Told that I'm too old....

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  1. #1
    Billylongpockets's Avatar
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    Default Told that I'm too old....

    Well I bought a cheap s/h tenor for £200..... It works as I can get the b notes as well as the high ones.. No excuses for playin bum notes... After 6 weeks of constant practice I was ready to make my first whats app video to a member of my family.. On makin the video I literally fell to bits...lol.. After about 20 odd takes the video was ready and got sent.. Back came a reply which took my breath away...
    " I don't know why your bothering as you should have taken it up 20 years ago when you were 39"....
    Man that hurt...
    Is anyone out there who was once 60 who made the horn really sing ???
    You can play the Blues through into the morning light, as long as your happy to do so...

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    Administrator mrpeebee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Told that I'm too old....

    That's a rude remark and I wouldn't let it influence you too much. Just stick with it if you like playing the sax.

    Starting young makes it easier, but it's not about age or the level you will reach, it's about enjoying the learning and making music. I think we have some other threads here on SOTW about the same topic, so you're not alone as a late starter.

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    Default Re: Told that I'm too old....

    Everyone's a critic. Don't be put off. Play for your own enjoyment. Satisfaction with one's sound comes later, if at all. It's a long road. Try to enjoy the journey.

    Six weeks is barely enough time to become acquainted with the saxophone much less make satisfactory noises. Recording after six weeks seems quite ambitious. I'm almost 3 years along and started at 62. I literally used to laugh into the mouthpiece at the sounds I was producing while playing during the same interval of my saxophone journey. At this point, I'm just getting good enough to think about what kind of sound to strive for down the road.

    Can I make the saxophone sing? No. But I've made some recordings that I'm pleased with and so are my friends. I'm sure you'll eventually have the same experience if you keep at it.

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    Default Re: Told that I'm too old....

    I started learning to play the sax 3 years ago, when I was 62, so you're starting 3 years ahead of me! I still don't make the horn "really sing" :-) but I am enjoying the journey and my progress. Sure, I'd be a better player now if I had been playing for 30 years already, but so what? Better late than never!

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    Default Re: Told that I'm too old....

    You're doing this for you, not them, Billy! Enjoy the ride and make it fun!

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    Default Re: Told that I'm too old....

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/..._People_Think_

    Are you enjoying the horn? Yes?

    That's all that matters.
    Go for The Tone,

    g



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    Forum Contributor 2011 Bob M's Avatar
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    Default Re: Told that I'm too old....

    Fr. Jack (Billy) - Don't listen to people like that. It is likely that you will never be Mark Turner, Donny McCaslin, Seamus Blake, etc. I'm 60 and have been playing since I was 11 and neither will I. Enjoy this great instrument and don't listen to the nay sayers.
    “You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me.”

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    Default Re: Told that I'm too old....

    Quote Originally Posted by mrpeebee View Post
    <snip> it's about enjoying the learning and making music. <snip>
    For me, this is exactly what it is about. I started around age 57, and am still a relative novice (advanced beginner?) at 59. I'm never going to be great, and I'd be highly surprised it if I just ever got really good, so I currently set my sights at the more potentially attainable ultimate goal of simple mediocrity . . . as far as skills/technique/musicianship and so forth are concerned. So I'd be happy to someday become even an "average" player, as far as any overall comparisons go. But every day that I work at it I feel I am getting better, and am enjoying it all the time. For example, I just had a minor embouchure epiphany this week, and am playing much better (teacher thought so too). Times like that, when you feel you are improving, are incredibly enjoyable, they're addictive in a way. Yes, there are days when I also get discouraged, but then I just throw on some blues backing tracks and fool around. All in all, I feel lucky to be able to learn and play and just have so much fun.

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    Default Re: Told that I'm too old....

    The benefits of playing a musical instrument are the key for me. I've decided to take up the saxophone and I'm sixty-nine. I found a good teacher and invested in lessons. We laugh a lot and have a good time. I played the French Horn in high school and college. I'm enjoying the alto much more. Keep at it. Have fun. If not now, when?

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    Default Re: Told that I'm too old....

    Based on the price you paid, your tenor probably does need some repair work done, and it will play much more easily. Take it in to the repair shop - most techs will tell you right away what needs to be done and the cost.

    And again, enjoy the journey of your progress in future playing. Even Michael Brecker never arrived at his destination - he was always striving to improve.

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    Default Re: Told that I'm too old....

    It's not your age, it's this: "After 6 weeks of constant practice...". What do you expect with 6wks of practice? It takes much more than that just to get to blow musically. I started 10 years ago at the age of 49 and I consider it being one of the best things I've done in my life and believe me, I've done lots of things in my life. Wish you all the best.

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    Forum Contributor 2014 Stuckond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Told that I'm too old....

    You playing the saxophone is going to bring you pleasure first. Other's pleasure will follow with some dedication on your part. Others also tend to give advice on what they know little or nothing about. You cannot go back in time. You can and will go forward and get better. A person who's attained your age has enough stories and heartbreaks to make something beautiful. Make yours with a saxophone.

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    Default Re: Told that I'm too old....

    The first priority should be your enjoyment. Do you enjoy the challenge and sound of practicing the instrument? Technique and tone will come. Find a teacher or some saxophonist friends who will encourage you. Best of luck in your saxophone journey! I know saxophonists who have sounded great into their 80s and 90s!

  16. #14
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    Default Re: Told that I'm too old....

    I agree with what others have said about a) you're doing this for yourself, so don't worry about what others say, b) what this other person said was rude and inconsiderate, and c) most importantly, you're not too old.

  17. #15
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    Default Re: Told that I'm too old....

    You're never too old, till they close the lid on you for the last time. I played guitar and sang, for most of my life. Now my hands aren't quite as dexterous as they used to be, so I've given up the guitar, to learn sax. Like others have said, I know I'm never going to be great.....there just aren't enough years left.....but I'm going to get as good as I possibly can, and that's all that matters. Don't let others stop you from doing what you want to do!
    Strive to be better than the day before.

  18. #16
    Billylongpockets's Avatar
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    Default Re: Told that I'm too old....

    Well, What can I say...
    Firstly many many thanks for all your kind words and advice...I was never going to quit as there is a passion which is burning inside to study harder and practice more with my timing and note recognition...
    I also found and bought a s/h "Rovner Dark Ligature which I saw on amazon... Amazing what you can find if your prepared to look and wait.. The ligature should compliment my newly acquired s/h yamaha CM4 mouthpiece. Now there's no excuses for any bum notes.. I'm really happy.....Bless you all....
    You can play the Blues through into the morning light, as long as your happy to do so...

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    Default Re: Told that I'm too old....

    I wonder how old you'll be in five years if you don't continue playing? Hoping not to offend too badly but duck-em anyway. Get a haircut....it'll take years off your looks though,,,,,


    just kidding. ;o)
    The last of the world's great human beings. Well maybe next to last? Ok a perfectly ordinary slacker, but I'm getting better.
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    Default Re: Told that I'm too old....

    I studied for one year back in the late 1960s while in high school, quit, tried it for another year in the mid 70s, quit, and finally decided 6 years ago (at 58) to lick this thing once and for all. I could barely play a scale when I (re)started, but today I'm playing in several bands - R&B/soul/blues, jam band, and a couple of jazz groups. Practice daily, take one step at a time, do it for fun, and lo and behold you will get better and better. I don't think I have enough time left on this great earth to ever get to be "good" but I no longer embarrass myself when I play in front of others, and that was my modest goal. (Not that I play all that well, it's just that I'm no longer embarrassed by it )Oh, and last year I finally decided to take some lessons, which I should have done from the beginning. If you really want to progress, find a good teacher who is used to working with mature gentlemen such as us.
    Selmer Mark VI tenor, Yamaha 82zUL tenor, Yamaha YAS62 alto, Yamaha YSS475 soprano, Cannonball Vintage Reborn soprano, Yamaha WX5 wind synthesizer, various blues harps (Mississippi saxes), ocarina, didgeridoo

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    Default Re: Told that I'm too old....

    If you're only 60, I'm thinking you will be able to really make the horn sing before you are "old", whatever that means. Practice, practice, practice, just keep at it, you should have a lot of years left. I had my first go at it a few years ago at 73. Now, at 77 I'm still working on the "making it sing" part, but my wife says I'm getting better. I think playing a few of her favorite songs at the end of my practice sessions helps.

    Best of luck.

    Steve D

  22. #20
    Forum Contributor 2013-2016 zelda's Avatar
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    Default Re: Told that I'm too old....

    Hey, Billy. As someone above said, you're doing this for yourself - not someone else. I turned 67 back in the fall and have been playing for 10 years now. And it's been my journey and for my pleasure. Don't be put off. You'll keep sounding better and better as time goes on and at some point you may well decide to join a band or start busking. Sixty is pretty young these days and if all goes well, you pretty much have another lifetime in your future.

    I stay close to SOTW; maybe not every day but when I do log on, I click on New Posts and read anything that catches my eye. I find this keeps me motivated.

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