So, I've gotten the okay from Asmodai, and its my turn for the UGer of the week. Log off now and save yourself.


My musical career began about 6 years ago, way back when I was in grade four. My mom is a piano player, and I decided to teach myself. I actually got quite good, and stuck playing with it for about a year. The whole time, I begged my mom if I could get a guitar, pointing to the advertisements for guitar learning books on the back of the piano book. I remember how the guitars looked cool... what I've now come to call Flying V's and Xplorers.

By grade 7, I was very excited, as the instrumental band program finally came into effect in my underfunded elementary school. I had been thinking about what instrument I'd like, and I finally decided. I asked my Band Director if I could play saxophone. I got it.

Since that day, I have been playing saxophone ever since. I've just started new lessons with a real professional teacher (who has even released his own CD). I am trying to get into an Arts Academy to further my studies in education.

My first saxophone lessons began halfway through grade 8, when I got my saxophone, a shiny Armstrong. It cost 800 dollars, and its over 10 years old. Gives it great character. Has been newly repaired.

I've been playing in my school jazz band for 2 years, and took over the first chair on saxophone position. That first year in jazz band has to be the best musical experience I've ever had, and definitely fueled my love for music. I'd never done real playing with a group before, and my expectations were very low of what would happen. I'm not sure if I'd still be playing today if it weren't for jazz band.

About one year ago, after spending some time around "band dork" sites, I found myself wanting to play in a marching band. Yes, I'm that kind of a nerd.

For about a month straight, I would be on the internet until 11:00, doggedly searching for something. I was just about to give up, when I noticed a link.

The Toronto Argonauts, our professional football team in the CFL, apparently has a band that plays in the game. After looking through the site, I emailed the band director, saying I'd like to join. I haven't looked back.

Even though it was a bit of a rush having to leave as soon as I got home for downtown during the home games, and I'd be on my feet for about six hours playing sax, and as tired as I was coming home at midnight, I had tons of fun playing there. I even played a game on the night of my french exam, and almost woke up late for the exam. Dedication. And I hate french.

However, the whole time through playing saxophone, I found playing on my own at home very dissatisfying. The tenor sax is large, bulky, and its quite tiring to play. You run out of breath, and your mouth seriously takes a beating, even after a few years of constant playing.

I had only recently been getting into rock music (after not listening to music at all for about 2 years), and decided I wanted to play guitar myself. That was a problem.

My parents are perhaps the cheapest people you will ever find. If you've ever known Dutch people, you know they recycle anything and everything. My mother is no exception.

She hated the idea of me playing guitar. Money. Noise. I'd ignore my saxophone. I told her that we could buy used, from pawn shops. Her argument in return? That those are full of guitars and amps that people bought and then stopped liking. Obviously, she didn't trust me. After enough persuasion, I started to win my way.

She had gone to a music store herself, and talked to one idiot of an employee. He had informed her that he played electric guitar without an amplifier. My mom knows a way to save money and gip me out of something I like when she sees one.

She came back and announced that I wouldn't be getting an amplifier, because "the guitar still made noise". I was pretty pissed. How was I supposed to learn an instrument when I could barely hear it? She didn't care. After yelling at her she didn't honestly care about me playing guitar, she said, "You just lost yourself a guitar, buddy." I had reached the conclusion all girls suck.

Eventually, on the Easter weekend, we went downtown to Steve's Music Store, and I got a Squier Starter pack. Which I still own to this day.

As I had started to play guitar, the first thing my dad managed to say to me was, "Why isn't it acoustic?" On a side note, I recently brought home an acoustic guitar from school for the weekend to play, just to spite them all. They're pretty loud.

Since those first few weeks, my playing has really progressed. I've been trying to play some Eric Clapton solos (pay serious attention to the word "trying"), and have been going into legato, and am now attempting to use my cheap excuse for a tremolo bridge.

At Christmas, I got a BOSS DS-1 distortion pedal from my Aunt. Simply works great, though I sometimes use the amp distortion.

If you want to listen to audio files of me playing, I have compiled a site of them right here

Lately, I have been attempting to re-learn my piano skills, but lack of time has led me to not practising as much as I should. But one day, I'll find time and nail it. If I could learn another wind instrument, it would be the French Horn.

My dream guitar would definitely be a Gibson ES-335, paired with a Traynor YCV-40 Custom Valve amplifier.

My contributions to the site have been limited mostly to the columns section. You can read my articles from my sig, with my current contribution being the "Ultimate Guitar Guide", which I am just about to finish up. I joined the site in May, two weeks after I started playing. I can honestly say that being on the site has definitely kept me playing, and has increased my knowledge about guitars greatly.

My non-musical interests include:

-Lord of the Rings
-World War I and II history (heil...)
-Being a pain-in-the-ass liberal
-Debunking the War on Iraq whilst making people mad at me
-Hockey (used to play it, but had to quit because of jazz band)

My musical influences include:

-Matthew Good (both band and solo projects)
-Sam Roberts (If you've never listened, I'd highly suggest him)
-Eric Clapton

My musical interests, including the aforementioned, include:
-Led Zeppelin
-Foo Fighters
-Joe Satriani
-The White Stripes
-Billy Talent

Add into that some jazz music. I have a very wide taste for music, and as long as I can see true artistic merit in music, I'll like it. I'm of the opinion that "good" music never gets old. As long as you don't listen to it all the time, you will be able to listen to the same songs for a long time because its got real quality into it, and you can hear that easily.

If anything, I'd like to have my career involve music. Whether with saxophone or guitar, I can't think of anything else I'd suffer to do every day. I'd like to get a band started, though it looks kinda hard right now. My friend Nicole, with whom me and a few others were planning to start a band with, has told us that she has to spend more time looking after her puppy, and that she had to quit the band she was already involved in. So I'm just going to have to do a very underground solo career. However, one of my rabbits is a big fan of my music. Whenver she's in the living room, I'll play it for her, and she sits and listens, yet runs away when I play anything else. Isn't she so cute?

The only problem I foresee with the solo career is that I suck at writing lyrics. So I'll have to work on that. I find it so much eaiser to think of the music you want to write when you have the lyrics written out for you. Which explains why I have maybe one or two riffs written out. However, when I do get something into my head, I run to my pad of blank sheet music, and write it out onto sheet music. This prevents other guitarrists from stealing it.

I hope you enjoyed the read! Now, be patient as it stays up for about two weeks before someone else steals the spotlight from me.

So, for stupidity purposes, here's a Les Paul with my very stoned face plastered on the front! (taken last year at a band rehearsal)

A few pictures you might be interested in (which are quite large)

Me playing guitar
A much better picture of me, whilst skiing
My purdyful saxophone *shiny*

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very cool, saxamaphones are nice and shiny and fun to play man
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you think tenor sax is a pain to play because of wait.. try baritone sax... huge instrument... an intertresting read although the two thread thing is tricky..... maybe both'll be stickied?
i play in my schools jazz band too, but i play the guitar in it-
Originally posted by linkinparkman
Maroon 5, reallly heavy stuf, they tune there 7 string guitar to drop c and the guy can growl to drop z, man these guys are awsom! Heres a good song, i think its call (this love) reallll good. I think its hardcore nu-metal. Go Check Them Out!
you think bari sax is a pain try Bass Sax! yeah...pain in the ass all right, but cool as ****
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poop........no one likes good music these days........
Originally posted by Cmogi10
you think bari sax is a pain try Bass Sax! yeah...pain in the ass all right, but cool as ****

Oh, yeah? Well, try contrabass sax!

Saxophonists... its all about innuendo with us.

Anyways, glad to see the problem with mack was resolved. Let's all await his article. But not too fast. I want the spotlight!

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heh heh. You look... funny j/k

An interesting story, by all accounts. Take the crown *hands over the UGOTW crown*
what kind of sax do you have?

im savin up for my friends old mark VI
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Originally posted by Cmogi10
what kind of sax do you have?

im savin up for my friends old mark VI

It's an Armstrong, cost 800 dollars. I don't know what model it is or anything, as there doesn't seem to be a site for the brand. Damn.

And for those of you complainers: quiet, just because I look cooler with sunglasses than you doesn't mean you can complain.

Don't make me make crappy band jokes.
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Originally posted by gingertom25
This is a guitar website not a saxaphone 1!

eat **** so what were more talented then you
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Originally posted by Mack56
Backup, it's your week man. Awesome story. keep rockin in a free world

i'm sorry Mack56, but this is not a free world........just to let you know.............
^ Aww, I can just hear his dreams of success hit the ground with a loud "thud".

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