06/05/2013 (12 Moon Solo Project Day 156)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 156

Date: 06/05/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


This afternoon I spent my practice session working strictly on free improvisation, and decided to take the day off from any etudes, long tones or scales that normally make up a part of my routine.  Life is so busy at the moment and it felt good just to play the horn without any kind of agenda attached to it.  I came to settle on a particular hexatonic scale with a series of false fingerings that ornamented it in a very vibrant way.  I used this scale in my improvisation today, recording several improvised takes before capturing the mood I was interest in.  The scale was as follows:

(Concert Key) Eb, G, Ab, Bb, Cb, Db.   

During this improvisation I tried to focus on a high level of ornamentation and melodicism simultaneously, and I used double-tonguing to help bring out more percussive colors with the fingerings.  Throughout the improvisation I referred back to the Concert G many times at a significantly lower volume than the material around it.  I feel extreme dynamics of this sort played a large role in shaping the piece.  Though the scale as written above has a Concert Eb at its base, I played this pitch only once at the bottom of the scale, and once at the top respectively, using the power of this fundamental to punctuate the melodic landscape created by the scale.

The fingerings used in this piece all had the Low B and Low C depressed.  Traditional fingerings were used as the melodic starting point, and the Side C, Bis Bb, 1 and 1 Bb fingerings created microtones and split tones around them.  The only exception were the pitches Bb and Cb, which simultaneously (as a split fingering) used the following fingering:

(Left Hand) C key, Low B, Octave // (Right Hand) F-E keys, Low C


The image “untitled” accompanying today’s post by an unknown author.