Hello

SheilaF

New Member
Messages
3
Location
nove29mber
Hello.

I came across this site while searching for information on beginning the Saxophone.

I studied music and learnt to play the piano when I was a child, a very long time ago. Some years after I left school, I spent a couple of years learning to play the Electronic organ. I did try the guitar and violin, but I didn't connect with them somehow. To this day, the piano is still the main instrument I play at home. I do play on the Church organ on Sundays and have been doing so for the past 25 years.

My desire to play the sax came one day about 15 years ago when I attended a concert and fell in love with the sounds made by the group of Sax players. I finally bought an Alto Sax about 5 years ago, tried to play it following videos on the internet, but couldn't get a sound. A couple of months ago, I decided to pick it up and try again. I kind of made a sound, but it was inconsistent. While in conversation with a friend, (I did not know that she played the Sax), she advised me to get a softer reed. I did and managed to get a more consistent sound and even managed to play the scale of C. I was very chuffed. But I am still inconsistent with getting a sound - it takes me at least 5 goes before I get a sound, so something I am doing is still not right.

I have done some research which suggested that perhaps I should get a decent mouthpiece. I have just ordered a Yamaha beginners mouthpiece 4C and I am hoping this will help me to make a more consistent sound.

I am looking forward to interacting at Cafe Saxophone - it really looks like a brilliant place to be at.
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
Subscriber
Messages
4,833
Location
Bristol, UK
Welcome to the Café.

I think the best way to start making a sound is to put the mouthpiece on the neck, but don't put the neck onto the saxophone, so you are just bowing the mouthpiece and neck.
You may be blowing too hard or too soft - you can experiment, Try until you get a strong, consistent tone.
Then put the neck onto the saxophone, finger a G (left hand 3 fingers down), and blow the same way.

When you are trying to play a G, make sure than your fingers are on the right three keys. You shouldn't be pressing the very topmost key.

As a beginner, I think it is best to find a teacher.
 

randulo

Playing saxophone 21 months - 2.4% of my life
Subscriber
Messages
2,207
Location
France
Piano is a terrific instrument to start on, the orchestra under your fingers! Welcome to the café!
 

Alice

Psychedelic
Subscriber
Messages
5,318
Location
Kent
Hello Sheila :) Welcome to the Cafe. I started out with a number 2 reed and then 2.5, which I still use on the Alto. I also had a Yamaha 4C mouthpiece. What Nigel has said is exactly what my teacher did with me during my first lesson. I assume that you are moistening the reed and fixing it to the mouthpiece properly and also finding the right spot on the neck for the mouthpiece to be pushed down onto. Even the neck strap can play a part in being able to blow a note or not because if it is too short of too long, it makes things very difficult.
 

Dave E

Member
Messages
132
Location
Leicester
Hi and welcome Sheila. I think you would benefit from having a few lessons with a sax teacher if you can find one locally (preferably recommended by another player that you know if possible). Have fun here at the café.
 

andyjb

Member
Messages
141
Location
Manchester
Hi Sheila, I learnt piano as a kid and recently started playing. It really helps. Good luck and enjoy. Thanks Andy
.
 

hedgehog

I love singletrack.
Subscriber
Messages
200
Location
Minnesota, USA
Welcome to the Café!

Have fun learning and playing. Yes to finding a teacher. But also note at the top of each page in the Café are links to Taming the Saxophone. There are several tutorial books listed there...the one about Long Tones may be the most important for a beginner, as it gives some exercises (and rationale) for breathing, which obviously relates to making sounds (pleasantly and consistently).
 

saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
Subscriber
Messages
3,317
Location
France
Hello Sheila and welcome to the cafè.

Taking lessons is really important to get started. Otherwise you'll probably do things that are not right. As for anything slightly technical (a saxophone certainly is a technical beast) you need a bit of guidance to aquire the basics.

I've been playing for over 7 years and I would benefit from a lesson once in a while...
 
OP
SheilaF

SheilaF

New Member
Messages
3
Location
nove29mber
Thank you, everyone, for your replies. It is very encouraging indeed.

I will look for a teacher. At the moment, it is difficult to find and make the time to commit to lessons, but it is something I will certainly do at some point.

The Yamaha 4C mouthpiece arrived yesterday, and I love it. I managed to make sounds more easily and they sounded a lot nicer - warm and smooth. I've played the C major scale a few times and it sounds good. I hope that I will be able to repeat that again tomorrow. It definitely pays to invest in a decent mouthpiece.

Thank you all again for welcoming me here at the Cafe.

Have a great Sunday
 

Phil

Member
Commercial Café Supporter
Messages
593
Location
France
Welcome...and even if you find a teacher and go every other week just to get you started a good teacher will help prevent you from forming bad habits...so some is better than none...even if its just a few lessons. Its nice to be able to go "All out" but there is some gray area. You have a fantastic background that will give you a leg up but you do want to develop proper basic technique.
 

ESJohn

Member
Messages
110
Location
Ohio USA
I did the same a few months ago (the 4c) and I agree. Haven't used my generic one since. Welcome, by the way!
 

ac30kev

Too old for a six-pack, it's now a sax-pack
Messages
609
Location
United Kingdom Manchester-ish
Welcome from me too.
I bought a 4c when I first got my sax.(after 3 years am still using it) and felt right from day one.
I can now use others I have bought and the one that that came with it, but always prefer the 4c.
...if it ain't broke, don't fix it, as they say...
 
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