water and play em all for a minute and label them 1’s 2’s and 3’s. The 3’s go straight into the trash (although these can be worked on if you have the patience) and practice with the 2’s in hopes they’ll eventually become a 1. The 1’s are put on for a real gig or session or whatever. You’ll discover that there will be a few excellent ones, a few ok ones and a few dogs. Reed packages come like this because the manufacturers know what they’re doing, they know if a reed is a 1 or a 3.

    • Hi Kevin,

      i am impressed! Johnny is right, it sounds much warmer and darker now. I think most of it comes from the MP because i tried a JodyJazz Metal on my Alto and this one is totally different to the O’Link i play normally. The Jody has a loud and edgy sound, it is designed for that.

      I also tried a lot of different cane reeds. On my alto the differences are not so big but on the tenor they are huge.

      I like your “new” sound! Keep going.

      I hope i will be able to show up a new recording soon.

    • Kevin Kevin says:

      Dirk, wanted to extend thanks for the comment.
      Anxious to here more from that H. Couf Royalist alto! You played with a consistent tone throughout. The Summertime melody is a Classic, and enjoyed hearing it.
      If I may comment with something that is on my “must improve list”- on your next video try playing with a level of assertiveness that perhaps feels like your “overblowing”. On my last video I had that impression as I was making the recording, yet when I played it back before submitting it, it sounded like I could have still taken it up a notch or 2. So my volume/expression dial is out of calibration! Perhaps your playing could also benefit from Scotty’s reply to Captain Kirk(startrek memoribalia)- “I’m givin’ Her all She’s Got Captain”…
      Haven’t heard Johnny comment yet to any of the videos- Hey your over blowing it…

  • Kevin: Each and every time I hear you play, you’re getting better and better and better; and there’s no question that the Cane reed is the answer here. From your reading your comments about them, it seems like you can see the difference yourself too; something you can be really happy about for sure. It’s great to hear that each of your Vandoren reeds were individually sealed and packed-that in itself tells me that they’re a high quality Cane reed. That’s the same thing I was saying about the Juno reeds I’m using now and the it’s been a real $ saver in the long run. I’ve seen a video Johnny made here on the site about letting your reeds soak in a 1/2 of water. Don’t know what happened about the message not getting to you–when you can, send me a message about Sara Smile; that would be really cool of you; as if you weren’t cool already? 🙂 Great job Kevin.

  • Tim56 Tim56 says:

    Kevin: Very nice playing! Your sound has improved quite a bit! Interesting, all the reed discussion here. I have been playing Fibracell and Legeres for 3 years. The cane, when I started drove me nuts! Squeaks at all times. So, my teacher suggested synthetics. Have worked well since then. I’m 70 and started 4 years ago. Unfortunately I have had many long breaks form practice. In the last 8 months I have practiced, maybe 40 days. Not good for sure. I have taken 3 lessons from Johnny. If you guys have not done this, you are, 1. Missing knowing a great guy, not to mention a fantastic musician! I have not recorded yet because I don’t have the stuff. Kevin, what do you use? I have a long time pro friend who has a recording studio in Hollywood. We just keep missing. He is busy all the time. You all have heard him. He was Ray Charles lead guitar player from 1964 to 73. Much more. Anyway, I ‘ll get it done one way or the other. Stay tuned. Tim

    • Kevin Kevin says:

      Tim, thanks for the comment, and regarding what I use to record-
      An I-phone for the video content
      A Zoom 8-track Digital Recorder (Ebay purchase used- $110)
      A Beringer Large Diaphragm Condenser Mic (Ebay purchase used- $60)

      I just got these items for my first recordings here, and am still learning how to use them. So I’m not that good at it yet, and still likely need some additional items to improve the quality.
      I download the backing track to my I-phone. Then using a cord to the earphone jack, I plug into Track1 of the Zoom to record the backing track. The Sax is recorded using the Beringer mic in any remaining tracks.
      I like to at least be able to add a little reverb, so I got the items above. The Zoom had a number of built in effects to utilize, is portable, and can be battery operated(4hrs). For now it is an OK choice, and fairly easy to learn and use.

  • Tim56 Tim56 says:

    Kevin. Thanks for the info. I’ll make a list and get to it. Johnny said I sounded pretty good at my lesson. Even though I used a Fibracell. I have some ZZ reeds that I have been using some. They do sound good. Do you have a Tenor? Tim

    • Kevin Kevin says:

      Tim, I don’t have a Tenor, and actually have never held one yet. I do plan to try one out my next visit to a sax dealer sometime this fall. (may have to bring one home, though don’t know how long I can hide it from the wife…)

  • Dan Solem says:

    Johnny been playing only a few months but at least I’m starting to be able to pick up things by ear now. Now to get in some more practice! Need to work on tone, quicker confident fingering so I can stay on the beat etc… Thanks for helping getting me started man – yours is the best out there IMHO

    Southside

  • Dan Solem says:

    Here’s another one…Lots to work on but it’s soooo much fun now that I know I’ll stick with it for the rest of my life…

    Southside

    • jake jake says:

      Sounds like your getting off on the right start. I can hear your growl starting to develop. Very nice, kinda hard to get that while trying to stay in tune and on track, I’ve been working on that too. As Johnny told me, AIR, AIR, AIR. I have the same squeaks at the upper levels I heard in your video clips. While you practice, blow hard! I have taken this task on as well as the long tones as Johnny and Kevin had stated in comments regarding my videos. It is amazing at how quickly I am winded, especially on a tenor! Keep up the good work man!

  • Dan Solem says:

    Thanks Jake…Yeah I haven’t figured out the squeals and squeaks altogether yet but I’m working on it! Keep up the good work on your end as well. I bought a new mouthpiece and was amazed at how different sounding it is compared to the original one I was using. Definitely makes a huge difference in your overall playing…I think the squeals are a result of a combination of things in my case. Primarily I think it’s not adjusting my embouchure correctly i.e. keeping the same embouchure needed for a lower note as I try the octave…need to experiment…The growl for me is thinking of a slightly different sounding note and sort of voicing that as I play – ya know experimenting to see what it sounds like. Anyway keep going and look forward to us all progressing on here and sharing notes…

    Dan

  • Tim56 Tim56 says:

    Kevin: My wife really wanted me to do this. She got me a music book and reeds 4 years ago for Christmas! So, here I am. Because of family stuff and travel my practice has been limited for the last 9 months. Get a good horn. Makes a world of difference. I got a Yamaha 62-2. A pro horn and it’s great! I also bought a Selmer Mk-6. I got a good deal an an amazing horn. It’s a late 1956 and it is so good. If you can,look for one. There out there, but have gone up in price, big time. As you know, Johnny plays one and has nothing but the best to say about them. Yes, he’s a pro, but getting a horn that gives you problems will only slow you down. The Yamaha line is outstanding. Here I go traveling again. No practice for 7 days! Arrgggh!!! Tim

    • Kevin Kevin says:

      Tim: You’re in your “Golden Years” where you should be slowing down, having those extra hours throughout the day to devote to practicing those sax’s! 2 great horn’s! You’ll be the envy of the Blog…
      My YAS-52 is an older model “intermediate” instrument, but is serving me well thus far. Had it adjusted recently so it’s just needing a good musician to show what it’s capable of LOL.
      During those first few months of squaks, and weak lower lip symptoms, I had almost decided perhaps the sax wasn’t for me, but stuck it out and look forward to the practice time every day(almost), and now got this site that for a monthly “Gig” to practice for and upload a video, so hey “Life’s Good”!!!

  • Tim56 Tim56 says:

    Kevin: hmmm? Golden years? Lets see, Titanium hip 2 yeas ago? However, no restrictions, still surfing and snowboarding! Memorizing is a problem for me. I have scales and music with me to study. I hope to record when I get back from this trip/ Tim

  • Kevin Kevin says:

    Johnny, This blog is getting a bit long to have to scroll down through! Is there a way to archive this one and keep this topic going?

  • Kevin Kevin says:

    Dan, Your playing and riffs you’re showcasing are upbeat and inclusive of embellishments that are engaging and entertaining! You didn’t share with us where you hail from? and you “got’ to tell us about your sax and setup… looks like a beautiful instrument!

    • Dan Solem says:

      Kevin thanks for the kind words…I live in Lafayette Colorado (10 miles east of Boulder) and the sax is a brand new Cannonball Raven. I just picked up a new mouthpiece as well which is an RPC 110B made by Ron Coehlo. I’ve played harmonica for the past 20 years and am very excited to enter into the world of sax! Love discovering great artists and love that Louis Jordan swing Blues jump vibe…Looking forward to growing on here.

      Dan

  • Lou Canning Lou Canning says:

    Kevin y don’t u put up a video clip of the long tone method your are using to help beginners great playing

    • Kevin Kevin says:

      Lou, I am as of 9/16 away on vacation, but upon returning I’ll try to accommodate your request… I’ll still be checking in on the Blog when Internet connected, so hope to hear some new video’s!!

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