Saxophone Repairs: Diagnosing and Repairing Common Saxophone Problems

    Saxophone repairs can be costly and take a while. Losing access to your instrument can be a problem and you may not have access to a repair facility for an emergency repair. All sax players know what it is to have something go wrong just minutes before a gig. All sax players should be able to carry out the following saxophone repairs on their own

    1. Problems playing in the lower octave. To solve these problems, make sure that there is at least a 1/16″ gap in between the post extending from the saxophone body and the neck octave key ring. If you place your thumb in the gap and gently push down on the octave key, you can adjust the gap until you the problem is solved. A tongue depressor can help you hold the pad in pace while adjust, in case you push too far.

    2. The fourth-line D has an undesirable overtone or doesn’t play at all. Check to make sure the neck octave key is opening properly. As before, check the gap between the post and ring.

    3. The notes down to low C play properly but low B-flat, B, and C do not respond. Check to make sure that the G pad is opening properly and make sure that both the F and G pads are closing whenever the F key is pressed while holding down the G lever. Adjust the screw above the G key cup until these work properly. Take care not to overtighten and use a drop of purple thread lock after you’re done.

    4. The neck isn’t tightening. The tightening screw should be inserted into the unthreaded side first. It may be necessary to have the neck tenon refit, since this can make your saxophone sound stuffy.

    5. G sounds stuffy or doesn’t respond. There should be some lost motion when pressing the low C and B keys before they touch the G touchpiece tabs. Too much motion can be corrected by slightly bending the lever.

    6. Broken or missing neck cork. Some blue masking tape can be used temporarily to make sure the mouthpiece fits snugly, giving you time to take your saxophone in for repairs.

    7. Missing key guard screws. Plastic twist ties can be used to temporarily secure the guard.

    8. Broken or missing key spring. A ponytail elastic rigged to the key arm can be used to hold a key open. Avoid rubber bands, since these can wreak havoc on your saxophone’s finish.

    Best of luck with all your Future Saxophone Repairs

    Source by Robert Playford

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    Do I Need to Learn to Read Music?

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    A frequent debate over the years, especially among rock and metal guitarists, is whether or not you “need” to be able to read music, or how much music theory you “should” know. And it’s pretty easy to find examples of great players from either camp; players such as Slash have carved their niche without (by Slash’s admission in various interviews) knowing any music theory at all, while players such as Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and Paul Gilbert know volumes of theory and can read, and can play amazing things.

    As far as what you need to know as a player, if your songwriting is tight, and you know the patterns, have a good ear, and play everything with conviction (like Slash), you can get away with not reading or knowing the theory. It can be done. Fans don’t care if you know the seventh inversion of the Spanish Phrygian mode, as long as it sounds cool.

    But here’s the thing — knowing at least some theory will save you tons of time and practice hours in the long run. (And you are in this for the long haul, right?)

    It’s understandable why many players are reluctant to jump into reading and learning theory. It appears at first glance to be a huge undertaking, requiring lots of rote memorization and activities that take away from your actual playing time. We all got into playing music to play music, not to read about playing music.

    Like with anything else in learning music, it’s best to break this down into manageable chunks. There’s a mountain of material to learn, but it doesn’t have to be learned all at once. Start with the basics and apply them, and before long more sophisticated concepts (if you want to incorporate them into your base of musical knowledge) will become easier to learn.

    Guitarists have an advantage that most other instrumentalists don’t have, in that you can become extremely competent with minimal (or no) knowledge of theory or reading. A pianist or saxophone player, for example, would be extremely limited in terms of technique and repertoire if they couldn’t sight-read notation. That is still true for guitar players, but to a much lesser degree.

    A player who knows the theory and can read isn’t necessarily “better” than a player who can’t do those things. That’s not what this is about. It’s about finding ways to get the most out of your practice time, and getting real results.

    The biggest single thing any guitarist can do to advance their playing ability is to have a working familiarity with every note on the neck. That means knowing the names and locations of every note, and practicing them for a few minutes at the beginning of every practice session until they are second nature.

    Even starting with no knowledge at all of the note names, it should only take a couple of weeks of practice sessions, five minutes each time, to learn the names and locations, and understanding all the multiple locations of notes on the neck. This is the first step to seeing and understanding the interrelationships of the notes.

    Then learn a few basic scales (major, minor, pentatonic), the four types of triads (major, minor, diminished, augmented), and open and movable chord forms (major, minor, dominant 7th, major 7th, minor 7th, sus 2, and sus 4). That probably looks like a lot, but they are all related; triads are constructed from scale tones and serve as the backbone for most types of chords.

    Another advantage guitarists have over other instrumentalists is the option of tablature over standard notation. The tab is much easier to learn and to sight-read while playing. At this point, the tab is more widely available than standard notation.

    The primary use of notation these days is if you wish to learn classical guitar or classical pieces written for other instruments. Even then, there are many great tab programs available where you can input the notation, and the program converts it to tab, that you can then adjust for your playing preferences.

    So while you don’t need to learn to read music or know tons of music theory, you will add a huge dimension to your playing capabilities by at least learning to read tab, learning the names and locations of all notes on the neck, and some basic theory on how scales, triads, and chords are constructed and related. Take your time, be patient with the learning process, and have fun!

    Source by D. P. Green

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    Playing the Bones of the Xylophone

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    The xylophone was first created in Indonesia and is a member of the percussion family. The instrument has a set of different sized bars that are made out of wood and are each made to make a particular note when struck. The different bars are struck with wooden, rubber, or plastic mallets to make different sounds. This particular percussion instrument has been around for thousands of years. This has been proven by artifacts found from as far back as 2000 BC. Throughout history, there have also been other variations of xylophones made, including ones that were made and used by ancient temples in China.

    It must also be noted that xylophones are not always created in a single row of low notes to high notes. There have been xylophones found that have the bars hanging, where the musician will strike the vertical bars with the mallet. Michael Gusikov played the xylophone that had three rows of the bars situated in the shape of a triangle. It would appear that like many other instruments, the xylophone went through a number of changes and modifications over time.

    While it is uncertain when exactly the xylophone made it to Europe, it is suggested that it could have arrived there sometime during the 1500s. Though, it wasn’t until the early 1800s that people in the west were becoming familiar with the xylophone. Michael Josef Gusikov can be credited with making the instrument known. He had an interest in the instrument and performed with the xylophone around Europe on tours. It was not long before this musician became known for his music and gained some decent recognition for it. In fact, there were other well-known musicians who spoke well of the Michael Gusikov’s performances, including Frederic Chopin, who was a fairly well-known pianist.

    When most people think about playing an instrument, few will immediately think of the xylophone; instead, many will think about taking up guitar, piano, or saxophone before thinking of playing something like the xylophone. Xylophones are not an overly common instrument in the western world and are forgotten as a result, though this is not to say that no one plays it. Many people play the xylophone because they enjoy the sound and they are aware of the unique and natural sound it has. The xylophone is perhaps best known by the sharp and bright tone the bars have when struck with the mallet, especially the modern xylophones that have been created with resonating tubes placed under the wooden bars to enhance the sound of each note. The frames of the xylophone are made of wood or steel tubing and the more expensive, higher-end models have the ability to have their height adjusted to fit the musician.

    The higher quality xylophones also have more stability, while the cheaper ones don’t have as much stability. Musicians who are serious about playing the xylophone in concerts and other performances will most likely spend more money on the higher quality instruments, while younger students who are simply looking to try it out will go for the cheaper, used xylophones.

    Source by Victor Epand

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    Famous Cartoon Families in Modern America

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    Who is your favorite cartoon family? It’s not an easy question. Is it? When I ask it of myself I am reminded immediately of The Simpsons. Other ideas that pop into mind are The Family Guy family and some from South Park, like Stan’s. Let’s take a stroll through these classic depictions of suburban life in the 21st century and see what they have to say about us today. They are actually more telling than anyone would know from the first glance.

    The Simpsons burst onto the scene very strongly in the late 1980s. No one would ever be able to forget the rebellious Bart, the symbol of every little boy who just wants to have fun – and not do his homework. But their cartoon family as a whole is very broad and even. For instance, Lisa balances out Bart by being a hard-working, saxophone-playing do-gooder. And Homer’s crack up antics as a lazy nuclear plant employee contrast endearingly to his wife, Marge’s awareness of her family as a whole. She is always effortlessly taking care of her baby Maggie. It’s just great.

    Then with The Family Guy, we again see some similar dynamics. For instance Peter the dad is a whole lot like Homer, without being so annoying. And he also has his trustworthy wife Lois. The kids are a little weirder though. I don’t really get what’s going on with their older boy.

    And finally, with South Park we see some hilarious American family stereotypes playing out. From white trash Kenny’s family, where his mom is always wearing her “I’m With Stupid” t-shirt to Stan’s Jewish family, it’s all so over the top that it’s hard to take offense. There are many funny cartoon families at play here.

    But what do these all say about us? Well, since they are caricatures they really highlight a lot of the silly things we assume to be true on a daily basis. But in the Simpsons in particular there is always some sort of an uplifting moment at the end of the episode. This ties it all together so nicely that you almost accept our imperfections as being endearing. So be it. We’re not God after all.


    Source by Joshua D B

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    Vandoren SR2125 Alto Sax Traditional Reeds Strength 2.5; Box of 10

    Categories: saxophone Amazon Tags:

    Price: $34.45 - $30.74
    (as of Sep 28,2020 01:43:28 UTC – Details)

    This reed is designed to produce a quality of extremely pure sound due to a very thin reed tip (the area of reed with maximum vibration), being balanced by a solid vertebral column (more cane in the area which climbs gradually to the heel). These reeds are recognizable by a straight line to delineate the limit of the area of bark. The favorite reed of classic saxophonists worldwide since Marcel Mule, it has always been (and is still) used with equal success by many players.

    Extremely flexible, allowing the legato or staccato execution of large intervals while maintaining a richness of tone that gives body and clarity to the sound, which is a hallmark of Vandoren reeds.
    Traditional reeds are available for all clarinets and saxophones in various strengths.
    Every reed sealed in ‘Flow Pack’ to ensure freshness.

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    Jazz in the 1970s: Diverging Streams

    Price: $39.50
    (as of Sep 28,2020 01:43:13 UTC – Details)

    Breaking through pervasive misconceptions, Jazz in the 1970s explores a pivotal decade in jazz history. Many consider the 1970s to be the fusion decade, but Bill Shoemaker pushes back against this stereotype with a bold perspective that examines both the diverse musical innovations and cultural developments that elevated jazz internationally. He traces events that redefined jazz’s role in the broadband arts movement as well as the changing social and political landscape.

    Shoemaker immerses readers in the cultural transformation of jazz through:

    • official recognition with events like Jimmy Carter’s White House Jazz Picnic and the release of The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz;
    • the market validation of avant-garde musicians by major record labels and the concurrent spike in artist-operated record labels and performance spaces;
    • the artistic influence and economic impact of jazz festivals internationally;
    • the emergence of government and foundation grant support for jazz in the United States and Europe;
    • and the role of media in articulating a fast-changing scene.

    Shoemaker details the lives and work of well-known innovators (such as Art Ensemble of Chicago, Anthony Braxton and Sam Rivers) as well as barrier-breaking artists based in Europe (such as Derek Bailey, Peter Brötzmann and Chris McGregor) giving both longtime fans and newcomers insights into the moments and personae that shaped a vibrant decade in jazz.

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    The Devil’s Horn: The Story of the Saxophone, from Noisy Novelty to King of Cool

    Price: points - Details)

    The 160-year history of the saxophone comes to brilliant life in Michael Segell’s wonderfully researched, beautifully told The Devil’s Horn. Beginning with “a sound never heard before,” Segell’s portrait follows the iconographic instrument as it is lauded for its sensuality, then outlawed for its influence, and finally credited with changing the face of popular culture. A deeply personal story of one man’s love for music-making, a universal story of artistic and political revolution, and a trenchant critique of the global forces that stand in art’s way, The Devil’s Horn is music writing at its very finest.

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    Protec MX304CT Alto Saxophone Contoured MAX Case, Black

    Categories: saxophone Amazon Tags:

    Price: $119.00 - $71.40
    (as of Sep 28,2020 01:35:34 UTC – Details)

    “Protective and secure fit for most modern saxophone makes and models. This case will not fit vintage horns with larger bells, larger bodies, or bell keys located on the opposite side (left-hand side). For larger vintage horns, see Protec’s XL case, model PB304CTXL, ASIN B002BVW6VW. Features an ultra-light shock resistant EPS foam frame with soft non-abrasive lining and separate neck and mouthpiece sections. Built to last with a durable 600D nylon cover, strong custom hardware, reinforced stitching, and quality craftsmanship. Oversized gusseted front pocket with an additional front side zippered pocket offers plenty of storage. Comfort features include padded backpack straps, padded handle wrap, shoulder strap, subway handle, and a Quick-Lock closure.”

    Ultra-light shock resistant EPS foam frame featuring a soft lining and separate neck and mouthpiece storage sections
    Padded backpack straps with hideaway design, adjustable shoulder strap, subway rope handle, paddle handle wrap, and QuickLock case closure
    Oversized gusseted exterior frontside pocket with 2 zipper pulls and smaller front-side storage pocket
    Durable 600D nylon cover featuring strong hardware, reinforced stitching, and quality craftsmanship

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    XIAOKOA UHF Wireless Instruments Microphone,Saxophone Microphone,Wireless Receiver and Transmitter,160ft Range,Plug and Play,Great for Trumpets, Clarinet, Cello

    Price: $39.99
    (as of Sep 28,2020 01:35:20 UTC – Details)

    XIAOKOA professional wireless instrument microphone system applys for various occasions, especially for musical instrument amplification(like saxophone, trumpet, horn, trombone, drum ,etc), also suits for concerts, live broadcasts, outdoor performances, karaoke, teaching lectures, interview recordings, conference presentations, promotional propaganda,etc.

    【High-sensitivity Pickup Sound】Built-in highly sensitive condenser microphone,perfectly capture the soundtrack of the instrument,make the sound more clear and realistic.
    【LED Digital Screen】The wireless instrument microphone with LED Digital Screen that can see the Frequency/ Battery Power and Volume esaily▶360-degree rotatable silicone shock-proof clip and strong steel collar clip make it easy to fix on instruments or collar. It can effectively filter the noise generated by the vibration of the instrument.
    【Wide Application】The wirelss mic compatible with voice amplifier, speaker system etc▶Apply for concerts, band performances, personal exercises, band exercises.Wind music wireless microphone,suitable for all kinds of brass instruments such as trumpet, large, horn, trombone▶Included a free 3.5mm(1/8″) to 6.35mm(1/4”) Adapter
    【Super Battery Life】built-in 400mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery, 2 hours charge, 5-6 hours available, red light on when charging, red light off when fully charged.▶ 100% Customer Satification Gurantee:1 year warranty and free replacement service.feel free to contact if any problem.

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    Protec PB305CTXL Tenor Saxophone PRO PAC Case – XL Contoured (Black)

    Categories: saxophone Amazon Tags:

    Price: $155.40
    (as of Sep 28,2020 01:35:07 UTC – Details)

    Protec’s Xtra Large Tenor Saxophone Contoured PRO PAC Case is specially designed to accommodate vintage horns, horns with larger bells, or horns with keys on the opposing side of the bell. Each PRO PAC features a shaped wood shell frame which is lightweight and durable, tough weather resistant ballistic nylon exterior, high quality metal hardware, long-lasting custom zippers, and removable padded shoulder strap and I.D. tag. The molded interior features a soft velvet lining and has built-in compartments for neck and mouthpiece.

    Lightweight shock absorbing wood frame, weather-resistant 1680 ballistic nylon exterior with reinforced zig-zag stitching, and quick-lock case closure
    Dual-corded handle design with padded handle wrap, convenient subway handle, and removable padded shoulder strap featuring an I.D. tag
    Large front side pocket with built-in organizer to hold pens, keys, and small accessories & large backside pocket
    Soft molded interior with non-abrasive velvet lining and interior neckpiece/mouthpiece compartment

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