Ok. Brass instruments have had that Silent Brass system for a while. Most sax players wish they would use it all the time ;-). Now, it seems saxophone players can have something similar.
E-Sax is a new case/silent practice thing. Interesting stuff. Looks really funny, but they say it works. You can even do Karaoke with it. Woohoo!
I have always been hoping for some sort of noise cancelling system to come out. A system where you’d hook a mic up, and while you play a digital box takes your sound, and then produces and blasts out the inverse and cancels out the sound. Perhaps someday….
6 thoughts on “Silent Saxophone Practice”
Hi there, this will be great if it works. Did anybody try it?.
What do you mean when you say “you can karaoke with it”?. Is it that you can put in a base (aebersold or whatever) and you can here your playing and the base thru the phones?.
Yep. You can hook up a CD or MP3 player to it, and listen to it and your playing via the silent practice thing.
I bought one of these recently in Japan.
Yes, you can listen to Aebersold play-alongs. You hear the combined sound of the CD and your playing through head phones that attach to the E-sax. Or you can turn off the CD input and just listen to yourself.
One limitation to using CDs is that the rubber cuffs your hands fit through are quite restrictive. It’s not easy to get your hands in & out to press buttons, take notes etc. You could play through all the songs on a CD, or used the repeat button on your CD player. But you definitely won’t use it for transcribing. Generally, I find the E-sax more suitable for exercises than play-along.
Because the air can’t escape out the bottom of the horn, the bottom notes don’t come out. Low D is fine. Anything lower is unplayable. You just have to accept that limitation.
Sound quality is adequate. The top end has a not-unpleasant soprano-ish quality. If you want to sound like Dick Oatts, this is the gadget for you!
As I implied, the rubber cuffs are a bit uncomfortable. 45 minutes is about as long as I like to use this device at one time. As a sound reduction device it works very well. If you close the door, the person in the next room definitely will not hear you. I use it to extend my practice time beyond 10 PM when the neigbours complain. It’s also good for shift workers or when you have jet lag and want to play in the middle of the night.
My brain is thinking about a cool sound. But, to know, how to make a particular sound it is important to practice the muscles involved in sound production. The best training is mouthpiece exercises and overtone (harmonic)exercises. The benefits of a mouthpiece exercises are: improved sound, pitch control (intonation), high tones (altissimo).
I do every day the mouthpiece exercise, as described in David Liebman book “Your Personal Saxophone Sound” or in
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http://www.bobrk.com/saxfaq/2.6.html . This exercise is realy loud and piercing, as everybody knows. Recently I found a mute / silencer for a mouthpiece on http://www.jazzlab.com. Since few days I am a prowd owner of a Silencer. It works great, the sound is very soft, you only hear the vibration of the reed in your mouth. No sound on the air outlet. The sound resistance is a bit higher than on a mouthpiece alone. Similar as mouthpiece with a sax. I can practise on the evening and even it the night, nobody is disturbed. Soon a have my hollidays, I’m happy I can practise and nobody is disturbed.
Take a look at http://cgi.ebay.com/Mouthpiece-Mute-Silencer-4-Te
So what have you found has gotten better for you since doing these exercises? Tone? Range?
I think most people think practicing is about fingers, connecting ideas to the fingers. My brain can think of all kinds of things, but getting the fingers to execute them is a whole other matter.