Trying to get "That Sound"

A recent email I received recently from a fellow sax player (whom I hadn't met before):

"Rick,
    Thanks for posting your
youtube videos on sound.  I have been playing saxophone as a hobby for over 20 years.  I have done long tones and overtones but not as religiously as I should perhaps.  I have been trying to figure out why I can't get the "sound" I want for years.
    My question, after my long boring rant is how do I get that sound.  I mean I know long tones & overtones, but I don't know, I just don't get that sound. Thanks in advance!

~ Terrell"


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Can you relate to this?

I can, and I've thought about it quite a bit for quite a long time.  Here's what I've concluded:

The bottom line is this:  if we can imagine it, we can play it.

In terms of sound, this means we have to develop two skills: (1) our tonal imagination and (2) our body's ability to allow the sound we imagine to come out of the horn. 

Stop for a moment and think about item #2.  Think about its implications.  Think about what you might do in your practice time to address this.

I can assure you two things: (1) this is not an overnight process, but (2) it is the most direct and effective way to get what you're looking for in terms of getting "that sound."

*  *  *

What are your experiences in developing your "sound" on your intrument?  Drop me a note and tell me.

Posted on October 5, 2011 and filed under Sax & Improvisation.