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Saxophones Now got a Tenor - but want to keep playing my alto

SaxMart

Member
Messages
132
I realize that I'm not as skilled as others, but I had played alto for a few years and then tried to learn tenor and found it very frustrating. There were a number of issues that I had: "finger memory", embouchure, instrument size & feel, thinking about the sound I wanted, etc. In the end, I came to the conclusion that I'm an altoist (and that's a great thing to be).
I restarted playing on alto late 2018 after a looong layoff having in the past played both alto and tenor. I really like alto but decided about a year ago to add a tenor. Well much as I love the sound and some of my heroes are tenor players - Coltrane, Brecker, Rollins etc I can’t seem to get comfortable with it, it just seems too big and uncomfortable whereas the alto just seems a perfect fit for me - perhaps I’m just an Eb kind of person
 

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
Messages
26,288
I restarted playing on alto late 2018 after a looong layoff having in the past played both alto and tenor. I really like alto but decided about a year ago to add a tenor. Well much as I love the sound and some of my heroes are tenor players - Coltrane, Brecker, Rollins etc I can’t seem to get comfortable with it, it just seems too big and uncomfortable whereas the alto just seems a perfect fit for me - perhaps I’m just an Eb kind of person
I know that feeling I fancied a tenor having only played sop but found it too big and uncomfortable when I went to try one. I got an alto but rarely play that.

Jx
 

SaxMart

Member
Messages
132
I know that feeling I fancied a tenor having only played sop but found it too big and uncomfortable when I went to try one. I got an alto but rarely play that.

Jx
Thanks, nice to know it’s not just me lol. I may very well sell the tenor in the future and perhaps consider adding a soprano instead
 

Dr G

Member
Messages
81
Hi

I started playing Sax again in February and bought a Trevor James alto, which I upgraded to Yanagisawa alto in July.

A few days ago I bought a Yamaha YTS-475 tenor 2nd hand, together with an Otto Link tone edge 5* mouthpiece and am trying out D'Addario Royal 2.5 reeds at the moment. Just had a first serious blow on it and love the sound it makes.

When I bought my alto in February I hadn't played Sax seriously for about 15 years, and even when I was playing then I never got beyond what I'd call the advanced beginner stage. I don't want to give up on the alto as it's a lovely instrument.

Any thoughts on playing and practising both instruments? Bare in mind I'm a young (59) retired person so I do have quite a bit of spare time during the day. I'll talk to my teacher about it tomorrow, but would be interested to hear other peoples views.

Thanks

Simon

Consider adding another horn once you have the first solidly under your belt. If you start playing a second instrument before you master the first, you will become known as a dabbler, rather than a doubler.

Commit.
 

CliveMA

Member
Messages
694
When I first got my Tenor I feared I'd made a big mistake, that it was too big and heavy and I couldn't handle it. It took perhaps two months of 1 hour per day practice to feel comfortable. Now, after 9 months it feels the perfect size! And I mistake Altos for curvy sopranos, LOL! Altos seem so toyish tiny. I much prefer the sound of Tenors.

My advice is to persevere with regular daily Tenor practice. Plus I do a lot of fitness training for all over body strength which I'm sure has helped.
 

bucksmusic

New Member
Messages
23
Well here is an update 2 weeks after my original post. I'm enjoying the tenor a lot, and the changes my new teacher has made are now starting to make a big difference. In a positive way! I don't find playing both to be an issue, but I'm not playing the alto as much.

The size of the tenor isn't an issue for me, though I will be buying a better strap as the one that came with the instrument is quite poor and I get neck ache after 3/4 of an hour.

Cheers
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,320
The head and heart picks saxophone. Then the saxophone picks the player. I have an idea that the saxophone a player is most comfortable on relates to their singing voice.
The tenor is the most saxophone shaped instrument. The alto is the easiest to handle imo.
Baritone is BOSS!
 

Dr G

Member
Messages
81
The head and heart picks saxophone. Then the saxophone picks the player. I have an idea that the saxophone a player is most comfortable on relates to their singing voice.
The tenor is the most saxophone shaped instrument. The alto is the easiest to handle imo.
Baritone is BOSS!

I don't recognize that acronym, "BOSS".

Big Old Stodgy Sax???

Bloated Odd Sax Shape???
 
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