Transposing Instruments

Transposing Instruments

Posted by on Aug 7, 2014 in Play Even Better, Your Questions Our Answers | 0 comments

Frequently Asked Questions – “Transposing Instruments” In this series we share Jody’s answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that we receive through our website. Question: I was advised that I can’t play a soundtrack in F major, with sheet music written in F major for medium voice if I am playing a B flat soprano sax. Can you unravel this mystery for me and advise what key in sheet music for medium voice, and what key soundtrack I can use and harmonize while I play along with my B flat soprano? Answer: Transposing instruments is confusing. I’ll try and unravel this mystery with a brief explanation. When you play a tenor sax or an alto sax you finger the A on the second space of the treble clef the same on both horns (two fingers down on the left hand). But they are actually different pitches. But it is kind of nice not to have to learn new names for the notes on every saxophone. So two fingers down is an A on every saxophone. When you play a Bb soprano or Bb tenor saxophone, when the concert pitch is a Bb, the soprano and tenor sax have to play a C to match that Bb Concert pitch. So think about playing one whole step higher than the Concert pitch. A whole step is two half steps, or two notes on the Chromatic scale. When you play a Eb alto saxophone or Eb baritone saxophone, when the concert pitch is an Eb, the alto and baritone sax have to play a C to match that Eb Concert pitch. So think about playing a major 6th higher than the Concert pitch. That means whatever note the concert pitch is, A for example, you think of playing a major scale from that note and stop on the 6th note of that major scale. So in the case of A Concert (2nd space of the treble clef) the Eb alto sax note is F#, top line of the treble clef. The exact note on Eb Baritone sax is actually up a major 6th plus an octave. At this point if you are not familiar with some of the terms that I’ve used above, then you should get the “Harvard Brief Dictionary of Music” and learn your musical terms. Back to transposing for the Bb instruments of Soprano Sax, Soprano Clarinet (the normal Bb clarinet) also Bb trumpet, and Tenor sax (which is one octave lower). So when you want to play sheet music that is only written for piano and voice for example you must transpose the Bb soprano up a whole step or the tenor up a 9th to match the exact pitch. The saxophone can play in any key. Some are just less practiced than others and therefore they seem harder than others. One of Charlie Parker’s...

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Musings on Sax Mouthpiece Making – Design vs Materials?

Musings on Sax Mouthpiece Making – Design vs Materials?

Posted by on Jun 5, 2014 in Know Your Gear, Your Questions Our Answers | 0 comments

Musings on Sax Mouthpiece Making – Design vs Materials? Does the material that a sax mouthpiece is made of have an automatic effect on the way a mouthpiece plays? Is metal always louder than hard rubber? These are some common questions that I get asked about the effect of material on the sound and playing characteristics of a saxophone mouthpiece. My answer is simple and more complex at the same time. My opinion over time has changed from thinking material matters, to thinking it matters very little, to my current thought of 75% 25%. Read below to see what 75/25 means. Design – First off, the most important element that influences sound is the chamber shape and size, followed by the outside of the shape of the mouthpiece and then the facing curve. These three elements influence the sound more than the material difference. Having said that, material definitely matters and makes a difference for a couple of reasons. Vibration – A mouthpiece doesn’t vibrate in the same way that a trumpet bell or a saxophone does but the beak thickness of a mouthpiece is very important and the part of the mouthpiece that actually does vibrate. So different materials vibrate differently and do influence the sound. Manufacturing Method – When we machine a mouthpiece, each material acts differently to being cut – this is called flex. A material that has more flex might be more difficult to machine and have less accuracy than a firmer material. Metal is the more sturdy material with less flex than hard rubber and Polycarbonate.  Also we can manufacture metal pieces to have thinner side rails and shanks. Overall mass can effect how a mouthpiece sounds. So in conclusion a mouthpiece can be made to play bright and loud out of any material or pretty and dark out of any material, but some materials lend themselves better to certain sounds. I do believe that hard rubber is a warmer sound than metal. Having made identical mouthpieces out of brass and hard rubber, I found the hard rubber was approximately a 10% warmer sound.  The further we dive into this question the more ambiguous the answers become. Here is my final answer that I’m forcing myself to make. Design is 75% of the sound and material is 25%. JodyJazz Saxophone mouthpieces are hand-crafted in the USA with the strictest attention to detail using the highest quality materials, and every single mouthpiece is fully gauged and play tested. Visit us at JodyJazz.com Share...

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My Favorite Dealer Doesn’t Have the JodyJazz Model I Want to Try

Posted by on Jan 15, 2014 in Your Questions Our Answers | 0 comments

Frequently Asked Questions – “My Favorite Dealer Doesn’t Have the JodyJazz Model I Want to Try.” In this series we share Jody’s answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that we receive through our website. Let me explain my position in regards to music stores that have made the commitment to stock my mouthpieces. Since you have tried my pieces in that store I cannot ethically sell direct to you now. We all have to try and help independent dealers stay in business. All of the stock in a store is a huge commitment and if a customer tries things in the store and then buys them somewhere else like online or direct from the manufacturer then that store will likely go out of business or be bought by a conglomerate that will limit your options on what you can buy and what price you will pay for it.  I encourage you to ask your dealer to stock any pieces that were not in stock that you wanted to try. Click here for the JodyJazz worldwide Dealer locator. Please explain to them that I asked you to do this and that we are trying to support them. If they refuse to stock what you would like to try then I will deal with you directly as a last resort. At least we both tried to do the right thing. For more answers to frequently asked questions such as this please click here to visit the FAQ page on the JodyJazz website. JodyJazz Saxophone mouthpieces are hand-crafted in the USA with the strictest attention to detail using the highest quality materials, and every single mouthpiece is fully gauged and play tested. Visit us at JodyJazz.com   Share...

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Metal vs Hard Rubber Mouthpieces

Metal vs Hard Rubber Mouthpieces

Posted by on Jan 15, 2014 in Your Questions Our Answers | 0 comments

Frequently Asked Questions – “Metal vs Hard Rubber Mouthpieces” In this series we share Jody’s answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that we receive through our website. Question: I recently watched a YouTube interview, and you spoke of the common misconception that metal will always be brighter than hard rubber. The deciding factor is in the inside of the piece (ie the chamber). My question is if the inside is the determining factor (which I agree), then why don’t mouthpiece makers simply make all mouthpieces out of one material?  I’m very interested to hear your knowledge of this! Answer: Hard rubber is preferred by some for the following reasons: – The shape and larger size in the mouth just feels better. – Because of the larger size which opens the mouth wider the sound is different than a metal mouthpiece (more mellow). – Material does matter regarding sound, my estimation is that it’s 15% of the sound. Metal is preferred by some for the following reasons: – The shape is smaller and just feels better in the mouth. – Because of the smaller size which opens the mouth less the sound is different than hard rubber (more direct and slightly brighter) – Material does matter regarding sound – my estimation is that it’s 15% of the sound. – We can manufacture metal with very thin rails which can enhance performance, hard rubber cannot be manufactured as thinly that’s why HR pieces are bigger. For more answers to frequently asked questions such as this please click here to visit the FAQ page on the JodyJazz website. JodyJazz Saxophone mouthpieces are hand-crafted in the USA with the strictest attention to detail using the highest quality materials, and every single mouthpiece is fully gauged and play tested. Visit us at JodyJazz.com   Share...

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What happens if I order a JodyJazz mouthpiece and I don’t like it?

What happens if I order a JodyJazz mouthpiece and I don’t like it?

Posted by on Aug 29, 2013 in Your Questions Our Answers | 0 comments

Frequently Asked Questions – “What happens if I order a JodyJazz mouthpiece and I don’t like it?” In this series we share Jody’s answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that we receive through our website. We always encourage customers to ask for JodyJazz at their local music store first.  But if they will not stock JodyJazz for whatever reason then you can buy directly from our website at the full manufacturer’s suggested retail price as a last resort.  If you order a JodyJazz mouthpiece and do not like it then you can return it for a full refund minus the shipping charge. It’s impossible to design a mouthpiece that works for everybody. We know that, so we expect some returns. We hope by giving you the best, most friendly customer service, that even if our mouthpiece is not for you, you’ll still recommend us to your friends as a great company to do business with. For more answers to frequently asked questions such as this please click here to visit the FAQ page on the JodyJazz website. JodyJazz Saxophone mouthpieces are hand-crafted in the USA with the strictest attention to detail using the highest quality materials, and every single mouthpiece is fully gauged and play tested. Visit us at JodyJazz.com   Share...

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What Brand of Reeds Do You Recommend?

What Brand of Reeds Do You Recommend?

Posted by on Aug 29, 2013 in Know Your Gear, Your Questions Our Answers | 3 comments

Frequently Asked Questions – “What brand of reeds do you recommend?” In this series we share Jody’s answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that we receive through our website. Reeds are a very personal thing. Our customers are using every brand of reed made. My personal favorites are Rico Jazz Select unfiled 3S or 3M and I also like LaVoz. But I can strongly recommend many other brands that work well with my mouthpiece. Again, experimentation is the best thing. For more answers to frequently asked questions such as this please click here to visit the FAQ page on the JodyJazz website. JodyJazz Saxophone mouthpieces are hand-crafted in the USA with the strictest attention to detail using the highest quality materials, and every single mouthpiece is fully gauged and play tested. Visit us at JodyJazz.com   Share...

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