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TimboSax

Deputy junior apprentice 2nd class
Subscriber
Messages
811
Morning all.

My name's Tim, I always fancied learning sax, but span off for 35 years to concentrate on playing guitar badly. I started reading these forums a few weeks ago, and this morning took delivery of my very first sax: a Jericho tenor (thanks to all posters on this forum, as well as the search function, for a wealth of information without which I would have less of a clue than I do now).

I've just skived off work for an hour, soaked my reed (listen to me sounding as if I almost know what I'm talking about), put everything together, gone on to YouTube for something simple, and have just played a C scale!! Up, down and, for one unnerving moment, sideways!! Loads of squeaks and farts (both the sax and me), but it sounds like a bloody sax :cool:

I've arranged to see a tutor next week to make sure I've not put anything on backwards and am blowing in the right end, but I can already feel myself entering a new level of coolness (once I can get rid of the squeaks and farts of course. I sense this may be a long journey...)

Rather excited, wonder if they'll miss me at work for the rest of the day?

Tim
 

MLoosemore

Deluded Senior Member...
Messages
759
Welcome Tim. I have been noticing a lot of Squeaks and F***s as well but put it down to Christmas....
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Big hi from me. Have fun here. Good progress on the scale. I guess you already know that Cmaj is really Bbmaj on tenor....
 

Ivan

Undecided
Subscriber
Messages
7,339
Welcome Tim. I have been noticing a lot of Squeaks and F***s as well but put it down to Christmas....
The annual Brussels sprout fest

Mind you Jerusalem artichokes are the most flatogenic vegetable in my experience

Perhaps one needs to beware of any vegetable named after a capital city
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,552
Welcome, welcome.

Enjoy your saxophone journey.
I am just coming up to 4 years playing mine, and it's been the most wonderful experience of my life (well, after the 3 teenagers, I guess!)

As you will have realised, there can be lots of useful information on here, once you've filtered it out from the humour, tangents and diversions.

Happy blowings
 

Di in France

Senior Member
Messages
619
Hi Tim, welcome to the forum, and thank you for letting me share in your excitement, it made me smile!:D
 

TimboSax

Deputy junior apprentice 2nd class
Subscriber
Messages
811
Thanks for the welcomes everyone.

MLoosemore - it's like the ghost of the xmas goose has come back to haunt me with it's honking
kevgermany - Cmaj is really Bbmaj on tenor....? Is this some sort of zen? I've studiously managed to avoid music theory in the past simply by turning up my amp and winging it. I fear that the time may have come to have a look at what all those little dots mean.
Ivan - I'm actually banned from the brussels by my family, unless I eat them outdoors in a stiff breeze. I've not tried jerusalem artichokes, so I might try sneaking them in some time, in the spirit of scientific enquiry.
ChrisC - Fantastic, congrats! We should be careful, if we both practice at the same time it could set off all the car alarms in the country ;}
MandyH - Thanks, I'm enjoying the journey and I've not even started yet. I have found plenty of useful info here already, but feel as if I've not scratched the surface. And I do enjoy the humour, tangents and diversions!
Di in France - Glad you're smiling! Every now and then I'm coming up (by accident, obviously) with a beautiful, soulful, soft, warm note that matches perfectly the sound in my head, the sound that I have always wanted to make...and then I mess it up by grinning halfway through it, and I'm back to the squeaky goose impersonation. Doesn't stop me smiling though :D
 

MLoosemore

Deluded Senior Member...
Messages
759
The good thing about learning the saxophone is that the bad notes sound like a honking goose, something I manage to achieve on a very regular basis.

Learners on violin have to put up with the much more irritating 'strangled cat' or 'nails on a blackboard'

If that applied to the sax I would have given up soon after starting...
 

sushidushi

Mine's an espresso
Messages
651
Welcome from me, too.

To the thing kevgermany said about C major really being Bb major. Saxophones are transposing instruments, which means that the written note is different from the note being sounded. When you play a C major scale on a Bb instrument, like your tenor sax, you play a 'concert Bb major scale'. So to get the same notes on a non-transposing instrument like a piano you'd have to play a Bb major scale. If I play my alto sax, which is an Eb transposing instrument, a C major scale would produce an Eb major scale. This means that if you were to play a duet with me on my alto sax, and we wanted to play notes at the same pitch, the music you read would be different from what I read. Does that make any sense...?
 

sushidushi

Mine's an espresso
Messages
651
One more thing. The transposition sounds like it's a pain, but it has advantages. Music is written or transposed for the specific instrument. So, if someone wanted your tenor to play a concert pitch C, they would write it as D. If transposed for an alto (in Eb) you would play an A. But the fingering is the same for all saxophones. For example, if you play an A on an alto sax or a tenor sax, you put the first two fingers of your left hand down. The difference is just the note that comes out - G on tenor and C on alto.

If you're just playing on your own, rather than with others or with a backing track, you don't really need to worry about this. It just means that everything will be two semitones 'flat' on the tenor compared with the way the music's written. It will all sound good within itself, farts, honks and squeaks aside.
 

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
Messages
25,903
Welcome to the cafe Tim, what a great way to start the New Year. Enjoy your sax journey.

Jx
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,661
Hi Tim, welcome to the cafe, music theory isn't for every one. In fact when I read "which means that the written note is different from the note being sounded. When you play a C major scale on a Bb instrument, like your tenor sax, you play a 'concert Bb major scale'. So to get the same notes on a non-transposing instrument like a piano you'd have to play a Bb major scale. If I play my alto sax, which is an Eb transposing instrument, a C major scale would produce an Eb major scale.............

What I actually see is





No disrespect sushidushi ;} I'm a pure "ear" man. Always have been and always will be :thumb:

Oh and as for scratching the surface of this website, once you start scratching you'll need a good ointment to stop!
 

BUMNOTE

Senior Member
Messages
573
Welcome Tim, you will get loads of info and advice on here.Good explanation sushidushi,but i think i am with Taz when it comes to music theory,but i am trying to get my head round it!!!:headscratch:Bumnote.
 

TimboSax

Deputy junior apprentice 2nd class
Subscriber
Messages
811
sushidushi - Thanks, I think I get it if I think of it as three guitars: One tuned normally to E, one tuned down to D (that would be the tenor), and one tuned up to G (the tenor). I've probably got the notes wrong here, but if the underlying principle is correct then I think I've got it.

Jeanette - Thanks for the welcome

Taz - :) Dunno, them hieroglyphs are all greek to me...

Bumnote - Thanks, I know what you mean, it's alot easier to bluff my way through on a guitar!
 

sushidushi

Mine's an espresso
Messages
651
I don't think my explanation was as clear as it might have been. In any case, if you're playing on your own, don't worry about it. Blow the thing and have fun... :)
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
sushidushi - Thanks, I think I get it if I think of it as three guitars: One tuned normally to E, one tuned down to D (that would be the tenor), and one tuned up to G (the tenor). I've probably got the notes wrong here, but if the underlying principle is correct then I think I've got it.

Jeanette - Thanks for the welcome

Taz - :) Dunno, them hieroglyphs are all greek to me...

Bumnote - Thanks, I know what you mean, it's alot easier to bluff my way through on a guitar!
Yes, but the second tenor is alto.

If you take a look at wikifonia, you have the choice of notes for C, Bb and Eb instruments. So get what you want, and play on. Just beware, the chord symbols should also be transposed for the instrument (helps you when you impovise), so if you've got a guitarist playing along with you (keeping quietly in the background I hope...) he/she will need a concert pitch sheet.
 

TimboSax

Deputy junior apprentice 2nd class
Subscriber
Messages
811
sushidushi - I think your explanation is clear, it's me that's a bit fuzzy

selkie - agree, this forum is a real find

kevgermany - yep, alto is what I meant, but my fingers got in the way! You see, even when I work slow I get mixed up

I think I'll just concentrate on getting the notes coming out first, and then work out which ones they are. Right now I'm trying to work out why I can play what I think are the same notes, but they can come out in different octaves. Some reading on embouchure coming up...
 
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