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  • saxophone

    anyone here play saxophone. I would appreciate any input. thanks Dave

  • #2
    Hey Dave! I noticed you said you are from Massachusetts. Where are you from specifically? I am from Massachusetts too!

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    • #3
      what kind of input are you seeking? which one to play?? what brand to buy??? playing with a specific genre????

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      • #4
        I am in western Mass name of the town is Becket in Berkshire county.

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        • #5
          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?

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          • #6
            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

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            • #7
              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?`

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              • #8
                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

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                • #9
                  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
                  Practical Worship

                  Please Pray For My Wife

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                  • #10
                    Nate, do you have some recordings we could listen to?

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                    • #11
                      we don't have anything right now, but I'll let you know when we do.

                      Nate
                      Practical Worship

                      Please Pray For My Wife

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                      • #12
                        Before I became a christian I used to play the saxophone profesionaly. I am a saxophone teacher in a music school in Greece. But, I rarely play it in service, because I play the keyboards, sing and lead, and also because I am not sure when it is the best to play. I mean I prefer the people to focus to the Lord and not to the musicians, and use their time in worship to deal with Him. I am saying this because I think it is better to eliminate the distractions and the sudden sound of the saxophone (or any other sudden sound) when the people have their eyes closed and communicate with the God, it ofter disrupts their worship.

                        But, sometimes (very rarely) we have a song played by saxophone and the whole church is singing with it and worship the Lord.

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                        • #13
                          Hi Dave,
                          I play the alto and saprano sax for our worship team at Garris Chapel Church in NC. What kind of info are you looking for. This has been a great experience. So far we have been very successful in including the saxaphone in most styles of music including contemporary. Let me know how I can help. Cheers. Brad.

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                          • #14
                            Before I became a WL, I toured as a pro sax player. I was called many times to come in and play an obligato line above high energy choir pieces a la Sanborn or Albright. I found the alto worked best for this sort of thing as it fit better with the human voice and also had a more 'pop' sound rather than that traditional jazz sound that the tenor leans too. My tenor, though big sounding, blended better and I used it on musical numbers where I wanted to keep the energy a little more subdued.

                            You can energize your choirs and praise teams with the right touch, Too much and you take away from the worshipfulness of the moment. It is a balancing act that needs careful consideration every week.

                            Here is an example of something I did in '06. I do not play much anymore as I lead from keys and B3 now. No choir. Just a special for offertory.

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                            • #15
                              I played solo horn on worship teams from about '95 to '08. Only thing I see now is full horn sections playing what used to be played by the 2nd keyboard. Man I miss it. Tenor didn't really add much, but the soprano in the last couple of tunes was typically very powerful.

                              Any instrument can get in the way of the Spirit, or make way for the Spirit. The horn just makes that statement more apparent.

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