Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Love One Another - for Ukraine and Ella

The Message 

The last few weeks have been tumultuous for our world.  Life gets increasingly filled with commotion, and the current war in Ukraine can add to our anxiety and lack of peace.   Not only is there war, but there are a variety of other difficulties which we face every day.  At this point, you may be tempted to say "Well, I am done reading this depressing blog entry."  WAIT! Don't click away! There is HOPE!

Is it possible to achieve peace in a world with so much conflict?  How can we feel the pure, Christlike love, which Paul refers to as Charity in 1 Corinthians 13 , and which Mormon teaches about in Moroni 7?  In my experience, the best way that we can feel love from God through service.  Jesus taught us "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:34-35).  He also promised us "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you" (John 14:18).  He teaches in these chapters "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15).  The Book of Mormon prophet, Benjamin, also teaches "And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God" (Mosiah 2:17).  

So, if we take all of these teachings together, we learn that Jesus Christ will not leave us comfortless, that as we serve others, we serve Him, and in so doing we show our love for Him, and he sends us the Comforter, who is the Holy Ghost.  Simply put, as we serve others, God is with us.  God is the source of true peace.  So, let's all Love One Another by Serving One Another.  Look for opportunities to serve at JustServe.org or by just looking for opportunities to serve neighbors, families, friends and even people whom we don't know.  

Sharing a smile is one of the best ways we can serve others. 

I hope you enjoy this performance of Love One Another:



How to Play Love One Another

I just recorded the hymn "Love One Another," which is #308 in the hymnbook of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Follow the link to find piano sheet music for this hymn.

If you want a lead sheet with chord changes for soprano and tenor saxophone, clarinet, trumpet, or other Bb instruments, you can click here.

For Eb alto and baritone saxophone, here are the changes.

To play the melody, you can read the top line of the sheet music linked above.  This is a good opportunity to challenge yourself by transposing in your mind.  Play it nice and slow to make sure you get it accurate.  It helps to go through without your instrument and say out loud what each note should be.  For Bb instruments, all of the notes are up 1 whole step (2 half-steps) from the written note.  For example, the first note for piano and guitar is G; for a Bb instrument it is A.  For Eb instruments, all of the notes are down a minor third (3 half-steps) from the written note.  So, the first note for piano and guitar is G; for an Eb instrument it is E.  

For Bb instruments, the key is up 1 whole step - so the key for Bb instruments is A major with 3 sharps - (F#, C#,G#).  For Eb instruments, the key is down a minor third (down 3 half-steps) - so the key for Eb instruments is E Major with 3 sharps (F#, C#, G#, D#).  

For a lead sheet with guitar chord fingerings, you can find it here.

I will upload a video with ideas to play this song.  If you want to download the backtrack, which I recorded on acoustic guitar, it is available here.  On this backtrack, instead of playing the full introduction, I just have 2 measures of a G major introduction, and the same is true in between each verse of the song.

If you record a performance of yourself playing with the backtrack, please send me a link so that I can enjoy your playing.  

Question? Feel free to comment below, in the YouTube video, or send me an email at LatterDaySaxophone@gmail.com.

Have fun making a joyful noise!

Monday, December 14, 2020

The "Jackets for James" Courthouse Concerts

Merry Christmas to one an all!!! 

I am happy to be writing again and I hope that this will be a rebirth of the Latter Day Saxophone Blog and YouTube channel. I have been blessed to be married to a wonderful woman and have 4 amazing children. Our second child, James David, was born on December 10, 2004. So, he has always been our Christmas baby. He sadly passed away on May 20, 2011, and since that time we have had a fundraiser every Holiday Season in his memory, which we titled "Jackets for James." The fundraiser started out as getting toys for children in need in place of buying toys for James's birthday and has evolved into a coat drive for children and families in need. To read more about this, check out my wife's blog, From Heaven's Point of View


My day to day employment is in the child welfare system, and I am in court often in that regards. Starting in 2016, I have performed a lunchtime holiday concert every December in the local courthouse lobby. Often, I have hastily prepared and consequently, my performances have had many "interesting" notes. However, it has been a fun way to promote our Jackets for James coat drive. As I have listened through to my past performances, I have realized the importance of playing a melody with meticulous accuracy. This is something that I have struggled with at these concerts, as I have primarily played the melodies by ear with not a ton of preparation. This makes me think of the coming of Jesus Christ. He has said "if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear." Doctrine and Covenants 38:30. The same is true with music. I love what saxophonist Bob Reynolds teaches here and here - play it slowly, with straight (even - not swing) 8th notes and slurred (with no articulation) with a metronome. This is something I need to do more!! 

In any event, here are two of my past performances from Jackets for James Courthouse Concerts. Unfortunately, with the COVID-19 pandemic, I can't perform my concert this year, but I hope you will enjoy these two songs. I will continue to post more throughout this holiday season. 

P.S. James's all-time favorite song is "Silent Night." 

Merry Christmas!! I hope you enjoy these!!!

#Strive #LatterDaySaxophoneStandards #JacketsForJames #LightTheWorld


 

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

The Nearness of You

This is my first post on my new blog "Latter Day Saxophone."  I hope that this will be the beginning of many posts to come!

I am writing this during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 when we are all practicing "social distancing."  This can be difficult for all of us - especially those of us who struggle with mental illness.  I was thinking of this song the past day and a half or so and realized that it is very apropos to what we are all experiencing!

Don't we all miss the "nearness of each other?"  I know that my family and I sure do!  Hopefully, though, this is a chance for us to increase our Nearness to the ultimate source of peace, joy, and comfort - Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  He has said "Draw near unto me, and I will draw near unto you" (Doctrine and Covenants 88:63).  This song is my attempt to convey the love which I feel from our Savior as I strive to draw near to Him each day.

For this rendition, I decided to play just my tenor saxophone, unaccompanied, and I focused primarily on a melodic interpretation of this classic standard.  I recorded this in my LatterDaySaxophone recording studio (i.e. the closed under my stairs in my home's basement 😜😜😜), which is still a work in progress (I will post more details about the "studio" later).  I am still learning the chord changes to the song, which is primarily a bunch of 2-5-1's.  I will add a diagram of how I think of the chords.  Once I get them in my mind and under my fingers, I will record a more improvisational version.

I hope you enjoy this and that it brings you and your loved ones peace.

Please like, share and subscribe to the LatterDaySaxophone YouTube channel and also let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy and may the Lord be Near you and your loved ones today and always!

Your Friend, Joseph








Love One Another - for Ukraine and Ella

The Message   The last few weeks have been tumultuous for our world.  Life gets increasingly filled with commotion, and the current war in U...