Regularly-updated saxophone blogs are few and far between. But recently, I came across another site at the web address, Saxophonistisches.de that is hopefully part of a trend towards modern and vibrant saxophone-specific websites. A German site run by Bremen-based saxophonist and educator Tobias Haecker, this online saxo-hub is chock-full of saxophone news, product reviews, instructional content, and even some humorous articles.
Although the site is in German and not readable by the vast majority of my readers here, I wanted to feature Tobias’ site in an effort to encourage more saxophonists to take their passion to the web. There are so many opportunities for making a mark on the music world by becoming a content creator providing great stuff for your fellow saxophonists. The more we can get sax players accustomed to going to the web for education and inspiration that they would not have gotten elsewhere, the better it is for everyone.
As for reading the website yourself, I suggest you use the Google Chrome Browser‘s automatic translation feature to get a pretty decent translation of Tobias’ articles. Sure, the English will come out as very broken, but you should definitely be able to get the gist. (As it happens, Chrome is the best browser out there at the moment, so if you’re not using it yet, start.)
Doron Orenstein: What was it that inspired you to take on the challenging task of creating your own saxophone website?
Tobias Haecker: I don’t know if I really was inspired by anything in particular when I started. I actually think that it was more of an coincidence that I came to blogging. I was writing a lot (probably too much) in different saxophone forums, but the forums I came across didn’t really offer what I wanted. So I left (or was left). But I had written some long posts and reports on these forums. I first collected them on Myspace, and there I wrote some more but I didn’t like the layout so I tried the WordPress.com website platform. I wrote more, I got more and more readers and I really started to enjoy blogging. And now I’m blogging for over 2 and a half years and have over 10.000 readers each month, which is quite a bit for a German blog.
DO: What topics get the biggest response from your readers?
TH: That’s hard to say. The most comments I’ve ever gotten was on my Mark VI article (what a surprise). I don’t think that this is a question of the topic, but rather how well written the post is. Sometimes I write good posts, which are funny, interesting, and easy to read, and sometimes the writing is a bit stiff.
DO: What opportunities has the site opened up for you personally?
TH: I don’t have a contract with a record label, if that’s what you mean. But I have made some good contacts. One of the most interesting is with Orfeo Borgani. I met him on the Musikmesse Frankfurt. Thanks to the blog we kept in contact and he invited me to visit his factory in Italy. When I went there tried out some of his new horns and fell in love with an alto which is now my little baby.
DO: How do you see websites such as yours helping other musicians?
TH: I get a lot of response from hobby saxophone players and students who like my lessons. I try to summarize what I got from my teachers, found out myself, and what I learned from teaching my pupils. But I don’t only write instructional articles. A lot of them are more for entertainment – like the the article about the erotic nature of the sax or why Kenny G is the best saxophone player in the world or the story of how a wannabe gangsta rapper who I met in a public transportation stop who wanted to do something with saxophone.