SAXOPHONIST'S HUMOR - How To Play The Saxophone(Part I) :
First things first: If you're a white guy, you'll need a stupid hat, the more stupid the better and preferably a beret.
Sunglasses are optional, but all the really, really good players wear them, especially indoors.
You'll also need some "gig shirts"-Hawaiians are good, but in a pinch anything with a loud floral pattern is acceptable, as are T-shirts from various jazz clubs and festivals. The good thing about the latter is that you can get them mail order so you don't have to go to all the trouble of actually seeing and hearing live music. And sandals are an absolute must, even in winter.
Once you've assembled the proper attire you can begin practicing. One of the most important things about playing is being able to convey emotion to the audience. This you do through various facial expressions.
The two emotions you'll need to convey are (1) rapture / ecstasy and (2) soul wrenching pain and sadness (i.e., the blues). You may find it useful in the beginning to borrow a page from the method acting school. So, for example, to convey rapture, try thinking of something nice-like puppy dogs or getting a rim job from Uma Thurman while Phil Barone feeds you Armour hot dogs with
(This article makes me never wear sunglass when playing sax HAHAHAH)
To convey the "blues" try thinking of something really appalling-like ulcerative colitis or Alec Baldwin.
You should practice your facial expressions in front of a mirror at least two hours per day. You may feel a tad stupid at first, but you'll never get the chicks if you don't jump around on stage like a monkey-with your face screwed up like there's a rabid wolverine devouring your pancreas. And, bottom line, getting chicks is really what music's all about.
When you consider that critics have been writing about him for over 60 years, it can seem as if there's nothing left to say about Sonny Rollins. But there is – because over the decades, the "Saxophone Colossus" has never stopped growing or adding to his sound.
More than once, Rollins has stepped away from his adoring audiences for extended sabbaticals: He'd decide he wasn't good enough, take a couple of years off to practice and study, and come back when he felt ready. He's taking some time off again now, but that may be due more to the fact that he's 83 than a desire to rethink his music. In the meantime, Rollins has been leaking some live recordings for a series he calls "Road Shows."
The latest installment, Road Shows, Vol. 3, comes out Tuesday. He spoke with NPR's Arun Rath about the value of time away from the studio, and why, when you make your living improvising, a little spiritual practice can be a big help. Hear the radio version at the audio link, and read more of their conversation below.
These live recordings, your fans have been begging for them for years. Why now? What was it that, a few years ago, made you decide to start releasing this material?
Well, I got afraid of the recording studio. I've got a phobia about the "lights-camera-action." And a lot of people tell me that in person, with the audience and the ambiance, "Gee, I like you better when you're live, Sonny." So I said, OK, that's easy: I've got a lot of live performances, and I can pick and choose and put some out. Which was not so easy, actually.
There's a huge amount of material.