Always remember to practice safe sax.
Always remember to practice safe sax.
Obligatory Simpsons reference:
Bleeding Gums Murphy: You know, you play pretty well for someone with no real problems.
Lisa: Yeah, but I don't feel any better.
Bleeding Gums Murphy: The blues isn't about feelin' better. It's about makin' other people feel worse and makin' a few bucks while you're at it.
I plan on living forever. So far, so good.
treat it gentle
Well, what is your definition of safe?
I've heard of people losing their lives because someone else couldn't pay the $.50 toll fare...
This is a total assumption, and I will take the blunt end of that remark, but I believe that if the passion is strong enough, it will even overcome any physical issues from the "habit".
There are many examples... And worse habits... The heart prevails....
One need empathy and an understanding on the human condition, wallowing in misery is not a necessity...in fact its a hindrance. Music rises above, it doesnt wallow in self pity. If it does its little more than self indulgent rubbish.
Well, seriously, I think there's a very real risk of hearing loss, at least my hearing has gotten worse in past years and I've even developed some tinnitus. Though part of this may be beacuse of also playing keyboards in a very loud heavy metal band (though I use earplugs for that as hearing the tone absolutely correctly is not an issue when playing a synth).
Maybe I should get a pair of custom molded earplugs which are supposed to not affect the perceived tone (like the generic cheap earplugs do, so I don't want to use those with sax), but they are quite expensive.
I've also suffered from a tennis elbow, but that improved after I repositioned the thumb hook on my bari.
As for happy people living longer being nonsense, I believe stress is one of the great killers of our time, especially in a nation like us Finns who already have a high genetical risk of heart diseases. And at least for me, playing relieves the stress greatly, so it must be a good thing.
So much to tinker, so little time.
Pete, those doctor assumptions of lead poisioning or brain back-pressure can be totally neglected or considered them as
After 50 years spent performing on various creations of the evil genius Adolphe Sax....I have identified several potential safety hazards. Some admittedly unique to the full time pro player.
Should you find yourself spending great glorious gobs of time operating one of these insidious devices...read on:
1) Tendonitis-been there for sure. Other not-so fun variations: carpal tunnel, trigger finger. Stretch out before practicing everyone. This is completely avoidable.
"Muscle and tendon complaints among musicians include painful muscle syndromes and
inflammatory disorders of tendons and tendon sheaths."....see post number #26/link#2 from poster Milandro (Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru).
2) Compression of the nerves/disks in the spine from wearing a heavy instrument around your neck. Unless you have a 19" neck and play defensive line in the National Football League...buy a shoulder harness. If you don't like the way it looks onstage at least practice with it.
If that doesn't work for you keep your chiropractor, physical therapist or other practitioner of choice on speed dial.
On the other hand, peripheral nerves may be compressed or entrapped in several areas, especially in the upper-limbs, and leading to painful nervous syndromes and inflammatory processes. Entrapment neuropathies are one of the main subject of study among musicians' ailments....once again see post number #26/link #2 from poster Milandro (Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru).
3) TMJD-Temporomandibular Joint Disorder-this sucker is a mouthful in more ways than one. When you chew, talk or play a wind instrument the inflamed joint connecting your jaw to your skull goes snap, crackle, pop. Did about 10 hours of playing one day (actually three jobs the same day). Next day i woke up and had lunch (don't do breakfast, I'm a musician ya know?)....every time I chewed or even talked my jaw made weird popping noises...what a mess. Luckily it went away after five days and some immediate professional help. Hysteria is a useful tool for getting past a physician's receptionist on short notice. Remember that and use it !!!!
4) Divorce Court, Alimony, Child Support-A hazard for newbie professionals especially. Guys marry some young cutie and immediately go on the road for seven months. They make a surprise visit home only to find some other guy's clothes hanging in their closet.
5) Bankruptcy Court-haven't been there, but yeah....some of my best friends.
6) Borderline Personality Disorder-90% of the women you meet in a bar or backstage at an arena tour have this. They are inexorably drawn to men who display talent in the public arena...(athletes, musicians)...like moths to a flame. They obsessively go where the action is. And they have a personality for every day of the week, almost all of them TOXIC.
They are not labeled insane in the clinical sense but you would be better off locked in a tiny windowless room with a live hand grenade than one of these crazy (w)itches.
Want to work in clubs? Get married first cause this is what you'll meet on the job. It takes a self-reliant person to hook up long term with a pro-musician. The broken ones go to bars. Be aware. Be very, very aware.
Be grateful for luck. Pay the thunder no mind - listen to the birds. And don't hate nobody-Eubie Blake
[QUOTE=Pete Thomas;1425406]Probably not... but you know, stress is a major contributor to heart attacks and strokes, and judging by some of the heated debates that rage on S.O.T.W. members are more likely to evoke the effects of stress than say for example, your average Joe....I wonder if any has ever died or got seriously ill from playing a saxophone.
But on a slightly more serious side, Mouthpieces.... the bit that connects the sax with the human body, all sorts of problems could arise here, and to give an example, i recently used an old hard rubber Selmer Soloist that for some reason started to develop a sour taste whenever i put it in my mouth, after a bit of research and some speculation from members it was decided that the "taste" was in fact a chemical secreted by the hard rubber which was beginning to break down, now it was decided that this chemical was "probably" carcinogenic....
I really don't see why a Chinese sax would be more dangerous than say a French sax or an American sax, at the end of the day who puts the sax in their mouth? i doubt it would work without a mouthpiece somehow....
Happy music isn't serious music. It always reminds me of Mister Rogers neighborhood. I liked happy Disney children's music when I was in kindergarten but now that I'm an adult, it makes me want to puke. I get inspiration from punk rock or Mahler. I prefer roots music played by Blind Lemon Jefferson on a cheap guitar over some spoiled white guy playing the Mark VI he just paid $5,000 for is which one of three horns he owns.
My roommate in college said that sax players always die young. I think that is because they did a lot of drinking and drugs though.
To me, good music is music that moves me because of its has emotional content. Happiness is just one of many emotions, why preclude it from the label "serious music"?
Playing the sax is probably one of the more healthier addictions. I woud certainly die without. In fact I feel the sax playing made me healthier. No asthma anymore.
There's an interesting documentary on this phenomenon here:
Martin "Dick Stabile" Tenor: Barone Jazz 7*/GW7
"The spiritual life is built upon a commitment to truth telling and truth living. As master jazz musicians, [John Coltrane and Miles Davis] presented their spirituality within the reality of cool." --Farah Jasmine Griffen and Salim Washington
The cheap ones can have poorly finished metal that can cut the heck out of your hands if you're not careful. After experiencing this myself with a recent Chinese import, I don't even want to try such horns anymore. The cheap ones, that is.