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Saxophones My 11 year old wants a saxophone - now what?

saxafun

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Hi
I am a good clarinetist and I am teaching my 11 year old son to play.
He now wants to learn sax having seen jazz young musician programme on tv.
He plays violin to intermediate level but wants to change.

What can I buy him as a reasonable starting instrument for around £200.
What can anyone advise.
I have a B flat and A clarinet - are the saxophones similar to learn?
Any advice very gratefully received.
 

Pete Thomas

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Hi Saxafun

Saxophones are easier than clarinets in my opinion, registers are octave apart not a 12th and keys cover the holes so much easier for smaller fingers to seal thew toneholes so fewer squeaks.

£200 is really pushing it, the best alto I know of very cheap is the Academy Jericho (if you are in the UK) at £299.
 

saxafun

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Hi Saxafun

Saxophones are easier than clarinets in my opinion, registers are octave apart not a 12th and keys cover the holes so much easier for smaller fingers to seal thew toneholes so fewer squeaks.

£200 is really pushing it, the best alto I know of very cheap is the Academy Jericho (if you are in the UK) at £299.

Might it be worth doing second hand - I suppose the pads might need overhauling
 

Pete Thomas

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Might it be worth doing second hand - I suppose the pads might need overhauling

That is the problem. You might get lucky, or not...

A repad/overhaul is going to be in the region of £300- £400 plus.

If it is used from a reputable dealer you should be OK, but then there won't be much if any at the £200 price bracket.
 

Little My

Practice makes better.
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I would rent him something good for a few months, and if he enjoys it and wants to continue I'd spend out at the end of the rental period. He'll have a better idea of model and sound preferences then.
 

Jamesmac

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I was just talking with Willie Garnet at Ritz Music in Putney. Re. A repair he is working on for me. So I asked if He has some Alto,s for sale, he has a few slightly above your £200 , but you know you will get a Sax that works. He can be contacted at Tel. 020 8785 9852
BTW. He is considered one of the best.:)
 

jbtsax

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I have a B flat and A clarinet - are the saxophones similar to learn?
Any advice very gratefully received.
Having already learned to read music will give your son a definite advantage. The saxophone fingerings are nearly identical to the clarinet fingerings in the second register, and on the saxophone they are the same in both octaves.

While the clarinet plays at the top of its mouthpiece pitch, the saxophone plays near the center of its mouthpiece pitch with a more relaxed embouchure, more lip in contact with the reed, and a slightly rounded chin. A main difference is that the mouthpiece on the sax enters straight into the mouth instead of at a downward angle like the clarinet.

A few lessons with a saxophone specialist to develop good playing habits from the start is always a good idea. I also think that it is also important to learn to play the instrument first with a good classical concept of tone before learning to play a particular style, jazz, rock, fusion, etc. That way a player doesn't become boxed in to just one tonal concept, and style of music.
 

Colin the Bear

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Have you dealt with them recently? I was talking to Stephen Howard who mentioned they had gone down a bit.

I've had bits and pieces off them recently. My oldest sax from them is my alto which is 2 years old now and going strong. My sop and tenor are a little more recent by several months. What's the latest?
 

Pete Thomas

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I've had bits and pieces off them recently. My oldest sax from them is my alto which is 2 years old now and going strong. My sop and tenor are a little more recent by several months. What's the latest?
I don't rally know, it's just that when I was last talking to @Stephen Howard mentioned G4M and he kind of implied (maybe just with a facial expression) that they aren't what they used to be.
 

Ads

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Have you dealt with them recently? I was talking to Stephen Howard who mentioned they had gone down a bit.

It`s also a lottery whether you get a good`un or a Dud`un . Jericho is far safer and cheap enough to not bother with G4M at all unless you`re desperate for the cheapest Baritone in town
 

Colin the Bear

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They can't be good for his business. I don't think they are very profitable to work on. I'll keep mine going for as long as I can and replace it when it gets too bad. A new one costs less than a service. My alto has had some hammer with busking and gigging. I went for the nickel plate thinking it would be more chip resistant than a lacquered brass. It looks like hell at the moment but cleans up nice. The only place the plating has gone is the thumb rests and the neck screw. Still plays great.
 

Colin the Bear

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It`s also a lottery whether you get a good`un or a Dud`un . Jericho is far safer and cheap enough to not bother with G4M at all unless you`re desperate for the cheapest Baritone in town

I hear all these tales from people who've never had one or dealt with them. Everybody I know who actually has one, has nothing but praise. G4M baritone is good. I believe @Big Martin still has one. You can get a bari a lot cheaper if you send for one direct from China, but it's a long way to take it back if it's no good.
 

Ads

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G4M are just Box shifters Colin (in from China and out of the door) and don`t pretend to be anything else - SMS who do Jericho actually care whether a shipped horn works as it should or not, there`s even an option to have the horn setup by Stephen Howard (instead of the Café sax discount I believe) .... G4M swap stuff with no quibble from experience but who`d want to go through all that with a sax (QC is easier with guitars etc) . I`m sure the G4M bari is good, could even be made in the same factory as the BW one but I`d want it shipped Via a Fettler like SH before I got my hands on it .
 

kernewegor

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Stephen still has a very encouraging August 2011 review of a G4M alto without any subsequent comments on the brand that I could see.

He also comments on ultra cheap Chinese horns with a 2014 update, which is worth a read, especially what he says about a ten year old horn which was brought in for servicing:

http://www.shwoodwind.co.uk/Reviews/Ultra_Cheap_horns.htm

I've been keeping an eye on things and will most probably be going for a G4M alto for my nine year old son when I have £220 to spare - I have a G4M tenor which I've had for 18 months which I'm impressed with. They have a very good no-nonsense money back guarantee, too, so I'm happy to deal with them again.

I could be tempted by a Jericho, though...
 
Last edited:

kevgermany

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Point about G4M is that the sax is going to be played by a young learner who won't be able to tell right from wrong and may be put off by a difficult to play dud which doesn't get spotted early. Getting a good used one, or properly set up new cheapo is a better bet.
 

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