You can play all of the Bird licks and Sonny Rollins solos you want – at the end of the day, without proper jazz articulation, it’s not going to sound like jazz, plain and simple.
Of course, jazz articulation is a pretty massive topic in itself. In this video, I’m going to be focusing on one of the most distinctive features of jazz articulation, which is the concept of “ghosting” notes. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, ghosting refers to de-emphasizing certain notes so they sound so softly that, while they are often audible, they are barely audible. There is also an alternate way of attacking the reed with your tongue to give your notes a different kind of sound altogether. It’s almost like you’re “swallowing” them.
Ghosting notes gives your melodic lines that rhythmic shape that you need in order to truly swing. You can also use the tongue attack used in ghosting for other purposes, such as playing groovy repeated-note patterns in funk and r&b. There’s a lot of possibilities here, so it’s time to stop reading, and press the play button below for the full skinny.
Photo by andynew
Category: Best Saxophone Tips and Techniques
About the AuthorI've been playing the sax since the late 80's, but my musical journey has run quite the gamut. The musical rap sheet includes tours with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and reggae master Half Pint, center stage at the L.A. Music Center, cozy cafes, raucous night clubs, gear-drenched studios, and the pinnacle of any musician's career - playing weddings in New Jersey! (duh). There's a lot of other stuff too, but you should be reading these blog posts and leaving comments instead. Now off you go!
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