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Sax Player playing basslines

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by SuperSluggard, Aug 11, 2004.

  1. SuperSluggard


    Jan 2, 2004
    We just got a bari sax player in my band, his sax sounds deep so it is like he is playing a bassline unless he is trying to go high. Our drummer (who is in the school band) says a bari sax player is supposed to follow the bassline. But he doesnt. What he is playing on his sax sounds nothing like my bassline for any of the songs we worked on so far. I tell him he needs to follow the bassline, but he ignores me. He even said in the beginning that he usually follows the bassline. Should I keep bothering him about it?
  2. do you have a music teacher/ leader for your school band. If you do, talk to him about it
  3. SuperSluggard


    Jan 2, 2004
    no this is my a band with a couple of my friends. I just pointed out that the drummer was in school band cause i guess that makes it sound like he knows what hes talking about, whens he's talking about what the sax player should be doing. After he said that though, he said, "its ok we can have two basslines." i dont think so. Luckily the sax player is getting an alto sax soon, so he can be a solo machine for all i care as long as he stops screwing up my basslines.
  4. Tez


    Jan 24, 2004
    The sax player should be playing Parts written the the Barry sax which are usaully harmony lines to the melody the last thing you need is him playing your lines . whenever I play with a piano that seems to think they can play the bass line ( Unless its part of the arrangement} ontherwise I tell them I will break their fingers if they play in my domain.

  5. rfalter


    Jul 20, 2004
    Pasadena, MD
    I play sax as well as bass. When I was in school, I played Bari in the jazz band and the parts that were written for it were closer to the bass line than to a melody. Maybe he should stick to the bass line and you can work in a solo for him here or there. The Bari sounds really cool ... probably why I decided to take up bass as well. I prefer the alto or tenor now. Our band does a set where I switch to sax and one of our geetar players covers me on bass.
  6. Yep, that just about does it. +1. correcto
  7. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    We always had the bari play the horn riff with the other horns or counterpoint; never heard of one playing the bass parts.
  8. Yep. Especially considering it seems you're a ska band, right? Bari's in the horn section, not the rhythm section. I have no idea where your drummer got the idea that bari should be following you; seems like that would just get in the way :confused:

    Semi-related: it seems like in most bands I've seen/played in with a sax player (bari or otherwise), he/she's the band's solo machine. Is that at all the case here?
  9. SuperSluggard


    Jan 2, 2004
    I'm not sure yet. We only added horn parts to one song so far. Although I think he's just making catchy melodies, not really solos.

    Oh I have another question. Should he play while the singer is singing? I dont think he should, but everyone else in the band seems to like it.
  10. SuperSluggard


    Jan 2, 2004
    Maybe that's just how it is for school bands. Oh well.. he can play whatever he wants I guess. But he even said he is supposed to follow the bassline. I improvise a lot, so I'm happier with him doing his own thing.
  11. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    What kind of music is this group playing? If it's ska (not a style I'm particularly expert on) listen to some examples of bands in that style and figure out what's going on there.

    I'd expect the bari sax to be playing horn riffs and probably as an extra flavour from time to time rather than all the way through the songs. However, learn from what other bands in the style have done (and then choose to follow or diverge as you wish).

  12. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I have never played ska, but blues bass lines can be very hard to play on a sax: no chance to breath! :eek: Sax lines need "phrases" so you can pause and catch a breath. Blues bass lines tend to be continuous.

    Note that I am generalizing here, so take it with a grain of salt.
  13. SmittyG


    Dec 24, 2003
    Texarkana, Texas
    My band added a sax player after we had been gigging as a three-piece for a year. Our guy changes his approach on a song by song basis. Sometimes he harmonizes the melody, sometimes he is playing off the guitar part, and sometimes he plays off my basslines. When he does this, he never tries to play my exact line, he plays a part that compliments what I play.

    You might just need to look at his parts with each song and suggest different approaches for what might fit the song best. But don't be afraid of sharing the bassline job with the guy, it can be very liberating. On those songs where he is laying down those root notes, you can be adding tasteful extensions and fills without the groove falling apart. It can be pretty cool.
  14. SuperSluggard


    Jan 2, 2004
    Most of my basslines are easy, but I can imagine they would be hard to play on sax, with so many different notes to play and not many rests. We still haven't practiced a second time with the sax player, I'll let you know what he decides to do in our songs.
  15. andrewd


    Sep 5, 2003
    the sax player for the funk band Galactic plays bari and tenor (in addition to harmonica). he does some crazy soloing, as well as the rest of the band.
  16. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Yeah. That and those little scoops leading into the next phrase.
  17. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    That and the bass is what made Tower of Power different. There was a ton of Horn Bands when they were hot.(Blood, Sweat & Tears, Cold Blood, Chicago, Kool and the Gang)