Beginner Playing Alto & Tenor

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74
#1
I’ve played alto for a year before buying a tenor 6 months ago. Recently I’ve struggled to find time for the alto, with trying to get to used to the tenor and playing tenor at band rehearsal. I don’t want to neglect alto to the point of not being able to play it anymore.

How do all the multi sax players split their practise time?
 
#2
And you only have two instruments to worry about - I would advise either alternating days - Monday alto, Tuesday tenor, etc for example or maybe half an hour ( or how much time you can spare) on each instrument per day - it's all about working smarter and time management according to all the experts (former drips under pressure?)...:)

Happy juggling and horn honkin'

Greg S.
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
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#3
I play more tenor than baritone. C 70% tenor and 30% bari. I don't have both saxes ready to play. It would take too much time to do "after-playing-work". I use to play/practise 1-3 hours on each saxophone. I don't play alto or soprano regulary .
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
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404
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New Mexico, US
#7
IGoddard...may I ask why you want to be learning both simultaneously ? It is a commendable endeavor...but brings with it inherent challenges which may or may not be apropos to the level of development you may be at....
I don’t want to neglect alto to the point of not being able to play it anymore.
IMHO if you started on Alto and played that for 6 months and switched to Tenor and now you prefer Tenor as your main focus....putting down the alto for 80% of the time and concentrating on Tenor is in no way gonna result in "not being able to play" Alto anymore....should you choose to return to Alto.

I guess a counterargument might be...you want to keep fresh in your mind reading in Eb and Bb (?)
 

Alice

Psychedelic
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#8
If you prefer the sound of the tenor, don’t feel guilty about “neglecting” the Alto, just play it when you’re in the mood.
 

nigeld

I think I need a different ligature
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#10
I tend to concentrate on one sax for a few months and only practice the others occasionally.
I don’t know if this is the bestway to do it, but it keeps life simple.
 

Alice

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#12
I am a failed altoist.
I only started on the Alto because I thought “that’s what you did”, ie: it’s snaller, less expensive and that’s what my teacher preferred (although he has all the others and more). I like the sound of the Alto when other people play it. I can’t make it sound how I want it to sound or how I think it should sound and that is after three years. Every time I listen to a great Altoist, it inspires me, but when I play, I do nothing for me :( it just sounds dead as a dodo.
 

nigeld

I think I need a different ligature
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#15
I am a failed altoist.
I only started on the Alto because I thought “that’s what you did”, ie: it’s snaller, less expensive and that’s what my teacher preferred (although he has all the others and more). I like the sound of the Alto when other people play it. I can’t make it sound how I want it to sound or how I think it should sound and that is after three years. Every time I listen to a great Altoist, it inspires me, but when I play, I do nothing for me :( it just sounds dead as a dodo.
Same for me on tenor. Every time I hear myself I am disappointed. I will never sound good enough. But I play better than I did last year. And next year I hope to play better than this year. And meanwhile I can enjoy the music when I play, especially when I play together with others.
 
#16
I am a failed altoist.
I only started on the Alto because I thought “that’s what you did”, ie: it’s snaller, less expensive and that’s what my teacher preferred (although he has all the others and more). I like the sound of the Alto when other people play it. I can’t make it sound how I want it to sound or how I think it should sound and that is after three years. Every time I listen to a great Altoist, it inspires me, but when I play, I do nothing for me :( it just sounds dead as a dodo.
I feel the same way about tenor - I love listening to other people playing it but I have a love/hate relationship playing it...the lower register sounds like a bull with a sore head so I tend to play in the upper register more like an alto...

Greg S.
 
#17
For me playing multiple instruments is about rotation - a typical week might be Sunday tune guitars and play acoustic guitar, Monday playing trumpet, Tuesday playing flute, Wednesday playing alto sax, Thursday playing clarinet, Friday playing soprano sax or tenor sax, Friday night doing a bit of Telecasting, Saturday night playing keyboards and if I have any spare time I might play some other instruments...:thumb:

Greg S.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
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Burnley bb9 9dn
#19
I am a failed altoist.
I only started on the Alto because I thought “that’s what you did”, ie: it’s snaller, less expensive and that’s what my teacher preferred (although he has all the others and more). I like the sound of the Alto when other people play it. I can’t make it sound how I want it to sound or how I think it should sound and that is after three years. Every time I listen to a great Altoist, it inspires me, but when I play, I do nothing for me :( it just sounds dead as a dodo.
When you listen to a recording you're listening to the post production as well as the saxophone. Effects are added compression, reverb maybe even a guitar pedal or two. You're also listening to the mix and balance and the fusion of the ensemble and how the saxophone sits in the soundscape of the band and reacts to the beat. At a live performance, you're listening to the arrangement, the band, the room, and maybe a sound engineer.

Your saxophone in the front room with soft furnishings, curtains, no effects, no band or maybe a backing track coming out of a small speaker can't compete. Of course it sounds dead. It's not you.

Go play in a church or a subway or a narrow street with tall buildings with glass fronts and you won't feel dead. I play in a little triangular shopping precinct some times and the sound is amazing. I also play in front of a closed Victorian arcade. Maybe 50 feet long and all marble and granite and glass inside. I sound like a big band. You can't buy it. I also play in a little cocktail bar that gets packed and quite drunk with the punters conversing loudly at each other. The sound is awful but the money is good. :confused2:
 
Messages
49
Location
Canada
#20
I am a failed altoist.
I've only been playing tenor for about a year, after many years of alto. I prefer the tenor, but am more proficient on alto--at least I was until recently. I played an alto gig Friday night, after practising tenor almost exclusively for months. My air flow has improved due to the tenor, but my alto embouchure has weakened. At the show, my reed closed up during solos, and I squeaked a few times. That night, I was a failed altoist.

I don't think the audience really noticed. People don't really get the sax. Still, from now on, I'll be spending more time on alto.
 
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