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Beginner My very first try at saxophone.

ChrisC

Member
Messages
44
Lol...

I know all you guys have been there but...

Today was my very first step at playing the saxophone - I purchased an unwanted Yamaha 4c mouthpiece from a fellow forum member, connected a reed to the mouthpiece, tightened up the ligature until the reed didnt move and with huge anticipation blew into the mouthpiece.... and merely got the sound of rushing air... :confused:

Back to my computer, into the Pete Thomas beginner section, followed the basic instructions and tried again. Tadaaaa - a fairly high, slightly wobbly tone that made my bottom lip feel really strange. Thats it my first note albeit only on a mouthpiece as I havn't bought the saxophone yet. My bottom lip still feels tingly after doing this for 5 minutes.

Fingers crossed - when I walk into sax.co.uk in a week or so, I *should* be able to at least get a note out of the horns i try.

Its one small step for a grinning man...
 

MLoosemore

Deluded Senior Member...
Messages
759
Blown it now then Chris..... last pun of the year.

Good luck with the trial session next week. Welcome to the club of fellow newbies.
 

Andrew Sanders

Northern Commissioner for Caslm
Messages
2,773
Well done Chris.
All you need now is the rest of it.
Are you going to try the mouthpiece and crook next?
Slowly but surely.

Good luck with the sax.co.uk visit. Let us know what you've bought.

PS you have to stop grinning, it knackers your embouchure and doesn't look cool:mrcool

Andy
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
good move! Painful on the ears, isn't it... There are some teachers around here who start their pupils off on nothing but mouthpieces for a few weeks. I reckon it's to make any progress sound good to their parents. Seriously, keep at it on the mouthpiece alone. Really good exercise.
 

allansto

Senior Member
Messages
471
hey cris
The good thing about bottom lip skin is .......it grows back
I cant wait to hear your next post
after your sax purchase that is
Good luck
Let us know what you buy.
Allansto
 

ArtyLady

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,030
... There are some teachers around here who start their pupils off on nothing but mouthpieces for a few weeks. I reckon it's to make any progress sound good to their parents. Seriously, keep at it on the mouthpiece alone. Really good exercise.
It is a good exercise, but I reckon if I started my pupils off that way they'd give up very quickly! ;} I get them playing simple tunes and improvising as soon as they can make a noise! :thumb:
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
It is a good exercise, but I reckon if I started my pupils off that way they'd give up very quickly! ;} I get them playing simple tunes and improvising as soon as they can make a noise! :thumb:
Yes, agree, and if the pupils don't then the parents do or object... But most of the initial teaching is done through the music school, so it's very much do as you're told, as the contract is for a year at a time... We were spared it when my sone started on clarinet, as his treacher didn't believe in it.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,000
I am sold on the concept of having students play the "tone producer" for a period of time before tackling the instrument as a whole. It just makes sense to focus on tone production skills without the distraction of holding the instrument, where to put the fingers, etc. My goals were as follows with each instrument group that needed to be met before attaching the "note maker/amplifier".

Flute - be able to hold a steady full clear tone for 20 seconds on the headjoint on one breath.

Clarinet - be able to hold a full steady tone on the mouthpiece and barrel with a pitch of F# concert (or higher) for 30 seconds or more (with a flat chin).

Oboe - be able to produce a characteristic crow and play a steady C concert note on just the reed itself.

Saxophone - be able to hold a full steady tone on the mouthpiece and neck with a pitch of Ab concert for 30 seconds or more*.

Brass - be able to produce a full clear steady buzz on F concert for 20 seconds and to be able to play simple tunes on the mouthpiece alone.

To keep the students interested while developing their tone production "chops" I would have contests to see who could hold the note the longest on one breath, teach articulation skills, teach proper breathing, teach how to end a long tone, etc.

I had the great good fortune to teach 1st year students in classes of like instruments so that the focus could be entirely on the skills particular to that instrument every day. The students did perform together for concerts twice during the school year. Each section would learn their parts and then we would have one crazy big rehearsal the day of the concert to put them all together. It worked surprisingly well. I tried to program pieces that had a recording so each class could play along to get accustomed to how their part fit with the others.

*tenor sax E concert
 

ChrisC

Member
Messages
44
Many thanks folks but being over 50 means some of the 'school' approaches cant be followed and my wife wont put up with the noise (instead of 'parents') but I get the principle. Its a bit hard right now to imagine holding a steady note for 30 seconds but that gives me something to aspire to :)
 

ChrisC

Member
Messages
44
Oh my goodness - attaching the mouthpiece to the sax made it soooo much easier to blow!

Just spent a very pleasant hour at Sax.co.uk trying out a series of tenor's within my budget (and above it). Granted all I could do was noodle around the C major scale which will never impress anyone but pretty quickly I could tell which horns I liked the sound of and which ones felt nicest in my hands (which came as a big surprise to me).

Rightly or wrongly I decided NOT to stay in the student market and instead go straight to the 'upgrade' level horns and eventually whittled the choice down to the Yamaha YTS480 and the P.Mauriat Vintage series (system 76). I found both of them the easiest to play out of all the ones I tried (dont ask me why) and after much swapping between them I eventually chose the smoother sounding Mauriat as my favourite because I got close to the sound I love, knowing nothing about the instrument and just messing about.

I then asked the guys in the shop to play both for me so that I could hear what it is supposed to sound like - and still preferred the Mauriats tone.

Bringing it home my wife was pleasantly surprised that I could already play doh-a-deer and that it sounded "quite nice actually". High praise indeed :D

Now its time to learn to read music and learn to play the instrument properly. The search for a tutor begins....
 

Pyrografix

Senile Member
Messages
1,026
:thumb: Great that you've found one that you like!

You'll need to update your signature.......

Cheers,
Amanda
 

MLoosemore

Deluded Senior Member...
Messages
759
Well done Chris.... wish I was rich like you.... Oh no you used to be but not any longer :) Guess you will be handing your credit card over to your wife for a while now then.
 

ChrisC

Member
Messages
44
Ha thanks
To be honest - the money came from my recently deceased fathers estate and I wanted something that I could always pick up and say "thanks Dad"... I dont aim to ever sell it :) he liked woodwind instruments.
 
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