This week the Sax School team have named David Skinner as our Student of the Week! David is a regular video contributor in the Sax School community and his playing is an inspiration for our other members.
Having returned to the saxophone after a break of thirty-five years, David is now out gigging twice a week!
“I started with the clarinet at school, and switched to the sax at the age of twelve,” says David. “I played a lot at high school jazz; R’n’B, and big band jazz mainly.”
When David left college and started work, he stopped playing. He spent many years working in Hong Kong and Singapore, in the insurance industry.
“I love the international community of Sax School, we have a lot of fun”
It was David’s wife who suggested he take up the sax again when he retired three years ago. “She thought I was spending too much time on the golf course!” says David.
David joined Sax School almost straight away. Now he practises every day, and plays in a local big band jazz quartet and a “party band” doing paid gigs! “It’s beer and pizza money, but I love performing!” says David.
As well as playing with the bands, David also performs with backing tracks as “The Lonesome Dave Band” in local nursing and retirement homes. “I talk about the music and do some playing, and it goes down really well!” he says.
The journey back into playing sax was not easy though. “The first 7 days were terrible,” David admits. “There was a big difference between the tone I could hear in my head, and what was coming out of the instrument.” David stuck with it, and after a month, he could see real progress.
“I am a better musician now than I was when I was a student,” he says. “I take it more seriously, and having more maturity really helps.” David describes himself as a confident improviser, and transcribes solos to understand the harmony and incorporate ideas into his own playing.
David finds lots of ideas in Sax School for music to play with his bands. “I introduced the quartet to the jazz arrangement of ‘Concierto de Aranjuez’” says David, “and the horn section of the big band played Nigel’s multi-sax arrangement of ‘Faith’ at a recent gig, which was a great hit with the audience!”
“I love the international community of Sax School, we have a lot of fun,” says David. “A shout out to Barrie Fox who taught me all I know!” David likes to post videos into the Facebook Group; “recording the videos is great motivation to really learn the piece properly,” he says.
We really enjoyed David’s recent video of ‘Concierto de Aranjuez’. We can’t wait to see what he shares with us next!