alt.music.saxophone (and rec.music.makers.saxophone) is a special group with a solid core of expert musicians who are as helpful as you could hope for. There's a friendly and light atmosphere in all of the discussions, and even some of the flames. If you want to get a feel for the group quickly, just turn back the clock on your news server files and have a quick scan through a week's postings. After that you should be able to see that intelligent postings get helpful replies, while over-demanding or ungraceful questions (and all the usual sins of the usenet) get nothing much at all. If you are a beginner, read this documentfirst and then post. If you're an experienced sax player with only a little net knowledge, don't worry - we're tolerant! If you're a sax wizard who's constantly on the net, you probably don't need much of a warm up to get into the swing of things. :-)
Just for interests sake, I recently conducted a survey in the newsgroup which revealed the following statistics: (June 1996)
Thanks very much for all your replies to the survey. I have received no more replies in the last few days so I am releasing the results - partly, I must say, because the trends are so strong that there isn't much need for more than the the fifty three replies I did get. I hope you find this information interesting:
- 36% play Soprano
- 64% play Alto
- 68% play Tenor
- 23% play Baritone
- 9% play C-Melody
- On average, the reader of ams plays two different types of saxophone. However, nearly 90% of respondants also play at least one other type of instrument, with 20% playing three or more other instruments!
- 36% of the saxes used by ams readers are made by Selmer. The next most popular make is Yamaha with 27%. Eight other brands each contributed less than 10% each. The least popular brand was 'Riviera', with just one respondant. Sorry for being invidio us, but how about some more info on this horn, that man?
- 17% of readers classified themselves as beginners.
- 38% are amateurs.
- 25% are semi-professional (one reader claimed 'quarter-professional'!)
- 8% are students of saxophony.
- 13% of readers are professional sax players.
- When it comes to musical tastes, 56% of you agreed that jazz was your main field. 15% like contemporary, same for classical (ie. same figure in each case), 11% preferred pop music or rock, and only 3% preferred marching band music. I must point ou t that this may be unfairly weighted as I did not provide a long list of options.
- 41% of readers have been with us since day 1. Golden clocks will be posted later. 27% have been reading for around 6 months (slightly less have been reading for around 3 months), while 14% have joined the newsgroup within the last month.
- The most popular reed is Rico Royals, with 25% of respondants using these reeds. Vandoren are used by 22% of readers. The remaining brands/variations mentioned (Rico, Fibracell, Hemke, Plasticover, V16, Java, Lavoz, Bari, Guardala, Glotin and Buffet and some others) each received a small fraction of the total. Plasticover were the least popular with only 2% of replies using these reeds.
- The most popular reed strength is a very average 3, with 46% of readers using this strength (independent of size of instrument, brand or whatever). 17% use a 2 while 18% use a 2.5. 16% use a reed harder than a 3, while only one reader uses a soft (1 ) reed.
The only statistic I cannot summarise is the mouthpiece. You use such a lurid selection of different brands that the sample was too fractionated to make sense. I can say that the most popular mouthpiece tip opening was a 7*, ie. .100 inches. The major ity of professionals replying had more than 3 mouthpieces.
Just to try and sum up what I have read in all your replies, I would say that the average reader of alt.music.saxophone plays a Selmer tenor sax, with a Rico Royal 3 reed on a 7* mouthpiece. He dabbles with a cheap/no-name soprano and also plays alto with the same or slightly different reed/mouthpiece setup as the tenor. He plays keyboard and is known to have played around with the clarinet and guitar. He is an amateur who enjoys jazz most but is not uninterested in classical music and other genres, a nd has been reading the newsgroup for about nine months.
I hope this is amusing for you to mull over! Thanks for all your replies!Mike Wells
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