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Beginner Sax What is GAS?

dave 645

Member
Messages
124
Now I am not talking about the stuff we pay too much to heat our houses with.
In a couple of posts relating to people buying new toys, GAS, is referred to. Gotta have it, All the gear no idea, that sort of thing springs to mind, but I can't figure out GAS. As you can imagine google has one or two hundred thousand entries. Please somebody ease my mental anguish and tell me what GAS is.
 

daveysaxboy

Big ruff Geordie bendy metal blower
Messages
3,312
WARNING..........IT'S THE THING THAT CAN BREAK UP THE STRONGEST OF MARRIAGES,WELL NEARLY.

You dont count sheep to get to sleep,ya count how many £'s ya blew on horns,TAKES ME ALL NIGHT TO FALL ASLEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Fraser Jarvis

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,910
Now I am not talking about the stuff we pay too much to heat our houses with.
In a couple of posts relating to people buying new toys, GAS, is referred to. Gotta have it, All the gear no idea, that sort of thing springs to mind, but I can't figure out GAS. As you can imagine google has one or two hundred thousand entries. Please somebody ease my mental anguish and tell me what GAS is.
I must admit i wondered about this one as well after seeing it being refered to so many times, but i dident like to ask! thanks for clearing it up though....
 

Pyrografix

Senile Member
Messages
1,026
And I'm another one who is grateful for someone else asking the question! Well done, and thank you:welldone
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
695
At the risk of giving an unnecessary explanation (of which I am often guilty), the root cause of GAS often is a dissatisfaction with an aspect of one's playing. So GAS is often a necessary or a good thing. If you have identified the mouthpiece as something holding you back, you will want to improve matters by obtaining one that is more suitable. Now, selection of a mouthpiece is not a scientific procedure, even though it is amenable to a great deal of common sense, and you will finish up with more than one new mouthpiece. As this goes on, you will at some stage evince GAS.

Then there are saxophonists who, although very good, are never quite persuaded that they have have it quite right, and they then experiment. A considerable part of this experimentation may involve new gear. This can lead to quite serious cases of GAS.

I have no view the stage at which GAS may become a problem. Most of us eventually are held back by the need to spend some of our money on groceries rather than saxophone gear. On the other hand, where would we be if we did not continue to search for better things?
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,959
I think half the reason for GAS is that some players never quite work out the difference between better and different.
To give you an example:

I came across an old Martin Handcraft tenor a few years back. I've always been a huge fan of Martin horns - had a Handcraft bari for many years - so it seemed ideal as a replacement for my beloved old Yamaha YTS23.
So I spent an entire morning playing the two horns back to back.
I really liked the Martin - they have the ability to sound very contemporary and aren't plagued quite so much with that overblown midrange response that many vintage horns suffer from (from my perspective, naturally).
But then I really liked the Yamaha, with its immediacy and swiftness.

The Yamaha had a much better upper response than the Martin; the Martin was bigger down the bottom end. I went back and forth between the two horns for hours until I decided that what I was doing was forgetting my 'mantra': If it doesn't slap you in the face, it doesn't have a place.
The Martin wasn't better - it was just different. If I was looking for something different then I'd probably have taken it - but then that would have meant owning more than one gigging horn. Part of the reason I can do what I do on the Yamaha is that I use it day in, day out...and that's a more solid foundation than buying in 'upgrades'.

Once you suss that different/better thing it makes life (and playing) a great deal easier. It means you can try out new gear with a completely open mind, and it focusses your ear on the things you have - rather than the things you *might* have.

Regards,
 

Rikki

Member
Messages
205
I agree with Stephen, but it's so tempting to buy new equipment I guess, pursuading yourself you actually sound better.

I have found that so long as you have bought good quality equipment you will initially be buying to achieve the kind of sound you aspire too. Beyond that technique and practice will make a ffar greater contribution to the sound you want to achieve.

In my case....... adjusting the strap correctly so MP naturally goes into gob while standing upright made a large difference to the control I had. Adjusting the position of reed on the mouthpiece (after reading artical by Mr Runyon - place reed on mouthpiece and adjust so that when pushed onto MP with finger only a hairline sliver of the MP is visible). This simple technique had a large difference to the top and bottom end.

But we are all human and lets admit a bit of GAS once in a while makes us feel good!!
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
How many embouchure problems are caused by poor strap adjustment. I have seen pictures where students, have them high enough to poke their eye out!!
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
I think the best way of dealing with GAS is to buy used - it's half the new price, usually good as new - and you've a better chance of getting your money back when it doesn't work for you. You can also do twice the amount of GASing on the same budget...

My problem is that I hate selling stuff - I'm a squirrel, and I'm always thinking "Maybe one day I'll need it"...

GAS - Gadgets fo Aspiring Saxophonists.... Rather fits Mr H's comments.
 
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