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Smokin' and sax.

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If I pick up my sax now and play straight through a short piece or scale, then I'll get out of breath and slightly dizzy. I can see this is related to not breathing, but is it worse because I smoke? Or should I warm up first and get used to breathing? I know it's probably fairly obvious, but I'd like to hear your opinions. Cheers, Fi. :)
 

dubrosa22

Senior Member
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BigMartin

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Don't know if it will affect your sax playing but please give up smoking, anyway. Apart from the long-term health benfits, think of all the sax-related gear you could be buying with the smoking money.
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
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I’m a reformed smoker- to be absolutely honest- I’ve not really noticed much difference in my saxophone playing but I have noticed a marked improvement in my ability to swim underwater (which has got to be linked). I also feel generally a bit perkier and, theoretically, should have more money- though the latter never seems to really happen……
 

jonf

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I used to smoke quite a lot (I was able to smoke at work in those days, so it was easy to get through a packet a day) but when I gave up I really didn't notice much difference when it comes to playing the sax. My sense of smell did improve a lot, though, as did my bank balance.

I also used to smoke a lot of dope in my 20s (I know, I know), including while playing. That really did make me feel dizzy. I guess I thought I was being some sort of chilled out dude. In fact, I think it just made my playing crap. The same with drinking while playing. Well, not actually while playing, you know what I mean. Although I'm not the greatest player in the world, I'm much, much better when stone cold sober.

I'd definitely recommend giving up, though. Disposable income, smelliness and health all benefit.
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,661
I used to smoke quite a lot (I was able to smoke at work in those days, so it was easy to get through a packet a day) but when I gave up I really didn't notice much difference when it comes to playing the sax. My sense of smell did improve a lot, though, as did my bank balance.

I also used to smoke a lot of dope in my 20s (I know, I know), including while playing. That really did make me feel dizzy. I guess I thought I was being some sort of chilled out dude. In fact, I think it just made my playing crap. The same with drinking while playing. Well, not actually while playing, you know what I mean. Although I'm not the greatest player in the world, I'm much, much better when stone cold sober.

I'd definitely recommend giving up, though. Disposable income, smelliness and health all benefit.
Like he says...! drinking's a really killer for me.... burping and sax- not a good combo!
A player who can actually operate well while intoxicated, as opposed to one who thinks hey can, is a rare thing indeed.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
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A player who can actually operate well while intoxicated, as opposed to one who thinks hey can, is a rare thing indeed.

Apparently someone asked Zoot Sims: " How can you play drunk?"

"I practice drunk" was the answer.

Seriously:

Hyperventilation is a common thing. You air intake is more than needed in your body.
Stop playing when it happens, until those little yellow dots disappear from your sight.

I quit smoking recently, after about 25 years. Since smoking is no longer allowed on stage and in recording studios, it is a pointless practice. Can you think of a picture of Dexter Gordon smoking in the chilling drizzle outside a recording studio in an industrial estate?

An in my case I think my playing improved a little bit.
 
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TomMapfumo

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5,219
If I pick up my sax now and play straight through a short piece or scale, then I'll get out of breath and slightly dizzy. I can see this is related to not breathing, but is it worse because I smoke? Or should I warm up first and get used to breathing? I know it's probably fairly obvious, but I'd like to hear your opinions. Cheers, Fi. :)

It does take a while for your breathing to develop when playing sax. It does sound that you also need to improve your smoking more!

Do practice the ubiquitous "Long Notes" maybe holding them for as long as you can and gradsually see whether the length of time can gradually increase. I agree with those that highlight what a waste of money smoking is - a total waste of GAS money!
 

llamedos

Senior Member
Messages
431
There is no-one more pious than a convert but for what it's worth can I throw in my two bobsworth? I was on a packet a day (that I would admit to) and then the inevitable happened. I gave up smoking in the Coronary Care Unit when the Registrar said to the consultant "Here we have a sixty-five year old smoker...." and the great man said "I hope you mean ex-smoker". In any event it's not easy getting a king-size round the oxygen mask. I actually spent the millenium in Coronary Care and I'M still around to tell the tale.

Anyway, Fi, it ain't easy giving up but trust me, it's well worthwhile on several counts.

Good luck with everything.

Dave
 

Chris

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Getting the breathing correct when playing the sax takes time.. While there are many reasons to stop smoking..

Dexter Gordon
Stan Getz
Ben Webster
Ronnie Scott
Paul Desmond

All smoked and all could play sax a little..>:)

Do I smoke no, Did I smoke yes, Gave up from 60 a day 12 years ago...

Just enjoy the sax..

Chris..
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
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12,144
Getting the breathing correct when playing the sax takes time.. While there are many reasons to stop smoking..

Dexter Gordon
Stan Getz
Ben Webster
Ronnie Scott
Paul Desmond

All smoked and all could play sax a little..>:)

Do I smoke no, Did I smoke yes, Gave up from 60 a day 12 years ago...

Just enjoy the sax..

Chris..

Ex smokers are a nuisance. I went from 40 to 15, 8 years ago and quit 7 months ago. I wish I never started.

But

Can you name ANY great saxophone player from the past that NEVER smoked?
 

Chris

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Ex smokers are a nuisance. I went from 40 to 15, 8 years ago and quit 7 months ago. I wish I never started.

But

Can you name ANY great saxophone player from the past that NEVER smoked?

Why are ex smokers a nuisance Aldevis???, Rather than getting on my high horse about stopping, I just pointed out you don't have to stop to play sax.. Which would answer the OP...

As for naming a great from the past that never smoked..Hmmm no.. Looks like the two might be linked.>:)..

Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, opps trumpet player( not a bad one though) both smoked..

Chris..
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,908
Getting the breathing correct when playing the sax takes time.. While there are many reasons to stop smoking..

Dexter Gordon
Stan Getz
Ben Webster
Ronnie Scott
Paul Desmond

All smoked and all could play sax a little..>:)

Do I smoke no, Did I smoke yes, Gave up from 60 a day 12 years ago...

Just enjoy the sax..

Chris..
It almost certainly kiiled Desmond at 52, though. Don't know about any of the others.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
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3,845
Follow the bluessaxman A.C. Reed: "Give It Up (Smoking)" ! He sang about how both smoking and junk food was hazardous to your health! Wise guy.

Thomas
 

Chris

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Martin, while I don't disagree with what you have said. Smoking didn't seem to stop him playing the sax. Which was the OP..

Chris..
 

BigMartin

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Martin, while I don't disagree with what you have said. Smoking didn't seem to stop him playing the sax. Which was the OP..
I understood what you were saying. But, actually, it did stop him playing after he was 52. That might seem quite old to you (I don't know how old you are) or miss-saxophone, but I'm 53...
 
Messages
181
I think I've got more reason to give up than a lot of people as my step-dad had COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder) due to smoking and consequently had two new lungs. Now his immune system is so low 'cause of his medication that if he catches a cold he could die. Yet I haven't learnt from this, stupidly. I think the reason I don't give up is because I hate the craving symptoms, and would rather not face it. One day though, one day...
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
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Why are ex smokers a nuisance Aldevis???, Rather than getting on my high horse about stopping, I just pointed out you don't have to stop to play sax.. Which would answer the OP...

Apologies: I am the one that usually starts boasting about how cool is to quit smoking. It is called "projection".

And smoking and saxophone playing are linked. A guy called Sigmund wrote a few things....
 
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