Saxophone Forum


by swawrzyn
(2 posts)
5 years ago

Just can't quit

In 1982, I did something I always wanted to do, but never had the mentorship for doing or the self confidence. I bought a tenor sax. Could not afford lessons, so I bought an elementary school book and talked to a few people and started to play, or at least try. I played for two years, one and a half without lessons, then when I finally got lessons. My instructor, guy in the navy band was more interested in taking my money without really helping me, and blowing me off because he really did not care. But in that two years I managed to play just about every day. Managed to learn a lot. In the months before I quit I started warming up on a number six reed, and would switch to a number 3 or 4 to play. Without guidance I never really could get where I imagined; being able to get involved with other musicians or do the music I liked hearing. But, I had days, when alone, I played for several hours. I could get bits and pieces of songs that moved me (music really really moves me), but never a whole tune. I could get a long series of riffs that, for me, seemed melodically related. The hard part was knowing how to conclude something. I even got where I could hit several altissimo notes using what my sole instructor called "cheats". I used to see how long I could hold a note figuring it would help strengthen the "pipes". Got where i could hold some for a minute plus, but tone quality was almost impossible toward the end. My work requires that I get my lung capacity measured annually. They are always surprised that I have the lungs of a 20 year old, and I always wonder if it was a result of what I did. I stopped because I started getting frustratingly redundant, and upon learning more from others also realized I had developed a few bad habits. Between that and the trials of my life I ended up getting rid of all my sax stuff. That was in 1984. Yesterday I found a Conn Tenor. The "made in Mexico" stamp had me leary, but the pads (modern type with the hard plastic buttons) were all good, the finish is original, and dents and scratches relatively few. After a little trading and adding a Yamaha 4C mouthpiece, I ended up handing over 150 bucks. It's a 1970 model, and I had to repair the key linkages where the neck separates and clean it up, about three hours of work. Nothing sticks, and all the parts are straight now (I'm ia total gear head and will attempt anything mechanical). But when t was finally ready I discovered that the Doberman Pinscher I am babysitting had chewed up the reeds I was given!!! After 26 years, I decide to pick it back up, and the hyperactive dog chews the reeds!!! But I am here on the forum hoping this time it will be different, still not quite able to get an instructor. Figure I can at least get to scales and get some embeucher back. But I'll take any help I can get, learning resources, answers to problems I may have with tone, etc. That's it I guess, I'm off for reeds and a fingering chart!

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  1. by kelsey
    (802 posts)

    5 years ago

    Re: Just can't quit

    My friend, you really need to find a good teacher!! If you only cab aford one lesson a month it would help you so much. I play saxophone for a living, such as it is, and I play 2m Rico Jazz reeds. The reeds you mentioned are way too hard. I have a black lab who yesterday ate my favorite shirt!! Dogs are worth it for sure but I'd keed sax reeds out of y
    Barry Kelsey

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  2. by kelsey
    (802 posts)

    5 years ago

    Re: Just can't quit

    My friend, you really need to find a good teacher!! If you only can afford one lesson a month it would help you so much. I play saxophone for a living, such as it is, and I play 2m Rico Jazz reeds. The reeds you mentioned are way too hard. I have a black lab who yesterday ate my favorite shirt!! Dogs are worth it for sure, I wouldn't want to live without one, but I'd keep sax reeds out of your Dobie's reach, but I'm sure you already figured that out...Just friendly advice.....Kelsey
    Barry Kelsey

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    1. by Sax Mom
      (964 posts)

      5 years ago

      Re: Just can't quit

      There is a teacher in your area listed under the "teacher listings" tab at the top of the page.

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      1. by swawrzyn
        (2 posts)

        5 years ago

        Re: Just can't quit

        Thanks for the information.

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