Using Twitter to Keep Tabs on the Greats
OK, I’ll just up and say it: The “saxophone world” is not all that tech savvy as a whole. At the majority of saxophone shops, file cabinets filled with carbon paper triumph over computers. And ok, this one is going to get me into trouble – but most saxophone-related websites look straight out of 1995. When it comes to social media outside of Facebook and MySpace, most saxophone players and educators have to ask, “social what?”
Here here now, I don’t mean to burn anyone’s bon bons. Learning how to play, teach, or repair the saxophone is a full-time job in and of itself and the hours spent in the shed, classroom, or shop are probably a better use of time than catatonically clicking around the ‘net.
That said, keeping up with the best and the brightest saxerati can be inspiring and informative.
For those new to it, to make a long story short, Twitter is a new take the old-fashioned website guest book where people leave their greetings and comments. However, the Twitter messages (aka “Tweets”) are limited to 140 characters each. There is a simple, yet optional syntax of characters and tags that can be used to make the Twitter experience more interactive and flexible, and there exists a massive multitude of free software products designed to help you keep up with the massive multitude of Twitter messages one can potentially expect to receive over the course of a day.
I can try and explain until we’re all blue in the face, but the fact of the matter is that Twitter is something that you need to actually try for yourself in order to fully understand it.
Tweeting with the Stars
So now that you’ve gotten your Twitter account set up, or even if you haven’t, here are a few saxophone-wielding twitterers who you might want to check out (in no particular order).
- David Binney: Modern straight-ahead mostly player known for his alto work
- Eric Darius: Funky R&B saxman
- Jaleel Shaw: Also a modern straight-ahead mostly player known for his alto work
- Kirk Whalum: Unless you’ve been living under a rock…
- Myron Walden: Innovative and eclectic sax player with rooted in straight ahead jazz
- Kenneth Whalum: Genre-defying sax dude rooted in a mix of jazz and soul
- Gerald Albright: Smooth jazz icon
- Ron Blake: Modern and eclectic jazz man
Although there are many other sax players with Twitter accounts (including the likes of Sonny Rollins and Joe Lovano), I only included folks who tweet at least somewhat frequently, since there’s no value in a Twitter account that’s never updated.
Give ‘er a Whirl
So go ahead, put those compact disks and flip phones away, explore the Twitterverse, and plug yourself into the minds and goings-on of saxophone mavens worldwide!