There comes a crucial moment in every musician's life when he must decide what instrument to play.
The obvious choice is usually guitar, because everybody wants to be a sweaty rock god. But some people go with drums or bass or even piano. However, not a lot of kids dream of learning how to play the saxophone, a lame band-geek instrument.
But who wouldn't want to blow that brass like John Coltrane and Kenny G? There is plenty of badassery related to the sax. And that's why Crossfade linked up with professional saxophonist Steve Reason (also the headliner of this weekend's Let's Have Sax) to learn the ten best things about this particular wind instrument.
10. It's the Most Versatile Instrument
"There is no instrument as versatile as the saxophone," says Reason. "Maybe the violin is as versatile, but the saxophone is the only instrument that sounds like someone singing. It sounds like vocals. And it can be used in any genre to any degree. You can add sax to anything."
9. Limitless Sounds
"The saxophone is the instrument that can make the most sound effects. That's one of the reasons I started playing it. It can make the most sounds; there's no limitations."
8. Endless Sonic Possibilities
"Not only can the sax make some crazy sounds on its own, but nowadays with all the technology out there, it is insane what you can do with a recorded saxophone. The effects you can put on a sax and the ways in which you can manipulate the sound are incredible."
7. Nonstop Hookups
"Everybody wants to link up with a saxophonist," says Reason. "Playing the sax can lead to many opportunities. It has for me. Playing around, filming my pop covers and uploading them to YouTube, those things have led to people reaching out to me and inviting me on tour or to record on their album. I've worked with a bunch of different people because I can perform well on the sax."
6. There's Always Something to Learn
"The sax is a very complex instrument. It's complicated. There's different levels on the sax. There are die-hard musicians, and there's the people that just want to jam. It just depends on how great you want to be."
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5. It's Forever Hip
"One of the things I really try to do is make the saxophone cool," says Reason. "If I'm playing to a bunch of high-school kids and I start with an intricate jazz melody, I'll probably lose them. But if I play something funky or groovy, they'll be really into it. Music is a language, and the sax is timeless."
4. Saxophone Takes Soul
"Playing the sax is about more than just knowing how to make the right sounds. When I'm playing, I try to really sell the performance. You've got to dance. You've got to put your body into it. That's how you show people you're passionate and you're really into what you're playing. You've got to mean it."
3. Ladies Love It
"Girls love the saxophone," says Reason. "I don't know why, but they just do. It's sexy. Women are all about a little sax melody."
2. The Sax Looks Awesome
"A saxophone has a very unique look. There isn't any other instrument that looks like it. You can look at a saxophone and it just seems cool. It has a presence. All brass instruments look pretty badass, but the sax especially."
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1. It's All Over the Mainstream
"If you've been listening to the radio, then you'll know that sax has been all over the new hits lately. Every song has some type of sax or some sample," says Reason. "That huge Macklemore song, 'Thrift Shop,' was all sax. Ariana Grande's song 'Problem,' all sax."
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