Outgrown beginners' instrument?

Mamos

Member
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691
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Falmouth Cornwall
Welcome to the breakfastroom forum.

What makes you think you may be outgrowing you sax?

Have you had it serviced lately?

If not, get it serviced and if you still want to upgrade it will be easier to sell if it has just been serviced

mamos
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Just north of Munich
How can you tell when you have outgrown a beginners' instrument?
I'm a sax beginner myself, but what I tell the guys on the camera forum is when they know exactly what on their current camera doesn't work for them and thus what they need in a more up market model.
 

Pee Dee

Member
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425
Location
Dorset
How can you tell when you have outgrown a beginners' instrument?
Do you necessarily have to outgrow it? I play a Lafleur tenor, and I have been blaming it for the last few months for my bum notes, and inability to get the low notes, bottom C down. Last week I tried a mouthpiece I bought some months ago, a Vandoren Java. When I first tried it I could only play it for about 10 minutes before becoming puffed out, so put it back in the drawer. (It has a gap of .110")
Now I can play it for two hours before the lip starts to quiver, and the horn plays better, I can reach the bottom notes easier, and they're in tune!
So now I growing to love my 'beginners' horn again:)
Don't know how long you been playing, I've been at it for almost 2 years, give it time man;}
I am using a Java 2 reed.
 

Lodger

Member
Messages
108
Location
Darwen, Lancashire
A move up?

After two and a half years' playing I'm at exactly the same point - having a little more confidence that it might not always be me that's at fault for the difficult low notes, not-very-brilliant tone etc. I think I will go to a shop where I can try a variety of instruments and mouthpieces to see whether I sound any better on a more expensive model (mine is a Trevor James Artemis alto). I suspect my problems will still be 90% me.:(

However, I am at an age (65) where I can afford to get a better instrument and I want to get the most out of my playing before my abilities start to decline faster than practising can make them improve!
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
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3,652
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Betelgeuse
I think you're spot on Howard. Changing the horn isn't likely, in itself, to make a huge difference - it's not as if you're playing something bad, either. However, if you are in a position to buy a better one, and you want to, then I say go for it. What you might find is that you get more simple pleasure of ownership out of a great quality sax, and that in itself spurs you on to play more.
 

Rogerb

Member
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766
Location
Costa Blanca, Spain
I was in much the same position as Lodger and I agree with JonF......I play my new toy more than my slightly older and less fancy one, just because I like it so much :)

Now I have a nice new mpc, too (yes, another one!).....it's luvverly.

As I said on the old site, "My name is Roger and I am a mouthpieceaholic".

(But they are cheaper than new horns!....and I think my new alto will keep me satisfied....for a LOOONG time)

(Probably if I'd kept some of the earlier ones (like the Lamberson and RPC), I'd be able to enjoy playing them now :) )
 

Lodger

Member
Messages
108
Location
Darwen, Lancashire
Flipp, I'm sure you're right, but I also agree with JonF that the pleasure of ownership of a better instrument can be encouraging in itself. Sometimes I need allthe encouragement I can get.:)
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Café Supporter
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McLean, Virginia
How can you tell when you have outgrown a beginners' instrument?
The flippant answer is "when you don't have to ask this question". Actually I believe there is some truth in this. Your level of competency will usually bring with it the ability to evaluate whether your equipment is holding you back.

having said that, theses days there is very little difference between a student and pro horn. I use what many people would describe as a student soprano for pro work.
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
The flippant answer is "when you don't have to ask this question". Actually I believe there is some truth in this. Your level of competency will usually bring with it the ability to evaluate whether your equipment is holding you back.

having said that, theses days there is very little difference between a student and pro horn. I use what many people would describe as a student soprano for pro work.
Could that quote be altered to:-
"Providing your sax is looked over and serviced by a good tech, at wooden overcoat time."
However:-
We do like to treat and fool ourselves...............................
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
Excellent question -two recent experiences of mine tie in with this; purchasing a new cornet and a new trombone.

I have been playing cornet for 2.5 years, and am happy with the model I have - a short cornet, but wanted a long cornet (which can have a more focussed sound not unlike Miles Davis's Martin Committee Trumpet) and recently tried two different models - a Yamaha and a Conn. I could tell instantly that the Yamaha was not a satisfactory instrument for me (in fact it is rated a high quality beginners instrument at £550 new) but that the Conn was brilliant soundwise (secondhand at £612). Similarly with a recent trombone purchase, where I could quickly appreciate that the more pro quality instrument - Olds Super from 1950 - had a depth and complexity of sound that my more student rated 'bone lacked, even though it was me doing the blowing on both.

What I conclude is that I wondered about trying something different and then could instantly tell by sound produced that I could benefit/be more satisfied from a higher quality instrument. What was good was to realise that my short model cornet compared very satisfactorily to my new Conn Connstellation 38A(1960).

So it may be that a combination of some questioning of what you currently play together with some trialling of other instruments should provide a ready answer to your question. If not, you are probably not at a sufficient standard play wise and/or listening wise to need an update. Clearly with the trombone above, even though I have only been playing a month my sound facility has developed significantly over the past 3 years, since starting Sax etc. and that my tone was already developing well (according to my teacher).

Pete's post is very true in my opinion, above and beyond any GAS tendencies that many of us might experience from time to time. We may each have some inkling that a change is in the air/needed - we are after a certain sound, or have some sense of what we are searching for, and have to satisfy that need in some way.

Kind regards
Tom:cool:
 

Phil Edwards

Senior Member
Messages
1,335
Location
East Sussex
... So it may be that a combination of some questioning of what you currently play together with some trialling of other instruments should provide a ready answer to your question. If not, you are probably not at a sufficient standard play wise and/or listening wise to need an update.
Ditto everything Tom said, particularly the quoted part.

Phil
 
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