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Hi from Mid-Wales ...

KenW

New Member
Messages
15
Hi all,

I've been playing saxophone for about 9 months now - love it - wish I'd started years ago !!

cheers ...
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Big welcome from me. Have fun. I'm sure the nosey ones will be a long soon to ask which sax, mouthpiece, where in mid Wales and so on. Have fun here!
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Welcome to the caff©, Ken.

Quite a few fellow Celts, well it's spelt something like that, on the board.

ENJOY!​™
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Hi KenW!

A Big Welcome to the Cafe from the Hot Club of Skabertawe, down by yer in South Wales, mind. As KevvyG said, it would be nice to know a little more about your location, sax set up, whether you are having lessons, what music you like to play/listen to.

Kind regards
Tom:thumb:
 

KenW

New Member
Messages
15
Hi again all,

Thank you for your welcomes ...

I still have the Trevor James classic II alto I rented and then purchased - plus the equivalent tenor purchased from a friend after he found a second hand vintage tenor to his liking. I find the alto a bit more challenging to play - but feel happier after about three weeks of playing only alto. I have an ebonite Otto Link mouthpiece for both - use Rico Royal 3+1/2 reeds on alto and Rico Royale 4 on tenor

I have been playing guitar/bass for many years - I mainly play/listen to jazz and concentrate mostly on free jazz but have a deep love for Thelonious Monk. I've spent the last 2 weeks learning/memorising (I'm not a great reader) "Miss Ann" by Eric Dolphy on alto - it's very hard !! - but it uses almost the full range of the alto and has note patterns that I hope will help me break out of the usual patterns I play. I was learning "Something Sweet, Something Tender" on tenor last time I was focused on tenor. It's also by Eric Dolphy and he plays it on Bass Clarinet - even so it has the G,G# and A in the lower altissimo register - which I found very hard - I was starting to get the notes at the second or third try - but this is very much a work in progress !! I don't think these tunes sound very good yet but hopefully they will in a couple of months. I had learnt a few Monk tunes and a couple of standards - Lullaby of Birdland, Paper Moon but have now forgotten them as I concentrated on pitch and tone for a few months !!

I find the Trevor James alto a bit tinny and shrill now so I'm currently looking to buy a better alto - I'm currently hoping to find a reasonably priced second hand Yamaha 62 on ebay - or equivalent Yani etc - I think a second hand modern(ish) good quality alto would suit me better than a vintage instrument

cheers ...
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Good to have some more detail about what you get up to, Ken. Re Alto do have a look at the enclosed: http://www.woodwindsalesandrepairs.com/pre-ownedandaccessorysales.html . Richard Hamer is my tech, plays professionally and teaches sax at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD) on the Jazz Course. The Buffet Crampon A400 is also worth looking at, in addition to those beginning with "Y" : http://felixssaxophonecorner.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/saxophone-review-buffet-400-alto-sax.html

So where are you in "Mid-Wales" or is that a trade secret?
Good wishes...............
 

KenW

New Member
Messages
15
Oh yes - I forgot - I live in Aberystwyth - and thanks for the links - I will take my time to decide !! - I had a close look at the Buffet Crampon but a shop advised me that it wouldn't be suitable for playing jazz
 

KenW

New Member
Messages
15
Yes it seems that there's as much myth and mystery in the saxophone trade as in guitars - mind you I have probably bought into it some - I have two Gibsons and a Fender that I love to bits !!

I have found a Yamaha YAS62 on Gumtree - it appears to be a purple logo model from the pictures - but it is a scary prospect - I'd really like to avoid a lemon !! But maybe it would be great after being serviced by the local tech who seems good - but I'll have to wait till Tuesday anyway !!
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,661
Welcome to the cafe, from an ex Pembrokeshire boy, mind you, that was over 40 years ago.

Tom, I completely missread your first post and thought you said your were in " the Hot Tub of Skabertawe" I thought, theres lovely! :))):))):)))
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Oh yes - I forgot - I live in Aberystwyth - and thanks for the links - I will take my time to decide !! - I had a close look at the Buffet Crampon but a shop advised me that it wouldn't be suitable for playing jazz
Guess what Selmer designed the MkVI as - a classical saxophone. And it was one of the most successful horns ever, especially for jazz.

Not sure where you got the advice from, but Birdman on this forum has a good reputation. Runs studio Saxophones, if I remember rightly, and I don't think they're too far from you.

http://www.studiosaxophones.co.uk/index.htm
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Aberystwyth to Abergavenny is about 80 miles, so not that close.

Hi Taz. Sadly never been in a hot tub in Wales. Fancy you a Pembs boy, mind.

Birdman likes and sells System 54 saxes, and probably supplied the one mentioned above to Richard Hamer, who is a good friend of his.........
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,664
Hi from Canada and welcome to this rather eclectic collection of characters.

The most influential part in the sound production chain is the part behind the mouthpiece, then comes the mpce/reed, then the neck and finally the sax.

No matter what you do you will always sound like you. IMO the thing to work on first is the sound you make, as one gets closer to the sound one wants then one can tell what gear is making it harder to get your sound and what is making it easier. I think it is way too easy to get caught up in the gear search too early. Take it from someone who climbed that mountain, only to realize that the money being spent was premature.

Imo the first big change in gear should be to find a mpce whos characteristics assist in getting ones sound. Altos and sopranos are imo quite different from tenor in that they are higher pitched and smaller bores so a mpce style that works with tenor can often end up sounding a bit thin or shrill at first.

Advice unasked for etc etc but i suggest that if the gear bug is on you hard and fast, talk to some mpce guys like Morgan Frye on your side of the pond and try that. If there are technical issues around the alto, bad ergos sloppy or slow action, well then thats a different kettle of fish.

My .02 anyway.

Good luck
 
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Sunray

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,708
Hey Hey Ken ...

Welcome to the Cafe mate ...

Nice intro ... Have a good time here ... :thumb:

There are some great characters who hang here giving out some real good advice ...

Here's to them ... :cheers:
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Oh yes - I forgot - I live in Aberystwyth - and thanks for the links - I will take my time to decide !! - I had a close look at the Buffet Crampon but a shop advised me that it wouldn't be suitable for playing jazz
Here is a quote from the person who wrote the review I provided a copy of in my first post......"I played jazz, classical and even Beatle tunes, and it just made the transitions of musical styles with ease. With some horns, they either play jazz well, or are made for classical, etc., but very few can make the stylistic transitions that the Buffet 400 could." On the Buffet Crampon website it states clearly that the sax is ideal for both jazz and classical music: http://www.buffet-crampon.com/en/instruments.php?mode=productDetails&pid=731

I have to admit that some people don't use their mouths when they communicate to others, and I hope that said shop does have some actual experience of the Buffet Crampon A400 to base its view on. I own and play one and it is the back up horn to my Selmer Ref54 alto, which came new with a Super Session mouthpiece, designed specifically for playing Jazz.
 
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KenW

New Member
Messages
15
->Jazzaferri - I lived and worked in Kingston, Ontario for 3 years - 1998 - 2001 - I have very fond memories of Canada - I'm originally from Perth, Scotland - so I've migrated a wee bit !! - and I have no problem with advice !!

->TomMapfumo - I have taken a closer look at the System 54 you posted in your second link to Richard/Dick Hamer's site - I have sent him an email asking for more information - he describes it as "Vintage Series" and as equivalent to the current "Custom" model - but I can't match it to any of the models on the Studio Saxophones site - there seems to be "Superior Class" and "Premier Class" - do you happen to know which ? ... Anyway the more I find out about System 54 the more I think it might be just what I want - and at a price I can just about afford !! Richard replied very quickly - I hope to set up a meeting date in the next couple of weeks - I can't/don't drive so I might have to beg a friend that can drive !! - he's also a player so he might find it an interesting/useful trip !!
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Hi Ken!

It does sound a little bit confusing - I am aware of the "Premier" and "Superior" distinction but the "Vintage" and "Custom" distinction is not something I've encountered. I've emailed Marnix at System 54 and will let you know what he says. Funnily enough it does look
exactly the same finish as my Tenor, which is a Superior Class.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
I have just heard from Marnix, who replied thus: "Hi Tom,

The instrument you are referring to is one of the first series we had, probably produced in 2008

regards

Marnix van der Pol"

Hope this helps
Tom
 
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