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The Saxophone

Dreyfus and the soprano saxophone

What’s So Special About the Saxophone?

Charlie Parker famously said “Don’t play the saxophone, let it play you.” The very rare film footage that exists of him playing does almost make you think that he is just relaxing while the horn plays the music. Of course for us mere mortals it’s rarely like that. To me, it feels very much like playing the saxophone is more like getting an unruly wild animal to obey you, hence “Taming The Saxophone.”

For any saxophone player, it’s often a love hate relationship. Some players get sentimentally attached to their horn, or can sometimes be caught fondling it lovingly. many players will spend more time with their instrument than their families or friends, yet it can also be a source of profound frustration. My old saxophone teacher used to say,” don’t practise until you get it right – practise until you don’t get it wrong!”

In this section we take an in-depth look at wonderful instrument, accessories and players. Here are some extracts from just a few of the pages:

  • Saxophone History

    The Early Years of Saxophone History From the Story of the Saxophone The Middle Ages gave us a variety of new instruments and gradually the elements of the modern military band were gathered together. The development of these bands was encouraged by all ... Read more…
  • Recording a Saxophone

    Saxophone Recording in the Studio See also: Saxophone Clipon Mic This article is based on my experience playing the saxophone on recording sessions, and also recording saxophones while working as a producer/sound engineer sometimes alongside some of the best sound engineers in the ... Read more…
  • Vintage Saxophones

    Are vintage saxophones better than modern ones? Yes and no, “better” is very often subjective. It used to be the case that you could buy a professional quality vintage horn for much less than a professional quality new one, however the ... Read more…
  • Saxophone Buying Advice

       See also: Saxophones For sale: 5 things to watch out for How to get the Best Advice Don’t just listen to me, there are many different and valid opinions so for a start log in to the Cafe Saxophone discussions, you will also get ... Read more…
  • Saxophone Maintenance

    Cleaning Inside the Body of the Saxophone 1. The Pull-Through (or “Swab”) Probably the most important part of general saxophone maintenance, this is a cloth attached to a piece of string with a small weight on the end. You can buy these ... Read more…
  • R & B Saxophone Players

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  • Saxophone Mouthpieces

    Choosing your Mouthpiece It sometimes takes me about 2 weeks to really know if a mouthpiece is right or not and so it is not always a good idea to make that decision in a shop, however most retailers let you ... Read more…
  • Cane Saxophone Reeds

      Saxophone reeds are quite expensive, and to add insult to injury they are often not consistent unless you go for a synthetic reed. They are made from natural products and most manufacturers seem to fall short when it comes to ... Read more…
  • Saxophone Clipon Microphone

    Not just cheap, it sounds good! Ingredients Realistic 33-1063 Electret Tie Pin Microphone (Radio Shack, Tandy, poss. Maplins) Deluxe Clothes peg Two small self tapping screws Strip of metal, e.g. brass, approx 8″ x 1/4″ Drill Self amalgamating tape (or improvise something else) The actual microphone First, let me point ... Read more…
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