Picking up Sax

For Anything and Everything to do with Flute Playing and Music

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TheScarecrow
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Post by TheScarecrow » Tue May 01, 2007 6:46 am

MeLizzard wrote:My band director always said, "Put your dumb kids on sax."! :shock: It is pretty simple.
When I read this I laughed. I don't find it mean, it is just one of those stereotypical band jokes. One thing our director always jokes about is if a kid can't play the trumpet, you give him drumsticks. If he can't play those you take one away and make him direct.

Generally Saxophone is considered an easier instrument. Not saying you couldn't be a musical genius on one, but after having to use 5 different fingers for a plain old F on oboe, the saxophone probably does not compare difficulty wise.

My director made the suggestion to the second oboe in my band that she switch to saxophone. He said that a sax can not practice for a month and then pick it back up and sound like nothing had changed. Where as the oboe has good moments, bad moments, and horrible moments, and thats just during the warm up.

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Tue May 01, 2007 7:29 pm

TheScarecrow wrote:He said that a sax can not practice for a month and then pick it back up and sound like nothing had changed.
I'd say that's absolutely not true. There is no instrument that you're going to play as well a month after a month off as you did before you took that month off of practice. And even if there were, you'd still be missing out on a month's worth of progress, which means you'd be a least a month behind your potential in any case. Hopefully your director didn't mean that seriously.

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Mark
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Post by Mark » Fri May 11, 2007 6:05 am

flutepicc06 wrote:
TheScarecrow wrote:He said that a sax can not practice for a month and then pick it back up and sound like nothing had changed.
I'd say that's absolutely not true.
and you would be quite right in such an assessment, Flutepicc06, for it is not true at all.

*shakes head and wanders off again*
So many instruments.... so little time.... :)

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Phineas
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Post by Phineas » Fri May 11, 2007 7:32 am

Another 2 pennies.

Any person can pick up any instrument and play simple tunes pretty quickly, including the flute. Simple tunes/pieces do not require as much maintained practice. However, once you get past a certain point, all bets are off. Every instrument has its own challenges to over come. What you may gain in simplicity on one instrument, you lose other things and vise versa.

Just like Guitar, bass, or drums, Saxophone is a very popular instrument. Everyone wants to play one because they think its cool. That does not take away the fact that in order to be GOOD, you need the same dedication as you would need on any other instrument.

A person that makes a statement like "put the dumb kids on sax" should be shot, and left to rot in h**l! Obviously this statement is made by people that have no appreciation for what it truely takes to be a good musician!

Some people have the same opinion about guitar players. I guess since I am a guitar player also, that does not make me very smart...lol

Phineas

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pied_piper
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Post by pied_piper » Fri May 11, 2007 9:46 pm

Every instrument has its own challenges to over come.
I agree. Any generalizations about one instrument being easier than another are simply the incorrect statements of the uninformed. Also, there is a big difference between being able to make a sound on an instrument vs. playing an instrument musically. The sax might be one of the easier wind instruments to make initial sounds, but it is also difficult to play in tune (and why it sometimes gets a bad rep).

Another factor that must be considered is that each person has different physical attributes. Those differences frequently contribute to one instrument being better suited for individual A, while another instrument may be better suited for individual B. Someone with very small fingers may have difficulty covering the tone holes on a clarinet or open-holed flute. Very large fingers may be detrimental to playing piccolo or violin. On the piano, small hands may be difficult to span an octave in one hand. People who think melodically, may find a wind instrument easier. People who think harmonically, may find guitar or piano easier. And so on...
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

jmartin
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Post by jmartin » Sat May 12, 2007 4:53 am

drumajorchick wrote: "Put your dumb kids on sax".
I take offense to that statement as well. As both a tenor and soprano sax player I can tell you that playing a sax may not be difficult, but playing it well is. Besides, I always thought they put the dumb kids on percussion. ;)

TheScarecrow
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Post by TheScarecrow » Sat May 12, 2007 7:57 pm

flutepicc06 wrote:
TheScarecrow wrote:He said that a sax can not practice for a month and then pick it back up and sound like nothing had changed.
I'd say that's absolutely not true. There is no instrument that you're going to play as well a month after a month off as you did before you took that month off of practice. And even if there were, you'd still be missing out on a month's worth of progress, which means you'd be a least a month behind your potential in any case. Hopefully your director didn't mean that seriously.
He absolutely did not mean it seriously. It was a joke somewhat along the lines of "put the dumb kids on saxophone". He was just expressing how she would probably be able to keep up with the band a little better on an instrument that isn't as fussy as an oboe. Not saying the saxophone is easier, just it is generally a more manageable instrument for a middle schooler.

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