Kenny G Hero: Epic Sax

Using circular breathing, Kenny G held an E-flat for 45 minutes and 47 seconds at J&R Music World in New York City.

One of the images that will be forever burned into my mind is the expression on the faces of Kieron Gillen and the brave lady who is now his wife when witnessing my first ever attempt to play Guitar Hero. I just didn’t get it. I tapped and hammered without logic or rhythm, to the extent that any sane onlooker would have presumed there was something terribly wrong with me. In time, I became at least competent at that short-lived plastic guitar fad, but today’s attempts at mastering free browser game Epic Sax have taken me right back to that humiliating square one.

It is Saxophone Hero, requiring you to tap the 1,2,3,4,5 and 6 number keys in time in order to provide smoooooooth sounds. It happens at high speed, and the long horizontal strip of buttons seems more of a challenge to dexterity than big clunky plastic guitar buttons ever did. Plus, it takes away the on-screen prompts on the later stages. You’re going to need a working memory, I’m afraid.

Fortunately, it’s also hilarious, as unlike guitar hero hitting the wrong key doesn’t result in a weird ‘unplugged from the amp’ noise but instead a reedy MIDI cacophony of weirdness. Getting it wrong is almost more entertaining than getting it right.

And then… oh, and then. The Guitar Hero overtones are abandoned in favour of escalating absurdity. Eurovision! A 10-hour Youtube jam! You’ll be hearing your own broken, insane version of the same song replayed endlessly in your nightmares for the rest of your life.

You’ll see.



  1. kikito says:

    At least on my setup (Google Chrome over Ubuntu) there’s too much lag (like 0.75s) between keypresses and sound, which makes it unplayable. But very funny.

    • Calneon says:

      Yup same, almost impossible. Not that I’d do any better without the lag :S.

    • Sic says:

      Yeah, this is impossible to play due to lag.

      It’s a crying shame, the idea is brilliant.

    • MikoSquiz says:

      I’m so used to laying down basic keyboard parts into a sequencer with a computer keyboard with huge latency that I can just about do it, but jesus. That is some brain-eating lag.

  2. ColOfNature says:

    I jazz do note have the dexterity. I’ll staccato something easier.

  3. NathanH says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks that “rhythym” should be the correct spelling. It’s just obviously beautiful. Maybe we should start a campaign.

  4. Rinox says:

    Gamings needs more Eurovision.

  5. DrScuttles says:

    This game is impossible for me to play. Not because I lack the skill or dexterity required to succeed at this type of thing (although I do lack it), but because the numbers are listed 6-1 from top to bottom.
    No matter what, my brain simply can’t accommodate that layout, resulting in an offputting outburst of midisax.

    • Maldomel says:

      It’s a regular tablature layout. I don’t know why it’s like that, and now that I think about it, my brain cannot find a good reason to justify this. Still, tabs are really easy to read once you get the hang of it.

      But here, they could have done it in the regular order. That way maybe I wouldn’t be humiliating myself too.

      • DrScuttles says:

        It may be the regular layout, but for someone with no musical ability…… grrrraghnnnsh.

        • Maldomel says:

          You know at suck at this game, just like I do when playing Guitar Hero, or any game that requires a bit of rythmes. I play guitar as an amateur, but I have litterally no skills for such games.

          • MikoSquiz says:

            It doesn’t map across at all. I’m a shit hot guitarist by amateur standards and I can’t finish a song in Guitar Hero, on easy, for love nor money.

      • tungstenHead says:

        As pitch ascends, so does the notation. Higher pitched notes are placed higher on the staff and lower pitched notes are placed lower.

        • MikoSquiz says:

          Yes, but from that perspective the number keys are on backwards.

          • tungstenHead says:

            I totally do not follow. The 6 key is the highest number, it plays the highest pitch, it is represented with the top row. What about that is wrong? The standard layout for most instruments is to put the lower pitch to the left and the higher pitch on the right as it is on a piano.

            I’ve got ten years of piano lessons in my childhood and any other layout would completely, utterly, wholly baffle me. My brain would completely fail if I tried to play a high pitched note with my left hand. It’s done right as far as I can see.

    • Synesthesia says:

      Imagination powers activate!
      Hold the keyboard like a sax!

      you will be playing like a boss in no time. Brought to you by juan carlos pelotudo.

    • westyfield says:

      Having the keys be left-to right but the notes on screen be bottom-to-top is the most fuckwittedly stupid idea I’ve seen all day. Gave up after about five seconds because it felt like the game was trying to make me fail.

  6. Moni says:

    kkkkk kkkkkkkkkjk kkkkkjkk llllllllk fsdfss

  7. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    If you can’t play this then I’m not interested.

    • identiti_crisis says:

      A friend of mine recently bought a saxophone (I think an alto) , and that was the first thing she learned to play. After the “Epic Sax” riff, that is…

      Oh, about the game. Epic input lag. Only came 21st at Eurovision, presumably because I don’t know the song’s structure, but otherwise did OK. Great concept, it’s just a shame about the lag.

  8. tomeoftom says:

    Kenny G is several rungs down from this.

  9. cpy says:

    k k kk jk k kk jk lkjfd asda k
    Whatever :D

  10. Xerophyte says:

    I eagerly await the Dana Colley expansion…

  11. Edgar the Peaceful says:

  12. Kohlrabi says:

    On my machine the sound and graph are completely out of sync, which makes this rather unplayable. :(

  13. Eukatheude says:

    Love it, pity for the lag.

  14. Lamb Chop says:

    Is “Kenny G” Kieron’s jazz name?

  15. Fitzmogwai says:

    Now I can reveal my secret identity:

  16. Muzman says:

    Amusing, but I think playing an actual saxophone is easier.

  17. tossrStu says:

    This is how I sound :(

    link to