Tutorials

Beginner New to Tenor ...how different?

Rogerb

Member
Messages
766
Location
Costa Blanca, Spain
Hi and a Merry Christmas Day ....I must start cooking soon!

I have recently got a BW M2 tenor and have, of course, been trying to get some sounds from it, while awaituing the arrival of my PPt mpc...due soon.

The supplied piece is an ersatz 4C which seems very narrow ....my alto is only 0.77-ish but this seems much more 'closed'.

I don't have a big selection of tenor reeds...yet! Just a Hartmann Fiberreed 1.5, a RJS 2H and some 2.5s which Chris kindly sent me.

The RJS probably makes the nicest sound of them all, but is a very resistant blow, while the Fiberreed is easy-peasy but very easy to over-blow.

I haven't EVER blown a tenor previously and am finding that I need to blow much more 'gently' to avoid squeaks and breaks into...I assume...higher harmonics.....is this normal?

If I am 'careful' I can blow a scale through the normal range of the instrument, but playing tunes it often seems to develop a mind of its own!!

Of course, when I get the PPT, I shall know that it's me or the reed :D

Just need a little advice on what I should 'expect' ....my teacher is a tenor player but he's away for the moment.

I am sure there are no leaks....as if ww&b/SH would send-out a leaky M2!!

Thanks, and I hope you are all too busy opening pressies and stuffing yourselves to answer this :welldone
 

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,076
Hi Roger,

I’ve just had croissants and coffee for breakfast, a perfect late start to the day!

Well, it was just over a year ago that I got my tenor, and like yours it came with a 4C, this is what I made of it at the time:

A tenor...

I got myself a tenor just before Christmas, the first time I tried to play it I could hardly control it and had to stay in the relative safety of the middle of the horn, it came with a Yamaha 4C mouthpiece and the strongest reeds I had at the time were Java 3’s but they felt so soft. I was all over the place, staying in the low register was nearly impossible as I kept jumping up the octave! I persevered for the next day but quickly decided I needed to either get some much harder reeds or a new mouthpiece. So the next day the sax and I headed to a shop with an array of mouthpieces where I was warmly greeted with the offer of a cup of tea and then handed mouthpiece after mouthpiece to try including some ceramic ones! I ended up walking away with a Jody Jazz HR7*, I was mightily relieved not to be that taken with the Jody Jazz DVNY or the Metal Vandoren V16, being as they are quite expensive. The ceramic ones were to my surprise really quite good, very playable and comfortable.
It wasn’t until late June that I got my Vandoren Java T75 and actually really got into the tenor.

Inevitably, well for me at least, the transition from alto to tenor also necessitated the need for the right mouthpiece which was found in the shape of a Java T75 and I’ve not looked back since. It’s a lovely mouthpiece to play and all I’m left to work out is whether I prefer V16 or Java reeds. There were some frustrating times early on when it became apparent that I needed to go back to basics, develop good air support and work on those long-tones. Low B and B♭ didn’t initially come as readily as they did on the alto, also the G and G# in the second octave had a tendency to be unstable. The palm notes were, if anything, easier on the tenor than the alto but still a weakness in terms of speed, articulation and intonation. The biggest thing with the tenor though is that I feel more relaxed playing it, I don’t get as hot and I find myself noodling far more and generally enjoying myself which is what it’s all about.
The java is great and I’m really enjoying playing it with a #2.5 reed although come the New Year you might not be the only one waiting for a PPT, I toyed with the idea of a Theo Wanne AMMA for all of 10 seconds once I realised the price!

Sorry this is a very long-winded way of saying, I think the 4C is a hard mouthpiece to play on the tenor because of it’s closed tip opening. It’s probably fine if you’re just starting out, but you like me have been used to putting a bit of air through our alto saxes and so I think you’ll find it easier once you have your PPT.

Best wishes,

Chris
 
OP
R

Rogerb

Member
Messages
766
Location
Costa Blanca, Spain
Thanks, Chris...sounds as if we had similar experiences ..... I wonder how many newbies are put-off by the cheapo mouthpiece which comes with the horn ???
(Of course, it's not a YAMAHA 4C....just a copy)

Just about to take the roast beef out of the oven, with the help of a delicious, soft Rioja!!
 

ArtyLady

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,019
Location
Essex
That settles it :welldone after christmas I'm off on a mouthpiece finding mission :D everything you have both described Roger and Chris, I have the same trouble with on my Tenor -and Yam4c - any recommendations anyone? I can't afford too much and would prefer something rubber/ebonite as opposed to metal :)
 
OP
R

Rogerb

Member
Messages
766
Location
Costa Blanca, Spain
How much is 'too much', ArtyLady?
Be preparedto be thoroughly confuzzed by all the conflicting advice you'll receive !
I usually either take the advice of the person I most trust, or do lots of research and then make my own choice.....with saxes I usually do the former, as life's too short for the latter!!
 

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,076
That settles it :welldone after christmas I'm off on a mouthpiece finding mission :D everything you have both described Roger and Chris, I have the same trouble with on my Tenor -and Yam4c - any recommendations anyone? I can't afford too much and would prefer something rubber/ebonite as opposed to metal :)
My dear ArtyLady, there is something you need to know...

...Roger and I are both self-confessed Mouthpieceoholics!

And I don't think we are alone ;}

But back to your question, I really like my Vandoren Java, as to whether that's a sensible recommendation I don't know, it works for me. I'm also sorely tempted by a PPT 7* although I've not read any feedback of that particular tip opening but will nag Roger for his thoughts once he gets his. I did for a while have a Jody Jazz HR 7* but I didn't get on with it, but have read on the web many favorable things about it. If you can get yourself to a shop with a good selection then that would be best.

Best wishes,

Chris
 
OP
R

Rogerb

Member
Messages
766
Location
Costa Blanca, Spain
Well I am in remission from alto-mpc-aholicism .....it's been several months since I bought my last one and sold the others.
Tenor is a new set of temptations..... :D
 
Last edited by a moderator:

ArtyLady

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,019
Location
Essex
How much is 'too much', ArtyLady?
Be preparedto be thoroughly confuzzed by all the conflicting advice you'll receive !
I usually either take the advice of the person I most trust, or do lots of research and then make my own choice.....with saxes I usually do the former, as life's too short for the latter!!
Well I'd probably have to draw the line at £100 or so (I know probably won't get much choice for that ) I have been offered the loan of one by my jazz tutor can't remember what it was though - possibly a Selmer? (brain like a sieve! useful eh!) so will definately take up her offer before I do anything else

My dear ArtyLady, there is something you need to know...

...Roger and I are both self-confessed Mouthpieceoholics!

And I don't think we are alone ;}

But back to your question, I really like my Vandoren Java, as to whether that's a sensible recommendation I don't know, it works for me. I'm also sorely tempted by a PPT 7* although I've not read any feedback of that particular tip opening but will nag Roger for his thoughts once he gets his. I did for a while have a Jody Jazz HR 7* but I didn't get on with it, but have read on the web many favorable things about it. If you can get yourself to a shop with a good selection then that would be best.

Best wishes,

Chris
Oh dear it's going to get expensive isn't it? ;}

Chris there aren't any music shops that have a selection to try out around here (they are general music shops) - there is Woodwind and Brass about 50 miles away that I may phone to see if they will let me come and have a try out session :)



I'll go and have a read thanks:D
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Top Bottom