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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I think begginners should listen to this. I found it off of pete Thomas' website, but I had read it in the past from my Sax Teacher, and I just did a google.com search, and found it. Read the whole thing, it is extremely funny.





If you really want to learn how to play the saxophone, it’s a good idea to understand some of the humour. Other pages on this site give you some serious tips on playing the sax, but now it’s time to lighten up a little, so I hope you enjoy the following essay on some of the finer and not so obvious facets opf learning to play the saxophone:

First things first. If you're a white guy you'll need a stupid hat, the stupid the better and preferably a beret. Sunglasses are optional, but all the really really good players wear them, especially indoors. You'll also need some "gig shirts" -- Hawaiians are good, in a pinch anything with a loud floral pattern is acceptable, as are T shirts from various jazz clubs and festivals. The good thing about the latter is that you can get them mail order, so you don't have to go to all the trouble of actually seeing live music. And sandals are an absolute must, even in winter.

Once you've assembled the proper attire you can begin practicing. One of the most important things about playing is being able to convey emotion to the audience. This you do through various facial expressions. The two emotions you'll need to convey are (1) rapture slash ecstasy and (2) soul wrenching pain and sadness (i.e., the blues).

You may find it useful in the beginning to borrow a page from the method acting school. So, for example, to convey rapture try thinking of something nice, like puppy dogs. To convey the "blues" try thinking of something really really appalling, like ulcerative colitis or Alec Baldwin. You should practice your facial expressions in front of a mirror at least two hours per day. You may feel a tad stupid at first, but you'll never get the chicks if you don't jump around on stage like a monkey with your face all screwed up like there's a rabid wolverine in your colon, believe you me. And bottom line, chicks is really what music's all about.

Next, you'll need the correct ligature. Some people think that the ligature is just a stupid piece of old metal that holds the reed on the mouthpiece. Well, those people are idiots. Besides your beret the ligature is the single most important piece of musical equipment you will ever buy. Mine, for example, is 40% platinum and 60% titanium; one screw is rubidium and the other plutonium. It makes me sound exactly like Booker Ervin would if Booker Ervin were (1) not dead and (2) on Mars, if (2)(a) there was oxygen on Mars. You may have to spend years and years and thousands of dollars finding the proper ligature, but in the end it will definitely be worth it.

Now: reeds. Optimally you'll want to move to Cuba, grow and cure your own cane and carve your own reeds by hand. If you're just a "weekend warrior" however, you can get by with store-bought. First, buy ten boxes of reeds, 100 in all. Next, open all the boxes and throw away 60 reeds. Those were unplayable. Take the remaining reeds and soak them in a mixture of 27.8 % rubbing alcohol and 72.2 % pituitary gland extract for a period of 17 weeks. Throw away 20 more reeds. Those were stuffy. Take the remaining 20 reeds and sand each one for exactly 13 seconds with #1200 grade 3M sandpaper. Throw away 14 reeds. Those squeaked. Take the remaining 6 reeds and soak them for another 17 weeks, this time however in a mixture of 27.8% pituitary gland extract and 72.2 % rubbing alcohol. Sun dry the 6 remaining reeds for 3 weeks, optimally at an equatorial latitude, and throw away 3 more just on general principles. You now have 3 reeds that will last you several months if you play each one only 20 minutes a day in strict rotation.

Now, you say you just bought a horn. Although you didn't say what kind it is I'd sell it immediately and get a different one. The best one to get would be a Selmer Mark VI made at 4:27 PM on June 14, 1963, serial number 635543. If you can't get that one though, generally speaking the older and more expensive the better. The following brands are good: Selmer Paris Mark VI. The following brands suck: any other Selmer, Yamaha, Conn, Beuscher, Yanigasawa, Cannonball, LA, Jupiter, Elkhart, King, Martin, Keilworth, Boosey and Hawkes, Couf, Silvertone, and Holton. On no account should you play the horn before you buy it: go strictly on reputation and price. If you can't get a Mark VI and need further information, there's some broad in here who's owned every freaking saxophone ever made, Sherry or Sheryl or something, she can probably tells you which one's the best.

You will also need some accoutrements: a flight case capable of withstanding atmospheric pressure of dP = - Dg dz where D and g are, respectively, the density of air and the acceleration due to gravity at the altitude of the air layer and dz is a horizontal layer of air having unit surface area and infinitesimal thickness; a metronome; a tuner; a combination alto, tenor baritone sax stand with pegs for an oboe, bass clarinet, flute, English horn and bassoon; Band in a Box; every Jamie Abersold play along record ever created; a reed cutter; swabs, cleaners, pad savers, pad dope, pad clamps; a Sennheiser Digital 1092 Wireless Microphone; an effects rig with digital delay and parametric EQ; and a 200 watt (per channel, minimum) amplifier and 18" monitor.

It will be helpful if you listen to lots of sax players. Unfortunately, listening solely to players you like is absolutely the worst thing you can do. To really understand the music and its traditions you have to go back to the beginning and listen to every bit of music ever recorded. I'd start with madrigals and work forward. Once you get to the 20th century pay particular attention to players like Jimmy Dorsey and Sidney Bechet, the well-springs of the modern jazz saxophone. In no time at all, or by 2034, whichever comes first, you'll be able to understand the unique be-bop stylings of players like Ace Cannon, Boots Randolph and Grover Washington Jr.

Finally, to play the sax itself, blow in the small end and move your fingers around.
 

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***?!?
they don't give you much choice in terms of horns, buy a mark VI, the rest are crap....
and i thought that rudibium is so reactive that it was a controlled substance, and it reacts with water or water vapour so it has to be stored in oil.

i think someone wrote this to take the mic on purpose, no one could be quite so stupid and naive, could they?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
SearjeantSax said:
***?!?
they don't give you much choice in terms of horns, buy a mark VI, the rest are crap....
and i thought that rudibium is so reactive that it was a controlled substance, and it reacts with water or water vapour so it has to be stored in oil.

i think someone wrote this to take the mic on purpose, no one could be quite so stupid and naive, could they?
Isn't really the mark VI thing sort of how most players look at wehn buying a horn!? That is why I find it funny. (That part)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Chris S said:
It's meant as humour. I've seen it posted outside a few college professor's offices.

Hey that is where I first saw it! at my professors office door when I was waiting for him to get done with a lesson. Funny stuff.
 

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(Deadpan delivery...) I was particularly disappointed the author left out the one piece of gear that actually matters - probably because it is the only piece of gear completely above childish jokes and silliness.
 

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Chris S said:
It's meant as humour.
Could we PLEASE make it more obvious right away that this was intended as humor? (Maybe the mods could post a warning or something...)

I followed the rules as described here and burned my lips on the rubidium lig screw. (I take in a lot of mouthpiece.)

It's important to remember children are also reading this forum....
 

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Kelly Bucheger said:
Could we PLEASE make it more obvious right away that this was intended as humor? (Maybe the mods could post a warning or something...)

I followed the rules as described here and burned my lips on the rubidium lig screw. (I take in a lot of mouthpiece.)

It's important to remember children are also reading this forum....

Kelly, I can't tell whether your being serious or not???? Your seriously funny if your joking but if your not..... hmmmmm. I supose this maybe down to the american sense of humour. Or lack of...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Kelly Bucheger said:
Could we PLEASE make it more obvious right away that this was intended as humor? (Maybe the mods could post a warning or something...)

I followed the rules as described here and burned my lips on the rubidium lig screw. (I take in a lot of mouthpiece.)

It's important to remember children are also reading this forum....
Are you referring to me as a child?
 

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An excellant written piece...........

I used to have a contest with a bass player. Who paid less for their gig shirt.

Now if only I can find a Selmer Mark VI made at 4:27 PM on June 14, 1963...................
 

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What is a good website or source that tells you everything you need to know on sax, for both beginner and professional, such as the proper alignment of the mouthpiece, fingerings, tips on saxaphone care, playing tips, embouschre, and so forth?

Is there such a place on this site?

thank you,

windward
 

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You're already here. Start a thread and ask around, or just read the forum! There's more information here than you can ever hope to possibly read...

Edit: Aaaand, crud. I didn't realize the previous reply was ages ago. Way to go, me...
 

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What is a good website or source that tells you everything you need to know on sax, for both beginner and professional, such as the proper alignment of the mouthpiece, fingerings, tips on saxaphone care, playing tips, embouschre, and so forth?

Is there such a place on this site?

thank you,

windward
The internet is no replacement for a good teacher and a good technician. You need someone in the same room to watch you play and demonstrate the proper technique to help you accomplish your goals. You need someone to look at your instrument to determine why it isn't doing what it's supposed to. The internet can supplement that, give you food for thought. Maybe it'll lead you to investigate something you hadn't tried yet. But it's not a place to start.
 

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Sandals . . . Check.
Shades . . . Check.
Expressions resembling severe constipation . . . . check.
Old white guy .. . check and check.
Beret . . . check, if you count one of those potholder things.
Wiggling my fingers . . . Check.

Now where's my chicks, huh?

I want my money back, dimmit.
 
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