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Jazz Sax Lessons: “Get Here”

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I want to get into some more
sight reading, chart reading,
reading in general.
And what we're going to work on
right now is a song, the great
Alita Adams tune titled Get Here, that I
actually recorded on my It's Love CD, and
the advantage to that is that
once we play through this and I
kind of explain it a little bit, I've got
the backing track without me on the track,
and so I can play it live and that affords
you the ability to play it live as well.
And i'm gonna have this track
available for you in the school.
So you can download the track,
and play it yourself.
You can record it yourself,
and play along with it, and
it's going to be a lot of fun.
It's the original recorded track
from my record Without Yours truly.
So, that's going to be a lot of fun for
Okay, cool.
So, let's talk about this for a minute.
If you download the PDF of this chart,
get here and take a look it.
I'm playing it on my alto but
there's a PDF for both alto and tenor.
So, alto will work for
baritone tenor will work for soprano.
So got you all covered.
[COUGH] So let's take a look.
Whenever you see a chart like this,
at the very beginning, first of all,
what's the first thing we look at?
The thing we look for
is our key signature.
Always be looking at the key signature.
One of my pet peeves,
I've got to tell you, that so
many copies will do, will be to write
the key signature in the very upper
left-hand corner on the first staff,
and then assume that everyone remembers
what it is for the rest of the tune.
You don't see the staffs.
So if you're writing your own chart
as some point, or reading music,
make sure, if you're writing your own
chart, make sure you put your key
signature at the beginning of every staff
so you don't have to be searching, or
you're not wondering if, for perhaps
a song modulated without you realizing it.
So we have our key signature
that we're always looking at.
We're also looking at our time signature.
See the little C just to
the right of our key signature?
That always means four-four time, so
we know this song Is in four four times.
One thing we didn't see up until
now is what we're seeing the very
first part of the music here in the upper
left hand corner, the first staff.
Which is a 11 bar multi measure rest.
So whenever you see that kind of
thing whenever you see the vertical,
two vertical bars surrounding the thick
horizontal bar there with a number above
it, that means it's a multi measure rest.
You have that many rest,
that many number, that many rest,
that many measures that you're
resting before you come in.
So this song is it about this tempo,
once we hear the track, so we're going to
be counting, one, two, three, four, two,
two, three, four, three, two, three.
It'd be ten, two, three,
four, eleven, two,
three, four, boom [NOISE] and
there's our song right there.
Good, so
multi-measure rests are our friend,
because otherwise we're going to be
seeing a whole lot of single rests and
it's cumbersome and it's so
much easier to look at it that way.
The other thing that we haven't
seen to this point in my school
are rehearsal letters.
You see right after that 12th bar
of the song, rehearsal letter A.
So it's very helpful in bands,
when you're playing in bands,
to see and refer to rehearsal letters.
Because that way if you want to rehearse
not all the way back to the beginning but
you wanna go back to say letter B,
you can say let's rehearse from letter B.
Or we can rehearse for letter B,
or three bars after letter B.
But you can have those points of
references that are going to be important.
Also what are we looking at okay, so after
between rehearsal letter C and rehearsal
letter D, we see that piano solo.
You're going to hear the piano solo in
the track when you play along with it.
It'll be cool.
It's Russell Fronte,
they're from the Yellowjackets by the way.
So we've got some quality guys here for
You can can see the 6th times
above those two repeats.
We've dealt with repeat signs before.
Just as a reminder, if it's unclear,
we're talking about the second page,
the third staff down from the top
of the page, the first two
bars with those thicker lines and
the two, the dots on either side.
Those are repeat signs.
So those two bars, you always repeat
between those two repeat signs,
whenever you see those.
And as I'm sure you already guessed,
if you didn't know already,
when it says a certain number of times,
like that does abbreviated six times,
it means repeat six times.
You're repeating it six times and
it's two bars,
so there's a total of,
how many bars being rested?
So and then we go on.
So, we may not have seen a whole
rest like as in this bar, so
let me make sure you are aware of that.
So in those rest bars, I'm sorry in those
two repeated bars, we have those squares
hanging off the fourth line
of the staff from the top and
that's a whole rest, it's called,
and it lasts for the whole bar so
that rest counts for four beats.
The difference between a whole rest and
a half rest is subtle.
A half rest, which you can see just
above the first bar of the second
staff of the second page if you can see
my finger right where I'm pointing.
A half rest rests on
the middle line of the staff.
A whole rest hangs down from
the fourth line up from the staff.
So it's subtle, it's different.
It's also a little smaller, intentionally.
In Finale, in the program that I used to
write this, they do that intentionally.
So the bigger,
there's more of a visual difference.
Rather than just seeing
if one is hanging and
one is resting on top of the staff line.
But if you're reading somebody's
handwritten charts it's not going to be
nearly as obvious.
So a well-written chart, even by hand,
is going to have those two distinctions.
But one for the half rest for
sure is the one resting on the C line and
the whole rest for sure is the one hanging
off the D line in the treble cleft.
We did see a triplet,
let's look over here,
excuse me I hope you can see that okay.
We did look over here we're talking
three bars before rehearsal letter B,
right here we have a chord note triplet,
we had a chord note triplet starting
with a quarter rest, so again.
A triplet means that you're
squeezing these three notes
in triple time in the space of two beats.
So if you had quarter notes
that weren't part of a triplet,
if you're counting at this tempo,
one, two, three, four.
One, two, three, four,
and, in the case of here.
But since we have triplets say if that,
in the beginning of this measure,
if that rest was actually a note,
a quarter note, it'd be, so
counting from here one, two,
three, four, one da da da.
One and a two, so
we're kind of like this one and a two,
one, two, three, four, one and a two.
So three beats spread out evenly over,
to three,
I'm sorry, three notes spread
out evenly over two beats, okay?
Yeah, and that should be about everything.
Now for our purposes,
you're looking at my chart of the whole
song that Chart that you have.
So that you can, so
you can play this entire song on your own,
when you record it.
I love it, totally love it if
you would record this song
and send it to me, you know?
Send me the video of you playing it so
I could critique you.
That would be awesome, actually.
At this point, you might be reading it and
looking at it just from
the note standpoint.
I'm going to perform this song later,
and in the performance, invariably,
I'm going to be using scoops,
I'm going to be using bends,
I'm going to be using vibrato,
I'm going to be using dynamics.
And there are lessons, that you can see
in my school, that deal specifically with
all those little inflections and
more, turns, lip turns.
All kinds of different things, so
if you have any questions about that,
I'm going to try to play it
pretty straight now in fact,
I want to play it without the track first,
and then I'm going to play it with
the track, so you can kind of hear it.
And you can play along with me,
which will be great.
And so let me do that.
I'm going to play it right now and
I'm just going to play it free.
And as a matter of fact,
I'm going to count us in right into
the bar right before letter A.
See how useful these
rehearsal letters are?
I've referred to them
several times already,
so they are gigantic help when
it comes to practicing music.
Great, so let me play this song.
Now I'm only going to play
up to the piano solo, okay?
And let me make sure you're
aware of 16th notes.
Say hello to your 16th notes, boom boom.
16th note let me put my
glasses on to make sure.
It is [LAUGH].
There's some 16th notes here and 16th
here, so you know that a quarter note gets
one beat, you know that eighth
notes get one half beat,
you now know if you didn't already that
16th notes get a quarter of a beat so
you would fit four 16th notes
in the space of one beat, okay.
Great, you know about
dotted half notes and
dotted quarter notes and
dotted eight notes.
The fact that when you put dot next to
a note it adds one more half value to
that note dotted.
Half note such as this measure
here that is measure 35,
that's gonna last for three beats,
where without the dot on the half note,
it would last for only two beats
right at letter B at measure 29.
We have a dotted quarter note,
which means that that note lasts for
a beat and a half.
Again, one more half
value added to that note.
Okay, I'm going to play this.
It's a little bit faster on the track,
but I want to play it for you right here.
And just follow the imaginary
tempo right here, okay?
So I'm going to count us
into the bar before A.
It's a pick up bar, and so I'm going to be
counting the measure right before here.
So I'll be actually starting my
count two bars before letter A.
And then, the fifth beat will be the rest.
Right here on the first
beat of the bar before A.
And then away we go.
So you're welcome to follow along,
you're welcome to play along,
whatever you wanna do.
Ready and one,
two, three,
four, five
and one
four, one.
And one.
Two, three.
Four, one.
And one.
And one.
And a one, two, three, piano solo!
There we go.
Okay, so
there it is played freely like that.
I think I've covered all the bases to now.
Again everything from here on is going
to be in the performance lesson,
I'm going to just play this song
along with the track in its entirety.
But I just wanted to go over
these reading points with you.
Now notice on this chart we haven't
introduced any dynamic markings.
We haven't introduced any inflections or
articulations or anything like that.
So it's kind of a next step after
the something to read chart,
which was the last thing we read together,
but I thought that this would be a good
next step for
people who are basic readers.
So, great.
So let's take it from
the beginning with the track, and
this way you can play along with me.
We'll have some fun.
Okay, here comes the track.
Okay, so
there's an idea for
you, a way to play it.
The way I was playing it for
you was pretty straight forward.
I couldn't resist a few scoops,
and bends, and vibrato here and
there in such a beautiful song.
It's impossible almost to
play it that straight.
But, hey, it's music.
But as far as the rhythms and notes and
everything that I was
looking at it was accurate.
So if you play along with me on
this one it will be helpful.
Though I didn't use a lot of inflection.
I used a little bit, but know this,
even in the performances, know this.
Know this person.
That even when you perform something that
a little inflection goes a long way.
A little of any kind of variation
of expression, a little vibrato.
It's interesting, when we start playing,
we start adding these things.
We learn how to inflect,
we learn how to express ourselves,
we learn how to do that through
vibrato and falls and bends and
scoops and turns and
all kinds of different things.
But Be really careful,
because a little bit goes a long way.
It's like having a chocolate sundae,
where you've got this much ice cream, and
that much whipped cream.
I wouldn't mind that so
much, but you get the point.
The idea is that
if it's all inflection then you kind
of lose sight of where the music is.
And I mention that to students a lot,
where they aren't even quite aware
of how much they're inflecting.
Finally they may understand and
be able to use vibrato,
be able to use scoops.
When I was in high school,
they used to call me Scoops Marienthal
because every time I'd
play they'd hear this.
>> I sounded like that.
I remember I was like a freshman in
high school and one of the seniors
came up to me and said dude, like every
note you're playing, you're scooping.
And I said no, I'm not.
What are you talking about?
I had no idea.
Until I think I probably heard
the first recording of myself, and I.
And I said, yikes.
I guess you're right.
So just be really aware of that.
It's a scoop.
Think of a inflection as
a privilege that you're
you have the privilege of expressing
yourself on this beautiful piece of music.
And you don't want to overstep.
You want to just do
enough to add something.
Your inflections that you add,
that you put on the music is an addition.
Not to the point of being a subtraction.
Or in that case becomes
a distraction actually.
So, good.
So work on the melody of this song.
If you've got any issues, let me know.
And once again,
I'd love to hear your performance of this.
So please film yourself playing this and
send it on down the pipe to me and
I'll give you my critique.
All right, enjoy Get Here.