Is your saxophone talent hiding in a cupboard?
Our Student of the Week, Dan, left his tenor saxophone in a cupboard for over 40 years.
So many of us start playing an instrument at school – but then give up during our teenage years. Maybe we go to college, or other distractions get in the way. Do you wish you’d never stopped playing?
After playing for just two years in his teens, Dan left his tenor sax gathering dust. Then a chance encounter inspired him to start playing again.
I told him ‘I’ve got some music in me that I want to get out!’
“I work as an electrical contractor, and I was in a customer’s home when I spotted a trombone on a stand,” explains Dan.” We got chatting, and he said he played in an orchestra. I asked if he knew any saxophone teachers. I told him ‘I’ve got some music in me that I want to get out!'”
Lucky for Dan, his customer knew of a sax local teacher and Dan started having lessons. He’s now been playing for his tenor saxophone for ten years, and has expanded into alto and soprano.
Finding Sax School
Dan joined Sax School a couple of years ago after discovering Nigel’s lessons on YouTube. “I like having lessons in person, but a teacher isn’t with you all the time,” says Dan. “I’m really busy, so it’s great that I can log into Sax School any time.”
For Dan, the variety of lessons in Sax School is a big attraction. “I like to pick and choose,” he says, “I enjoy playing all different genres, though my strong point is jazz.”
Dan also enjoys Nigel’s thorough teaching style. “I love it when Nigel really picks songs apart,” he says.
…it’s great that I can log into Sax School any time.
Challenges and Goals
The biggest challenge Dan has faced on his saxophone so far has been finger speed. “I need to spend more time on this, to improve my finger dexterity, ” he says; “I work with a metronome when I practice. I also use a tuner – I think tuning is so important.”
Dan is also working on memorising songs. “I’m lucky that I’m a confident reader,” he says, “but I find it really difficult to remember songs I’ve played, without the music in front of me.”
Longer term, Dan would love to play in a band. “At the moment it’s not possible with work and family commitments,” he says, “but maybe after I retire!” So for now, Dan is happy to play his saxophone for family and friends at home.
Like many Sax School students, the Facebook Community is a big part of Sax School for Dan. “I don’t post videos that much, but I like to follow what’s happening from behind the scenes,” says Dan.
Dan’s “White Christmas” video (see below) was recorded on his mobile phone. “It’s just so simple,” he says, “I propped it up on my laptop and pressed record. This was the first take, and it took a little guts to share it, but I told myself ‘just do it!'”
We are really glad you did, Dan, I we can’t wait to see your next video.
Congratulations to Dan on being our Student of the Week!
Want to learn saxophone like Dan?
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