How to get that sound? - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    i get my dirty tenor sound the way bootman does. just blow as much air as you can tru the horn and add a little flutter tounge from time to time. hi baff mpc w/big tip and soft bright reed is the combo. lots of attitude helps too

  2. #22
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    I agree with John that it's great to see this discussion of R&R sax. I see it as an important part of the picture. Much as I love jazz in all it's forms, if it weren't for blues & R&B I wouldn't get to play my horn in public nearly as often and I certainly wouldn't be doing many paying gigs. I wish I could play like Trane or Bird or any of the jazz greats, but I'd need another lifetime to even approach that. In the meantime, I can play R&B/blues (I seem to have an affinity for it) and I love that sound as well.

    Back on topic, I can get a buzzy, gutsy sound very well with my Sugal mpc, but lately I prefer a bit darker, cleaner tone, even for R&B. I've been getting that with the Jaguar, and as many stated above, by overblowing with attitude I still get a raunchy sound when I want it. Also adding in occasional flutter tongue goes a long way.

  3. #23

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    Thanks. Very informative answers

  4. #24

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    So we really have four options then, is that correct? Epiglotal growl (more gutteral), humming/screaming harmonic growl (smoother), flutter tonguing (most disruptive or turbulent to tone), and finally Overblowing.

    They all sound so different when you're the one playing it, but when you hear it on the radio or CD, it takes a moment to stop and figure out what sound it is. Perhaps the most easily recognizable is the flutter tongue.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selmer Fudd
    Unfortunately, the higher the baffle (an exercise in pretzel logic terminology itself), the less control you have over pitch.

    This is the reason most of the tenor guys you've mentioned used Berg 120-130/2 instead of today's more popular (and MUCH less expressive) /1 or /0 baffles. I'm not talking intonation, I'm referring to the ability to alter the pitch outside of the dead-on tuning note at will! This type of mouthpiece is more difficult to play (especially at todays levels) but WELL worth the effort!
    Pete, maybe I don't understand your meaning, or it just hasn't been my experience. I admit that I prefer the tone of my Berg 120/2, and will often use it for studio, but for live electric mayhem I find it limiting. For example, I can't get enough air through the 120/2 Berg to overblow the higher altissimos as well as I'd like, in fact I'll sometimes choke them off, especially altissimo B and above. I tried the /0 Berg and didn't like it at all, for tone or performance. But the DGSKRB really unleashed the altissimos, I can do more pitch "gymnastics" and multiphonics, perhaps at the expense of some tonal complexity. Now, if I could get the sound of my 120/2 Berg and the performance of the DGSKRB, I'd scarcely have a reason to eat.

  6. #26
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    Great topic. Super insights. Thanks all.
    Les

  7. #27
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    Hornster

    It might very well limit your high altissimo abilities!! But, an extensive listen to the originators of R&R/R&B sax will show that this is simply not important to the style. If you're playing a LOT of altissimo, chances are you're NOT playing the R&R/R&B I've been crankin' out since '55.

    In fact, the high notes SHOULD sound very difficult to hit....this is integral to the style and part of what it's all about! The most PERFECT altissimo note in the history of the styke is Clifford Scott's high g (concert f) on the end of Honky Tonk part 1. A mere full step above the normal, Kosher range of the horn, he made it sound like the highest note ever, and one that no-one will ever reach again. That, friend, is Rock 'N' Roll!!

    However, I did state that playing at today's levels does, indeed, pose a problem requiring an unsatisfactoy compromise in my, admittedly, rather narrow view of this music!

    By the way...Pete?

  8. #28

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    If you want an agressive mpc for rock that blows free and bright, don't forget to try an ARB Metal. They have more power than a Dukoff.

  9. #29
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    As I've been listening to the old R&R/R&B greats like Curtis and Bostic I've noticed that they don't sound nearly as bright as some of todays R&R players.And keeping in mind that these are recorded sounds so its likely that they did not have very bright sounds but FLEXIBLE might be a good way to put it.And thats what I'm looking for too when it comes to R&R sound,not overly bright (which usually means thinner sound too) but flexible sound.Ofcourse,volume levels in 50's and 60's were not as nearly as high as today so they did not have to compete with electronics as much as we do today.I have a DG King tenor piece I've been using trying to get that older R&R sound and its OK but I don't think Curtis used that bright piece,even if DG King is supposed to be patterned after Curtis-sound.Just some thoughts.
    Any idea where to get John Laughter's books?

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selmer Fudd
    If you're playing a LOT of altissimo, chances are you're NOT playing the R&R/R&B I've been crankin' out since '55. . . In fact, the high notes SHOULD sound very difficult to hit....this is integral to the style and part of what it's all about!
    You're absolutely right. In my jump collection, guys like Curtis, Prysock, Davis, Taylor, Allen, etc., seldom if ever went above F# or G, and those notes wailed with effort (although I'd like to know what mouthpiece Rufus Gore of The Bradshaw Orchestra was using, he'd go into the stratosphere). The DBSKRB's high baffle is great for altissimo, and with the current band I need that performance, but the Berg 120/2 is still my best sounding piece. Damn, I want it both ways.

    Quote Originally Posted by Selmer Fudd
    By the way...Pete?
    Aren't you saxmanPete, who sold me several horns (Chu silver & gold tenor, M6 'nino, SBA alto)?

  11. #31
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    Good discussion......I agree with the last few posts. IMO, extensive use of altissimo is counter-productive (if you stay up there all the time, why not just play soprano?). The real effective way to use it is to hit an occasional high note at just the right time with the just right intensity (as in the Honkey Tonk example Selmer Fudd cited). I also like to go way up high sometimes on the very end of a high-energy tune.

    Also, I don't think BRIGHT is necessarily the definition of R&B sax. Powerful, fat, with some edge, yes, but too bright sounds too thin to me. I suspect there is room for a wide variety of sounds, just as in the jazz arena.

  12. #32
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    Subtone, any local music or book store can order them from Hal Leonard, Inc.;

    http://hometown.aol.com/jsaxl/music1/index.htm

    You can also type in Rock & Roll Saxophone on your search engine to find stores on the NET that carry them.

    If you have any questions about any of the lessons, feel free to drop an email and I will do what I can to help.

    Also, look for Tm Price's "Hot Rock Sax"
    Steve Douglas' video "Rock & Roll Saxophone"
    Scott Page's video "Beginner Sax"

    Boots also has a "Rock & Roll Saxophone" book on the market. There is also a DVD about rock sax but I can't recall the title. Also, Blues Saxophone: An In-Depth Look At The Styles Of The Masters by Dennis Taylor.

    I/we would also be interested to know about any other new books that include lessons on the techniques of rock/pop/R&B, etc.

  13. #33
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    The Berg mpc about 120/2, should that be metal, or is HR ok. And should that be SMS or the longer faceing (M?)

    I used to use a link for R&R and R&B in the '70s, both metal and HR. Usually liked the HR better, thought it was sl brighter.

  14. #34
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    frankbiff:

    The Bergs were usually metal and the facing was M! Sometimes I think they just LOOKED cooler rather than having any real sonic improvement over HR!

    hornstar;

    Really? You'd buy a horn from a guy named saxman Pete?! Say, I've got a gross of SPECIAL lifetime wearing, permanently tuned tenor reeds I could letcha have at a steal!
    Just leave $200 dollars in the ol' stump by the railroad track and your reeds will be shipped in a plain brown wrapper by Fedex, eventually!

    No, I'm afraid you've got me confused with a real person, living or dead!

  15. #35
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    John,thanks for the info,I'll check them out.
    Pete Yellin has a book about rock sax,titled simply "Rock Sax"

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selmer Fudd
    Really? You'd buy a horn from a guy named saxman Pete?!
    I know! If that's the best name a guy could come up with, it should have been a red flag. "Saxmanpete" sounds like a name for a fast-talking guy in a loud sportcoat pushing a great deal on a metal clarinet that he's painted gold and swears is a vintage soprano sax.

  17. #37
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    Rico webpage has some information of Sam Butera's reeds saying that he uses Plasticover 5 reeds.This probably means that he uses smaller tip Berg Larsen.Anyone know what his mpc is?

  18. #38
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    I asked the last time I saw him, but I don't remember his answer. The next time he comes around, I'm sure I could ask him again. I try to catch him when plays the lounge at the nearby casino, which is usually a few times a year. Last time I went, there was almost no one there to hear him, which I thought was a sin for a guy who still blows his butt off. Butera's a prince of a guy to talk to, very accessible, and still sounds great.

    Jacquet's solo on JATP's Flyin' Home (as well as Ben Webster's solo on Cottontail) is purported to have influenced many of the R&B/R&R sax players. When Jacquet was in town to play a few months ago, he said he's been using the same metal Link all these years, a 4-tip Link, I believe it's a NY STM. Food for thought for those of us that think we need a big open piece for that sound.

  19. #39
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    Sam I just dug some info up on the newsgroups.
    and the info varies.

    one guy who played with him said it was a Duckbilled Berg 110/0 with Rico #3 reeds.

    Another who has the same last name and claims while not related is a friend said a 110/2 Charlie Ventura Model,


    all agreed it was a Mk6.

    I saw him in Atlantic City a while back, but didn't ask. A very nice guy, my wife snapped a picture of us and he told her to take another just in case.

    Loud! man can he play loud, and can he play! the energy is incredible, and at the time he was more than 70 years old. He hasn't played AC in years, closest he gets to me now is the Mohegan Sun Casino in CT. www.sambutera.com


    as for Jacquet... a 4 tip?!?wow...but when you think when Coleman Hawkins went to a "large tip" it was a 6.

    I have quotes from Big Jay McNeely saying he was using a 1 or 1.5 reed, so he could play loud, but also get right up to audience members and play softly as well... he doesn't mention what mpc, just at times HR, other times metal, Have pictures with what appears to be a Link, and in more recent pics a Dukoff.

  20. #40
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    billmecca,thanks for the info! 130 and 5s sounds like a hard setup;I believe I read somewhere that he used a Charlie Ventura model Berg,too.100/110 and 5s sounds more like it.

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