FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I WAS WONDERING IF YOU TRANSCRIBE WHOLE SOLOS AND WHAT ARE YOUR GENERAL THOUGHTS ON TRANSCRIBING SOLOS?
I definitely transcribe entire solos. In my opinion, transcription is still one of the best and most effective ways to build language and also absorb the history of this art-form. I think it's also a way to honor and pay homage to the brave artists that paved the way and created this music. I believe the best method for transcription is the following specific order:
1. Learn solo by ear and be able to sing along to it perfectly. This doesn't mean your singing has to be perfect, just that you have the whole solo memorized with your voice.
2. Learn solo on your instrument in it's entirety.
3. Finally, write down the solo and sing the notes as you write them down (this helps with being able to connect pitch to visual written music).
I also like to transcribe just small parts of solos and then practice those shapes in all 12 keys through the horn, but I think of this as a different type of study.
CAN I BUY SHEET MUSIC?
I offer nearly all of my compositions in PDF form for $10 each. You can purchase them in my Chart Shop.
WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT SAXOPHONE SETUP?
I currently play a Selmer Super Balanced Action from 1952, with a serial range of 48, XXX. I visited the Selmer company in Paris and they have a book with each saxophone’s “birthday” written in it. Specifically, mine was born on June 20th, 1952.
My mouthpiece is an Otto Link Reso Chamber with a 7* opening and brass ring. I use a simple old Selmer brass ligature and D'Addario Woodwinds Select Jazz Filed 3M reeds.
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE ON USING EFFECTS PEDALS AND WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT SETUP?
I use a clip-on mic that requires no phantom power and has a flexible neck so one can stick it into the bell. This helps create the cleanest signal path to effects and also helps baffle the mic against all the bleed/outside sounds around you (ie drums, etc.). The specific microphone I use is a Seinhausser e608 but there are plenty of other options too.
In my experience, the best ways to amplify effects is in this order of preference:
1. D.I. with your own dedicated monitor.
2. Amp (solid state ALWAYS better than tubes) - keyboard amp best, then bass amp, then guitar amp. Position the amp at least 4-5 feet away from you and to your right or left at a 45-degree angle for best sound and lowest feedback risk.
3. Run it through P.A. with no monitor or amp (least desirable option for sure).
Don't buy 10 pedals all at once. HEAR and IMAGINE the sound you want first and then find that pedal - go slow - each piece takes time and effort to learn and the second you add another pedal, they start to interact in unexpected ways so it's good to take your time. For example, I noticed that singing into my mic when the distortion and delay was on provided a completely different sound than the sax could ever create – it has ended up being a very useful sound but came through experimentation and patience with the pedals themselves.
The order in which you chain multiple pedals has a huge effect on the overall sound – experiment with different combinations (i.e. signal paths) until you find the right order.
Currently my rig has the following: a fuzz pedal re-issue called the Fender Blender, the Line 6 Dl4 for delays, the Ditto by T.C. Electronics for looping, the Electro-Harmonix Pitch Fork for multi-note harmony, a volume pedal to swell in the overall effects and
a power supply. The volume pedal is very useful, as sometimes you want to blend your acoustic sound with the effects sound, so I always ask for a clean microphone separate from my clip-on effects mic to have maximum options blending the two."
In the past, I’ve also used various harmonist pedals and also midi-foot controllers as that gave me the ability to never have to use my hands. Some of the effects I was able to get through these rigs included “freezing” notes/chords and being able to play over them for example.
WHAT WAS YOUR MUSICAL UPBRINGING AND HOW DID IT INFLUENCE YOUR DEVELOPMENT?
I was raised in a musical family. My mother was an opera singer for nearly 25 years, my great aunt went to Julliard on piano and my grandmother played flute under Toscanini in a youth orchestra.
Growing up, I mostly listened to symphonic music I found in the house, hip-hop on the radio and jazz records that my neighbor gave me. I played saxophone in the Wind Ensemble and Marching Band, and eventually bassoon in the Orchestra. Essentially I began as a classical musician, and wasn’t really introduced to jazz in an official capacity until going to the Eastman School of Music.
Even though I ended up primarily in the world of jazz, this “classical upbringing” I initially experienced set a certain direction and tone for me. To this day, it remains an important part of how I play and envision music, affecting everything from practicing approach and technique to sound production and composing.