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Topic: Sax imitation

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  1. #1

    Sax imitation

    Hmm, it appears that alot of people use a clarinet in place of a sax when writing jazz pieces and such. I've listened to saxes before(though I'm not very familiar with them) and it seems to me that an English Horn would be a better substitute. I guess this really isn't that important of a topic, but I'm just curious what other people use for saxes.

  2. #2

    Re: Sax imitation

    For classical sax, English horn sounds closest to the alto sax. the tenor is meant to sound like a cello. The rest are not common in the classical repetoire.

    As for jazz.... best to just wait for the big band package, the jazz sax has a vastly different sound than the classical sax. I have heard many mention using the big band saxes in classical settings, but this won't work. The same vice-versa.
    Jess Hendricks
    DMA Student and Teaching Asst in Music Theory/ Composition at the University of Miami
    Personal Website

  3. #3
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Sax imitation

    Quote Originally Posted by mscmixer
    Hmm, it appears that alot of people use a clarinet in place of a sax when writing jazz pieces and such. I've listened to saxes before(though I'm not very familiar with them) and it seems to me that an English Horn would be a better substitute. I guess this really isn't that important of a topic, but I'm just curious what other people use for saxes.
    Yes, and the bassoon works well sometimes. I've used it in rendering a musical score for rehearsals but only if the sax or saxes are particularly important for cues. Otherwise, I've used other GM sounds to fill the gap.
    Styxx

  4. #4

    Re: Sax imitation

    Did you know "Tears of A Clown" by Smokey Robinson uses a bassoon? After listening to that song it never sounded like a bari sax. I looked it up and found they used a bassoon in the recording.

  5. #5

    Re: Sax imitation

    Quote Originally Posted by mscmixer
    Hmm, it appears that alot of people use a clarinet in place of a sax when writing jazz pieces and such... ...it seems to me that an English Horn would be a better substitute. I guess this really isn't that important of a topic, but I'm just curious what other people use for saxes.
    I am one of those who has used clarinets - and have tried the suggestion of using English Horn, Bassoons etc.,

    The approach I take is that (until I get my grubby mits on the Jazz/Big Band library) I select from the GPO pool of instruments those which legitmately could be expected to be played in a typical pro-band. Hence, my choice to use clarinets.

    Excluding the crossover orchestral/big band productions, I know of a few Big Band charts that have included Oboe parts, but I have never actually come across anyone in Big Band field who played them on Oboe (either through ability, availability or choice - I don't know which).

    So (in my opinion) whilst using clarinets instead of saxes is not what has been scored, the sound obtained is recognisably that of a Big Band.

    My trials of using the double reeds has been interesting (and brought a smile to my face because it conjures up the image in my head of a Middle Ages Court Band playing Charlie Parker charts) and at times suggested a likeness to a sax section, I think I prefer going for the clarinets which are different to what has been written but not unthinkable as opposed to getting a suggestion of the scored sound but being obviously not believable for a Big Band.

    Just my thoughts....

  6. #6

    Re: Sax imitation

    I beleive that I have the best solution for this issue:

    Don't use a sax in your peice!!!!

    Chris

  7. #7

    Re: Sax imitation

    I have a better solution

    contact this internet sax player

    Jeffrey Wills jscotwills@earthlink.net

    He's freakin' amazing! And he's very reasonable. And he plays bari to soprano. I've had him record me soprano, alto and tenor parts on my tunes (all via the internet)

    See Bruce's post about his recent piece that involved a real clarinet player. Real players make all the difference.

    Regarding saxes, money better spent on a real player. Forget English horn. English horn is best left for Concierto de Aranjuez.

  8. #8

    Re: Sax imitation

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty
    I have a better solution.
    What do you mean you have a better solution??!!!?!

    Mine is cheaper, easier, and.................cheaper!

    Oh well, I'll give it a rest.

    Good luck with your sax,
    Chris

  9. #9

    Re: Sax imitation

    But it's less saxy. And if you want more sax, no sax is not the solution.

    I get the feeling you're saxist...

  10. #10

    Angry Re: Sax imitation

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty
    But it's less saxy. And if you want more sax, no sax is not the solution.

    I get the feeling you're saxist...
    Actually, I'm a little jealous of saxes.
    I'm a bassoonist, and in my HS band, I'm almost always in unison with the tenor saxes. They always drown me out, and they all sound better than me, and they all put less effort into it than I do!
    Why can't the stupid arrangers give the bassoon (just singular. I'm the only bassoon worth listening to) a unique part?

    I'll tell you why:
    Because saxes are soooooooooo much more popular than bassoons because they're easier to play, sound better with less effort, almost always in tune, and are cheaper. And therefore a band (especially a HS one) will be more likely to have a lot of saxes than a lot of bassoons!
    Grrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!

    So that's why I'm saxist.

    Chris

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