All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians

Hi everybody


I'm a brand spanking newbie. I'm new to the sax and new to the forum so please excuse any stupid comments or questions.

I'm a 47 year old female in Pembroke Dock who is still a rebellious teenager at heart. I work in accounts within the oil industry - I know, boring sad, oh so mind-numbing, and so utterly un rock 'n' roll - have some pity for me please. I don't fit the corporate world and struggle to stop myself telling management to go .... themselves. Hence I have been looking for a legal and fun way of blasting out some expression. Music. Please people, this isn't a passing whim - I NEED to do this.

I have always fancied playing 'something' and particularly the saxaphone but for a long time I allowed people to tut and scoff me into not giving it a go, but no more - two days ago I bought one - only a cheap one, but it's all mine.

It's a Cranes alto and I have been practising getting some sounds out of it. We all work stupid hours and I have neighbours (tut) so too often people are sleeping. But trust me, every chance I get I'm giving it what for. I do make sounds and sometimes I think it kind of sounds okay-ish. I'm using the 'A New Tune A Day' and sometimes can play that simple scale at the beginning of lesson three all the way up and down again without a squeak.

I think my mouth is wrong. And my breathing. I am panting like my springer at the end of it.

I found a teacher in Tenby on musicteachers(dot)co(dot)uk but have not had a reply so am wondering if she still does it. Thanks to Tomfomo who answered my first post in Woody's thread. I will travel to Ferryside if need be. It's only about 45 minutes. I need to get my mouth sorted out (my mother would have loved me to say that years ago) before I get caught up in any bad habits. But I can't stop myself from trying - I'm excited!!! I shall follow your advice and order another mouthpiece, thanks for the suggestions, I have read in other places how important the mouthpiece is. The one I'm using came with the sax and doesn't seem to have any markings on it. The shop gave me some reeds - they say 1 1/2 are they okay? If you think I need some others I shall get them. But I'm reluctant to blame the mouthpiece so early, but it would be so great if a new one turned up and woah!

Thanks too to Kevgermany for the welcome. Yep, private lessons is what I'm after ... at a push maybe with another total beginner adult, but I have this vision of a bunch of eight year olds (and younger) getting it right first time and then playing chase around the desks while the teacher has to give me a bit of one-on-one because I'm getting it all wrong.

I do like a bit of jazz, but I think it's the blues I would really love to be able to play. Seems like an impossible dream for me right now. But, I am stubborn - hate to fail. I am also patient and will try and try and try till I get it right. I am also very, very determined.

Okay, I think I've bored you all enough now. As you were.


ex Landrover Nut
BIg welcome from me. Interesting background. On the breathing, the secret is to take lots of small breaths at the right point in the music - before you start running out and gasping. Beginners books usually have breathing marks in the notes - an apostrpophe - and always take a breath in the rests...

Good luck with the lessons. Makes a world of difference. But make sure you have a good working relationship with your teacher. Some people get on great, others don't hit it off.


Cafe Moderator

I too have only just taken up the sax at 47 and work in accounts. I am also new to music full stop so am finding there is plenty to get to grips with. :D

Welcome to the forum, you will find everyone is very helpful and full of useful advice.

I am using 1.5 rico royal reeds on the advice of my tutor so I guess you should be ok with them.

Would definitely recommend a tutor:)

Have fun and enjoy.

Last edited by a moderator:


Senile Member
Welcome aboard - there are lots of late-starters here (and female ones too!) so we know what you're going through. Plenty of advice from the more experienced players. A tutor would be a great help - I've spent (too) much time correcting self-inflicted problems!!



(ex oil industry hydrocarbon accountant!):)


Thanks three.

My mouth position is definitely a problem. On the occasions I seem to get it right, i.e. I make a noise that doesn't make the dog 'sing', I am reluctant to move it in order to take a breath.

Practice, practice, practice.

EDIT - Gosh, two other accounts people already ... what were the chances? And one in the oil industry!!! Can't be all coincidence - spooky.
Last edited by a moderator:


Well-Known Member
Hi SS!

I do think that the teacher in Ferryside would be preferable if you are able to do it. Lots of folk try and set up a lesson once a fortnight when they have a distance to go, or once every 3 weeks or so for a slighly longer period (45 mins or so).

Mouthwise the classic idea to "frown" when you play, as if your lips are forming a sort of inverted horse shoe, so that the sides of your mouth curl around the mouthpiece - it prevents any air escaping and makes playing much more efficient.

Breathing - imagine that you are a bag-pipe and that you need to inflate your belly with air. hold on to the air for a couple of seconds and then let air out gradually as you play. Good practice technique is to play a note for agood few seconds at a time so that you get used to consistent breathing etc. It is a good warm-up exercise before you play any tunes etc. After a while a lot of this just becomes second nature. Take your time, so that you get the basics right. If you are behaving like a springer spaniel you are probably not breathing deeply enough and running out of air too quickly.

Anyway a big welcome to Cafe Saxophone from Skabertawe, and hope that you have a good time here.
Kind regards

BTW the bit I missed out on breathing is that you should learn to breath through the sides of your mouth, rather than take your mouth off the mouthpiece to take in some air!
Last edited by a moderator:

Justin Chune

Well-Known Member
Hello Saxysax, and welcome to the cafe. You will be putting far too much effort into playing your sax. We all do that to begin with. Enjoy the journey.



Hello Saxysax, and welcome to the cafe. You will be putting far too much effort into playing your sax. We all do that to begin with. Enjoy the journey.

Thanks all

Jim I think you could be right. I can't seem to stop squeezing it when it doesn't sound good, as if, if I push the keys really, really hard it'll sound better. I know this is totally illogical but I can't seem to stop myself.

My thumbs are aching. Silly girl.

I'm frowning away and huffing up. I've been trying to play E - I don't get why I can play D and then squeak like crazy on E!!! Aghhh.

Poor dog, I've had to shut her in the other room.


Welcome to the cafe sax (and the oil industry accounts forum :shocked:)
Last edited by a moderator:


Busking Oracle
Welcome Saxysax, it sounds like your heading in the right direction!
I had my first performance in Pembroke Dock! It was 47 years ago and in the maternity department of the local hospital! (I think I fell out whilst my forces parents were "passing through!")
Welcome to the cafe, enjoy your saxy journey!


Try Hard Die Hard
Hi saxysax

Here's a thought for you don't think of your sax as something to attack and blast into and grip, but as a lover to hold gently and whisper to and caress and breath gently with, you don't have to blow your brains out to get a sound out of it, it will respond just as easily to gentle blowing, and breath deeply as you go,timing doesn't matter at this stage so don't try to snatch a breath hear and there,also take a few good deep breaths before you even start to play to fill your lungs,
Well that's my twopenneth welcome aboard and most of all enjoy your sax and don't expect too much from yourself it all takes time it's a great journey you've embarked on...all the best ...john


Senior Member
Hi Saxy, and welcome aboard.
Keep at it, you'll get there, it's well worth it, and :welldone for the "Blues".


old git

Tremendous Bore
Welcome to the caff©, Saxysax.

You must learn to lie convincingly if you want to be a saxophonist. Tell everyone you are a lion tamer or a lumberjack.>:)



One day i will...
Welcome to the cafe sexysax (ooops) :blush:>:) saxysax

Enjoy your journey :) it'll be worth it


Thanks all. I spent nearly all afternoon 'giving it a go' loving it, smooching it, caressing it, fondling it. Sometimes I sounded okay. Other times .... well, less than perfect is the kindest term I can think of.

The dog eventually took to lying under my bed with her front paws over her ears and the poor cat nearly shat itself. Other than that, it's all good.
Saxholder Pro
Help!Mailing List
Top Bottom