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Hi from freezing Skye.

Messages
56
Location
Isle of Skye
I don't know if I'm doing this right but here goes. My name is Alex and I am 55 years old. I have been playing guitar for quite a few years and been struggling to be honest. I bought a Tin Whistle in 1998 and found that even harder to master. So I left it in the box until I met the current Mrs Hamilton. She played recorder and bought herself a Clarinette. I listened to her playing and thought "how hard can it be"? So out came the tin whistle and within seconds I was playing anything I could think of, by ear. Trouble was there were not enough notes and needs a different whistle for each key. So I had a go on the Clarinette but didn't like it, the fingering was all wrong so I decided the Sax was the way to go. I have long loved the sound of the Sax but never thought I'd be able to play one but the tin whistle encouraged me. So I bought a cheap "Palatino" Alto Sax and was playing it within a couple of minutes. (The basic fingering is the same as the tin whistle). That was a year ago. I later bought a Trevor James "Signature series" Alto. I couldn't afford anything better. Now I have decided that the Tenor is the way to go and decided to sell the Alto to fund the purchase of a Tenor. I still don't know that much about Sax's and which is good and which is bad but after reading several revues I like the look of the "Bauhaus-Walstein" Tenor. It is not too expensive and is about all I can afford. As for the playing, the notes come quite easily while I'm playing but I am really struggling with the breathing and the embouchure. I try to get all the tune out on one breath but obviously this is impossible. So I end up gasping for breath after a few minutes. Also when I've been playing for quite a short time my lips seem to go slack and ache. You must all be on the floor laughing by now:))) I could really do with a teacher but I live in Portree on the Isle of Skye. Although Skye is a VERY musical place, the Sax isn't really a Skye instrument and finding another sax player is nigh on impossible. Anyway, I hope I gave you all a laugh, well, those of you who could keep awake through this marathon. Cheers.:verysad
 
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old git

Tremendous Bore
Welcome Mr. Hamilton, how do you fancy having Jenson alongside you in the pit next year?

Knackered lips? We've all been there. Unable to play it all in one breath? Look at the last Stan Getz video posting on this board of 'Round About Midnight', he seems a bit short of breath too.
Enjoy your spell at the SaxCaff.
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,626
Location
Rugby UK
Hi Copstolemywife, I was in the same predicament. My wife left me for my best mate 5 years ago,.......I don't half miss him! :)))
As for saxophones, as OG said, we've all been there so we ain't laughing (yet, give us time and we'll find something ;})
Anyway, back to the sax, your embouchure will improve with both practice and patients, so stick with it and have fun.
And whilst I'm here, welcome to the Cafe.
 

MartinL

Member
Messages
378
Location
Bilston, United Kingdom.
Hi Alex and welcome to the group. You'll have a bit of a laugh here and pick up some great information. These guys are great. My story is similar to yours, 52 yo, learnt recorder at school, played guitar from 15 and still do. i got a cheap Alto a couple of years ago, found the fingering easy after the recorder and soon swapped my cheap Alto for a Trevor James. I've just bought a cheap Tenor to try now but I'm keeping the TJ, cos I like it :):)

Hope we hear a lot more from you..
 

Justin Chune

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,951
Location
The Athens of The North
Hello Alex and welcome to the cafe. We built that bridge just so that you could go for a lesson somewhere. Will you be playing in the MOD next year?

I think that one of the reasons we knacker ourselves when we start playing is that we put far too much effort into it. Too much biting and blowing etc. The tenor requires a looser embouchure than the alto or the clarinet.

Jim.
 

visionari1

Senior Member
Messages
1,606
Location
Out in the Countryside of Nelson NZ
Welcome Alex, You've got the right attitude for around here, fun is the name of the game, and boy you sure need a sense of humour for sax playing, can you play "over the sea to Skye" yet!

My favourite story about Skye, was the visiting American Tourist asked a local what the time was.......the reply.......I think it's July or August.

I'm an exciled lowland Scot, planning a trip back next year.....Just how many Saxophones are their on Skye?

Cheers for New Zealand
Jimu:mrcool
 

RobatBlueRock

Member
Messages
100
Location
Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire
Hi Copstolemywife.... ummm... what can I say.
If it's any help to you I am also a guitarist looking to start playing Tenor and not yet having decided what to buy.
I am visiting Birdman in sunny Wales today, to have a look at the BW's and also to discuss some other options.
If you keep an eye on the thread 'BW or Hanson or??' it might help you firm up you choices.
 
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Young Col

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,423
Location
Coulsdon, London/Surrey
Hi Alex. Welcome. I'm a late re-learner too. Like the others say, you'll build your lip muscles up over time, so take it slowly. Getting beathing right for phrasing also comes with experience, but you do need to start breathing from the bottom of the lungs and using the diaphragm, otherwise you get into bad habits (as I was told when I went to a teacher after a year of self learning)!

If you can't find a teacher locally, there are some on-line teachers if you search the web for music teachers. Also there is a load of material available, not least from that nice Mr Thomas who runs this forum, on his main site; and anything you buy from him a bit goes to music charities.

Enjoy the cafe sax.
Colin
 

thehunt

Member
Messages
797
Location
Studham Bedfordshire
Hi Alex, welcome to the caff, as they've all said just persevere. Your chops will get stronger then you'll find something else you need to work on. Welcome to the gerat worls of sax playing. Phil
 
OP
C
Messages
56
Location
Isle of Skye
Hi, I think there are about 5 Sax's on skye and I own 2 of them, ha ha. There is a really excellent player who plays in the local pubs. He also plays guitar and sings excellently. He is good but he knows it and is a bit conceited. (hope he's not on here!) The skye boat song is pretty easy. I surprise myself with what pops into my head and I play without much difficulty. I should have taken up sax years ago. Thanks for your comment. Alex.
 

Luluna

Señora
Subscriber
Messages
698
Location
Vermont, USA
Hello Alex - from freezing Vermont ;}

I've found that there are certain advantages to playing a tenor sax in remote mountainous terrain....neighbors are too far away to complain, and the red squirrels head for the hills.

Welcome to the CS - what a beautiful place Skye is!
 
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