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View Full Version : name some bad habits that should be avoided



pepper
06-07-2003, 05:41 PM
following on from the golden rules thread, how about naming some saxaphone related bad habits that are best avoided ?

Merlin
06-07-2003, 06:51 PM
Don't bite.

Don't lift 'n' shift the thumb when activating the octave key. Always roll it.

Don't lift the fingers WAY off the keys.

Don't set the neck strap too low.

Big Nick
06-07-2003, 06:55 PM
Don't buy the same gear as your favorite sax player in the hope that it will make you sound like him/her.

Mike Ruhl
06-07-2003, 06:57 PM
Don't buy the same gear as your favorite sax player in the hope that it will make you sound like him/her.Right! Buy it in the hopes it will make you simply look like them!

stitch
06-08-2003, 12:05 AM
following on from the golden rules thread, how about naming some saxaphone related bad habits that are best avoided ?

Don't spell saxophone wrongly..... :wink:

I. Fallon
06-08-2003, 01:57 AM
Stitch, don't be so hard on the boy! I get some of my best deals on eBay searching under saxaphone and Keilworth (oops, I let that one out of the bag).

Under things not to do,

1. hold the neck close to the mouthpiece while inserting the mouthpiece (otherwise, it causes the famous tenor neck droop).

2. Never pick up a saxophone by the neck.

3. Always check to make sure that the neck, mouthpiece, and other items left with the saxophone at the repairman are in the box before you leave the store/basement/whatever.

4. A loose fitting saxophone case or a leather gig bag is a repairman's vacation nest egg.

5. Never buy a saxophone requiring shipment without making sure that the seller looks at and adheres to the advice given in the cybersax web page about the requirements for saxophone packing.

6. The saxophone world does not begin and end with instruments bearing the words "Selmer Paris France," regardless of what the school teacher said (I fell for this one).

7. Never superglue a fitting back on the body as a temporary fix until the repairman can look at it (it is almost impossible to solder thereafter without making a mess and burning lacquer).

8. Never continue to play a saxophone with a loose bell brace unless you are fond of the nickname Mr. Twistyneck.

paulwl
06-08-2003, 02:31 AM
[never] hold the neck close to the mouthpiece while inserting the mouthpiece (otherwise, it causes the famous tenor neck droop).
How far away can you hold the neck from the mpc and still get the mpc on? :)

Anonymous
06-08-2003, 05:23 AM
Damn! How could I have missed THAT one!

Kudos, paulw!

DaveKessler
06-08-2003, 06:54 AM
Never let the premise of learning sax be because of Kenny G!!!

Alexk
06-08-2003, 11:59 AM
Under things not to do;
Don't cheat at breathing, ever
Never let reading mistakes go un-corrected at practice
Don't play 100 notes when 3 tasteful ones and a rest will do just as well
Don't accept free drinks at a Tex-Mex gig, can be powerful :roll:

mr00420
06-08-2003, 01:51 PM
Don't play out of the side of your mouth and hold your horn at a 90 degree angle (especially at the same time.)

Tenorsaxer
06-08-2003, 03:13 PM
Don't play friggen Smooth Jazz plz... ya.

stitch
06-08-2003, 04:51 PM
Stitch, don't be so hard on the boy!

Yeah, I know; sorry I. Fallon, I just couldn't resist it. I just hope it was taken in the spirit in which it was meant.

I. Fallon
06-09-2003, 03:35 AM
No joke, I did this more than once and it has always worked:

Never leave a saxophone for repair without at least a pint of "spirits" in the case from "Santa."

pepper
06-09-2003, 11:58 AM
i must have bene speling sax*phone rong my hole liffe then.

and i always thught i was good at this speling thing

paulwl
06-09-2003, 01:39 PM
Never let reading mistakes go un-corrected at practice
Reading as opposed to SIGHTreading, I hope...If you stop for mistakes during sightreading practice, you'll miss the point: keeping going!

Here's another one I can speak to personally:
Never put the reed on before the ligature! You may only chip 1 out of 50 reeds that way, but you never know when (maybe your best reed before a big performance!) Slip the liggy on loose, then the reed in under it.

Wailin'
06-10-2003, 01:22 PM
Dont worry about your looks while performing...judging from the photographs I've seen of famous players. Their faces look ugly and very squirmish while they're playing.

Anonymous
06-10-2003, 03:10 PM
Keep a stiff upper lip...and a clean lower tract!

Stacey
06-10-2003, 07:52 PM
Even if you buy a horn to LOOK like your favorite player, PLEASE don't try to LOOK like Kenny G!

Don't pass up the opportunity to gloat when you audition for something and 'defeat' an owner of a Paris Selmer using your crappy old student Conn with your Rico reeds and your $5 mouthpiece!

DON'T give up your passion for music just because the surveys say you will probably make more money being an engineer... :cry:

Jazzophone
06-11-2003, 02:17 AM
DON'T give up your passion for music just because the surveys say you will probably make more money being an engineer ...

I second that! And to veer away from all of the don'ts -- ALWAYS do what you want to do. If you're with a teacher or something that is always pushing you to play things you hate, or you're on an instrument and are constantly checking out another and wishing you were playing that one ... switch!! Doing something you hate is just going to discourage you and you'll never get far.

On that same note (no pun intended), practising scales and long tones and other such studies are not included in the list of things that you would switch teachers for :roll:

Chris04
06-27-2003, 03:45 PM
1. hold the neck close to the mouthpiece while inserting the mouthpiece (otherwise, it causes the famous tenor neck droop).
...I feel stupid now, hahaha. :oops: I've always held the neck right where the cork ends when I put the mouthpiece on (yes, I play tenor, but it's the school's horn luckily, glad I found this out before I bought a sax); where should I hold the neck? You do mean this is something not to do, right? Also, I totally agree with this one:

6. The saxophone world does not begin and end with instruments bearing the words "Selmer Paris France," regardless of what the school teacher said (I fell for this one).

Angel
06-28-2003, 06:03 AM
The number one "don't" on my list regards the issue of muscle tension (biting included). The body and its movements should be free, relaxed, and graceful while playing the saxophone, if one wishes to avoid health problems, build faster/more accurate technique, and achieve the facility needed for more degrees of expression.

The other things mentioned are also very important, especially the issue of spelling the name of our instrument correctly.

:wink:

OANegrin

Saxrose
06-28-2003, 07:39 AM
Pick up your sax case with the lid opening towards your leg - especially after a couple of pints. At least there is a chance of saving it after you have forgotten to close the latches!

shmuelyosef
07-02-2003, 03:43 AM
I'm amazed that this one was missed:

- Don't eat or drink during gigs and practice (except beer and/or water, of course!)...particularly avoid soft drinks!!! ir you don't know why, I can repad your horn when the time comes (sooner than later).

Tissot
07-07-2003, 01:13 AM
Don't forget to learn how to be a mature musican.

Don't make any judgement on someone, unless you are 122% sure that you are better than them.

Don't spend too much time on complaining your equipment is not good enough.

Big Nick
07-07-2003, 09:33 AM
That would empty this forum overnight. :lol:

The Martin
07-07-2003, 09:47 AM
Don't ever think you're 122% better then someone.....

Tissot
07-07-2003, 09:51 AM
in the other words..........

we don't deserve to make any judgemnt on other players.

spend those "judging time" into yourown pratice time, I believe you could be a better player.

JL
07-07-2003, 07:10 PM
Here's a followup on saxrose's comment. Don't EVER close the case (with horn in it) without immediately latching or zippering it closed.

dingfelder
07-07-2003, 11:29 PM
is diet soda as bad as regular soda for the horn ?

Vortex
11-11-2003, 09:16 PM
I've got a few:

1. Don't use vibrato often, if at all. Vibrato sounds really bad unless you're very consistent with your pulse and know how to use it tastefully. The clarinet has a beautiful tone without vibrato, so why can't the sax? Learn other method to fluctuate/beautify your tone. Vibrato's a rather cheap trick mostly used by the French school of sax playing. Your time would be better spent practicing longtones instead of finding a way to cover-up a deficiency at them (a reason many younger players use vibrato).

2. Don't play/practice alone all the time. Find some groups to get with, if you get in some good ones you'll be surprised how much you will learn about yourself and your own style of playing.

3. Don't get lost in the middle of a jazz solo. Also, don't counter this by writing-out a solo beforehand.

4. Don't cheat on tonguing.

5. Don't bend metal ligatures (intentionally or accidentally). The results can really upset one.

gary
11-11-2003, 11:10 PM
Don't spend too much time reading lists like this instead of practicing :roll:

MS
11-12-2003, 08:06 AM
dingfelder, I was wondering about the soda thing myself.

colibri
11-12-2003, 08:11 AM
Vibrato's a rather cheap trick.
Sidney Bechet would spit on your face if he's still alive.

jazzbluescat
11-12-2003, 08:57 PM
Don't spend too much time reading lists like this instead of practicing :roll:

ditto


'Smatter w/vibrato, now?

Jeff Foster
11-13-2003, 01:33 AM
"Never let the premise of learning sax be because of Kenny G!!!"

Along the same lines, do not, repeat, DO NOT, play out of the side of your mouth like Kenny G!!!!

Vortex
11-15-2003, 10:36 PM
Vibrato's a rather cheap trick.
Sidney Bechet would spit on your face if he's still alive.

DAMN! Why'd I let the infamous Vibrato Argument out of the bag?

Anyway, I do say it sounds bad "unless you're very consistent with your pulse and know how to use it tastefully", implying that it can sound good. I just get apalled when I hear high-schoolers using vibrato to cover up the fact that their intonation and/or embourchure is undeveloped. These guys use it on EVERYTHING. In this instance, it's a VERY cheap trick. But wielded by someone like Bechet it sounds quite nice.

colibri
11-15-2003, 11:03 PM
I just get apalled when I hear high-schoolers using vibrato to cover up the fact that their intonation and/or embourchure is undeveloped.
That I would have to agree.

averageschmoe
11-18-2003, 04:38 AM
to make it work naturally a player must make every effort to incorporate vibrato into his/her sound. young players will do so and sound awful, but that's the nature of growth. with time and good instruction the vibrato will no longer be a tool to hide bad intonation but will become a tool to generate movements in what might otherwise be stagnant notes.

and then there are times when it's inappropriate. but since we know how to use vibrato we know also how not to use vibrato.

end of rant

beginning of next

1. you want to avoid playing at the mouth. the saxophone embouchure is simple and set, so forget about it. concentrate on placing the air under the fingers where they actually fall on the instrument. the music will lie, middle d is not higher than middle c on the saxophone.

2. tapping your foot, moving your head, or otherwise dancing around does not create time while playing the saxophone. none of that has any bearing on the way your fingers play the first note into the second not to make a downbeat, or a downbeat into another downbeat to create a phrase. time is and can only be in the fingers.

3. as time is in the fingers so is articulation (yeah i know it doesn't but bear with me). the tongue wagging about and slapping the reed does not create definite articulation and will distort time. tonguing to the finger move will define the articulation and allow time to exist in the fingers.

4. the more you physically try to influence your individual sound the less you will have. the more natural it feels to you the more natural it will feel to the audience.

end of rant.

though i'm sure leo and phil would have tons to add, and i'm sure some corrections here and there...

Subtone Sam
11-19-2003, 05:03 PM
Don't play out of the side of your mouth

show me a player who doesn't...

werkinsnake
11-22-2003, 08:06 AM
DO NOT DRINK SOFTDRINKS BEFORE A GIG.
All soda's ("POP" to me and Vortex) have a citrus acid in them. What is citrus acid? Well it's something that is in all lemon, lime, and orange rinds. The acid will disolve pads (why do you think it's used in cleaners?). It's also flamable. That's right CITRUS FRUIT IS FLAMABLE!!! Don't believe me? Try this little experiment...

Take a rind of an orange, lemon, or lime.
Make sure that the rind is dry.
Take a lighter and hold it up to the rind.
Now squeeze the rind. You'll see flames shootin everywhere.

I did this little trick a couple times while trying to convince people that I was some kind of wizard. (It actually worked at that comic book convention :shock: ) Amaze your friends by lighting fruit on fire.

Morry
11-22-2003, 09:11 AM
I did this little trick a couple times while trying to convince people that I was some kind of wizard. (It actually worked at that comic book convention :shock: ) Amaze your friends by lighting fruit on fire.

Want to amaze folks at a comic book convention? Bring a date :-)

werkinsnake
11-22-2003, 10:45 AM
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Morry, that's the best laugh I had in a while. What you say is undeniably true!!!

Lenny
12-02-2003, 04:00 AM
Don't spend all your time cruising this forum when you could be practising.

miles_ahead_music
01-07-2004, 08:45 PM
-Don't attempt to play every request you get at a gig!

-Don't sell out. If you're asked to play "Songbird" or any other Kenny G song at a wedding, fake you own death, complete with suicide note. Name the bride and groom as the main two influences on your decision to "end it all."

-Never, never, never pawn your axe!!! The couple of hundred bucks they'll give you for a premium sax will never get you out of the hole!

-Never, never, never lay alcohol soaked strips pf cloth across the bell of your horn and set them on fire. (I did this a couple of times.) It's almost worth the laughs and amazement that it brings...almost!

-Never let ANYONE play your horn using your mouthpiece and reed. Wanna know why so many woodwind players have herpes? (cold sores if you will). (I think I did that one too)

-Never claim to be a jazz player if you aren't yet! That one will come back to bite you every time. I know I did that one. Do claim to be an R&B player. Sanborn did that for years!

-Do not smart off to a big drunk guy between sets at a bar. That one might do you in for the night.

-Do not fight the mystique of being called a "band geek." Like it or not, if you're playing sax at a young age, you are a band geek. Those of us who are older have probably come to grips with that by now.

justbari
01-22-2004, 02:43 AM
Citrus acid? That stuff in the rind that is flammable is actually citrus OIL. Acid is not flammable. The acid in soft drinks is actually phosphoric acid and contrary to popular belief, if you put a nail in your Coke it will not dissolve completely. It will turn black though...

I think you're not supposed to drink soft drinks while playing sax because the sugar will make the pads sticky. Stick to water (or beer)...



justbari

Stencilman
01-22-2004, 05:03 AM
Never set your soprano down by balancing it on its bell, even for a second. Never lay it down on a bed, chair or sofa because it will roll off for sure.

BlueNote
01-22-2004, 05:34 AM
Jazz Solo Tip #1

When soloing in jazz, don't tongue all the notes that you play! None is better than all. Learn to connect the notes, not separate them. Once you learn to connect the notes, you find yourself creating better phrases with your ideas.[/i]

pinoysax
02-01-2004, 06:27 AM
remember to brush your teeth ...... :lol: ..always!!...esp..if you always eat choco...candies.....am sure you dont want to loose your teeth!...or you will just end up playing percussion...got what i mean?:lol: ...

let's ask the pros....

Lenny
02-01-2004, 07:22 AM
Stay of the internet it will kill your practise time.

Vortex
02-02-2004, 12:40 AM
If ya smoke, plz don't smoke in the middle of a solo. Although it might look cool to exhale a bunch of smoke through your horn as you play some smooth licks, resinated pads are no fun.

demk8
05-05-2004, 08:30 PM
-Do not fight the mystique of being called a "band geek." Like it or not, if you're playing sax at a young age, you are a band geek. Those of us who are older have probably come to grips with that by now.

Too many people say it like it's a bad thing! I'm a band geek and proud!

Kareeser
05-05-2004, 10:51 PM
Same here, demk8. They laugh because I have to go to band. I laugh because they can't, :D

Vortex
05-06-2004, 12:03 PM
Don't be afraid of performance/audition stress. A lot of players do some of their best stuff when they're under tons of pressure.

Peeweestin
05-09-2004, 04:49 PM
crying in the middle of a lick

jazzman1313
05-09-2004, 07:44 PM
Way back when, pinoysax wrote:
"...or you will just end up playing percusson..."

I resent that remark! I play in my high school's drumline for marching band. I just can't defile my sax by playing that horrible marching "music", even if it is a student model.

Vortex
05-10-2004, 01:21 AM
I just can't defile my sax by playing that horrible marching "music", even if it is a student model.

Oh yeah, because you know it's not going to do ANYTHING for you at all, not even strengthen your chops, or give you a use for dud reeds, or...

soulsax
05-11-2004, 07:33 AM
1; Avoid coming on as being better than you are. Even if you just happen to be the best there. (where ever, what ever) It will come out in your playing. 8) ... 2; Over playing. Avoid that too. You could blow a good preformance, if , you over do it. Sax can wear some people out. ... 3; Avoid playing over singers. Keep your volume in check, big time. In studio it can work great. But in the real world ( A park, a school gym, a garage, a concrete building, some little bar or restaurant ect.) a true sound, a correct mix that fits the location is tough. No two are a like. 4; Aviod punks, they will take you down. Try to know who they are. Remember, the kook' that killed John Lennon was a "fan". Could be a fan, a fellow musician, the bartender, or a new "friend". ...............Steal the show when its 'right! 5; AVOID MISSING THAT OPPORTUNITY ... it wont repeat... 6; Aviod thinking youve done it all, because you can't . It's impossable. :wink: I've never played in a march band! :(

pepper
05-13-2004, 06:26 PM
crying in the middle of a lick

never hurt ben webster

SaxPlayer1004
06-17-2004, 03:54 AM
Pick up your sax case with the lid opening towards your leg - especially after a couple of pints. At least there is a chance of saving it after you have forgotten to close the latches!
play a vito alto and the case opened on me before i heard of this techinique, dropped it down the stairs, luckily those damned things are build like a talk and i got off with a few minor scratches, no dents or dings or misaligned keys, (DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME)( DO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT TRY THIS WITH ANY OTHER HORN OR ANY HORN FOR THAT MATTER)

Kareeser
06-17-2004, 04:03 AM
:shock:

Wow, nice one Saxplay1004. Nice to know your sax was undamaged, :D

sax_appeal
06-17-2004, 09:06 AM
-Never, never, never lay alcohol soaked strips pf cloth across the bell of your horn and set them on fire.
What!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!????????????????????


I just can't defile my sax by playing that horrible marching "music", even if it is a student model.
Try playing ON the beat after some of that music. Marches are really good on bari though

SaxPlayer1004
06-17-2004, 02:44 PM
they pack a bit more punch than the tubas on the same line. i marched bari and got switched to tuba because we had one convertible tuba three baritones and a bari sax for the back parade line and it looked really wierd. we play deg 3/4 marching tubas so they dont project for their lives, so you have to tongue them wicked hard and blow your brains out which just makes it sound bad. i love marching tubas over sousas any day, but they have to be full size BBb tubas. baris are definetly the only sax worth marching though,the tenor and altos and get matched with trumpets/mellos and baritone horns hecne the whole drum corp thing.

Vortex
06-17-2004, 05:22 PM
Always suggest playing bari if you need a good low instrument (as opposed to tuba, bass, bone, etc). If you can play well and have the right sound, you'll just slaughter any one of them performance-wise.

SaxPlayer1004
06-17-2004, 06:32 PM
definetly hear you on that but on two conditions. if you are a bass guy and cant play clarinet, what do you play for bass instruments in orchestra. or what happens if you want to do drum corp/marching band and they dont want bari sax's. i mean tenor isnt low enough, and UMASS amherst wont march bari's because they do the same thing as a tuba except it doesnt look very good because unless you 6 2 you cant keep the thing in front of you and then it looks un uniform. oh well just the opinions of a northern marching band guy