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 fall & sub-tone
Author: Douggie 
Date:   2018-08-29 11:57

Hi,
A study I'm thinking of doing for an exam (James Rae, Hard Rock Blues, grade 6) ends as shown in the attached pic. My teacher reckons that at this level I should just ignore the "sub-tone" (but play as soft as I can) and do a quick run down the keys from the C to D# for the fall. However, I'm curious about firstly whether or not it is possible to do a gliss between these notes, and in fact is this what is understood by the term "fall"? If so, what would be the best way to attempt this? And secondly, what exactly does "sub-tone" mean in this context?
thanks!
Doug



Post Edited (2018-08-29 12:08)

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 Re: fall & sub-tone
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2018-08-29 18:56

http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/download.html/1,6035/IMG_0954.jpg

Subtone is making just the sound of the note, but without the full tone quality - almost like a pure tone or sine wave with some breathiness about it. Think of it like practicing at 3am and trying not to disturb anyone sleeping.

This is what I'd do.

Try the fall as a downward lip bend diminuendoing to almost nothing and then whisper the last note (the D# being an accented appoggiatura). That will sound much better and is more stylistic than a fingered gliss which will sound far too measured and academic.

There are two ways you can do the gliss. Either gliss for the entire duration of the C, or hold the C for two beats and then gliss on the third beat - I'd be more inclined to do the latter as that's fairly common in big band sax charts. See which is more effective and fits the music better.

Is there another fingering you can use for the C instead of the standard fingering? Try playing the C as throat Bb with both the trill keys held open as that's far more flexible than the regular fingering and easier to lip bend down.

The only challenge is using that fingering for C when coming from the note before (I've no idea what note is before the C) and then using the side Eb key after the gliss, but you can always use the sliver key fingering for the D#. Try to release the trill keys towards the end of the gliss without any lumps so the gliss is one smooth downward slide.

Chris.

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 Re: fall & sub-tone
Author: Matt74 
Date:   2018-08-30 04:40

I always think of Tenor Saxophone when I see “subtone”. Like Ben Webster:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VihgeOi0Rn8

Like Chris says it’s the breathy part, usually at the beginning or end of a note. Softly sound the note, sometimes even to where you can hear the vibrato but not the tone. It shouldn’t sound like a bunch of air, like “WHooSH!”, but like some of the air is just escaping through the mouthpiece. It might sound kind of “covered”. More than anything it’s “velvety”.

You can do it by lowering your jaw, so that there is less (or no) jaw pressure, and thickening your bottom lip to provide the necessary pressure.

- Matthew Simington


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 Re: fall & sub-tone
Author: Douggie 
Date:   2018-08-30 07:35

Thanks Chris and Matthew, lots to think about...I will give it a go!

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 Re: fall & sub-tone
Author: sax panther 
Date:   2018-08-30 13:10

This is going back many years, but I did this piece for a grade exam too.

I didn't know how to do a proper lip gliss at the time so did it chromatically and just tried to make the last bit 'breathy' for the subtone instruction.

Don't worry if you can't get the hang of glissing down from the C - Examiner didn't seem to mind that I played a chromatic scale instead - I got a distinction on it.

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 Re: fall & sub-tone
Author: Dibbs 
Date:   2018-08-30 13:25

Chris P wrote:

>
> The only challenge is using that fingering for C when coming
> from the note before (I've no idea what note is before the C)
> and then using the side Eb key after the gliss, but you can
> always use the sliver key fingering for the D#. Try to release
> the trill keys towards the end of the gliss without any lumps
> so the gliss is one smooth downward slide.
>

Matt74 wrote: (about subtone)
>
> You can do it by lowering your jaw, so that there is less (or
> no) jaw pressure, and thickening your bottom lip to provide the
> necessary pressure.
>

Perhaps 1+2 fingering would work for the D#. It would normally be unusably sharp but dropping your jaw for the subtone might just flatten it sufficiently. Or maybe not. It's worth a try anyway.

Subtone on the clarinet:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZn4tQYkcco
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fF0UI98rpFk&t=155s



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