The High School And My Sax Life

Yes, Sax Life, as in, my saxophones.

Finished teaching at the high school today, and had a dinner with some of the teachers. It was a good class in the way some of the classes we had were really good, and a bad class in the way other classes had been before. What was weird was how the girls responded to it being the last class. They were suddenly all about taking pictures with their camera-equipped cell phones. They were declaring their undying appreciation of my teaching. A couple of them ran out and got chocolates to give to me as a goodbye present, which was really sweet of them (pardon the pun).

I had dinner with the teachers on staff, afterward, and they asked me whether I would be willing to teach there next term. I told them of course it would depend on my schedule but that I would consider it if my schedule permitted.

Well, that’s one semester of extra classes finished. Since I am doing well with saving money (putting it aside into an emergency fund, and planning to use the same amount for loan payments once I have enough set aside to feel safe), I am thinking of using the over-over-time money for the purchase of a new saxophone. Of course, the question is, which one, which kind?

Up until the other day, I’d assumed that the next horn I would buy would be a new (or used), spiffy Selmer tenor. After all, I’ve spent 14 years playing on an intermediate Yahama tenor sax and it’s about time I moved onto something that would let me do things like really expand my range into the altissimo and deepen my sound.

But at the same time, I’ve been thinking about picking up a baritone sax. It’s been a long time since I’ve played baritone, but it’s a wonderful instrument and, if I do get around to putting together a jazz sax quartet in a few years, as I am hoping to do, the hardest slot to fill will be baritone sax position. As usual, I may have to take up that position myself. And why not? It’s great instrument.

Problem is, new baritone saxes are pricey as hell. I’d love a new low-A dark lacquer Keilworth SX-90 or SX-90R, but who has that kind of money? Even the discount models make me rub my sides in pain.

Ah well, I’ll do some looking around and see what I come across. There are a few okay horns on ebay, at least. Though shipping is a nightmare. Might still be workable, though.

2 thoughts on “The High School And My Sax Life

  1. Well, two problems with that idea:

    #1. I live in South Korea, where saxes in general are somewhat rarer, and where I’ve never actually seen a “pawn shop”.

    #2. Pawn shop horns often have major problems. In the area of mechanical sophistication, saxes are way closer to pianos and harpsichords than they are to, say, acoustic guitars. You gotta get one in good condition and try it out, and pawn shop horns are usually basically untryable: you can’t even tell if they’re decent until you spend several hundred dollars getting them fixed.

    A better bet is to check with music dealers for used saxophones that have been repaired and are being sold by the dealer or on consignment. You’re far more likely to get something that isn’t a piece of crap, or needing tons and tons of repair.

    Fortunately, there is a major music mall in Seoul, the biggest music center I’ve ever seen, and there are a number of shops that deal in saxophones, new and used. I even know of one place I could call to see if they have anything in stock. But the one Selmer bari on ebay right now is looking mighty tempting.

    Ah, my. Saxophones. What a pain in the ass. What a joy.

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