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crocodilian

Member
Messages
31
Hello, my names Jim. As above, I'm so new I haven't even picked up a saxophone yet! This will hopefully change tomorrow as I'm off to sax.co.uk in London to talk and maybe buy. It's all very exciting! If anyone has any advice it would be greatly welcomed.
 

crocodilian

Member
Messages
31
Thanks. I now have a sax, a Sakkusu Tenor from sax.co.uk and have been learning some basics. One thing I'm starting to find is that the preferred method of embouchure - bottom lip tucked over teeth - is maybe not for me, I started getting more reliable results/ better sound from not tucking the lip. I've read here and elsewhere that this is an alternative used by some but how many? Do people generally start out tucking the lip over and then move to no tuck?
Anyway, you're absolutely right, it is great fun. I'm trying to do 30 mins to and hour each day and I will be getting some lessons presently.

The only bad news is that my fiancee can't stay in the room when I play as it's obviously too loud, maybe I'm being too selfish by using the living room, I feel I may get relegated to the garage soon as I also keep on creeping up behind her and playing one note when she least expects it! I think it's very funny.

Another thing; although I'm just starting out and I want to nail the basics, I also have this urge to dive in headfirst to something out of my depth and learn it, albeit very slowly. I have the patience (I think) as I would be very slow but I think it could be good to do as a side project as I learnt the more basic stuff. Is this advisable?
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Hi The Crocster!

Welcome to Cafe Saxophone from the Skabertawe Horn Section!:w00t:;} With regard to your various points -

1. It is good to try practicing quietly as well as loudly, and if you play facing a wall you will both hear your sound more clearly and sound a little quieter. Some lounges/sitting rooms have a little too much sound absorbing material, sofas, carpets and stuff; it would be good to try and find a place to practice which is freer of such furnishings - a garage may be a good idea anyway.

2. Do you intend to have any lessons - would be really useful to set some up to make sure you get off to a good start - embouchure etc.

3. What materials are you using to learn, if any? I will certainly recommend "The Jazz Method for Tenor Saxophone" by John O'Neill - costs about £14 from Amazon, and includes CD and answers lots of basic questions. It is aimed at adult learners and should have you playing 'proper' tunes quite soon.

There are also several other books which have accompanying CDs (Tracks both with and without the Sax part. A good series to look at would be the ABRSM Jazz Grades - and maybe Grade 2 would be a useful book to get hold of - features 15 actual Jazz Tunes, albeit slightly simplified and shortened - but excellent if you want some decent tunes under your belt sooner rather than later - you could choose maybe 2 that you could learn/work on as part of your practice routine

4. Practice routines - all sorts of advice out there. Commonly this involves gradually learning certain notes - middle register first, then gradually expanding up and down - concentrating on a good sound - long notes so you get your breathing nice and steady - learning a couple of scales etc. - including learning a couple of tunes over a period of time - especially listening to the tune sufficiently before playing.

Anyway warm welcome and hope you enjoy your Tenor. Also add Charles LLoyd to your list of Tenor Sax players - brilliant latest album "Mirror" which got a 5* rating in Today's Guardian - a rare feat!

Kind regards
Tom:cool:
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Hi from me too. I think most tenor players start with a lip in/under and as they progress it moves out. The thing to avoid is biting into the lip with your teeth, the muscles around the mouth need to provide the support. Larry Teal's "The Art of the Saxophone" has some good exercises for developing this.

Maybe better to move yourself to the garage before your Fiance moves out.... lol

Good to try, but most of us find that volume control comes later. And it depends a lot on mouthpiece as well.

HAve fun!
 

dave 645

Member
Messages
124
I also keep on creeping up behind her and playing one note when she least expects it! I think it's very funny.
Me too, very funny.
I too went lip over teeth, but now tend to be lip in front of teeth. I've played about 50 hours so am still very much a beginner, but I find regular practice and mixing up long tones, scales, short pieces and one or two longer sections as I feel for it is working for me.
But we are all different, play around with a few things and do what works for you.
Enjoy
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Welcome to the caff, crocodilian.

Couldn't resist, see you later alligator.
 

crocodilian

Member
Messages
31
Tom, I have a book that came with the sax and everything else. A DVD too. It's taking me through some exercises and I'm just moving into the lower register which seems to amuse some listeners (the fiancee again) who reply with a "parp"! Also thanks for the CD advice. I did read the Guardian today but didn't get to the music section...I'll pop into a record shop later on.

Thanks everyone for the embouchure advice and - old git - the wit! :)
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
As everyone has said, a BIG welcome to the caff.

Enjoy the light relief, and join in with the humour ( I sense mischief in you).
 

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
Subscriber
Messages
3,409
Hi Croc

Welcome to the cafe from up here in Manchester,some great advice has been given to you already ,especially from Tom as usual I must get that jazz learning book he keeps promoting,the hard surfaces thing makes a big difference,I've started playing quite a lot in my kitchen the sax seems to come alive when I do.The main thing is to enjoy it like you seem to be doing and take your time....good luck....john
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,662
Hi Croc, welcome to the cafe. I can't beat the advice given, so just enjoy the sax. A word of warning though! Sneaking up on people and parping out one nice note can be dangerous and not only that, bad for one's health. After all, removing a tenor sax from the area that the sun seldom reaches could be a painful procedure with a lengthy recovery time!
 

visionari1

Senior Member
Messages
1,581
Welcome to the forum & wonderful world of sax playing and the many banter oppertunities avaiable via cafe Sax

Enjoy
Cheers
Jimu
 

Sweet Dreamer

Senior Member
Messages
505
Welcome Croc,

I'm totally new here myself. I have an alto sax. I was originally going to get a tenor sax, but for various reasons I got the alto instead. I'm glad I did because the alto already seems lethal enough to me. I don't no if I could handle a much larger sax.

Very best of luck in your quest to play the sax!
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Obviously with a name like "Sweet Dreamer" they wouldn't let you play a Tenor Sax........................:w00t:;}



Kind regards
Tom:cool:
 

Sweet Dreamer

Senior Member
Messages
505
Obviously with a name like "Sweet Dreamer" they wouldn't let you play a Tenor Sax........................:w00t:;}



Kind regards
Tom:cool:
Probably not.

I have respiratory problems anyway so I should probably avoid all these wind instruments actually. I play the flute, clarinet, and trumpet (and now hopefully the alto sax). Although, I probably should say that I "play around" with all these instruments.

The Clarinet takes a lot of pressure to play (especially mine because it's a cheap horn to begin with). The sax requires less pressure but requires more volume of airflow. I discovered that immediately when I first got it. In fact, one of the reasons I got it was because of the lower pressure that's required to play it. But the extra air flow plays a toll on me too.

I'm told that a tenor sax requires even more airflow. So it may well be beyond my Sweet Dreaming reach. ;)
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
The tenor's a lot less pressure and more air than the alto. Easier on the mouth as well.
 
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