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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Saxophone teaches me patience -Fred saxophonist

A Saxophonist, Frederick Ajibayo with the stage name Fred saxophonist is an Ondo State indigene, based in Akure.
In an interview with Friday Extravaganza, he said he loves playing saxophone because it helps him academically. Excerpts:

Why did you choose to be a saxophonist?

I chose saxophone because it helps me academically and also helps me express my creativity. Saxophone has a cool sound which teaches me patience and how to work with other musicians.

Is there an easier way to play saxophone to a fast song?

Yes, if you keep your fingers on the pearls of the keys, you can move them in less distance and can play faster. If you have seen the videos of Charlie Parker, that’s how I try to move my fingers.

It’s also a matter of practice, which enables you to be comfortable with any music you want to play.

Can you intimate us with the wonders of Saxophone?

Saxophone is a musical instrument which is made with brass but produces sounds through the vibration of a wood call reed. Reed is a small carven wood at the mouth of the saxophone, saxophonist blows to a reed fitted on mouth piece. It is categorised as a woodwind instrument because it produces sounds with the help of the wood. Saxophone has seven main keys which are C D E F G A B C both on lower pitch and octave.

What’s the difference between a saxophonist and a musician?

A saxophonist is also a musician, while a musician who doesn’t play sax is not a saxophonist. Both are passing information to some extent, but a person who sings passes information in words or texts, it takes musical experience to understand what a saxophonist is doing or playing on the sax, depending on the genre of music he or she is playing.

Long notes, scales, simple songs, tonal qualities, where do you focus your efforts?

I work on simple songs than anything else. I’m starting to learn the major scales. If I could work on one each week, that would be good.

I can’t work on long tones yet, but I can play ballads (slow melodies). As I continue to play, my tone will improve, it will take some time.

Another option would be the Rubank Elementary Method.

Is handling saxophone an inborn talent or something one can learn or study in school?

Yes, it is an inborn talent to some people, because we have many kids that play saxophone and they are very good at it, and at the same time it’s something we can also learn in school or from someone.

What is the proper way to safely grip the tenor sax when playing C#? Where and how does one grip the instrument?

When thumbs go in the usual spots. Right thumb under the thumb rests, left thumb on the spot near the octave key.

The rest of your fingers should be in contact with the keys as if you were playing a low Bb, but they should not be pressing the keys down.

That should be the way you want to play all the time, without your fingers leaving the buttons as much as possible. For a few notes with the palm keys, they may need to leave the keys slightly, but not much.

Press the keys when you should for different notes, but the fingers are always in contact with the keys. The fingers shouldn’t fly all over the place. Some sax players do that, but it’s not something that helps how you sound. The way you want your fingers to move is like how Charlie Parker played the saxophone.

Would you encourage any of your children to be a Saxophonist? And why?

Oh yes, if they have interest in playing the saxophone, because of the good things behind being a saxophonist. It is a thing of joy to be a saxophonist, you meet new people everyday, you learn new things, being a saxophonist can take you anywhere in the world, it is a means of communicating with people.

What are the challenges Saxophonists encounter?

Let me talk from Nigeria, Some of the Saxophonists are not from a rich background, some manage to learn saxophone from their friends who manage to buy saxophone. Some have no good gadgets while new gadgets that can make you get good sounds are out there at the store but expensive. There are some that do play in churches but they get depressed because they are not appreciated by what they do, churches fail to give them even a token, and they will need money to buy gadgets like rides to produce sound. Gadgets get more expensive everyday so also the saxophone. Also there is no labor market for saxophonists even if you learn from the school, like other developed countries do have different bands owned by the government and they employ instrumentalists like the Saxophonists and they get paid by the government.

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