In this clip, I am playing a custom-made SYOS mouthpiece for the tenor sax. I was going for a darker sound, with just enough high-frequency to cut through. I really like this one. I find it very comfortable and easy to play.
I like trying new mouthpieces. At first, I was looking for that perfect tenor sax sound, but not anymore. I’m happy with any mouthpiece that produces a sound without much work. So, for now, I’m satisfied with what I have now because I need to get to the business of learning.
The song in the video is called Green Dolphin Street. I pointed that out because I didn’t play the melody to avoid copyright violations.
For you non-musicians, songs are made up of chord progressions. That’s a series of chords placed in progressive order to build the song. What happens in jazz tunes is usually the melody or the “head,” is played and then improvisation happens after that. The soloing musician uses the chord progression to improvise new melodies. That is what I am endeavoring to learn to do.
There was a time when I thought I was competent. That could not have been the truth because I know more about the songs I have been practicing than before. The more I learn about the chord progressions I have been practicing, the worse I perform. So, I probably never knew the songs at all.
I am trying to learn what I failed to learn when I was a kid. Ironically, I was being paid whether I had a gig or not. If I had practiced while being paid to do just that, I would be a much better saxophone player. The Navy paycheck made me complacent.
I will be 60 years old this year. It’s a little hard to believe. Also, I can’t believe how long it took me to want to really learn to play the instrument. I do have the desire to learn. However, at this age, I’m not sure where I’m headed with this.