The Magic Caf
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Looking for advice from an Alto Sax player... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Magix
View Profile
Elite user
432 Posts

Profile of Magix
I'm a guitarist for about four years and I've always been interested in the sax. I picked up a used Vito and the guy at the store set me up with a Yamaha 4c mouthpiece, and Van Doren 2.0 reeds. I can't find a brand name on the ligature. So, here's my question - is this a good beginner setup? I've been reading about mouthpiece setups, and while I certainly don't think it's time to try an expensive mouthpiece, I'm wondering if I should try Rico Royal reeds. I've read they are easier for beginners.

Any thoughts?
Jaxon
View Profile
Inner circle
Kalamazoo, Mi.
2537 Posts

Profile of Jaxon
I know it's strange to get a response from "The deaf guy" Smile but I use to be a pretty good sax player before I lost my hearing. I'm not familiar with modern brands though. If you're just learning then I don't think an expensive mouth piece is something you have to worry about yet.

Maybe you can ask them at the music shop. I know that sometimes the shop employees have the attitude like hobby shop workers have though. They often get big headed and only feel the pros are worth talking to. You might get lucky though and find a helpful person there.

Ron Jaxon
Image


After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
Magix
View Profile
Elite user
432 Posts

Profile of Magix
Thanks Ron. I'll probably try that. We have some good music shops here with lots of helpful guys. I figured I'd ask here anyway, just to broaden the knowledge base.

I agree, an expensive mouthpiece isn't necessary right now, but I am curious about a different brand of reeds. Reeds are not expensive though, so I'll probably just risk a few bucks and give 'em a try.

Thanks for the response.
saxmangeoff
View Profile
Veteran user
Moscow, ID, USA
353 Posts

Profile of saxmangeoff
In general, when beginning, you'd want a fairly forgiving mouthpiece and a soft reed. Expensive mouthpieces often have better tone and are more responsive to shaping the tone, but can also be harder to control and/or play.

Your setup sounds pretty ok to me. I'm not familiar with the Vito brand, so I can't speak to the quality of the sax. Your best bet might be to find a saxophonist in your area and have him play it a bit to see how it responds. The one thing you definitely don't want is leaks. If you have the bucks, take it to a music shop and have them check all the pads and replace any that are leaking. You'll just frustrate yourself if you have leaky pads.

As you get experience, you can experiment with different mouthpieces and reeds. Woodwind players are infamous for obsessing about mouthpieces and reeds. You can join the club! Smile

Geoff
"You must practice your material until it becomes boring, then practice it until it becomes beautiful." -- Bill Palmer
Magix
View Profile
Elite user
432 Posts

Profile of Magix
Thanks, Geoff!

All the mouthpiece and reed options are a bit overwhelming. So I was sort of at the mercy of the guy at the store, who seemed to know what he was talking about, but then, how would I know?

My wife played flute for years, so she helped me with checking out the pads. Also, I was told that all the used instruments are inspected and repaired if needed before they are sold. So, hopefully, the instrument is good.

A sales guy at a different store told me Vito/Leblanc is good quality, so I think I'm okay all the way around.

Right now I'm having a hard time getting past G. The other notes I've learned squeak and squawk once in a while but G is making me crazy. But I'll get it.

Thanks for the reply!!
Glenn Godsey
View Profile
Special user
737 Posts

Profile of Glenn Godsey
Check out this site for a lot of specific info and a forum:

http://www.saxontheweb.net/

Best regards,
Glenn Godsey
Magix
View Profile
Elite user
432 Posts

Profile of Magix
Thanks, Glenn. Good site.
LDM
View Profile
Loyal user
Upstate New York
278 Posts

Profile of LDM
I would actually start out on clarinet. It readies your lip for sax, and gives you more of a feel.
Magix
View Profile
Elite user
432 Posts

Profile of Magix
Thanks for the reply, LDM, but I'm already committed. But that's okay, I think it's going pretty well.
saxmangeoff
View Profile
Veteran user
Moscow, ID, USA
353 Posts

Profile of saxmangeoff
Clarinet is a LOT harder than sax, so I would only recommend clarinet if you actually want to play clarinet. I started on sax and struggled (but managed) to learn clarinet a few years ago. I'm not even intimidated by "the break" any more (clarinetists know what I'm talking about). My son started on clarinet and took up sax with no challenge.

On the "can't get above G" do you mean the G with the octave key? If you doing that so quickly, I wouldn't worry too much about getting higher. It'll take time to develop the embouchoure. It's really a "feel" or "knack" thing, along with some lip strength. You'll get it eventually.

Geoff
"You must practice your material until it becomes boring, then practice it until it becomes beautiful." -- Bill Palmer
Magix
View Profile
Elite user
432 Posts

Profile of Magix
Geoff,

Actually, what I meant when I said I couldn't get past G was that I was having a tough time playing G (without the octave key) without squeaking and squawking. G is the 5th note I learned and the others came fairly easily, but when I started working on G I had problems.

But the day after I wrote that, I managed to fix my problem with G. I think I'm getting the "knack" as you put it.

Thanks, again.
saxmangeoff
View Profile
Veteran user
Moscow, ID, USA
353 Posts

Profile of saxmangeoff
Sounds like you might have too tight a grip on the mouthpiece. You should be sealing it with your lips, but not clenching it. Clench too tight and you'll jump up an octave (or more).

Geoff
"You must practice your material until it becomes boring, then practice it until it becomes beautiful." -- Bill Palmer
Magix
View Profile
Elite user
432 Posts

Profile of Magix
Thanks, again. I'll keep that in mind. Sooooooo many things to concentrate on simultaneously!
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Looking for advice from an Alto Sax player... (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2022 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.01 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL