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Discussion Starter #1
The title isn't completely true because they did buy me a student horn when I was in fourth grade, but I think I'm ready to upgrade!
I've played the sax since fourth grade (alto and tenor mostly), and I'm currently a sophomore in high school and I play in the marching band, symphonic band, pit orchestra, and the top jazz band in the school. I play 1st chair alto in symphonic band and lead tenor in jazz band. I play an American Selmer student model alto (AS300) that I got in fourth grade, and a buffet crampon proffesional tenor that belongs to my school.
I'm absolutely in love with the buffet tenor. It feels super easy to play (keywise and blowing-wise) , and I wanted to be able to feel that ease when I play my alto.
I asked my parents if I could get a professional saxophone and their answer was direct and to the point......No. I told them that i felt my alto was holding me back and even showed them how much easier I am able to play the buffet tenor, but their answer was still no.
I searched the web for ways to get a better sound, and many people said that upgrading my mouthpiece and ligature would be my best option so I saved up lunch money, mowed lawns, etc...., and I bought an otto link tone edge 7* mouthpiece, rovner ligature, and some vandoren 2.5 reeds (both javas and blue box). This did help, but I still didn't feel that ease I felt when playing the buffet tenor.
This long story aside, I feel like getting a professional horn would improve my playing by leaps and bounds.
How can I convince my parents to get me a professional saxophone?
 

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You probably cant convince them (no usually does mean no). Your post is a bit unclear. Are you wanting to upgrade your alto or your tenor? Your post is a little vague in what setup options you have available to you. So was the link for the tenor or the alto? Are you wanting an alto upgrade or do you want your own pro tenor? I agree that you need a good setup but what you have is not junk. I have heard some guys do some serious killin' on less than pro horns. As for jazz history, Charlie Parker would be one. Of course a lot of living guys too.
 

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You have to understand why they said "no" before you can change their mind.

If it is because they don't have the money, then you won't be able to change their mind - they still won't have the money. Unless you can come up with it, like you did for the mouthpiece. Or figure out some way to cut back on expenses.

If they don't think you are serious, or don't think you will continue to play after high school, or don't think you will take good care of it, that might be a different matter - you might be able to convince them otherwise. But just saying that you will ("really, dad, I will") is not enough.

Another option is to take your alto to a tech, to see if it would benefit from some work. Playability issues are often the result of leaking pads or a need for regulation/adjustment, so a hundred bucks or two at a tech might take care of most of those issues. They might be willing to pay to maintain your horn before they would pay for a new one. I would start with that - most good techs will not charge you to look at the horn and give you an estimate for what it needs. And since you have played the horn since 4th grade, it likely needs some work.
 

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When parents say "NO" there's usually a very good reason behind it.
They can't afford to spend that kind of money right now, they don't think that you will continue playing after graduation, the 'teacher' hasn't told them that the current instrument is holding you back in any way...

I'm a parent and if my kid tried to 'convince' me that they needed a horn I'd tell them the same thing I'm going to tell you...
Get a job and earn the money yourself.
Maybe if you're lucky they'll see that you are serious about the new horn and they'll offer to go 'halfsies' with you.
Keep nagging them and you have a snowballs chance in hell of them ever agreeing to cough up that kind of cash for a new horn. Nagging makes parents very, VERY stubborn. :)
 

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It was the same way with my parents. They supplied my basic needs and first instrument, but when I turned 16 if I wanted any "extra stuff" they expected me to work for it. (going out, cassettes-yeah, I'm old lol-, movies, etc.) I bought my Mark VII alto for college on my own. They didn't understand why my first horn wasn't good enough for college. Now that I'm older, I've learned that great players sound great on any horn so I see their point in a way. Get a part-time job if you can and you can get what you want.
 

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that's a tough one, I agree with the advice you've received so far in that you might want to sit down with them and see if you can reach a compromise, a "pro" horn can mean a variety of different things, but to parents they usually just see dollar signs. One of the best ways to maybe bring them along is get them involved, do some research, come up with a variety of different options and when you talk about a new horn tell them you're going to be the one working weekends, doing odd jobs and perhaps getting some extra dough from doing more things around the house. Typically, if they see your very motivated and actually making strides by saving your hard earned money to get a new alto they'll come around. In the interim, do what the other guys suggest, have a local tech check your horn out, perhaps a few adjustments might get you 60% of what you want. Don't be in such a rush, plenty of time!
 

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Your horn is fine. Get it setup right and it will most probably be a great horn. How often do you bring it to a tech for spot repairs, regulating the action and so on?
 

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It's pretty cool you care enough to save and buy a new mouthpiece. Maybe you should get your sax adjusted. My parents didn't support my music either. I left home and joined / formed a band. 6 years later I was broke, homeless, and thinking they might just have had a point. I was a singer that played the sax and guitar a little. I got a job as a dishwasher and worked on my music. Thankfully things worked out - I got lucky with a jingle - got promoted to cook. Things got better and I took up piano. I got lucky with a song - got promoted to chef. Invested a little money. Things got even better. Quit cooking and opened a creative music business / studio. By then I was 30. My parents still didn't get it. I worked and invested year after year. 15 years later I finally got to play the sax all I wanted. It wasn't until then I sold my Bundy and bought a pro horn. That was 5 years ago almost. I still spend 20-80 hours a week working my studio. I'm still trying to be a better player. I played almost 130 shows last year. It paid for food for my family and I. No shelter, no insurance, no car payment - just food. Some of it great food (in great restaurants) to be sure, but still just food. Keep playing but don't chase the dream so hard you forget to make a back-up plan....that "student" horn will take you a long ways. The end of the story is I put the fancy Paris Selmer in the closet last year and now play an old Conn and just recently bought an old Buescher . Pretty much what passed as a "student" horns when I was young.... Go figure.


PS. Even though I worked really hard at it for 25 years I consider myself very, very, lucky. Two or three good decisions and as many lucky breaks made more of a difference in my life than all the sweat and tears...looking back, I'm certain my path was not the easiest one. I Agree with band Mommy - get a job :)
 

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I'm sure you're thinking that we're being unsympethetic to your plight, but please take into account that most of the members here are PARENTS. :)
As rockplayer said... You have plenty of time. If you really, REALLY want the new sax you'll find a way to earn it.
It may take a couple of years of saving but you can do it.
 

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It's pretty cool you care enough to save and buy a new mouthpiece. Maybe you should get your sax adjusted. My parents didn't support my music either. I left home and joined / formed a band. 6 years later I was broke, homeless, and thinking they might just have had a point. I was a singer that played the sax and guitar a little. I got a job as a dishwasher and worked on my music. Thankfully things worked out - I got lucky with a jingle - got promoted to cook. Things got better and I took up piano. I got lucky with a song - got promoted to chef. Invested a little money. Things got even better. Quit cooking and opened a creative music business / studio. By then I was 30. My parents still didn't get it. I worked and invested year after year. 15 years later I finally got to play the sax all I wanted. It wasn't until then I sold my Bundy and bought a pro horn. That was 5 years ago almost. I still spend 20-80 hours a week working my studio. I'm still trying to be a better player. I played almost 130 shows last year. It paid for food for my family and I. No shelter, no insurance, no car payment - just food. Some of it great food (in great restaurants) to be sure, but still just food. Keep playing but don't chase the dream so hard you forget to make a back-up plan....that "student" horn will take you a long ways. The end of the story is I put the fancy Paris Selmer in the closet last year and now play an old Conn and just recently bought an old Buescher . Pretty much what passed as a "student" horns when I was young.... Go figure.


PS. Even though I worked really hard at it for 25 years I consider myself very, very, lucky. Two or three good decisions and as many lucky breaks made more of a difference in my life than all the sweat and tears...looking back, I'm certain my path was not the easiest one. I Agree with band Mommy - get a job :)
Man... Kudos!

-Bubba-
 

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This may sound a bit hard - but why should your parents buy a "Pro" horn. Are you a professional? - no your just a kid in a school band. Go get a job and earn the horn yourself. Your parents will likely meet 1/2 way if you show initiative.
 

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Honestly, you don't need a pro horn. For YEARS when I was taking lessons my saxophone teacher played on a Armstrong Alto saxophone that sounded better than any Mark VI or whatever my friend got while taking lessons. I'm sure Phil Woods or anyone could make your horn sing.

Save the money, practice, work on getting a great sound and technique out of what you have.
 

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A few points to the OP:

  1. Doesn't sound like the alto is holding you back - 1st chair symphony - where do you want to go?
  2. We don't know if the alto is in proper setup or how often if ever the alto has been set up. Check for leaks lately?
  3. Otto Links are not very popular for altos - why did you choose that setup for the alto?
  4. What exactly is your sound concept? Who/What do want your sound to "sound" like?
  5. You really think it will take a so-called "pro" instrument to get you there?

Fader's story is awesome!

That alto has the potential to take you a long ways - if setup right, good mouthpiece, lig, and reeds
 

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Discussion Starter #16
You probably cant convince them (no usually does mean no). Your post is a bit unclear. Are you wanting to upgrade your alto or your tenor? Your post is a little vague in what setup options you have available to you. So was the link for the tenor or the alto? Are you wanting an alto upgrade or do you want your own pro tenor? I agree that you need a good setup but what you have is not junk. I have heard some guys do some serious killin' on less than pro horns. As for jazz history, Charlie Parker would be one. Of course a lot of living guys too.
Sorry about the vagueness (is that a word?). I want to upgrade my alto, and my current alto setup is an American Selmer AS300, Otto Link Tone Edge 7* Hr Alto Sax Mouthpiece, Rovner Mk III: C1rl Lig, and 2.5 Vandoren Reeds (both java and blue box). My tenor setup is a Buffet Crampon (not sure of the model) professional horn, Otto Link Metal mouthpiece, Rovner Dark Lig, and Vandoren 2.5 Javas

And thanks, I may just get a job and maybe I'll have one before I graduate if I save up every paycheck. Maybe. :mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I honestly just get it checked when I feel like something is wrong. I feel like I know what it should play like and when it's not playing the way it should.
 

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How do you even know your alto is what's holding you back? I have found it very easy to lazily blame my equipment at times. There have been times I thought my mouthpiece was holding me back, and then I try another mouthpiece and have the exact same issue. Could it be that you are just better at tenor right now?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
A few points to the OP:

  1. Doesn't sound like the alto is holding you back - 1st chair symphony - where do you want to go?
  2. We don't know if the alto is in proper setup or how often if ever the alto has been set up. Check for leaks lately?
  3. Otto Links are not very popular for altos - why did you choose that setup for the alto?
  4. What exactly is your sound concept? Who/What do want your sound to "sound" like?
  5. You really think it will take a so-called "pro" instrument to get you there?

Fader's story is awesome!

That alto has the potential to take you a long ways - if setup right, good mouthpiece, lig, and reeds
1. If you mean school wise, i want to go to murray state (so i can stay decently close to home)
2. I checked for leaks about a month ago and it had one in the high D. It's fixed now.
3. I needed a versatile mouthpiece, and I trusted Otto Link because I have past experience with them (my tenor mouthpiece). I got HR so it wouldn't be so bright for symphonic band.
4. I used to want to sound like Cannonball Adderly, but I kinda molded my own sound I guess.
5. I'm not positive, but I just loved the feel of the professional tenor (school's instrument) I use in Jazz Band.

Thanks
 

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well so..... should this kid... spend his free time cutting grass to buy a pro horn or should he spend his free time practicing his current sax? How about if AAJ96 posts a sound clip?
 
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