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Saxophones To buy a Tenor (or not)

davhudson

Member
Messages
175
Location
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
I have been playing alto for just over a year now and am thinking of buying a tenor.


  • One side of me is saying - "go on, buy one, you know you want it".
  • The other side is saying - "You already have an alto - why do you need another one?".

The sensible side of me reasons that I should concentrate on the Alto and not be distracted by sexy sounding tenor.

The not so sensible side says - Sonny Rawlins - what a sound - go deep!

So, what is the combined wisdom of the group?
  • Stick with what you have and concentrate on that.
  • Get a Tenor as well the variety will help you become a better player.

Ok, that said, if I was to buy one then the "Bauhaus-WALSTEIN Tenor Saxophone - Lacquer Finish - Real Italian Pads" at £399 seems to be a bit of a bargain - is this too good to be true?

David Hudson
MKaDM
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
22,017
Location
Just north of Munich
Be a bigamist. Do it! Am trying to convince my wife that I need a BAri, and I'v only had a tenor for a couple of months, but she just smiles and says "Learn the tenor first...." She's right, but.....
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
David,
Don't be tempted, tenors are terrible, common instruments for facile idiots. You have class and do not wish to dirty your hands on such rubbish. Whilst we are about it, all the rest of you members trash your tenors too.

Taken my advice? Now I'm the best tenor player on the board.

Buy one, you'll love it....................then of course there is the baritone..................
 

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,076
Hi David,

I went through the same thing at Christmas and common sense prevailed and I bought a tenor!

They are in my opinion quite different, not only in sound, but also in the way they make me feel when I’m playing them. Personally I’d say the alto is harder to ‘dial’ in, ManEast Summed it up well in response to a post of mine on intonation:

First of all you play Alto ...The Alto has a much smaller sweet spot when it comes to getting good tone and intonation. It has to be wined, dined and made a fuss of before it lets you in for coffee.

The Tenor is much more forgiving and up for a good time...has a big sweet soft spot that you can blow off center and still sounds fantastic, and some days on a good reed, better. As you can tell i love them both.
So I’d say, if you want to increase your tonal palette or just love the sound of the tenor, follow your instincts.

This thread might interest you: Two or more saxes, a good thing or not?

All the best,

Chris
 
Last edited by a moderator:

losaavedra

Member
Messages
392
Location
Rojales, Spain
I've been playing (word used reservedly) an alto for the same amount of time. I too am attracted by the sound of a tenor, or at least to what experienced players can get out of one. But I know I can easily get hooked on just the 'novelty' and that will sidetrack me from getting the hang of twiddling a set of buttons in the right order on any sax, when they are all seem to be much of a muchness in that respect! The trouble with 'novelty' is that it soon wears off (new car, new house, new anything) and we're left with the need for a heap of effort just the same as before. I sometimes wonder, if I'd got a tenor in the first place, whether I'd now be thinking I needed an alto, i.e. the same issue would've surfaced but the other way around! My remedy to the alto/tenor worry is to play a load of Paul Desmond CDs and observe that I don't remotely sound that good yet on an alto.
 

Phil Edwards

Senior Member
Messages
1,335
Location
East Sussex
Hard to say really, although for me Mike summed it up well. I've always played alto, and never really been tempted to play any others in the sax family. I did buy a bargain tenor off ebay (needing a bit of work) about 2 years ago. As I've never since been remotely interested in getting it fixed up I've decided that the tenor 'fix' was momentary and it just sits there waiting me getting round to fixing it. Actually it's in the loft now, so I'll probably never do anything with it. Which just confirms that Alto is all I ever want to play.
But you might feel different, so that doesn't help.

Phil
 

Lloyd

Member
Messages
208
Location
Hertfordshire
Go for it! I've not regretted buying a tenor and switch between this and the alto depending on what mood I'm in. Double the enjoyment, honestly, and yes, the BW is seriously good for the money. It also increases your potential repertoire as some tunes just need to be played on either an alto or tenor.

Then, you can have twice as much fun pondering over which reed, mouthpiece, ligature etc. to get.
 
OP
davhudson

davhudson

Member
Messages
175
Location
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Thanks for all of your replies.

I am on hoiday this week so may do the deed tomorrow.

Does anyone know if the Wood Wind & Brass have a retail premesis near Portsmouth or is it just mail order?

I did not want to spend lots of money - is there much of a difference between the

Bauhaus-WALSTEIN Tenor Saxophone - Lacquer Finish - Real Italian Pads
and
Bauhaus-WALSTEIN Tenor Saxophone - Bronze - Real Italian Leather Pads

models?

David
 

Lloyd

Member
Messages
208
Location
Hertfordshire
WWB's address is 50 London Road, Cowplain, PO8 8EN. There web address is http://www.woodwindandbrass.co.uk/

I bought a phosphorus bronze tenor from them and I have been very pleased with their service, both before and since. I can't comment on the other tenors but I am delighted with mine. If you talk with them they will ususally throw in a few extras, such as pull-throughs. You may also want to consider a decent mouthpiece at the same time. It comes with a Yamaha but I now use an Otto Link Tone Edge 6*, which was cheaper here than anywhere else.

Good luck.
 

pedro

New Member
Messages
27
Location
Petersfield
Just do it

David: I've been playing for a number of years and should be better than I am. But i do know a load of tunes, so solo's and scales (that I should know but don't) are at least a bit intuitive on the Alto - would not be on the Tenor. Thus I've been trying to stay focussed on the Alto. I live near WW&Brass, so had the advantagte of going along and playing the Tenor. Bought one last Autumn and I love it. Hardly ever play it - keep it as a treat. Yesterday I picked it up for a break - I am trying to learn a load of stuff on the Alto for a gig coming up. Really did not want to put it down. Just such a great sound. When I have finished practicing for my next gig in July (one a year, very amateurish) Think I might give the tenor a bit more of a longer stint. Martin @ ww&brass will usually entertain customers by appointment. One tip: Whatever is on offer, make sure you get a better mpc and lig than the chinese rubbish it comes with - even if you have to pay extra. Enjoy - and report back here!
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Café Supporter
Messages
12,996
Location
McLean, Virginia
Does anyone know if the Wood Wind & Brass have a retail premesis near Portsmouth or is it just mail order?
They are a mail order company, they don't have a shop as such, but you can usually arrange a visit by appointment. Yes, it's not far from Portsmouth.
 
OP
davhudson

davhudson

Member
Messages
175
Location
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Ok it looks like I may well be buying something this week.

I currently have a brilliant Alto (Selmer) and cannot justify paying a lot for a Tenor.

The favourite contender is the "Bauhaus-WALSTEIN Tenor Saxophone - Lacquer Finish " which as £399 seems to be too good to be true.

I could get a second hand Yamaha YTS275 for not much more.

Would it be better to go for the more recognised Yamaha, or go the Walstein?

I think the answer to this is probably "suck it and see"?

Gut feel at the moment is Walstein.
 

Josh Johnson

Member
Messages
125
Location
Rochester, Kent
Hi,

I think Losaavedra summed it up very well:

The trouble with 'novelty' is that it soon wears off (new car, new house, new anything) and we're left with the need for a heap of effort just the same as before.
If I were you I wouldn't go for another sax. Buy some aids that will help with your practicing:

Band in a Box
Chromatic tuner
Metronome
Saxophone tutors
New alto mouthpiece(?)

Then again, maybe I'm just jealous, because I think I have more chance at putting the moon on a stick than owning more than one instrument - how do you all do it?!
 
OP
davhudson

davhudson

Member
Messages
175
Location
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Band in a Box
Chromatic tuner
Metronome
Saxophone tutors
New alto mouthpiece(?)
Apart from biab I have the others.

Then again, maybe I'm just jealous, because I think I have more chance at putting the moon on a stick than owning more than one instrument - how do you all do it?!
No kids!

The way I see it is that if I can get it for £399 and I fall out of love with it then I would be able to resell it and not lose that much money.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
I guess for me the question would always be - what do you Most want to play?
I have an Alto, Tenor and Soprano - my favourite at this point in time is the Alto, by a long way.

When I started playing Trumpet I couldn't decide whether I preferred Trumpet, Cornet, or Flugelhorn. I prefer Cornet, which is the one I mostly play.

Currently I am learning Tenor Trombone - brilliant, especially for Ska music, and a real challenge as there are no buttons to press.

Conclusion. Some instruments will appeal more than others, and will provide additional motivation to learning/playing. Also, our journey may not just stop there, but any learning in one area will help us in other areas. As I currently play a Tenor Instrument I may well be more attracted to my Tenor Sax in a while - who knows?

Its so cheap, you should buy a Bauhaus Walstein anyway!
Kind regards
Tom:cool:
 

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,361
Location
Buckinghamshire
Ok it looks like I may well be buying something this week.

I currently have a brilliant Alto (Selmer) and cannot justify paying a lot for a Tenor.

The favourite contender is the "Bauhaus-WALSTEIN Tenor Saxophone - Lacquer Finish " which as £399 seems to be too good to be true.

I could get a second hand Yamaha YTS275 for not much more.

Would it be better to go for the more recognised Yamaha, or go the Walstein?

I think the answer to this is probably "suck it and see"?

Gut feel at the moment is Walstein.
I'm sure the Walstein will be fine BUT I would offer a word or two of caution......

I moved from alto to tenor in November and found it a struggle for a few weeks. As has been said, totally different feel/bow etc. I have since bought a sop and have put it away as it was mucking up my embouchure for the tenor. I think as I've only been laying 20 months (14 on alto which I have now sold) and 6 on tenor, it was too much trying to play sop as well.

Also, as I had no tenor experience I had to choose a sax and mouth piece and reed all at the same time!!

Ad..... the tenor is 'the beast' and the best, so don't be suprised if you end up focusing on that one. Light's touch paper and retreats >:)
 

Pjonah

Member
Messages
870
Location
West Row, Suffolk
Stop dilly dallying and get one, I've got full blown saxitus....its only the start of the slippery slope into the condition.

It started 30+ years ago with a beaten up old Conn alto, then the Selmer Tenor arrived in the mid 70's, then a Beuscher Bari and recently aquired the soprano this christmas.

It goes something like this;

As a kid my mum used to play a lot of Brubeck with Paul Desmond, she loved Take Five, I just wanted a sax, so my Father got the Conn from a local orchestra surplus. Sister Marries son of a professional sax player, he gets me my tenor, later decides he doesn't play the baritone so I can borrow it, this was until 4 years ago when I bought the current crop of instruments.

Don't imagine it will stop with the tenor, its only a matter of time and you'll be tempted by a shiny Sop or affordable baritone!

Its an illness, why not join us at Saxophonist Anonymous, we're here to help!

>:)
 

Pee Dee

Member
Messages
425
Location
Dorset
Just do it will you, I'm fed up with hearing about it!
If you got the money, then what you got to lose? If you don't like it (and I know you will), there's always Ebay. And when you find you prefer it, you can either let the alto rot in the loft, or sell it on Ebay, and get some of your money back. Job done!;}
 
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