Saxophone Forum


by EmoPhone
(10 posts)
12 years ago

C Melody beginner

I just bought a 1923 Beuscher C Melody. I love the music of the Jazz Age, the early 20s-32 maybe, the tone, they style, the whimsy in playing. I have been playing guitar for 33 years and now I wnat to try sax. Im hoping for any advice, pointers, resource centers for scales, arpeggios etc that might help. Thanks in advance !!!

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  1. by kneejerk52
    (397 posts)

    12 years ago

    Re: C Melody beginner

    first buy an Alto or a Tenor

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    1. by EmoPhone
      (10 posts)

      12 years ago

      Re: C Melody beginner

      what kind of advice or pointer is that? I've already bought the C Melody, so Im not going out to buy another sax, and would you mind elaborating why someone would want to buy an Alto or Tenor first? What advantages would that offer and why?

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      1. by chalazon
        (547 posts)

        12 years ago

        Re: C Melody beginner

        most folks wouldn't want to buy a c melody at all. These horns are considered obsolete, and with reason. There is very little music written for the C. The horn has a weak and nasel tone quality, and definite intonation problems..you're going to have a very hard time finding reeds for this horn, and a quality mouthpiece..the ergonomics are deadly, and generally no body wants to hear them..other than that, they are shaped much like a saxophone..good luck.

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        1. by EmoPhone
          (10 posts)

          12 years ago

          Re: C Melody beginner

          I was hoping for educated responses here but I see I wont be getting any. To address your misguided beliefs: 1. Obsolete? I lead a 1920s Jazz band, it was a primary instrument used in many of the bands. SO maybe its outdated for someone who thinks theyre the next Kenny G or something, but it suits my purpose. 2. Little music written for C Melody? Nothing could be further from the truth. This instrument was designed so that the player could read from any piano sheet which still applies today. 3. Weak and nasaly? Maybe the way you might play it...I think you need to listen to some good players like Teg Hegvick. 4. Reeds/Mouthpieces? Nonsense, there are people making new ones to this day and most people use Alto mouthpieces on them. 5. Ergonomics I know nothing about since Im a new player, but it is my understanding its very similar to other saxes. 6. Nobody wants to hear them? ...I think you've spent too many nights in cliche' be bop bars and should expand your horizons.

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        2. by kelsey
          (930 posts)

          12 years ago

          Re: C Melody beginner

          EmoPhone, you call yourself a beginner, yet you are critical of a couple of experienced players when their advice dosen't fit into your own uniformed bias'? You take that old silly C melody saxohone and made all the terrible sounding music that I'm sure you are capable of. Just don't ask professional players for their oppinion, then say they are not educated, play like Kenny G, say they have misguided beliefs and say they have spent to many nights in cliche' be bop bars. I know you are not a complete idiot but don't feel bad, no one is perfect.............Kelsey
          Barry Kelsey

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        3. by EmoPhone
          (10 posts)

          12 years ago

          Re: C Melody beginner

          I can see this is a never ending well of trouble . Ill answer this one last response with the hopes of you -and others like you and the rpevious two- and then Ill leave it. 1. I asked for "advice and pointers" to help me start to learn an instrument of choice. I did not ask for anyone's over inflated opinion of the C Melody Sax. Does that make sense to you? 2. I am a beginner as far as a sax player. I am an experienced musician of 33 years that leads a formal 11pcc band that reads charts from that era-1920-35. Charts by Ellington like "The Terror", "Rockin in Rhythm, Fletcher Henderson, Paul Whiteman, Casa Loma Orch...and all those bands that made that "terrible" music that you refer to. I deal with snotty sax players all the time who critisize that era, yet couldnt play a note like that if they tried. 3. Again I didnt ask any so called 'pro' players for their opinion( 1 P)...I asked for learning advice, which is what I thought this site was about...sharing and helping others with a common love of musc. 4. I may not be perfect but I dont go around trying to convince others that Im a know it all. Everything Ive said is accurate and Im sure if you read it back(slowly in your case) you too might agree.

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        4. by kelsey
          (930 posts)

          12 years ago

          Re: C Melody beginner

          We live in different worlds. I was wrong, you are perfect. Keep making noise.....................Kelsey
          Barry Kelsey

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        5. by EmoPhone
          (10 posts)

          12 years ago

          Re: C Melody beginner

          Yes, apparently we do. I had to check out your website to see how good of a 'pro' you were. I guess if your parents pay all that money to put you through navy school they have to give you some sort of diploma at the end huh? Maybe I too can aspire to be in a wedding/mitzvah/retirement center band one day. Youre playing and tone is flat and lifeless. Ive literally heard high school jazz ensemble girls play better than you. I dont want to keep you reading too long, you might miss your meds and nap time.

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        6. by cuber
          (653 posts)

          12 years ago

          Re: C Melody beginner

          really? are you serious? personal attacks? because people were trying to help? if you will only criticize our advise, dont ask it. anyway, the reason he (think it was chalzon, dont remember) said buy a tenor/alto is because NOBODY writes for c-mel anymore. sure, you could play the piano part, but then you might as well pick up a piano (figuratively) in response to your posts: 1. yes, some tried to give you advise. did you listen? no, you told them they didnt know jack squat. learning advise: get a tenor/alto. ask ANYBODY who knows whats what, the easiest way to learn an instrument is to start with the standard. for example, you play guitar. it would be equivalent to trying to learn how to play the guitar on one of those things that has about 30 strings. they are a novelty and super-rare, no? thats the equivalent to a c-mel. 2. since when dont we like big band? just cause we say learning the sax on a c-mel is not good means we dont like big band? anyway, most of those guys played alto or tenor. the rest played bari. um... a little less arrogance would be very appreciated.

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        7. by EmoPhone
          (10 posts)

          12 years ago

          Re: C Melody beginner

          Thank you for your response. Although I dont agree with what youre saying is going on, I do respect that you sound level headed and offered some real advice. Let me recap---the first guy said half a sentence"buy an alto or tenor"....with no explanation why I should. SO I asked WHY I should. What is so different about those saxes that would benefit my learning to play? The next people started attacking me and my musical preference calling 20s Jazz "crappy music", saying Id be "capable of playing that" crappy music, and saying those players( pioneers in their fields and many to go on to become legends) were producing bad music. I respect any player in any genre of music...its supposed to be the universal laguage after all right? I only speak up when Im insulted first. ALl I wnated to know is what should i look into to help me learn to play C Melody as a beginner. You can say learning sax on a C Mel isnt the prefered avenue...without being synical , sarcastic or just plain ignorant about it. And again, I am not looking to play "big Band"( 40s)...Im looking to play Rudy Weidoff, Frankie Trumbauer etc. Thank you again for your input.

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        8. by kelsey
          (930 posts)

          12 years ago

          Re: C Melody beginner

          Cuber, Emo the photographer is a lost cause. You can't help someone who thinks they already know it all. I've had students like him and it just never works. They never learn to play well. Emo and the C melody saxophone are a match made in heaven............Kelsey
          Barry Kelsey

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        9. by cuber
          (653 posts)

          12 years ago

          Re: C Melody beginner

          he very well could be kelsey, but remember: Im young and ignorant, so i dont know things like that. Emophone- id assume the best way to learn is to get a private teacher and go from there. just keep in mind any books written for learning and such will be written for tenor or alto, so playing with somebody in those books will sound a little weird. (especially if its a tenor book)

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        10. by EmoPhone
          (10 posts)

          12 years ago

          Re: C Melody beginner

          This will be my last response because I really didnt expect a little school girl drama like Im getting from Kelsey. Cuber...THANK YOU for being the first and only person to actually answer the question of my post. Thats all I ever wanted was some advice and direction...not peoples opinion. About Me-Im 46, been musically involved since I was 13yrs old. First cello, then clarinet, piano,guitar/banjo. I have a 5 pc 1920s Jaz band and a 10 pc formal chart reading 20s band. I also tour with anationally known artist and certainly am not 'young and ignorant". For that fool Kelsey to make a hyprocritical statement like "He thinks he knows it all" while he sits on his pedistool and boassts the same is obvious. I do not profess to know it all, but I certainly know how to lead a band. I have worked with many musicians on every level. Since you say you;re young, Ill give you my advice if you dont mind hearing it. There are 2 types of musicians. Those who love music and the art and are open minded to all genres and appreciate their fellow musicians, who help teach and are eager to learn. And then there is this little bunch of bitter oldf men who never quite reached the level they wanted to while all their friends and peers passed them by. They end up having thses little jazz bands and play mostly small weddings and retirement homes( and probably make decent money)..but theyre angry and act like little school girls when confronted. I hope you dont end up as one of those. This idiot called my 1920s jazz "crappy music", yet his band plays many of the same songs( but the 1940s versions)...its hyprocritical and juvenile. You on the other hand seem level headed and I wish you success and thank you for your input in this. Please dont end up like him or your playing will sound as lifeless and meaningless and your words.

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        11. by basssaxman88
          (68 posts)

          12 years ago

          Re: C Melody beginner

          I'd suggest buying a Real Book in the key of C. C Melody saxophones were before their time in offering that you could play along-side with the piano, guitar, or vocal parts. I've played the whole saxophone range and, of course, the C Melody doesn't tune well, but for Emophone: Try to do the best with what you have and that's all anyone can ask of you. Every saxophone is different, and your C Melody might tune well or it may not. Good luck Emophone

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        12. by kneejerk52
          (397 posts)

          12 years ago

          Re: C Melody beginner

          ok, here's what i meant, a c-mel, like everyone else is trying to tell you i very hard to learn on. most of them don't play well at all, and most not in tune up and down the instrument. it's hard to have correct intonation many "new saxes" let alone a c-mel. You will be able to play piano sheets but not be able to play on the center of the horn, this is what makes it difficult, yes it't written in c but it doesn't fit the horn, just try it and you will see, i did and i traded mine for something i could use, have a nice day.

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        13. by saxismyaxe
          (575 posts)

          12 years ago

          Re: C Melody beginner

          Emo, I must admit that, no matter how sincere your initial inquiry might have been, your subsequent rebukes and attacks DO make you sound like a forum troll. Definitely off to a bad start here. None the less, while the c-melody is not completely dead, it encompasses the smallest circle of players in this day and age, even among 20's/30's Jazz and Dance Band orchestras. I would add that it is not the ideal member of the sax family to start with, if for no other reason that the dearth of training materials and tutors accepting of this antiquated horn. I do own and play four vintage C-melodies in addition to my full sax family collection, so my assessment of the horn is not as an outsider so to speak. A good site for you to investigate is: www.cmelodysax.com.uk And we have a sub forum devoted to the C-Melody at our site forum.saxontheweb.net

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        14. by saxismyaxe
          (575 posts)

          12 years ago

          Re: C Melody beginner

          Try this link to the first site instead: cmelodysax.co.uk/blog Cheers.

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        15. by saxismyaxe
          (575 posts)

          12 years ago

          Re: C Melody beginner

          And another very good site: mysite.verizon.net/res8o1o8/cmelody.htm

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        16. by EmoPhone
          (10 posts)

          12 years ago

          Re: C Melody beginner

          Thank you both for those responses, that's exactly what I was hoping to find out by posting on the forum. I hope you understand that I do not intend to play in a horn section and read parts with it( I say this because people keep writing they dont write music for it)...Im OK with that, I just want to keep it by my side as a solo instrument. As far as it not playing in tune, or being easy/hard to tune...perhaps I dont know enough about it so I wont swear Im 100% sure, but it seems in tune and Im having no problems with it so far. Im sure Ill become more aware of this as I progress. Again, thank you for the positive input. * As far as 'trolling', Im not sure what that term means exactly since I dont go onto websites or furums, but I have been told its someone who goes onto these things to start trouble. That is not what I did. I asked a serious question, got attacked and then defended myself in the same manner of the attacker ( saying my music was "crappy", insinuating Id be 'capable of playing (crap) because Im a crappy player', the 'not perfect' remark. I didnt start throwign the childish remarks around, I just threw them back...which maybe isnt the best way to handle things...

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        17. by chalazon
          (547 posts)

          12 years ago

          Re: C Melody beginner

          ahhh, Emo..if ya like the c horn, who cares ..have some fun ..it's just a saxophone...I don't need everybody to agree with me..after all, I've only been playing for 36 years and repairing horns professionally for 25, and teaching for twenty, so what would i know anyway..but really, if ya dig the c..play it..have some fun..get some kicks..youll be able to count your self among the literally dozens of c melody players in the world today...keep smilin'.

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        18. by kelsey
          (930 posts)

          12 years ago

          Re: C Melody beginner

          Chalazon, I wondered where you had gone. Mr. Emo the photographer attacked you and he and I had words. I know that you are certainly able to defend yourself, but he is such a big tempting target. He's not the first troll that has been on this site. There was a guy from Italy that once treatened my life. You always take things well, no one gets your goat, and you put him in his place so well. Good work...............Kelsey
          Barry Kelsey

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        19. by EmoPhone
          (10 posts)

          12 years ago

          Re: C Melody beginner

          I must have missed the part where he put me in my place. Seems like he just said to ignore the drama queens on here and just have a good time playing the sax. Kelsy, when's your birthday? Im going to send you a pretty new skirt so you can sit around and gossip with the rest of the girls. Take some advice from your friend and stop letting things get to you or get your goat and you;ll probably be a lot happier in life. Thank you Chalazon for the kind words :)

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        20. by chalazon
          (547 posts)

          12 years ago

          Re: C Melody beginner

          are we not all brothers after all?

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        21. by EmoPhone
          (10 posts)

          12 years ago

          Re: C Melody beginner

          I'd like to think so. I thought music is what brought us all together here in the first place, admiration, appreciation,etc. The 2 websites were a big help.

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        22. by Omowalm
          (1 post)

          3 years ago

          Re: C Melody beginner

          Hi guys... I have been following this post and I too have a c -Melody saxophone that I bought on a whim. I am interested in perfecting my tone on the mouthpiece which is original to the horn. Thanks for listing those two websites. And I understand the question originally asked. And one thing I have learned in life is that just like in boxing or swimming or any other Pursuit, there will be macho or bully type people. Another thing I have learned is to continue in my Pursuit without letting those type attitudes throw me off my game. I hope that this forum I joined today is not going to consist of people with know-it-all mentality. I am more of a friendly type participant and I like to deal with mutual respect and humility. Everybody calm down and have a nice day

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