Saxophone Forum


by direw0lf
(8 posts)
7 years ago

I am a n00b once again.

Good evening everyone, just wanted to say hello and introduce myself.  My name is Bruce Grabau and I used the play alto back in elementry and middle school.  I stopped in highschool because it was required you be a member of the marching band if you wanted to play in the jazz or regular band.  If not for the unfortunate requirement I would most likely never stopped playing.

Fast forward 16 years and here I am wanting to get back into playing.  I've been a little apprehensive because I'm not sure I'll be able to find the time or really get into it since I'll most likely only be playing by myself.  Because of this I tried to spend as little as possible on a horn and if I get into it I'll upgrade down the road.

Today I purchased a Bundy II tenor for a whopping $300 with new pads and a fresh going over.  It won't be ready until Monday and I'm chomping at the bit to get started.  Does anyone have any suggestions to get back into the groove?  I think I still remember how to play and reading sheet music shouldn't be a problem.  Should I bother buying any music books for learnign to play again or is there enough free stuff available online?  Also, I realize I'm not starting with the best horn but can you suggest an upgraded mouthpiece and ligature?  They're throwing in a new $8 mouthpiece and it comes with the factory ligature.

Thanks! 

:-)

 

 

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  1. by GFC
    (842 posts)

    7 years ago

    Re: I am a n00b once again.

    Hello and welcome.  Years ago I was in a similar position to yours, with a couple of school years worth of clarinet lessons more geared toward raising band fodder than developing good technique.  During the third year I deided I'd had enough, then a decade later I decided to go for my long-term dream of being a saxophone player.  My budget and schedule didn't accommodate lessons, so I picked up what I could by hook or by crook.  You are fortunate to be embarking on your venture in the age of online lessons.  I'm sure I could have developed better habits earlier on had I started out with some lessons emphasizing proper embouchure, tone building, breath control, and voicing.  I don't know what instruction you had in those areas through school lessons, but from what I've seen and heard it might be totally inadequate.  For example, some instructors teach the rolled-in lower lip embouchure for saxophone, which gives a quick sort-of-ok result but leads to big problems down the road.  You might be better off considering yourself as starting from scratch as far as technique is concerned.  At least a few one-on-one lessons, either live or through skype, might help you a lot.  Google "online saxophone lessons" and you'll find something for every occasion.  

    Here's a site that I've found full of useful tips and the "bulletproof saxophone playing" manual sold on that site is also good.  

    http://www.bestsaxophonewebsiteever.com/category/best-saxophone-tips-and-techniques/

     If you feel a need to replace the mouthpiece, that's something best discussed with a teacher who has heard and watched you play.  If your current mouthpiece doesn't work out, the Yamaha student mouthpieces are good. 

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    1. by direw0lf
      (8 posts)

      7 years ago

      Re: I am a n00b once again.

      Indeed I was taught to roll by bottom lip.  I'm sure my lessons gave me the quick and dirty ability to play the saxophone but I would like to learn proper technique and take my playing to the next level.  At the moment lessons aren't really possible, the time I have to practice varies and it'll be hard to schedule with someone online or with a local teacher.  Once summer comes I should have more time to get proper lessons.

      I picked up my tenor tonight and played with it for about an hour and overall things are coming back to me (good or not).  By the time I was done my bottom lip was really sore so the first thing I'm going to work on will be proper embouchure and stop resting my bottom teeth.

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