... Is there anybody out there?

brammelo

New Member
Messages
13
Location
Ghent, Belgium
#1
Hello, hello, hello, is there anybody in there...

Sorry, it's the first thing that came to mind when seeing this long list of hellos. Which finally answers Pink Floyds question: yes, there seems to be quite some people in here. And now there's one more: me. Aka Bart. But you can call me whatever you like, I'm not picky.

I'm two years shy of turning 50, and I am an absolute beginner (ah shutup Bowie). Never had any musical training before, and rented a student sax four months ago. Insert jokes about midlife crisis at will. For now my piece of would-be professional brass is an SML A300, but I'm on the lookout for a second hand entry or medium level alto. Yamaha 280 (or older), probably.

What else is there to say? Let's see...

I suck at keeping the rhythm / metrum / pace. I think that's one of my biggest challenges right now.
I'm not sure how to describe my musical taste, but on average I'm more of the fat funk rather than the crispy jazz persuasion. Then again, don't pin me down on it. Averages are just what they are: a way to ignore the spectrum.
What is NOT in my spectrum: The Promise You Made by Cock Robin. And yet, I'm trying to do something creative right now with that piece. Because my girlfriend made me promise her that I would. She's got a twisted sense of humor. And I love her for it. So now I'm struggling with this musical concoction that reminds me of how shady my taste in music was when I was a teenager. Ah, the irony of life, you gotta love it.

Not related to sax and music: I'm an architect by training (ok ok a civil engineer in architecture - yes of course I had to say that, hehe) and an operations manager by trade. I have a six year blond little god. He didn't get his sense of rhythm from me, that's for sure. He just loves to beat anything with a drumhead. He also wants to do aikido, just like his dad. What he doesn't want to do, at least not yet, is write. I have that for myself, for now. Doesn't change the fact that I have to finish that novel I started. Another thing my girlfriend likes to remind me of. Sigh...

For the ones who are from Belgium, Ghent: that's where you can find me. Give a yell if you feel the need for a sax minded shoulder to cry on. Or to drink a pint or two, whatever comes first.

Ah yes, maybe there's on more thing to share. "What do you expect from this, my son?" Well, saxy fathers, nothing at all really. I just hope that in twenty years from now I will still be mangling the keys on my sax. Yes, that's when I'll be close to seventy. You gotta have goals in life, right? :cool:
 

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
Messages
23,452
Location
Cheshire UK
#2
Welcome to the café and your midlife crisis, I had the same urge at 47 to learn an instrument and chose the sax. It's a long sometimes frustrating journey but I've loved every minute :)

Have fun here

Jx
 

QWales

Senior Member
Messages
652
Location
S. Wales
#3
Welcome to the site Bart, love that Floyd album. I started at 45 10 years ago and was and still am one of the whippersnappers on here. Enjoy the journey, may it be long and fruitful
 

ESJohn

New Member
Messages
13
Location
Ohio USA
#8
Hi Bart
Congratulations on your new endeavor! My son asked me what my expectations were when I picked up the sax (again). I think they worry that we may be losing our minds! I won't repeat my story as it is posted, but I do appreciate the challenges, too. I can only tell you that you will find yourself suddenly achieving your step-by-step goals through your practice. I am better now at controlling my volume, hitting notes that I had been unable to hit just a month ago, and learning much more about music itself. There are so many more facets to playing an instrument than just placing your fingers on the right keys! Keep it up! The folks here are so helpful and supportive. Keep us posted!
 

brammelo

New Member
Messages
13
Location
Ghent, Belgium
#12
Thank you very much for the warm welcome and encouraging words, ladies and gents.

Later today I'll be off to check on a YAS275 (Japan build, or so the guy says). Fingers crossed. Well, not literally, it would be kinda hard to test a sax that way.
 
Messages
79
Location
CT
#13
Which begs the question..........

What do YOU (anyone who would care to respond) do, to “test” a Sax? What does that instrument have to have or not have, do or NOT do, to pass YOUR test??
 

brammelo

New Member
Messages
13
Location
Ghent, Belgium
#14
Hello, Bart,
Welcome from a felow aikidoka.
Where do you practice in Ghent?
My teacher is Gaetan (Aiki-O-Kami).
Hi Wonko,

I was in Gaetans dojo two decades ago, but I gave that up after a couple of years because I started having issues with my knees. And that was partly due to a guy who whipped us through the warmups with way too much shiko. In the meantime my knees are kind of okay again. Since I don't want to jinx anything, I looked for a "quieter" style of aikido. So these days it's Aikido-Ryu with with Jurgen De Ridder, meaning Kobayashi style. We train in Rozebroeken.

Unfortunately I can only go there once a week, because our agendas don't line up. So now I'm contemplating the idea of also going to Alain at Bushido Kwai in Wondelgem. If I'm not mistaken, they are also under the Aikikai umbrella, just like aiki-o-kami. Must be fun, getting fed two styles of aikido at the same time. :cool:
 

nigeld

I think I need a different ligature
Subscriber
Messages
3,890
Location
Bristol
#15
Which begs the question..........

What do YOU (anyone who would care to respond) do, to “test” a Sax? What does that instrument have to have or not have, do or NOT do, to pass YOUR test??
I blow it, twiddle my fingers a bit, and see if I like it.

It's a big plus if all the notes play.
And it's a major minus if any bits are bent, squashed or missing.
 

brammelo

New Member
Messages
13
Location
Ghent, Belgium
#16
Which begs the question..........

What do YOU (anyone who would care to respond) do, to “test” a Sax? What does that instrument have to have or not have, do or NOT do, to pass YOUR test??
I hold it close and whisper to it. If it whispers back... magic! :cool:

I read a couple of pointers online, so it's the typical standard drill I guess. It will be my first check ever, so expect all kinds of things to be forgotten or go wrong. But afaik it will be this:
  • Visual inspection for dings and dents, corrosion or discoloration.
  • Checking the mechanics - do all pads seal, how bad do they stick, is anything bent, do the springs work, how much resistance do you get when pushing the keys...
  • I might even try to play it ;)
I caught myself searching for online tutorials yesterday on the altissimo keys, because as a beginner I've never used those. After failing miserably to produce anything decent (well, consistently decent, on occasion I seemed to hit the right spot), I decided that I indeed should not try that in public for now. :D
 
Messages
168
#17
Hi Wonko,

I was in Gaetans dojo two decades ago, but I gave that up after a couple of years because I started having issues with my knees. And that was partly due to a guy who whipped us through the warmups with way too much shiko.
We probably met then, I've been doing aikido there for over 20 years (not always active I must say). And there was a period where I was starting the Ostend dojo together with Mario....
Shiko is not often practiced these days, certainly not on mondays and tuesdays, when Gaetan is teaching.

So now I'm contemplating the idea of also going to Alain at Bushido Kwai in Wondelgem. If I'm not mistaken, they are also under the Aikikai umbrella, just like aiki-o-kami. Must be fun, getting fed two styles of aikido at the same time. :cool:
Alain is a great guy! good teacher too.
Enjoy your aikido and your sax playing
 

brammelo

New Member
Messages
13
Location
Ghent, Belgium
#20
I hold it close and whisper to it. If it whispers back... magic! :cool:
It whispered back. Faintly, but I could hear it!

Read: the 275 seemed to be in a good condition. Not mint, but good enough. There's scratches in the lacquer on the top side of the bell, at the back. I'm guessing it comes from clipping on a microphone or something. I'm also not sure about the octave "guide" on top of the neck. It looks like it has been resoldered at some point. Not that it's causing any issues, at least not at first sight. I'll post pictures when there's better light.

It comes with a used Selmer MP which I believe to be an S80. The bronze colored coating is almost gone in a couple of places, like where the ligature holds around the piece and where your teeth touch the mouthpiece. Because of that "erosion" you cannot read the model name anymore, but it certainly looks a lot like an S80. Whatever it is, it beats the mouthpiece on my rental, which is a SeleS Prologue "by Selmer".

The hard shell Yamaha case is a bit of a blast to the past for me - it reminds me so much of what modern luggage look like back then :)

The asking price seemed right (€625). Meaning that I'm set for now. No more excuses, if it sounds horrible it's all my fault :cool:
 
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