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Jazz Sax Lessons: Jazz Inflections: Lip Turns

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Okay, now, I'm gonna
teach you how to do a lip turn.
A lip turn is this, much easier to play
it and hear it than it is to explain it.
So here we go.
That little turn
that I'm doing with my lip.
I remember first hearing this,
Phil Woods was like the The iconic,
lip turner, if you will.
I remember hearing him do that
when I was in high school and
saying, man is that cool.
Such a cool expression and an inflection.
But, the way to do it like
any other inflection,
number one,
you wanna remember that less is more.
So with all these inflection
lessons remember that it's subtle.
I'm gonna explain how to keep it subtle.
But just remember all the little
actions with all these inflections,
are subtle, okay?
So Basically, all you're doing when
you're doing that little lip turn,
is essentially just using
one wave of a vibrato.
And the vibrato lesson,
I talked about how either you're moving
your lips to create the vibrato, or using
your air to create that vibrato sound.
So, this is obviously with the lip, but
it's just like one Dip, if you will.
So if you really analyze it,
I'm bringing my lip either down and
back up.
So it's affecting the pitch almost to
the point where you really
can't hear the pitch changing,
you're hearing more the tone change.
But, you know, like with the vibrato,
I'm sort of massaging the reed sort of,
you know, either up and
down subtly or forward and
back into position, subtly also.
I'm also feeling it down here in my, well,
how would you describe that,
the bottom of my,
the back of my mouth, or
the top of my throat a little bit subtly.
So try that with me, okay?
So I'm gonna do it on,
I'm using my alto, so on E.
You can do it on A, do it on A, not
really, but if you want to play the same
note as me, it'd be A if you
were playing tenor or soprano.
Do a couple of those.
Right now,
Okay, I'll play one and you play one.
Okay, so again, it's a subtle little,
again, one wave of a vibrato.
The thing that really makes it cool,
is to keep it in time.
Like any other inflection
listen to the players who
are inflecting the way you want to emulate
and invariably, you'll notice that.
Even a vibrato might be in time, or
where the vibrato starts is
justified time-wise in a song.
So this is the same thing, so
if I'm playing one, two, three,
mm mm mm mm
it's almost like a turn.
In fact, it is sorta like it's the same
sort of idea frankly like a note turn.
So think about that.
The first, the real way,
when I listen to Phil Woods, and
I transcribe the heck out of
a lot of Phil Woods solos.
Transcribing, remember isn't just
about transcribing the notes,
it's also about transcribing all
the details, like the inflections,
articulations, dynamics, everything.
So I would notice that this particular
inflection wouldn't happen until halfway,
say if we're on a quarter note,
like what I just did.
Two quarter notes, [SOUND].
It was as if the first half of that
first quarter note was unaffected,
and then the little turn happened
on the second half of the note,
as if it were two eighth notes.
And the second eighth note is
the one that's being turned.
And by using your inflections
not just randomly, but
putting them in time just helps the groove
of the song that you're playing.
The whole point of doing
these jazz inflections is to
enhance the feel of your music.
So if I was playing one, two, three.
Mm mm.
So do that with me.
Again, I'm playing a B, you'd be playing
an E this time if you're playing tenor.
So imagine this tempo.
One, a two, a one, two, three.
Mm Mm.
Mm Mm.
There we go.
All right, so that's a little tricky.
It's very subtle.
Keep the air moving forward, don't release
the air, or else it's not gonna work,
it might work, but
it's not gonna sound as good.
So Work on that if you haven't
got that in your arsenal already,
and shoot me a video of you
doing that if you would,
and I can give you any pointers
if you're having any trouble.
All right, happy lip turning.