Sax on the Web Forum banner

Does Anyone Care To Voice An Opinion?

1903 Views 11 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  asaxman
I replied to a post earlier tonight, and I got a bit long winded. I was just curious if anyone would take the time to read this and share their opinions on what was written. I wonder if anyone feel similar to me, or if I'm out of line, or if anything I wrote is misinformation. Here it is:

All of what I'm writing is of course my humble opinion. To answer your very original post.............Yes, there are differences to the 82z and the 875ex Yamaha altos. They have different style adjustment mechanisms. The "z" has the adjustment screws for the upper and lower keys just like the Yamaha 62 and the Yamaha 23. (yes, there are other yamaha models that use the same adjustments, but I won't name them all) The "ex" does not use adjusting screws and the keys need to be adjusted by hand (which takes a little more time, and takes more skill and finesse, I would say anyway). The "z" is offered with or without a high F# key, which I think is a cool option, as I think all the new saxes should have this option. The "ex" is only offered with a high F# key. Both horns play very similarly, but they do "feel" different in the hands and they way they blow. Now, to move on to some other topics that relate to your original question (I hope I can stir up some people with this good stuff!

Really, your personal embrochure and physical make-up is what makes you sound different from someone else using the exact same set up. I can promise you that if you pass the exact same horn around to equally abled sax players, without changing the mouthpiece, ligature, or reed (everything has to be exactly the same........yes it might sound gross to some), that every single person will have a different sound come out of that sax. And, when you are playing a saxophone, the sound of it is different to your ears than if you were standing away from the sax and listening to yourself play. (you can record yourself, and you will be amazed at how you sound differently than you think you do) I think it's like when you hear yourself talk on a recording and you think your voice sounds different than you actually sound.

However, if you are going to test out any saxophone, I believe it should be mandatory that the particular saxophone that you are going to play is set up extremely well. It should be in proper adjustment, and there should be no pad leaks, or any other issues. If this is not taken seriously, then there is no way for a person to form a proper opinion on any saxophone if it isn't in top playing condition. I believe this is why so many people end up preferring one sax over another, they don't figure that the sax that didn't play as good as another one, just might of needed a proper "set-up". Please..........all sax players (in my opinion, of course!) should really start getting this information into their heads before making decisions on what brands and models of saxophones are better than others.

I would actually have to say that there aren't any well made saxophones that are "better" than any other well made saxophones! If they are properly set up and adjusted, then they are all good playing saxophones. However, they all feel different in the hands, and they all blow differently. Even SOME (not all, most are pretty consistent) saxes that are the exact same brand and model, feel and blow differently. That's just how it is! Saxes with metal resonators sound different than ones with plastic resonators. And, there are different types and sizes of resonators that will make a difference in the way a sax sounds and plays.

At the end of the day, it's really your choice on what sax you want to play. There are a lot of factors to consider, and it's a tough decision these days with all the brands and models and options that are out there. Whatever gives you the sound that's in your head is the one that you will gravitate towards. Also, being in 10th grade, I think it might be an even more difficult situation, trying to decide what sax to get. There's a lot of opinions (most I tend to disagree with) to listen to, and it's really hard to weed out the good advice from the bad. Look man, you are what 15 or 16. You have some growing to do. Both physically and mentally. You have a lot of musical growing to do. If I was you, I would wait until I was at a more "mature" level of playing (which who knows what that really is, but I hope you get the idea) and wait until you "mature" physically. How you play now, (if you continue to play and have the desire to progress on the instrument) is going to be way different to the way you are going to play in a year, and in 5 years, and in 10 years. You really have to get to a point to where you can make a decision like yours, when you can "hear" and "feel" the differences between saxes. You have to know what sax will help you sound how you want to sound, and will push you to do things you wouldn't do on another sax.

If you are going to test out a horn, it's really hard to make a decision in 5 minutes of playing it. You really got to spend some time with a particular sax and really form somewhat of a "bond" with it before you know if it's the one for you or not. You have some fellow band mates that have the saxes you want to try out. Why not play theirs, and see if you like them or not. What are you playing on right now? There's probably no need to get a so-called "pro" horn right now. Why not send your sax to a really good repair tech who really knows their stuff, and get your sax set-up properly. It might make a huge difference for you, depending on the condition your sax is in. Anyone can sound how they want to on any "level" horn. You don't need a "pro" horn to sound like a pro. You need to become a pro, and put in the time, gain experience, develop a good tone, figure out what mouthpiece and reed combination works for you and the particular sax you are playing, and "pay some dues"! If all of this makes sense, then good luck with making your decision! I hope this helps others out there. It took me some time to realize all this, and again, this is all my humble opinion, but it's base on experiences and knowledge of mine, and many good sax players that I know personally.

P.S. The neck options on saxes these days is also a factor in the way a sax sounds and plays. There are way too many options, I think. If you start swapping just the neck on a particular sax, it will make noticeable differences. Just some food for thought.
See less See more
1 - 1 of 12 Posts
I agree with everything that is said.

Learning how to play the sax is like anything else.

At first, you have no idea what you are doing. And you have no idea what you need to do. And what you are doing wrongly

Next, you learnt a bit more and then you know what is wrong and what you need to improve on. Here is where you really start learning all the chops and stuff

Finally, you get all the technical skills under the belt, and the only thing left to learn or rather develop is your ear.

Going back to the topic of a young 16 year old trying to figure out what saxophone to buy.

Question you have to ask, is if you actually can tell a difference between saxophones at that age with that amount of experience.

When you play test a new saxophone, do you know if a sound is due to the saxophone? the neck? the ligature? bad setup? the Reed? the Mouthpiece? The player yourself? The acoustic of the room? Any other extra-ordinary reasons?

I dont. In fact, i have no idea sometimes. Until you figure out more about what you are doing then you can go in and figure out the subtle difference between saxophone. Personally, at 16, all i cared was whether the saxophone looked better (still do though!). Acutally, the most important thing is if the thing plays in tune as at that stage of your musical life, you have no idea of your own sound concept. It takes times, years, decades to figure out your own sound.

Now with the internet, it is even harder for a beginner to figure out what to buy. My best advice is instead of searching the 'net for more information..

1) Go play more and improve you technique
2) Go and play other people's saxophone and learn about the differences between saxophones in real life... not on what a forum tells you.

The internet is a tool, it is not do all, end all bible on how to buy a saxophone.

Anyway, to everyone who feels this way, there will always be young kids with lots of heart and passion. I would not say they are immature or anything, but i would have done the same at their age... Just give them the advice and let them do whatever they want to do. Sometimes, kids just gotta fall flat on their faces before they learn. It is all part of life

See less See more
1 - 1 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.