Saturday, March 22, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Now I am extensively polishing it, and I am going to run a glass bead blast over the body, to restore the satin texture. This is a long, and frustrating process. But it is fun, once the final result is achieved.
When it was playing, it sounded amazing. I took it to a few Basketball games at the highschool, to play with the band, and I did some improvising during half time behind the bleachers, with my friend Melvin. He was playing bass. We were mostly playing Funk, and some Marcus Miller tunes, which excuse me, but kicked A**! The Principle even came up to tell us we sounded great, and we were not even playing for anyone. I loved the sound, it was perfect, it was darkish, and soprano like on the higher notes, and sounded fat, and perfect. I loved it. Now, I am mostly polishing it. It looks horrible at the moment, with the scratches, and I am currently getting rid of the gunk in hard places. I am going to have it the sam as my tenor, and Repad it with Roo Pads with airtight brass, Noyek Star, gold plated resonators. I don't know if I want to use shellac, or hot glue yet. I have had better results with hot glue, so far.
I am going to have to replate the gold inside of the bell. It is very faded, and barely noticeable. It is a great saxophone, but just needs restoration. I am hoping to buy a Glass Bead Blaster when I am done working on my car, or possibly during, so that I may use it for my car as well. I just need MONEY! But that requires work, and work is not always fun, but it is required, if you want to have things. I will be taking more orders, and flipping more hamburgers to pay for this, but I can do it. The sax was completely black when I purchased it off of ebay for only $220. What a frickin steal. Really, a sax that great, for $3000 less than a brand new Selmer? Even with paying someone else for the restoration, I would save a few thousand dollars. I am wanting to do the work on this horn, because my mother bought it for me, because I wanted to fix it, and play it. I really love her, and I will never sell this horn.
Here are some pictures below, of the polished areas. I have the majority of tarnish removed from the keys, but I have to go over it with jeweler's rouge, to remove the scratches. I will also need to do some minor replating, or I may have Doc do that to some of the keys. even though some of the wear is very unnoticeable, I want it to look like it came out of the Conn Factory.
I have a case for it, which I am also restoring, and my mother wants to redo it. It will look fantastic. The case, though, did not come with the sax, but came with a parts horn, and it is in good condition, on the exterior, but needs to be redone, as well as the interior of the case.
I am leaving the horn as original as possible, except for one thing, and that is the thumbrest. I am leaving it Conn, but I am replacing it with the thumbrest off of a Conn New Wonder Series II parts horn, and I am going to have it silver plated, and soldered on by Doc.
Here are the pics, please enjoy.
Well, yesterday, I found out that my teacher is moving to Mississippi with his family. He has a new job down there. I am really going to miss him. He was my saxophone teacher, for three years, possibly more, I cannot really remember at the moment. He is a great guy, and extremely talented. He is mainly a classical player, but also a fantastic jazz player.
We used to have lessons every week. I have learned a great deal from him, and wish that I could continue to take lessons, but it is not possible, until we have teleportation. Joking. I would walk to his house every week, and take lessons. He only lived right down the street.
We are good friends, and will continue to talk to each other probably, until I die. David was the man who introduced me to Conn saxophones, and I am glad I met him. If it was not for him, I would be playing a Mark VI, and probably have no knowledge of Conn saxophones. I probably would not even be playing at all.
The first TRUE saxophone, I ever played, was his Conn Transitional Tenor. I came to my first lesson with a Bundy II Tenor, that was in horrible shape (I now know, Lol), and he pointed out all of the flaws, and I began to learn with what a real saxophone was. I could never afford a true Conn until recently because I had school horns, and my parents did not yet want to buy one.
When I played his Conn, (He only let me do it once when he was pointing out the damage on the bundy), it was the best sax I ever played. I still believe that, and I have played a lot of saxophones since then. I could not believe that someone could have something around eighty years old that looked, and sounded so beautiful. It was amazing, and since then, I wanted a Conn. He later sold me a Conn 25M Alto, which was my first sax, and I loved it. But when I moved to PA, I sold it out of stupidity wanting a tenor. I wish that I could have it back.
I would always love to listen to David play his Conns during a lesson, showing me how to play something the right way, or playing a duet.. I would love to look at them, and even more, the sound. I will forever more play a Conn, and I hope God lets me bring mine to heaven, (wink wink). I had a grand time getting lessons, and I have so much more knowledge thanks to him. I hope to play gigs with David in the future, and I am glad, I have had such a great friend.
Playing saxophone is fun, and enjoyable, and one of my great talents, that I hope to will continue to grow. Thanks a lot David for everything, and I wish you luck in your new job.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
The sound was great, I loved it, it was, should I say, cute, and bright, on higher notes, but dark on the lower notes. When testing, afterwards, I also played the Selmer Student 600 Soprano, which is straight, and great, great, great, for the money.
The La Voix, I found, had a slightly longer neck than supposed to, which I found out is true on all of their saxes, according to what a Selmer representative informed Bandland. This makes it difficult for tuning, and gives a certain unsure feeling to how far the mouhpiece should be on. The sax was great, but the keys were all too close together, even though it was curved, it was hard to play fast, and know what I am thinking. To make it more difficult, the key touches were not pearl, and they were plastic, which is not comfortable, and my fingers slid a bit making it hard to play, (I gave up trying to play giant steps). New Pearls, actual, yes, actual pearl touches can be purchased from Music Medic, and be installed by either you, if you are experienced, or prefferrably a repair technician, who probably knows a lot more than you, (Wink).
The higher notes were hard to achieve-this was not due to leaks(there were none), or the fact it was a soprano, although part of it had to do with the closed opening C* mouthpiece, it was harder than it should have been, (it was easier on the student Selmer). The lower octave, was great, I mean, it took no effort whatsoever, nor did playing my table key notes. There is a high "F#" Key, which I actually don't like, but others may fancy it.
The bell, looks attractive, as it is adorned with a creative engraving, which is neat to have the pleasure of viewing up close, (as most saxes), but is not really visible, but adds to the quality appearance of this saxophone.
It had a, mostly dark, mellow, tone, but in the upper range of notes, becomes more bright, and, as I said.... cute. I enjoyed it, and I wish that more saxes were put together with this much quality today. I could play professionally with that sax, (only requiring minor modifications-as I explained), and I would have no regrets about it.
Thank you for reading.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
--- Here is the rear view of the horn. ---
I spent so much time at McDonalds, working, to buy the horn, and even more to pay for the work, but I did it, and it feels fantastic, and I cannot wait to get this Axe back. I am glad that I did not die during that accident, because I sure would be pissed off to miss something like this! ;-) Lol!
I just need a name for her.... Please leave a comment
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
There are many Features on this case that are not found on a lot of other cases. It is in a way, a gig case, but not. It opens up like a regular case, and your saxophone is stored like a normal case, but it is shaped like a gig case, leaving you more room to store it, and also making it lighter. The case is equipped with a handle, and a back pack strap, making travel extremely easy. I believe I have a slightly earlier model than most, whereas it does not have a mouthpiece compartment, but that is what neck bags are for. I will not be using a neck bag, but instead I will be using a cedar mouthpiece box in which I am handcrafting for my Classical and Jazz Mouthpieces for my tenor. It will be made to fit in the front pocket in the case. There are two pockets on this case, both of which have a good bit of room in them. There is one large pocket on the front that has a place to store pens. In that pocket, it has a pocket inside for a cell phone, and some other supplies, and there is another pocket on the back that is empty and is a good place for my mini tool kit with my butane torch and screw drivers. This is a great case. The inside is completely felt. The body is strong, and impact resistant. The inside on my ase, like said, does not have the mouthpiece holder, but they do come with a place for your neck like a normal case, which is not found on gig cases. Putting a neck in the bell, is not always the most appropraite storage place, for your sax, or the neck.
This case is very safe, whereas there are two YKK Zippers on the exterior, and there is Velcro to reinforce keeping the case closed, which is also very rigid. There is also Velcro on the handles so that they may be held together for even more protection to keep the case closed. there is a nice Pro-Tec Badge on the outside, which I think adds to the style, and looks nice.
This case is very economical, and ergonomical, and is worth the money if you have it. It is reasonably priced, and will not let you down. It is a lot cheaper than many other cases, and is one of the most used cases in the world. It would be an appropriate investiment, and would in my opinion not leave any regrets, to you if you purchased it. There are many places that sell these, but if you are wanting to save money, purchase yours from the WoodWind & BrassWind.
Visit this website to learn all about their cases, and other products.
Monday, March 3, 2008
These all pictures of my Conn Tenor, disassembled, ready to be stripped, and ready to be replated. Above is a Picture of the exact same model tenor that I own from 1929. Also listed is a soprano of the same model.
Here are the Keys Removed from the Saxophone, awaiting to hve the pads measured for new ones, and be stripped to be silver plated.
Here is a Picture of the Bow.
The sound of this saxophone, if I could describe it in my own opinion, is absolutely Gorgeous-there are not enough words to describe the beauty of the sound, that comes from it.
Friday, February 29, 2008
This is my blog about my daily life and projects I will be working on, and even includes articles on saxophone repair and playing, and on top of that will provide you with some history about my favorite saxophones, and the companies that designed them.
I am a saxophone player, and I have been playing for around five years, and I enjoy it. I was recently involved in a bicycle accident, so I had stopped playing for a little while, and I am currently having my Conn New Wonder Series II Transitional Tenor saxophone restored by J and J woodwinds. (http://www.jandjwoodwinds.com/)
I was born in Visalia California on April 23, 1991. I have lived in many different states, and even in Europe. Music is my life, and I enjoy othing more, and nothing less, (except for my family whom I love). I grew up as a little kid always wanting to play the saxophone, and when I got to elementary school, and had the choice of being able to play it, my parents just could not afford to rent one, or buy one. We moved, once my dad got a better job, and I was able to get a saxophone. As a little kid, one day I won a radio for good behavior, and when I got home, I would always listen to the Jazz station in Springfield Missouri. This was in third and fourth grade. I move to Colorado, and there were no Jazz stations, so I had nothing to listen to. We moved back to California, and we had a smooth jazz station that I would listen to everyday. During a few Christmases, and birthdays, I acquired some CD's, like an album with Makoto Ozone playing Vibes. I was given CD's with Glenn Miller, and Tommey Dorsey, and I listened to them over and over. We then moved to West Virginia, and there were no Jazz stations, but a year later I found a station that played Jazz. I was a listener of NPR, and I am famous for staying up late, and one night, I turned on NPR, and noticed they were playin Jazz. I kept listening, and found out it was every Friday night, and Saturday night. I would leave the tape recorder on and go to sleep, so I could listen to the jazz the next morning, and for the rest of the week, until the next weekend. The Show was called "Jazz After Hours." I eventually waen to highschool, and I became a Freshman, and I joined the Jazz Band. I loved that highschool, and I am no longer going there a the moment. The Jazz band was fantastic. I had joined the one in middle school, who was directed by my most favorite band Teacher, Phil Wyatt. In the middle school Jazz band, we were used to randomly playing solos, (well when there was the time for a solo), and I just started playing away one day, and Mr. Wyatt loved it. I was inspired to start improvising more, and I eentually went the Lincoln Jazz Festival, and we played two songs that I had solos in. C-Jam Blues, and Little Brown Jug. Before the festival, my parents had joined a Church group that couples and families would meet up once every two weeks, and go over to each other's houses, and have dinner. I met David Wright, my Teacher, and he offered to give me lessons. I started getting lessons, and practicing. I thought he just had a nice saxophone, and was an alright guy, (because I had never heard him play much during lessons. During the Festival, he was directing the West Virginia Wesleyan College Jazz band, and I saw him there, and I had previously stopped taking lessons do to being busy, (but not too busy). In the Brochure, was his biography, and I read the countless bands and famous musicians, and groups he had played with, and I said, "Why did I stop taking lessons?" I talked to him, and we eventually started doing lessons again.
In Highschool, my best friend Justin Hilliard, gave me a DVD to borrow that had Prince playing at the Aladin. The Band was great, it consisted of Eric Leeds, and Greg Boyer, and Maceo Parker, and a few other musicians. I would always pause, and then rewind Eric's solos to listen to them over and over. I loved his tone, and his B-bop playing style. It fascinated me, but later I learned more about music.
My Freshman year, my teacher, (who was a family friend, and I helped out a lot), asked me to come help him move some things back at the college. While in the event of doing so, he was playing an album, on his stereo. I WENT NUTS!!! I wante to know who was playing, and I heard things being played on the saxophone, that I never even dreamed were possible. I had heard Giant Steps, and other amazing pieces with Bebop, and change running, and chords, and what not, but This song was amazing. It was Michael Brecker, who still to this day is my favorite player. He has accomplished what no other player has done. His sound, and his technique were leaving me standing in awe, as I was going to piss myself listening to it. I listened to the song maybe twenty more times. WE stopped at a McDonalds, and Dave went inside to get something for us, and I listened to hte piece over and over, and he go back in the car and said, "How may times have you listened to this song while I was gone?" I simply smiled the biggest grin I could, and laughed. I asked if I could borrow the CD, and he let me. The song was Chromosome, and he was playing wih Mike Stern. Amazing.
In highschool, I thought we would play solos in Jazz band without them being assigned to person, and I was wrong. But it earned me three solos on Bari. The teacher said, "Actually, nicole was supposed to play there," and asked me afterwards, if I would like a solo or a few. I did, and I wrote all night two of them, in which I would variate off of and improvise throughduring my concerts. I would never play the same solo twice. I just had to establish what licks, and chords I would play during it, and write a beginning, and sometimes an end.
The Next Year, I was Lead Tenor, and it was fun. I felt so cool getting all of the solos, and to make it better, my technique was even better, and I was just learning change running, after hours practicing it, and trying to understand it. Then I moved here to Uniontown, where I hate it, but have learned a bit about music theory, but I have no Jazz bands to play in. I have had to go through so much hardship here, and wish that I could play in a jazz band. But I have a new tenor, and I cannot wait to get to play in a college Jazz band. I enjoy everyday I play the sax, and could not be happier. I am thankful that there is music.
I am currently a Junior in Highschool, and I am taking a vacation from McDonalds to catch up on my homeschooling. I am also a fire fighter, and I repair saxophones for the local school, and other musicians in the area.