SYOS

New and need a new sax pt 2!!!

Bunny

Member
Messages
59
Thanks for your replies everyone. I am glad to know that for £750 I should geet something good...but wherer. Mu husband is a guitarist and won't sanction me buying anything I haven't played..and is very against ebay for that reason!!!
Our store in Winchester has a mixed bag of altos, Stagg 77SA at £499, actually nicest to play, A TJ classic cant remember price, and TJ revolution II at £750 way over everyone elses price of £650.
Dawsons in Basingstoke said they would get a couple of different ones on from their other stores inc the yamaha 275 at £750... this is so difficult. I am completely self taught. The first time I ever picked up a sax I played "Fly me to the Moon" and "Moondance".and then found I could easily play all the standard with a Cd "Autumn Leaves" "The very thought of you" etc swing/big band standards, .i say this humbly but I do seem to have a real natural gift for it.
I had a couple of lessons with a degree qualified teacher last year to see if I was right. He put on a backing track and asked me to jam to it which I had never done before,but found I could, and he said I had quite a remarkable ear, better than his though he was the far far better player....so I really want to pursue this. I have had a career break forced on me and actually a settlement from my employers from which I figure £750 is a good investment in my musical future. If anyone is near Winchester and could be willing to help me.. or knows the store to go to.I'd be grateful.I love my 1924Wurlitzer/Martin but need all the help I can get. Oh I have just found and ordered the Hanes Manual for sax too as I am determined to be independent and learn how to servie/care for it. I hope i am going to enjoy being around this sit...so much to learn.If you have seen Billy \elliot where they ask him at his audition what it feels lik to dance he replies "Like electricity going through my body" and that is how the sax has felt for me since the first time I played!!!
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
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HI Bunny and welcome to the Cafe. Your a lucky girl to be living in the south of our beautiful island. Not far from you are some of the greatest advisers on the planet. I think Stephen Howard is not far from you and neither is the esteemed Pete Thomas. They will know the shops and places that you should have a look at in your area.
Good luck with your search.
 

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
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manchester
Hi Bunny

Now I'm jealous, wish it came to me like that,you must be a natural.It's dots dots and more dots for me, over and over again till it sticks.

As for the new sax don't be too worried by ebay you won't get similar prices in shops, like I said just peruse looking for a YAS62 it's far better than any you have mentioned, look for an add that gives lots of pictures, particularly shots of the pads and any scratches and dings there may be and a description that looks like they know what they are talking about and sound like they are proud of the condition of the sax and I'm sure you will know when you see the right one,I personally have bought 2 YAMS on ebay and they were both crackers.Good luck with whatever you do ...john
 
OP
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Bunny

Member
Messages
59
Well thanks for that..as I said I am just very lucky.I played melodica 40 years ago as a child and can read a simple music stave from lessons at school (class) but never had music lessons, so atleast the dots make sense but I need to bring some discipline to my playing by learning my scales and arpeggios properly and making sure I sight red not just play by ear!! I because I know they have a quality that will be good and not let me down!!
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
Hi Bunny!

1. Ask your husband to PM any of the members of the Forum about sax recommendations - you are likely to get a better sax if you widen your search, and could do much better than a YAS 275 for £750 IMHO, whether or not you have heard it before playing it. Never trust a guitarist! Lots of shops only have a small range. I would have to go at least 65 miles to visit just one shop that had saxes, living in Wales, but have bought many items from eBay and other places, all of which I have been very satisfied with. You just have to watch the "dodgy dealers" which are not difficult to spot. Woodwind and Brass in Cowplain, Hants should be near enough for a visit, for example, and perhaps Steve/Pete could also advise.

2. If you do not have it already it might be worth getting a copy of "The Jazz Method for Saxophone" by John O'Neill - highly recommended and would give some structure/motivation to your learning also (Comes with CD).

Kind regards
Tom:cool:
 
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Bunny

Member
Messages
59
Hi,funnily enough I rang the place in Cowplain and when my cheque has cleared I am gonna go down there to have a play and see what the BWs are like. Reading his Haynes manual that arrived this am has given me a lot more insight into how to choose and what to afford. They seem to be about £500-600 so I don't mind something lessmthan my top price, but I needed to know it has no major deficiencies...like you can't play higher notes in tune etc. I know i can test a Yam 275 in Basinstoke but that is miles away from Cowplain...and there seems to be no way to teat a wde range of saxes along side each other. If I found something really really good on ebay I think I could over rule hubbie,he might be a guitarist but he is ok aand knows about instruments so I kinds see his point. If I buy a reputable sax ie Yamaha,I can alwas tweak by changing mouth pieces.

Perhaps you can answer me a qn? SOme saxes have a sor of buzzing edgy sound.usually in jazz.I describe it as "comb and paper" not v. techical what is the proper sax language for that? Thats the soud I dont want...I wasnt a much mellow softer sound, more like a clarinet type softness....I just havent got a proper vocab for sax tone and timbre...do you know of any good references/sites to learn this?





1. Ask your husband to PM any of the members of the Forum about sax recommendations - you are likely to get a better sax if you widen your search, and could do much better than a YAS 275 for £750 IMHO, whether or not you have heard it before playing it. Never trust a guitarist! Lots of shops only have a small range. I would have to go at least 65 miles to visit just one shop that had saxes, living in Wales, but have bought many items from eBay and other places, all of which I have been very satisfied with. You just have to watch the "dodgy dealers" which are not difficult to spot. Woodwind and Brass in Cowplain, Hants should be near enough for a visit, for example, and perhaps Steve/Pete could also advise.

2. If you do not have it already it might be worth getting a copy of "The Jazz Method for Saxophone" by John O'Neill - highly recommended and would give some structure/motivation to your learning also (Comes with CD).

Kind regards
Tom:cool:[/QUOTE]
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,627
Location
Rugby UK
Perhaps you can answer me a qn? SOme saxes have a sor of buzzing edgy sound.usually in jazz.I describe it as "comb and paper" not v. techical what is the proper sax language for that? Thats the soud I dont want...I wasnt a much mellow softer sound, more like a clarinet type softness....I just havent got a proper vocab for sax tone and timbre...do you know of any good references/sites to learn this?
I think I can help on this (sort of) The buzzing edgy sound could be a "Growling" sax. This is an effect caused by the player, by humming whilst playing the sax. Its used a lot in Rock 'n' Roll and Rock sax.
It can also be caused, to some extent, by the mouthpiece and reed combination. Some of the other cafe members are more familiar with reed combinations and someone will recommend a nice smooth one for you.
Taking a trip to Cowplain in my opinion, is a brilliant idea. It'll give you a good chance to explore all the saxes they've got in stock.
Good luck and let us know how you get on.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
What I would add is that what you describe might also be due to the different styles of sax playing, together with different mouthpiece set ups. It is common in Jazz to play both "mellow" sounding mouthpieces, and ones with more "edge". We all like certain sounds and choose mouthpieces that enable that sound to be produced. I prefer "rich" and "complex" sounds on sax, rather than mellow or edgy, so choose mouthpieces/reeds that facilitate that. When you try any sax out it will be an idea to try certain mouthpieces and ask for any advice about preferred sound - won't be a problem. I am sure Martin will be a great help and be able to advise accordingly. It may be an idea to do a bit of research beforehand.

Kind regards
Tom:cool:
 
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Bunny

Member
Messages
59
Good Lord it is so complex...when I first bought a sax a few years ago I just got one off the shelf cos \i knew nowt as they say!!! I think it was a Montreux with the mouthpiece that came with it. That got solld cos we were skint and Terry bought me the Low Pitch Martin Stencil about 1924...that has a Otto Link 6* super Tone Master mouthpiece and ligature and he bought me an easier Vandoren mp to go with it. SOmehow I will have to assimilate all that I know and have a good ferret around...I actually like the tone of my old sax but it so needs servicingand is so different from modern ones. A modern sax has the bottom 4 tone holes all on the same, right hand, side of the sax. My od one has two on each side.

Oh well when I have got the cash in my hand I will be in a position to do somethin!!
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
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5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
Your Vandoren mouthpiece will work fine on any alto sax, and may well be the sound you like. An Otto Link 6* has a medium sized tip opening (the bit you put in your mouth). Many jazz players play bigger tip opening mouthpieces - the reason is that you can play louder, and also make a more characterful sound. They are harder to blow than smaller tip openings, and beginners usually start small. Neither are better than the other - traditionally classical players play small tips, and prefer a purer sound. Jazz players often go larger as they want to add their own character to the sound. Just take your Vandoren along when you try any saxes out so that you can assess the sax more accurately.

Don't panic......sounds like you know what sort of sound you like from a sax, so should be easy enough. What Vandoren mouthpiece do you play BTW?

Kind regards
Tom:cool:
 
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Bunny

Member
Messages
59
Hi Tom thanks foor the advice and replies. Made a cock up it isnt a Vandoren mouthpiece, lost the box it came in...its a Bill Levington plastic mouthpiece with a leather ligature marked inside L12. Its an odd ligature cos it goes on the wrong way round ie th ligature screw ends up on top of the m.p. instead of underneath.Inside the lig. are rubber ridges that rest against the reed to define tone. I had a leaflet with it yrs ago...but its gone. The width at the tip looks about the same as the Otto link 6* but the baffle is maybe a bit lower..have I got the term right?...Terry bought me the Martin stencil I have as a surprise, and the O.L m.p was too difficult for me to play at first so we bught whatever the Winchester shop had in stock..it was about £20. SO I will have to use that.I knwo from my couple of lessons I can produce a reasonable tone...ooooh I am itching to et going again. I had an Amarti tenor for a while and really enjoyed that and I DO KEEP THINKING IS AN ALTO THE BEST COS TEN YOU WILL HAVE TWO or shuld I get the BW Tenor that has an excellent write up!! I wish you could try saxes like shoes...like there could be a big sax superstore where you can try dozens...dream on eh?


I want to learn and understand it all so I can actually talk to fellow players. AT least reading SHs manual Ive got a campaign planned, can't wait!! BW or new Yamaha.. or divert to Tenor again, trouble id \i do have a bad back and would have to play sitting.wish I could test them side by side!!!












Your Vandoren mouthpiece will work fine on any alto sax, and may well be the sound you like. An Otto Link 6* has a medium sized tip opening (the bit you put in your mouth). Many jazz players play bigger tip opening mouthpieces - the reason is that you can play louder, and also make a more characterful sound. They are harder to blow than smaller tip openings, and beginners usually start small. Neither are better than the other - traditionally classical players play small tips, and prefer a purer sound. Jazz players often go larger as they want to add their own character to the sound. Just take your Vandoren along when you try any saxes out so that you can assess the sax more accurately.

Don't panic......sounds like you know what sort of sound you like from a sax, so should be easy enough. What Vandoren mouthpiece do you play BTW?

Kind regards
Tom:cool:
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
Hi Bunny!

I have a soprano, alto and tenor sax - but mainly play trumpet! Of the above saxes I play Alto about 70% of the time and it is my favourite of the 3. I like it as a lead instrument particularly, and have never fallen in love with a tenor. I think most folks either gravitate to alto or tenor, and soprano and baritone also have their adherents, but usually in addition to alto/tenor. All the BW's are highly thought of. I think that the BW has particularly sold well with players who started on alto, but then fancied moving up to a Tenor, so more have probably been sold, particularly amongst Forum users.

I would imagine that the Stencil could be traded or sold to raise funds - be useful to chat to someone like Griff136 on the Forum, or could ask for feedback from other members. Alternative cheap mouthpieces are made by Yamaha (usually provided with BW's) or Rico (Graftonite) and cost between £15 and £30. Tip openings commonly differ by 1,000's of an inch so are difficult to tell apart by the naked eye - but you will know once you try playing one!.

Ligatures often have the screw on the top of the mouthpiece, but several ligatures can be applied in different ways quite effectively.

Anyway enjoy the rest of your evening!
Kind regards
Tom:cool:

Also www.sax.co.uk is a place where you can try many saxes in Crowthorne in East Sussex.
 
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Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
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they seem to be about £500-600 so i don't mind something lessmthan my top price, but i needed to know it has no major deficiencies...like you can't play higher notes in tune etc. I know i can test a yam 275 in basinstoke but that is miles away from cowplain...
A BW saxophone is as good or better than most other instruments twice the price or more. Why do you think the higher notes would not be in tune? It's best to just play them and find out.
 
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Bunny

Member
Messages
59
Thanks for replying Pete...I was just badly expessing what someoe said aboutthe mid range tone is usually ok on even student saxes, but that with poorer ones the higher and lower tuning may have slight probs too it...thanks for the site..I wish I'd seen this when i first picked up a sax. Time to getserious now. Do you know of any teacherd for adults i Winchester?
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Café Supporter
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Location
McLean, Virginia
Thanks for replying Pete...I was just badly expessing what someoe said aboutthe mid range tone is usually ok on even student saxes, but that with poorer ones the higher and lower tuning may have slight probs too it...
Well, the BWs aren't really student saxes.

Sorry don't know any teachers in Winchester personally, maybe there are some on the teachers link.
 
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Bunny

Member
Messages
59
What would you define them as the? Ive read they are really good saxes based on Yanagisawas modle? I guess what I mea the price that student models used to be but even that has changed. Back to my Haynes Manual arrived today...hadnt heard of it a week ago Tis site and Stephen Howards are just soooo good Thanks a million for helping everyoe progress
 
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Bunny

Member
Messages
59
Ooooh no Tom...I couldn't sell my babay!! I am attached to that old Wurlitzer/Martin stencil and I think its really good, but I really need a person who knows vintage altos to have a good look over it for me. If you can pass my details on to the guy you mentioned I would be very grateful. Counting the days till I get to Cowlplain!!
 

Little My

Practice makes better.
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396
Location
Wiltshire, UK.
I found my teacher by asking at the local instrument repair shop. I think sax.co.uk also have a store in central London, if that is any easier to get to? Good luck!
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
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5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
Ooooh no Tom...I couldn't sell my babay!! I am attached to that old Wurlitzer/Martin stencil and I think its really good, but I really need a person who knows vintage altos to have a good look over it for me. If you can pass my details on to the guy you mentioned I would be very grateful. Counting the days till I get to Cowlplain!!
Griff136 is a member of the forum so it should be possible to look his details up on the forum. He is often found posting on technical matters and repairs/services saxes.
 
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