Holiday Gift Guide For Woodwind Musicians 2017 – Books

Do you have a musician whom you want to get a gift for? Or perhaps thinking about treating yourself this holiday season? Here are some ideas of books to get that musician for the holidays.

    Zinn and the Art of the Saxophone is a collection of 6 books that will teach you everything you need to play saxophone, how to practice, and just be a bad ass saxophonist. Of all the books I have, and believe me, I have hundreds of books on saxophone, this is the most well thought out, and concise series of books.
    Greg Fishman has a TON of great books. I highly recommend his Lobster Theory book along with any of his other excellent books.
    Walt Weiskopf also has some excellent books out. My favorite is Intervalic Improvisation – The Modern Sound: A Step Beyond Linear Improvisation. His other book, Around the Horn is quite good as well.
    Any books by Jim Snidero. I don’t think he’s published anything “bad” in my opinion.
    Dan Higgins – The Jazz Etude Book. This is a GEM that I’ve had for years (decades perhaps?). I really don’t remember where I got it, but it is a great Etude book. If you don’t know who Dan Higgins is, you probably have heard him. He’s one of the guys who gets all the Movie work in Hollywood. He was the saxophone in “Catch Me If You Can” intro. He was also the lead alto in Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band for the first album.
    Jerry Bergonzi Inside Improvisation series of books. These are a great resource to learn how to play more “modernly”.
    Bobby Stern – The Melodic Minor Handbook: A Jazz Player’s Perspective. Never heard of Bobby Stern? He’s the great saxophonist who played with Marvin Gaye. He has this great book out, plus check his site out for other great things.

Anyone else have any recommendations?

Musicians Have Better Memories

Bobby Owsinski linked to a interesting study,

The study found “a slight superiority of musicians over non-musicians” in long-term memory tasks, and a larger one in both short-term and working-memory tasks. Musicians performed best on working-memory tasks involving “tonal stimuli,” as you would expect, but their “advantage extended to verbal stimuli, too.” And on short-term memory tasks, musicians showed superior skills whether the item they were asked to recall was a musical tone, a verbal instruction, or a visual image.

Duh….

Pedal Board 1.1

Pedal Board 1.1
PedalBoard1.1

This is a dual input, one output rig. Basically, I wanted a rig where I could do both Saxophone and EWI and run it through effects. Lets look at the signal flow.

EWI – The input starts by going into the MX Micro Amp. Then goes into the volume pedal. Why? In live performance, sound guys tend sometime not to pay attention. That lead to performances with the EWI not being heard. Having the Amp and the Volume pedal lets me control the volume. I can boost it, or lower it. The signal then goes into the Eventide MixingLink. The mixing link then can send it to the effects loop.

Sax – The input starts by going into the Eventide MixingLink. Great little box that has nice preamps, and allows you to send things to an effects loop, or not, or send things to the effects loop and mix in some of the sax (or EWI) sound. It’s pretty flexible.

Effects Loop Signal flow

  • First stop is the KLIQ Tuner. Hey, you have to check the pitch every now and then.
  • Electro-Harmonix Nano POG. This is a great little pedal that one thing, alters pitch an octave above or below. It tracks really well.
  • Electro-Harmonix Q-Tron. This the model Jeff Coffin uses, with pretty much his settings. In pedal board 1.0, it was having issues, now it’s back. It’s fun to also put the Nano POG on as well through the Q-Tron.
  • Last but not least is the Eventide H9. This is an awesome pedal that does everything. It can do reverb, harmonizing, effects, distortions, etc. Again, its fun to have the Nano POG go through the pitch stuff on the H9, then I can sound like a horn section(ish).

Then everything comes back to the Eventide Missing link. I have the Missing Link set in DI mode (not line level).

And that is the pedal board as of today. It’s been working well.

Sheet Of The Week – Feel It Still (Portugal. The Man)

Here is one that is rather popular at the moment.

  Feel It Still by Portugal the Man for Eb Instruments (97.4 KiB, 14 hits)
You do not have permission to download this file. Please either login or create an account first.

  Feel It Still by Portugal the Man for Bb Instruments (95.5 KiB, 8 hits)
You do not have permission to download this file. Please either login or create an account first.


Sheet Of The Week – Look At What You Made Me Do (Tayler Swift)

Latest from Taylor Swift

  Look At What You Made Me Do for Eb Instruments by Taylor Swift (135.4 KiB, 5 hits)
You do not have permission to download this file. Please either login or create an account first.

  Look At What You Made Me Do for Bb Instruments by Taylor Swift (134.7 KiB, 4 hits)
You do not have permission to download this file. Please either login or create an account first.

Pedal Board 1.0

This is my current pedal board, minus the Q-Tron (which was in the upper left corner of the board).

This board was designed for using an EWI and a Microphone input at the same time. One issue I have found performing is that sound people are usually very inconsistent. They are either the set it once and they leave type, or the not playing attention type. Hardly does one get a sound guy who’s actually doing their job. My biggest problem was that a LOT of sound guys Continue reading Pedal Board 1.0

Effects Pedals Videos

The Woodwind and the Brasswind has some lightly educational videos about playing saxophone with effects pedals. They seems a little more geared towards them selling stuff. Not the greatest videos or examples, but it is a thing that saxophone players are using in performance. One of the best examples of someone who uses pedals is Dean Mongerio.

I think the one they did not show is an envelope follower, like a Q-Tron. If you are into the Brecker sound from the 70s, you want a Q-Tron type pedal. I’m planning on doing an article about pedals soon. I have been doing playing with pedals off and on for a while, starting with a Digitech Vocalist Live. I’ve now gone more “traditional”. What I would say is that I’m not a huge fan of using an all in one box to do effects for various reasons.

Anyhow, if anyone has any good videos with effects pedals, submit them in the comments!

SABre

I heard about this a while ago. A way to “augment” one’s bass clarinet. Though the original looked like it would completely wreck one’s bass clarinet.

I mean, look at all the stuff bolted on it. No way. Plus those demos? I dunno about that contemporary music stuff…..very strange.

Now though, they have the sensor down to a little box that straps on your clarinet or saxophone. Gives you all sorts of possibilities. No idea how much it costs.

FinaleScript to Format for iPad

I do a LOT of scripting. From writing Bash shell scripts, to Python code to AppleScripts, I do a lot of coding. It makes life easier. Why reinvent the wheel when you can script it once and be done with it.

Anyhow, since about 2011, I’ve been formatting things for use on an iPad. One thing you can do to get your printed things out of Finale on to an iPad easy is to format the page for an iPad. Sadly, there is no “default page setting for iPad” thing in Finale. However, with a little bit of FinaleScript-ing, you can format things for an iPad. Here is my script

This script basically sets your top page at .5″, left and right to 0.10069 and then the bottom to .12153. These are sorta the settings I found that look good on an iPad. I leave just a little bit of boarder “whiteness”.

The script can be fired off by doing a Ctrl + Opt + Shift + I, or from the FinaleScript menu.

Enjoy!