Beginner Chris' Beginners' Diary (Take II)

Chris98

Senior Member
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1,076
15 Days shy of 3 Years...

I opened my alto case for the first time in too long, long while today, and was transported back to the first time my eyes fell upon it. It had arrived by mail order because I was too scared to walk into a music shop and try one, I remembered having that excited feeling mixed with worry and fear, and just hoped I’d not made an expensive mistake. Nearly three years later I’m looking at that very same alto and desire no other, it’s been on a wonderful journey with me and I cherish it and all it’s little imperfections, including that tiny ding on the bell when I bumped it against my music stand.

Leaving the tenor in its case today I took the opportunity to get reacquainted with my alto. Revisiting my memories of the last three years got me thinking of this thread and I’ve decided that I won’t be updating it anymore. But wanted to thank everyone who took an interest and offered me encouragement and advice when I needed it, it helped me immensely on my journey. I’m pleased to have a record of the early days of my sax quest, and it’s interesting looking back on it now to see how naive and excited I was at times. It occurs to me now that my progress has very much plateaued out and there really isn’t much more to say, I feel that I have made good progress over the last three years and it’ll be interesting to see where I am in three years time.

I wanted to put up sound clips as I went along but I would have been infringing other peoples copyright by doing so, so I didn’t. But with Pete’s permission I did have an opportunity recently to put up some recordings I made playing along to his Jumpin’ Jam track, so for anyone interested to hear how I play now here’s a link to that thread: Jumpin' Jam - Work in Progress



Warmest best wishes,

Chris
 
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695
Chris

I first started to read your diary a bit over two years ago, and I thought that I could relate to it. I am very pleased for you that you have reached the stage where you no longer necessarily see things from a beginner's perspective. Of course, we always are learning, but I assume that many of us know when we are starting "to get it". That is a big moment, and three years of intensive practice and analysis seems to be about the right time. So, thank you for putting your thoughts on paper, and we look forward to contributions on many of the other threads.
 
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Thanks for the diary Chris. It was one of the first things I read when I found this site. I read it over a couple of nights at work and found it fascinating. A great read and thanks for letting others in on your journey.

Rob
 
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I've just read this from start to finish. Inspirational indeed.

I didn't understand much of it, so lots to learn. The clip at the end was amazing.
 

Pete Thomas

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I've just read this from start to finish. Inspirational indeed.

I didn't understand much of it, so lots to learn. The clip at the end was amazing.
I'm really glad someone has revived this thread, it's been a sticky of course but I have just made it an article in the Saxophone Champions section as I think it deserves more viewing. Again, well done Chris!
 
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I am not sure if this is the correct place to mention this here, but I am new to this site and very new to saxophones. I am Very much new, that I have not even purchased/rented or leased an Alto sax.I am sure that its the alto that is the eeasiest to play??? I've been doing research' I guess enough to be confused. Anyway, I am older in life at 51 and always wanted to play. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Vinny
 

kernewegor

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Tenors are easier to play in tune than altos (which are much easier than sopranos) but tenors are heavier so the type of strap is an important consideration - or a harness.

In my experience cheap straps for tenors are not good, but several of us have found cheap harnesses (£5 or less) which save neck ache and back ache...
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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I am not sure if this is the correct place to mention this here, but I am new to this site and very new to saxophones. I am Very much new, that I have not even purchased/rented or leased an Alto sax.I am sure that its the alto that is the eeasiest to play??? I've been doing research' I guess enough to be confused. Anyway, I am older in life at 51 and always wanted to play. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Vinny
Suggest you listen to different players and see if you prefer teh sound of alto or tenor. In general tenor is easier to play, but requires more air.
 
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I have not been on in a while. Miss this forum. I have taken the suggestion and found some great Sax players that I like. Kirk Whalum, Marion Meadows, Kenny G, Mike Phillips, phil woods David Sanborn to name a few.
 
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Location
Canberra
Hi Chris98,
Sorry to resurrect an old thread but I just want to say a big thank you, as a beginner I have read everything in this thread. It's nice to know I am not alone.

Regards Cup
 

davidsol

Member
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Hi, I'd like to add my appreciation of Chris' blog which I have just finished reading from start to finish.
I started learning Alto last February and have been having major problems with squeaking although in the last couple of weeks it's got better. The blog is very comforting as well as inspiring, it's nice to see that one is in the same boat as other beginners. I have been playing guitar & harmonica for many years and having always loved the sax sound, decided to try it as the entry price has come down substantially and I must say that in spite of the problems, I am enjoying it.

Chris, you should be writer, the blog is compulsive reading !

Best wishes to all,

David
 
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