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Discussion Starter #1
I don't know if this belongs here or not, but I hope I can still get a response. I'm currently nearing the end of my first year of college. I'm a Music Education/Saxophone Performance major. I need a horn. Desperately. I currently have a freshly overhauled Rampone & Cazzani Alto, circa 1940-ish, in excellent shape, but it's more of a jazz horn, and I need something that's better for both jazz and primarily classical. My sax instructor found an AMAZING Series II Selmer, in almost perfect shape, it plays amazingly, it looks great, and I was very impressed by it's performance. The guy is asking about $2,300 for it. I'm in a bad financial situation right now, but I really need a horn, as the school's Selmer Mark VI isn't going to be able to come home with me over the summer. I can't get a loan, as my parents are going through bankruptcy, and I have no credit history. No other family members are willing to cosign for a loan for me, and I've been told my both my advisor (also my band director), my sax instructor, and several of my friends, that I need to do whatever I can to buy this sax. It's the perfect horn for me, it's the oppurtunity of a lifetime, and I can't let it pass me by. I work several part time jobs, I have the income to pay back a $2,300 loan in less than a year, and I have a great vintage jazz horn that I can sell to help pay for this, but I need to move quick.

I guess my question is, how can I get the money in a hurry without selling my soul to the devil? No credit, no cosigner, no money, but I'm determined to find a way. Who has been able to pull off a horn purchase like this in a similar situation? I was told by my advisor that I could use student loan money to buy a horn, but I haven't been able to get any additional loans to cover the costs of school AND the cost of the horn. Please help me, being a college Sax major, I need a horn, but my current financial situation is preventing that from happening. Thanks in advance, and I hope somebody can help me out.
 

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20 years ago, when i was 18, I was working on a construction site and worked two 100 hour weeks to pay in full for a Mark Vi a friend was selling. That an average of 14.5 hours a day. 14 days straight. Some days I just worked 18 hours. My boss allowed me to show up a 5 am and do sweeping jobs and stay late and do sweeping jobs. I didn't have any skills and I was lent out to the different trades as a helper. The perk was I could walk off being someones helper if they did not give me the basic respect my boss expected them to give. I worked for the big guy that called the shots.

After I made my $$$ I went to my boss, and he cut me a check. I remember it was a thrusday and said I would be in the next twesday. I was dead. My friend held it for me and I went over that night and got my sax. I had it for 18 years. :D

It can be done.

Another thing you can do is take a good look at all the stuff you own including textbooks. Put everything that you do not want on ebay, even if it gets you $5.00 its worth the hassle. I have done this with old CD walkman charger stands boxes, manuals, old university textbooks, postcards, books, comic books, just stuff I really did not need. Ask everyone if you can have their junk they do not want but they are willing to donate for the ebay sale. You may find some gems in there.


You could go to 5 friends and ask to borrow $100.00 each and pay them back starting in two months. Use that as a deposit with your sax you are selling and work your tush off with ebay and 100 hour weeks doing anything.

Are you getting a tax refund for anything?
 

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I took a student loan to buy a horn... I was on full tuition scholarship so I didn't need the money for anything else.. and I didn't have to pay it off until I graduated... think about.. A FREE MARK VI for 4-5 years... BY THEN you could sell it for more than you paid.. LIFE IS GOOD!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Already got my tax refund, it was $300, and I paid for textbooks with it. I'm only a freshman, and all of my textbooks are going to be used for another year or so, the music books, anyway. I posted my vintage horn for sale here, hopefully I can get enough for a "good faith" deposit, just to let the guy know I'm serious about it. He's not in any realy hurry to sell, he already bought a Selmer Mark VI alto to replace it, he actually let my sax teacher, also his teacher, borrow it for a day, and she was amazed at how well it played.

The ebay sale thing is a great idea, I'm sure I've got a few extra things I could sell that I don't use, like the various computer components I have lying around, car parts, I'm working 4 part-time jobs as it stands, and I might be able to make payments, but I can't keep this guy waiting. Thanks for the suggestion. Does anyone else have any input?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hersch17 said:
I took a student loan to buy a horn... I was on full tuition scholarship so I didn't need the money for anything else.. and I didn't have to pay it off until I graduated... think about.. A FREE MARK VI for 4-5 years... BY THEN you could sell it for more than you paid.. LIFE IS GOOD!!
I already have about $3,000 in student loans to cover what the scholarships didn't cover, and I don't have the credit to take out another one. I'm going to try to meet with Financial Aid at my school on Monday, maybe they can get something additional for me in the way of scholarships or grants. I have no credit or cosigner, so getting a personal loan is out of the question.
 

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When I was in college, I got credit card offers out the ying yang (and should have thrown them in the trash too, as it turned out! But that is another story.;)).

Surely, if things are that tight and this is a prerequisite to your future, you can get a credit card that will cover at least the $2,300.00 for this horn, or one like it, no?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've gotten plenty of Capital One credit card offers, but the interest rate is somewhere like 18% or 25%. . . I don't know how long it would take me to pay that off. . . I'm about at the point right now where I might accept one of their offers just to pay for part of this horn. The thing is, I'm buying the horn from a private individual, and he has no way of accepting a credit card payment.
 

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If you have any university roomate/ good friends with loan $$, you could ask to borrow $1200, and in return pay it back over the school year by paying an extra 150.00 per month in rent over 8 months. They will really appreciate it towards the end of the school year when things are tight. It can work out nicely for both of you. You miss one payment and the sax is his to sell. Period.

You can also calculate rent by floor space and take the smallest room. Include the closests!!! You may find your own rent just decreased by 25%.

Make a chore list, and offer to do your roomates chores for $$$ when they are stuck making their commitment. Once they know they have a choice to live cleanly, and have the girlfriend be happy when she visits its amazing that he will find a way to be lazy as pie for a few less pieces of pizza and beverages a week.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Saxland said:
If you have any university roomate/ good friends with loan $$, you could ask to borrow $1200, and in return pay it back over the school year by paying an extra 150.00 per month in rent over 8 months. They will really appreciate it towards the end of the school year when things are tight. It can work out nicely for both of you. You miss one payment and the sax is his to sell. Period.

You can also calculate rent by floor space and take the smallest room. Include the closests!!! You may find your own rent just decreased by 25%.

Make a chore list, and offer to do your roomates for $$$ when they are stuck making their commitment. Once they know they have a choice to live cleanly, and have the girlfriend be happy when she visits its amazing that he will find a way to be lazy as pie for a few less pieces of pizza and beverages a week.
I live in an apartment in my parent's house. . . No rent, I'm paying the $750/month house payment instead. . . lol No girlfriend either. . . lol Great suggestion, I'll have to keep that in mind! I could sell my car, but being a commuter, I think that might not be the wisest decision ever. . . The credit card idea is a good one, I pay about $225/month in car insurance, and $60/month for my cell phone, and most of the rest goes into the bills, groceries, gas in the car, and paying for school. I'll see what I can come up with, you all have some great suggestions, and I think there's a way to do it quickly, I'm probably just overlooking it.
 

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Saxman06: All of the responses pretty much addressed your question about how to get the money for this new whiz-bang Selmer. But I gotta ask . . . what is a jazz horn?

I don't think there is such a thing. I can understand your desire for this Selmer you described, but I don't understand why the R&C you described won't suffice, for now?

I have seven altos, all of which are suitable for any type of music I (or you) would wish to push through the things. They aren't jazz horns nor are they classical, swing, rock, funk, or any other kind of music horns. They are alto saxophones that play well.

There are a lot of things we just can't afford. Even at my age, I give a pass to some things even though I'd like to have them. I think maybe you should look beyond the myth of jazz-horns versus classical-horns and stick with what you can afford. Good luck in your future. DAVE
 

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This thread wears me out just reading it. My advice: Avoid credit card hell.

Don't do it. You can live without that horn. You have a horn. Use what you have until you can afford something better. Right now you can't afford something better.

Live within your means and come to understand what "your means" means. It means your outgo has to be equal to or less than your income. No exceptions.

The credit card companies feed on people who think their lives will be immeasurably improved if only that can have that whatever-it-is that costs more money than they have. Right now, you don't need that horn. You just want it.

You said you will have income that allows you to pay back a loan. Save your money instead and buy a horn when you have saved enough. That horn is not the only good horn that will ever be for sale. Far from it.
 

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Ditto what Dave and Al said.

You have a very serviceable horn. Don't kill yourself to get this Selmer. Do some research and try out different mouthpiece/reed combos. You'll probably get the sound you're looking for, and it will be much cheaper.
 

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Not to be trite, but remember that Sigurd Rascher played every note of some of the hardest classical music ever written on a Buescher New Aristocrat which is hardly a mechanical masterpiece. I would echo earlier posts asking you to reconsider your motivation for wanting the shiny new(er) Selmer. Some horns are naturally "brighter" than others because of bore considerations, and to a lesser degree what kind of pads and resonators are in it. Even more important is the mouthpiece and how you apply your lip to the reed. More lip applied to the reed will darken your sound dramatically. Using this technique I can make a Dukoff D7 sound like a Selmer C*. Now, all that said, ergonomics are definitely important, but certainly not essential unless you have a physical condition that makes it necessary. If you want an absolutely killer classical horn that will out-sound any post-6 Selmer, buy a Buescher Aristocrat, preferably a Big B or early post-BB. Then, splurge and pick yourself up a nice old horshoe-chamber Selmer scroll shank C* or LT model. You will absolutely not believe that sound that this combination produces.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I've had my R&C in the shop twice already, and my sax instructor and my faculty advisor (PhD. in Music Education, also a professional saxophonist) have both told me that my horn is holding me back. I cannot play the R&C at the same level as I can the school's Mark VI, it is just too restrictive. I've tried several mouthpeice, reed, and ligature combos, and none of them have the same impact on my tone as they do on the Mark VI.

Also, when I say "Jazz Horn," I do not mean that the horn isn't good with classical music, I'm saying that it's tone and playing properties are better suited for jazz. I had the oppurtunity to play the Series II I mentioned above, and it plays perfectly. I do not like the R&C, it doesn't play as well as I wish it would. I cannot rationalize spending any more money on it to get it to play better when I already have over $1,000 into it and I'm still not happy with it. It would make great horn for someone else, but I need something a little different. When I can only afford one horn, I need one that isn't going to be in the shop when I need it most. Thanks for your responses, I think I can find a way to get the horn on my own, I know about the Credit Card Hell, I don't have any credit cards now, and i won't have any for a very long time. Hopefully I can find a way to buy the horn outright without having to worry about owing anything on it. If I can, I will be a very happy person. If not, I guess it wasn't meant to be. I'm going to attempt to get the horn, I'm not just going to say, "well, it wasn't meant to be" and give up. Thanks again for the advice, and I'm sorry if I offended anyone. . .
 

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I know it's been said, and you're going to take it how you will, but credit cards can be just plain bad. I'm a senior music perf. major with serious credit card debt, but a few nice things to show for it haha, like my cello case protecting the antique german cello i play on, and my finer bows, plus a few non musical items as well, but that doesn't mean it was worth it.

I'm actually selling most of my instrument collection to pay off my cards. Sure, one large sale and I'm set, but what happens when I'm looking for that new cello "the one" or buying that bari i've had my eye on (double major in cello and sax)? right back there again.

Credit cards can be a way to get cash fast, just be careful.
 

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saxman06 said:
I've had my R&C in the shop twice already, and my sax instructor and my faculty advisor (PhD. in Music Education, also a professional saxophonist) have both told me that my horn is holding me back. I cannot play the R&C at the same level as I can the school's Mark VI,
<snip>
[soap box]
I went to college with a guy who played tenor - man, could that guy play. Incredible phrasing, great mind, chops and fingers. He played on a Bundy, because that's all he had. When he did recitals, you could hear the horn's "woofy" notes and the keys "clacking". He took his lumps on that old Bundy and still outplayed most of us.

This guy was way better than his horn would *ever* be. He became a phenomenal player, and eventually he got the great horn that really let him "sing", showcasing all the skills and chops he'd acquired during his Bundy days.

The moral of this "grasshopper" story is that everyone wants "the" perfect horn, but you can gain the facility you need to be a good player on *any* horn.

Excessive student loans, high credit card debt, BAD, very BAD.

[/soap box]
 

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I have to question your sax instructor's motives and his sense of responsibility if he really is urging you as much as you feel he is while at the same time knowing your financial situation. I totally agree with those who are saying your present horn is probably ok and you could look at m/p options rather than burdening yourself with further debt.
 

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3 words: house rent party. jk:D

maybe you should take the horn to someone else to get a second or third opinion. I had a very nice name brand vintage sax that played like crap for a very long time, and I lived with it while using it at school. The fact that I got by did not change the fact that it played like crap, it was always leaking and that was the main problem. I must have taken it to 3-4 people (techs and players) who seemed to think it was OK but I didn't agree. Or 'fixed' it and then it still didn't work. I finally took it to another tech (old guy who speaks french) who overhauled the horn the correct way (according to him, this way the only way to fix the leaky tone holes which needed to be filed and then new pads would need to be installed.) After that it played fine, but needed to be adjusted again a year or so later. In the end all the problems were resolved and it turned out to be a dream sax. I think if the sax is mechanically sound then you should be able to do a lot with mpc/reed combo. If still not, then I would wonder what is so seriously flawed about this make or vintage of sax.

saxman06 said:
I've had my R&C in the shop twice already, and my sax instructor and my faculty advisor (PhD. in Music Education, also a professional saxophonist) have both told me that my horn is holding me back. I cannot play the R&C at the same level as I can the school's Mark VI, it is just too restrictive. I've tried several mouthpeice, reed, and ligature combos, and none of them have the same impact on my tone as they do on the Mark VI.

Also, when I say "Jazz Horn," I do not mean that the horn isn't good with classical music, I'm saying that it's tone and playing properties are better suited for jazz. I had the oppurtunity to play the Series II I mentioned above, and it plays perfectly. I do not like the R&C, it doesn't play as well as I wish it would. I cannot rationalize spending any more money on it to get it to play better when I already have over $1,000 into it and I'm still not happy with it. It would make great horn for someone else, but I need something a little different. When I can only afford one horn, I need one that isn't going to be in the shop when I need it most. Thanks for your responses, I think I can find a way to get the horn on my own, I know about the Credit Card Hell, I don't have any credit cards now, and i won't have any for a very long time. Hopefully I can find a way to buy the horn outright without having to worry about owing anything on it. If I can, I will be a very happy person. If not, I guess it wasn't meant to be. I'm going to attempt to get the horn, I'm not just going to say, "well, it wasn't meant to be" and give up. Thanks again for the advice, and I'm sorry if I offended anyone. . .
 

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Stop! Do not, repeat do not, become obsessed with this horn. There will be other horns, even better ones, in your life. It is unwise to begin your college career with such a burden. If you get stuck and can't meet the payments for one reason or another, you will come to hate the horn, no matter how wonderful it is. Besides, no horn is worth indebting yourself to that extent with the little income you will have as a student.
Play the horn you've got. Make the best sound on it that you can. Blow the hell out of it. Make the smoothest legato, the best scales and arpegios, the fastest tongueing, the best altissimo. You get the picture.
In time, something good will turn up.
 
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