Members Saxophone Music Videos #2

By September 13, 2013March 22nd, 2015members saxophone videos

sax-videoA continuation of our member’s own saxophone video’s for sharing! Be sure to check out the first post below titled “Your Saxophone Music Videos!”

96 Comments

  • SaxoKlaus SaxoKlaus says:

    Well, let me be one of the first to upload my latest video. Here comes a tune ‘Same old thing’. Unfortunatly not the best quality, recorded olny with the mobile phone.

    • john john says:

      Klaus, quality is fine. Good attempt on your part too! My concern is your positioning… you have the sax over to the right side of your face, this effects your embouchure and is compromising your tone quality. Try to put your music stand directly in front of you so you’re looking straight ahead and your sax is directly in front of your face and not to the side…this will help.

    • Kevin Kevin says:

      Klaus, Great playing. I think all of us getting to hear your video’s would agree that since your first recording, your improvement is very significant. What stands out to me for me to learn from is how well you are doing delivering air to the horn, holding out and ending the notes, with hardly any notes sounding “short of breath”. The pieces you are choosing to play are not easy, and you’re staying with the backing track well, so I applaud your performance!!

  • SaxoKlaus SaxoKlaus says:

    Thanks, Johnny, would also be easier to read the notes and have the full volume on breath. Thanks for your comment !

  • Great job Klaus–I also like the way you are delivering air into the horn, as it seems like that’s one of the biggest things our awesome instructor, Johnny πŸ™‚ Has been saying a lot to players who either play the Tenor or made the switch from Alto to Tenor. So you deserve a lot of props there for sure. What kind of MP/reed do you use?

  • SaxoKlaus SaxoKlaus says:

    Kevin, Michael, thanks for your comments, your words really encourage me to keep going on..

    Michael, in this tune I use a Yamaha 4 MP with Vandoren Jazz #2 reed. I’m not satisfied with the sound, so I’ve got me an Otto Link 6 MP (Metal) . Still trying to find a good, warm but nasty sound….

    • Klaus,

      when you are looking for a “nasty” sound, the link won’t do the job for you. There is no larger baffle or anything like a “bulletshot” chamber or an edge in it. I also have a Link for my Alto which plays fine there but for my tenor a bought a Lebayle Jazz which sounds that bit edgy i wanted.

      I think you should try some if you can.

      Your playing is getting much better! Keep going!

  • That’s the awesome thing about Johnny adding this facet to the site, we can all watch and encourage each other. Johnny speaks very highly of Otto Link MPs, but I think I read it’s the Dave Guardala MPs he’s using. I found a link here on the site where there was a list of different MPs. I think you access all of them under the link “articles” you can find that link when you scroll down on the home page. When you click on each one of the MPs mentioned it takes you right away to amazon where they sell all of the MPs Johnny mentions. SPEAKING ABOUT NEEDING ENCOURAGEMENT, my cpu is back and everything I used it for it uploaded to it, so I will be uploading here to the blog on Fri-Sat, maybe sooner if time permits. It will be my first time ever to play with backtrack and no sheet music. I’ve made it a point to break away from sheet music and play by memory; one of the many benefits of Johnny’s ebook–learning the major scales. Thanks so much Johnny! πŸ˜‰

  • SaxoKlaus SaxoKlaus says:

    Dirk, thanks for info about the MP. I’m already working on the next upload, but first I would like to improve the sound a bit.


  • Okay, it’s been 4 and 1/2 months of learning to play the Saxophone, so here’s my 2nd video upload to the blog. I’ve been able to get away from relying on sheet music and instead are now able to play by Memory once I have learned it (we obviously have to look at the sheet music to learn a song first) This is also my very first time ever to play a song along with a backtrack. Learning the Major Scales in Johnny’s ebook, along with practicing those scales with a built-in Metronome that my wife has on her electric organ in different ways-slurring, staccato, Tenuto, fast, slow, up the scale, down the scale, etc.. has really helped in this regard. Towards the end of this song, that my wife really loves, I accidentally loosened up on my embouchure and there is a slight squeak; I normally don’t do that and it just happened to be caught on Camera–at least you all know that it’s unedited πŸ™‚ FOR THOSE OF YOU OUT THERE WHO ARE EXPERIENCED SAX PLAYERS: There’s are so many places in this song where you can really let loose, and lots of places for Glissandos, both up and down the scales. I don’t have the playing skills to do Glissandos……….yet πŸ˜‰ But I really look forward to the day I can play all of those awesome songs that Johnny has made available here on his site. Even 50 years from now, those songs will still hit home–so glad Johnny has made them available to learn!

    • john john says:

      Michael, there is a problem… your backing track does not match your music chart!
      Your backing track is in C# and your chart is in F.
      You need to get another chart transposed a major 3rd lower for it to match the track.
      I know you are just beginning this and so may not understand but just tell the person who gave or sold you this stuff and they will know what you need.
      Actually, why were you given a chart in a wrong key anyway?
      Just doesn’t make any sense to me.
      Anyway, that aside, you are playing the right notes and they are holding uop well, even though it’s very hard to listen to because of the wrong keys going on. I suggest you get the right music and try again!

  • Oh man…….I didn’t even realize what I had done, but I know what happened. We’ll fix it, thanks.

  • I removed the video from youtube that I just did for this song, When a Man loves a Woman. What had happened was I used the sheet music from the original version and used a Modern Backtrack of that song, without paying attention to the fact that the backtrack was C#. That was my mistake. However, it getting ready right now “What a Wonderful World”–will post it later.

  • Hey Johnny, the sheet music I have for that song doesn’t even show what key it is in, it has just the title and the notes on the scale and that’s all. It was given to me by a local band director to where our kids go to school and he probably just assumed that I would know what key it is in, I’ll ask him about it on Monday. I can either have it transposed in C# or have my wife get the original back track for it by Percy Owens, it’s pretty widely available. My wife had this backtrack for this song already, Michael Bolton’s version of that song, and being a beginner I just assumed that, it being When a Man loves a Woman too, it would be the same (you would think so anyway). At the very least, I’m playing from Memory & not glued to sheet music once I learned it.

    • john john says:

      It should have a Bb in the key signature because it’s in F.
      You have 2 choices, transpose the backing track or the chart.
      This is why I always include both Eb and Bb for the songs I do music and backing tracks for, otherwise it gets too complicated and people just want to play it without these transposition hassles!
      Tell your band teacher you need it transposed to Bb for your alto to match that backing track which is in Db.
      Right now your chart is in F so it would be a perfect 4th higher after transposed to Bb. You have to consider this because if it’s in a really good range for you in F, going up a 4th might make it too high, in which case you’d be better off transposing the backing track, enabling you to keep the F chart.

  • Thanks much Johnny–just an example of growing pains and I’m sure there will be many more of them to come. I saw first hand why it can get too complicated for sure. Do you have a degree in Musical Theory? That’s really advanced to be able to transpose music in both Eb and Bb. I’ll ask the band director if he can go ahead and transpose it in Bb flat for me on Monday. He had it all hand written out but told me it was Percy Owen’s version of that song. I was thinking of posting a video here to the blog before year’s end taylored around the exercises (from your home page and ebook) and the scales that I’ve been working on. One thing is for sure: If anyone thinks that learning to play the Saxophone is “easy”…they couldn’t be more wrong. At the very least, I hope you can see I’ve progressed.

    • john john says:

      Well, people might say that to learn the fingering is easy, and it is when compared to some other instruments I suppose, but we all know that there is more to it than just learning how to finger the notes now don’t we?!
      Anyway, yes you are coming along nicely and you should be proud because you’re making it happen day by day.
      Many will give up because after a month of playing they don’t sound like the sax player who turned them on.
      Having a community like this is helpful, so is having your videos or recordings to listen to so in a few months you can actually hear your improvements.

  • Learning to play the Sax, just from what I’ve seen in your ebook, goes way, way, way beyond just learning the fingering. I have wanted to learn to play the Sax for well over 17 years and to say that your site is helping me would be a gross, gross understatement. I’m by no means the only one here that would say the same thing. I was actually just watching your video of “What a wonderfull World” making sure that my articulation, intonation, etc, is correct. At least I don’t have to worry about having the wrong sheet music here on this site. From my own personal experience of learning, I can’t see being really proficient at the Sax in less than 2 years; let alone a month. I’ve only been playing for almost 5 months. My wife says that most beginner players wouldn’t even think of attempting to that type of song. I see your songs here and I tell my wife that sometimes it hurts because you realize how far you have to go, but I have to remind myself to look at how far I’ve come instead. No, learning to play the Sax is not easy.


  • I thought I would go ahead and do this song, “What a Wonderful World” after forgetting to match the key from the Sheet music “When a Man loves a woman” to the backtrack that my wife had for Michael Bolton’s version of that song. The good news is that I can get it transposed, no big deal and the I’ll post it here on the blog–should make a really beautiful song on the Saxophone for sure! For those of you out there who are beginners like I am: ALWAYS check to make sure you know what key your sheet music is in. I didn’t even bother to ask; but great learning experience. As for this song, I got ahold of a NO.5 Otto Link metal MP and have been experimenting with it–you will notice 1 small squeak as metal MPs are new to me. I had no problems playing a No.5 and I’m thinking a 6 or 7 may be up my alley. In terms of this Otto Link, it seems like it’s a great MP for smooth jazz style of Music, but it doesn’t seem to be an MP I would recommend for real edgy saxophone music. The theme song to the Peter Gunn, Honky Tonk, Pick up the Pieces, Samba Pa Ti, all of those awesome songs that Johnny has done here; would be better with a Dave Guardala MP ( I suspect suspect so anyway as I’m learning; but I could be wrong) Thanks Johnny and I’ll get that sheet music transposed–we sent you a message/question about it; still taking it to the band director; but my wife has a background in Musical theory and wanted to try and transpose it-good test for her to see if she gets it right. She did start teaching me the keyboard πŸ™‚

    • jake jake says:

      You have shown much improvement. I have a No. 6 metal mouthpiece that I have for my alto sax. I often find it too loud and bright as compared to my Yamaha 4c HR while playing songs such as the one you just played. I believe that if you used your HR mouthpiece you could get a softer mellower tone from that sax. I can hear the brightness from the metal mouthpiece in that video. Keep up the good work. Its nice to see the improvement.

    • Kevin Kevin says:

      Michael, Very Nice Job for first recorded, memorized song! I particularly noticed the effort you were putting into “expressing” the song using changes in volume and emphasizing certain notes. As your music skills develop to me this element will be what sets apart a song that is “performed” from one that is “played”.
      This I’m sure for you will be a major step as it was for me to hear those first recording(s) and now begin to zero in on the tone, and minimizing the things you don’t like, and maximizing the things you do like. Keep practicing, look forward to hearing more!

  • john john says:

    Yes good work Michael. I wouldn’t recommend a metal mp in these first few months of playing. Guardala is only made for the tenor but I would stay with some well-known regular hard rubber mp’s as I recommend in the book such as Yamaha, Selmer and Meyer. On the rare occasion I have an alto here I use a Meyer 6 on it and it gives a really nice tone.

  • Thanks Johnny–I got a hold of an Otto Link and wanted to give it a try; wouldn’t know unless I experimented with it. I knew that the Dave Guardala MP is for Tenors only, and the day will come when it’s that time for me (me saying that kind of sounded like Dave Guardala MP for Alto; oops!) I, too, heard brightness in it but it sounds different to you when you’re playing it v.s taking a step back and getting to watch it here on video; a real plus of the blog. Thank you Jake; with the Yamaha 4C-I have one too-I was having a hard time getting those high notes and when I used the Otto link MP I hit it almost instantly; which is why I wanted to try it with this song. It’s a work in progress, I’m getting there. At least being able to play without staying glued to sheet music/by memory once I’ve learned it IS a sign of progress.

    • john john says:

      Yes, good points Michael. What reeds are you using?
      And for not hearing as you’re playing, this is soo true and is why I recommend everyone record themselves, a video like these is great but even an audio for personal listening at the very least will still be helpful for your own ears.

  • jake jake says:

    http://dw4.convertfiles.com/files/0552316001379974412/wonderful.mp3

    After reading a post on the recording forum, I saw a link for the Audacity program. I decided to play around with it a little bit. The previous file is only a mp3 file of my song, not a video. I pulled out my Conn 21m alto because I needed a break from my tenor (still working on the air supply!). I used a Yamaha 4c hard rubber mp with a rico #3 reed. I know Michael just posted this song but I downloaded it a while ago and decided to give it a whirl. After all the practice on my tenor, the alto seems so much better at receiving my air!

    • jake jake says:

      Oh yea, about the program. I found it a little complicated. I’m not much into doing the mixing and the technical side of things. The only modification I made to the song was adding some reverb to the sax portion of the song. I recorded Jonny’s backing track and then added the alto portion of the song.

      • john john says:

        Good on you for doing this recording. If you have the interest (and patience) on getting it to sound better, go back and take some reverb off the sax – you want just enough that it wets it up a little but not so much that it sounds like you’re in a gym or church.
        The backing track should be up a lot more in the mic…almost as loud as the sax, right now you can barely hear it.
        Son there you go, just a couple little teaks and you’ll have a much better overall recording.

    • john john says:

      Good goin Jake. Yes, the mp is working well for you I think. It’s good you have both alto and tenor so you can experience the difference…still, blow even louder on the alto as some notes are a little wavery.

    • jake jake says:

      thanks for the feedback. I redid the song and it sounds much better with the increase in background music and less reverb. thanks again.

    • Kevin Kevin says:

      When trying to check out Jakes recent URL link(with alto sax), I get the error message- 404 Not Found
      Would like to hear it but having trouble. Perhaps others are also having issue?

    • john john says:

      it was here before…not sure what happened!

    • jake jake says:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mci4gwoemkk&feature=youtu.be

      Sorry guys. When I converted the file to a mp3 format I didn’t realize it was on a temporary site therefore was deleted. I redid it and placed in on youtube for you to hear. I decreased the reverb and increased the backing track. Its not perfect, I noticed a squeak here and there and felt as though the music was rushed at times. It is definitely a work in progress. Thanks for all the comments.

  • Hey Johnny, I’m using a No.2 Juno Cane reed–I just don’t think cane reeds can be beat. When I started to learn I was using the Rico reeds but would only find 1, maybe 2 good reeds in an entire pack. With the Juno cane reeds, they’re individually sealed and protected. I have a pack of 10 and bought them in July. They’ve been awesome, have only opened 3 of them, alternate between practices, let the soak as you teach, etc.. They don’t even show the slightest amount of wear at all! Really good reeds. I entertained the idea of the next time I buy reeds to buy a pack of 2.5 and see, you never know till you try. That’s why I wanted to try the Otto link. I put it away and practiced a while ago-learning the E Major Scale today-and practiced with the Yamaha MP, it’s seems to sound better than the Otto link, a much more warmer-sweeter sound. For starters to record myself, I’m using the video until I get to the point where I can set up a home recording studio-I subscribed to your home recording website a few weeks back.
    AND BY THE WAY: Thanks for answering my wife’s questions about composition Johnny! Great thing is I talked to Mr. Baker just a few hours ago and he said the exact same thing you said to her πŸ™‚ I told him what happened and was like, “Oh my.” He will transpose it and my wife wants to transpose it, good “test” for her to see if she gets it right. ON A VERY POSITIVE NOTE: Mr. Baker is going to teach me once a week Musical Theory! He told me it’s what separate great Sax players from others–without it he said you’ll get to a point in your playing where you stop improving and you won’t know why and that when you look at all of the great players in the past and today; you better believe they knew musical theory–and the great players can take one look at someone who even “professes” to be a “pro” and they instantly know who is the real deal and who isn’t. He reiterated that’s what Musical theory will do for me. He also said he had some other “goodies” for me but wouldn’t tell me what it is, I’ll find out next Monday when we meet. Thanks guys!

  • James James says:

    Very nice, Michael! I’m going to check out those Juno Cane reeds.

  • Jake’s recording was here, I heard it–by the way; great job Jake; never got around to telling you that (shame on me) Thank you Kevin, the only thing I didn’t realize is how “bright” the Otto Link would make the song sound-as that brightness doesn’t go well with this song at all, the Yamaha MP actually sounds better. We live and learn–which is why I’m really happy that Johnny added this facet to the site; big advantage of actually being able to “see” what it sounds like; as it sounds so different when you play it yourself. To record myself for starters, I’m using the camrecorder as I’m no where near the point of having a home recording studio; not yet anyway. In terms of being able to play by Memory, that’s where learning the Major Scales in Johnny’s ebook-and playing them in different styles on the Metronome has become evident. Now it’s your turn Kevin to do another song–I always look forward to your recordings!

  • Kevin Kevin says:

    http://youtu.be/LiChJ_FyA3g

    Johnny, (and all) This is one of my favorite practice pieces with backing track that I wanted to learn. Actually playing the Bass part to this piece would be a blast…
    I experimented in the recording by adding a 2nd sax on a few of the Chorus phrases. Though seeming to improve with time, my “thinnest” sounding notes are the B, C in the lower octave just before the octave key. This song has a number of these notes, and I am open to anyone’s suggestions on how to make these sound more full. No matter what I do with air delivery and oral cavity this is seemingly the best I can get on those notes. Perhaps I’m getting what a Yamaha instrument is characteristic of. I’ve read a number of references where Jazz players don’t select Yamaha alto’s because they are a small bore instrument and don’t produce that “gutzy” full sound that is desired for the Jazz genre.
    I would like to know what Alto Sax you play Johnny?
    This was played with my Meyer HR MouthPiece, and #2 Vandoran ZZ reed.
    Regarding the recording, I’m seeing a pattern of losing quality when I convert a .wmv file(which is initially 300Mb) into a .mp4 file(66Mb). The smaller file is the most sensible to upload, and for viewers to be able to buffer and view, but there is noticably more “buzz” to the reed sound of the .mp4 file versus the .wmv. I would like comments on what others are doing to minimize file size without losing quality…

    • john john says:

      Beautiful Kevin. Doubling the lead is hard with just one sax and works better with 2 (3 total) but the harmonies came out great.
      The thing about those notes sounding a little thinner could very well be a horn characteristic as you say. As much as I love the way Yamaha’s feel, their tone still doesn’t compare to a Selmer.
      I know of pros that have been endorsed by Yamaha and take photos with their saxes but for when it counts they will pull out the Selmer.
      I don’t own an alto but do borrown one from time to time and the one you may have seen me playing on a video is the Trevor James. Very good quality made in England. My friend is the Canadian distributor so I can try them out as I please. The one I used on the recording was a student model, still good but the mid one and the pro are really nice playing horns and if you Have one near you to try I would definately recomemend.

  • Kevin Kevin says:

    Johnny I figured out how to keep the audio quality. I deleted the previously video link and reposted this one.
    Sorry for the hassle…
    Just as a note for those learning recording- The original recorded file is a .wav file(44Mb) imported into Windows Live Movie Maker. The video file(113Mb) from I-phone is imported. The 2 files are synced, then I used a custom setting with video content settings minimized, and audio settings at their max. This is saved as a .wmv file(58Mb this time). Then with no other conversion on my part, this was uploaded to YouTube.

    • Kevin, this sounds great! The tone is very good and also your feeling for the rythm. I know problems with some notes too. On my alto the middle C# sound a bit squeeky and on my tenor the middle D is a bit thin. On the tenor i can correct this by choosing another reed on the alto i have no idea what to do.

      Kevin, what ist the name of the song you played? It sounds very nice and it could be cool to have a tenor part in it.

  • Love your videos Kevin! How long have you been playing? I’ve heard so many good things about Selmer saxophones in general. Our local music repair shop told me that you will never go wrong with a Selmer, both Alto and Tenor; saying that you will get the best for your $. I haven’t heard this song in years–I can definitely hear the difference in our tone with your Cane reeds. Have you thought about trying to play something with the “Improvisation” lesson that Johnny teaches on the home page? There’s a nice back track to use there from Johnny’s band and Johnny put down the proper scale for Eb Sax.

  • Ridge Ridge says:

    Kevin, you are doing very well with your sax and videos! I never post but was compelled to this time, have seen all of your posting, such improvement. I need to practice more so I can post one myself, I will be looking to see what ya’ll think of my sound from my 70’s Buescher Aristocrate alto.

    • Kevin Kevin says:

      Ridge, thanks… You will be the first posting recorded with a Buescher sax. Look forward to hearing it!
      I actually tried a vintage Buescher Alto when I was shopping for a sax to buy. The tone did appeal to me, but I was too much a newbie to judge, and I selected the YAS-52 because it ergonomically felt like a good fit and it’s shiny brass appealed cosmetically. Wish I could play it again now to compare…

  • john john says:

    Let’s take a moment here…
    those who have been reading some of my posts and lessons etc may have heard me talk about how when starting out the saxophone itself isn’t a big deal, how most of your sound will be produced by you, your mouthpiece and reeds.

    Kevin is no longer a beginner. He has been working very hard, and very intelligently. Now he’s finding little things which he didn’t notice before. Is it time for a better horn? Maybe. But he has been playing for a year or two and putting in more time than most people do so he may be ready for a better sax now… anyone just starting to play, don’t worry too much about having to have an expensive horn for the first couple years of your playing… just don’t get a cheap $200 one made in China…that’s all I will say!

    You won’t notice 1 or 2 thinner notes as Kevin is noticing for a while. Some people will quit after the first year anyway…

    Having said all this, if money isn’t a big problem for you and you are serious about learning to play saxophone, then by all means yes, but a Selmer that will cost you a few thousand bucks… you’ll never have to worry about upgrading again! But most people can get a good quality sax in the $500-$1000 range (used of course).

  • Kevin Kevin says:

    Thanks for the positive feedback guys… Dirk- the name of this piece is- Just My Imagination, the Temptations I think are the most well known for making it a classic.
    You make any interesting observation- perhaps 2 students using the same backing track can combine their tracks into a Duet performance posting. Pretty sure I could figure out how to do it with my digital multi-track!
    Michael- I have recently started incorporating the Blues and Pentatonic Scales in my practice, so hope to progress with improvisation in the coming months…

    • jake jake says:

      Very nice playing Kevin. It is hard to believe the improvement since your first post!! The harmonies with the 2 saxes in the songs sounded amazing together and blended well!!

    • jake jake says:

      Thank you for the info and advice on your recording video. Will be helpful. I love how these videos of us playing inspire me to do more. I practiced for a couple hours today and yet after seeing these, want to go get my sax back out and play more!! Too bad I gotta work. HaHa.

  • Lou Canning Lou Canning says:

    Hi Kevin some improvement rem the last post I sent u when u were on holidays? In beginners terms what r u recording on & how do I set it all up don’t know much about sound nice sound Thanks Lou

    • Kevin Kevin says:

      http://youtu.be/1krpBt4Yfkw

      Lou, my process of recording something to upload to YouTube is likely not the simplest method to accomplish this task. But having the portable digital recorder has proven to be an indispensable tool for my Sax practice sessions, and is very easy to learn and have on hand to do a quick recording of anything I am practicing. I even like to practice with the headphones on and can hear through the mic and effects what the recorded sound would be like.

      I use the following devices-
      My I-phone for video recording and Backing Track(explained more below)
      Behringer large diaphragm condenser mic ($60 used on Ebay)
      Zoom MRS-8 track Digital recorder ($110 used on Ebay)
      My Laptop which has 2 programs I use-
      – LP recorder(free)
      – Windows Live Video Recorder(free)
      Misc cables- $20?

      (The video link above talks through this)
      Procedure-
      1) I choose a Backing Track that I purchase and download to my I-Phone. When purchasing from Johnny’s site you may have a computer to phone copy procedure to do.
      2) Using a 1/8″ to 1/4″ Cable, (1/8″ Plug to I-phone, 1/4″ to Input on Digital recorder), I record the Backing track to Track 1 in a newly created Project.
      3) Next with the Behringer Mic plugged into the Digital recorder input and directed to Track 2, (with Headphones on to listen to Track 1) I will be able to record the Sax as I play listening to the Backing Track previously recorded.
      4) Place my I-phone in position and using the video record feature of the Camera, I start the video recording and the Digital recording and then begin playing my Sax. Save the recording, play back and adjust levels, effects, etc..

      5) Using my Laptop now, and a USB to RCA interface cable, I record the final Mix from the Digital recorder to my laptop. This is saved as a .wav file by the LP Recorder software.
      6) Next download the video recording from the I-phone to the Laptop.
      7) Using Laptop program- Windows Live Video Recorder, I open a new project and open the video file from the I-phone first. Then you have the option of adding an audio file- So I choose that and add the .wav file brought in from the Digital recorder.
      8) Next step is to do any editing to the video file. I usually trim some off the start and finish to start and end with the audio track, then sync the audio to the video file and save the project.
      Note- because these type files can be large in size, I recently learned to make a custom export save setting that minimizes the video settings and maximizes the audio settings. This results in a manageable file(less than 60Mb) size with good audio clarity.
      9) Lastly upload the final work to YouTube. This involves opening a YouTube account(free), I select “unlisted” so it’s only viewable by those with the URL link.
      Copy the URL link and place it in the comments dialogue box on Johnny’s blog site, and
      YOU’RE DONE!
      Now back to practicing for your next gig or video!

      I know this write up and video is perhaps brief. It certainly depends on your savvy with electronic devices, a computer and software programs. Since your viewing and blogging on Johnny’s site you will likely have the computer know-how to accomplish steps 7 thru 9, so there is my input.
      Perhaps someone can offer input. I am still a newbie at recording and the solutions and equipment I chose could very well be “ill-conceived”. As stated above the recorder plays a key part in my rehearsing but may not be the best choice for my recording goals down the road…

      Kevin

  • James James says:

    Great job on that tune, Kevin. I. too, have been listening to your videos. I’m still in the beginner stage by the way and find your posts to be very motivating. Thanks for posting.

  • SaxoKlaus SaxoKlaus says:

    Here comes another quick upload. This time with some improvisation.

    • jake jake says:

      Nice sound and groovin!! Keep the air flowing to that sax! I just love the sounds of the tenor. After playing both alto and tenor, I prefer the deep raspy sound of the tenor!! I liked your improvising in the song. It seemed to flow well with the beat. I myself have been working on that as of late! Keep up the good work!!

    • Kevin Kevin says:

      Klaus, I liked the way you started the notes on this piece. That burst of air and tongue release made that raspy reed tone we all like to hear. Great piece to choose and play. I did notice you do something you don’t usually do- you sounded short of breath on a few notes. Must of played after eating a few too many Bratwursts? LOL
      Just kidding of course, another enjoyable performance! and a good start on your improvising…

  • Lou Canning Lou Canning says:

    Thanks KEVIN a lot take in to advanced for me would nearly need to be standing beside you to learn will run it past my son to see can he translate Thanks LOU

  • Lou Canning Lou Canning says:

    Kevin just watched the link you put on youtube Thanks for taking the time out to do that much appreciated.Well done now to ebay i go. CHEERS

    • Kevin Kevin says:

      Lou, if you are more inclined to just undertake uploading a video for this site and not get into a “home recording studio”, then it can be as simple as using a phone (with video recorder and internet link-
      1) place the phone in position to take the video and be in good proximity to the sax for good audio (may need to experiment with a few placements) Also if your playing a backing track in the back ground (via a stereo system) you’ll need to experiment with level settings for that.
      2) use the “upload” to YouTube icon on the phone.
      (again this requires having opened up a YouTube account (which is free))
      3) paste the URL address of the video in the Blog comments box-
      YOUR DONE!

      The sound quality from these phones can be pretty good. Klaus gets a good clear recording of his tenor(IMHO). You won’t be able add a touch of reverb(though your room may add some nice natural reverb), or optimize volume balance between you sax and backing track, but the simplicity of this process makes uploading a video easily doable for anyone wanting to participate on this blog…

      Kevin

      • john john says:

        Yes, all good comments…
        keep it simple guys. Here, it’s about getting your sax performance up in a video…
        Recording is a world all unto it’s own.
        You can spend just as much time on your recording process as you can on learning your sax.
        Keep it in prospective.
        Not discouraging getting ahead in your recording endevours but as kevin said, an iPhone enough is good for this type of thing, anything better is a bonus but not necessary.

  • Dan Solem says:

    Just some beginner riffing…I’m getting out to the local Blues Jams and trying ideas live…Sometimes they work sometimes they do not but, it’s always fun…

    Great posts guys keep em coming!
    Dan

  • Dan Solem says:

    You know what it is Johnny? You are the only one man that’s teaching this style that I know of…Thanks for sharing what you love cause I love it too…

    Dan

  • Here is my first attempt… got this sax overhauled after 20 years in storage, and started playing 4 months ago – with a one month work interruption……

    Do not be too harsh….

    Philippe

    • Dan Solem says:

      Nice job Philippe!
      Sounds like you have all the notes memorized which is no small feat! Now comes the fun part of assigning meaning to those notes and adding a little “snarl” to em πŸ˜‰

      Dan

    • john john says:

      way to go Philippe, you made it and the ending was perfect. Still coming in ahead of the beat in many of the phrases.
      When we are playing with a band, and we consider the backing tracks a band, we rely on the drummer for tempo, count and feel and the best thing to get this is from the snare drum.
      Try playing the track but don’t play your sax, sway to the groove and listen to the snare – it hits on every 2nd and 4th beat each bar.
      Each sway left and right should rock with that snare on 2 and 4. you can also or instead, tap you foot. When you are truly “feeling” this groove try playing. Seems like you got the licks memorized so it should be easier now. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks Dan – I think the snarl that I can hear on Johnny’s interpretation will have to wait a hair – I can not get it to snarl on any note, ever. Yet.

      To Johnny, thanks also – I did not realise that the snare was the signal for the second beat – this is how much of a beginner I am – and was going instead off the drum that does beat 1 and 3….. As I listen to the backing track it is now clear as crystal. Back to it!

    • Great job Philippe–You had your Sax in the garage for 20 years, got it serviced and started playing again just a few months ago?!? This is really great for not having played for so many years, and you’re certainly headed in the right direction by getting Johnny’s ebook; it’s full of Improvisation lessons! There’s no question that knowing how to Improvise will make you a way, way better Saxophone player. Really nice to see you do this from Memory too, no easy task. What type of Tenor Saxophone do you have? (I’ll be uploading here to the blog my first ever Blues Improvisation using just one scale, it’s the first lesson that Johnny teaches on the home page of Part 1-Improvisation. We’ll see how it turns out) Look forward to your next upload here to the blog Philippe; keep those videos coming!

    • Michael, thank for the good words…. Looking forward to learning more with Johnny.

      My sax is a Selmer Mark VII that I bought used while in business school (in the 80s…..), played for about 5-6month before having to put it away for lack of funds, busy life, etc… and picked up again this April…


  • Here’s a neat little Blues Improvisation tune–and my first time ever to play an Improvised Blues tune, thanks to Johnny’s teachings :)–taken from part 1 of the Improvisation lesson here on the home page; Blues in C. I really didn’t have any idea exactly what I was going to do, I listened to the backtrack Johnny provided with the lesson, played around a little bit, turned on the Camera and kind of just let it happen. It’s not like memorizing the notes for a song, you just know you have the 1,2,3,5 & 6 notes to work with on the Pentatonic Scale. But you absolutely have to know the major scales. If you’ve done that, then you automatically know which keys you are to play in the Pentatonic scale for that Major scale. Near the end, I decided, literally last minute, to go up and down the Pentatonic Scale in “3s”, that is C# C B, then C B A, B A F#, then A F# and E, then work my way back up in the scale by just reversing it; but I did miss 1 key LOL πŸ™‚ The trick was not to hit the G key, easier said than done! Looking forward to having fun with part 2 of the Improvisation lesson, playing a Blues tune with 3 Pentatonic scales. JOHNNY: After I finish the Improvisation lesson on the home page completely then I will start How to Play Killer Blues ebook. Thanks for all your instruction!

  • john john says:

    You’re getting it. Keep experimenting. Try learning a lick or 2 from somewhere and incorporate it into your soloing.

  • Hey Johnny, what types of beginning licks would be good to start with? And then what types of licks can those lead me on to? This is why I wanted to start with the Improvisation lessons on the home page first before starting the Killer Blues ebook.

    • john john says:

      What I used to do was take note of anything that stuck out… could be in a song you hear on the radio or from another sax player but don’t limit yourself to sax players. Can be a guitar riff like from Keith Richards or a boogie piano riff etc. The world of blues and rock is just too big. During a lesson last week we took the melody of a recent Adele song that is on the current top 40 and guess what? It’s main melody was totally using the minor blues scale so like I’ve said before, you can solo using these scales in much of pop music too. I know many here are into rock and so there’s a ton of sax solos starting from the early rock and roll years to the type of solos I posted on another blog here recently called “What do these songs have in common” or something like that. Just pick a tiny section of a solo you like, just one riff is all to get something under your belt. I include several of these in the Killer Blues book at the end. Also, the Stones song Brown Sugar is dissected and there’s some cool but simple licks there. It goes on and on…..

  • Hey Everybody: Johnny clarified something for me that I did not know when I did my first Improvisation based off of part 1 of the lesson on that home page that I just posted here to the blog–you are NOT limited to playing the Pentatonic scale in just that one Octave. I can play those exact same notes in a higher Octave too:) This really, really helps; as I understood that the Improvisation was based off of the 1,2,3, 5 and 6 of the A Pentatonic, but that I didn’t know that I could play those same notes an Octave higher too πŸ™‚ Okay, now I can really add some licks, variety of combinations, and really make something going here. I’m going to go back and re-do that Improvisation lesson and will post it on the blog here again shortly. I want to nail it before going on to part 2 of that lesson; and doing all of this before going on to Killer Blues ebook. Thank you Johnny for clarifying this for me!

    • jake jake says:

      I hear ya. Such a nice feeling when Johnny answers a question and that little lite in your head turns on! He did the same for me when clarifying key versus chord changes and how to solo over chords. He wrote a pretty detailed description in the forum section under a improvisation link I posted. Check it out as this helps as well. This will help you out as well during your journey to learning to improvise!

  • Yes, it is a great feeling to know we have someone like Johnny to help us along the way. I was actually planning on giving somekind of donation to Johnny here on the site–after my wife gets her glasses :)–there’s a link on the home page where we can make donations. He has given many, many hours of himself to answer our questions, help us out on things we have difficulties with, takes time out of his schedule to check out our uploads here to the blog/forum, gives us pro points, the list goes on. The band teacher whom I’m learning Musical Theory from–I have now learned how to transpose music for the Saxophone thanks to Johnny’s link in the articles too!–checked out this site and really emphasized how great this is for Saxophone players. He loves Johnny’s video of the Rock-N-Roll Saxophone; and said that’s where Improvisation will get me over time. He told me don’t make the mistake of just memorizing notes for songs on sheet music all the time; Improvisation will take our Saxophone playing to a totally different level. Just one of the many things Johnny is teaching all of us here πŸ˜‰


  • I’ve been working on the Improvisation now that I know I can Improvise the Pentatonic Scale on more than 1 Octave–I noticed a few posts above here on the blog that Johnny spoke of a song from Adele that they recently have been playing with………how timely πŸ™‚ My Octave key has started getting stuck a little bit and there are 2 times on this song where you will see that happen; great timing with Johnny clarifying for me the Pentatonic Scale/higher Octaves too LOL; so I’m taking it to the music shop to have it checked out, don’t think it’s anything serious.
    Recording yourself is a great way to track your progress, I’m about 2 weeks or so short of having 6 months of learning to Play the Saxophone now, it goes by so fast! NOTE: The No.5 Otto link metal MP that I have would not have gone well with this song, so I’m sticking to the MPs Johnny suggested I stick with. But I do think at this point I now can benefit from a wider MP, this song is being played on my No.4 Yamaha. I’m thinking a hard-rubber, No.6 mouthpiece would provide a really rich tone for this Alto. I played the No.5 with no problems at all, so a No.6 I’m thinking would be a great choice. No.6 is about as high as Yamaha MPs goes.

    • john john says:

      Good Michael. You can start to focus on your tonguing now. When you finish a note, it is dying off without any tongue support, and so get weak and sounds flat as it is dying off. The trick here is to not let it die on it’s own, but to control it until the very end by full air support and using your tongue to stop it. This way you are in control and it will sound fuller and stronger and not so flat as it ends. You can do an exercise such as playing consecutive notes and end them by placing the tip of your tongue on the tip of the reed to stop it. This is how we stop notes. Also, as you blow, make sure the tone is full and even all the way through. A little work on this will greatly improve your over all tone.

  • Kevin Kevin says:

    Johnny,
    OK I’m trying to broaden my repertoire. I’m sure some of you Rockers may have been about to nod off half way thru my previous videos, so maybe this one will keep your toe tappin’.
    Yeah this piece is a BIG stretch for me(and my YAS-52), but I had to take a crack at it. (No Guts No Glory?)
    Can’t tongue the notes fast enough yet, so slurred the faster phrases.
    Also can’t do the altissimo notes yet, but played as high as I could…
    So go easy on me. Definitely a challenge to keep the fingers and tongue hitting all the notes on the beat at that tempo.
    I think I got the majority of the notes in, and was pleased that I was still breathing and standing at the end! Tis the season for “costumes”, so had to try to ham this video up… Hopefully it’s not too Cheezy, and that it’ll brighten someone’s day!
    I know I’ll look back on it in a year or so and have a good laugh…

    • john john says:

      Ha, I loved it! Bravo Kevin, you even got in the little fills, well done. Now you have another thing to do some work on and that’s tonguing. I have had my problems in this exact song trying to get all those notes in too. The good news is you can use these actual phrases of the song to develop your tonguing.
      Slow it down for the tonguing exercises and speed up ever so gradually, but only after you are doing it really clean.

    • paddy jordan says:

      Kevin you obviously devoted much effort into this piece wood shedding no one sees, but is clearly evident here .as Johhny said Bravo Kevin well done

    • Kevin,

      it is awesome! I like this song very much but i am far away getting to that tempo!

      Keep on rocking!

  • SOOOO COOOOOOL KEVIN πŸ™‚ I’ve often watched Johnny many times playing this song here on his Saxophone Music section–watching what he does/how he does it, etc.. It’s AWESOME to see one of the members playing this song for sure! If some of those Rockers nodded off your previous videos before (I never did), then there would be something wrong with them to nod this off. That’s not an easy song-everything has to be hit just right, the tongue, fingers, everything. You did great.
    THANKS JOHNNY:)–I’ve had a sense of needing to now focus on my tonguing and focus on holding those tones even longer now just as you mentioned; which is why I wanted to upload this song to the blog for you to see. So thank you! Especially towards the end, it really is tough because so much of this song requires a lot of the diaphragm, so it was a great way to magnify what I was doing right and wrong. I LOVED KEVIN’S VIDEO, he also dressed quite appropriately for it too; I can see he’s getting more and more confident in his playing. That only comes with lots and lots of practice time; I’ll get there.

  • Kevin Kevin says:

    Thanks guys for the positive comments. This video was a stretch for me both in the technical skills and in trying to be entertaining, so it was a relief to hear that it came across favorably.
    Paddy, yes you were on the mark about appreciating the effort put into learning this. I bought the backing track/sheet music back in May/June and began working a section at a time on it. About 2 weeks before this upload I began to try a full length recording. I wasn’t having good results, but I felt I was close. I would work the song a little each day with my other rehearsal regimen then take a stab at recording it on the weekend.
    Yesterday I failed a clean take the first 2 times thru, then take 3 I was finally “feeling it”, and got through it. So yes it took lots of hours to get to that. And I’m not yet solid enough on it to repeat that take consistently, but for me it was a good feeling of accomplishment when comparing how hard it was for me back in June.

    • Holy cow Kevin!!!!! What an improvement, you are the man!!!!!

    • You should/have every right to feel good about your accomplishment Kevin–prime example that shows how hours of hard work pay off. LOVE YOUR NEW PROFILE PIC TOO, very stylish! You made a really good point too about how your video was a “stretch” for you. It reminds me of how in the world of bmx racing that I come from, we spent hours and hours on specific riding skills and the time came when it you simply had to hit a jump that previously we may have avoided. A rider couldn’t progress in his riding unless, when the time came and had the skills for hit, he took the jump. In that moment he got better and it was great fun to say the least! I see something similar here; each and every video I’ve seen of yours I can see Improvements.
      As for myself, I have recently caught myself making the mistake of not having enough of the Mouthpiece in my mouth and my embouchure/tone suffered a little bit in the song of Adele I uploaded–it’s a work in progress.


  • Heres a song I wrote about a year ago,
    and soon Ill be uploading one useing Jonny technic.
    So we will here the differece.
    The song is called “Dont touch the hat,Dont do that”
    And I wrote it after leaving the band in the photos.
    cos the singer didnt like me touching his hat.
    so I wrote this to cheese him off.
    hope you enjoy, yes its me playing everything..
    chears Kit.

  • Lou Canning Lou Canning says:

    Hi Kevin yet another excellent performance wish I had the time to practice more Great job were did u get the backing track. & sheet music from & what key is it in would be interested in it if it was in an easy key Thanks Lou

  • Lou Canning Lou Canning says:

    Sorry Kevin just seen it on the site didn’t think it was the same song due to Johnny dirty playing of the sax

    • Kevin Kevin says:

      Lou, It is in a good key for Alto- Dm(F), and the key for Tenor should be OK as well- Gm(Bb). I’m sure you’ll like Johnny’s arrangement and solo riff. I got alot of enjoyment out of practicing this piece…

  • SaxoKlaus SaxoKlaus says:

    Kevin, that’s just cooool. Really well done ! Bravo !
    You really improved a lot, that inspires me to keep on going !

  • Mike Ma Mike Ma says:

    Great Site Johnny,After seeing and hearing Johnny play it is easy to see how he was voted best saxophone player in Canada one year…. I took the liberty of recording my rendition of your three Christmas Songs , Here is the link, all three will play one after the other. Thanks for your great site. Mike

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wcUn1zEKww&feature=c4-overview&list=UUaYV6K0-E8l4XACuel_kNtw

  • Dirk McCall Dirk McCall says:

    So here is a video, a live recording on a little Tascam DR-8 during a show at a jazz festival in Denmark this Summer. I started playing about a year and a half ago with a goal of playing a festival………to my surprise and terror I was accepted to play without pay in a cafe in one of the 20 venues. I played a 1925 Buscher C-Melody and the other sax is 20 year old Parker Jackson who flew out from Oklahoma and ended up in a Danish commune; but I digress. Free Jazz, all improvised around the idea of why were there so many images of white elephants in Denmark?

  • Cool video, but I agree with Jake. That’s the reason why Johnny GRACIOUSLY added this facet to his website. Would love to see you play some sax Music Dirk πŸ™‚ BY THE WAY GUYS: I am going to try, with all my heart, to upload here to the blog with the recent holiday music Johnny just released but no guarantess due to school schedule.–I LOVE HIS VERSION OF GOING AROUND THE X-MAS TREE! WOW! TOTALLY AWESOME VERSION OF THE ORIGINAL SONG. I will try with all my heart, but if not please try to understand. Between now and Jan I am in the final stages of my degree and it’s ruthless, but will be well worth it. It may not be till mid January that I upload again, but rest assured I will be watching everyone’s awesome videos. In the mean time, I am working on the Improvisation lesson on the home page; my original goal was to start how to play Killer Blues ebook by January. So I’ll be happy to be meeting that goal for sure πŸ™‚ THANK YOU JOHNNY for taking note of my tone in the last blog, I just didn’t have enough of the MP in my mouth, a mistake that just started to creep in on me without realizing it and the notes were falling off at the end. But I have corrected that now (I kicked myself in the butt because I didn’t start off like that and I KNEW better; shame on me).

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