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Problems with not playing besides the obvious

squeak

Member
Messages
299
I have very little time to play/practice currently; almost none in fact. The three last times I pulled a horn out of its case, I have encountered some rather unpleasant surprises.

(1) My Chinese bari just did not want to play. I really had issues with making the bell keys sound. The bell of this horn was originally damaged in transit from the dealer, but I had it fixed and I thought it played great afterwards. Not so anymore or perhaps my recollection was in error. Maybe there was something to the Chinese horns are bad thing after all. I struggled for about 10 minutes. Then I figured that life was too short and was about to put the horn away when I noticed something white between the bell keys. When I looked inside the bell, I discovered a nicely folded white bag. My sax was inside this bag when I purchased the horn and I must somehow have decided that this was a good way of preserving this otherwise useless bag. Without bag, my China bari played just as great as always. Not a stuffy sax after all.

(2) I wanted to practice my vintage alto, a lovely lnstrument from 1934. It looks like a large bore Selmer, but was made by Keilwerth. It has a fantastic warm sound but needs a vintage mouthpiece for tuning well . I had finally found an one, a Tenney refaced Dick Stabile, to carry me over until I find that perfect vintage metal Link. I pulled out my trusty Korg tuner, only to find that it did not work. This was most surprising, as it had always worked in the past. Unfazed and impressed with my own foresight, I fetched my backup Korg tuner, which I purchased roughly around the same time as the other one - ha. However, this too quickly showed signs of malfunctioning. This just seemed like too much of a coincidence so I thought long and hard and finally eureka! It occurred that perhaps these tuners weren't powered by invisible solar cells. My genius payed off and after changing some batteries I had two functioning Korg tuners that both assured me that my tuning was not (way) off.

(3) Today, I figured that enough is enough with lack of practice and checked that my favorite tenor hadn't gone missing from its case. But phew no, it was still there, so I put on the neck and a mouthpiece with reed, ligature and all, as well as a strap and started playing. Immediately noticeable, my skills had deteriorated beyond my deepest depressing nightmares. Somehow there was trouble sounding notes below G. Blowing harder helped a bit but then it got really hard blowing below low C again. Well that is what you get for letting your sax down for months; at least until you look down and find Yamaha non-stick pad paper carefully inserted into the G# and C# tone holes. They really do work because the sax sounded much better after I removed them.

I never learned these things from the sax teachers that I have had. I should have some of my money back, but at least now my dear fellow forum members can be spared similar frustration by learning from my experiences.
 

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
Messages
27,033
Locality
Cheshire UK
Very useful and entertaining to read, hope you are back enjoying playing now and let that be a lesson to you not to leave them so long :)

Jx
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,321
Locality
London
I never learned these things from the sax teachers that I have had. I should have some of my money back, but at least now my dear fellow forum members can be spared similar frustration by learning from my experiences.

This is a great forum.
 

LostCircuits

Member
Messages
442
Locality
Black Forest
This happened to me between sets, after the break I got back up and nothing worked until I saw that paper napkin stuck in the low C# key
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,675
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
Several cases and other clutter have accumulated over the years. During lockdown I decided to sort out the clutter in the music room with a couple of flat pack shelving units. Worked out great. Plenty of room for more clutter. However... which case did I put the alto in? For the life of me I couldn't remember. The upshot is the clutter is back on the floor. The new shelves are empty and I'm too tired to blow the alto anyhow. Maybe tomorrow :confused:
 

LostCircuits

Member
Messages
442
Locality
Black Forest
Several cases and other clutter have accumulated over the years. During lockdown I decided to sort out the clutter in the music room with a couple of flat pack shelving units. Worked out great. Plenty of room for more clutter. However... which case did I put the alto in? For the life of me I couldn't remember. The upshot is the clutter is back on the floor. The new shelves are empty and I'm too tired to blow the alto anyhow. Maybe tomorrow :confused:
It's even funnier because it is true! The worst thing is some folks visiting and trying to "look organized" when they show up. You lose a week every time!
 

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