06/10/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 161)


12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 161

Date: 06/10/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


During my practice session this morning, I explored sympathetic key clacking inside of melodic phrases.  I approached it a variety of ways, including cross fading pitches and the key clacking, or creating different rhythmic cycles with the clacking itself while playing a melody.  I eventually settled on a bluesy theme with 4 pitches, where I performed a piece inspired by steel body guitar playing.  In my own playing I tried to replicate the twangy, gutsy tremolo by fluttering open and closed the lower stack “clutch” key on every pitch played.  I maintained this flutter only when actually playing a note and did this to give the effect that the clacking was more a part of the note sounds themselves rather than something used for affectation.   I used my index and middle fingering, rapidly alternating one after the other as though trilling two keys on a piano.  

This improvisation uses pitches divided in the upper register and middle register.  The upper register uses the traditionally tempered pitches Eb, G and Bb–an Eb major triad.  In the middle register I used alternate fingerings to create breathy, bluesy tones with the pitches Db and Eb.  These pitches used the following fingerings:

Db (Left Hand) Fork F, A-G keys, octave 

Eb (Left Hand) Fork F, C key, octave


The image “A Near Distance” accompanying today’s post by Perle Fine (1961)