Wednesday, January 19, 2022

saxophone playlist

As I mentioned in my year review, my Plague Year Bach Project has been paused by a shoulder injury, so instead of the daily cello practice I'm spending more time with my tenor saxophone, which happens to be compatible with the injury, due to its rather brilliantly ergonomic design.

So what can I play on that? I went through our collection of flute music and also raided a few charity shops for saxophone books - there must be an amazing number of people who try and give up the saxophone, judging by the amount of discarded sheet music I found everywhere! Then I had a look at youtube and found a few players whose choices I liked, so now I almost have something I could call a repertoire, including covers of pop, rock, chanson, latin, some jazz-y things, as well as the odd classical piece.

Rather than sorting by genres, however, I will list pieces under the reason why I picked them (and the reasons obviously evolve over time, so they start with because it's easy and end with because it's hard). In brackets I give the key signature and first note (as I finger it, so it will sound a tone lower, and the same fingering on an alto will sound a fifth lower). Oh, and I'm also throwing in links to relevant videos in my YouTube playlist.

fun and easy tunes

The bare necessities (#, D)

Mamma mia (b, D)

Rasputin (-, A) - inspired by the string duo adaptation of the Ayoub sisters

tunes with interesting chromatic passages

When I’m sixty-four (#, E)

Les copains d’abord (#, G) - Yo Jazz Band (I discovered this version long after I learned to play it myself, so my version is more shaped by Brassens himself and by the brilliant recent cover from Pomplamoose).

How high the moon (#, D) - backing track (a tone up compared to my version, so ###. Hang on, probably my ancient sheet music is for C instruments, so I probably should use the ### version!)

Take five (b, A) - again playing from a flute score here, so should take it up a tone.

emotional tunes / power ballads

Yesterday - Alexandra Ilieva

La vie en rose - Alexandra Ilieva

Killing me softly - Alexandra Ilieva and Graziatto

Everything I do (bb, D)

tunes jumping around with big intervals

Dragostea din tei - Daniele Vitale

Bad romance - Alexandra Ilieva

Champs Élysées (Waterloo Road) - (#, D)

lively latin tunes eg bossa nova

Girl from Ipanema (bb; C) - backing track; 30 mins video explaining how weird and wonderful this tune is

Blame it on the bossa nova (##, A)

Señorita - Alexandra Ilieva and Nick Kaiafas

Sway (quien sera) - backing track to play along with

something challenging

The swan (included in Saxophone solos, vol 1, Chester Music, Ed. Paul Harvey) At first I thought it was a crazy idea to adapt this for the sax, but then I realised it's an interesting challenge to produce the smooth sound required for the piece - you don't want to sound like a demented duck!

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