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July 8, 2004 6:29 AM   Subscribe

Xaphoon! It's a saxophone! No, it's a clarinet! It's dirt cheap and it fits on your pocket! Apparently these have been around for twenty years, but I've never heard of them before. I've ordered myself one of the plastic ones. Has anyone here played one of these things?
posted by chrid (16 comments total)

 
It will bring you JOY - Imagine being able to create a sense of community wherever you are - at a bus stop, in a cave, waiting in line, even a parking garage!

Imagine someone shoving it up your ass when you play it in one of these situations.
posted by Eekacat at 6:40 AM on July 8, 2004


I've never heard of them either, and like Eekacat, I'd take with a grain of salt any of the "facts" presented on this site. Still, it's an interesting idea. I, for one, didn't even realize you could reliably control a reed with a round mouthpiece. I'd like to hear one of these sometime - the parking garage situation wouldn't be so bad, I guess.
posted by soyjoy at 6:51 AM on July 8, 2004


"Pardon me, is that a Xaphoon in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?"
posted by ChrisTN at 7:14 AM on July 8, 2004


Eekacat: You made me laugh outloud. I am guessing that yo had not yet had your morning coffee when you posted your comment. Raw and in your face, I love it.


It will bring you JOY - Imagine being able to create a sense of community wherever you are - at a bus stop, in a cave, waiting in line, even a parking garage!

Imagine someone shoving it up your ass when you play it in one of these situations.


Made me laugh again.
posted by a3matrix at 7:23 AM on July 8, 2004


"Wow ! I bought mine in a market in Sydney in 1986 and remember spending 18 hours practising at Hong Kong airport on the way back home to England, until two butch women with machine guns told me to stop."

There's more to fear than simple ass intrusion, when playing a Xaphoon in a public place, I fear.
posted by chrid at 7:31 AM on July 8, 2004


I have one of these and it's not so unusual an instrument, as there are numerous other pocket saxes, clarinets and older instruments of this kind. I suppose the real amazing thing about the Xaphoon is that the dude made so many by hand.

Even the full bamboo sax has been done and has a legend of its own.

That being said, the plastic Xaphoon is fun to play and you can get a good Klezmer vibe going. It sounds like saggy clarinet, despite its saxophonish trappings and the tuning is really off for me, but that could be because of my embouchure, which is accustomed to double reeds.

As a portable, "community-building" instrument, though, I'd rather jave my Flea uke. Tell someone lately I can play "Spider-Man" and it's an instant sing-fest.
posted by Sangre Azul at 7:36 AM on July 8, 2004


At first I thought you were talking about the Saxaboom, a much less professional yet hilarious instrument of Jack Black/ Tenacious D fame.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:38 AM on July 8, 2004


I used to play the ukelele, many years ago.. I'll check that out, thanks, Sangre.
posted by chrid at 7:41 AM on July 8, 2004


Some instruments just scream Comic Sans.
posted by condour75 at 7:50 AM on July 8, 2004


Eekacat: Damn, that was funny!
posted by Turtles all the way down at 8:01 AM on July 8, 2004


I've got a bamboo Xaphoon (and a flea and a fluke) and the Xaphoon just plays beautifully. It's got a very unique tone, it's hard to get your fingers on the holes securely, and you have to finesse a little to play every note in tune, but man, is it fun. It sounds wonderful and is a joy to play, especially when slaptonguing. If you have any saxophone or clarinet experience, you would probably love to play it. It sounds especially cool when playing clarinet standards like String of Pearls or the opening of Rhapsody in Blue, etc... I even took it to a gig once in a previous life.
posted by ulotrichous at 8:27 AM on July 8, 2004


I'd like to hear one of these sometime

There are sound clips on the site. Though maybe you meant in person.
posted by dobbs at 9:00 AM on July 8, 2004


If I hate both the saxophone AND the clarinet, I can't imagine what I'd think of the mighty Xaphoon.
posted by Robot Johnny at 9:20 AM on July 8, 2004


More good xaphoon playing here, and a comparison of the sounds of bamboo and plastic ones here (flash).

If nothing else, it would appear to be a good introductory instrument to woodwinds (or at least sax and clarinet). Sounds much better than the damned plastic recorders, anyway. Although 20 kids blowing these things in out-of-tune-unison would still not sound any better.
posted by ikalliom at 10:24 AM on July 8, 2004


If you hate both the saxophone and the clarinet, you're in the wrong thread.
posted by chrid at 11:15 AM on July 8, 2004


wow! i didnt expect the timbre to be so incredibly low and smooth and thick! wowowow!
posted by Satapher at 11:18 AM on July 8, 2004


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