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Beginner Sax More Beginner Questions :-)

wilo

New Member
Messages
10
First if all Hello :), and just wanted to say what a fantastic forum this is.
As a lover of New Orleans Jazz i have always wanted to learn to play a little Sax so have decided now is the time :), but have a few questions.
1. As far as Instruments go the saxophone is not the cheapest musical instrument out there (but the best:) with this in mind i have set my budget around a Trevor James classic horn alto, the cheapest i can get a new one is around £360.
But i have been offered a second hand one local to me for £270 with a Yamaha 4C mouthpiece and BG Ligature, owner informs me it is in excellent condition and about 6 months old. Questions is which to go for?
2. I am going to start as i mean to go on and book some lessons now as i do not know anyone who can recommend a good teacher in my area (Liverpool) should i go to a few teachers in my area and take say 1 lesson with each one?? or can any one recommend someone?
3. Practice this could be the big one, as i have a young daughter (19 months) old who is in bed just as i get back from work (around 7pm) will my practising wake her up (i know no one can truly answer this:() i live in a 1900 3 bed terraced house now she is a heavy sleeper sleeps through the hoover etc if i was to practice say in the kitchen with the door shut and she is in a bedroom with the door shut do you think the noise will be a issue?
Sorry to go on a bit
Cheers
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
1 - I'd go for the used one, as long as it's working - try and get someone you know who plays to test it first. Or get a technician to check it out.

2 - don't know Liverpool

3 - About all you can do is try. As a beginner you'll find that you have no contol over volume, you'll be very loud for quite a while, and the sound of a sax carries through walls, floors...
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
Subscriber
Messages
8,978
If the child wakes up and starts crying just play louder so it doesn't bother you.
 

Sweet Dreamer

Senior Member
Messages
505
Hi Wilo, I'm fairly new to the sax myself so keep that in mind as I answer your questions.

Question #1. What sax to buy?

I can't really help you there at all rather than to say that if you're serious take you time and get the best quality instrument you can. I bought a really cheap sax (under $300 USA) I guess that's about £185? So it's a cheap sax to be sure! I would love to have a better horn but I'm getting by with this one for now.

One suggestion I might make in this regard is to consider renting a sax to start with. Then after you get a bit of experience you'll have a far better idea of what to look for in a sax. In fact some places offer "Rent to buy". In other words, you rent the sax for a few months and if you decide you like it you can buy it and your previous rent goes toward the purchase. That's something that sounds like it might be worth looking into.

Question #2. Finding a good teacher.

I live in the USA so I have no clue about Liverpool. None the less, I would suggest to anyone and everyone to try taking a single lesson with a few different teachers then choose the one you feel really good about. That's can be a pain in the early going to go through that process, but in the long haul you might really be glad you did it. Otherwise how can you know what you've missed?

Question #3. Noise problem?

My first thoughts when I read your noise issue was the following. Can you place something between you and the child that makes a lot of noise (like a vacuum cleaner, or maybe just a CD player with a White Noise disk). That will tend to muffle your sound, from her perspective you'll just be background sound to the noise she's already hearing. A CD in her room wouldn't need to be very loud to drown you out if you're at the other end of the house. Otherwise, if she's in a totally silent room she's definitely going to be hearing you. In fact if you can set her up with "horny CD music" that is set on continuous repeat, then you'll just be another horn in the background.

Just my thoughts for whatever they're worth.
 

Moz

Senior Member
Messages
859


3. Practice this could be the big one, as i have a young daughter (19 months) old who is in bed just as i get back from work (around 7pm) will my practising wake her up (i know no one can truly answer this:() i live in a 1900 3 bed terraced house now she is a heavy sleeper sleeps through the hoover etc if i was to practice say in the kitchen with the door shut and she is in a bedroom with the door shut do you think the noise will be a issue?


If you get in at seven, what time do you start? Since most people are up and about pretty early why not practice before you go to work. Do you have a lunch break? Perhaps then?

Since you are new, and I assume also new to all wind instruments, you are not going to be able to play long anyway at first and no one will like what you sound like so you must just bite the bullet and practice whenever and wherever you can. Fortunately new players improve very rapidly with good practice sessions so you should be able to control your volume within a few weeks, perhaps a few days even. Also silent practice is good, take the crook off and play the notes without blowing -- it's not a perfect solution but it helped me a lot.

One last suggestion if you go to work by car: perhaps you can get home 15 minutes later having practiced in the car somewhere isolated.

Good luck anyway, but practice always.

Cheers

Martin
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Hi Wilo!

1. Get the sax - should be fine, and mouthpiece and lig are very good. On www.preloved.co.uk you will find a number of alternatives - Trevor James and Elkhart II saxes feature (often hardly used by teen who did not stick at it for more than a few weeks - or older person who is too embarrassed to admit a mistake!)

2. Check out www.musicteachers.co.uk which lists about 20 or so teachers in Merseyside. Best thing is to look at teachers profiles, and ring a couple for a chat. If the teacher is on your wavelength then maybe arrange an initial session - choosing someone who wants to teach the type of music you want to play is best, and choose someone you feel relaxed with. My main choice has been of someone who llikes jazz, ska, rock etc. rather than classical, and who is relaxed with improvisation. See how you get on.

3. My experience, as the father of three, has been that sax is not that noisy compared to, say, trumpet, trombone and some others. It is also a good idea to practise playing quietly, which requires more skill. The Yamaha mouthpiecehas a small tip opening so will be quieter than lots of other mouthpieces, and if you play close up facing a wall you will not only be able to hear clearly what you sound like, but have a natural dampening. My music room is at the opposite end of the house (4 bed semi from 1930's) to my youngests' bedroom and you will only hear a very diluted sound upstairs at best.

I also think that the other suggestions for practising are good. At this stage don't try to practise for more than 30mins or so a day, and maybe try 3 x 10 minute slots with a little break in between, gradually increasing so that your mouth/embouchure can adapt.

Kind regards
Tom
 
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wilo

New Member
Messages
10
Just want to say a BIG thank your for all the suggestions / help above it has given me a lot to think and ponder on over the next few days.

Thanks again all
 

Sunray

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

Tom is right on the button ... [as bloomin usual] ...

But ...

He fails to mention that ...

Your daughter will thank you in later years for introducing her to great music in her early life ... ;}
 

wilo

New Member
Messages
10
Tom is right on the button ... [as bloomin usual] ...

But ...

He fails to mention that ...

Your daughter will thank you in later years for introducing her to great music in her early life ... ;}

Hahaha very good point :)
 

Andrew Sanders

Northern Commissioner for Caslm
Messages
2,773
Try blowing into a full wardobe(with the doors open of course). It kills the tone but really dampens the sound.
It still wakes my wife up though ouch.
 
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