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Beginner Making progress after 2 weeks

skirmish

New Member
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8
Locality
Holmfirth, West Yorkshire
Two weeks into my new relationship with the saxophone I think I'm making progress. When I bought my used Gulf the girl also gave me a 'Learn as you play' book so I've been making headway through that.

Notes so far are G A B C F E F# and D E F G A using the Octave key. While I'm managing fine with the normal notes (and reading the music) I am finding it more difficult with the notes using the Octave key. Sometimes I just get the low octave note, regardless of using the key and other times I get the 'murdered parrot' sound which definitely gets the dog's ears pricking up!

My current reed is a 1.5 and I wonder if that could be contributing to this problem?

I've also found a local teacher who is recommended by a friend so hopefully once I start the lessons any problems I'm experiencing will start to be ironed out.

Definitely enjoying the sax though so far and I'm sure I will stick with it.

Dave
 

jbtsax

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It sounds like you are right on schedule. :) Getting a teacher and taking lessons at the beginning is a great idea. It helps to start out with good playing habits and avoid bad habits that have to be corrected later. Once you move to a bit harder reed than 1 1/2, you should find the notes with the octave key easier to play.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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You don't say which mouthpiece you're using, but go up half a strength at a time and only when your embouchure is strong enough to do it. Only go as far as you need to to get the higher notes.
 

Jonesy

Old Fart At Play
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736
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Birmingham, UK
A year ago I was at a similar stage with the same problem. Make sure you have the mouthpiece far enough into your mouth.
( There was an excellent tip, involving a piece of paper, that was posted by, I think, Colin the Bear, can't find it now.)
 

skirmish

New Member
Messages
8
Locality
Holmfirth, West Yorkshire
You don't say which mouthpiece you're using, but go up half a strength at a time and only when your embouchure is strong enough to do it. Only go as far as you need to to get the higher notes.
Afraid I haven't a clue what mouthpiece it is. I bought the sax second hand (only light use) so I would presume it is what came with it when it was purchased new. It's a Hanson Gulf Alto if that helps?
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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I guess the mouthpiece is unmarked and fairly closed.

You'll probably be Ok going up to 2.5 fairly quickly, but do it in halves, and get some advice from your teacher as soon as you can.

But don't try to go too high too quickly. Go up a semitone at a time and get each note stable and comfortable.
 

trimmy

One day i will...
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10,292
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Liverpool ( Pool of Life )
I've also found a local teacher who is recommended by a friend so hopefully once I start the lessons any problems I'm experiencing will start to be ironed out.

Dave

Read your own advice over and over and don't do nothing until you see your teacher ;)
 

skirmish

New Member
Messages
8
Locality
Holmfirth, West Yorkshire
Sorry for the silence but been busy with all sorts of things...............including of course, my saxophone!
I've had two lessons now and they have definitely been worthwhile and corrected my foghorn method of playing. They also showed me exactly what tonguing was all about and I think I've now grasped the basics of that.
I'm working my way through Abracadabra Saxophone and am up to about #60 piece in there. This coincidentally is 'Last of the Summer Wine' which is the local anthem to here where I live in Holmfirth!
The mouthpiece never looked in good condition so I've just ordered a Yamaha MPAS 46C and I'm hoping that will arrive tomorrow, in time for my lesson in the afternoon. Also ordered a 2 reed as well.
I am definitely improving and enjoy learning this new instrument so it could well be a long term relationship!
 

QWales

Senior Member
Messages
751
Locality
S. Wales, UK
Re not being able to get all he notes with the octave key down: It might be worth asking your teacher to have a go on your Sax, it may need a service, which is often the case when purchasing second hand.
 

Jeanette

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Cheshire UK
I am definitely improving and enjoy learning this new instrument so it could well be a long term relationship!

So pleased to hear that, I am sure you will find it is a long term love affair :)

Jx
 

Jay

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,338
Locality
Northumberland
Hi Dave, from another newbie. It's good, this saxophone lark, isn't it :D
Lessons are great, I just have half-an-hour a week, but my teacher notices, corrects, and helps with so much in that time. I'm sure I'd be full of even more bad habits without them.
And of course, every one here is super-helpful too :thumb:
 

skirmish

New Member
Messages
8
Locality
Holmfirth, West Yorkshire
An update.
The sax and I are getting along fine.
I will be having my fifth lesson tomorrow and can definitely say that they are helping me a great deal.
It's also nice having a new mouthpiece which I know has only ever been in my mouth! The next purchase I think is a nicer ligature as the one looks like either the lacquer has come off or it's a little corroded.
Is it worth getting a leather one?
While I'm going through my Abracadabra music book it's also nice to try something that isn't in there. I keep typing "song name sheet music" into Google images and often find what I'm looking for. This usually is the first page of any music but it's enough to give me something to play.
With my guitar there was all the music I ever needed in the form of tablatures or chord sheets all for a very nice price of zero! Are there any sources of free music online or do I need to purchase it? I did actually purchase online 'The Look of Love' by Burt Bacharach which is nice to play.
Any suggestions of a Music Book with a good selection of easyish to play songs?
 

Jeanette

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Cheshire UK
Is it worth getting a leather one?

I haven't tried many ligs and used a rovner dark one on sop for ages but found quite a difference when I switched to the Versa which has a metal plate, for alto I purchased a metal straight off.

Jx
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
Messages
9,533
Locality
KIC 8462852
An update.
The sax and I are getting along fine.
I will be having my fifth lesson tomorrow and can definitely say that they are helping me a great deal.
It's also nice having a new mouthpiece which I know has only ever been in my mouth! The next purchase I think is a nicer ligature as the one looks like either the lacquer has come off or it's a little corroded.
Is it worth getting a leather one?
While I'm going through my Abracadabra music book it's also nice to try something that isn't in there. I keep typing "song name sheet music" into Google images and often find what I'm looking for. This usually is the first page of any music but it's enough to give me something to play.
With my guitar there was all the music I ever needed in the form of tablatures or chord sheets all for a very nice price of zero! Are there any sources of free music online or do I need to purchase it? I did actually purchase online 'The Look of Love' by Burt Bacharach which is nice to play.
Any suggestions of a Music Book with a good selection of easyish to play songs?
What genre?
Jazz, blues, popular etc.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
Messages
21,913
Locality
Just north of Munich
Avoid leather, it stretche's, better with fabric or metaL
 

adysaxman

New Member
Messages
13
Locality
Mirfield
How's the sax playing coming along, I've just purchased a 'Gulf' alto and I must say how impressed I am with it. I got it for a bargain price of £127.00 from Ebay, and it's virtually 'as new'. The Gulf company are Taiwanese and they've been making saxophones since 1965. It blows freely from top to bottom, even the harmonics scream out on this baby!
 
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