Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Review: Phil Barone Soprano Sax

Hey everyone! Now that the fall semester is almost over, classes are starting to ease up (that is, until finals week). I have finally gotten into the "groove of things" and have finally found a way to have some free time. I haven't posted a review in a while, so I wanted to write a quick review over my Phil Barone Soprano. Now, most of you know that the products I review are sent to me; however, this is not the case for the soprano. I received a Vienna soprano for Christmas, but it was an "adventure" to play. The palm keys felt weak and clanked against the body, the cork was so fat that no mouthpiece could really fit on well enough to make the sax in tune, and the soprano just had bad intonation in general. Yes, I admit that I am far from professional and that it was my first time tackling the soprano, but my other saxophonist friends noticed these defects as well. The Vienna was a novel instrument to play around with, but I wanted a soprano that I could enjoy playing correctly, so I saved up my money and purchased a Phil Barone soprano.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Have you Liked Us on Facebook Yet?

Hey you! If you are reading this article, then you must be connected to the Internet! That means that you can go and like our page on Facebook! There will be some sweet giveaways in the near future if we reach 100 fans, so GO GO GO!!! Invite your friends too! Link Here


Monday, November 14, 2011

It's Been a Long Time, Old Friend...

Hello Blog World!

If you have been following this site, you may have noticed that I have not posted since August. Well, I'm back and wanted to post to let y'all know that I'm still here. Last year, I applied for a special program offered by my state to gain an extra edge in math and science. In this program, you enroll in college two years early, take all college courses, live like a college student (all of us are in a dorm, we eat on campus, etc.), and earn your high school diploma with successful completion. I applied since I hope to major in Computer Science when I finish high school, and I was accepted! Unfortunately, taking Honors Biology, Biology Lab, Honors Chemistry, Chemistry Lab, Pre-Cal, and English is eating up a large amount of time, especially when you factor in all of the studying required for biology (but that's a different story...).  But now that it's towards the end of the semester, I feel that I have somewhat tweaked the fine balance between classes, homework, studying, volunteering, eating, sleeping (still working on this), and free-time. I am trying to get back to posting regularly on this site, and I hope to eventually post more frequently than before. I have a lot to post about music-wise and really want to get it posted soon. I am currently at the University of North Texas, and I'm sure that many of you know about their amazing music program. We get to take electives here (any class the college offers), so I am planning on taking some music courses for senior year. So now that you know that I'm still here, be sure to check this site frequently. Also, I have created a Facebook page for Saxtastic Saxophone. I'll give away something saxophone related (Reeds? A mouthpiece? A saxophone???) if we reach 100 likes, so get your saxophone-ish friends to like it! Link is here, so take a few seconds and like it! Also, I check my Facebook frequently, so if you have any comments or suggestions, just post it on the page :)

I'll (hopefully) be back soon!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Rhythm Sight Reading Trainer Reviewed

Hey guys! Sorry for the long hiatus; I have been very busy preparing for college and playing saxophone. When I purchased my iPad 2 back in March, I searched the App Store for great music-related apps that would help me with my saxophone playing. One app that caught my eye was the Rhythm Sight Reading Trainer. I wrote about this about previously, but I have decided to give an in-depth review of this great app. *DISCLAIMER* I used my own money to purchase this app, so this entire review is my own opinion.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Are YOU Ready???

High school students, are you ready for solo and ensemble contest for your respective state? I know I am! Solo and Ensemble Contest may be eight or nine months away, but I have already chosen my piece! I decided that I will attempt (keyword is attempt) Improvisation et Caprice by Eugene Bozza. Seeing I have only been playing two years, this will be a great piece to work on my vibrato and technical aspects like no flying fingers and muscle memory. Oh, and let's not forget it will definitely be challenging! I ordered the music today, so I can't wait for the score to arrive so that I can get to work! Are you participating in a Solo and Ensemble competition? What are you playing?


Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Difference: A Thought

After researching soprano saxophones for a while, I have come up with a conclusion regarding the differences between Asian made "cheapo" saxes and the "high quality" pro saxes (think Selmer Paris, Yamaha, Yanagisawa, etc.). Please keep in mind that this is just the opinion of a saxophone-playing student not the meaning of life, and I own an Asian made "cheapo" and "high quality" pro sax.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mouthpiece Spotlight: Theo Wanne's Brahma

The second mouthpiece in the, "Mouthpiece Spotlight," is Theo Wanne's Brahma mouthpiece. This mouthpiece is the other tenor sax mouthpiece offered in the Performance line for those on a budget.

The Brahma is described as having medium brightness and is like a vintage Otto Link with improved projection, sound, and vintage hard rubber. Because it is part of the Performance Line, there are less engravings, no mouthpiece case, and no serial number. Each Mouthpiece does, however, come with the Enlightened Ligature and reed replacer cap.

Price: $375 for premium hard rubber, $435 for metal

Material: Metal and Premium Hard Rubber

Sound: Medium Brightness

Sizes: 6*, 7*, 8, 9

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mouthpiece Spotlight: Theo Wanne's Datta

Hey guys! I'm starting a new series called the, "Mouthpiece Spotlight." This series will showcase mouthpieces from different brands on my website. That way, you can come to one place to find out about a new mouthpiece you may want to buy.

The first mouthpiece in the, "Mouthpiece Spotlight," is Theo Wanne's Datta. The Datta is only available for the tenor sax and is part of Theo Wanne's Performance Line. The Performance Line is the mouthpiece line produced for students or people on a budget so that they can afford a top-notch mouthpiece without sacrificing quality. They were able to cut the costs in several ways: not as many engravings, no recessed bite plate, no serial number, no mouthpiece pouch, and a slightly different machining process. However, the Datta still includes a True Large Chamber, Enlightened Ligature, Reed Replacer, and 24K gold plated brass shank ring. The Datta is described as having huge projection and a fat, modern, and bright sound.

Price: $375 for premium hard rubber, $435 for metal

Material: Metal and Premium Hard Rubber

Sound: Bright with a huge, fat, modern sound

Sizes:7*, 8, 9, 10

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A cool iPad app for musicians and students

Hey guys! I recently found this cool app for the iPad/iPhone/iPod touch called the Rhythm Sight Reading Trainer. It cost $2.99, but I think it's worth it. This app is jam packed with tons of exercises plus a feature to randomly generate rhythms. There is a built in metronome that you set to a tempo. Then you try to tap along to the beat. At the end, it gives you feedback and a percent correct score. There is also an ear training mode for the experts! I highly recommend this app for those who want to improve their sight reading skills. You can get the app here.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Runyon Custom Soprano Sax Mouthpiece Review

After receiving a soprano saxophone as a gift for Christmas, I have been searching for the perfect beginner mouthpiece for it. I originally purchased a Bari soprano sax piece which played well, but gave the saxophone an "airy" tone with a Vandoren strength 2.5 reed. I decided to try a Runyon Custom, a mouthpiece that has received many positive reviews. The nice people at Runyon kindly sent me a free mouthpiece to review.

The Vibratosax, aka the future of student/marching saxophones

In late 2010/early 2011, Vibrato Co. released their highly anticipated saxophone known as the Vibratosax. For those of you unfamiliar with this product, the Vibratosax is the first polycarbonate saxophone available on market.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

UIL Contest, New iPad, and other Random Topics

Hey guys,

After being MIA for a long time, I have finally returned to my blog! School has been overwhelming this entire semester and haw given me little time to breath. Luckily, we are in the last six weeks, so my workload will be much lighter (I hope). Last week was the first time I had free time, so I've been playing my sax (my Charlie Parker Omnibook arrived recently) and my new iPad.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Why the Long Absence?

I'm sure that many of my dedicated subscribers have been wondering why there has been a period without any blog posts. Have I lost internet connection? Did I quit saxophone? Did I abandon my website? Fortunately, the answer to all of those questions are, "No." I have been spending countless hours of the past few weeks on a big Physics project. The goal of this project is to build a Rube Goldberg machine that waters a plant in twenty steps. My group has been steadily working, we are almost finish with the project. When we finish, I will post a video of the final product. I apologize for the delay in posts and hope to resume posting once this huge project is turned in.