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Discussion Starter #1
syndrome: a group of symptoms that consistently occur together or a condition characterized by a set of associated symptoms.
a characteristic combination of opinions, emotions, or behavior.
(for this post title Syndrome was used humorously)

When I start playing & practicing saxophone a whole day can go by and I don't notice that I've been playing for so many hours. Many times I can't stop playing, you know "More Ideas" = "More Discovery" that leads to "More Fun". Sometimes when I'm done people are asleep or going to sleep. Thanks to SOTW there's a place for Sax players to exchange musical thoughts night and day. I'm not fully as absorbed as Coltrane who would fall asleep with his horn, wake up and start playing again. I just keep Jammin' til' I have enjoyed all my ideas for the day. The thing is sometimes it last all day. I might stop and peek at SOTW for inspiring discussions or tune suggestions, and then get back to the pleasure of playing. A few periodic gulps of a healthy smoothie and I'm good for a few more hours. Luckily I can schedule time for enjoying other players and learners. When I play publicly I get home with more inspiration and the jammin' continues quietly at night if I'm not too tired.
Questions:
Are you "Deeply getting down with the sound"? I'm not just asking do you practice, but do you have a constant need or desire to breathe life into that precious brass on that sax stand or in that sax case. My asking is based on my love of Saxophone playing. Do you also become completely absorbed with this wonderful instrument and the music you can play?

Miles told Coltrane..."Just take the horn out of your mouth". Lol
 

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Not me. I like to practice for an hour or two a day but then I get restless and need to move on to something else. That probably explains why I've never really mastered the instrument, or any other instrument. That internal craving just isn't there.

Half a lifetime ago I got into long distance running and it took over my life. I even went out and ran in the rain with 102 F temperature because I didn't want to lose any conditioning while I was sick. So I get it, the obsessive compulsive drive. I don't think it's healthy though.

You need people in your life and it takes time to keep those relationships going. You also need physical exercise. You have to go out and run or jog or throw some weights around in the gym. Do some work on the treadmill. Walk around the local park. Something to keep some muscle tone and flexibility in your body. Sitting in a room alone and playing sax for hours isn't healthy. Not without something else to break it up. Now I'll get down off my Dad soapbox.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wow, and I thought you were Addicted To Sax...your name says it all. Just kidding. I've been blessed having music in my life. All of my best friends are musicians and I met them thru other musicians playing music. Some of my most memorable relationships have been with lovely talented female singers,female musicians and female social event organizers. Living a musician's life has always been good to me, and it all came from playing that shiny precious brass instrument and drums. Having a nice polished sax hanging from my neck is my favorite piece of jewelry and I always dress to match my instrument when playing for people. I get your points, I also like having a full life. My point is that once I put that horn to my mouth...hours go by. That musical bliss is always waiting for my participation and amusement. Like Duke Ellington said "Music is my Mistress". My family and friends have always been in support of my playing and teaching music. I get a good feeling when they introduce me as the family musician and music book writer.
 

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Yes and no. I have days where I zone out and just shed and forget about all obligations and bodily functions. I remember being broke in college and thinking I'd hit the shed for a couple hours at 4PM to pass the time until the cafeteria opened because I was hungry. I got into learning some new scales and really focused on it. I didn't take a watch with me and this was before I ever had a cell phone, so after what I thought was a couple hours I went back to my dorm to look at a clock since the caf opened at 6. Unfortunately it closed at 9, and it was then just past midnight. I was DUMB hungry! ADHD is a bitch sometimes! I try not to do that anymore because it's bad for me physically and professionally.

I often don't "want" to practice, but then will feel bad if I don't... maybe a slight depression or malaise where I don't want to do the work. The vast majority of the time, I just practice anyway. Usually, these days, I go through phases where I'm waaaay into it for 6-8 weeks, then I allow myself some time either all the way off or just kinda lazily practicing. Once every couple years I'll take a week off of really shedding, too. I don't feel guilty about that if it comes after a period of very intense shedding. Gotta have a balance.

I will say I never knew how important this all was to me until I couldn't shed. I had dental problems which kept me from playing outside of a couple weekend gigs every week for a period of 4 months a few years ago. I got depressed, my mind slowed down, I was worse at video games even though that's all I did outside of work, I lost what wit I do have in social settings, lost motivation to work out (and never found it again lol), lost motivation to shed on keys... it was bleak. Everything was just... slower. I have never taken the ability to play for granted since, and I no longer fall prey to that nagging imposter syndrome, where you feel like you're maybe not a REAL musician in the way that some people are. I know that at my core, by this point in my life, this really is what it's all about for me.
 

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After graduating college with an engineering degree, and after working as a engineer for a year, I quit my job and decided to dedicate my life to becoming a jazz musician. I had been playing for only a few years, mostly self taught. I hooked up with Andy McGhee at Berklee for lessons, and for almost a year I practiced/played about 8 hours a day. I went from barely being able to play scales to playing out in clubs. I was astounded by how much progress I was able to make by fully immersing myself in the instrument. I was in the Jazzoetry zone :)

The financial reality of working as a jazz musician finally caught up with me, I hated doing the GB and disco (this was the 70s) thing to make money - even more so that working as an engineer - so put down the sax "for a few months" - that ended up becoming 35+ years. But I always reminded myself that when I finally got around to playing again, all I had to do was get back into the zone, play 8 hours a day and in no time I would be back to where I left off.

But when I started playing again a few years ago in my mid 50s, I discovered that I no longer have the mental or physical stamina to play more than an hour or two per day. I gig 2 - 3 times a month with a couple of bands, and after three hours of playing I'm fried. So even though I wish I still had the mojo, I have to accept that those days of endless playing are over. And anyway, my wife would kill me if she had to listen to me practice for more than I currently do.

Enjoy your desire and ability to play as much as you do. It's a gift.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Still Riding my bike and drinking green healthy smoothies for breakfast is probably what gives me the energy level I still have. Riding a bike is a good thing to do for wind players.
This Pic shows a great saxophone player who did the bike riding thing also. He still was in good shape and able to ride one handed and hold a Tenor saxophone.

1. View attachment 221750

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3. View attachment 221754
 
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