We’ve just reached 100,000 subscribers on our YouTube Channel! So I want to say thank you to you.
I’m answering your sax questions today, as well as looking forward to what’s coming up with Sax School and our channel.
Our Youtube Journey
So we just reached a huge milestone this week with your help. We have crossed a hundred thousand subscribers. Woohoo!
It’s been a huge journey for me on the YouTube channel. Starting right back at the beginning when I made a video about how to play that sax solo in Baker Street… right up to today.
So what’s changed over the past few years? What’s stayed the same? And how about what’s coming up on the channel in the future as well? Because we’ve got some exciting things coming up.
I want to dig into all of that today, but I thought first of all it might be fun just to answer some sax questions from you, our YouTube viewers.
Q#1:what do you think about when you look back at your first videos?
The first of our sax questions is from Peter, and Peter asks, what do you think about when you look back at your first videos? Well, to be honest with you, apart from today, I don’t think I’ve spent a lot of time looking back at those old videos. But the first thing that comes to my mind all the time is, ‘Man, how come I look so old and craggy now?’
But I’ll tell you what, back then when I was making those videos, I had no idea what I was doing. I was just wanting to turn the camera on and make a video and share some information. Because I’d never done it before, and like most of us that start making videos, we have got no idea what we’re doing.
So I think it was easier making videos back then. Now it seems to take me 10 times as long. But anyway, I hope that you’re enjoying the videos and that the information in them is better. We’ll see. Mostly though, I wish I had as much hair as I had back then!
Q#2: What type of gigs were you doing back when you started your channel?
So the second of your questions is from Michelle in Singapore. She says You don’t talk much about your playing career, Nigel. What type of gigs were you doing back when you started your channel?
That’s a great question. So these days I’m just doing Sax School full-time. It’s a big business. We’ve got lots and lots of students, so it’s taking up all my time.
But back when I started making videos, I was busy as a pro player. So I was doing a couple of things that were taking up a lot of time. I was running a band that was doing a lot of gigs around the UK and abroad every year. And I was also running the big band for one of the Big West End shows.
There’s a show called The Rat Pack that was running in London and I was putting together the big band for that. It was in London, it was in America, it was also in Europe and touring around the UK. So, I was organizing musicians, and that was such a great show. I used to play in it. I’d done lots of conducting in that sort of world too.
It was good fun. But now I’m enjoying spending my days writing lessons and recording for Sax School and the YouTube channel. Great question though!
Q#3: I like the Multi-Sax videos you’ve made. Any plans to do any more of these?
The third of your sax questions is from Earnest is in the USA and he asks about our multisax videos.
The multi-sax videos are great fun, but they take an awful lot of work and I haven’t done one for a little while. I think the last one we did was at Christmas time. I would like to do more of those.
And the nice thing about doing the multi-sax videos now is that it’s not just me in Sax School. We’ve got a whole team of tutors. I’ll tell you more about that in a second.
But the multi-sax videos that I would like to do more of are going to feature more of our Sax School team which will be a lot of fun, I think.
Q#4:do you come from a musical family? What brought you to the saxophone?
And the last one of your sax questions is from Sue who asks do you come from a musical family? What brought you to the saxophone?
Well, that’s quite a good question. I come from a family that liked music. And I had lots of brothers and sisters and we all learned instruments. I was the only crazy one that stuck with it, to be honest with you. So neither of my parents played.
When I first thought about starting, when I was in primary school, my mum suggested trumpet to me. My sister played the clarinet. Obviously, I didn’t want to do the same as my sister. And I didn’t want to play the trumpet, so I thought learning saxophone sounded fun.
So I went with that and actually, it turned out to be a pretty good choice. I’m not sure if I’ll keep doing it when I grow up, but for now, I’m going to keep at it!
What has changed
So we’ve got over 400 videos and 11 million views on the channel over the last few years, which is amazing. But during that time, what has changed with the channel and with what I’m doing?
Well, most of you know I run Sax School now. And that’s something that grew out of me starting to do YouTube videos.
Because when I made my first YouTube videos 11 years ago, I didn’t even have the idea of Sax School.
So Sax School grew out of the response from you guys, from watching the videos. I discovered that there was a whole bunch of adult learners out there who wanted to learn the sort of music that I was enjoying teaching. And that’s why we created Sax School.
The Evolution of Sax School
So the biggest change really over the last 10 or 11 years has been the evolution of Sax School. It started with just me and quickly grew to hundreds and hundreds of students. And it’s now grown to thousands of students and I’ve got a whole team of people here too.
And the most exciting part, apart from all the things that’s going on with the students, is that we’ve got a great team of tutors now.
We’ve got Matt that’s just joined us in the States doing some exciting touring and recording work, and he’s coming to talk about that in Sax School.
And we’ve got Dean out in Australia who’s a mega blues and ska player, and you’ve seen him on the channel as well.
So we’ve got a great team of teachers and that makes it fun for everyone. It makes it fun for me. It makes it great fun for the students as well.
What’s stayed the same?
So what about, what things have stayed the same over the last 11 years?
Well, certainly not my beard or my lack of hair. Oh, I know there is something that stayed the same.
Believe it or not, I’m still playing my Yamaha 62 Alto and my Dave Guardala tenor. I’ve had them for a long time and I’ve accumulated quite a few saxophones since I started, but these two are still my main saxes.
What’s coming up on the YouTube Channel?
There’s so much in the pipeline for Sax School. And we’ve got so many great ideas of what we can do with the YouTube channel as well.
But I’d like to ask you what you would like to see on the YouTube channel.
Would you like to see more student stories?
Would you like to see more gear reviews?
Or maybe you’d like to see more playing videos?
I’d like to know, so please let me know in a comment.
And the most important thing I wanted to say today is thank you to you.
Because it’s you watching these videos, and clicking subscribe, and leaving me a friendly comment, or asking sax questions, that encourages me to put in all of the hundreds of hours that it takes to make these videos. I do it because I know how much you guys appreciate it.
So thank you so much for supporting me on the channel. And hey, here’s to the future of the YouTube channel and let’s see where else we can take it.
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