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PPT Mouthpieces

being a young musician and getting out there


New Member
I'm a closet sax player, and I just recently got a great setup and am ready to perform at jam sessions. I've spent too much time indoors playing alone and recording myself and not enough time actually playing with others, getting my music and sound out there. I have some level of social anxiety which makes it harder. What makes it harder is I'm fairly beginner when it comes to playing tunes, I have a hard time concentrating on reading through stuff, but I know this will come with more practice... but really I want to improvise mainly and play jazz so right now I am starting to go to jam sessions. My first experiences were upsetting because I realized my game wasn't up to par with the highest level of musicians, when I went to a sort of classy gig. But I am really much more confident now since I got my latest mouthpiece (big grin) :D

also my neighbors hate my practicing, they say it's too loud, so that's another reason... I am meeting once a week with a piano player to work on tunes, which is great, and want to go back to some more jam sessions, but they scare me a little. :)

old git

Tremendous Bore
Had no problem recognising your original recording here, so you certainly have the ability to state the theme. :welldone

In my folkie days used to occasionally play with a member of a classical guitar octet and found that playing with a really good player lifted my standards. He would shout out chords I'd never heard of and you just miraculously found them. 'Wont you come home Bill Bailey' bought the tune home even if Mr. Bailey did not comply.:shocked:

We are more aware of our 'mistakes', if indeed they are mistakes, than our fellow musicians, they probably thought you were exploratory. And always remember Amy, those who never make mistakes, never make anything.

Depending on where you are, you might want to have a look at the thread on the Breakfastroom gathering...

There is a jam session (improvising in a safe environment...) which is likely to form part of this (if I have any say in the matter).

Otherwise, there are a few community jazz bands out there - being in one helped my playing and improvising greatly.

Whatever you do, though remember : if you make a mistake whilst improvising, repeat it exactly, and make it look as though you intended it in the first place!



Costa Blanca, Spain
My teacher advises giving a sideways look at the other sax-player, as if it it were he who played the 'bum note' :D

I have been around a long time, but am very much a novice sax-player. I know that it would be of great benefit to play with others, but, although I am to all appearances a fairly out-going person, I have an 'unhealthy' fear of making a fool of myself, or, worse still, being 'scorned' by more skilful players.
Apart from my teacher(and the neighbours!), the only people who've heard me play are the folks at Hanson and WWBW , and Mike(losaavedra) who lives nearby.
It's something I just have to get over.
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London, UK
Hi there amysmith,

Jam session is often a terrifying experience, but the crazy joy you get from surviving is worth all the worry. Something that helped me was to get the Jamie Aebersold "Maiden Voyage" book, which has some relatively simple tunes which always get called at jam sessions, play along until you're comfortable, then try playing along with a cd of the tune and then get up on stage at a jam session without having to read.

lastly, playing with people that can kick your butt all over the place may be humbling, but it is a really great way of figuring out things you need to work on. Before I started going, I had a massive list of things I needed to improve and just didn't know where to start. After a jam session and having my a s s handed to me on a plate, I focussed on one thing the other horn player had done particularly well and tried to practice that.

Hope it helps and best of luck



Buckinghamshire, UK
I am also very anxious about playing at a jam session. It feels very much like being thrown in at the deep end and left to struggle. Playing with friends in a more structured way, i.e. deciding on a few pieces, practicing them beforehand and then working on them together is easier, I think. Then when you know some pieces thoroughly try a jam session.

Young Col

Well-Known Member
Coulsdon, London/Surrey
I'm glad there are others with the same anxiety as me! I have done spoken presentations to audiences of hundreds, ad libbing quite happily if necesssary, but music's a different game. I have this "State the theme OK but where do I go next" kind of worry.

More noodling round with OG trying to fit some chords behind me may be in order, or hopefully, the planned group get togethers.


Fleet, Hampshire
I'm glad there are others with the same anxiety as me! I have done spoken presentations to audiences of hundreds, ad libbing quite happily if necesssary, but music's a different game.


With music I'm doing something I would never do in my professional life - go out and present a topic about which the audience knows lots more then I do.

Of course often the audience doesn't, or doesn't care - but it takes time to build up the confidence to realise that.

The only way I can manage it is to go with a group of others in the same boat - a training band - where there is a shared fear and the audience is warned to make allowances.

Thrown in to a jam session - I'd be unable to blow a note.


Costa Blanca, Spain
That's it....who wants to "have their a s s handed to them on a plate"?

Where's the pleasure in it?
I s'pose it's the 'no gain without pain' syndrome, but I think I'd rather do without the pain!


Busking Oracle
Rugby UK
When I first started busking, I was so self conscious and nervous that I nearly passed out! I then realised that most people are only half listening, and you are the only person who notices when you make a mistake. Even at a jam, most of the other muso's are more interested in what their doing to even notice what you just did.
I listened to that piece you posted called Warehouse sax, what the hell are you worried about! Get out there and play! Most people think "Ah what a lovely sax"

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