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Not sure where to start here. Long time alto player thinking about coming back after a 10 year hiatus. Life and family stuff just became overwhelming and I stopped playing altogether after practicing 3-4 hours a day for 20+ years. To be honest with you I'm scared, not sure I can match that commitment ever again.

The other thing is mental. The world is a different place than it used to be when I quit playing. Music to me was always exciting, magical...inspiration came from new discoveries and there was always something on the horizon from my favorite guys, David Sanborn and Kenny Garrett. That someone like Charlie Mariano was always out there that I could discover and learn from. More than anything physical, it's the mental side of getting back into it that's the biggest challenge.

Now? It seems like there's nothing out there that's going to get me excited. Chris Potter and Dave Binney were my last hope. Even worse it seems like nobody cares that the landscape is so bleak. People are too wrapped up in their devices and apps that Music appreciation is at an all time low, especially jazz.

So, all the cynicism aside if I can generate a spark perhaps that can light the fire. I always said I played because I loved the sound of the saxophone, specifically the alto. I didn't play for adoration or attention, honestly I could care less what people think, except for my teachers.

I need a jump start, something that brings me back to the reason I started playing. I've played a vintage Lakey for years, think Charlie Mariano. I haven't bought a new mouthpiece in long time, and I'm going to buy the Aaron Drake David Sanborn HR. That should give me some new incentive, and brings me back to the reason I started playing, which was listening to Sanborn.

The decision to start playing again is still scary. It's the commitment. It's like getting married... yes it seems that big and daunting to me. I know what it means, long tones, scales, patterns, triads, classical etudes, all that stuff. I'm not sure I can do it, make that commitment like I used to, and I don't know if the sound of my Mark VI can keep me inspired like it used to.

Just venting my thoughts here, wondering if anyone else has suffered through the same fears, emotions and trepidations and successfully made it through.
 

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Now I am feeling like I am in the same mental place I was 30 years ago when I put the horn down. I've definitely improved beyond where I left off, but I feel stuck again and wonder if I am not just postponing the inevitable confrontation with my limitations.
I totally understand that. My initial goals were similar. I wanted to be able to sit in with anybody at anytime and be able to hold my own, play any style and have a great sound. I wanted to be able to pick up the Omnibook and open any page and get through it without stopping, minimal mistakes and a reasonable tempo. I accomplished both those goals, then I stopped playing.

That took a lot of work, but I enjoyed the journey. But now I don't know what my goals are, I feel older and disconnected from what used to drive me. I almost feel foolish for even thinking I can do something with the alto that's going to make me happy like it used to. Yet, there is something there, I'm just not sure what it is or if I can muster up the devotion that's required to make it happen.
 

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Impressive skillset, Indio. Have you considered giving sax lessons? Perhaps you'd find meaning & motivation that way: distilling the essence of your technical proficiency & paying it forward.
Nah, I'm not good enough to teach. My improv skills were good enough for me to fake my way through many situations, but lacking in variety and originality. The Parker stuff took me 6 years to accomplish, and I'm not sure what I learned from it other than finger dexterity. I've had some great teachers that were patient with me and also part time psychologists, I could never do that.
 

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I spent last week giving my Mark VI a makeover after the long hiatus. Thorough cleaning, oiling, some pad and cork repairs - it's all fresh and minty ready to play, but I still have not yet stuck a reed on a mpc. I did try to get something going by picking up my flute and giving that a go, no expectations there since I was never very good with it. That went okay, i actually like just playing scales and long tones on that, except it did something to my right shoulder holding it in that awkward position for a couple hours and now that hurts. Sucks getting old.
 
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