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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there. My son is 15 and already plays piano and clarinet (UK grade 7) and has tried out an alto sax for a short session - he was managing a grade 3 piece after 10 minutes or so.

I'm not too sure where this new interest will take him but I would like to give him the opportunity of following it through, but I would not want to spend a large amount until I know that he wants to take it up seriously.

A second-hand one would probably be the best bet, but I wouldn't want to buy one that he might grow out of in a short time.

What instrument/s would you recommend? Would an older model give him more scope than say, a Yamaha YAS 23? Can you recommend any good sources here in the UK?

Thanks, Les G
 

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Most of the people here will say yas-23 but I think a bundy II would be the best bet

See if you can find a store that sells used instruments and have your son see what is most comfortable to him .
 

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I was around his age when I started and I played a Yanagisawa that I found for cheap, but I have tried Yamaha student models that were very good... I think it boils down to tonal preference between these two but they are both good.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the quick responses - much appreciated. I have a couple more questions if that's ok?

What would you recommend as the next level up? (just in case a bargain jumps out infront of me and I miss it)

Is there a big difference between mouthpieces, like with clarinets? ie. are some easier to play but don't give the best sound quality. Which ones would you recommend to give a good compromise?

Thanks again,

Les G
 

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lesgreenwood, how about spending some interesting evenings going through all the impressive information on Saxontheweb?

I mean it nice :) but all you need to know and plenty more you don't want to know ;) is here for you to read.

How about a next level horn ? And mouthpieces?

They are very personal things, it is impossible for everyone to advise based on.......no information. Ask you son to educate himself on these pages and then to go and try in shops all he can lay his hands on.

New, vintage, cheap, expensive. There is no way to tell at this stage what will he be playing ina couple of years time.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks milandro. I have spent several hours looking through the various bits of advice on this excellent web site, but most advice fits into a couple of specific categories: a 'newbie' usually quite young & with very little/or no musical experience, or, somebody with several years experience wanting a first upgrade.

My query didn't seem to fit either of those. My son has around 8 or 9 years playing experience on the piano & clarinet and has reached quite a high standard on both ( UK grade 7). So he has musical experience. He picked up the basics of his music teachers alto saxophone in around 10 minutes, beginning to play a grade 3 piece, so I think he could make fairly quick progress with more regular playing on his own instrument.

What I didn't want to do was buy a beginners one that he would grow out of, but if there are any that would take him to an intermediate level as well, that would probably be the best type to buy.

Les G
 

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I feel that you would be best buying a good instrument for your son, according to the investement you want to make. If you buy something like that buy a good second hand instrument from a reputable brand. You won't loose anything or very little if you decide to sell and all the time you will have a great instrument to play. A Selmer Super Action 80 II is expensive but you can always re-sell it and there will be always people interested.

I have bought one for less than £1000 , I know it is a lot of money but it is probably worth it. Yamahas are Ok but you will lose more if you will sell it later.
 

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lesgreenwood said:
Thanks for the quick responses - much appreciated. I have a couple more questions if that's ok?

What would you recommend as the next level up? (just in case a bargain jumps out infront of me and I miss it)

Is there a big difference between mouthpieces, like with clarinets? ie. are some easier to play but don't give the best sound quality. Which ones would you recommend to give a good compromise?

Thanks again,

Les G
There is a huge difference in mouthpieces and reeds that will affect both ease of playability and sound quality. It is at least as important that your son gets a mouthpiece that plays well for him as the horn you buy for him.
Unfortunately, mouthpieces are even more individual that saxophones and what works for me or for Milandro may be a disaster for your son. There really is no substitute for him trying different mouthpieces and reeds to find what suits him.

Some of the usual suspects for a first mouthpiece would include a Morgan Pro Tone, a Hite Premier, a Selmer C* and a whole host of others that you can find in endless threads here. By all means buy these used as well. This is a pretty good place to find a good selection for often reasonable prices. If you posted a WTB starter mouthpiece query stating a price range and your son's musical preferences, I'm sure you would have several to choose from including several from your area.

Almost any good quality horn in good adjustment, newly used or vintage, should take your son a long way. My personal bias is toward pre-Selmer buyout Bueschers as they are remarkably consistent when decently play conditioned and available for around half the price of a new YAS 23, at least in the US.
 

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It appears your son has a clarinet teacher who has taught him at grade 7 and i'm supposing will teach him sax, since he tried out a grade 3 piece with the teacher's sax. The advice here is good advice but i'm surprised you aren't going to that teacher as your first stop for these kinds of question.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Good point RootyTootoot, but his teacher has been retired for several years and although he played professionally in several of the best known orchestras, before becoming a peripatetic music teacher with the local education authority, he is primarily a bassoon player. Therefore, I thought I would consult the experts.

Les G
 

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Would you think that your son would be interested in trying out the instruments before you buy?

Just to make sure that you get a bargain your son likes ;).

When I bought my sax, I got the complete opposite of what I though I would've gotten. And I disagree on Yamahas losing value. The new Customs retain their value quite nicely.

Good luck on your search!
 

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This is just a thought, but wouldn't something like a Rascher, a Caravan, or a Morgan be better for someone coming from clarinet than say, a C*, or a vandoren (resistance)?
 
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