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Thread: Does This Sound Reasonable for a hobbyist?

  1. #1

    Default Does This Sound Reasonable for a hobbyist?

    Hi,

    I'm just starting up sax again after leaving it for about 14 or 15 years. In high school, I played mostly Tenor sax and bassoon, but started on Alto and never completely stopped playing it. I was a music major (bassoon primary, tenor sax secondary) for 2 years in college before burning out and quitting (this was many years ago). Needless to say, I've moved on to a different career, but I purchased a Martin alto a little over a month ago and have been practicing (and enjoying it immensely). I've also got a Benetone Tenor sax (that I think is from the 1920s) and I am just about to send it out for repairs and I just picked up a crummy sop for $147 that plays, but feels more like a toy than a serious musical instrument (its an EM Winston).

    So, here is my plan, since I never stopped listening to music I have come to realize that I like both alto and tenor equally. In fact, I recently acquired two early Sonny Stitt recordings in which he plays both alto and tenor (sometimes even on the same tune). Needless to say, Stitt, Cannonball, and Coltrane are my idols. I can basically work in an hour or two per day, but right now I must spend most of my time working on my dissertation (which will be done this year, hopefully). Once my dissertation is done, I will be a free man (and my family has, in a way, informed me that for a graduation present, it might be a new saxophone).

    Anyway, once I'm done, I plan on supplementing my teaching career with some occasional gigging (night clubs, weddings, etc). So my plan is really just to focus on Alto and Tenor, when I get it back. I never had much of a problem switching between the two. I don't think I'll ever be a serious sop player, but I wouldn't mind getting good enough to where I could pull it out for a tune or two on occasion.

    One thing that I notice is that my big hands seem to fit better the tenor. Do you all think that hand size really matters with what instruments you play? Also, I thought about for practicing either switching each day (Alto on M,W,F) and Tenor on (Tu,Th,Sa) and Sunday free for whatever I want. Or practice a little bit (30 minutes on each) per day?

    Joe

  2. #2
    Distinguished SOTW Member Carl H.'s Avatar
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    Default

    Look into getting palm risers. Runyon makes inexpensive ones out of rubber, and oleg makes expensive ones out of metal. They are almost mandatory for D & F on alto and tenor.

    Why not do both instruments in the same session, if that is your goal? Work something on one horn untill you are satisfied, then work it on the other one.

  3. #3

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    Do whatever yu have time for right now, and when you finish your dissertation, get more serious about it. If you do too much right now you might find yourself burnt out all over again.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl H.
    Look into getting palm risers. Runyon makes inexpensive ones out of rubber, and oleg makes expensive ones out of metal. They are almost mandatory for D & F on alto and tenor.

    Why not do both instruments in the same session, if that is your goal? Work something on one horn untill you are satisfied, then work it on the other one.
    Thanks Carl, I will check into those.

    When I was a music major, I would practice bassoon in the early afternoon and then sax after dinner. I suppose I could play alto, do some other work, then come back and practice tenor when I need a break from my writing.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by saxymanzach
    Do whatever yu have time for right now, and when you finish your dissertation, get more serious about it. If you do too much right now you might find yourself burnt out all over again.
    You are likely right. I have a problem with getting in too much over my head, taking on too many things at once. Still, in a way, the playing is a relief from all the other things I'm doing. I'm not playing in any ensembles right now and I don't plan on it until I"m done with the diss. But I am on a committee that's planning a Jazz lecture series here at the university. The jazz director indicated to me that I'm welcome to come down and sit in with the jazz ensemble any time. Next Spring, I will be teaching an Aesthetics of Music course that will be coordinated with the jazz series. At some point, I may be making a post asking for y'alls help in finding some good readings. But I'll save that for another day.

  6. #6

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    When you have free time, definately go sit in with that band. To me, having the chance to play with others seems like it would be the best way to get your wheels in motion again.

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