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...should be seen and not heard?

Discussion in 'Suggestion Box' started by Al Stevens, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. Al Stevens

    Al Stevens

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  2. Enviroguy

    Enviroguy

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    Respectfully Al, I don't see your point. Where I live there is pretty well a vacuum when is comes to playing wind instruments. Kid's without a lot of resources ask me these kinds of questions quite often.

    There's two way to look at this. If a music student asks his teacher a question like this, the usual and usually correct answer is to tell the student that what they are playing now is fine and they should concentrate on practice and learn to play better.

    But, for a kid with no teacher, other than what they get in school band class, and no hope of ever getting one, a question like this shows they care enough to want better equipment. If they are like I was as a kid and they have to teach themselves to play, upgrading a mouthpiece might be just the thing to show them more is possible and it may give them the mental edge to become a more serious player in the future.

    As a fifteen year-old, my swapping of my stock mpc for the Selmer S80 I found in the old case made me believe I had something better. And that took further than my piers. If we can give a kid that kind of belief (and possibly a little better response and tone), we may have done that kid a great service in the long run. ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2009
  3. Al Stevens

    Al Stevens

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    Probably because I either don't have a good one or didn't make it well.

    I guess the point is that there is another forum heavily populated by kids and mentors. The best answer to that thread, in my opinion, is to direct the kid (assuming it is a kid) to where the best such information can be found. "Go elsewhere and use the Search function."

    If WF becomes a clone of a place to ask "what [whatever] should I buy," then what's the point of WF? If we encourage that, we will soon become inundated with such questions, and the theme song can be introduced with, "Say, kids, what time is it?" :)
     
  4. Enviroguy

    Enviroguy

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    Ok,

    So it's not the wrong question. It's just the wrong forum for that question. Fair enough. And as always, all my respect. ;)
     
  5. Ed

    Ed Founder Staff Member Administrator

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    Al,

    We hope to minimize that sort of dialogue with the Content Experts that we have here. The goal is to keep the discourse at a high level. For us to be successful at that requires the effort of all of us. It is difficult to dissuade players from asking questions like the one you reference; however, some people might be amazed to find the hairs that we split in our discussions. :emoji_smile:

    We'll make sticky's out of the most obvious questions and answers as we go along and hope that folks take the opportunity to read them.
     
  6. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    FWIW, after a couple of folks brought posts like that to my attention, I contacted the poster and we chatted a bit. I even mentioned this in the thread you reference, Al.

    I know that the WF is made up of a lot of professionals and former professionals. That's our core. We do, however, have a few intermediate and beginning players that do occasionally need good advice, too.

    I'm the first person to say that I know squat about flutes and double reeds (other than I suck at playing them), so I may ask some bonehead questions, too.

    Now, I don't want this forum "spammed" with threads like, "What's the kewlest mouthpiece for bari?" or something like that (i.e., "This is a random post to see if other people will post"), but if there's a thread that asks a legitimate question or -- in this case -- can be made into asking a legitimate question, there's no reason not to let it continue.

    I mentioned elsewhere that I strongly believe in the respect factor: if someone asks a question in a respectful way, it should be answered in a respectful manner. If not, I encourage our membership to a) ignore the post and not answer and b) report it (click on the [​IMG] icon).
     
  7. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    I wanted to respond to Enviroguy, too. He makes some points that should be discussed.
    The answer is "sometimes".

    In the particular instance we're talking about, the teacher is the generic "band director" which generally means "brass player". He may not know that there is much variation in mouthpieces for sax.

    But I am a sax player and teacher (former to both) and I could tell the student, "You have a POS mouthpiece. You should replace it with $whatever" OR say "You have fine equipment. You just need to practice more."

    In this instance, you have a student with a decent mouthpiece, but is playing on reeds that even his teacher says are too thin. Plus, he's havening questions about his strap and ligature.

    The BEST suggestion is, "Get a sax teacher who knows what he's doing and can make a better judgment -- and follow his advice. Failing that, get some stronger reeds, as your instructor says, ans see if your playing improves. Don't worry about the strap or lig unless they're broken/don't fit."

    In this particular instance, I've already said that the student is disagreeing with the instructor on which reeds to use. That's a red flag for me. It's an indication of, "I just have GAS." Studentia don't need GAS. They need antacids.

    "Teaching yourself how to play" is something that I don't even want to consider. I will say that playing sax is easy. Playing it well is hard. If you're teaching yourself, you may have a fool for a teacher: no offense, but if you walk up to your teacher with a Mark VI and a Selmer Soloist mouthpiece with Vandoren V12 #3 reeds and he says, "That's all junk. You need to buy something else," you need a different teacher.

    Finally, on this point, there is too much emphasis on the "stuff". Can "stuff" make you better? Sometimes, but if you already have good "stuff" and you're havening problems, buying more "stuff" in hopes of fixing the problem -- especially when you can't even define the problem -- is a waste of money.

    And, possibly, you'll make your problems worse.

    As mentioned, I had a similar experience, but we were swapping "junk" for "good". The student that inspired this thread already had "good" but had some non-specific problem with it. There was literally no way to be able to define what "better" would be.

    You dig, man? :cool:
     
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