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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Can any well designed alto with the correct mouthpiece, neck or reed be played in a legit setting? Or, must all real classical players play certain Selmers, Yanigasawas or ...? Can you use a P Mauriat or a Cannonball or a Keilworth or other of the newer brands to play in a Sax quartet or use them for classical repertoire? How much does your success depend upon concepts and how much on equipment? Is there a point where you must switch to the approved brands to be accepted? Which great classical players play other makes of saxophones.

Thanks

Gramophone
 

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The brand is not that important. The mouthpiece is however. Remember that Rascher played on a Buescher. Probably a good Vandoren or Selmer mouthpiece will help but the concept is the most important element.
 

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The brand is not that important.
In my experience quite a few classical player would disagree with that! The 'its got to be Selmer because everything else is junk' school is very strong on this side of t' pond.....
 

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In my experience quite a few classical player would disagree with that! The 'its got to be Selmer because everything else is junk' school is very strong on this side of t' pond.....
It was pretty strong over here too when I was in University - me and one other student were the only ones with Yamahas, and the prof openly despised us for it.

That prof also subscribed to the "only acceptable mouthpiece is a C*" theory. Didn't allow anything else - no Vandorens, no other sizes of Selmers, even mandated that Vandoren trads were the only reeds allowable. Very frustrating.
 

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In my experience quite a few classical player would disagree with that! The 'its got to be Selmer because everything else is junk' school is very strong on this side of t' pond.....
Funnily enough, I had a client in last week with a Yanoi 901 alto who asked me about upgrading it. I asked why, and it seems that her classical teacher pretty much insists that it's Selmer or nothing.

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Which great classical players play other makes of saxophones.

Thanks

Gramophone
I believe Eugene Rousseau plays on Yamaha saxophones...
 

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As does the splendid Otis Murphy.... Vandoren Mouthpiece too!
 

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The majority of mudd-stuck musicians who believe only one model/mouthpiece/reed combination exists for legit music have been educators in my personal experience. And of those who do, oddly enough they trust what they see rather than what they hear. It literally takes an outside influence to disagree with them before they will let their preconcieved notions go.

Best thing you can do is tell em you can't afford another horn in this economy. And then play your very best until they come around to understanding if one tries hard enough, a good musician can overcome the "fault" of having the wrong set up for the music that musician is playing.

To a degree you kinda gotta play along. Them believing you would play the right set up if you could afford it (sort of a roundabout way of agreeing with them-makes them feel like they at least got through to you) is alot easier than arguing with them and getting on their bad side. After all, they can still teach you many things while you're under their tutelege.

Best to ya
Harv
 

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I think it is wrong to play classical music on a black lacquered, bare brass or other odd finished saxophone. Try to do it with a metal mouthpiece, and you should be sent directly to jail.
 

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Can any well designed alto with the correct mouthpiece, neck or reed be played in a legit setting? Or, must all real classical players play certain Selmers, Yanigasawas or ...? Can you use a P Mauriat or a Cannonball or a Keilworth or other of the newer brands to play in a Sax quartet or use them for classical repertoire? How much does your success depend upon concepts and how much on equipment? Is there a point where you must switch to the approved brands to be accepted? Which great classical players play other makes of saxophones.

Thanks

Gramophone
Here is the 'operative' word.
Approved by whom?

What you should do is go on ebay and get one of the off brand, never heard of, REALLY CHEAP altos that claim to be TEACHER APPROVED.
Play it in class, for lessons, in an ensemble... When you get complaints show them the add where it states that it is in fact a "TEACHER APPROVED" brand. Aren't you supposed to be playing a horn that is approved?

After that I doubt that you'll have any problems playing a 'name brand other than Selmer' alto in a classical setting.
You are making the music, NOT the instrument. Stooge 'teachers' have problems understanding that concept.
 

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In my experience quite a few classical player would disagree with that! The 'its got to be Selmer because everything else is junk' school is very strong on this side of t' pond.....
Selmers are best for jazz too.
 

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I studied classical sax for quite a while and did play a MKVI. My teacher was a Selmer "artist" and I played the C* and a Soloist D for most of the time. However, a guy who had the classical tone I loved played a Couf (Keilworth really) and used an Otto link HR 5! The whole debate of what equipment one needs for a particular sound is pretty complex and is clearly not a "one size fits all" thing. I think the player is the number one factor followed by the mouthpiece/reed combination. This statement is not addressing mechanics, ergonomics, the accuracy of the "scale" of a particular brand of sax or anything else except the qualities of the sound that comes out. A great player can get a great tone out of some equipment many of us here would consider substandard. I suggest the control and support of the air stream matched with a mouthpiece/reed combination that compliments the embouchure of the player is the most important factor in any "tone", be it classical, jazz, R&B or anything else. Of course, some prefer a more open mouthpiece to support their style and concept and some like the "feel" of mouthpiece A vs. mouthpiece B. No two people are exactly the same and this really does mean no two sax players are the same. The lucky ones among us find a combination that works for them early in their careers and spend more time developing their skills than searching for new gear. That being said, I listened to the Warburton LA tenor model on Steve Neff's website and want one! GAS is a sickness... So, to answer the original question, yes, I believe that a skilled "classical" saxophone player with a complimentary mouthpiece/reed combination can get a great classical sound out of any brass tube (saxophone...) and the name on the tube is not a real defining factor in classical sound.
 

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The only acceptable classical altos, or mouthpieces, have names ending in -scher.

Be sure to be scher. Be scher to be sure.


I'm Saxophone Trollface, and I approve this message.
 

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For 2 seasons I played Tenor in the Tallahassee Winds. Their lead alto player had one of the most beautiful tones I had ever heard. He was playing a nickel silver Keilwerth. He would constantly practice during the breaks and I hated to interrupt him because he sounded so darned good. (Probably because of all his practicing) I never did find out what kind of mouthpiece he played.
 

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For 2 seasons I played Tenor in the Tallahassee Winds. Their lead alto player had one of the most beautiful tones I had ever heard. He was playing a nickel silver Keilwerth. He would constantly practice during the breaks and I hated to interrupt him because he sounded so darned good. (Probably because of all his practicing) I never did find out what kind of mouthpiece he played.
If you come from Tallahassee, you can play whatever you like. ;)
 
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