Category Archives: Articles

General Saxophone related articles, opinions, questions, etc, etc

Plethora Of Neckstraps

So, it seems that Gruv Gear, makers of my favorite cart that I bought in 2014 (it’s now a Krane AMG500 cart), are now getting into the saxophone neckstrap business.

The last neckstrap I bought, which I use still, is a Just Joe’s strap. I do need another strap or harness for Bari Sax, as the weight of my bari just kills my neck (even with the Just Joe’s strap).

Who else is in the neck strap business nowadays?

Holiday Software Recommendations

Everyone seems to be doing “lists” and stuff, and I have done ones in previous years. This year, I will list a couple of Mac specific software things that I use for music.

Logic Pro X – If you are a Mac person, this is something you should have. You can use this to record yourself, or your band, generate charts (notation), use it’s huge library of loops to generate practice backgrounds, compose with it, use it as a synth for your EWI. And there is never an upgrade price. Free upgrades. And they add stuff to it all the time.

Band in a Box 2019 for Mac – This is really a no brainer. You need to have this program. The ability to generate chord progressions, in any key, style, tempo, and duration. Amazing. And the program only keeps getting better with interface tweaks and more styles. Well worth the money.

Arq Backup – You should be backing up your stuff. Arq is a great little program that lets you backup to any cloud service of your choosing. I use it to backup to my Google Business account ($12 a month for UNLIMITED storage). Well worth it. Another choice would be Backblaze.

Snagit 2020 – A great little utility to do screen captures of images, or video, or anything.

Omnifocus – There are a LOT of to-do things, but Omnifocus is the best. I use it for so many many projects. It’s great for if you have any idea, to capture it, and then come back to it.

Downie – Want to download something off Youtube or some other streaming service? Downie can do it. It can extract audio only as well.

Transcribe/Amazing Slow Downer – Two different programs, but you need both. I use Transcribe to visually slow down things. Either for students or if I’m transcribing something. Amazing Slow Downer can slow things down, and then SAVE them. Transcribe doesn’t do that. I find I need and use both. – This is a service that allows you to bookmark a site, and then come back to it. I find it extremely useful as I frequently use multiple browsers on multiple platforms, and bookmarking on Safari doesn’t show up if I use Chrome on a PC. Plus, Raindrop lets you categorize bookmarks, and you can do searching of the bookmarks (it does a capture of the text of the site).

Finale – There are a few notation choices, but Finale is still the one I go to. Mainly do to the rich plugins available and the infinite tweaking one can do in the program. Another one to look at is Musescore. It’s made great progress, and it’s free!

Sheet Of The Week – Mandalorian Theme

I was going to put this on Musescore, but seems you need a PRO account to do anything over like 4 scores on there. Anyone want to gift me with a PRO account? In the meantime, here is the PDF of the Mandalorian Theme from the new Star Wars TV show.

  The Mandalorian Theme for Alto Sax (126.0 KiB, 186 hits)
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  The Mandalorian Theme for Tenor Sax (126.5 KiB, 56 hits)
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The Long Journey Of Charlie Parker’s Saxophone

From the Smithsonian Magazine:

“In August of 1955, Chan Parker, the widow of legendary saxophonist Charlie Parker, was in a rowboat in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, trying to save the legacy of the love of her life.

Roiling flood waters were rising in the wake of Hurricane Diane, and Parker, just months after the death of one of the fathers of bebop, was determined to get the important things out as water threatened their house located on a peninsula in Lumberville.”

Sheet Of The Week – Memories (Maroon 5)

Ok, yeah…..not really doing these weekly anymore (too busy), but here is the latest from Maroon 5. Enjoy.

  Memories by Maroon 5 for Eb Instruments (142.8 KiB, 36 hits)
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  Memories by Maroon 5 for Bb Instruments (142.9 KiB, 20 hits)
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TED: Streaming Is Killing Music

“Technology is changing the very nature of not just music consumption but how music is written and produced. People need to know that they’re being both manipulated by music technology and missing out on a full music experience. Alan Cross shares the subtleties of today’s music delivery systems and questions what it means for the future of music. “


Saxophonist Yanick Coderre has a nice project mixing saxophone and electronics happening. A lot more interesting than a lot of guys who play with like Aebersold type backgrounds doing the same old tired “standards”.

Want to ‘train your brain’? Forget apps, learn a musical instrument

From this article a while ago that ran on The Guardian:

The multimillion dollar brain training industry is under attack. In October 2014, a group of over 100 eminent neuroscientists and psychologists wrote an open letter warning that “claims promoting brain games are frequently exaggerated and at times misleading”. Earlier this year, industry giant Lumosity was fined $2m, and ordered to refund thousands of customers who were duped by false claims that the company’s products improve general mental abilities and slow the progression of age-related decline in mental abilities. And a recent review examining studies purporting to show the benefits of such products found “little evidence … that training improves improves everyday cognitive performance”.