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Just bought my first Tenor, and some findings...

PCthug

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Just (about 2 hours ago) bought my first Tenor, its an Elkhart II, to go with my Trevor James Alto Horn.
The first thing i noticed was i needed more air to play it.
The second thing i noticed was that it was much easier to play (after 30 mins familiarisation).
The third thing was that i can play it really quietly.

Now this has got me thinking, was there a problem with my TJ?
When i played Pink Panther (well, i have only been playing 2-3 months), it was VERY hit and miss if i could get high E or not, but with the tenor its MUCH easier.
 

Nick Wyver

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It's possible there's a problem with your alto but I would think it's more likely that your tenor has an easier reed/ mouthpiece combination. High notes are generally easier on tenor than alto anyway.
 
OP
P

PCthug

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51
Thanks for that.
The mouthpiece is a Jupiter 4c with a Prestini 2 reed.
Thinking about it, the reed is longer and therefore the taper isnt as steep as the alto, so could this make the difference as it would vibrate easier?
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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True, but in general tenors require more air, at lower pressure than altos. The bigger the instrument, the lower the pressure, but the more air. Simple. Mouthpiece/reed affect this, of course.
 

Rogerb

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True, but in general tenors require more air, at lower pressure than altos. The bigger the instrument, the lower the pressure, but the more air. Simple. Mouthpiece/reed affect this, of course.
That's exactly what I found, the tenor is taking a little 'getting used-to' ....especially as I am not giving it as much time as the alto (on teacher's advice) ..... it seems easier to blow, but needs lotsa air! (Mpcs and reeds aren't hugely different)
 

kevgermany

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I'm going the other way, and picking up the tenor after a session on the alto is a real pleasure. The much looser embouchure helps - doesn't tire as quickly.

Another thing that's taking some getting used to is the different pitch. The alto just sounds wrong - too high, but that's just me.

One thing that's very obvious is that my tenor springs are a lot stiffer - and I'm in the process of easing them off because it's so much easier that way. But overdoing it creates problems, so easy does it.

My teacher's one of those people who can pick up an instrument and play it. and also teaches clarinet, piano accordian, Stairische Harmonika (a German/Tyrolean button accordian with strange key patterns, lovely instrument for folk music). Although he can switch from sax to clarinet and between tenor and alto sax without a problem, he finds the switch to Eb clarinet really tricky because the embouchure is so different. Takes him a week of playing only that before he's happy....
 

stefank

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I also prefer tenor, which is not surprising since that's what I play most of the time. The one thing I do enjoy when I switch to alto is the increase in speed, even though I'm going from a fairly modern (T880) tenor to a slightly clunky (Martin Indiana) alto. It's not up to flute speed, but it's definitely easier to play quickly.
 
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Der Wikinger

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Silvis, IL USA
I am playing a "Mexiconn" Shooting Star tenor about 1970 version, and It plays well with my Otto Link 6* and Rico 2 1/2. I have almost all the saxes, and my Tenor is my favorite of all. The timbre just seems to vibrate through my soul. I have had good luck with my alto and bari, (also the Conn C Melody plays great but not really any place to play it) and not as good luck with my soprano in the upper register (some think I am pressing my embouchure too tightly). The Tenor is definately my favorite. I practice hours and hours per day, and I am always happiest when I play my tenor.
 

gladsaxisme

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I don't know what is wrong but I originally started on the alto as an easy start to learning sax, intending to add tenor later and basically hoping this would be the one for me because I basically love the tenor sound.
But when ever I pick up a tenor to give it a go I always feel underwhelmed even though when I listen to others playing them I love it,I have a sop that I play with occasionally and always enjoy, and one time my tutor brought a bari and let me have a play and I loved that and found it quite easy to play so what on earth is my problem with the tenor.Wether it's something to do with the fact that I have no tenor music and play the tunes I know in alto notes I don't know but even practising scales is strange.
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Maybe you need to go through a saxophone embarrassing squeaky voice period or maybe it just doesn't excite you. Is there any valid reason why we should all like the same range of pitches? A bari sounds very inviting to me but for how long? Guess the fact that you enjoy playing soprano and alto might suggest you are happier in that part of the sound spectrum.

Being a decent sort, I'll make a bid for the tenor. £5 and you pay postage and make a donation to Pete's charity. >:)
 

kevgermany

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It may just be that it's in a different key. I find that with the alto, cos I'm used to tenor, but stick with it.

But if you really want to get rid of it, just drop it off at my fathers' house next time you're passing, he's near the roundabout by the Arndale.... I'm sure he'll look after it well for me. And it'll cost you less than posting it to OG.
 

gladsaxisme

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Maybe you need to go through a saxophone embarrassing squeaky voice period or maybe it just doesn't excite you. Is there any valid reason why we should all like the same range of pitches? A bari sounds very inviting to me but for how long? Guess the fact that you enjoy playing soprano and alto might suggest you are happier in that part of the sound spectrum.

Being a decent sort, I'll make a bid for the tenor. £5 and you pay postage and make a donation to Pete's charity. >:)
You may be right about the sound spectrum thing but the bari thing may disprove this though and as for taking the tenor

As everybody knows OG your all heart:)))john
 

gladsaxisme

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It may just be that it's in a different key. I find that with the alto, cos I'm used to tenor, but stick with it.

But if you really want to get rid of it, just drop it off at my fathers' house next time you're passing, he's near the roundabout by the Arndale.... I'm sure he'll look after it well for me. And it'll cost you less than posting it to OG.
Thanks for the offer but I don't think I'm that underwhelmed yet and do you think your dad wouldn't mind all four of them cluttering up his lobby:)))...john
 
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