Monday, July 13, 2009

Saxophone stuff

About 10 years ago I decided to start playing around with my old alto sax again; I went so far as to purchase some needed accessories and a vintage mouthpiece which produced a much better tone than the stock piece did. I was getting into it pretty good and then my niece asked if she could borrow it for band, so being the good-hearted uncle that I am, I gave it to her (but kept the vintage mouthpiece). She has since stopped using it but now her younger brother uses it. It wasn't a great sax anyway, I don't remember what it was exactly but I think it was one of those cheap Bundys. It couldn't have been a very high-grade sax because my parents bought it for me as sort of a going-to-college gift.

I once also had an old Buescher alto, vintage c. 1950 or so, and they were supposed to be pretty good saxes in their day, but unfortunately I don't have it anymore and I think my parents may have given it to some other cousin or someone when I wasn't looking.

I since misplaced that vintage mouthpiece but it should be here somewhere. I have an idea of where it might be but digging into that spot is going to involve moving a lot of stuff that hasn't yet been unpacked from the house move; I might try it this weekend.

In the last several years as I have been getting into being a serious jazz fan, I have really been getting the bug to have another go at the saxophone. Since I am about due for a mid-life crisis I think a sax would be a good thing to get. For the past several days I have been researching them on the internet to try and find a good starter sax, probably used, something in a good student grade to get me started, and maybe get something better later if I improve enough to justify it. I'll probably get a Yamaha YAS-23. If it needs any work, I know of a little hole-in-the-wall place that works on wind instruments that I can take it to. It's a place that was recommended to me by another sax player who takes his horns there when they need work. I'd really like to get a bari sax but they are freakin' expensive. Maybe if I keep my eyes open I can find one cheap in a pawn shop, but I doubt it.

Anyway, I found a couple of interesting sax-related websites. First, the Xaphoon Pocket Sax. You can download and listen to a bunch of music played on the pocket sax here. Looks interesting, but the fingerings are like a recorder rather than a sax. I know the fingerings for the recorder, but I never became very proficient with it. I am very intrigued by it, though.

Second, did you know there is a maker of high-end saxophones right here in San Antonio? It's called Orpheus Musical Instruments. Their horns are a little out of my price range, unfortunately.


  1. My wife plays saxophone (and several other instruments); hers is a Jupiter.

  2. Well, if you're going to have a midlife crisis, a saxophone is a lot more affordable than a Corvette...

  3. Yes, I'm planning on using that point. I was also thinking of, "it's not another gun."

  4. What's wrong with another gun? ;)

  5. I'm maxed out. If I bought another gun, I would have to also buy another safe.