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I'm not sure if this should be in the 'polls and surveys' forum, but I'll stick it in here and see what happens.

There's obviously a massive world-wide wealth of experience and knowledge available here in the SOTW forums, and thank goodness for it, but I can't help wondering what the average playing ability is of the world-wide SOTW contributors.

So on a scale of 1 to 10 put your saxophone playing ability in a 2 point bracket where 1 is absolute beginner, and 10 is pretty much mastered the instrument, could walk into any big band/session gig/etcettera without much difficulty. OK those are pretty loose parameters, but you know what I mean.

I'll start..........4-6
 

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I guess a 6, I can play jazz etudes at about 200 bpm. Improvising is much harder ofc
 

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1-10? Impossible.

I gig regularly, locally, as a blues musician, and also play a good number of open jams and the like on blues. As a jazz musician, I can play through and over changes, but don't have anything really interesting to say. As a classical musician, I'd deserve about a -1 score.
 

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I would say 4-6 is the average for the whole SOTW crowd, mathematically speaking, based on the concept that in any large normally-distributed popuplation, about 68% fall within one standard deviation of the mean. Considering that most sax players are standard deviates, who are envious of the really "mean" players, I would guess that the overall average is right in the middle. :bluewink:
 

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10 is pretty much mastered the instrument, could walk into any big band/session gig/etcettera without much difficulty.
That is a bit of a conflicting criteria: while I'd happily "walk into any big band/session gig/etcettera without much difficulty" and so presumably score close to 10, I don't think I'm halfway to "mastering" the instrument. So, I'd probably have to say less than 5, based on that.
 

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You are going to find 13 year old kids who rate themselves as 6-8 and pro players who are self aware who consider themselves 4-6. Self critique and analysis tends to be weak among the younger players and those who know how much more there is to master will tend to be harder on themselves.

I wouldn't even begin to put myself in this scale, too many variables. Even the reed you are playing can be worth -4 points on bad days. I'm better than I was in college, but no where near as good.
 

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probably around a 3, so 2-4.
OK, I take it back. I thought people would be more generous with the scoring. In the new case I'll give myself a 1 and 1/2 (the 1/2 because I can circular breathe).
 

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Good question. I've played with most big bands of the late 60's early 70's, am comfortable in big band, acoustic groups, blues, straight ahead, free form,( Although that's where players who can't play are in abundance ), I can sight read anything and have studio experience, but, man...I don't do classical well, have a long way to go and never will "master" the saxophone. I wouldn't want to...where would the fun of experimentation be? I don't want to be a 10. Even John Coltrane and Cannonball said we all have "light years ahead of us before we'd be comfortable talking about our playing without being critical." I'd agree with Pete Thomas and rate myself a -5. There are players on here who would definately know me if I copped my indentity and they are as 'good' as I am if not better. There are some monsters who hang out here. This is just too subjective and tough a question for me. Rating oneself is an ego trip I don't want to take. I'll keep practicing, thanks!

Neat topic, though. I like the thoughts I've read.
 

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That is a bit of a conflicting criteria: while I'd happily "walk into any big band/session gig/etcettera without much difficulty" and so presumably score close to 10, I don't think I'm halfway to "mastering" the instrument. So, I'd probably have to say less than 5, based on that.
Agreed. I've been playing since 1967 and have lots of professional experience. I would feel comfortable walking into most any situation and holding my own. I'm an excellent sightreader and an above average improviser. Based on those criteria I should be somewhere around a 9 or a 10. OTOH, I have by no means even come close to mastering the instrument. Bob Berg, Michael Brecker, John Coltrane (to name just a few) all came a lot closer to mastery than I ever will. If Brecker was a 10 I'm about a 2.
 

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All things being relative.....if Pete's less than a 5 then I'm less than a 1, BUT I could be less than a 2 if I would just SUAP! :)
 

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Depends on the instrument and venue.
Most times I'd put me in the 3-4 range if all I had to do was sit/read/play.
If I have to pull something out of my imaginary butt..... We're talking negitive numbers here.
 

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I'm average to mediocre.
 

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It's really hard to gauge on your own personal level compared to everybody else, seeing that some are going to rate themselves higher than they they actually are. I like Pete's approach, rate yourself lower than you actually are. For me I'm less proficient in some areas and some I feel I'm very strong. I could walk into a gig, jam session, whatever you want to call. Anyone could, it's what you produce upon doing so that counts. So being the hard decision it is I'm going have to with 4.5.
 

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I'm somewhere between 1 and 10.
 

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I got nicked for speeding a while back - doing 35mph in a 30mph zone. I got offered the chance to attend a 'Driver awareness course' instead of taking points on my driving license - so I opted for the course.

The first thing the lecturer did was to go round the group and ask each person how they rated themselves as drivers, scoring from 1-10.
Most people scored themselves in the 6-9 bracket, with many of the younger attendees giving themselves 8 or 9.

When he got to me I said '4'.
"An honest man" said the lecturer - "Why only 4?"
"If I was any better I wouldn't be here" was my reply.

So I'm going to give myself a 4 - on the basis that PT is a 5, and that I could walk into any big band session and pretend I knew what I was doing.

Regards,
 

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You are going to find 13 year old kids who rate themselves as 6-8 and pro players who are self aware who consider themselves 4-6. Self critique and analysis tends to be weak among the younger players and those who know how much more there is to master will tend to be harder on themselves.

I wouldn't even begin to put myself in this scale, too many variables. Even the reed you are playing can be worth -4 points on bad days. I'm better than I was in college, but no where near as good.
I'm not 13^^. I rated myself by his standards that 10 is the ability just walk in a big band/jam session without much difficulty. I'm can't do that yet but I'm closer to that then being an absolute beginner.

That is a bit of a conflicting criteria: while I'd happily "walk into any big band/session gig/etcettera without much difficulty" and so presumably score close to 10, I don't think I'm halfway to "mastering" the instrument. So, I'd probably have to say less than 5, based on that.
Well if you put it this way than I'm a 1 or 2
 
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