SYOS

Beginner Old thread revival - Alto to tenor

jadoube

Member
Messages
150
Location
Fleet, Hampshire
Just how much more puff should a tenor require over an alto?

Having just had my first go on one I found it somewhat harder going then I'd hoped might be the case. Imagine a wheezing, rather sweaty, walrus and you can picture the effect of my practice tonight.

Old BR thread is here here

While I had initial difficulty, as the above psot from Jan 08 shows, much of my difficulty was being too ambitious re the mouthpiece and with time the tenor became just as easy on the lungs
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Lloyd

Member
Messages
208
Location
Hertfordshire
Just how much more puff should a tenor require over an alto?
I found there to be very little extra effort required. In fact, only the other day I found my alto really hard going compared to the tenor. Upon examination it was a damaged reed. New reed - no problem, so you may want to look at your setup if you are finding the tenor tough.

The other thing I mentioned on the old forum was how breathing from the diaphragm really helped. This involves taking a full breath so that your chest, rather than your stomach expands. At the top of the breathing cycle is when you can naturally exhale with force, which produces a really strong air stream - much more so than with conventional breathing.

I discovered this when I attended a stammering course with my daughter, and they pracrice this costal breathing for hours until they get it right.

Try it, I would be interested to see how you get on.
 
OP
jadoube

jadoube

Member
Messages
150
Location
Fleet, Hampshire
Interesting. Certainly good advice I'd say. Breathing into the chest (filling the chest from the bottom up) is also what you get from Alexander technique.

I find many different techniques /disciplines seem to end giving similar advice. They all seem to be routes to the same end.

OTOH I have come across advice suggesting for saxophone one should be breathing from/with the stomach (can't provide any reference) which always seemed wrong after Alexander. (My Alexander coach said stomach breathing is wrong because it is rapid & stomach only - so does not fill the chest.)

I suspect this is due to a difficulty in accurately describing what is meant unless done in person.




My problem got solved. Turned out to be a combination of

a) not breathing out fully before breathing in - basically adding a small amount of fresh air on top of a lot of dead air

b) starting straight into tenor with a much wider and larger mouthpiece than I used on alto - and going up a reed strength at the same time

Giving up the macho m'piece reed combo and letting myself get used to the tenor worked out OK within a few weeks.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
Why bring drinking into it?:)))

31.75% of old people over 60, who play sax, ask odd questions about Tenor Sax/Alto Sax comparisons. Nobody knows why, apart from its one way of avoiding/delaying the washing up:p

Kind regards
Tom:mrcool
 
OP
jadoube

jadoube

Member
Messages
150
Location
Fleet, Hampshire
.....alcohol use can be both a cause and compensation for many of the difficulties associated with ageing.
Bring up drink? Dammee sirrah, there's little else at my age, I'm not about to bring it up. ;}
 

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,361
Location
Buckinghamshire
Why bring drinking into it?:)))

31.75% of old people over 60, who play sax, ask odd questions about Tenor Sax/Alto Sax comparisons. Nobody knows why, apart from its one way of avoiding/delaying the washing up:p

Kind regards
Tom:mrcool
81.4% of people that randomly quote statistics spend 67.45% of their hard-earned cash 16.13% of the time though of that group it is believed as little as 27.89% are female. This group however accounts for 78.4% of the overall spend.

Conversely, only 12.6% of males between 17 and 26 show any interest in the post-coital cuddle that it is rumored 87.94% of women of the same age group favour.

Actually, on reflection after spending 4.2% of the hours I have been awake today thinking about this, I'm 100%, well 97,49%, certain that at least 25% or more of time I'm not sure of my facts. :w00t:
 
Top Bottom