Learning saxophone….

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Alan 6 days, 16 hours ago.

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  • #28454 Reply

    ChuckMott
    Participant

    For someone who is what i consider a fledgling pianist (can get through a song with multiple takes, and some midi repair) hear and there, and who doesn’t have a saxophone VST worthy for soloing , in my opinion, tossed between buying the VST and just going for the real deal and learning how to play it. Nothing fancy, but with a solid foundation in theory, hoping to maybe pull off some decent sax solos maybe within a year. Thoughts? Doable? Let’s just go on the assumption I can’t afford a real sax player.

    #28455 Reply

    Michael Nickolas
    Participant

    I personally don’t have the patience to coax a realistic performance out of a VST so I say learn the sax! That is if you think you’ll be using it a lot, given the cost of a sax and the time investment. For the occasional sax parts I either bring in a sax player to my studio, use a sax player with the ability to record remotely and send me the parts, or use loops. You can get a very convincing solo using loops. I’ll send you an example if you’d like. Don’t want to post it here as it’s not watermarked.

    #28458 Reply

    MichaelL
    Participant

    I admire your ambition, Chuck.

    IMO:
    1) You will spend a lot (thousands) of money buying a decent sax, and then you will have one sax, Soprano, Alto, Tenor, or Bari. Sometimes songs call for one or the other or a combination of the above.

    2) It will take a very long time to develop the embouchure necessary to sound good without a lot of pitch correction, like Melodyne.

    3) This is a great VI, which can achieve very realistic results, especially if you use a wind controller. http://www.samplemodeling.com/en/products_saxes.php

    4) However, I agree with Michael Nickolas. Hire a sax player. They will a) play with technique that will take you years to develop, b) most likely have all of the saxes available, and c) very likely also double on piccolo, flute, and clarinet, giving you even more flexibilty to write different kinds of tracks and to use them in different ways while they are on the session.

    #28459 Reply

    MichaelL
    Participant

    If you do hire a sax player, make sure that you transpose the sax parts to the instrument’s key before the session. That will save time and money, although top players can often play and transpose at the same time.

    #28461 Reply

    ChuckMott
    Participant

    I’ve really been a fan of smooth jazz for awhile, and I have written enough stuff now with horns it to think an investment in a quality VST would be worth it. I also do some funk /RnB with horns in it.

    I may start off with a student ax, was also wondering , because it has been my experience that even a cheap mandolin seems to sounds better then a good VST, could I expect the same from a sax. I saw another thread that said you should be able to play basic stuff in a few weeks . But really, like the mandolin, I want to pretty much just pick it up when a part calls for it. On the other hand, because i play guitar, a mandolin was relatively easy to learn and re-acclimate myself on. I’ve heard the samplemodeling stuff, that would likely be the VST I would go with.

    Here is one of my first serious attempts at the genre. The heretofore unnamed sax I have wasn’t doing it for me, and honestly I wasn’t pleased with the one other track I’ve done that used it in the context of a solo. Will likely give you an idea where my piano skills are at. Feedback would be welcome. It has not landed in a library yet.

    #28462 Reply

    ChuckMott
    Participant

    I would be interested in those loops, if you could PM me. Thank you both.

    #28463 Reply

    ChuckMott
    Participant

    FWIW the part is a guitar doubled with a piano, was going to be sax, but I was like, no….

    #28471 Reply

    Michael Nickolas
    Participant

    Actually, the tracks I were thinking about are available on Pond5 now.

    https://www.pond5.com/collections/2061952

    Most have horn sections, the ones that demonstrate using loops to build a solo are:

    If You Riff – sax solo at 1:00
    Onward Motion – trumpet solo at 1:29
    True Groove – sax solo at 1:53
    The Night Growl – sax solo at 1:23

    If you don’t listen too closely, I think they’re passable.

    #28477 Reply

    BEATSLINGER
    Participant

    For someone who is what i consider a fledgling pianist (can get through a song with multiple takes, and some midi repair) hear and there, and who doesn’t have a saxophone VST worthy for soloing , in my opinion, tossed between buying the VST and just going for the real deal and learning how to play it. Nothing fancy, but with a solid foundation in theory, hoping to maybe pull off some decent sax solos maybe within a year. Thoughts? Doable? Let’s just go on the assumption I can’t afford a real sax player.

    Chuck, I say GO FOR IT!! You can do ANYTHING you put your mind to!! Just think what the sense of accomplishment will do.

    #28479 Reply

    Composer Of Notes
    Participant

    It’s doable. I’m a trumpet/piano player although I’ve been playing my whole life. My suggestion is Get a teacher! With wind instruments it’s very easy to develop bad habits that may take months or years to correct.
    And sax is probably the easiest instrument out there and so many of the pop and rock and smooth jazz players really don’t sound that good anyway. So you don’t have to be Coltrane to pull off smooth jazz and production music.

    #28565 Reply

    Alan
    Participant

    Hey Chuck,
    I think you saw my post

    Never Stop Learning

    If you really want to learn to play the sax then I think you absolutely should go for it! Drop $1K on a decent horn (will you start with alto or tenor?), find a teacher that understands your goals, and dedicate 1-2 hours per day to practicing for the next 3-5 years.

    If your motivation is getting a real sax on your compositions, then hire a pro when you need one or put the go with samplemodeling
    http://www.samplemodeling.com/en/products_saxes.php
    I think it would be cheaper too.

    I’m a retired military musician and a brass player. I really don’t believe you should expect to be able to play sax to the level you would need in just one year if you have no prior wind instrument experience. Developing a decent tone takes years.
    I you doubt me, find a local college music department and listen to a few of those undergrads that have 5-10 years of playing experience.

    I’m not trying to discourage you at all, but I think one year is an unrealistic goal.
    Let us know what you decide!

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