Apr 21, 2011

April 21st, 2011

Is it already 2011?   Crazy!   Had an excellent day today.  Antibiotics for the past week finally seems to have kicked the "Walking Pneumonia" that I have been stricken with since January.   My voice sounds normal after three months of nasal/throat/lung infections.    This happened last year at the same time too.  This valley is so polluted during the winter when the heavy air has us sucking pollution for weeks at a time.   But now its spring time and I'm a happy camper once again!

The day went particularly well,  I had a lot of energy and the students were grateful to see me back to my old self once again.   Rained most of the day but I did manage to get out and go to my first Saxophone lesson in over 30 years!!!   My instructor, who is an old jazz musician, agreed to take me on, but wasn't so sure about my level of playing ability.   I did struggle through some sight-reading trials,  but he was convinced that I am at the upper intermediate level and started me with some hairy complex jazz scales and routines to work on before my next lesson.    I am so happy that he didn't start me off playing mundane shit like "greensleeves" (which is a nice song but easy).    He also helped me with choices of mouthpiece/reed/ect...   and technical crap that I needed to know.   I was worn out after an hour with this dude,  but he is one of the best sax players in Utah,   and I'm lucky to have his input and training. "Dan" was the band director at my school, but retired about two years ago and now plays professionally.

My Tenor sax is an old "King Zephyr",  which is a great old Jazz players Axe of choice,  but since it was built in 1938,  there are a few adjustments that the player has to allow for.   The sound is still incredible!   My Soprano (little clarinet looking sax),  is a 2010 model Chinese made "E.F. Durand",   and plays in tune and very accurate considering the low price I paid for it.   Many sax players are including the better Chinese horns into their stables.   They are far from perfect like the Japanese "Yanisagawa" brand,  but at one/tenth the price for a very playable horn.....   I prefer my Chinese Soprano,  and I play her everyday.    The big Tenor and the little Soprano both play in the B flat key so I only have to buy music for one instrument!   I play both horns about an hour each every day and within a year,  I hope to be incredible!     I used to tell me guitar students that "they will be incredible with just two hours per day of practice,  and it's always proven to be true."   I have no professional ambitions,  I just want to testify my sound loud and clear and preferably somewhere up in the mountains where the sound rings far and the critics aren't near.   But yes I am happy with the way my first lesson in 30 years went.   I used to feel that I had to play, but now I just want to play and improve.
And the teachers faith in my abilities gave my confidence a boost like I have never experienced before!  Therefore I must practice and have all these scales down by next Thursday or else!



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