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Anyone any experience with a Saxophone?

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Posts

  • chamberlainchamberlain Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Diorinix wrote: »
    DrZiplock wrote: »
    Don't start with Alto.

    For the love of god, if you want to play a tenor sax, play a tenor sax. You're an adult, you can handle learning it. Also, the keying is different between alto and tenor. Learn the alto first and you'll end up having to reteach yourself some things on the tenor.

    Only the Bari sax has a different keying system, and that's only for the 2 additional notes at the bottom of the register that you activate with the bottom key on your upper hand's thumb.

    But that takes away from the rest of the advice - it really doesn't matter which key of sax you start learning on, as the fingering stays the same and which fingers you use to play each note are the same. All that's different is that the Alto/Bari sax are of E-flat key, and the tenor is a B-flat instrument. You won't be looking at non-transposed music if you're buying music books specifically for your instrument anyway. Enjoy the alto, and take with it the knowledge that if you want to jump ship and try tenor instead, all you need to adjust to is the air pressure required to sustain the same notes and the embouchure. The finger technique remains the same across all 4 possible saxophones (minus the special keys for the bari and soprano sax, respectively).

    There are actually 7: soparnino, bass and contra-bass. Oh, and they used to make a sax tuned to the key of C, so 8. But anyway.

    Alto is just fine to start on. It does not require as much air and you aren't going to be doing any on the fly transposition for a long time. On the opposite side of not needing too much air is that it is very easy to blow too hard and sound like a duck being hit by a car. Playing an alto, or any version for that matter, quietly and in a controlled manner will take years of practice and instruction. Getting your fingers to behave will be much easier then producing a quality sound. The instrument does not end at the mouthpiece; the way you shape your mouth and throat also will have a positive or negative affect.

    In other words, take lessons and do not stop taking lessons. There are many little things about any instrument that would be incredibly difficult to figure out on our own. For sax there are alternate fingerings for many notes that are situational depending on what note is coming next, a lot of which you might see in a fingering chart and not know when to use.

    Listen to a lot of recordings, but don't limit yourself to just jazz. There is a large library for the classical saxophone, and many of the skills learned by practicing these are easily transferable to jazz. For example:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URwiZC9_91I&p=47CF2CB9E064AAE1&playnext=1&index=50

    Brandford Marsalis kicks ass no matter what he plays.

    It's a long process. Get help and don't give up on it.

    The list never changes: http://www.infinitebacklog.com
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  • solsovlysolsovly Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    This thread has me wondering about my old Alto I haven't touched in 10 years. I don't know how well it's been stored, I imagine the cork parts might be a little disgusting if it hasn't been maintained. The instrument is an entry level student one when I got it around 800. How costly are repairs?

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  • chamberlainchamberlain Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    10 years of inactivity has probably ruined the cork and most of the pads. It is possible that some springs might need to be replaced as well. For an instrument that is relatively easy to get a sound out of, the saxophone is pretty complicated, mechanically speaking.

    It's been quite a while for me as well (I actually sold my very very nice sax a few years ago) but I would bet you would be looking at at least $100 to get it up again.

    The list never changes: http://www.infinitebacklog.com
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  • Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    solsovly wrote: »
    This thread has me wondering about my old Alto I haven't touched in 10 years. I don't know how well it's been stored, I imagine the cork parts might be a little disgusting if it hasn't been maintained. The instrument is an entry level student one when I got it around 800. How costly are repairs?

    I just had one of my old saxes that I hadn't touched in years restored a couple of years ago. It was about $800 in total if I remember right for all new pads, new cork, and chemical dip cleaning. A huge chunk of that was the dip. If you can get away without that, you can save some money. It was also the best pads and stuff they had since it's an antique Selmer Paris and there were cheaper pad options that could save more money. For just pads, cork, and adjustments I'd guess $300ish tops, maybe? If I still had the work order with everything broken down I'd pull it out and grab the exact prices for you.

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  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    10 years of inactivity has probably ruined the cork and most of the pads. It is possible that some springs might need to be replaced as well. For an instrument that is relatively easy to get a sound out of, the saxophone is pretty complicated, mechanically speaking.

    It's been quite a while for me as well (I actually sold my very very nice sax a few years ago) but I would bet you would be looking at at least $100 to get it up again.


    Yeah, I agree--probably about $100-$150 if it's just been neglected. If a rod has been bent through abuse it could get more pricey.

  • TrentusTrentus Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Only the Bari sax has a different keying system, and that's only for the 2 additional notes at the bottom of the register that you activate with the bottom key on your upper hand's thumb.

    Doesn't the bari only have one additional note at the bottom, the low A? If we assume that a high F# key is pretty much standard these days, then it only has the one additional note. Also, I came across a vintage alto earlier this year that had a low A key, just like the bari. It played beautifully. Shame someone snapped it up before I could get the funds together to buy it... which admittedly wouldn't happen for quite a while.
    There are actually 7: soparnino, bass and contra-bass. Oh, and they used to make a sax tuned to the key of C, so 8. But anyway.

    There are actually a couple of more horns in the family. It ranges all the way from the soprillo down to the sub-contra bass. In addition to the C melody sax, they also used to make one in F. These were to be used for orchestral music, but I guess it just never really took off. The C melody had some popularity in the 30s, and you can find a few floating around (the shop that had the alto with the low A also had a C melody for sale).
    Brandford Marsalis kicks ass no matter what he plays.

    Also, OP, I was curious what prior music experience you've had. You mentioned you could already read notated music, so I assume this means you used to play something. How's your saxomaphoning going?

  • chamberlainchamberlain Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I have never heard a C melody that actually sounded good, but that is probably because they were just poorly made.

    Also, that top quote wasn't me, but either way I am not sure. It has been quite a while since I have had any sax.

    I actually played the first movement of that you tube recording back in the day. Now I look at the sheet music and wonder how the fuck I did it.

    The list never changes: http://www.infinitebacklog.com
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