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Hey all,

I recently started my search for a black lacquer/black plated saxophone and came across a troubling question I kept asking myself. Do any bands discourage members from playing on black saxophone for looking out of place?

I feel like it would be a nice horn to solo on, having that stand out feel, but I'm just curious as to whether or not it would look too out of place for jazz bands to completely discourage/not hire you because of it.

Thanks! :)
 

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Good question. I really don't have experience with big bands, but I can say that in my quartet/quintet experience, my Keilwerth "Shadow" alto does attract a lot of attention when I use it, and not only because of it's sound (which is excellent, by the way).
 

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I don't know if any bands are against black but I do know that in Hollands it takes a lot more time and energy to sell a black horn than it takes selling a brass one , same goes for any other odd finishes , so shops don't normally stock black horns over here and only provide them on request, payment upfront.
 

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I have heard of high school bands that are extremely picky about that, as well as college marching and classical programs. I've never heard of a college jazz program or a pro band that regulates the color of the instrument.
 

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I don't think that school band programs say to not have a black saxophone. I think that black is one of the standard colors for sax.

Now, green/blue/red/pink/yellow/rainbow/zebra etc saxes should be outlawed!!
 

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...... I think that black is one of the standard colors for sax.

Now, green/blue/red/pink/yellow/rainbow/zebra etc saxes should be outlawed!!
Really, black is standard? Maybe when my old silver Buescher needed polishing. lol
 

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This is lame......who cares what color it is. Or how much lacquer is left on it. Why not decide about a horn based on how it plays?

In my experience, and being a former owner of a black lacquered sax, it was much too dark of a sound for my taste. I was never really happy with how I sounded on it. I sold it and they guy who uses it now sounds great on it.
 

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This is lame......who cares what color it is. Or how much lacquer is left on it. Why not decide about a horn based on how it plays?
I agree. However, reality is that many judge by sight.

An alto player I met at Berklee had a Black Nickel Body / Gold Lacquered Key Saxophone.com sax. He won a couple of classical competitions using it and both times the judges urged him to get a "classical" saxophone. They didn't like his horn even though he won with it! Crazy.
 

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Some time ago I was given a couple black lacquered VI's. One is a soprano and the other a sopranino. The sopranino rarely comes out with me, but when I play my black VI soprano, many assume it's a clarinet. This actually works for me, because I'll generally use it with a dixieland combo when we don't have a clarinet player. I don't even correct folks anymore when they comment in regard to my clarinet playing. For some reason however, black lacquered altos and tenors just look wrong to me; and yet for another, I don't mind it so much on a bari. Go figure.
 

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The are a little flashy for my taste. To me they border on gaudy....but that is just one boring old man's opinion.
Another boring old man here. I love the look of a stage full of gold brass instruments. The odd silver among the gold is OK, but non-traditional colours seem to be saying "Hey look at me, I'm trying to stand out by how I look, not how I sound."
 

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I've never seen an instance where someone was just flat out turned down to play with a group because of the finish of their sax.

For the most part...if you sound good and can hold your own most people don't care what brand you're playing on, let alone care about the finish (although back in my marching days I did manage to royally p*ss off my section leader by painting the inside of my bell right before a big nationally televised game :twisted:). Though in the collegiate setting, I have seen a few professors look down their noses at anyone who doesn't play the brand/model of sax they feel is superior...but that's another story.

Some definitely might buy a bright colored or unique looking sax to stand out, but that's not always the case. Before buying my Series II tenor, I played a handful...and the one that played best for me was black. Sometimes the horn that plays the best just happens to be the one that also stands out visually.
 

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. . . but non-traditional colours seem to be saying "Hey look at me, I'm trying to stand out by how I look, not how I sound."
Pat, you're a good guy, but that's a pretty broad stroke you're painting with. I have owned three JK tenors, as well as a Conn, Yamahas and a Selmer. The sound of the JK tenor I have now is closest to the sound I want. It just happens to be black nickel, while the others were all lacquered brass. I think it's Dr G who used to say, "Go for the Tone".

To answer the OP - the colour of my sax has never been called into question. Since you ask about jazz bands, the only things band and section leaders have been concerned with are, 1.) can I read and 2.) can I blend. (yes/yes BTW)
 

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should see the looks you get turning up with a fluro pink clarinet (six foot large build 275lb guy)

it sounds bright (its plastic) :twisted:
 

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Many big bands in the 1930s not only dressed alike, down to the shoes, but they also had standards as to look of the horns. Players were expected to get their saxes relacquered when they started to look shabby.
 

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Hey all,

I recently started my search for a black lacquer/black plated saxophone and came across a troubling question I kept asking myself. Do any bands discourage members from playing on black saxophone for looking out of place?

I feel like it would be a nice horn to solo on, having that stand out feel...
As long as your playing can back it up, go with it. If you are getting it to show off, there may be other issues in your future.
 
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