Antigua Winds
AW Reeds
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 48
  1. #1
    simon196's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Union, New Jersey
    Posts
    563

    Question Tone vs. Technicality

    What's more important, a great tone or great technical facility on the horn? The answer seems obvious, but I've been to two summer jazz camp/workshops and there seems to be a crapload of lousy-sounding, not-hip sort of arrogant kids who know all scales in all 12 keys but don't sound nearly as good as a beginner clarinetist.

    Why do teachers/instructors (most of them professional musicians for that matter) let that crap slide?
    doms, doms.

  2. #2
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Sax Historian paulwl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    1937 House
    Posts
    5,743

    Default Re: Tone vs. Technicality

    My take? Technique is a lot easier to teach than tone.
    Jazz = a man with a $5,000 horn driving a $500 car to a $50 gig.
    Conn, Buescher & Martin Saxes - Selmer & Conn Clarinets - Woodwind, Morgan, Link & Brilhart Mouthpieces - Alexander Reeds

  3. #3
    Distinguished SOTW member/Official SOTW Sister bandmommy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Lake Odessa, MI
    Posts
    17,446

    Default Re: Tone vs. Technicality

    You get paid to teach technique.
    Old reed players are like fine wine. They only get better with age. Tom Hagen

    Play the Music, not the instrument.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Tone vs. Technicality

    Tone is Technique

  5. #5
    simon196's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Union, New Jersey
    Posts
    563

    Default Re: Tone vs. Technicality

    Quote Originally Posted by davetjazz View Post
    Tone is Technique
    It should be taught as such, but it isn't.
    doms, doms.

  6. #6
    Distinguished SOTW Member Kelly Bucheger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Buffalo, New York
    Posts
    2,181

    Default Re: Tone vs. Technicality

    Sound is everything. Fast fingers and crummy sound is ... crummy.
    My BRAND SPANKING STILL HERE CD, • House of Relics • iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp.
    Sakshama Link on a VIGwind Slant on a 10MTenney Berg on a VIPhil-tone Alto on a TH&C
    Website: What Would Mingus Do? • Jazz Blog: Harder Bop

  7. #7

    Default Re: Tone vs. Technicality

    True. Maybe tone is left unchecked because it's so individual? But also is there a difference between good tone and a voice on the instrument?

    Lets take a guy who could be said to have a polarizing tone. Jackie McLean or Joe Lovano.

    Sure some people dig Jackie's razor blade-like tone, straight from the street. Gritty. Etc whatever you call it.

    Some people hate it because he's sharp. Or any other reason etc.

    But, Jackie's sound was consistent throughout the entire horn, profoundly expressive, and he was in total control of his own thing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGWoavmgm5I

    So were guys passing out from sustained notes, sloppy tonguing marring phrases, or notes being clipped? (lol) Or is it a stylistic thing, guys reaching for Garzone, Lovano, Trane, Brecker like tones, you know hardcore *aggressive* sounds?

  8. #8
    Distinguished SOTW Member Agent27's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    3,875

    Default Re: Tone vs. Technicality

    The first things a listener notices are 1)Tone 2)Intonation 3)Time.

    Mediocre technique (combined with tasteful playing) and a great tone > great technique and a mediocre tone.

  9. #9
    simon196's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Union, New Jersey
    Posts
    563

    Default Re: Tone vs. Technicality

    Quote Originally Posted by davetjazz View Post
    So were guys passing out from sustained notes, sloppy tonguing marring phrases, or notes being clipped? (lol) Or is it a stylistic thing, guys reaching for Garzone, Lovano, Trane, Brecker like tones, you know hardcore *aggressive* sounds?
    I think many a student's misconception is that they are developing their "individual styles". Miles Davis said something like "When you learn to play the horn the right way, then you can turn around on everything you've been taught and do your own thing." Something like that anyway. But what he means is that (he was talking about Ornette Coleman playing trumpet and violin without proper musical training.) you shouldn't go your own way before "paying your dues".

    My signature says it all.
    doms, doms.

  10. #10
    Forum Contributor 2011 SuperMadHatter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Saxkatchewan
    Posts
    418

    Default Re: Tone vs. Technicality

    My experience: most can dazzle you with the finger work, but sound sooooo bland who cares? Just because you can play "Take 5" at lightning speed does not make it impressive.
    You say "Bish-er", I say "Boosh-er", let's call the whole thing off.........

  11. #11
    Forum Contributor 2012 dubrosa22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    1,623

    Default Re: Tone vs. Technicality

    Quote Originally Posted by davetjazz View Post
    Jackie's sound was consistent throughout the entire horn, profoundly expressive, and he was in total control of his own thing.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGWoavmgm5I
    Thanks for this link davetjazz. I love Jackie in some settings (Demon Dance, New Old Gospel with Ornette) but he doesn't consistently deliver for me, especially tone-wise.
    However, this track from an album I've not heard yet is just beautiful tonally.
    Really amazing work from a distinctive master, thanks again.

    Alto: SML 'Revision D' // Selmer 'Short Shank' Soloist C*
    Tenor: Selmer TS600L // Otto Link STM 6*; Berg 95/1/M

  12. #12
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Sunny Southampton, UK
    Posts
    19,952

    Default Re: Tone vs. Technicality

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent27 View Post
    The first things a listener notices are 1)Tone 2)Intonation 3)Time.
    I'm not so sure that is true of the average listener. I think a lot of musicians listen like that, but not the "general public".

    One thing I had to learn to do when I became a producer was to be able to put a different hat on when listening. I had to learn to do quality control not based on "good" intonation or "good" timing or "good" tone, but on the entire feel of the music as entertainment or art.

    Quote Originally Posted by davetjazz View Post
    Tone is Technique
    I absolutely agree with this. Is it recent phenomenon that people think of tone as somehow different from technique? Technique is basically the technical aspect of learning to play, and tone is just one part of technique. I believe you learn the whole lot together.

  13. #13
    Distinguished SOTW Member
    Forum Contributor 2012
    hgiles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Charlottesville VA
    Posts
    4,843

    Default Re: Tone vs. Technicality

    Technique can get the crowd's attention and get them moving...Tone, eloquence, and phrasing will keep their attention and arrest them.
    "The key to improvising is being able to play and listen at the same time."

  14. #14
    TK Melody Endorser/
    Forum Contributor 2013
    BrianMitchellBrody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    5,982

    Default Re: Tone vs. Technicality

    I am absolutely no technician so I go for tone and phrasing although I have my moments with fast passages.

    B
    “We are what we repeatedly do.
    Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
    ~Aristotle

  15. #15
    Distinguished SOTW Member Dr G's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    20,755

    Default Re: Tone vs. Technicality

    Quote Originally Posted by simon196 View Post
    Why do teachers/instructors (most of them professional musicians for that matter) let that crap slide?
    Perhaps they are not letting them slide. Have you talked with the jazz educators to learn their motives and intentions?

    One has to keep the students engaged vs alienated. By having them in a jazz camp, one can hope that they will hear something and learn. Awareness has to be a first step. Opportunities to listen can lead to an awareness and subsequent desire to develop tone.

    I loved it this weekend when my soon-to-be 5 year old asked "How do you make your saxophone sound so good?" He gets it. He and my daughter listen to Stanley Turrentine in the car and Joe Henderson for bed time music.
    Go for The Tone,

    g



    "When you are doing well, don't forget to do good." - Sichan Siv.

  16. #16
    Distinguished SOTW Member saxpiece's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,880

    Default Re: Tone vs. Technicality

    Yeah, I don't know about these style of either/or questions.

    I just think someone needs to have an appropriate tone for the style they are playing and it will sound pretty bad without the technique required to play the style as well.

    Someone's great tone is another's bad tone and vice versa.

    I've read some comments on SOTW where some people say Sanborn's tone sucks which is fair enough and others think Sanborn's tone is great which is also fair enough.

    If Sanborn was lacking in the technique to deliver his style then he couldn't really deliver the tone in the way he would prefer and the gear is part of the tone/technique delivery thing as well.

    Most people are near to tone deaf as far as I'm concerned and great tone doesn't concern them much and they just like a good tune or something to dance to or whatever but for working and non working musical types that often go and see players they admire or wannabe like, then their personal tone taste might matter to them.

  17. #17
    Distinguished SOTW Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Alexandria, Virginia
    Posts
    2,312

    Default Re: Tone vs. Technicality

    For me "sound" is a better word than "tone". Many players that could be said to have a good "tone" sound boring and academic to me. Jackie McLean was mentioned as an example of a player who had a great "sound" but not necessarily a great "tone". I'd rather listen to Jackie Mac than a player with a pretty tone.

  18. #18
    Distinguished SOTW Member
    Forum Contributor 2013
    Kritavi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Boston Area
    Posts
    4,650

    Default Re: Tone vs. Technicality

    I know one teacher here in Boston who emphasizes tone, embouchure, breathing etc. He can teach tone because he studied tone for many years. He is now playing in Curtis Fullers band and has an amazing and very unique sound beyond that of most pro players.

    I sometimes have guys here trying horns with great finger dexterity but a sound that makes me leave the room. I don't think they are getting what they paid for from their music schools/teachers.

  19. #19
    Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2010 magical pig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    6,369

    Default Re: Tone vs. Technicality

    Quote Originally Posted by RS View Post
    For me "sound" is a better word than "tone". Many players that could be said to have a good "tone" sound boring and academic to me. Jackie McLean was mentioned as an example of a player who had a great "sound" but not necessarily a great "tone". I'd rather listen to Jackie Mac than a player with a pretty tone.
    That's what I'm talking about!!

  20. #20

    Default Re: Tone vs. Technicality

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr G View Post
    One has to keep the students engaged vs alienated. By having them in a jazz camp, one can hope that they will hear something and learn. Awareness has to be a first step. Opportunities to listen can lead to an awareness and subsequent desire to develop tone.

    I loved it this weekend when my soon-to-be 5 year old asked "How do you make your saxophone sound so good?" He gets it. He and my daughter listen to Stanley Turrentine in the car and Joe Henderson for bed time music.
    Exactly. Most kids aren't exposed to jazz; they might hear it for the first time when learning to play it. I didn't care much for jazz until I started playing with a jazz ensemble, which made me want to listen more--which made me want to develop a better tone. Technique too, but listening to good players made me more aware of my tonal deficiencies than my technical ones.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •