05/20/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 140)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 140

Date: 05/20/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

Location: Home studio in Clinton, WA (Whidbey Island)


The use of double-tonging was a focus during my practice time this afternoon.  I’m still a relative novice at the use of this technique as I’ve really only delved deeply into it for about two or three years.  I’m currently surveying my ability to use the technique within specific ranges of the instrument, as certain regions have higher or lower relative levels of natural resistance.  This results in the technique having extremely different overall levels of fluidity from one part of the horn to another.  Today I worked with specific alternate fingerings in the mid range of the instrument that allowed for an extremely rapid exchange of pitches.  These particular fingerings are of interest to me because closing or opening a key will only adjust the pitch minimally, but the actual changes in volume and presence of sound can be much more drastic. For example, one pitch may be muted and stuffy where another may be bright and medium volume.

I approached this improvisation as though I were playing traditional chromatic fingerings spanning a middle octave D to middle octave F#.  However, the the Fork F and Low C keys were pressed down throughout.  This created quarter tones resulting a larger number of intervals between this major third intervalic range.  As stated above, this fingering system allowed some pitches to naturally speak more than others and to provide drastic variations in sound color.  I attempted to maintain a consistent and persistent use of double-tonguing throughout the improvisation.


The image “Shadow Dance” accompanying today’s post by Nicolas Carone