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Jibbajabba
LSU Fan
Louisiana
Member since May 2011
3766 posts

Questions for the band geeks

My kid wants to start band classes in the fifth grade. I am 100% behind that decision. She really wants to play the saxophone.

My questions are these:
1. Does learning the alto sax eventually allow you to transition to the larger saxophones easily or are they completely different instruments to learn?
2. She is already playing piano fairly well and her piano teacher says that she is very gifted. Will learning woodwind music theory screw up her piano theory?
3. Is the saxaphone a good instrument to start with in school band setting or should she look to the flute or some other instrument?

Ultimately, she enjoys music and I want her to cultivate her skills in different instruments. She has her heart set on saxaphone for some reason and if that is a good place to start, I want to encourage it. If she needs to look elsewhere, I would like to know what direction to nudge her in.


Passing Wind
LSU Fan
Dutchtown
Member since Apr 2015
4073 posts

There’s a joke here but the age tells me not to


doliss
LSU Fan
Northern VA
Member since Sep 2009
929 posts

1. different clef between the higher register and lower register instruments
2. since she plays the piano then ignore what i said in #1
3. if she is all in, then support that


Abstract Queso Dip
Member since Mar 2021
5878 posts
 Online 

A piano foundation will allow her to play any instrument successfully Best foundation. See Jon Batiste.
This post was edited on 8/19 at 9:48 pm


Pelican fan99
New York Yankees Fan
Lafayette, Louisiana
Member since Jun 2013
31413 posts
 Online 

Tell her to switch to brass. Nobody cares about the woodwinds


shutterspeed
LSU Fan
MS Gulf Coast
Member since May 2007
55939 posts



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170
Handsome Pete
Member since Apr 2019
312 posts

quote:

Tell her to switch to brass. Nobody cares about the woodwinds


Jazz, baby. Jazz.


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82
liquid rabbit
LSU Fan
Boxtard BPB®© emeritus
Member since Mar 2006
58834 posts

Tenor sax is where it’s at.


0x15E
US Space Force Fan
Member since Sep 2020
7461 posts

quote:

Tell her to switch to brass. Nobody can hear the woodwinds


FIFY


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92
dawginar
Arkansas Fan
Member since Jan 2012
929 posts

My son and daughter both chose the saxophone. Son did play bari in concert band in high school.

Think the saxophone allows you to play more of the rhythm sections of the songs.

The flute is a lot lighter.


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GreenRockTiger
USA Fan
vortex to the whirlpool of despair
Member since Jun 2020
22486 posts

quote:

1. Does learning the alto sax eventually allow you to transition to the larger saxophones easily or are they completely different instruments to learn?
if she learns alto sax she can move to bari sax easily - it’s in the same key but an octave lower (still on treble clef) so same fingerings - tenor sax is a different key but same method of playing - she could pick it up easily, she could possibly pick up clarinet as well - different key but embouchure is similar

quote:

2. She is already playing piano fairly well and her piano teacher says that she is very gifted. Will learning woodwind music theory screw up her piano theory?
having the piano foundation is excellent - it will help her play in tune and if she wants to learn the instruments in different keys - transposing music will come naturally to her (if necessary)

quote:

3. Is the saxaphone a good instrument to start with in school band setting or should she look to the flute or some other instrument?
it is excellent to start with - she needs to play the instrument she wants - she will be willing to practice it and it’ll be more fun for her, flute is an ok instrument but not when you want to play sax

Yes - I was a band nerd - my husband and one of my sons plays sax - it’s a great instrument
This post was edited on 8/19 at 9:58 pm


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131
Obtuse1
Wofford Fan
Westside Bodymore Yo
Member since Sep 2016
19747 posts

Just make sure she doesn't start listening to Bleeding Gums Murphy. If she likes red dresses, pearls, and spikey hair it is too late.





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70
billjamin
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Jun 2019
6545 posts

Play any instrument. Just do it. It'll make then a more well rounded person.
This post was edited on 8/19 at 10:07 pm


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150
Mud_Bone
US Space Force Fan
Member since Dec 2021
844 posts

quote:

My kid wants to start band classes in the fifth grade. I am 100% behind that decision. She really wants to play the saxophone.


What is the real question here? She wants it and you support her like a good parent should.

Why do you care about anyone else's opinion?


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56
klrstix
LSU Fan
Shreveport, LA
Member since Oct 2006
2855 posts

quote:

She has her heart set on saxaphone for some reason..


Interesting that this is where her "heart" is set. I would be interested to know why this instrument.. (rhetorical question.. curious why this one over some other ..)

Anyway, being a reed instrument, when she is first learning to play there will be lots of those "Squack" sounds that you will need to bear with.. over time as she becomes more proficient the "squawking" will mostly disappear.. I tell you this just so you will know in advance ...

alway remember.. it could be worse.. she could have wanted to play drums..



btw.. drums and percussion is what I play..


I 10 one lane merge
Member since Oct 2018
104 posts

Start with trumpet to play all melodies

Learn to master jazz improv


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TulaneUVA
Virginia Fan
Member since Jun 2005
25587 posts

Played sax growing up and started on Alto.

Yes, transition to soprano, tenor, or bari is very easy.

In concert band style at least, changing it up I felt like have you a different perspective and it makes you more versatile as a musician. You get to know the bass line all the way to the melodies.

With that being said, saxes aren’t favorable In concert style. If your school doesn’t have jazz, I wouldn’t choose it. A trumpet, French horn, or baritone are shwon more favoritism in marching and concert band. Even as versatile as orchestra
This post was edited on 8/20 at 9:08 am


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Swamp Angel
LSU Fan
Lawrenceville, GA
Member since Jul 2004
5896 posts

quote:

1. Does learning the alto sax eventually allow you to transition to the larger saxophones easily or are they completely different instruments to learn?


Alto sax is usually the instrument sax players begin with because of its size. It's not cumbersome like a bari sax. In fifth grade even a tenor sax is gonna be huge for a student. Sax players transition fairly easily between the instruments.

quote:

2. She is already playing piano fairly well and her piano teacher says that she is very gifted. Will learning woodwind music theory screw up her piano theory?


Playing piano is a huge bonus for her. She will start out far ahead of a lot of other students wanting to pick up an instrument in band. She can read music already and probably has a decent grasp on rudimentary theory even though she doesn't realize it yet. Learning a woodwind instrument will in no way mess up her piano theory. It will only compliment it. The first thing she will notice is that when she plays a "C" on her saxophone it won't be the same "C" she plays on the piano. Alto saxes are Eb instruments while the piano is a "concert pitched" instrument as are flutes, and most low brass. That'll confuse her at first, but then she'll catch on and become pretty good at transposing keys. (I'm getting way ahead of myself here, but you'll see what I mean in about two or three years after she begins playing sax if she stays with it.)

quote:

3. Is the saxaphone a good instrument to start with in school band setting or should she look to the flute or some other instrument?


Absolutely, it's a good instrument to begin with! Whatever instrument she wants to play is a good instrument for her. (I would have beat someone's arse properly if they had tried to make me play something other than trumpet in band!) Let her play the instrument she has her heart set on. If there are any issues that would prevent her from becoming proficient at it, or if another instrument would better suit her, the band director will let you know.

Congratulations on raising a band kid! If she sticks with it you'll find yourself a part of a special group of adults who are known as Band Parents. You will attend meetings occasionally, slave in the concession stands on Friday nights at high school ball games, drive for hours to go to band competitions, and go to at least two concerts a year - one for Christmas and the other toward the end of the school year.

You're gonna love every minute of what the next eight years bring. You'll get broken in easy from her fifth grade year through middle school. Once she enters high school, if she stays in band, you are going to be running that four year band parent marathon, and I promise - you will LOVE it! (Even when you hate it.)

Here's to the coming years for you and your daughter!

I'm jealous of you.
This post was edited on 8/19 at 10:43 pm


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70
Mr Happy
Member since May 2019
547 posts

She should play whatever instrument she wants. It really doesn't matter.

She'll have a great time with band. She'll make friends who are in the tops of their classes academically and don't do drugs or other stupid sh#$. Band kids are good kids.


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Relham10
LSU Fan
Member since Jan 2013
11758 posts

quote:

Tenor sax is where it’s at.



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