Well, it has been a year or so since I dusted off my horn. I've been practicing on my own, learning from the books, etc and also greatly from all of you. I now place the ligature on the mouthpiece first and then the reed and I take the sax out of the case and back in using the bell. I've learned much about the proper placement of the reed on the mouthpiece and to swab that horn after every practice! In that time, I've also had my instrument checked out, purchased some new sheet music, and invested in a Yamaha 4c mpc and Vandoren 2 1/2 reeds. The mouthpiece helped and the reed made a big improvement almost right away. Also have learned much of the nomenclature regarding the instrument and playing in general. I feel like I've gone as far as I can on my own, so I've made contact with my favorite music store and will begin taking lessons, likely in October. I'm not sure on the frequency but I would guess I should go at least twice monthly. I'm sure I will need to "un-learn" some (hopefully not too much) of what I have taught myself. My instructor will likely evaluate my playing and take it from there. I honestly would not mind if I'm taken back to the beginning. As I am looking at retirement in a few years, I would like to be able to participate in a community band. My favorites are big band, marches and some classical. It is probably way past time to take that next step so that I can be ready.