Me and my horn….

How will I amuse myself when I’ve got no TV or internet connection?

Here’s the answer…


..although I’m not sure the neighbours are going to be very happy about it!

18 Responses to “Me and my horn….”

  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    Sax and violence?

  2. Love it. A little Charlie Parker or Trane will do them some good. My neighbors are far enough way I don’t really have that problem… much.

    • telescoper Says:

      I also have a soprano saxophone, but for some reason I find it much harder than the tenor to play at the correct pitch. I’ve never really understood why…

      • I’ve never played any woodwinds (just brass and strings) but I imagine the soprano sax would be harder to get the correct intonation.

        I would *love* to play sax. I envy you.

      • telescoper Says:

        I’ve tried different sized mouthpieces, but it’s still a challenge. The only thing I can do is play with a huge amount of vibrato (like Sidney Bechet) and hope nobody notices it’s out of tune.

      • So lots of vibrato is just your style! 🙂 It’s the same with the bass- especially with being a beginner. Intonation is a major challenge.

  3. You’re a top man Peter, reckon there’s no better way to spend that time you’re gaining from the TV, congratulations!
    You may find this link helpful.

    Soprano saxes are recognised as being harder to play in tune – sopranino is even worse apparently.

    Warmest wishes and best of luck,

    Sue 🙂
    (happyskier_uk on Twitter)

    • telescoper Says:

      Do you know why the soprano is so much more recalcitrant?

      • Embouchure is paramount – maybe an equivalent analogy is torque – it takes much less effort to turn a bolt with a long spanner than a short one. I have bari, tenor and alto saxes and find the orbicularis muscles tire sooner with the alto than the bari. With the larger mouthpiece of the bari it is easier to to maintain good embouchure and recognise when you’re doing something different. I’m not a professional though, only my opinion. Another scientific thought is that temperature can affect tuning too – I’d be interested to know if metal instruments are affected differently according to size. I’ll ask around.

      • telescoper Says:

        Yes, the mouthpieces (and reeds) are significantly different in size and that makes a real difference to how they feel in the mouth, and how tired your mouth gets.

        Temperature is also clearly an important factor, but it’s surprising that the tenor seems to warm up much quicker than the soprano. A clarinet can also take quite a while to get up to the correct pitch. I haven’t played mine for a while, but don’t remember it being as bad as the soprano. Perhaps that’s because the latter is metal so has a greater thermal expansion…

      • Jazz legend Courtney Pine is at Komedia Brighton this week.

        Thought you might have some ‘saxophonic’ time now you’ve found somewhere to live.

        All the best in your new post.

        Sue 🙂

      • “Do you know why the soprano is so much more recalcitrant?”

        Much loved by fans is the brief period around 1973 when Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull played the soprano saxophone (a straight one—is yours straight or bent?). He always jokes about it as having been one of the major goofs in his life and has never gone back to it, but actually the music from that time, and the sax parts as well, is very good.

      • telescoper Says:

        Mine’s straight but, as usual, there are two alternative necks to go between the mouthpiece and the rest of the instrument, one straight and one with a slight angle…

        …I had a go on the kind of soprano which is like a small version of an alto or tenor, and found it very fiddly, as I have quite large hands and the keys are very close together.

      • “Embouchure is paramount – maybe an equivalent analogy is torque – it takes much less effort to turn a bolt with a long spanner than a short one.”

        Many instruments need quite a bit of work from a beginner even to get a tone, much less play several properly in sequence. This is what led Bach to remark that the organ is a wonderful instrument: all one has to do is press the correct keys and the correct times and the instrument plays itself. (Actually, Bach’s favourite instrument as a player was the viola.)

      • “the kind of soprano which is like a small version of an alto or tenor”

        Yes, that’s what I meant by “bent”.

  4. If you start up a jazz combo, you could call it ColesTrain.

  5. I love how the saxophone suddenly peeps out at the end of this reggae song, adding an unexpected and delightful jazz touch to it:

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