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Hello - Another new player

Mac3

New Member
Messages
7
Hi,

I'm looking into starting up the Sax. I grew up playing the piano but was really forced to focus on grades. 15 years after giving that up, I'm looking into the Sax. Its an instrument I always loved to listen to. Work has always gotten in the way but I really need some creativity in my life and think the Sax would offer me this. I'd love to have something with a bit of 'pick up and play'.

I doubt I'll improve quickly as my spare time varies considerably and although I got to Grade 6 in the piano, I wasn't ever truly talented at it. My current music reading abilities shock even myself (badly), but hope this comes back easier than learning from scratch. I'd love to teach myself but think lessons may help stave off bad habits etc.

I've had a think about alto v tenor and its the sound of the tenor I love. My hands are on the smaller side but as an average sized male I imagine I'll cope okay. I can't throw a lot of money at this and was thinking of getting a G4M sax, however it seems the Jericho may be worth stretching myself for. I live near York so was considering going to the G4M shop.

It really feels quite an overwhelming instrument to start off in - I've read a lot of very good advice on here (thanks) but the whole idea that buying a new instrument doesn't necessarily mean it is set-up to be played makes my mind boggle.

Anyway, hello and thanks for all the advice you've posted the past few years that I've spent time searching through and reading.
 

chuckd

Member
Messages
49
Locality
Lovely Long Beach, CA USA
Welcome to the cafe. I imagine that your musical reading ability should come back quite easily this time around. Now you don't have that pesky bass clef to worry about- that's half the battle right there!
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
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21,470
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Just north of Munich
Big welcome from me. Lessons are the way. You'll hold yourself back with bad habits and technique otherwise.

I'm not sure if you want to, but rather than buying a mail order special, you may be better off taking a trip to Woodwind Exchange in Bradford, or Hansons in Marsden.
 

zelda

On the border
Messages
549
Locality
British Columbia interior, Canada
Howdy and welcome to the Café, Mac3. I have smaller (but not small) hands and Yamaha tenors work for me. That's not to say that there aren't other tenor brands out there that aren't smaller-hands friendly.
Jim
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
4,442
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The Palm Tree strewn Wandle Surf Beach under the o
Welcome to the caff©, Mac3.

At least decent saxes are cheaper than decent pianos.

ENJOY!
 

Jay

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,333
Locality
Northumberland
Hi Mac3 :)

There's a Hanson tenor in York for sale on eBay (I suspect it is a ST5). Of course, buying on eBay is a bit of a lottery, but in this case, they're good quality saxes and Hansons are in Marsden (nr Halifax) and are great people to deal with and provide servicing and good support. Chances are it might need a visit to a technician, but then so will a new G4M. It's on for a very low amount at the moment, worth emailing and offering for it?

I'm a beginner on tenor. My hands are on the larger side for a 'girl', I take an 8 in gloves (which is often a mens' 'medium') and I can manage the size of a tenor just fine.

Your previous music experience will definitely help you learn faster - I am in the same situation, though older than you - plus I thoroughly recommend getting a teacher - it's fun, and as you say, prevents bad habits forming.

PS Any dealing with Hansons needs to be by phone. Their websites are woeful and they don't answer emails, but they themselves are wonderful.
 
Last edited:

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
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26,805
Locality
Cheshire UK
Welcome to the cafe, a good teacher is a must at least to start you off.

Try as many saxes as you can before buying, you will be surprised how different they feel in your hands, even with no experience, if you can get to a good shop they will offer help and advice too. The two Kev mentioned do not exert any sales pressure but will give guidance and sell you a well set up sax. They sell secondhand models too.

Have fun and do ask questions :)

Jx
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Café Supporter
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6,681
Locality
Whitchurch, North Shropshire UK
Hello and welcome. I would second the above comments. I have been to both Woodwind Exchange and Hansons and they are both helpful. In terms of choice, it's difficult to beat Woodwind Exchange - they sell both new and have a large array of second-hand.

My hands are not large, but I don't have any probs with tenor - but just be aware that the ergonomics of saxes vary. I woudl strongly advocate a teacher to start with to get your technique on the right basis.
 

Mac3

New Member
Messages
7
Thank you everyone for your warm welcome and kind advice.

Chuckd - I always did feel short-changed in the orchestra when I had to learn both!

Those two shops mentioned sound very useful - they're about 2 hours from me. Do they have other 'student' saxophones for around or less than the price of a Jericho - would I know which one to go for? I'm tempted by the Jericho as I've not heard much of a bad word said about it, plus you can send it back if you're not happy with it.

Jay - thanks for the tip-off re: the Hanson. That does look a very good price at the moment, 8 days to go for it to get bumped up though. I went on the Hanson website - you're right, woeful is a complement!

I reluctantly feel everyone is right about the teacher. I'm concerned as I know there will be some weeks I've barely practiced and other weeks when I can't make it to the lesson. I guess it's about finding someone who is willing to take that on.

Thanks again!
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
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21,470
Locality
Just north of Munich
Your between lessons behaviour is typical and they're used to it. Just be straight from the beginning. They understand adults with time/family/work commitments. What annoys them are time wasters.
 

ProfJames

Elementary member
Messages
12,186
Locality
Berkshire, UK
You should also look at Roy Benson saxophones. Second hand they are a snip and very underrated.
 

trimmy

One day i will...
Messages
10,378
Locality
Liverpool ( Pool of Life )
Welcome to the cafe Mac3 (best a man can get) ;)

Happy hunting for your horn and enjoy the journey :thumb:
 

ProfJames

Elementary member
Messages
12,186
Locality
Berkshire, UK
Trimmy............you could do with a lovely tenor................
 

Mac3

New Member
Messages
7
Thanks guys.

I'll have a search for a Roy Benson - found some new at around £450-500 which is getting a bit steep for me but as you mentioned, can may be pick one up cheaper 2nd hand.
 

ProfJames

Elementary member
Messages
12,186
Locality
Berkshire, UK
Worth looking Mac. Also try www.ebay.de They are made in South Korea but assembled and certified in Germany I believe. I recently sold an alto for £180. It was in immaculate nick and the buyer was a gigging pro who really rated it. I will also keep a look out for you.
 

Mac3

New Member
Messages
7
Thanks again guys.

I was surprised to see how cheap shipping to UK was - €10!

The John Packer's ex-demos were in the £500 range - although they were lovely looking things, especially the 'vintage' black and gold one.

Having spent quite a bit of time searching, there really is a lot of Saxs that seem to carry names of importers rather than manufacturers or of questionable quality. I'm guessing those that come in a range of colours including pink, purple and green are to be avoided ;)
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
15,885
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
Hello and welcome.

G4M are the best of the economy range. They are what they are, which is fully functional and playable instruments, capable of fulfilling the needs of beginner or player and good enough to gig. They are Yani copies and if you don't like it, you can send it back. They still have a no quibble returns policy as far as I am aware. I have their alto tenor and sop.

Don't forget to budget for a decent mouthpiece and the regular outlay for reeds and servicing.

I wouldn't consider the saxophone a pick up and play instrument. If you don't play every day your sound will suffer. It's also a loud instrument designed for playing outside, so your neighbours will know all about your progress or lack of it.

It's a fragile instrument. Any rough or mishandling will result in a trip to the tech which needs to be included in your budget.

The saxophone is the most versatile, frustrating, rewarding, annoying and addictive instrument I know of. Full of idiosyncrasies and mystique. The tenor is the coolest looking but can sound bovine and that's not remotely cool. The only way to sound as cool as you'll look is to practice often.

Enjoy.
 

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