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Back-packing - with a sax?

dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,418
I'm off with the missus in September for a bit of a RTW adventure, basically back-packing through Vietnam, Thailand, Phillippines, Oz, NZ and S America for 7 months. I have assumed up to now that taking a sax along for the trip is a complete no-no until I spoke to the guitarist in our band who has done similar trips a few times and who would never dream of leaving home without a guitar; he reckons half the fun of these trips is the spontaneous jam-sessions that spring up almost anywhere. He couldn't believe I wasn't even considering taking my soprano - I suppose it is feasible although it's not my favourite instrument (that's the tenor) and I did take it to Greece a couple of years ago, but that was a beach holiday, not back-packing.

So I wondered if anyone has done anything similar? Bearing in mind that this is not some glitzy organised cruise we are going on - we have the flights booked, a few couchsurfing and Help Exchange contacts and the rest of it will be cheap hotels and beach huts. It could be an ideal opportunity to grow to love the little thing I suppose. I would love to take the tenor - but I think I would have to leave the back-pack at home.......:)
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
13,954
I would take a Vibratosax, maybe even pick one up in Thailand


You can contact them on this very site:
 
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old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Take a baritone with a wheeled case. Fit one of Jon F's spare mills and a motorcycle front end and ride it with your missus on the pillion.

This was inspired by the referendum. Our on-site Polling Station team consists of a bearded guy with a nice trumpet without oil drips underneath and an amusing lady.
 

dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,418
I would take a Vibratosax, maybe even pick one up in Thailand
Mmm, attractive proposition though it is, I hadn't actually envisaged purchasing a special back-packing sax - and how much do these babies cost anyway? May well go and have a look when in that area though.
 
Messages
509
I do recall reading that when Artie Shaw was touring the pacific with his U.S Navy band durring the second world war, heat and humidity played havoc with the instruments particularly saxes and clarinets.
pads falling out etc, that may be something to consider
regards zoot
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
13,954
Mmm, attractive proposition though it is, I hadn't actually envisaged purchasing a special back-packing sax - and how much do these babies cost anyway? May well go and have a look when in that area though.
I would contact them via PM and ask about buying one in Thailand, without the shipping it's likely to be bit less.

I do recall reading that when Artie Shaw was touring the pacific with his U.S Navy band durring the second world war, heat and humidity played havoc with the instruments particularly saxes and clarinets.
pads falling out etc, that may be something to consider
regards zoot
Exactly why I'm recommending the Vibratosax.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Maybe they'd sponsor you, would be a good way of showing robustness, which'd go a long way to rebutting the bad publicity they've been getting...
 

taiwanpaul

Member
Messages
156
Have been through S. America, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal with my soprano. It's not a particularly good model, but good enough (and if someone steals it, not too bad!). Some of the places you mention are very inspirational to play and there are always musicians on the road, drums and guitars are a plenty etc. etc. Have had some great jams with people I have been unable to communicate verbally with (except "hello") and you would really regret it not taking one.
If it needs repairing, which mine never did, then local musicians can direct you to repairmen. I once had my tenor serviced in Bangkok. Good work and considerably cheaper than GB!
The reason I choose soprano to travel with is convenience. Attach a couple of strap "rings" on the ends of the case (mini door locks will do) and then you can strap the case on top of your rucksack and you hardly notice the weight.
If this seems too much, think sunset on the beach, a cocktail and able to stand ankle deep in the sea blowing some tunes! Paradise!!!
Wishing you happy travels!
Paul.
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
Take a baritone with a wheeled case. Fit one of Jon F's spare mills and a motorcycle front end and ride it with your missus on the pillion.

This was inspired by the referendum. Our on-site Polling Station team consists of a bearded guy with a nice trumpet without oil drips underneath and an amusing lady.
:))):))):)))

Hey Bill, that reminds me. I read an obit of Geoff Monty a couple of days ago. Remember him from the race circuit? I last saw him in his old shop in Edenbridge about six years ago. The shop was a real throwback to the early sixties, and he had an amusing lady as well. He had a beautiful, and I mean beautiful Alfa Romeo Montreal under a dust sheet in the back of the shop. A real old character was Geoff, I don't think he gave a stuff about money, just liked bikes, bikers and helping bikers out.

Sorry all, that was way off topic.:)
 

dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,418
Have been through S. America, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal with my soprano. It's not a particularly good model, but good enough (and if someone steals it, not too bad!). Some of the places you mention are very inspirational to play and there are always musicians on the road, drums and guitars are a plenty etc. etc. Have had some great jams with people I have been unable to communicate verbally with (except "hello") and you would really regret it not taking one.
If it needs repairing, which mine never did, then local musicians can direct you to repairmen. I once had my tenor serviced in Bangkok. Good work and considerably cheaper than GB!
The reason I choose soprano to travel with is convenience. Attach a couple of strap "rings" on the ends of the case (mini door locks will do) and then you can strap the case on top of your rucksack and you hardly notice the weight.
If this seems too much, think sunset on the beach, a cocktail and able to stand ankle deep in the sea blowing some tunes! Paradise!!!
Wishing you happy travels!
Paul.
Cheers Paul - you are right on my wavelength :welldone
 

visionari1

Senior Member
Messages
1,581
Great topic, Dooce, you'll have a ball. I've travelled with my naked lady alto thru Canada, USA, Europe, Japan & Bali, most of it solo backpacking. In some countries it is a huge hastle having to keep your eye on your gear, mine was in a sax looking case, which made it easier to make contact with people. I also played in canyons and mountain tops. The oppertunities for fun are endless, you will meet the weird and wondefull. You can make some money for coffee etc waiting for buses or trains and relaxing with your sax after the stress of travels is a real gift.
I traveled last year (was to be a 6 month cycling/busking trip) with a sop and alto in the same case, however it was a tough trip as I came of the bike on day 4 breaking my left clavicle and right thumb. In all the trips this was by far the hardest, but all the amazing times on previous trips made up for this last horror!
If you are coming thru NZ definately do call in, there's a bed waiting. NZ is well setup for Backpackers.
How long will you be travelling.... Are u doing a blog about it, would be interesting for you to read when your old and past it!
Good on Ya
Go for it!
Cheers and ciao
Jimu
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Jon,
Off topic but you are talking about one of the best 500 single tuners and sponsors. Takes me back to Good Friday Brands of the 60s and the Hutch being run t'other way round. Mind you, if you really want to be pedantic, it was a grass track originally, so maybe that direction was correct.
 

dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,418
Hi Jimu. You were due to stop over with me on the trip last year, remember? It all fell apart when you fell off your bike though - sorry we never met up subsequently. I reckon I can just about manage the soprano if I can find a robust, minimal case for it - the standard padded case is far too bulky to carry with a backpack.

Thanks for the offer of a bed - we are planning to be in NZ in Jan/Feb 2012, back home about April, and yes, we will do a blog. See you next year, I hope!
 

visionari1

Senior Member
Messages
1,581
Hi, Dooce,
Very good time for NZ, high summer!
Investgate making your own sax case out of PVC drain pipe, as they are really strong, only would work with straight Sops. Best of British with the trip! I'm thinking of a re~ visit to complete what I didn't do last time.... Next year?
Hope to see & hear you in NZ.
Ciao
Jimu
 

dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,418
Hi, Dooce,
Very good time for NZ, high summer!
Investgate making your own sax case out of PVC drain pipe, as they are really strong, only would work with straight Sops. Best of British with the trip! I'm thinking of a re~ visit to complete what I didn't do last time.... Next year?
Hope to see & hear you in NZ.
Ciao
Jimu
Top idea Jimu. Fortunately mine is a straight sop - I guess I could just wrap it in a padded bag and stuff it in the pipe, and just hope airport security don't think it's a rocket-launcher.......

:shocked:
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Bill,

Hope you don't mind me sticking my nose in here.

If the people on the check-in think the pipe could be used as a bottle/mixing vessel, it will not be allowed in the cabin under current regs. My guess would be that it's borderline at best. And probably a non-starter. Check-in staff are, rightly, trained to follow rules, and err on the side of caution. Who's to say that someone else on the flight wouldn't be carrying bungs for the pipe ends?

A solution may be a soft carrying case for hand transportation as cabin luggage, with a pipe based container in your hold baggage. A conventional flight case would probably be better overall.
 

dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,418
Bill,

Hope you don't mind me sticking my nose in here.

If the people on the check-in think the pipe could be used as a bottle/mixing vessel, it will not be allowed in the cabin under current regs. My guess would be that it's borderline at best. And probably a non-starter. Check-in staff are, rightly, trained to follow rules, and err on the side of caution. Who's to say that someone else on the flight wouldn't be carrying bungs for the pipe ends?

A solution may be a soft carrying case for hand transportation as cabin luggage, with a pipe based container in your hold baggage. A conventional flight case would probably be better overall.
No worries Kev, you've stuck your nose in somewhat more constructively than other esteemed members of this forum :)

A flight case is a no-no - the essence is that it is light and no bulkier than it has to be. Cheap would be good too....

Are you saying that any impervious container could be regarded as suspect? I guess I could always drill a few strategic holes in it?
 
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Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,661
Good points there from Kev. Bill have you thought about contacting the airline, they may have some sort of guide you could follow when making your pipe bo....... um, case. It sounds like a top idea of Jimu's after all, he's got the experience and his saxes survived being knocked of his bike!
 
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