Saxophone Forum


by redkmd
(11 posts)
17 years ago

Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

Hi Im a 49 year old married male wanting to learn to play the sax. I always loved the music and especially Kenny G styl of music and would love to learn to play. I never had any training in music cant tell one not from another. Is there anyone else that has started learning in my age range and if so let me know if not what do you all think of me taking up this now at 49.

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  1. by Littleplum
    (2 posts)

    17 years ago

    Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

    I have just read some of the other replies that you have had regarding type, I have been playing alto mainly with phases of tenor and even bari( my fave, but cant afford one yet) but I have just bought a Sop from a music shop on ebay (UK) for about $350. Its not a top model (Stagg is the make) but it is great fun so give it a go you can always upgrade later and you wont have spent a fortune if you decide its not for you. Dave

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  2. by invocansax
    (27 posts)

    17 years ago

    Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

    NO! no ones to old to learn an instrument! i jammed with this blues guitar player once, he was 45 and he learned to play when he was 40! connsaxman is right, the only impediment to learning is the busy schedule you might find yourself in. but hey, just devote at least an hour everyday tp practice long tones and stuff, youll be fine. Practice is the key! (I know i havent done this in a while,hehe)

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  3. by attahere
    (5 posts)

    17 years ago

    Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

    Hi, I'm 65, I took up the clarinet 2 years ago, I just switched over to the Alto Sax. I taught myself how to read music and play. The mistake I made was not getting a teacher in the beginning. It would have saved me a lot of time and frustration. There is a lot to learn about reeds and mouthpieces and buying a decent instrument. If you can find the time to practice and want to learn go for it! But remember this it is not an easy task and you really have to want to play. I finally got a good teacher, I'm on my third lesson and I can see and hear the difference in my playing already. My finale advice to you would be to learn the Major scales and practice them every day, my teacher stresses this. Every thing you will learn in music comes off of the scales. Scales, scales and more scales! Go for it! I did. Best of Luck! Dennis

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  4. by Kimo
    (29 posts)

    17 years ago

    Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

    Hey 49!! I started playing keyboard/piano at 64 and switched to sax this year (66). I will definitely agree that you must have a good teacher. You have to really want it and practice, practice,practice. It won't be an easy task but if you "feel" the music your half way there. I suggest buying a couple of sax CD's. Listen to every note. Try Richard Elliot. He has some great music on the market. Keep us up-to-date on your progress.

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  5. by reedrage
    (21 posts)

    17 years ago

    Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

    I just turned 76.Granted I played in my youth but I had a 40 year layoff.Start practicing with a good teacher and see if you can find a community band or church orchestra.This will sustain your interest. Get a decent instrument that plays in tune and has modern keywork.Studies have shown that learning a musical instrument helps your brain.It's also cheaper than a psychiatrist.

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  6. by definition
    (963 posts)

    17 years ago

    Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

    Its never to late to learn, just make sure you get a decent horn and a teacher to start, and you should be fine!

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    1. by redkmd
      (11 posts)

      17 years ago

      Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

      Thanks for the encouragement, what would you say is a decent horn for a beginner without spending a fortune at first to learn on. And what would you personelly recomend tenor or alto to start with.

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      1. by definition
        (963 posts)

        17 years ago

        Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

        I ve seen many people start on either one with sucess. For that matter, I have seen people start with sucess on just about every other size of horn. For a good beginner horn, I would suggest starting with a good used student horn from one of the big companies like Selmer, or Yamaha. IMO, you should get the Yamaha. Of the student models go, it tends to be one of the most common these days, followed by Selmer. the YAS 32(alto) and YTS 32(tenor) are both good horns.

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        1. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          17 years ago

          Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

          I worked with a fantastic Bass guitar player a couple years ago. He was a man in his early 50's. I asked him how long he had been playing and nearly fell out of my chair when he told me he learned to play bass at age 47. He said he had been playing about 5 1/2 years. I think the hardest part to learning an instrument when you get older is finding the time to practice. I know as I've gotten older and busier with other things, I don't have the time to practice as much as I did when I was younger, and lack the discipline to practice as often as I should. If you like the sound of Kenny G. I would suggest buying a Soprano sax like he plays. The Soprano is a little harder to play than a tenor or an alto, but learning to play the Soprano first will better help you develope your embouscher and make you a better player if you should decide to also play alto or tenor. Depending on how much you want to spend, Yanagisawa makes a very nice Soprano. Keilwerth, Yamaha and Selmer also make a nice Soprano. I would try a few different horns to see which you like best. Find a teacher who knows the type of music that you want to play who can help you develope your ear. It's good to be able to read music, but if you want to play like Kenny G, you'll need to be able to play by ear and know how to improvise and figure out a piece note by note. Best of luck. I'm sure you'll do just fine! Happy New Year! Jim

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        2. by redkmd
          (11 posts)

          17 years ago

          Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

          Hi Happy New Year to you also and thanks for the reply. I have had everyone else I speek to steer me away from learning on a soprano first they say Ill get aggrivated and give it up but not you . That is the kind of music my wife and myself like but also like other kinds of sax music to. My biggest problem I guess to start with is finding an instrument I can truly afford to learn on realizing I can upgrade down the road when I can do more than make noise but make music lol. I think sopranos are more costly are they not? I live in the town Saint Louis the people that run this site are in only 15 minutes from them and they have a black LA Sax on here for 800 what do you think of that for a starter sax to learn on honestly can you look at it and tell me your opinion I take all opinions in place one at a time. Thanks agan and we have no children so I truly have the time available for true committment to learn this instrument to the best of my ability. I hope only that it wont take forever to be able to sound like something a little at least more than a squaking duck.

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        3. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          17 years ago

          Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

          Well, the Soprano IS a little harder to learn, but then again, I started out on clarinet. What makes Soprano harder is that it requires a tigher embouscher to control pitch and play in tune. I think it's considerably easier to play soprano sax than clarinet. My father encouraged me to learn clarinet first, insisting that it would make me a better sax player. After I started playing sax several years ago, I never really played clarinet anymore. About 3 years ago, I started playing soprano, and even though I had been playing alto and tenor for sometime, I really had to adjust my embouscher to the soprano.

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        4. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          17 years ago

          Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

          Ugh! I had to login again, and only part of my message posted! Here's the rest. I think you should play whatever horn you prefer. I would encourage you to try an alto and tenor also. Typically, you can buy an alto for less than a soprano or a tenor. Tenors usually cost more due to their larger size, and sopranos typically cost more than altos because a little more precision is required due to their smaller size. I think the tenor is probably the easiest to play. Starting on soprano though will force you to develope a tigher embouscher and make you a better player. It's much easier to start with soprano and then switch to alto, than to start with alto or tenor and then learn soprano. It sounds like you are very committed to learing. I have played a few LA Sax tenors altos and sopranos. Some of their earlier horns earned them a less than favorable reputation, but their newer horns are pretty nice for the money. The most common complaint is that many of their saxes are heavily lacquered with wild colors and graphics, and the extra lacquer can deaden the sound. Play it and see what you think. They play nice and don't sound too bad either.

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        5. by redkmd
          (11 posts)

          17 years ago

          Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

          Hi thanks again for the imput, take a look at the LA Sax for sale here under modern sax it is the black one for 800 and let me know what you think of it for the money. Its funny you telling me to play it and see what I think LOL remember now I never even blew in one or had a music lesson in my life so it would not sount to good none the less lol. I really want to eventually be able to play some of the Kenny G style of music I love the soft sax but also realize there is a lot of soft sax in alto and tenor sax music to. I really only hope I can find a willing teacher in my area that actually knows how to tech not just play sinc I hear a lot of good sax players are not always good sax teachers. Any other imput is appreciated especially if you can look at the LA Sax here for sale I told you of it is the black one for 800

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      2. by saxbob
        (13 posts)

        16 years ago

        Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

        I just discovered your post - a year later. I have a lot of thoughts and suggestions for you from my personal experience, but I may be way too late! If you ever come back to your "post" please give us an update on your musical adventure. If you are still trying to figure out where to start, then I would be glad to share my thoughts with you. I play piano, trumpet, and sax (sop, alto, tenor).

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      3. by kelsey
        (930 posts)

        16 years ago

        Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

        When I was teaching I always perfered older students. They seemed to have fewer distractions. I've had adult students go from beginner to playing gigs in a couple of years. As you learn more about saxophone you may lose your love for Kenny G. There are so many wonderful players to listen too. I hope this helps.....Kelsey
        Barry Kelsey

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      4. by redmondd
        (5 posts)

        16 years ago

        Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

        Hi! i encourage you to learn to play the Saxophone in particular and study music in general. i am a much older male looking forward to retirement. Music and the Saxophone are going to be an integral part of my retirment life. I started playing the alto saxophone when i was 47 years old. i am not talented but have a desire to learn music. i started with a couple of semesters of piano lessons at the local community college so i can read music. i rented a Budy Alto Sax from the local music store and took lessons from one of the guys at the store. i have spent a lot of time, effort and money (jazz camps) on this hobby which does something to my soul. i have also made a pilgrimage to Dinant in Belgium which is the birthplace of Adolphe Sax. i now play Tenor Sax in the local community band and the big band in church. i just got done playing a sweet heart dance. it was a joy playing "in the mood" and "april in Paris" etc. i love our gigs. i'll be happy to share with you my Saxophone journey. all i can say to you is : Go For It ! .Try to! make saxophone a part of your daily life...practice! good luck! redmondd

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        1. by saxbob
          (13 posts)

          16 years ago

          Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

          I believe we are about 1 year too late to have any impact on this conversation! I don't know how to get in touch with him other than through this discussion thread.

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      5. by IndianaSax
        (2 posts)

        16 years ago

        Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

        Hey all,just ordered some reeds from this site,and came across this forum.Got my very first sax in December,( kessler Custom alto),turned 43 in January,and lovin every second of it. Havn't had a formul lesson yet,but I'm workin on it. I think the older you are the more concentration you have,with less distraction. If you can sing at all, I've found that this is a good asset also, i.e. singing or humming the note then finding the note on the horn. I just looked at your post date and realized something. Right now you have about a years worth of playing time on me. I should be asking you stuff............Nevermind...........

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      6. by jndorit
        (1 post)

        6 years ago

        Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

        Hell no!! I started at age 53 and have played almost every day for the last 8 years.  I have a magical teacher who makes it fun, fun, fun all the time.  I have learned all major scales, minor scales, dom 7th scales; pent majors, pent minors and chords.  This is absoulutely the most fun thing I do in life.  I'm all about jazz and the blues and often play with blues tracks from you tube.   Have made tons of new friends in music circles now. 

        Go for it!

        Niley 

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      7. by Littleplum
        (2 posts)

        17 years ago

        Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

        Hi redkmd I teach sax in the evenings and I have a pupil of a similar age to you, he is doing really well and it is good for me because he enjoys his lessons and plays because he wants too and not because his parents say he should. He is an ex Regby player and is a plasterer by trade so he has huge hands which dont make it too easy for him but he loves it and all he wants to achieve is to be able to serenade his wife at a family barbeque. Go for it and you will never look back-but find a local teacher to get you off to a good start. Good Luck

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        1. by redkmd
          (11 posts)

          17 years ago

          Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

          thanks for the answer and the encouragement. I would die to be able to someday play a soft sax tune like Kenny G style of music. I realize he is a soprano player but that there is similarly soft music with alto and tenor. My 2 big concerns are finding a good instrument I can afford to learn on always getting a better one later and finding a teacher that will tolerate an older guy wanting to learn that had never had a music lesson of any kind in his life at all. I am looking at the black LA Sax for 800 on this site under modern sax let me know what you think of it if you can take a moment to look at it and again thanks for imput.

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          1. by connsaxman_jim
            (2336 posts)

            17 years ago

            Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

            I did look at the LA Sax alto for $800. It looks like a nice horn. Here's an LA Sax soprano you might want to take a look at. This model is available in black also. www.wwbw.com/LA-Sax-Artist-Series-Soprano-Sax-i101296.music Here's another alto you might consider. The Yamaha horns play very nice. www.wwbw.com/Yamaha-YAS475-Alto-Saxophone-i93927.music

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            1. by redkmd
              (11 posts)

              17 years ago

              Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

              hi the reason i am looking at this horn this site has listed is the price seems decent and the yamaha is twice as much and starting out i need to watch the budjet as much as possible and can save monthly towards a better horn later.

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          2. by Kimo
            (29 posts)

            17 years ago

            Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

            Since I'm new this comment might be a little late coming. Kenny G. is a fine fine musician, but his style and "sax" are very difficult to accomplish. You might be turned off on music because you can't get the sound. I'm sure you have some of his albums, and if you listen closely he plays alot of Tenor and Alto so I would suggest starting with the Tenor. Rich

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            1. by redmondd
              (5 posts)

              16 years ago

              Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

              hey bud. please consider renting an alto or tenor from your music store. they may have a teacher in the store too. or you can find a teacher from the local community college/high school. i have taken lessons from some good college students. you may also go over newspaper ads and go and take a look at a couple of horns. browse through pawn shops. you can get instruction books at second hand book stores to build your library. i started with a bundy used rented and bought a new bundy alto and then bought used yamaha 23 alto and tenor, student horns which were really easier to play than the bundy, and after about six years moved to alto and tenor selmer super action 80's which i bought used on e-bay...i like them. good luck!have fun!

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            2. by Seano
              (132 posts)

              16 years ago

              Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

              Hey i hate to bring up this, but i saw the words "kenny g" in the original post. I dont have a problem with mr Gorelick at all, i'm not a fan to be honest but please please dont post about him in the jazz section, he is not a jazz musician, but a good pop musician. Sean (p.s. welcome to the site)

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            3. by saxbob
              (13 posts)

              16 years ago

              Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

              The 49 year old man that has asked for guidance really wants to play in the style of Kenny G. I personally think that is a very good goal for him and I hope he achieves it. I am working toward that goal myself. Does anyone know how to get in touch with him? I think his email address no longer works. It looks like he walked away from this thread many months ago.

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            4. by CountSpatula
              (602 posts)

              16 years ago

              Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

              Yamahas are good beginner horns. I think a lot of schools start people out on alto first...and then go from there. Just keep in mind it can take many years to be as good as kenny g. Especially if you decide to use mouthpieces like him, they take some getting use to. (Dukoff isn't a very reliable brand)

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            5. by Seano
              (132 posts)

              16 years ago

              Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

              He wants to play like Kenny, well good for him! If he likes it he should play it. I never said that was a bad thing, I have just noticed how people assume that he is a jazz musician and post about him in the jazz section. I never said anything bad about Kenny in that post, except that I'm not a fan.

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            6. by saxbob
              (13 posts)

              16 years ago

              Re: Im 49 am I to old to try to learn to play sax

              I think the gentleman just wanted some advice about learning to play the saxophone at his age. It's as simple as that. For someone that is now about 50 and entertaining the idea of playing the sax without having had any musical training up to this point in his life, he asked a very good question - and probably does need a lot of guidance. I don't know how much he really got from this thread. It is truly unfortunate that he mentioned Kenny's name, but if we could just step beyond that ... By the way, how does one get in touch with him? Unless he can be reached, I think this is a dead thread. He may be dead himself - serenading the angels with his Antigua Winds A586LQ soprano sax - playing Silhouette.

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