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Topics - ubizmo

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Share your musical journey / If you love me
« on: May 28, 2020, 04:53:14 pm »

This is the kind of thing I've been doing for church music, now in lockdown mode. The channel belongs to Jan, the music director. I thought some of you might be interested.

Share your musical journey / Los Bilbilicos
« on: April 22, 2020, 09:48:49 pm »
Here's another reboot of a video I did on MO about 8 years ago. The extra range really helps.

Share your musical journey / Thine Be the Glory
« on: April 17, 2020, 10:41:34 am »
This was an Easter hymn for a Zoom Easter service. It's not the kind of thing I usually play but it's nice to change things up, and some might be interested in how Coda sounds in this kind of music.

Share your musical journey / Always on my Mind
« on: April 12, 2020, 07:41:26 pm »
Here's another one:

This is a pretty simple tune. The main challenge is, it goes down to low B, which isn't a huge challenge but it does take a little practice to hit it.

Share your musical journey / When a Man Loves a Woman
« on: April 09, 2020, 01:53:52 pm »
I couldn't really put this one into "Enchant the Forest"! This is a flashback to the kind of stuff I was uploading a few years ago. There's nothing like Sheltering at Home to give one a bit of time for this kind of thing.

Enchant the Forest Videos (ONLY!) / Morning Has Broken
« on: April 05, 2020, 04:17:13 pm »
How about "Enchant the Alley"?

Enchant the Forest Videos (ONLY!) / Sheebeg Sheemore
« on: March 15, 2020, 04:11:49 pm »

Something to take our minds off other things.

Share your musical journey / Oops
« on: December 12, 2019, 12:18:40 pm »
Last Friday, I was playing at the monthly "first Friday" community dinner that my church hosts. It's a free dinner for anyone who cares to come, and we also provide live music, in the form of piano, played by the church music director, and me. Sometimes people get up and sing along with us, too. Depending on the song, I play either sax, flute, or Coda, usually without a microphone. Coda actually carries much better in the space than flute, as you might imagine.

Anyway, last Friday I had played a few Christmas songs on the tenor sax and was switching to Coda for "O Come Emmanuel," but I found that I was having great difficulty getting the low notes to play in tune. They were mostly way off, and I thought the Coda might be cracked. But that wasn't the cause at all. The day before, I had sliced into my middle fingertip while chopping carrots with one of those "ceramic" knives. The cut was fairly deep, so I cleaned it and put a band-aid (sticking plaster, for our friends in the UK) over it. And I promptly forgot all about it.

So I still had that bandage on my finger on Friday night, and that's why my pitch was off. Once I realized it, I just switched to the flute, which is a closed-hole instrument, fortunately. By Sunday, the finger was healed well enough that I was able to play Coda again.

Share your musical journey / Carolan's Welcome
« on: June 18, 2019, 06:52:31 pm »
After much tinkering, I managed to get a very brief video out. I went outside, hoping for better audio, but it wasn't happening. I used Audacity to reduce the hot notes but it's still poor. Sync was a struggle, and I just about have up on it but decided poor was better than nothing.

Share your musical journey / Improv
« on: April 29, 2019, 12:36:05 pm »
It's been a while since I've posted, but I've been doing a lot of playing. As I mentioned in some other threads, I play in church a fair amount. Some of that music is, of course, hymns, which tend to be pretty straightforward (but not always easy) in terms of rhythm and chord structure, but some of the music is more contemporary, with syncopated rhythms and more interesting chord changes. In fact, I play some of this contemporary music on the tenor sax too, depending on what the particular piece sounds like.

Anyway, the church also does a monthly Friday night free dinner with music, for the community. In this setting, the music can be anything, not necessarily "church music." Sometimes the music director has sheet music for me, but sometimes it's just lead sheets. Lead sheets just have melody and chords. The chords are useful for improvising.

I've been playing a long time, so I'm pretty used to playing this way. I'm not a master of it by any means, but I'm comfortable with the general approach. Even so, I'm always looking for ways to improve, and I know that some people would like to try improvising but don't know how to get started. There's a lot of stuff about this on YouTube, but most of it gets pretty dense with music theory pretty quickly. But I've discovered one teacher, named Scott Paddock, who has a gift for breaking it down into bite-sized elements. He uses alto sax but the method works for any melody instrument.

Check out, for example,, after first looking at the other two videos he mentions. He walks you through some really basic material and gradually adds to it until it starts to get interesting. As I say, there are some other good channels for this, such as Jeff Antoniuk - Educator, but Scott Paddock really starts from square 1, which is what a lot of people want. I've used some of his exercises on Coda, just to get the same kinds of patterns under my fingers that I have on the sax. I think a lot of people here could find it useful as a way to start improvising on Coda, if that's something that appeals to you.

General Discussion / Lower notes
« on: January 03, 2019, 07:28:25 pm »
I noticed a comment in another thread that low B (B4) can be played on Coda by "underblowing" low C. That is, if you play low C very gently, it will be a semitone flat and you'll get B. This works, but I think there's a better way.

Instead of reducing your breath pressure, tip Coda down you play low C with normal firm breath pressure. As the low chamber windway approaches your lower lip, the pitch will fall without your having to reduce breath pressure much, if any. It just takes some practice to home in on the bite you want.

On Christmas Eve I played with a small church choir and piano. One of the songs was, of course, "Silent Night." It was scored in Bb, so there was no possibility of playing it in a different key. In Bb it fits nicely on Coda--except for the very last note, the final "heavenly peace." That note is a low Bb, below C.

I knew beforehand that I'd be playing this, but I didn't know if it'd work, so I also brought along a Bb tin whistle, just in case. I was so busy that day I didn't have a chance to practice beforehand except in the car, before going in. So I just tried the low Bb and found I could hit it easily. In fact, I found I could get down to A, but that one did require some reduction in breath pressure, but Bb was fine. So I left the Bb whistle in the car and used Coda for the whole service, except for one song on tenor sax.

Tl;dr You can play down to Bb without much difficulty and without making it so quiet that no one can hear it.

PS On the MO I could and did play down to low A using the same technique, only tipping the instrument up, due to the placement of the windway on top. It's easier than it sounds to describe it.

General Discussion / Letting people know
« on: December 13, 2018, 02:42:35 pm »
Just a day or so ago I posted announcements about Coda at Chiff & Fipple, a site devoted mainly to Irish Trad music and instruments, and Sax on the Web, under "other instruments." The C&F post has 37 views as of this writing; the SOTW post has 84 views and one reply. Considering that these are "side street" subforums at these sites, I think this is encouraging. These happen to be two sites that I've visited more or less regularly over the years, but I'm sure there are plenty of other places where people might be interested in Coda.

I used to be registered at a forum for recorder players but it has closed down. I imagine there are plenty of places on Facebook that might be good to mention Coda, but I deleted my Facebook account months ago and have no intention of going back, so that'll have to fall on other shoulders.

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