Category Archives: Articles

General Saxophone related articles, opinions, questions, etc, etc

Cables Demystified

Good video

Gig Bag Essentials

While on the net, I came across this article, 10 Gig Bag Essentials. While it is more geared towards Guitarists, there were some things that I also put in my “Gig Bag”. And what do people put in their “Gig Bag” nowadays anyhow?

Here is a list of things I keep in my “Gig Bag”.

  • Spare Reeds – A low hanging fruit to be sure, but it does need saying that you should probably have extra reeds in the bag for all the instruments you are planning on playing at the gig. I generally keep two reeds for each instrument and if there is oboe involved, I bring a small reed emergency kit for oboe as well.
  • Spare Neck Strap – I cannot remember the LAST TIME I forgot my neck strap. It must be close to 10 years now, but I do have another neck strap in the bag just in case.
  • Tuner – “Back in the day” I’d carry a tuner in the bag. This has been replaced years ago by having an “App” on the iPhone to tune.
  • Tape – Scotch tape is great to have in case something goes wrong on a horn.
  • Multitool – There are a ton of multitools out there, and at some point I’ll find a better one and write about it, but having a multitool is great. The screw drivers are small enough to adjust the screws on most all the horns I take out. Pliers, knife….so many things you can use.
  • Pencils/Pens/Highlighter – Some groups still use paper *gasp*. You need a device to write on paper. Usually a pencil. A pen is sometimes useful as well.
  • Hearing Protection – Sometimes groups can play really loud. Protect your hearing.
  • Battery Pack and Cables – A battery to charge your iPhone or iPad. You can also bring a power cable, but these battery pack things are like $20 and can fully charge your iPad and iPhone no problem.

Additional things to put in the bag if doing a gig that requires electronics. This would be like a R&B or Pop group gig, where you’d have a mic and stuff. Some groups have a dedicated “sound guy” so they might have some of these things, but it still is a good idea to have a set for yourself.
Extra microphone – I generally use a clip on Mic for gigs on saxophone, but I still have the trusty Sennheiser 421 in the bag (well, it’s in a box) just in case. This mic has saved my bacon a few times.
Extra XLR Cable – A lot of gigs don’t have a dedicated sound guy. It’s usually good to bring an extra XLR cable in addition to the one you should already be bringing with your microphone. At least 6 foot
Electrical Tape – In case something needs fixing
Gaffers Tape – This stuff is sorta like “Duct Tape” for musicians. It’s better and safer to usually tape down your cords once you are set up. It could be tragic if the bass player trips on the XLR cable and takes your sax with it’s bell mic with it.

Jason Lyon Reviews Band In A Box

Jason Lyon reviews Band in a Box

So props to PG Music, the somewhat earnest Canadian company behind this product. It seems to be increasingly proving, year on year, something we’ve all suspected (and perhaps dreaded). That most kinds of “blowing” music are really just about putting little bricks together in some kind of random fashion.

This program gets better every year, but I am still waiting for a redesigned interface for it….

St. John Coltrane Church fights eviction

From an SF Gate article:

Archbishop Franzo W. King, who co-founded the Fillmore district church, says he has received a three-day notice to vacate the space in the West Bay Conference Center, a meeting hall for hire. King says the center’s director, Floyd Trammell, has not accepted his rent of $1,600 per month for two years, and King is now waiting for the sheriff to serve eviction papers.

The real problem is the out of control rents happening in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lots of loop holes landlords are using to jack up the rent of people and businesses. It is really going to suck for these landlords when the tech bust happens and their properties sit unoccupied.

3D Printed Instruments

From Mic.com:

It doesn’t look like anything at first. But as the arm of the printer slides back and forth, a violin slowly takes shape. It has all the elegance of that delicate instrument but has a thoroughly modern look. The violin is electric. It is perfectly clear. And its body was created entirely inside of a 3-D printer.

Last summer, I 3D printed a mouthpiece on my school’s 3D printer. It plays HORRIBLE.