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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, ive only been playing for a month and a half now. But I think Im going to change my sax teacher. Well shes actually a clarinet teacher but teaches sax as well at the local music shop. No disrespect on her, shes helped me heaps with reading music and rythms ect and Im paid up until the end of the term, but she plays the clarinet not the sax. Even during our tution stages shell play along with me using her clarinet. My wife is learning clarinet and she goes to her as well and shes coming along fine as well. Now my daughter started lessons two weeks ago with another sax teacher and he teaches all instruments from keyboard to reed, but his personal instrument is a tenor sax and he plays in the local bands as lead sax player. Ive sat in on two of my daughters lessons and there is a huge difference in approach ect. Am I being to critical or is this a general concensous, is a clarinet teacher going to give me the same quality as a sax teacher. Remember I am a newbie so I may be expecting to much.
On the other note, my current teacher saids I shouldnt go up reed sizes, she believes reed sizings are associated with experience is this correct. I just started playing with No3 on alto and I love it, its harder to play but feels great. Do larger size reeds make the notes brighter or darker or is there no difference to the sound just the ability to use a better stronger reed. Lastly going up reed sizes will that reduce the notey sound and create more of a flow or this really has nothing to do with it
Sorry about all the questions folks, but Im still trying to sponge as much info as I can
Steve
 

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Go for the other teacher. Sax is similar to clarinet, but they are not the same.
 

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I would say go to your daughter's teacher. There will probably eventually be a time when you want to study with a saxophonist anyway. Also, if you like her teacher's approach better that's even more reason. Personally, I have studied flute and clarinet, but I know that musicians who play those instruments primarily have a lot more to offer students on those instruments than I do.
As for reeds, I think there is a bit of correlation between experience and strength. Harder reeds can be more tiring on your chops as you build strength in your embouchure. With that said, I don't think it's a strict rule. There are guys out there who have played 5 years playing on 5's and guys playing for 40 years playing on 2.5's. A lot of it depends on the mouthpiece you're playing and the sound you're going for. Good luck.
 

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The fact that one teacher is a clarinet player who also plays sax and the other is a sax player who also plays other instruments is not the most important fact, so long as she has sufficient technical understanding of the sax to be able to teach it. Far more important is each teachers ability to teach and your relationship with and trust in that teacher. It sounds to me like you're more comfortable with the teaching methods and approach of your daughter's teacher, but it might be worth considering carefully why that is. Why not try one lesson with the other teacher first and then make a decision after that?
 

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Ditto - the clar teach probl won't hurt - but you will learn correct SAX technique, etc. from the sax teacher and you will probl progress faster.

I'm surprised if she is giving music lessons she didn't pick up the sax herself?
Not like it's that hard to make the switch-

When I gave lessons back in college I picked up flute and tin whistle just to give lessons on them (I had requests from moms who liked my teaching style on sax and clarinet). Teaching someone while playing a different instrument just isn't as effective IMO.

As far as the reed thing - do a search on the forums - many opinions - but a stiffer read is not necissarily better - it depends on what you are going for.

For now listen to (or ask) your instructors what you should be playing on - figure out what you want later when you know more.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys, Im still booked and paid up for another 5 weeks worth of lessons, so no problem there Ill definetly finish it out regardless. She the clarinet teacher identifys and corrects all my mistakes no problems, and I am improving no issues whatsoever. I was just curious whether it is better to be taught by someone who plays that instrument for a living "the sax" over another that plays a different type of reed instrument for a living "clarinet". I learnt a long time ago in the military that you dont really need to be proficient at something to be able to coach someone in that field. They got us to pair of into groups of two and teach each other how to juggle. Ie spot what looks wrong identify the cause and rectify and alter prcoess. We all learnt to juggle in the one day and none of us had ever juggled before in our lives but we coached each other to the point we were all capable of doing the task. So as I just pointed out you dont have to be proficient in the field but it does help.
On the reed sizing the only reason Ive been pushing myself up the reeds is, Ive read numerous posts here and one thing that stands out amongst all of them is that if you can play on a larger reed then play it and dont go back to a smaller one keep pushing yourslef. I do feel that the larger reeds are hard to blow but they do sound good. My only problem with a 3 is just the first note and then it runs just fine, Im exhausted in half the time I am on a 2.5 reed. Should I stay with the 3 or go back to a 2.5. What is it that decides what reed size you guys use, how do you guys currently work out your size. Will the larger size no 3 be good for building up my lung capacity
Thanks
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just a quick follow up over the previous post I forgot to mention this. My daughter used my sax yesterday for her lesson didnt realise she took the wrong one, but about 10minutes into the lesson she was playing a high d and her teacher said youve got a loose screw on the bottom of your link rod or a weak spring because there was a slight reverberation when she played the note for a count of 4, sure enough I found a lose screw last night. Now I never noticed this in any of my lessons, but he hit it straight away when she used my sax
 

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Your "teacher" should be playing a sax to show you how things are done. Any competent musician can give you music lessons, but a sax lesson should be done with a teacher holding a sax - preferably the same type as the student.

As you observed, you learn with your eyes too.
 

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Hey I`m going to teach people to drive cars while I ride a motorbike! Seriously, get a sax teacher to teach you to play sax. Its as much about being shown what to do, having technique demonstrated, tones being played for you to emulate etc. Also, theres the inspiration thing - there`s nothing like watching and listening to a sax to make you want to play yours.
 

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I would think the reed strength issue is more about what goes good for you. Your teacher shouldn't be telling you not to try different reed strengths unless you're truely not ready, and if you feel that switching to 3's is something that works for you, then use em. Maybe you should grab both strengths, and then have your current teacher guess which is which by how you sound with it... Personally, my fav strength of reed is a plain Rico 2.5. Any lower, and it's too mushy, any harder and I just can't stand it...
 

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Would you study violin with a violist? Cello with a bassist??

SWITCH!!

Carl H. said:
As you observed, you learn with your eyes too.
Good point and also your ears. It's vital to hear a strong saxophone sound and to see and hear what's going on in the hands of an experienced player when you're first learning to play a woodwind. For now pick up some good recordings and get out to hear some players live if you can. Recorded sounds are nice but you FEEL a live sound and it penetrates to the core of your brain! No substitute.
 

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Rick Adams said:
The fact that one teacher is a clarinet player who also plays sax and the other is a sax player who also plays other instruments is not the most important fact, so long as she has sufficient technical understanding of the sax to be able to teach it. Far more important is each teachers ability to teach and your relationship with and trust in that teacher. It sounds to me like you're more comfortable with the teaching methods and approach of your daughter's teacher, but it might be worth considering carefully why that is. Why not try one lesson with the other teacher first and then make a decision after that?
That's exactly right. You need a sax teacher. The clarinet lady could be better. It's unlikely, I agree, but if her main instrument is clarinet she could still teach the sax well. if she's barely played the sax though I think you might as well go straight to the other guy.
 

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you should stay on the 3, I usually want my students to play on a 3 1/2. However its not unheard of (though very rare) that players will play on lower strengths (2 1/2, 2, ive even seen 1 1/2). Although the only professional players I can think of that do that are Brecker (he had problems with his throat) and Lenny Pickett, however lenny has a very strange setup designed for RnB type playing.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Wow this is an old thread to revive, 5 months ago I was just learning to read music, now I can play the sax, the clarinet and the flute, and Ive since started up a woodwind repair business. A lot happens in such a short time
 

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So, re the thread, did you get a new teacher?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Nope, but I did get rid of the old one. I took what I had learnt and continued on my own merry little way. The end result is Im happy, so much so that I went and started learning new instruments. The trick is quite simple practice practice and some more practice, and it doesnt hurt to record yourself either, and play it back and be critical. Im now a very firm believer that you cant or better yet shouldnt teach someone an instrument, if your not willing to play along with the same instrument. Eg learning is more than just listening its watching as well. After all you cant watch whats not there.
 
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