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Beginner Sax Purchasing a Pro Horn as a Beginner

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
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14,940
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Burnley bb9 9dn
By new I was refering to recently maufactured horns with little signs of being played.
It seems to me that someone bought it on reputation, blew it for a short while and moved it on.
An unplayed horn with many owners in a short while would also fall into this category for me.
A battered old sweetheart that's been played to death and left in a will seems like a good prospect for investigation.
The only alto that moved me was a Yani. The only tenor was a cannonball.
Both out of my price range.
 

Ads

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,339
Locality
North West UK
sadly there are a lot of nearly new horns for sale because the owner gave up due to the horn being rubbish (cashies get loads of no name ones like this) .. Almost happened to me in the early 80s, I got a dreadful B&M Champion tenor which pretty much convinced me that I was never going to play the sax properly - thankfully I bumped into someone with a decent horn who let me try it and I realised where the problem was .. Sold the champion back to the shop who sold it to me and got a Mk-VII and never looked back ..
 

Dr G

Member
Messages
477
Locality
Northern California
It is interesting to see some instances of people with excess wealth that go out and buy new professional-grade horns with the intent of learning to play, then try to dump them two months later when they find out that skill was not included in the package price. Learning to play the saxophone well requires commitment and effort.
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,098
Locality
UK
What about horns you can list the problems on, i.e. twitchy, fussy, wild, and yet you couldn't bring yourself to return it and you keep picking it up instead of your others?
It still counts.
The 'problem' with my Yamaha 23 was that it wasn't a 'professional' horn and didn't cost me a great deal of money - but I blew a handful of notes on it and thought "That'll do nicely".
As long as it's got something that makes you pick it up...that keeps you intrigued and coming back for more. If you get to the stage where nothing really stands out, it's time to back away and reconsider your options.
 

ellinas

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,129
Locality
Athens, Greece
+1
When you are on stage noone really cares what saxophone make you play ....
Except some fellow snob musicians .... Who cares..

I once gigged with a combo organ. It was a 60s purist band. My tube amp had serious issues and I played with a cheap amp emulator directly to the stage mixer. I left the amp turned on and sometimes I pretended I was adjusting some knobs.

Funny enough ... After the gig .... Some ultra clean 60s purist sound people from the audience ... That spend thousands in holy grail turntables etc.... We're praising me for my truly analog sound .....

Grab a horn that you like and keep playing like it's the end of the world !!!
 
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thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,482
Locality
Sweden
It is interesting to see some instances of people with excess wealth that go out and buy new professional-grade horns with the intent of learning to play, then try to dump them two months later when they find out that skill was not included in the package price. Learning to play the saxophone well requires commitment and effort.
Why are we playing saxes? Today you can get a a sax sound without blowing a sax. Just buy a syntesizer. And that's the problem. After a long break I decided to join a band again. We were 3 horn players. The first song we got horn charts. A song in concert C (D for me on tenor). The horn arrangement was good, but I was supossed to play a low A on the tenor !!!! I explain to the leader that the lowest tone on my tenor was low Bb. I played the low Bb twice instead of doing a low A to low Bb. The next rehearsal I played bari instead of tenor. I transposed one tenor part to bari (A). Better. Most guys who are writing horn arrangements knows how to play wind instruments.
 

ellinas

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,129
Locality
Athens, Greece
Why are we playing saxes? Today you can get a a sax sound without blowing a sax. Just buy a syntesizer. And that's the problem. After a long break I decided to join a band again. We were 3 horn players. The first song we got horn charts. A song in concert C (D for me on tenor). The horn arrangement was good, but I was supossed to play a low A on the tenor !!!! I explain to the leader that the lowest tone on my tenor was low Bb. I played the low Bb twice instead of doing a low A to low Bb. The next rehearsal I played bari instead of tenor. I transposed one tenor part to bari (A). Better. Most guys who are writing horn arrangements knows how to play wind instruments.
We need more rnr players. No sax can convincingly imitate a good sax player.
We also play for fun. Programming a synth or vst is no fun. At least for me.
The Saxophone keeps us alive.
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,557
Locality
West Midlands
Why are we playing saxes? Today you can get a a sax sound without blowing a sax. Just buy a syntesizer.
I have said this before, we don't play sax because it's easy, we play because we know it's hard and needs commitment, which is why so many new players fall by the wayside and give up, plus its in our blood, buying a syntesizer not for me.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,482
Locality
Sweden
I have said this before, we don't play sax because it's easy, we play because we know it's hard and needs commitment, which is why so many new players fall by the wayside and give up, plus its in our blood, buying a syntesizer not for me.
Amen.

I big problem for new saxplayers is that they don't have any dreams/goals. For me it was to be able to play the saxophone so I could join a blues or rock band. On hobby level of course. You don't need a professional horn to play play a riff (1-3 tones) in a blues- or rocksong. And that's what I was doing most of the time when I was playing. Keep your dreams alive. And help other to relize thier dreams.


His mother told him "someday you will be a man
And you will be the leader of a big old band
Many people coming from miles around
To hear you play your music when the sun go down
Maybe someday your name will be in lights
Saying "Johnny B. Goode tonight"
 

mizmar

Senior Member
Messages
1,008
Locality
Trondheim, Norway
MrsJ: "so, J, now you've spent all that time and money on getting a new, pro saxophone, why aren't you playing it?!"
MrJ: "I will, just as soon as I finish reading the thread on getting a new, pro saxophone..."
 

Wonko

Member
Messages
536
Locality
Belgium
Yes. My experience is that when they like it, they walk to the stage and ask what kind of Selmer you play :)
Reminds me of that one time (couple of years ago) when I asked a fellow student of our music academy which horn he was playing. I thought he had a very beautiful sound.
It turned out to be a Yamaha YTS 23 (I play a YTS 32 myself).
Since then I learned that a beautiful sound has more to do with the hours that you have practiced, and not so much with the horn one is playing.
That guy had already done the whole curriculum in the classical music-branch and was now busy taking the course in the jazz-pop-rock branch. So he already had his embouchure built up and his breath support well trained, so he had a beautiful sound.
 

Dr G

Member
Messages
477
Locality
Northern California
Yes. My experience is that when they like it, they walk to the stage and ask what kind of Selmer you play :)

Hah, yes! I had just that experience several years ago in a club I was playing every month. There was one person that, month after month, always arrived early, invited lots of friends, and stayed all evening. One time he asked me that exact question! Yeah, I was playing my Borgani…
 

ellinas

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,129
Locality
Athens, Greece
Yes. My experience is that when they like it, they walk to the stage and ask what kind of Selmer you play :)
My beaugnier looks like a BA ..... It's so funny when people think it's a BA.... and when they realize it isn't .... and how much it costs to own one ..... they make funny faces :D
 

squeak

Member
Messages
363
To be fair, I think there are a lot of players out there who care more about the music and less about the gear. I played in an ensemble with a tenor player, who played a Beaugnier and was way better than I was at that time. It didn't exactly make me beam that I owned a Selmer and the make wasn't why I purchased the sax. I obviously have no proof, but believe that a negative aspects of saxophone forums is the intense focus on gear (much less so with the cafe obviously). It is certainly lead me down a dark alley. Personally, I find that the harder it is to find time to practice, the more gear I purchase, because there is no hinderance to obsessing about, surfing for and acquiring gear at 2 am, while playing at such hour isn't really compatible with living in an apartment. When I do have time to play, I am fine with whatever I am playing. I now play a Thomann Lowjazz bari 95% of the time and am quite pleased it turned out this way after I was unable to locate a fair priced MKVI or other Bb baritone locally.
 

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