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Beginner Best way to learn two saxes.

dave 645

Member
Messages
124
I doubt there is a correct answer, but there may be, and it may be a case of whatever works best for you, but what do people feel is the best way to learn two similar instruments?
I have an alto, mauriat 67r, and a tenor, yts 275(?), and I want to play both, well. I played the alto for a year or so before buying the tenor, and feel more comfortable with the alto.
Is it better to alternate instruments within each practice session? Or should I alternate days? Or weeks? Or learn one and then start again with the second?
All thoughts and experiences gratefully received.
 

Saxlicker

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,933
Hi Dave,
After a certain amount of frequent concentrated playing time across them both you'll find the gap between these two instruments just shrinks. Don't think about it too hard.
The need to find an answer to your question will just drift away....

So play either one and everything you learn will carry over to the other and if you stay practised the physical changes between tenor and alto diminish more quickly everytime you swap. I think no plan needed.
 
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Sunray

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,708
+1

Yep - Remember I am still a n00b [only 1 year of experience] So pinch of salt recommended ...

I agree with Saxlicker :thumb:

I play both [Alto & Tenor] and I have no problem switching ...

In fact I see some very positive improvements because I switch ... Certainly in terms of manual dexterity [finger movements] and improved or more flexible breath control ...
 

Saxlicker

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,933
+1
In fact I see some very positive improvements because I switch ... Certainly in terms of manual dexterity [finger movements] and improved or more flexible breath control ...
Thats a very good point.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
I find the alto harder than the tenor, mainly cos the mouthpieces are so different. I recently tried a Meyer on the alto, it's a lot freer blowing than the Selmer Soloist I'd been using. So I'm trying to get the blowing more similar.

One thing's for sure, switching for a while really helps my tenor playing, cos the alto's harder... But going back to tenor is like coming home after a trip away...

So as the others said, just do both.
 

saxplorer

Senior Member
Messages
879
I've been playing Alto for 3 years almost now, and have recently acquired a tenor (thanks again Sunray!). For me the experience is the absolute inverse of kevgermany's .... I am "working" when I practice the tenor, thinking about low notes especially, but when I come back to alto, it's a walk in the park, and those low notes on the alto are sooooo easy (wonder why?).

On the other hand, the gorgeous tone I sometimes get on the tenor makes me want to sweeten my alto tone, make it less strident and shrieky, so there are benefits there too.

Based on my limited (2 weeks) experience with playing both my strong impression is that switching with the tenor has done nothing but good for my alto playing.
 

dave 645

Member
Messages
124
All of those posts make sense, and I thank you all. I have, until recently, not enjoyed the tenor anything like as mush as playing the alto. Obvious really, but I had spent a lot of time learning basic techniques on the alto, and assumed the skills would transfer without any effort. I now realise I need to practice the basics with the tenor, and hence the question of balance between the two. I'm guessing that when I get the basics sorted, flexibility between the two instruments will be smoother.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
I regularly play soprano, alto, tenor & trumpet. I do no more than two instruments in a day, and try to focus as follows: Play one for work and play one for fun. Work means scales, long tones, new tune, sound, tone, technique etc. Fun means playing known pieces, improvising & noodling.

It seems to work pretty well, and helps to focus on both similarities and differences between instruments.
 
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