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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.

Thematic sets of scores

Here are some links to arrangements grouped by topics in alphabetical order (thanks to Mr.Sax-O-Beat).

Arctic Monkeys https://musescore.com/user/1488461/sets/3961316
Blink-182 https://musescore.com/user/1488461/sets/3954021
Christmas Scores https://musescore.com/user/1488461/sets/3961291
Coldplay https://musescore.com/user/1488461/sets/3961256
Fall Out Boy https://musescore.com/user/1488461/sets/3954016
Gorillaz(https://musescore.com/user/1488461/sets/4808640
Marching Band Arrangements https://musescore.com/user/1488461/sets/4802554
Panic! At The Disco https://musescore.com/user/1488461/sets/3961221
My Chemical Romance https://musescore.com/user/1488461/sets/3953461
Rock (classic rock) Scores https://musescore.com/user/1488461/sets/3961331

Composed Works by Mr. Sax-O-Beat (https://musescore.com/user/1488461/sets/3961351)

Post your arrangements in the group, paste the link and description in comments here, and we will add your score and/or topic to this post, so it would be easy for all interested users to find it

Feedback wanted for a Brass Quartet score

in Brass

Hey,

I was requested a brass quartet arrangement for a Stardew Valley song (the arrangement is here : https://musescore.com/user/5174461/scores/3443856). However, I know close to nothing about theses instruments. I asked the "requester" (is that a word ?) for some feedback but it's been something like a month so I'm not sure I'm gonna get any... I'd still like to finish this arrangement properly so here I am seeking feedback :)

I've already been searching the web for advices but I'm not sure theses replace real experience with the instrument.

Some of my worries / concerns :
Some things may be weird, unplayable, and so on. The song is very rhythmic focused, so I think it's important every player can play his/her part very accurately, or the whole thing will
feel unstable - which is why it's not a good thing if some part are weird to play (some percussions would remove this concern, but it wouldn't be a brass quartet arrangement then)

More precisely :
- if there's not enough time to breath
- if a part isn't in the good range for the instrument (too high / too low / makes thing too difficult)
- if a part is just too quick to be played accurately
- if a part is too tiring for the player
- if a part is assigned to the wrong instrument (another instrument would play the part more easily)

In particular :
- measure 5-9 : not sure whether tuba or trombone has the easiest time for this part. It seems to be more in tuba's range but can definitely be played a bit higher if needed.
- measure 10-17 : same as above for tuba/trombone (for both parts). Also I removed a lot of stuff from the bass line (played by trombone) in order to make it more playable, but maybe that's not enough or is not necessary
- measure 18+ for trumpet : is that even remotely playable for trumpets ? Is it too tiring on the long run ? (i.e. I should switch the trumpets often, or even shorten the whole thing because it repeats a lot in the original song)
- measures 26-33 for tuba : is that too quick ?

Thanks a lot !

Será que a gente coloca o resto do repertório da OVNI aqui?

o material da OVNI - *O*rquestra de *V*ioloncelos *N*oturnos *I*niciantes está neste link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B_ErvbhGVN1bUDVQaTZGYzkyZ00
Sejam bem vindos a dar o upload de todas estas partes aqui no musescore.
O Cledilson já fez o Pachelbel, que ajuda pra caramba nos estudos.
Não sei se dá pra transformar as notas em colorido por aqui, mas seria um upgrade interessante no musescore.
Enfim, quando fizerem algum upload, se precisarem de dedilhados, etc., escrevam por aqui.
Abraços Ovnianos

Using [Basic] Counterpoint for Strings, and Starting Out

Writing for strings can be a difficult process and there are so many variables whenever you delve into writing for string players. This strategy may help with some problems, but not all problems will be fixed automatically.

Use counterpoint to help add to your melodies. Keep in mind that you need to be acquainted with counterpoint and counterpoint isn't always easy. If you need help with counterpoint, I'll give you some advice.
- Whenever you have only one line [melody], use the following intervals: Unison, major/minor seconds, Major/minor thirds, Perfect fourths/fifths (watch out and don't use fifths more than once), Major/minor sixths, Octaves or perfect eights... Notice there aren't any Dissonant or augmented values [you're allowed to write them If you don't want strict counterpoint]!
- If you have two voices and want to make each voice singable, be sure to use the following intervals: Unison, Major/minor thirds, Perfect fifths [watch out for paralles] (fourths make it harder for your singers), Major/minor sixths, and Octaves/perfect eights... Notice there aren't any Dissonant or augmented values [you're allowed to write them If you don't want strict counterpoint]!

That's all you need to know. Start with writing for solo instead of a duet. After you learned a little more about counterpoint from that; Write one (more) solo for viola. Afterwards, write a duet piece for any 2 string instruments; Follow the advice for singable voices.

NOTE: THIS ISN'T ALL THERE IS TO COUNTERPOINT IF YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE, GO TO THIS VIDEO SERIES ON YOUTUBE: https://youtu.be/JcqrGLvs95M?list=PLA660D90FB432BD69. TURN UP YOUR VOLUME CAUSE IT'S A BIT SILENT.

Rag Tales album

in Brass

My new album "Rag Tales" is out now. You can find it on Spotify, ITunes, Apple Music, and Google Play among others. I got started right here on Musescore when I was invited to the ragtime players group. Please check it out. I think you will enjoy it. Thank you friends. Just search for " CJ Brandt" or "Rag Tales". Thanks again

Rag Tales album

My new album "Rag Tales" is out now. You can find it on Spotify, ITunes, Apple Music, and Google Play among others. I got started right here on Musescore when I was invited to the ragtime players group. Please check it out. I think you will enjoy it. Thank you friends. Just search for " CJ Brandt" or "Rag Tales". Thanks again

Publishing Offer

in Brass

Mandek Music Publishing is now open for score submission , we are a company specializing in music publication. We aim to flip the script on the usual dealings in the industry and allow artists to fully realize their artistic potential because we nurture rather than curb creativity.

We accept scores in these following formats: Sibelius files, Musescore files, PDF files
and handwritten files favourably in the respective order. If you have it in any other format
please indicate so that our IT team can assist you. (All submissions are done via email)

Interested parties should send a Direct Message or email us at mandekmusicpublishing@musician.org

Redefining Music

The Best of Laugh Silly Each Month Contest

I'd like to try something fun in my new role as co-administrator of Laugh Silly. Each Month, I will name the best laugh-inducing, silly composition submitted during the month, at least according to me and then post the winners here.
You are also welcome to nominate what you think are the best of the month, also.

August 2016......