Tales and tellings from Tunesmith/Saxman, Mac McClanahan, as he tries to make the world a happier place one tune at a time. My goal is to share some of my observations and experiences.


Breaking in Charts on Hi- Octane Weekend

We’ll be trying out a few new arrangements I penned for the Double Stuff Horns of FCnF. Truly, a Hi-Octane weekend brews ahead. Sax Assured with on Thursday and Saturday. Click on an event link for more details.


Foster Campbell and Friends - Independence Day 2012 Thursday, May 9, 2013: CSU Bakersfield’s 41st Annual Spring BBQ.

♫ Theme: The 80’s.

♫ Showtime is 7:00 P.M.

FCnF at Crawfish


Saturday, May 11, 2013: Prime Cut Meats & Eats’ 15th Annual Crawfish Festival.

Family Friendly.

♫ Tentative Showtime  is 12 Noon.

Oh Yeah, AND I’m hosting Adventures in Karaoke at The Junction Lounge on Friday & Saturday, May 10 & 11, from 8:30 P.M. to Close.

Hope to see you soon. Tuned In,



2013 Week 15 (Blue Deacons on Friday)

Blue Deacons Live

Featuring the music of Master Tunesmiths, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen.

#1 in Bako! Thanks for the Boost

Hi Folks:

I’ve made it to Number 1 on the ReverbNation R&B/Soul charts for Bakersfield, CA. http://www.reverbnation.com/SaxAssured

To update you: Through March my next few Sax Assured!Sax Gigs are at private events. I will be posting my public appearances as I receive all the specifics. On the Tunesmith front, I’m currently working on three horn arrangement commissions.

It feels nice to have my efforts recognized.

Thank you so much for your support,

Sax Assured,


FCnF to Open for B.B. King and Elvin Bishop

Mac in Saxman Mode

Sometime scoring commissions lead to Performance gigs. That’s how I earned my spot in Foster Campbell and Friends.

B.B. King in concert in France 1989

B.B. King - Image via Wikipedia

KGET-17 News  ran a story on our upcoming gig opening for Elvin Bishop and B.B. King at The Majestic Fox Theater on Saturday, November 26, 2011.

Elvin Bishop performing at Boston's On The Bea...

Elvin Bishop - Image via Wikipedia


Follow this link to view the clip:

FCnF open for BB King & Elvin Bishop (newsreel) ~


Tuning Notes for Jazz Band Horns in mp3 Format

While in my Saxman alter ego, I was searching the web for tuning note tones in mp3 format that I could download for my phone and iPod. (Yup, I have a phone AND an iPod, but I don’t own a tuner.) I didn’t find much that was useful and free. I did find a blog post by Mike O’Connor,

,  ~ http://www.haven2.com/index.php/archives/tuning-notes-mp3-files-for-your-ipod-or-player ~

which included tones for orchestral and guitar tuning using the pitches  A, D, and E Concert.  I found the mp3 files straightforward, well-done and easy enough to download. [Thumbs-up Mr. O’Connor.] Oh yeah, …and I loved the price (free.) Still, as a Tenor Saxophonist, I was looking for pitches that would help me center the intonation of my axe.  So, I booted up the ol’ Finale music notation program to generate the pitches I really wanted and convert them to mp3’s.

Well, once I saw the manuscript paper I was in Tunesmith mode. I couldn’t just stop at four whole notes of Concert G. Time to tinker! Even though I realize as a practical matter most musicians can tune their horns in 8 to 16 beats, I decided to take things a little further by adding a second pitch and additional reference devices to help center a performer’s intonation on the same track. Needles on tuners are nice and usually very accurate, but during performance we rely upon our ears to stay in tune. It’s better to check more than one note, as a horn player, to be certain you’re ready to play in tune.

Naturally, I couldn’t leave my section-mates hangin’. So, I  forged similar tracks for Alto, Bari, Trumpet and ‘Bone. Remember: Tuning aids are nice to have, but the best performers make time to WARM-UP and KEEP Their EARS ON. Listen! Listen! LISTEN! Following are links to the Tuning Note mp3s. The tracks are geared for a quick reference for seasoned players or as a training tool for newer instrumentalists.  If there is sufficient request, I’ll forge more of these for different instruments.

Many thanks to Anthony (Tony) Aguilar and Phil Blass for their invaluable input. Thanks again to Mike O’Connor.

Here’s a sample I posted on YouTube:

Any instrument can use any track for tuning. I hope you find them helpful.


Links & Description – Free Downloads ReverbNation


Tuning Jazz Horns_ Concert A & Triad 1.mp3Reference tones for tuning Jazz Ensemble Wind Instruments: Concert A – A Major Triad –  Concert Bb – C Major Scale.


Tuning Alto Sax_ Concert Bb – Bb Tri.mp3Reference tones for tuning an Eb Alto Sax: Concert Bb – Bb Major Triad – F Major Scale. Jump
Tuning Tenor Sax_ Concert G – G Maj.mp3Reference tones for tuning an Bb Tenor Sax: Concert G – G Major Triad –  Concert C – C Major Scale.


Tuning Bari Sax_ Concert Bb – Bb Tri.mp3 Reference tones for tuning Eb Baritone Sax: Concert Bb – Bb Major Triad – Concert F Major Scale.


Tuning Trumpet_ Concert A – A Maj Tr.mp3Reference tones for tuning Bb Trumpet: Concert A – A Major Triad – Concert Bb – Bb Major Scale. Jump
Tuning Trombone_ Concert Bb – Bb Maj.mp3Reference tones for tuning Trombone: Concert Bb – Bb Major Triad – Concert F.



Tuning Jazz Horns mp3 Pack.zipThis Zip Folder contains the 6 Jazz Ensemble Horn Tuning mp3’s.




Sample of Tuning Jazz Ens. Horns… manuscript.

Tuning Jazz for Horns Chart
Reference of tuning notes and intonation devices.
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