Help with student sax

by Todd
(Blackstone, MA)

About 5 - 6 years ago, we bought my son a used alto sax to play in the school band. Without knowing if he would stick with it, I didn't want to invest too much. At the same time I didn't want to buy him junk. After some research, we ended up buying an old used Bundy. This sax had seen better days, but after a complete tune-up we thought we had a decent sax for a reasonable price. Flash forward several years, a local sax teacher said his sax 'was a clunker'. I dismissed his comments as maybe just being an elitist. To our untrained ears, he sounded OK practicing at home. And now to the present... He's still playing the sax in the HS band. He knows money is tight and doesn't complain, but has expressed issues with the saxophone. My question is... what, if any of the issues can be corrected with another tune-up and/or repair and what issues can only be fixed with a replacement sax. First issue is the "D" note tends to be accompanied by a weird 'metallic' sound no matter the octave. Second, tonal quality is not as good as his peers saxophones. And lastly, he says he can't get the low notes to play. He says when he plays a low note, it's just air and then will jump an octave. He doesn't believe it's his ability b/c he was able to get those notes on a Yamaha rental he used for a short time. I look forward to hearing you thoughts. We are really hoping not to spend too much, but at the same time we want him to enjoy playing.

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Jan 20, 2013
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Help with Sax
by: Mike Krechevsky

Everyone of course is different in their talent,desire and musical taste. I started on clarinet in 4th grade and worked my way up to first chair by my Junior year. However I found the music monotonous and the band director over-bearing. By the end of my senior year (by then I was doubling on tenor sax)I just gave it up. That was 45 years ago. About 25 years ago I rented a sax for a few months and have been playing ever since. The big difference: I was playing music I had a passion for.

Maybe private lessons and a break from High School Band? Find some friends with a common musical interest: Blues, Jazz; Dixieland; Ska, Rock and Roll, Gospel, Who knows....

Jan 20, 2013
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Thanks for the replys
by: MrTodd

To be honest, I've posted this question on a couple sites looking for a wide range of responses. My son hadn't thought about the long term picture until now. My son and I had a chat the other day, so he's now thinking about it more. I found a local shop on the web that seems to take pride in their repair work, but they are a bit pricey. I want to bring it by and have them take a look, maybe it won't need a full tune up. His band teacher has convinced him to try his hand at some large clarinet that's supplied by the school, so now I have a little time to get the sax looked at. I need to be very budget minded with this, so I'm hoping to get the most out of the sax he has. It's people like my son that drive me crazy! He has at least some talent to be able play in a HS band, but only has a 'ho-hum' like of music. I, on the other hand, have a crazy LOVE of music, but the good Lord chose not to bless me with a stich of musical talent. It's hard for me to imagine having that gift and not wanting to play all the time. We'll see... I'll post again when we have a plan. Thanks for the input...

Jan 19, 2013
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Comments on Help With Student Sax
by: Anonymous

Hello Todd. I think Mike Krechevsky is right with his comments to you. I suggest you consider the age and grade of your son, how well your child plays, and what your child plans on doing with his experience and knowledge playing saxophone. Check-out my blog post on this issue. Go to keithgamblemusic.blogspot.com/2013/01/how-do-i-get-my-kid-saxophone-for-cheap.html. Good luck, and I wish your son all the happiness and joy playing saxophone has given to many of us.

Jan 15, 2013
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Help with Student Sax
by: Mike Krechevsky

First thing that jumps out is it was tuned up 5 years ago. Made of brass sax's are actually pretty susceptable to getting knocked out of alignment.

Sounds like the lower stack in particular needs an adjustment. It's easy to determine: Take it to a reputable technician and have them check for leaks with a leak light. This should be at no charge just to determine where the problem is.Finding a reputable technician is another issue. There's a site Sax-On-The Web where you can do a key word search to get comments on techs or talk to other members who are familiar with where you live. Bundy's are decent student horns from which he may wish to upgrade some day. But I'd take these steps first.

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