All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians
SYOS

What made you pick up the Sax.

What

Member
Messages
314
We've had a really good discussion in the other thread about who inspires us in playing, so I thought I would ask what made you finally pick up the sax and start playing.

For me it was getting stock options at my job to add to my retirement 401k, not bad for retirement planning but there is a drawback. I hate my job. I like working with customers. I love helping people with their home projects. I even enjoy working out customer service issues and all that, I just hate the way things are run at my company. Its not something another job at another company will help, its the way things are at every big retailer in the US. I am 31 and I have another 34 years till I reach retirement age. That much time working at my current job, even promoted in the company makes my skin crawl. With all that I needed something.

I thought about what I missed, what I enjoyed most, and what I really wanted to do in my life to brighten things up a bit. My love of the saxophone surged to the top of the list, I remember playing it years ago and how much I loved it. So I decided the time was NOW. I know I may never be able to get out of this lousy job playing the sax. I know from my father playing professionally comes with its own set of drawbacks, being out till all hours then up again first thing the next day, weekends spent more on the road then playing, making just enough to break even on gas(petrol) most times, you will spend more on you and your instrument then you will make for a long while, but with all that I still going to go for it. At least I will be trying everyday to do something I love.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,937
For me it was wanting to play/join in with a very musical family..

But in terms of your job - do something now. I'm not saying pack it in, but join Jaycees http://www.jci.cc/local/media/usa. They'll give you the personal skills to move on and up sensibly. You'll grow and develop by helping others.... (No, it's not a political or religious organisation).
 

trimmy

One day i will...
Messages
10,283
For me it's always been a desire to play the sax but never had the gumption to do it until i recieved one as a present, it's funny but as a kid growing up and always listening to music (mostly soul/motown) as soon as i heard a sax playing it gave me a nice feeling (if you know what i mean).
Only regret is i never took it up many years earlier, but hey ho
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,688
Well, I started playing over 30 years ago when I was still at school, but what keeps me playing today is that it gives me something rewarding and diverting compared to the business of normal life. I don't even play in a band any more, but I still play every day. Unlike the OP I don't hate my job, it's enjoyable and rewarding, but it is hard work and I have a long day. Blowing my sax for half an hour in the evening is a diversion from it, and part of the process of keeping a balance between the important stuff (family) and the stuff that pays for all the important stuff (work). I love everything about playing the sax - the music, the thrill of mastering a new piece, the kit, listening to it, talking about with with other sax players, web forums (!) and evertything. Just love it.
 

Zeus

Member
Messages
156
My first love with the sax was listening to it at The famous Sade big hit of the day, "Smooth Operator" during my student years. Well life and career got all my energy, and when i reached a point, of wanting a breakthrough, a getaway, just like Jonf says, the balance between work and everyday life beautifull little things, gives me the thrill of always discovering something new, this tiny detail, really separates kids from grown up people that think they know everything.
Sax players always and for ever, learn new things, it's a never ending quest, and thus it was worth to finally take it into my life, because i don't wanna grow up, i want to discover new things, and enjoy them, this constant gratification is what the sax gives me. It's the sensual sound of the sax that is like no other to me, now i finally get the thrilling feeling of being a student again.
I will plan the next trip with my wife abroad, and i feel like we are on a vacation trip from school, playing, learning, studying the sax, has brought me back on those wonderfull years, how could i not love it so much? Let alone i would get books for "school" and maybe a new sax heh:):w00t:
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,731
Hm…. Well, like many sax players I started off as a flute player in a school orchestra, something I quite quickly lost interest in only to have it re-awoken when I discovered that the flute is a viable option in funk as well as being a mainstay in Celtic music (something I’ve always loved). The first band I was in- a very sub-Pogues affair- I was on flute & harmonicas. About 1992, when it split up, I bought a tenor sax using my share of the band account- and immediately felt at home on it, having been immersed in Blues & R&B for some time. Seem to remember “George Thorogood Live” & “Will the Wolf Survive” by Los Lobos being mainstays of my early career….. Then tried to absorb Junior Walker, Sam Butera etc and never looked back….. (Weirdly, my love of Celtic music has started to creep back into my playing in recent years- totally subconciosuly)
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,664
Since I was young, I've played instruments. I've always been interested in music but I'm not a very driven person, in fact I'm quite lazy. So when I was presented with instruments as a child, I would play until the novelty wore off and then that was it!

In my time I've had a trumpet, an oboe, a ukulele banjo, a keyboard and a guitar! I never mastered any of them, in fact I was quite bad on most of them. I managed to stick with the guitar for quite a few years, but I would play it for three months then leave it for a year and then play it again, so in that cycle, I never improved!

When I look back at my choice of music over the years, I think most of it had a sax of some sort taking a fairly prominent role. From Supertramp to the Rolling stones, The Boomtown Rats to Gerry Rafferty. Somewhere there was a sax. I must have been about seventeen when I started to want a sax, but, due to the fact that I had usually spent my wages by the end of the weekend, I could never afford one. Then came a wife and a family and all the expenses that go together and I forgot about saxophones all together.

It was only after I left the ambulance service on medical grounds that I had enough money to get my first sax. Once I'd got it home, I just knew that I would never put it down or lose interest. That was seven, nearly eight years ago! I'm now the proud owner of an alto, a tenor and a bari. I love them all and I play as often as I can.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,199
Yes, Mr Freud, I will lay here, on this sofa....

My parents decided that I needed some music education. I found myself enrolled in the school one of the local concert/marching bands. Six months of "solfeggio": you read out loud notes from a book (I provided youtube examples of this crime against humanity). If after six months you are still there, you can choose an instrument.

At that point I saw "The Blues Brothers" at the cinema, and my life has been haunted by the curly horns since then. Thank you, Blue Lou Marini.
 

Andrew Sanders

Northern Commissioner for Caslm
Messages
2,773
I started with a recurring dream at the age of about 20. Saxophones in my subconscious for some reason.
Studying glass design at the time and used the image in my work. Never had a longing for a sax, but a younger student on the course said, "That looks cool I've got one of those. Do you want it?"
It was a manky plastic sax but I swapped it for an old acoustic guitar. Played it 'til it fell apart.
Now I know it was a grafton Alto. Had great fun with it though. Bought by a plastic collector and the proceeds went to fund a nice jazz guitar.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,199
It was a manky plastic sax but I swapped it for an old acoustic guitar. Played it 'til it fell apart.
Now I know it was a grafton Alto. Had great fun with it though. Bought by a plastic collector and the proceeds went to fund a nice jazz guitar.

grrmmmmpfffftrrrsss!!!!
 

Hal the Elder

New Member
Messages
163
Well shoot...since I first learned how to make a C chord on a Guitar in 1958 (54 years ago), and up until recently, I've been playing strictly chording instruments, such as Piano, Organ, Guitar, Banjo, and Bass (non chording), playing accompaniment chords in the rhythm sections of bands and combos. I'm pretty good at it, but it ain't reading music!

I've played with many a "garage band" over the years, with other "musicians" who also play only by ear, so I finally thought:

At 76 years of age, why not learn to read music and play a wind instrument of some type?

So I tried the Clarinet, but quickly gave it up because of that "crossing the break" register change.

Then I tried the Cornet, because it had only 3 valves, so how hard could that be?

I found out when my lip turned to jelly as I tried to get to C on the staff, but couldn't make it that high!

Then I tried the Tenor Sax!

Ahhhh, I exclaimed! Here's an instrument that uses the same fingering in both registers, and there's no torturing my lip, because all I have to do is press the right keys and there's the note!

I've been taking private lessons for 2 months now, and my teacher (who teaches all wind instruments) says I have a great tone!

That's all...
HAL the ELDER
 
Last edited by a moderator:

navarro

Senior Member
Messages
863
For me a certain Mr. Aubrey Graves. Brought out of my instrument coma after seventy years of `Will I Won`t I. Heard and watched Maestro Graves on Utube. (Picked up from a thread on this forum before becoming a member.) Decided Gabriel would hear my horn before he riffed me in and the scene was set. Rented an Artemis student alto. Studied how to put it together for a week. After a further two days I realized that the pull through was not just a fashion accessory thrown in by the rental company and started to blow. I realized my tone was improving when the S.P.C.A drove their, permanently parked outside my apartment, van away. And the rather nice lady next door stopped asking me to keep blowing because her husband was threatening to leave her. (It took me a while to work that one out.)

So Mr Graves thanks again and to all the forum members who have given me invaluable advice and encouragement. (Stop it N. this is becoming more like an award acceptance speech.) A bit like the Nigerian scam merchant who won the Nobel Prize for Initiative. When presented with the award he said to the King of Sweden ` So you got my Email then.` Regds. all N.
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,921
Played a lot of classical clarinet from age 10 to age 30. Interval between gigs (I was a bit picky about what groups I would play in by this time) got longer and longer until, after about 2 years of just doing maintenance practice, I let it go. Fast forward 20 years, friend of a friend had an alto he'd bought and never really got round to. Let me try it. Blew a few notes and it felt like a big chunk of my life had been missing all those years. Bought the sax (and a few more since) and haven't looked back. Always had a vague interest in jazz (eg Bechet, Ellington), which has since become a bit of an obsession. Still struggling hard to get my ears, chops, and a bit of musical vocabulary in shape. But feel it's starting to come together and I occasionally come up with a solo I quite like, which amazes me every time.
 

What

Member
Messages
314
This is great hearing all these stories, I am really enjoying this. Also makes me feel a bit less crazy about how I feel about the sax now that I have one, or that I at least in good company.
 

Corona4007

Member
Messages
69
The challenge was too much for me to resist and now has become a passion and a journey that I am sure will last a long time. The sax just sounds so damn good and the satisfaction of getting something to play right is a huge plus. :thumb:
 

MellowD

Lost In Theory
Messages
544
Now you're gonna regret asking :)

THERAPY

After a lifetime (literally) of abuse (he finally was put in prison last year for 18yr sentence), and being a workaholic from a young age as an escapism, I succumbed to the pressure of needing to do something purely for the JOY of it.

Someone very generous said to me "you've said before that you always wanted to play sax, and I have one which is gathering dust because I concentrate on my clarinet, so take it on long term loan and see if you like it".

And so I was handed the Yani T901 Tenor to take home with me, and a new life has erupted, with ambitions to have FUN. I now want to get an alto and a soprano, and my ambition is to become good enough to be accepted into a band and make people want to sing and dance.
 
Top Bottom