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Distinguished SOTW Member, & Forum Contributor 200
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What takes priority - Me or the Sax ?

Would you answer it honestly ? How do you find a healthy balance - can a saxophone widow ever be a happy one? I don't suppose there are any right or wrong answers but just interested in others experience in this delicate area :)
 

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Just a guy who plays saxophone.
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I am not a full time player and my wife supports me playing as often as possible, but practice time is still an issue. We both work day shift at our real jobs, and she doesn't like the sweet noise I make...especially the repetitive stuff when she is home. She is an artist (painter mostly), and sometimes works outdoors or away from home, so that is like golden time! Even better if she takes the dogs with her.

I haven't figured out whether practicing long tones and overtones with my two dogs singing/ howling along helps or hurts...sure is funny though. My dachshund can hit the pitches fairly well up to concert C# (palm Eb on tenor), but then she starts to warble. Our rat terrier is another story...completely tone deaf. They REALLY go nuts when I practice bugle calls in the overtone series!

Back on the subject: Our solution is to allow me to build a soundproof studio above the garage. I get to build it big enough to have my band play up there too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Haha , I hear ya perry .
Seems we got along fine when I had my practice room/studio outside in the garage , I think you may be onto something there .
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2017
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Burning house or no - that's the only sane answer. Nothing wrong with a little insanity if that's your bag, but your personal life is gonna suck if you put music (or anything else) before spouse / children.
 

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A partner/spouse/whatever that poses THAT question will not be partner/spouse/whatever for long anymore, whatever the answer....
 

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Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
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Burning house or no - that's the only sane answer. Nothing wrong with a little insanity if that's your bag, but your personal life is gonna suck if you put music (or anything else) before spouse / children.
Totally. If offered the choice between never playing again and seeing a lot less of my kids and wife I would choose never to play again. Without a second thought.

OTOH, this kind of question tends to spring up in the midst of what is essentially emotional manipulation. The "right" answer depends on the context and your relationship. IMO.
 

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Forum Contributor 2012, SOTW Saxophone Whisperer,
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I think there is an underlying 2nd issue here. That would be if your wife respects your interests.

While my wife and kids would ALWAYS get chosen in a "life or death" (or "all or none") decision, there has to be a respect for your interests (and you must have respect for hers).

Regardless that music is a career path for me, my wife understands that I am a happier person when I am involved in my music (whether it is repair, performing or teaching). I consider myself lucky that she fully understands that. It is part of the reason we are still married after almost 14 years.

Relationships are a "give and take". That should be the rule for your your Girlfriend/wife/partner as well as your saxophone.

All or nothing is not a realistic expectation with either.

Charlie
 

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Grafton + TH & C alto || Naked Lady 10M || TT soprano || Martin Comm III
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I don't suppose there are any right or wrong answers but just interested in others experience in this delicate area :)
Right or wrong is probably not the best way to classify the answers, but I wouldn't mind betting if you did a poll, 100% of the answers from those of us who are in a good (or even tolereable marriage) would say "the missus", or "the old man" of course.

Aha I just noticed the word "partner" in there. That's a different issue. I don't like that word as it can have so many different meanings. A wife or husband is person with whom you have a commitment and love. A partner can be that, but can also just be someone you have sex with sometimes, or someone you intend to commit to with love and stuff but haven't yet decided.
 

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Über Geek, Forum Contributor 2010 Distinguished SO
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Aha I just noticed the word "partner" in there. That's a different issue. I don't like that word as it can have so many different meanings. A wife or husband is person with whom you have a commitment and love. A partner can be that, but can also just be someone you have sex with sometimes, or someone you intend to commit to with love and stuff but haven't yet decided.
Not to split hairs, but here, there are people who are in long-term, committed relationships, yet current law does not permit them to marry their partner.

That aside, my husband would not ask that question, nor would I ask it of him. Gig/practice time is important to both of us, but we also make sure we plan non-music time for one another. It doesn't have to be a zero-sum game.
 

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Any spouse that would even ask that question has issues you could never overcome no matter how hard you tried.
Exactly. It's an irrelevent question.
As Pete said, if the house was on fire, I'll gladly risk my life to pull out the wife and kids. Any inanimate objects come out only if it's safe to do so. If the wife asks me to give up playing for her, we have problems like I wasn't even aware of, and the sax playing isn't the issue.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
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Not to split hairs, but here, there are people who are in long-term, committed relationships, yet current law does not permit them to marry their spouse.
Thank you for contributing that.

That aside, my husband would not as that question, nor would I ask it of him.
Ditto that. My wife knows the importance of music in my life - it was part of me when I met her - and is supportive of my passion. Similarly, I would not ask her to compromise what is important to her.
 

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If you are making money playing, then you guys need to talk and figure out a time schedule. Otherwise, if music is a hobby, then you should spend more time with the wife.
 

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First and foremost, your wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend/kids are worth more important than any musical instrument. They should always be a higher priority.*

*If this is a girlfriend/boyfriend you've dated for a short amount of time, with no "serious" feelings going on, I think the answer is quite clear if they demanded such a thing with a "me or it" question.

On the flip side, what is your wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend's intentions in asking such a question? Your spouse should know that this music means something to you, and have no intention of changing it. I once saw on television where a wife was forcing her husband to sell his personal collection of items he had been collecting since a teen because she didn't like them. The man was offered lowest dollar and he refused. The wife came back and sold it. That wife would be gone in an instant. It's not HER business or concern. Unless it hurts the family I don't see how it's a problem.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
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This is fairly easy. My priorities usually follow this list:

1. Faith
2. Family
3. Finances
4. Music

Since my music is all about my faith and my family plays the music with me, finance is the only piece that might sometimes trump the music. But that doesn't happen often.

Some advice that has severed me well:

1. Only marry a woman or man that will also loves and participates in your music. This should be the number one activity that you share together. Otherwise, do more shopping in the potential mate department.

2. Bring the kids up surrounded by your music. For a family man or woman, music should always be a family thing. If you cannot share your music with your family, maybe you should avoid having a family. Because once you have one, they must come before the music.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, & Forum Contributor 200
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'd just like to point out that I'm not looking for personal advice , but just putting it out there .
I'd also like to suggest that we might only see one type of reply to this thread whilst others opt for a more diplomatic read only approach .
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009
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Whenever a fiancee/wife/partner/whatever has asked "you have to choose, it's me or XXXXXX" the underlying question is "are you surrendering your freedom to a person, just because you love her/him" ???

Honestly I can love, and I've loved and was pretty much headless in love with certain ladies that were so selfish that in the end they just caused me more harm than "inanimated objects".

So I answer: if a partner makes you try'n choose between her/his person or things that are utterly important to you, defyning who you are, you don't have to think twice to answer.
 
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