New for 2023
Welcome to the new section on bass saxophones! I am currently in the process of re-doing this entire section and putting together a place for bass saxophone players, and would be bass sax players, to get updated information and resources on the saxophone that started it all.
When I first got my first bass saxophone in October 2000, things were A LOT different in the saxophone landscape:
- The bass saxophone renaissance we are currently experiencing had not begun—at all.
- The bass sax was still seen very much as an outlier in the saxophone world.
- If you wanted to play a bass saxophone, your choices were basically limited to a:
- Vintage American horn like Buescher or Conn
- Vintage American style like Keilwerth
- Vintage French style like Beaugnier or Selmer
- New Keilwerth or Selmer.
- Julius Keilwerth and Selmer were the only real sources of new, modern, quality-made pro-model bass saxophones.
- Cheap, new bass saxophones made Chinese companies were not even on the horizon yet.
- The Internet was still a toddler.
- Social media was still in its infancy.
When I flew to New Orleans to pick up my bass from Paul, Wayne, and Steve, they all gave me great tips, and passed on information on how to tame the great beast that would be my cabinmate back to Fredericton, NB. They taught me the simple alternate fingerings to use to work around my Buescher’s tuning and venting quirks.
Prior to the Internet age, that is how bass saxophone players learned about the instrument: in real life. Sure, they might have spoken on the phone, written letters, or used whatever other means of communications existed at the time, but at the end of the day, musicians of all stripes shared their knowledge in person.
Shortly after I got my bass I thought it would be handy to develop a bass sax resource site, and the first incarnation of Bassic Sax was born. At the same time, Paul Coats and Steve Weinart founded the Bass Sax Co-op.
Over the past 22 years we have seen more and more bass sax resources pop up as the instrument has once again made its way into the mainstream of the saxophone world.
In the earliest stages of my foray into the online bass saxophone world, I received a number of emails and communications from other bass saxophone players who shared their knowledge and experience with me. Those early communications were very helpful, since they formed the earliest foundation of my bass sax education.
What you’ll see in this new section
- Vintage bass saxophones
- Modern/current production model bass saxophones
- Gear: from reeds & MPs to cases and stands.
- Resources: online to print. What’s out there, and where to find it
- Who is doing what on bass saxophone
- And lots more.
If you have any ideas of what to include, please reach out to me and let me know.
This is going to take a bit of time
As you can imagine this is going to be quite a bit of work. I have collected much of this information already over the years, but some of it will require new research.
If you would like to be involved in the creation of this new section, let me know. I’m always on the lookout for great research and writing talent.