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Discussion Starter #1
I've been lurking off and on for the past couple years or so and noticed quite a few posts, primarily from folks going to mainline traditional churches, where the church leadership or congregants have made bizaar statements as to why a saxophone is inappropriate in their church. I'd like to give a different perspective.

I re-took up sax at age 50 (took 6 months of lessons years ago and had it in storage for about 15 years) with the idea that I'd eventually like to play in the small community church I belong to. It took a couple years of lessons/practice to get to the point I was confident enough to play in front of others besides my wife or my instructor. That was going on 3 years ago and since that time I've played any time I was available. Most of that time the sax has been the main, if not only, lead instrument as neither the keyboard player nor any available guitarist likes doing solos. It's now to the point that instrumental sections are added to much of the material we do just to fit a sax solo into it and we'll do a strictly instrumental song when we play at nursing homes or benefits (like for the local food bank or Toys4Tots).

To conclude, my experiences with playing in a church setting have been extremely positive both for me and the folks that attend and I expect that not all have been as bad as some of what I've seen on the site here!
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
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Amen!

My own experiences have been nothing but great too. If we are sincere and truly believe what is portrayed in our Gospel music, I believe there will be path for us to follow. I hope those that have not had the rewarding experiences that we have had will keep trying. All talent comes from above. And I believe it is always given to us for a reason.
 

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Mike,

I am not as far along as you, but I share your goal. I played the sax from 4th grade till I graduated HS, but picked up the guitar and never my played again. Fast forward nearly 30 years and I have started trying to play the sax again with the intentions of playing in Church. So far my progress has been very slow but I am obsessed with it. At 46 years of age I sometime wonder if I am going to pull this off, so I found your post very reassuring.

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bstaggs <><
 

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Mike, I too appreciate your post. I've seen some of the negative church posts as well, and am glad people such as yourself will balance the record with good tales. Keep it up!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Mike,

At 46 years of age I sometime wonder if I am going to pull this off

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bstaggs <><
Hey--at 46 you've got many years left to minister through music. About 6 months after restarting I realized I'd never be as bad as I was at that time as long as I keep at it!! It's what kept me going. Keep us posted as I'm sure the time will eventually come when you're willing to get up there.
 

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Thanks Mike! If I fail, you can bet it will not be a lack of effort..... talent not withstanding. :) Will do on the keeping you posted. I am having a ball though, my wife can't figure out why I am not riding my motorcycle very often. Guess I shouldn't tell her I am thinking of selling it so I can get a new tenor.... :)

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DITTO. That is so funny. My motorcycle has been in mothballs since I got back into music as well. My wife could not be happier. She was always afraid that I would get hit by some idiot who was not paying attention while driving. It is nice to hear about other Brothers who worship THE LORD with their saxophone. I am very fortunate to be in Church where the Pastor and congregation appreciate the talents of their musicians. These guys are gifted and could easily be making bank doing secular gigs. They exclusively play for the church services and are paid and appreciated. I have been playing in church since I was 9 and this is the first church where I am truly appreciated for my ability to play the sax. Be blessed and keep up the good work.

Eric Maldonado Sr.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I am having a ball though, my wife can't figure out why I am not riding my motorcycle very often. Guess I shouldn't tell her I am thinking of selling it so I can get a new tenor.... :)
Having a ball is the only purpose to do this at this age! As for the other thing----my tone and sound improved drastically when I upgraded my horn and mp.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have been playing in church since I was 9 and this is the first church where I am truly appreciated for my ability to play the sax. Be blessed and keep up the good work.
That's great!!! You mention LA county and not the city. Where in the county are you? I lived in the Antelope Valley and knew folks from Valencia on up to the county line at Rosamond.
 

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We're not all whacked out
By definition, you play a saxophone, so therefor, you are obligated to be whacked out.

Has nothing to do with church music.... :mrgreen:
 

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By definition, you play a saxophone, so therefor, you are obligated to be whacked out.

Has nothing to do with church music.... :mrgreen:
Amen, brother. Amen....:bluewink:
 

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I used to play sax in a big church group in a very large church playing neo soul style gosple. That was a blast and the music was just one point and some of my all time favorite to play. I then left that gig and hit the road for years.

My grand parents were missionaries and they had churches all over the US and it even took them to Mexico city were my dad went to high school. My grandpa was a theology major and he minored in music. My grandma was the classic preachers wife and organ/piano player. My grandpa passed away years ago. My grandma was with us at her 90th birthday party/family reunion. Everyone was there. All her 4 kids, 5 grand kids and and 6 great grand kids. She had a stroke the day after she got home from the reunion. She was sharp as a whip and physically strong at her party. She died in her sleep the day after she got home on her 90th birthday exactly. At the reunion she asked me if I had taken my girl to church yet. I sheepishly said no. She, in her very loving way, said "well I hope you do sometime soon."

I played in church again for the first time in years at my Grandma's funeral about a month ago. I played amazing graze at the request of my aunt and uncles. It was very hard to get through but I practiced it for a week straight. I never spent so much time on one verse of music. It is a good thing I did because It helped me get through it and make it sound half way decent. My aunt, uncles and dad all played and sang a different parts of the service as well.

I have nothing against church but I have always been more of a karma kind of guy. I am happy to say that I have been to church with my wife and little girl a handful of times after the funeral. I want my little girl to get a good dose of morality from people other than me and my wife. I feel much better for it. My wifes coworkers husband works for the church and our little girls are good friends. My girl is 2 1/2 and their little girl just turned 3. their little girl calls us on the phone to invite my little girl to sunday school. It is pretty freekin cute.

It's funny how things work out. If you told me I would be going to church with my family 3 years ago I wouldn't have believed it but I'm quite happy about how everything is working out. I might end up playing at this church as well. I think Greg Vail used to play sax at this church.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I used to play sax in a big church group in a very large church playing neo soul style gosple. That was a blast and the music was just one point and some of my all time favorite to play. I then left that gig and hit the road for years.
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It's funny how things work out. If you told me I would be going to church with my family 3 years ago I wouldn't have believed it but I'm quite happy about how everything is working out. I might end up playing at this church as well. I think Greg Vail used to play sax at this church.

That's a fantastic story! In my case if you'd have told me maybe 6 months beforehand that I'd be making church services regularly I'd have responded with an expletive laced tirade that I wanted nothing to do with that kind. Turns out once I went I realized what had been missing all those years and many of my preconcieved ideas were a bit off-base.
 

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Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and Foru
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The saxophone still fits in church. I have had a lot of success fitting the Alto into just about any song that our worship team plays at church. Much of the success is owed to my worship team director accepting it, and the lead electric guitarist and myself working together so that we don't walk on eachother. We play primarily contemporary Christian music such as Chris Tomlin, Paul Beloche, etc. A lot of the time there is a strings part in the background that can be picked up on, and other times I just work out a part by ear that doesn't distract from the main melody. When the electric guitar plays a lead line, I simply break out into steady chord progessions on the harmony part to add volume and depth. The overall goal when I am not playing a solo part is to add some flavor to the music while staying out of the vocalists' way so to speak. The congregation absolutely loves the sound that the sax offers to the worship songs and it has been a very positive experience. All the glory goes to God, and all the appreciation I can muster goes to my worship team director for his willingness to let me play my part. I wish you all similar luck and success with your worship team.
 

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yeah, i just don't see anything negative about having a (decent) sax player in church. it's the accordian that's evil.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
yeah, i just don't see anything negative about having a (decent) sax player in church. it's the accordian that's evil.
I'd love to have an accordian playing a drone sound on a few numbers where it would really add tension and push the song along. Not much aside from that though.
 

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My pastor has a saxophone/worship cd we sometimes put on before services. She really wants me to play my sax in services though. It's not that I don't want to, I just don't feel like I'm that good at sax yet. Plus I enjoy working the soundboard.
 

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44 yrs of playing sax, Korea, Japan, east coast-west coast north-south and the most fun I've had is sharing my blessings of music in church. Music ministry turned me on so much that I have just gotten ordained and am busy still playing and also prison ministry. When I started I never thought I would be where I am, Dexter was all I wanted. Now all I want is to touch someone else with the music "HE" has put in me.

K
44 yrs of happy sax
 
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