Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi to All,
Back again. I have very recently ventured into Soprano sax and Bb Clarinet, brave, adventurous, maybe just plain silly.
My question refers to ‘when to seek a teacher’.
I appreciate the initial concerns of falling into bad habits, wrong technique and so forth, but with other factors ( financial) existing, is there an online ‘middle ground’ position that is achievable, before structured lessons are contemplated.

I raise this question in relation to my brief violin experience. Dr. Suzuki ( Violin ) indicated that 10,000 bow strokes are required before the potential violinist could consider they have grasped the threshold of tuition ( words to that effect ). I remember taking lessons, screaching back and forth for 30 minutes thinking I could be home making horrible noises in the bedroom. What was I really learning in these initial lessons that I could not achieve on my own ?

As a Sax and/or Clarinet teacher what standard of ( online/self taught ) playing would you consider reasonable before taking on an old bugger, before too many bad habits had developed.

Still spending time with the Soprano, the Clarinet is a challenge.

Regards
John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,305 Posts
Teachers exist to serve all students, especially absolute beginners. The more you do (wrong) on your own, the more time you've completely wasted and the more bad habits you'll have to unlearn later. The logic fallacy in your violin example is that you were at least screeching away with the correct technique. It may take 10,000 hours to master something, but on sax, if you aren't doing pretty well after a couple of months, you're doing something (probably many things) wrong.

Also consider NOT learning soprano and clarinet simultaneously. They are very different. Pick one, learn it well (a couple of years), then tackle the other. You wouldn't attempt to learn French and Russian simultaneously would you?

If I had to choose only one point in my development to get a teacher, it would be at the absolute beginning. I see many posts here every single day from self taught players who've been struggling for months or years due to bad techniques that a teacher could have straightened out immediately. Yes, there are a few players who can pick up any instrument naturally and easily, but they are very rare. If you don't already sound great, you're not one of those few.

On the other hand, if you only care about messing around for the fun of it and not getting any better, then, yes, save your money and keep doing what you're doing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,454 Posts
Get a clarinet teacher. If you get clarinet down, soprano will be a piece of cake.
Except that clarinet and saxophone embouchure are very different. Related, but different. Truthfully, the similarities probably cause more trouble than if you were learning something totally different like trumpet. Saxophone players attempting to use a clarinet embouchure is a frequent cause of problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,807 Posts
The most difficult time in any artistic pursuit is the beginning. I cannot stress this more strongly - learning how to blow and finger the d*mn thing is the most important. Once you have that concept, then self-guided practice and exploration will pay great dividends.

If you don't have that concept, then exploration and practice will be interesting, but possibly not useful a year from now when you figure out what you were doing wrong. So try to get air support, embouchure and fingering down, and down correctly, at the beginning. For that you need guidance. After that, it's just practice, and any self-motivated old bugger can do that on his own.

So get a teacher now :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Hi to All,
Many thanks for the replies.
It was not my intention to ruffle the feathers of Clarinet teachers, for this I apologise. My motivation was to better utilise the time, convenience and financials.
My error in judgment has been exposed, lessons will commence next year.

As an aside, I thought jumping from low to mid register C to D on the Soprano sax was difficult, until I moved from A ( second space ) to B ( third line ) on the Clarinet.
Funny just how eye / brain and little fat fingers seem to hesitate with mature aged beginners.

Regards
John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,305 Posts
Yeah, "the break" on the clarinet takes a lot of practice and is the bane of beginners. The hardest aspect of learning soprano sax is not the fingerings or tone, but playing the damn thing in tune. Glad to hear you've made the right decision. Enjoy the journey.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top