anyone here play saxophone. I would appreciate any input. thanks Dave
Hey Dave! I noticed you said you are from Massachusetts. Where are you from specifically? I am from Massachusetts too!
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what kind of input are you seeking? which one to play?? what brand to buy??? playing with a specific genre????
just call me M.I.T.S.
I am in western Mass name of the town is Becket in Berkshire county.
I'm a sax player by training, but rarely get out the horn for Sunday mornings. It doesn't really fit the style of our church very well.
What do you want input on?
As far as input Iguess I'm just looking for help. We play mostly contemporary worship songs and I am pretty much limited to a solo on the melody. Sometimes I do a little fill in stuff. I just want to make sure I'm doing all I can to enhance our sound. Also, are there any songs that sound great on the sax. I play sop, alto, and tenor. Thanks Dave
There aren't a whole lot of "contemporary" groups that feature a lot of horns. Hillsong has been known to on occasion but they're generally in the background. Check out some Isreal Houghton, he uses some horns on his albums and does it well. Big Daddy Weave has a sax player who does some good work but it's generally intro/outro/fill kind of music.
If you're the only horn player in the band it's hard to do Isreal-style horn hits, but it could work. You might also check out some groups like Tower of Power, Chicago or Dave Matthews for some musical inspiration. If you listen to them you'll hear that the horns (and violin in DMB) don't play all the time. One of the biggest things you'll need to learn as a horn player is when to lay out (which will be a lot of the time). Some of the best players I've ever heard play very few notes during a set, but when they do play - oh man.
If your band's sound needs some filling out, you might try playing some basic chord tones underneath the lead vocal. Make sure it's underneath - the lead vocal needs to be the lead vocal. If you don't have harmony voices you could play a harmony line (again, below the lead vocal, make sure the melody is the lead).
I'd suggest you check out some videos by Paul Baloche on playing within a worship band. He has one about playing lead guitar, when you're playing fills and solos you're filling a similar role. He also has a video about blend that's more aimed at vocalists, but if you're playing harmony lines or chord tones it's the same idea.
What kind of training do you have? Can you read changes? Can you pick out the melody or harmony by ear? What other instruments and voices are in your band?`
Thanks for all the great advice. I am the only horn player in the band although I am currently mentoring a 17 yr old girl who's a little shy about being heard ,if you know what I mean. We have a good size group. A guy who plays banjo, mandolin and guitar. 5 female and 1 male vocalist, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass guitar, keyboard and drums. Some tunes that we play a lot. God is Good, I'll Fly Away, Amazing Grace My Chains are Gone and the traditional one, Creator King, Lord I lift Your Name on High. By the way, there's a youtube version of Lord I lift by a sax player that really shreds. I've been playing with the group for about 5 yrs now after coming back from not playing for 30 yrs. I can usually pick up new songs by ear and I also use a small digital recorder at practice so I can go home and try adding fill ins to songs. Thanks again
We have a sax playing with us on nearly every song, every Sunday. He learns everything by ear, and most of what he plays is stuff that he just figures out on his own. I give him some direction, but he's good enough to take care of himself. You wouldn't think it fits our style of music, but it works well on most songs. We've even learned a few Big Daddy Weave songs just to highlight him.
Nate, do you have some recordings we could listen to?