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Should I start playing alto or tenor saxophone?

KC Hart 2011/10/03 00:31:45
Related Topics: Music, Saxophone
I've wanted to start playing the saxophone for a while, but I can't decide between tenor and alto. I know a lot of sax players switch between them, but is there one that's better to start with, or any advantages with either?
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  • Aspect of B 2011/10/03 00:36:32
    Aspect of B
    +4
    I don't think one is all that different from the other; the only difference in the sound they make. You could choose either, they're both great fun, trust me.

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Opinions

  • Andrew Clare 2014/03/15 05:31:25
    Andrew Clare
    +3
    I've played alto for about two years now and I'm switching to tenor. In my opinion the alto has more of a squeaky sound while the tenor is a bit smoother. But the alto is probably better for beginners.
  • andrey 2014/01/19 00:55:34
  • alex yaniuk 2012/11/01 00:10:20
    alex  yaniuk
    +3
    you should start tenor because its between alto and bari and teh middle range is awsome!
  • BandGeeksAllTheWay 2012/01/16 01:01:24
    BandGeeksAllTheWay
    I think you should play alto because we normally get the melody and it's really fun to play
  • Smiley Face :D 2011/10/09 01:13:06
    Smiley Face :D
    +1
    I don't play saxophone, but my friend does and when we first started band, she started off with alto sax and now she plays tenor. So probably at least start with alto.
  • PostmasterOfDystopia 2011/10/05 20:11:13
    PostmasterOfDystopia
    +1
    I recently switched to the tenor sax from clarinet, so I know a little bit about them both. Most people and band teachers will encourage you to start off with the saxophone because the notes are exactly the same, only the alto is supposedly easier to learn on because its smaller and takes less air.
    I skipped alto because I didn't like the sound of it and had always wanted to play the tenor. It's moderately easy to learn, I am having a difficult time because I'm a small statured person and the instrument is certainly larger then the clarinet. In fact my band teacher practically told me that I should pick a more feminine instrument, which needless to say made me more determined to learn.
    The good thing about starting with the tenor is that the alto takes little to no effort to play if you wish to play them both. But on the other hand the alto is the 'beginners' saxophone so the transition to the tenor would not go as smoothly.
  • KC Hart Postmas... 2011/10/06 12:51:56
    KC Hart
    Hm... Food for thought. Thank you. I'll definitely take all this into consideration :)
  • JohnFitzgeral12 2011/10/05 04:51:31
    JohnFitzgeral12
    +1
    The alto is easier to learn.
  • KC Hart JohnFit... 2011/10/05 09:59:21
    KC Hart
    Thank you. I'll take that into consideration :)
  • Suni 2011/10/04 20:37:23
    Suni
    +1
    don't most start with alto?
  • JeffZill 2011/10/03 22:52:53
    JeffZill
    +1
    who cares what you choose playing an instrament makes you smarter than all those rappers out there, plus kenny G play alto.
  • KC Hart JeffZill 2011/10/03 22:56:50
    KC Hart
    Lol, thanks, I'll keep that in mind ;)
  • Riobhca 2011/10/03 19:17:14
    Riobhca
    +1
    When I learned to play, I was advised to begin with the alto sax. Then later, you can move up to the tenor.
  • KC Hart Riobhca 2011/10/03 19:22:06
    KC Hart
    +1
    That sounds like it makes sense. That's probably what I'll do. Thanks :)
  • 2011/10/03 18:42:34
    +2
    start with alto and if youre rlly good move into tenir. tenir makes a more interesting and deeper better sound but its much harder to play than an alto sax. i started on alto and moved to tenir a few months later ;D BTW: im in 8 grade and am in jazz band.
  • KC Hart 2011/10/03 19:20:40
    KC Hart
    Okay, thanks for the advice :)
  • Beth 2011/10/03 14:28:20
    Beth
    +1
    I love the tenor. It's amazing, so deep and smooth, and with a good amount of practice, it can be fantastic. Although, if you want to learn, you might want to start off with the alto, because of its smaller size. Easier to carry.
  • KC Hart Beth 2011/10/03 14:30:00
    KC Hart
    That's a good point. Thanks :)
  • Beth Beth 2011/10/03 14:33:12
    Beth
    +1
    But I wouldn't trust my word too much; I'm a flutist. Although, I have always wanted to play the sax. I love Jazz. I'm going to learn the electric guitar soon, and if I get good enough, I'm hoping to get a Jazz guitar.

    Good luck!
  • Christian 2011/10/03 13:55:27
    Christian
    +3
    I personally like the alto sax better my friend plays one and it sounds incredible with some practice
  • DeLosDosOsos 2011/10/03 07:32:16 (edited)
    DeLosDosOsos
    +2
    Altos are smaller and a bit easier to shlep around.
    I started with a school tenor, found ,refurbished and played my uncle's old alto, ended up playing baritone, which I left on it's stand at school.
  • KC Hart DeLosDo... 2011/10/03 14:28:27
    KC Hart
    +1
    Thanks for the input :)
  • Postmas... DeLosDo... 2011/10/05 20:13:23
    PostmasterOfDystopia
    Is the baritone much different then the tenor? I've been thinking about switching, but I'm not sure if I could play it.
  • DeLosDo... Postmas... 2011/10/06 08:20:19
    DeLosDosOsos
    It's BIG and HEAVY. Start with alto or, if you can find one, a soprano. Be different!
    heavy alto soprano
  • Caedus01 Sith Lord of the P... 2011/10/03 01:26:52
    Caedus01 Sith Lord of the PHAET
    +1
    there is actually no difference if you can play one you can play them all
  • KC Hart Caedus0... 2011/10/03 01:33:54
    KC Hart
    Thanks :)
  • peaches 2011/10/03 01:02:45
    peaches
    +1
    I started playing the tenor saxophone for jazz band in 6th grade. And I'm a clarinetist.
    I would suggest starting on alto since it is smaller and easier to get a sound out of. But other than the difference in pitches, the fingering are all the same. And for the most part, if you can play one, you can play the other. So it wouldn't be bad to start with one over the other.
  • KC Hart peaches 2011/10/03 01:33:16
    KC Hart
    +1
    Okay thanks, that's good advice :)
  • peaches KC Hart 2011/10/03 01:44:05
    peaches
    No problem (:
  • Rocky 2011/10/03 00:37:01
    Rocky
    +1
    Select one and take lessons. Learn one, before you take on the second one. A second instrument, especially if they are similar is easier to learn if you master the first one. I play Violin and Viola! I took Violin lessons first!
  • Aspect of B 2011/10/03 00:36:32
    Aspect of B
    +4
    I don't think one is all that different from the other; the only difference in the sound they make. You could choose either, they're both great fun, trust me.
  • KC Hart Aspect ... 2011/10/03 00:40:17
    KC Hart
    +1
    Thanks! Such indecision... ;)
  • Boffo D... KC Hart 2011/10/10 17:27:07 (edited)
    Boffo Decleune
    +1
    In MY opinion Kenny G sucks, and I detest the sound of soprano sax.
    >I would tell you to listen to some saxophone music that you like. (Willis Jackson and Illinois Jacquet are my personal favorites) Find your favorite sound and go with what kind of sax made that sound! I would choose this sound, which is tenor: http://www.youtube.com/watch?...

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