Saxophone Forum


by redkmd
(11 posts)
10 years ago

what sax is good first one when your 49 and never played

Hi what sax alto, tenor etc is good to learn on and what brand for a first one to learn on when Im 49 and never took a music lesson in my life but desire to commit myself to playing a sax as my new venture any help on what the cheapest i can get one to start with will help me greatly.

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  1. by Hornnorm
    (2 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: what sax is good first one when your 49 and never played

    Redkmd, I'm in the same boat as you, I'm 30 and just decided to learn to play the saxophone a couple weeks ago. I took about 1 year of piano lessons when I was 10 years old, but other than that, I've had little experience learning music. My father and several friends are good musicians, so hopefully that will help me. My piano teacher said I had a very good ear for music, so hopefully I will be able to take to the sax well, with enough work and practice. I chose to play a tenor sax, because I always prefered the sound of them. I have not decided what model sax to buy, but I did rent a Yamaha YTS-23 from a music shop last week. I plan on taking lessons soon, and from there I'll probably decide what type of sax to get. I'm leaning towards the Yanigasawa saxes, because of the all positive posts I've read, that claim they are very nice, high quality, professional saxes for a good price. I would recommend that you rent a sax of your choice from a local music store, and start taking some lessons. Don't let any naysayers discourage you, I don't let them discourage me. With enough determination and work, you can succeed. In one of the jazz music books I purchased, it stated that Charlie "Bird" Parker practiced for 10-14 hours a day for 3 to 4 years to become so good. Just keep working at it, and I'm sure you'll be a great player some day. Good luck, Norm

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    1. by redkmd
      (11 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: what sax is good first one when your 49 and never played

      thanks for the words of encouragement. I never had any music training when I see a sheet of music it might as well be a blank sheet of paper they both mean the same thing to me. I had a lot of people say your to old to learn that good enough to ever play well. My wife supports it and wants me to do it and so does my brother whom is a great drummer and guitar player and cant read music at all. I hope to be able to someday play at church and with my brother just jammin a little and good enough to know some songs and play them where they are songs. Thanks again for the reply and good luck in your venture also.

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  2. by karebear1012
    (395 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: what sax is good first one when your 49 and never played

    When you're deciding whether to play tenor or alto, neither is better - it's personal preference. the alto is slightly smaller, slightly higher in pitch, and in the key of Eb (tenor is in the key of Bb). tenors generally cost more money also. when you're looking into a horn, i'd recommend going to a local music store and seeing what used horns they have. Maybe consider renting one too, if you arent sure if you're going to continue playing. I was in the same position as you at one point, so my dad took me to the music store and they had this beginner Alpine alto sax for about $350. It's a really cheap horn, and I need a more advanced one now that i've been playing for a while, but that beginner horn does get a good tone with a quality mouthpiece, ligature, and reed. The top brands these days are Keilwerth, Selmer, Yamaha, and, Yanigasawa, but they're all pretty expensive. also Keep in mind that the value of beginner and intermediate horns usually goes down as it's used, but the value of pro horns generally goes up..... that's why renting could come in handy. Good luck! Kara

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    1. by redkmd
      (11 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: what sax is good first one when your 49 and never played

      Thank you for the reply. I am new to music altogether no lessons ever and 49 years old but always loved sax music and finally decided to learn how to play. I want to someday jam with my brother whom is an expert drummer and guitar player. I dont mind spending money on a good sax and dont plan on stopping I am committed to what I start and this is a gift to me to learn. Id wrather buy than rent that way it is mine to take care of and get used to. I dont really know what kind to play thou alto or tenor, what is the best for jazz or pop. thanks for answering.

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  3. by kneejerk52
    (397 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: what sax is good first one when your 49 and never played

    first, do yu play any other inst. can you read music, play by ear, etc. because if this is also yur first muscial experience not everone is sutited for or has an ear as im sure you have heard people who think they can sing, well if yu don't know yur making mistakes yu can't play and yu would be wasting your money good advice from karebare maybe rent but if you alreand play i would buy a better one rather than a cheap one, of course it depends how serious you are. take a look in the local newspaper, sometimes people sell good horns kids lose interest in, most of all be patient, good luck and have fun

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    1. by redkmd
      (11 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: what sax is good first one when your 49 and never played

      thanks for replying, no I dont play anything nor have I ever, my brothe is expert guitarist and drummer and I do have a good ear for sound and know good sound from bad believe me that is why I dont sing lol. I would committ to this strongly at my age of 49 I am serious about wanting to learn and learn well enough to not make an embarrasment of myself performing. I am still unclear of what is better to learn tenor or alto I like jazz and semi pop. I also dont understand yet what money is expected to find a decent beginner horn not a piece of crap. And finding a teacher that is really a teacher not just a player is where I hope I can find the right teacher.

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      1. by karebear1012
        (395 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: what sax is good first one when your 49 and never played

        well what I would do is rent a beginner horn and keep up with it until you're ready for a pro horn because a beginner horn would be worth much less after being used, and pro horns are pretty expensive, so you'd need all the money possible.... if you really want to just go for it and buy one, i'd look into the brands i named before (keilwerth, selmer, yanigasawa, yamaha). I've heard that jupiter is a pretty popular beginner horn, i've never played one though... they're good for the amount you pay for em i guess. also try : www.wwbw.com www.saxforte.com www.giardinelli.com www.USAhorn.com For whether to play alto or tenor - Both horns are extremely popular for all types of jazz.... i'm not sure about pop. Do you prefer a lower sound (tenor), or a higher sound (alto)? If price matters a lot I'd go with an alto because they cost less. Maybe go to a music store and try both types out. See what ya think.

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        1. by redkmd
          (11 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: what sax is good first one when your 49 and never played

          thanks again for the imput i appreciate it. now i hope i can find a decent teacher around here that can work with an older guy eager and willing to learn to get me far enough to continue learning on my own at least.

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      2. by Sno_brdr
        (4 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: what sax is good first one when your 49 and never played

        Hey, congrats on the decision to learn to play. I'm almost in the same boat - about 8 months ago, I decided to learn to play the sax, at the old age of 39, with minimal prior musical experience, and no gifted relatives, either. Given my relatively low experience level, take my advice with a grain of salt, but here's what I think - Yamaha YAS or YTS 23 on Ebay. Don't get caught up in the bidding, if the price gets bid up too much then back off, there's a few of these horns put up for auction every day. With a little patience, you should be able to pick up one for around $200. Look carefully at the pictures and try to find one in pretty decent shape. If you're lucky, it will play well just as you bought it, and if you're not, you may have to spend $50-100 to get it up to shape. So for under $300 you'll have a decent horn which will keep its value, heck you can resell it and even make a small profit. It's a bit of a risk, but it beats spending 4 or 5 hundred on a piece of junk that will have no resale value.

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        1. by Sno_brdr
          (4 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: what sax is good first one when your 49 and never played

          Oh, and as for alto vs tenor... I ended up buying one of each. Maybe not so smart for a beginner to try to learn two instruments... I think the tenor is a little easier to learn on, the alto is more demanding of the embochure (sp?), the tenor is bigger and heavier but unless you're a very small person, it shouldn't be a problem. Ultimately, you should base your decision on what kind of sound you want. Go to the jazz section of a record store, listen to some Sonny Rollins and David Sanborn, decide which kind of sound you like better.

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          1. by connsaxman_jim
            (2336 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: what sax is good first one when your 49 and never played

            The tenor is the easiest sax to play. It's the easiest to play in tune. Emboschure is not as critical as it is with alto or soprano. When I started playing, my father insisted that I play clarinet for a couple years before switching to saxophone, because clarinet requires a tighter emboschure than even soprano sax. After reading some of your other posts about the type of music you would like to play, I would start with a soprano. When I say it's a little more difficult to play, don't let me discourage you. It's not that it's a hard instrument to learn. The fingerings are the same on a soprano as they are an alto, tenor or a baritone. Learning soprano first will help you to develope a tighter emboschure, so if you decide to play alto or tenor later, you'll be able to pick it up and play it with ease. I think renting is a good idea. In fact, you could start by renting a soprano and try it for a couple months and see what you think. If you're having difficulty with the soprano, take it back and try a tenor or an alto.

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