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Sax, Clarinet, Flute, Trumpet~Jazz Freaks


Compact Diss

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I have tried to play the saxaphone, piano, and the drums well after I learned guitar. I think if I had perservered I could have been pretty good at either (well maybe not the drums). But I just came to the conclusion that I only have so much time for music, and that time was better spent on guitar. I like the guitar best anyway.

 

I will say that that I gained an appreciation for these instruments that I probably wouldn't have had otherwise. The hard part for me on another instrument is I miss the ability to imrovise freely. It doesn't take all that long to learn the basics and a few songs, but to be able to just blow takes awhile.

 

I have probably told this story here before but what the heck. I took group piano class at a community college after I graduated from college. I knew I was in trouble when the teacher walked up to me and asked why I was wiggling my finger on the keys. I didn't really notice it before, but I was subconciously trying to get vibrato.

 

On saxaphone, I took lessons from a guy that I got hooked up with from the local music store. This guy would come to my place for a one hour I think $20 lesson. He would end up staying for a minimum of 2 hours every time. I was his only adult student, and the only one who had any music experience. We would have a beer and talk about music for hours. He was the one who turned me on to Coltrane. That in itself was worth the price of the lessons.

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My first lessons were actually on piano. I still like to play but I find it tires my hands out after a while. Someone bought me a harmonica for a present, I`ve fooled around with it a few times but I don`t know if I`ll really make an attempt or not. My mom hates the instrument for some reason. I have a wood flute I picked up somewhere, I`ve made a few attampts on that too.

Nice sound, I`ve even managed to get some vibrato out of it.

Most fun and easiest, I`d have to say percussion.

I`ve been able to play live with minimal (to put it mildly) formal training. I even sat in for a missing drummer once, it was basic but servicable. Then the guitarist turned around and said `solo!` during `Not Fade Away.`

I never did entirely forgive him for that.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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I found sax pretty easy to pickup insofar as the fingering was surprisingly similar to the recorder they taught me at school.

 

On the other hand, I was too used to thinking in terms of chords and voicings and so on.

 

I realized pretty quickly that I while I could play sax, I couldn't THINK sax and so I went back to guitar. One day I'll take it up again. :)

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I took up guitar *after* playing clarinette and sax. I had a car-accident and lost some front teeth, so couldn't hold the reed properly, so I went on to guitar.

 

G.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the World will know Peace": Jimi Hendrix

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=738517&content=music

The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

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When considering playing wind instruments generally you should think about the fact that it takes a fair amount of time (i.e. a few years practicing every day) to begin to develop and keep a good tone. Fret a note on a guitar, and it sounds okay. You may not like the tone of the amp, speakers, effects, cable, etc., but if you are fretting the note it sounds. With a wind instrument, if you are serious, plan on an hour a day, minimum, just to develop good tone. I played bass trombone for a good while (more than a decade) and I spent a goodly amount of time playing long tones (i.e. tied whole notes). I still love bass trombone, but it's an utterly different sort of animal from guitar.

 

To answer your question, as I understand it, is rather difficult. I've played flute and I found it to be easier than trombone to begin with, but significantly more difficult later on (not more difficult than trombone, just difficult) and a hell of a lot harder than guitar, but it depends what level of playing you are talking about. If you are serious, any of these instruments is a serious commitment. When I was playing seriously, I played eight hours a day. Really.

 

Then again, I was pretty good.

 

They are all different sorts of instruments with different problems. A significant number of jazz saxophonists double on flute. Clarinet is obviously closely related to saxophone both in fingering and tonality. Trumpet is totally different and I have never seen anyone who played a reed double on trumpet or vice versa who was any good.

 

Cheers,

 

Alan Tomlinson

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On that list: sax. Unfortunately they are complicated, (read: expensive), little beasts to manufacture. I don't think that Rondo Music has an Agile tenor sax. :-)

 

Yamaha makes some excellent student models. The tone may not be up there with Coltane or Adderly, but the horn will play in tune. If you buy a cheap chinese knock-off on ebay, it'll likely never play in tune, and you'll get frustrated beyond belief.

 

I've come to prefer alto sax over tenor in the past few months, after decades going the other way. I just started playing guitar in a guitar/sax duet, and the alto is soooooo much nicer in that context. Don't even bother with soprano sax. Like ithe oboe, it's an ill wind that nobdy blows good.

 

Peace,

 

Paul

Peace,

 

Paul

 

----------------------

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Originally posted by rockincyanblues:

On that list: sax. Unfortunately they are complicated, (read: expensive), little beasts to manufacture.

On the positive side, though, once you've bought your sax, you won't buy a lot of other stuff. Guitars are cheaper, of course, but then you have to buy cables, amps, pedals, strings and so on.

 

 

Originally posted by rockincyanblues:

I've come to prefer alto sax over tenor in the past few months...I just started playing guitar in a guitar/sax duet, and the alto is soooooo much nicer in that context.

I'd much rather the tenor. I love that old style, 50s rock n' roll sax. That really hot, overdriven sound that you hear on old Duane Eddy records.

 

You can't do that sort of thing with an alto.

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Originally posted by Vince C.:

I'd much rather the tenor. I love that old style, 50s rock n' roll sax. That really hot, overdriven sound that you hear on old Duane Eddy records.

 

You can't do that sort of thing with an alto.

True, very true. It's very much a situation where you find the right tool for the job. I love the old Little Richard stuff with 4 or 5 saxes cranking away. It's a toss up whether you go alto or tenor for your first sax. Soprano is tough to play, and Bari saxes are too freaking expensive to get a decent one for your first sax.

 

As far as cost goes, I think the cheapest instrument on the list would be a flute. With the exceptions of Jethro Tull, and the solo's in Chicago's "Color My World" and The Guess Who's "Undun", there ain't much call for flute in Rock and/or Roll.

 

Peace,

 

Paul

Peace,

 

Paul

 

----------------------

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Originally posted by rockincyanblues:

On that list: sax. Unfortunately they are complicated, (read: expensive), little beasts to manufacture. I don't think that Rondo Music has an Agile tenor sax. :-)

 

Yamaha makes some excellent student models. The tone may not be up there with Coltane or Adderly, but the horn will play in tune. If you buy a cheap chinese knock-off on ebay, it'll likely never play in tune, and you'll get frustrated beyond belief.

 

I've come to prefer alto sax over tenor in the past few months, after decades going the other way. I just started playing guitar in a guitar/sax duet, and the alto is soooooo much nicer in that context. Don't even bother with soprano sax. Like ithe oboe, it's an ill wind that nobdy blows good.

 

Peace,

 

Paul

What`s wrong with the oboe? I love the oboe. I can`t play it but I love to listen to it. Reminds me of Minnesota`s state bird (NOT the mosquito).

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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Originally posted by skipclone 1:

What`s wrong with the oboe? I love the oboe. I can`t play it but I love to listen to it. Reminds me of Minnesota`s state bird (NOT the mosquito).

Oboes are double reed instruments, which means you have to make TWO reeds vibrate together. The first few times you try it, you wind up dizzy and/or with a headache. And almost no sound at all. It's very hard to keep up that sort of pressure (embouchure) on the reeds.

 

Most beginners manage to get a strangled squeak out of the oboe and not much more.

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Originally posted by skipclone 1:

What`s wrong with the oboe? I love the oboe. I can`t play it but I love to listen to it. Reminds me of Minnesota`s state bird (NOT the mosquito).

The oboe player was always the last one to sound good in grade 9 instrumental music class. It's a much quicker journey to sounding good on a suxophone than an oboe or a bassoon, or any double reed instrument for that matter.

 

The dig at the oboe is an old quote I heard years ago. From randomhouse.com:

 

"That this is a dear and familiar cliché is borne out by a dear and familiar syntactic pun it has inspired. But here, too, we are haunted by confusion. This play on words is variously said to be about the clarinet, the French horn, or the oboe. It has been attributed to--among others--Duke Ellington, Ogden Nash, Sir Thomas Beacham, Danny Kaye, and Danny Kaye's wife, Sylvia Fine, who wrote the songs for all his movies. In truth, it was probably around before any of them. But whoever said it first, the words that ring in my ears were sung in 1947 by Danny Kaye in the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: "And the oboe it is clearly understood / Is an ill wind that no one blows good."

 

Peace,

 

Paul

Peace,

 

Paul

 

----------------------

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Thanks for all the response. I really don't have the time to commit to learn a new instrument let alone the guitar. I would go for alto sax, the clarinet sounds good to me but...I'll probably be able to find a nice student sax somewhere...Want to hear something stupid, not that I ever thought about it before but I didn't even know the sax got tuned...

 

 

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Originally posted by Compact Diss:

Want to hear something stupid, not that I ever thought about it before but I didn't even know the sax got tuned...

Well, you can't tune it to some weird alternate tuning. You can't push a tenor into playing in F#.

 

But you can move the mouthpiece in or out and that lengthens the amount of tube (or pipe) you are using so that makes a bit of a difference in the tuning.

 

Otherwise, you tune up or down by clamping your lips on the mouthpiece or by loosening them. Loose lips mean flatter notes.

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Originally posted by Compact Diss:

Thanks for all the response. I really don't have the time to commit to learn a new instrument let alone the guitar. I would go for alto sax, the clarinet sounds good to me but...I'll probably be able to find a nice student sax somewhere...Want to hear something stupid, not that I ever thought about it before but I didn't even know the sax got tuned...

The buttons on a the sax have to be exactly the right size and in exactly the right place or the horn won't play in tune. It's all about precision manufacturing. There are a lot of mechanical things going on when playing a sax.

 

It may even be that the material thickness matters, and may need to vary to have consistent tone up and down the horn. I don't know enough to buy a sax myself, but I know enough sax players that I could get help if I wanted to go shopping. I can learn from their mistakes, as it were.

 

Peace,

 

Paul

Peace,

 

Paul

 

----------------------

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In addition to guitar, I dabble in mandolin, flute and bass guitar. My (very subjective) impressions:

 

1. I thought the mandolin would be a piece of cake, since it is played with a pick and I have pretty good picking technique on guitar. It has turned out to be very challenging, and it will take a lot of work to get to be as fluent as on guitar, or know all the jazz voicings.

 

2. The fingerings on the flute are very easy; it's the blowing that's hard. I'd pretty much have to get in at least half an hour a day to start getting a good sound, but I can read simple things and pick out melodies from the radio without much trouble.

 

3. The electric bass - well, I've got chops from the guitar, and can pick up simple lines from records easy enough, or read them. That's a far cry from knowing what I'm doing! It's a very different mentality - unless you just want to do flashy solos. Most bassists can't get by with that all the time!

 

The mando is my priority these days as far as practice time, but I'll always be a guitarist first and foremost.

 

Learning other instruments is good if it doesn't distract you unduly from your main one. It forces you think differently! You can't just coast on years of habit patterns, which is invigorating as well as frustrating!

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I was in a band with a very good bass player who was accomplished in terms of musical education but played like a guitarist. I don`t know if he ever understood why I wasn`t more impressed with him. All our jams were like, who`s minding the floor? just the drummer?

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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I think oboes and English horns are really beautiful in the hands of a master musician!

 

It's sort of hard to make them fit into most popular music, though!

 

For the record, the English horn plays some of the famous melodies in the New World symphony and the second movement of the Concierto de Aranjuez.

I'd love to be able to get that sound into my lead playing at certain moments! (Actually John Abercrombie got something from a guitar synth on one tune.)

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