How does you family feel about your sax


Hi All

A proportion of us on this site seem to be of a certain age and are taking up the sax for the first time or returning after many years

How does you wife/husband/children feel about your new interest?

Are they thinking Mid life crisis?

My wife is quite supportive (she bought me the sax) and we have started playing together in the evenings (she plays piano) and she has said she would like to take up the alto (Half of my quartet sorted) but she is not so keen on jazz and improvisation so she dose look at me a little strange when she comes to bed and I am reading books on music theory



My late wife thought it would be one of my (many) short-lived projects and thought, therefore, it was a lotta money to 'waste' .....although she never said that to me directly!
While she was still with me, she did, after a couple of years, express surprise that I was still playing and said how much I'd improved!

(We never told one another what not/to do, but I did feel obliged not to spend more than I felt our budget could afford!)

Nick Cook

My wife was very dismissive about me taking up the sax. She didn't like the expense or the noise. She used to tut when I appeared with the sax to take to the conservatory to practise, the volume on the tele would be markedly higher when I came back out, and she used to moan about disturbing the neighbours (although none of them ever complained!)

A couple of months ago we were out with friends and they asked how I was getting on - my wife was about to have a go, and I just butted in and said how she never supported me in my playing, was always having a go, etc...She hasn't said a word since!!!! Result!!!!


Sorry, Nick, but that sounds, to me, like a bad result...for the future :(

I'd have been more inclined to say how supportive she HAS been :D

Different strokes.....

half diminished

Senior Member
My wife is very encouraging and supportive (mostly). :sax:

I have a very stressful job (stressful boss really) and she will often say to me if she spots I've had a bad day "why don't you go and have a blow". She will even delay dinner so I can get 20/30 minutes in before we eat. She let me take one of my 4 weeks holiday last year to attend a residential jazz course too.

She's been with me to see Andy Sheppard and Courtney Pine but dipped out of going to the London Jazz Festival and Stables to see Finn Peters but as she hates Jazz I can't blame her.

She also tells me I am doing really well, sound is improving a lot etc - she is biased though. So I have no complaints at all. Mind you I invest a fair bit of weekend time at her allotment so it quits I guess (well nearly!).

My 15 year old daughter who lives with her mum is very supportive too. She plays flute to grade 8 and we often play together when she comes up. She does tell me to shut up though when I try to explain some latest jazz theory I've just learned :)

It's funny, she can play very few scales from memory. But if you give her a piece of music she can (read) play most anything whatever the key. She is rubbish at playing 'by ear' - even happy birthday. However, once she can play a tune, she can play it in most any key without the music.

I asked her about this and she says she just knows the intervals, I tried to explain that running around the major scales should be easy then as the intervals are the same for each one but she has a blockage there for sure.


My wife is supportive (she also got me my first sax); we are both trying to stop too many grey cells from dying, she by learning languages, me with the sax. I have noticed that she puts a CD on whenever I'm practising in another room though.:sax:

I've had no complaints from the neighbours up to now - we live next door to a country graveyard!


Varied :

Wife - supportive, bought me the first sax, makes encouraging comments
Wife - sometimes negative, "neighbours will complain"
Wife - ambivalent, "tell your teacher you couldn't be bothered with his stuff this week"

Have to skip an evenings practice to attend dance classes and so counter the complaint that I spend all my time with the sax. But that is no particular hardship - beyond my inability to consider the beat of the music while using 100% of my brain to remember where to put my two left feet.

Daughter overheard on phone "that's not him playing, he's never that good, its the CD in the car." (You can imagine where to place the emphasis in those words :) )

Son " where's the foghorn?" :sax:


New Member
I play when he's at work.

Otherwise I get comments like - "Are you ever actually going to learn to play an entire piece?" (when I'm practicing parts for the band), or "That's boring." (scales warm up etc...)

And I keep being reminded that I can be heard 100 yards down the street.


Well, I now get 100% suport. Our son (14) is doing his grade 6 on drums, my daughter has just given up piano, but also sings in various choirs etc so all in all we are a pretty noisey household (musically).

Now that I have stopped sqawking I get positive comments,(initially I could hear the groans as I ran through the C major scale AGAIN ) and it is only when I start to talk about mouthpieces that I sense a slight frosting over taking place. My wife has never commented other than in an encouraging way, although she has said that Art Pepper was a bit better than me.......she may have a point !

So I am very lucky I guess...still can't play though !


My other half is jealous of my baritone as its bigger than her tenor >:) The kids are just as noisy, Oldest girl plays trumpet, youngest girl plays french horn and the demon child (boy) has an electric guitar which at 5yrs old is interesting at best :D We all look strange when reading theory books :confused:

My mum started to learn with us (I started Oboe, girls started flute) last september but couldnt understand that it needs practice and used a knee replacement as an excuse to stop. Although with all that time sitting down what else is she gonna do?

So far pretty everyone is pretty supportive. The neighbours on one side hate everything we/anyone do/does hobby wise but contort their 80yr old wrinkly faces into a smile over the fence anyway and only moan if we play during corrie or songs of prasie (or if someone parks outside their house, or talks too loud while passing, or "is on the phone in the street, for gods sake!!"). The neighbours on the other side are a spiritulist church so even if we were silent they would still know we played. but they are really nice and wouldnt moan even if they did hear us. Although one time we were drilling and they came aound to ask us to stop for a while as they had the best medium in the country round and she was threatening to leave if we didnt. I explained that I had finished and asked why she didnt already know that. He said with a dead straight face it doesn't work like that and left. :D Anyway..............

Over the road we have a drummer and another guitar, 5 doors down is a chello, 10 doors up we have another trumpet and a clarinet. So noise is kind of accepted around here. (sometimes)



If it wasn't for the sax I wouldn't have my wife.

She's a (great) singer, and we worked together in an ad agency and played for the company party, rehearsed on the roof at work above the King's Road, Chelsea during lunch...happy days.

Now we play in a band together (gig this Friday for charity) and the kids (6 & 4) always blow the spare alto when I'm practicing, trouble is they're getting better than me.

The funny thing is I practice in the dining room, and no-one ever goes in there until I start and then it's like Piccadilly Circus.

Bobby G

Senior Member
My family are very supportive about my playing, my partner is used to my musical exploits of the last 30+ years together. I play guitar around the house but not the sax as even though I've been playing for 4-5 years I'm still a bit self-conscious (sax is just so much louder than acoustic guitar) so I tend to play either in the car while between calls at work, or at jam sessions. Still, Doreen seems to like my playing on the few occasions she's heard it, and is very encouraging when I go out to play. In other words, I think she's glad to get rid of me once in a while:w00t:


ex Landrover Nut

I only started a couple of weeks ago. My wife's a piano, guitar and flute player and was very supportive - until she heard what I'd paid, then there was a "You'd better make sure you play it then" comment...

My 10 yr old cellist daughter decided to com with me to collect it - an 800km/500mile round trip. Thought it was beautiful and couldn't wait to hear me play it.

My older 11yr old son (3 years clarinet) insisted on giving it a blow as soon as possible. And pronounced it OK. And wants to play along in the future.

And my youngest son (just started drums) insisted on playing with me as I was trying to get my first notes....

So lots of support. Until I started practising... Too loud, close the lounge door. You're stopping me from going to sleep. You'll damage your ears, wear ear protectors (duly supplied by my wife).

So I was banished to practise in the cellar. With the door closed. The sound goes though an 8" solid concrete floor and still keeps my daughter awake. My wife can't practise her piano while I'm practising, as the sax noise goes through the floor into the lounge and disturbs he piano playing (despite it being electirc and her playing it through noise reducing headphones)....

Luckily there are no near neighbours to worry about. Germany's very strict about noise control. Can't mow the lawn on a Sunday cos of the noise...

So the support's there - for me to practise somewhere else. Discovered a thread on saxontheweb on how to build a noise reducing practice booth. Looks like I'm going to have to build one as well..... Looks like this is going to be an expensive Sax...


There are a few advantages living in a country where noise is 'expected' :D

Fortunately my two adjoining houses are rarely occupied, except during holidays....and holidaymakers usually 'give as good as they get' !!


Well-Known Member
Elaine feels a bit cheated I think. For years, before we were together, the sax only came out of the case for gigs and rehearsals. I started taking it more seriously and therefore practising largely because after we moved in together, she was so supportive of me playing it, and she still comes to almost every gig I do.

The downside is the practising. We have a lovely 3-storey house - built largely out of cardboard, so the sound travels virtually unhindered through the rooms. Even practising in the attic, she still hears me loud and clear 2 floors below - as does the dog, who sings along with me (louder than the sax!) The answer is dog-walks - she takes the dog out, I get the sax out. Everyone happy.:)

old git

Tremendous Bore
Move into a Supported Housing Unit, they are all old.
The majority suffer from various degrees of deafness. Wish I did.:ashamed


My husband looked at the sax parked in the corner & thought I'd lost the plot - then whilst practising asked if I knew 'far far away...' and if so could I play it.....

He has dropped umpteen hints about clearing out my studio (I'm waiting for decent weather) and then he walked in just as I was managing to play along to a backing track and actually clapped - does than mean I'm improving?

He still makes comments regarding the neigbours not being 'that' deaf!
Last edited by a moderator:


Well-Known Member
I already played the saxophone when I met my wife. She had never complained about my saxes and my saxpalying. Through the saxophones we have got lot's of nice friends. Once she brought back three (baritone, tenor. soprano) saxes from NYC!! I'm a home-loving person so I prefer to be at home playing sax and doing traning/exercising. I live in an old railwaystation (no trains anymore) on the countryside so we have no neighbours. I can honk and whistle all day and night!!

I got a very understanding wife!! Ok, when the phone is ringing in middle of the night and saxfreind is calling just to say hello and when she can't get into the closet because of the saxes, she can grumble a little bit!!


Staff online

Top Bottom