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Jazz Sax Lessons: Jazz Inflections: Scoops

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Okay, now we're
gonna talk about scoops.
A very important part of your
jazz inflection Arsenal.
I mentioned this on another lesson
earlier that when I was in high school,
they used to call me Scoops
marienthal They did.
They did.
Very embarrassingly.
Because I would practically everything.
And it was something that I'm embarrassed
to mention but I was also unaware
of it while I was doing it and
so I wanna teach you the right
way to create a scoop and
to advise you not to over use it.
Just like the spice on the.
On the meal analogy,
a little spice goes a long way.
And too much is too much.
So how to create a good scoop, here we go.
Number one, don't allow the scoop
to be a separate sound in itself,
and then have the scoop
attached to the note.
In other words don't do this.
That kind of a thing where the scoop,
number one, even if we were,
I mean that's pretty extreme right.
But that way you can hear what I'm talking
about which is the scoop sounds like one
thing and then the target note that
you're scooping to sounds like another.
With all these inflections,
here's a great analogy to think about.
Imagine your sound is a rubber band.
And so the beginning of the rubber band.
You've got it tight, right?
And you take your finger and
you just push down on the rubber band.
At the beginning, and
then you let it go right?
So you're pushing down on the rubber band,
the rubber band is still tight.
It's still a sound.
So when you push down on that rubber band,
you know,
again, imagining that it is a scoop.
You're bringing that sound down,
but it's still part of the sound so
that when you release it,
you get back to the main target note.
So what I'm doing to push down the rubber
band, so to speak, [SOUND] first of all,
You want to, just like the rubber band,
whether it's pushed down or
not, it's still tight.
In order to keep your sound tight,
you're pushing your air forward and
the air doesn't change with any
inflection, the air stays the same.
That is the secret to a good inflection.
If you keep the air moving forward and
keeping the sound
supported with your air throughout
the inflection and into the target note.
Or if it's a fall off The target
note then to the inflections.
All the way through that fall or
now as we're stalking about scoops,
all the way from the beginning
of our scoop up to a note.
If you keep that air supporting
the note it'll sound good because it'll
be part of the note.
It's not gonna be this weird foreign
sound that is you know preceding
the note you're going to so.
Make sure you're pushing your
air forward as you're playing.
If you start the note, the scoop rather,
I'm starting the scoop with
an articulation, and I'm just bringing my
embouchure, but I'm opening right here,
I'm opening my throat just a little bit,
just to accommodate the,
well, It's like a subtle way of
bringing down my embouchure this way.
But if you bring it down too much,
if you bring it down much at all
it's gonna again be too extreme so,
just by bringing down the, it's
basically like the back of your tongue.
Right here, or
the top of your throat right here,
so I'm bringing this down as well.
And I'm releasing the pressure.
It's a little bit here as well, but
I'm starting with an articulation
with those.
You don't have to.
You can start it without an articulation,
without the tongue hitting the reed
I prefer it with an articulation because
it centers it, it focuses it a bit more.
So I'm playing an F sharp,
it's a good note whether you're playing,
We don't have to play in unison.
If you're playing, no matter which sax
you're playing, use the F-sharp and
do that with me.
So I'm pushing the air forward from
the very beginning of the note.
I'm using my articulation
to get the pitch started.
I'm dipping right here, a little bit with
my embouchure but just kind of opening
with the back of my The back of my tongue
right here, to the top of my throat.
However you want to visualize it.
And then get to the target note,
but keep the air moving forward.
So I'll play one,
you play one.
One more.
[SOUND] Good.
You can also sort of ghost a fingering
to a scoop like I just did on that like C.
If I'm scooping to C sharp.
A grace note is a different kind of thing.
So it's not like.
But it's like shadowing the fingering from
the note chromatically below
the note you are targeting.
And that way it, you know,
it kind of helps us scoop somewhat.
You know, that would be in
the case where the scoop would be
a little bit more in the extreme but
still part of a note and
not this weird, foreign sound.
So and subtle, but
it would help sometimes.
So that's when you might wanna,
you're gonna play a grace note but
it's sort of a scooped grace note,
so to speak.
So it might be sort of more of
a focused scoop if you use like
the fingering Half step below
the note you're targeting.
So anyway, there you go.
That's how you do a scoop.
Make sure you use them economically.
Don't go nuts with them.
Certainly, we're gonna play some tunes
that have scoops written in them.
So if a chart that you're playing
indicates that you should play a scoop,
by all means, but And you're,
when it's left up to your own devices,
less is more don't forget that.
All right, there's scoops.
Off to the next jazz inflection.