Thursday, January 9, 2014

2014: Back to the basics

I just discovered that a co-worker of mine who was recently hired has been following my blog for about a year before we had even met. It's really nice to hear from people who follow my ramblings and recordings.  It's encouraging and it has reminded me that I need to update this blog once in a while so why not write the first post of the new year!

I'm getting back to the basics and learning how to read/write and transcribe music to help me build up a repertoire on the saxophone. It's probably going to make be better musician in general which is a plus . For a few weeks I've been playing a soprano sax and I needed to learn a few melodies so I started transcribing my favorite tunes.

The image above is a transcription of the melody part of a song that Jamie, Eric, and I "composed".  Actually the notes were first plucked on the guitar by Jamie Williams. I transcribed the melody for alto and soprano sax since they are E-flat and B-flat instruments respectively. I'm still struggling with rhythm notation but I'm pretty comfortable with the pitches.

If you haven't heard Zombie Town, this is one of the oldest recordings I could find, it might be the first. In this jam I'm playing drums, Jamie's on the Novax, and Eric's on guitar:

My most recent upload is a jam from early December 2013 after a long hiatus. Around that time I think I had been practicing my chromatic scales learning every note of the alto sax and I definitely think it improved my playing.  I still need to go through the hours long jam session to find more clips to post.

Date: 12/03/2013
Location: smashNY
Beverage: Lagunitas Brown Shugga'
Eric Maurer: Novax CH8 - guitar/bass hybrid
Jamie Williams: drums
Dan Shimmyo: alto saxophone

We just played again last night. It was our first jam session with the soprano saxophone. We were having technical problems with the mics but hopefully it came out alright...