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Jazz Sax Lessons: “If I Were A Bell”

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Okay, here's a great Frank Loesser
standard, If I Were A Bell.
It's one of the great beautiful
standards that you'll come across.
And if you haven't,
here you go, it's right here.
So in looking at this chart,
in terms of things you may or
may not have seen before.
We're in the key of two sharps for
us, alto.
I'm playing alto this time.
Alto and baritone players or
in the key of D.
It's also in four four, time in the key
of G for you tenor and soprano players.
So yeah, it's real straight forward.
It's just a little bit of a different
groove and a different tempo.
I want to play it for
you live without the track.
It's good to practice
these kinds of things.
And whenever you're sight reading
anything, you want to look down a chart.
You wanna just look and peruse the whole
thing and see if there's any issues.
You see that one figure
with the 8th notes,
with what I see as my A sharp
in I guess that would be bar 15.
That'll mean that'll be a D sharp for
you, B flat folks.
And just remember that when
you've got an accidental,
like the one I'm pointing out here on my
A sharp that's going to carry over to
all the rest of the As in that bar so this
A right here is also going to be sharp.
Sometimes you see another sharp here in
parenthesis that means it's a courtesy
accidental so the person who made
the chart is very courteous and
made sure we didn't miss that.
It's a very good idea to read music.
Without courtesy accidentals because
you don't wanna be use to that.
You don't want to come across charts and
miss an accidental because
the courtesy is not there.
You don't want to miss and
play the wrong note.
That happens all the time.
So, I'm gonna play this live,
I'll count you in.
If you wanna just sit there and
listen to me that's just fine and
follow along on your chart.
And if you wanna play along with
me that is more than fine as well.
All right, so I give you six beats, and
we have those two quarter note
pick ups leading into it.
Bang dang dang boo do do bang dang
da loo da do dang da one, two.
Okay, so
you can tell that I'm not playing Latin.
I'm not playing a funky feel.
I'm playing a swing feel.
That means that our sub divisions of our
8th notes are going to be more tripletish,
our you know, some people even make them,
you know, feel like dotted A 16ths.
So it's not something that you see in
the music, it's one of those intangible
groove, feel things that is in jazz music,
That's what makes jazz unique.
So that's how it justifies.
You justify to that feel.
[SOUND] So that's where we again
get into subdividing bars.
Subdividing beats.
You want to subdivide the beat
instead of dividing it exactly even.
One and two and three and four.
Like a rock beat or a latin beat.
[NOISE] Now it's [NOISE].
It's got a bit of a lilt
on those up beats.
A little bit of a delay,
however you want to call it.
But so every up beat is a little bit back,
like a triplet or even a 16th note if
you're gonna go into a real swing feel.
Okay, or
a shuffle kind of a feel is true to.
So it's really apparent when
we're playing along with
the track which we're about to do.
And the real fail safe, in terms of how to
play this track correctly,
in terms of the feel,
of the rhythm is to maybe listen to
the track on your own without playing.
And listen to everybody
who's playing something.
That's not on the beat.
So that the ride symbol
is gonna be on the beat.
Ding, ding, ding, ding.
But sometimes you might go ding,
ding, da-ding.
And it's that upbeat.
That's the feel of where he places that
is where the time feel is being led.
Where it's being dictated.
Also, all the little listen to that
the syncopation on the snare drum
that he's gonna be playing all those
to dictate and establish the feel too.
The high hat's gonna be really
steady going two and a four.
The base drum's gonna be pretty steady.
That's gonna actually base drum's
fairly steady, but then again,
It's jazz music, and
it floats around some.
Same thing with the copying of
the not this,this, the piano.
It's going to be sometimes on the beat,
sometimes off, sometimes syncopated, but
it's always going to be
there to establish the feel.
Same thing tha the bass is doing as well,
not the boom, boom, boom,
boom, the main notes.
But you're gonna hear all kinds
of different
those kinds of things,
and it's all the upbeats
that create the groove.
So let's play this track and
we'll play along with it.
I'm gonna play it, again, on my alto, and
you tenor players have your own chart too,
Look at those.
And let's fire up a track.
Here we go.
Okay, so once again, the one difference on
this chart is that it's
a real spang-a-lang chart,
like I mentioned before
we played with the track.
And, again I want to refer
you to the track and
listen to all the different instruments
that are creating that Swing feel.
It's important because it's one of those
things that's not written on the charts.
Never gonna be written it might say Swing,
it may say Latin but until you really hear
or play along with the band, if you're
playing live you're not gonna really
understand where to place all
the upbeats until you hear it.
So on this track again listen to all of
the elements that are creating this swing
feel, all the little syncopations
that the bass player is doing,
all the little comping syncopations
that the piano player's doing.
And especially in the drums.
That's some of the most evident details
groove-wise of where
the feel's taking place.
So that ride cymbal is really steady,
that high hat is really steady.
Bass drum is doing some kinda
cool things rhythmically,
certainly the crash symbols, and
the snare drum in particular
you're hearing all the syncopation
coming from there.
So you've got your track
right there at your disposal.
You've got the B flat and
the E flat charts too so I encourage you,
like all these songs, to record yourself,
film yourself playing and
send that over to me and I wanna check you
out and make sure you're playing it right.
This song, maybe in particular, because
of the feel difference and not only do
I want to make sure that you're playing
all the rhythms right on the chart.
But playing them in the right way as
far as the jazz feel is concerned.
So have a great time with this one and
we'll see you on the next one.