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[article] Tonguing

Most of the sounds played by saxophonists start and end with tonguing, so I want to share with you some exercises which helped me (and, I hope, will help you) to achieve good tonguing technique. Feel free to add your exercises and suggestions as well.

  • Ex.1 Sing the “doo” syllable (pitch is not of importance for the exercise, but don’t change it during the process) repeating it but not interrupting, think of it as singing one long note. But don’t move your lips or jaw. Imagining that you are a ventriloquist really helps to get the right feeling. Notice that your tongue moves straight up and down. That is exactly the way notes are to be tongued on sax

  • Ex.2 Blow some note from the middle range of your horn for 3-5 seconds and then move your tongue up and touch the edge of the read still maintaining air pressure. Then pull the mouthpiece quickly out of your mouth. You should get a rush of air that quickly “escapes” your mouth cavity. If the air stream is weak, then you didn’t manage to keep the pressure behind your tongue. Practise this exercise till you succeed in it, as keeping the pressure even when you don’t play a sound is of much importance for right tonguing

  • Ex.3 Blow again some note from the middle range for 3-5 seconds and then move the tongue up to the read touching it (remember touching somewhere near the edge but not the middle part or the end of the reed) and then immediately down. Keep the speed of tonguing (it’s worth starting from “note tonguing” every 4 seconds). Strive for continuous sound, tonguing should not affect the quality of it.

That exercises I found in John O’Neil’s book long time ago and I felt I benefited from practising them even though I had been already playing saxophone for many years.

When actually playing some music, remember thinking of tonguing like separating long tone into parts (but not making separate sounds, so not splitting in any case) rather than ending every note and beginning another one. The air pressure should be constant and the sound stops immediately when you put your tongue on the read but it continues again immediately when you put it off.

As a warm-up I practise finishing notes both with tongue or without it (maybe adding a small vibrato on the end of the tone for jazz music).

I’ve described the basics of tonguing, but, of course, “in real life” sometimes you need to tongue something stronger and not only “touching the very tip of the read”. In fact different areas of tongue when touching different areas of reed (not only the tip) provide wide range of articulations. See Chapter 5 of “Developing A Personal Saxophone Sound” by David Liebman.

I've decided to stay with Musescore

When MS first changed it's format, I was extremely upset. It was a very poor transition with LOTS and LOTS of errors. In the past six months they have cleaned up a lot of problems. They still have not addressed two major problems, as I see it.
1) When cruising the dashboard if you listen to a song, you must go back to the top of the dashboard again. I can go through 7 or 8 pages and then frustration sets in. MS should work towards their software remembering where you are in your dashboard. This would make it much easier to peruse titles.
2) I believe that favourites do not belong on a composers profile page. I would much rather have another 5 of my scores scores show up. This may just be me, but there are many reasons for giving a favourite. Since MS has no "Like" button, I use the Fav for that function. When a young composer has spent a lot of time and energy in trying to write a masterpiece I feel that a fav rewards them for their work. When I really, really like a song... I just download it and add it to my library.

I have looked at other sites, and I see advantages to MS. I will stay, I also intend to make this group larger and more active.

Thanks to all of you members for sticking to the group.
Cheers
Richard

Composition in search of a good arrangement

Mea culpa group members for being absent for so long. I am in the middle of trying to start a virtual tour business for realtors and my thoughts have been else ware. I beg your forgiveness. With that said, I have uploaded a song I composed back in 2013. It is Psalm 139 set to music. It's a simple 3/4 arrangement using a flute and cellos. I uploaded it under my s0crate6 account. Yep, I'm just a poor boy from a poor family, (borrowing a line from Bohemian Rhapsody), so I don't have a pro account yet. I have to make do with the 5 song max for non-pro accounts. Anyway, check it out and if you are so inclined to write a fuller and more complete arrangement, I'd be very grateful. In case anyone wants to look at the work I have been doing in the virtual tour field, you can check that out at https://roundme.com/@vvt/tours. Ciao!

Maybe Today lyrics

in Lyrics

"Maybe Today" lyrics
https://musescore.com/user/127542/scores/148551

There’s a scent in the breeze
A feeling that hope abounds

Maybe today, is a new beginning
A fresh new hope, the slate is clean
I sense a change in the air
The woods are so serene

Soft the light begins to fade
I hear your cawing from a far
Sweeter than bananas
she is yellow feathered, my golden star.

Maybe today, our paths will meet
If it should happen, what would I say?
Would I be silly like a fool?
What if you then went away?

I’d like to think
Our eyes will meet
Out hearts will beat
Then we’ll know

There’s a scent in the breeze
A feeling that hope abounds

Maybe today, is a new beginning
A fresh new hope, the slate is clean
I sense a change in the air
The woods are so serene

Gosh dang it.

Remember that Yvette piece I wrote a few days ago?

Well now I want to make a musical around it. Ok; let me back up, not really a musical per-say; but more of an audio-drama.

I've got a basic plot: Yvette gets jealous of Anne's (another girl from that Madeline series I told you about in the comments section) beauty and forms a clique in an attempt to make Anne look bad in the process; Little does she know that it is turning her ugly on the inside.

Lyrics in search of music

Well, why not? We had music in search of lyrics. Now we have lyrics in search of music. Below is a ballad I wrote a few years ago. Anyone want to have a go at composing some music for it? My problem is I write lyrics faster than I write music.
To view a PDF file of the anthology it came from and to see the accented syllables of the lyrics (Musescore discussion board doesn't support, bold characters), go to:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/xx72bsnxnyg8bz0/AADfQku1EHI7AKpdOUY1lLcka?dl=0
and open CaptiveThoughtsAnthology.pdf. Song is meditation No. 220 (Page 468)

The words are as follows:

220. CANDLELIGHT CONVERSION

In a cavern, dark and deep,
'Neath the earth, within a lair,
Burned a Candle soft and bright,
‘Midst the night that tarried there.

All about it, darkness crept,
Pressing in from all around.
Still this flame did carry on,
Beating back night’s ruthless hound.

Burning bright and shining true,
It gave light there to a waif,
Who sat near it crouched and cold.
From the darkness, kept him safe.

The Candle's flame did bob and weave,
Dipped and swayed and struggled on,
Ever faithful to the boy,
Whose light he did depend upon.

Gratitude and gratefulness,
From the lad for the light's aid,
Would be deemed appropriate,
But this thanks it wasn't paid.

But still the Candle shined its light,
Staying darkness close at hand,
For the Candle loved the boy.
Defending him in a brave stand.

Never did its faithfulness,
Waiver, wane in vigils long,
As its flame stabbed at the night,
In battles pitched, it remained strong.

For without its loyal light,
In this cold oppressive cave,
Dark would swallow up the boy,
Sweeping o'er him like a wave.

Then by fate, within the heart,
Of the youth who huddled there,
Came a spark of gracious light,
Lifting him up from despair.

By some force beyond himself,
The boy there sensed the Candle's love,
And saw its selfless sacrifice,
Dripping wax and spilling blood.

Through this bles-sed martyrdom,
To the boy there came a hope,
For he came to realize,
The Light's true redeeming scope.

Bowing down before the Flame
That shown forth its saving light,
The boy wept and worshiped there,
Before his Savior, with delight.

As he knelt on bended knees,
The Candle spoke with gentle voice,
“In you now I've placed My Light
So that in Me you can rejoice.

Go now, Child, throughout the world,
To caverns steeped in dark despair,
Shine My Light for all to see,
To those who now are huddled there

Full of joy and peace and love,
He traveled far to caverns deep.
Shining the Light placed in him.
There darkness from the boy did creep.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
As it was with this here child,
So it is with ev’ryone,
For Adam's Fall did plunge us all,
Into a pit that has no sun.

No gentle rays of warming light,
To give us life and calm our fears,
The devil’s darkness in this place,
Has robbed men's souls and caused them tears.

But the Light of God's pure love,
Did pity men in earth's abyss,
Lost in deep, dark despondency,
Bound, tightly sealed with Satan's kiss.

To this darkened, fallen world,
Came of Candle of God's love.
Jesus Christ revealed the plan,
Of the Father up above.

Giving life and shedding blood,
God's Candle's wick and wax were spent.
Dripping down from Calv'ry's Cross,
As Christ melted, His flesh rent.

To those who hunger for the Light,
And see the error of their ways,
God shows them His great Truth and Light,
That burns by night and shines by day.

Come now you who live in fear,
And ignorance far from the Light.
Bow down before God's Candle now.
Proclaim Him Lord, receive your sight.