Antigua Winds
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  1. #1
    Forum Contributor 2013 SimonJazzSax's Avatar
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    Default My world is turned upside down!!!!

    Ok...I consider myself a tenor player through and through. I have gigged pretty much exclusively on Tenor for the last 6 years or so. In fact I think I have played the alto only 3 times since I graduated college in 2006. All 3 times I loathed. I couldn't get a good sound and I just couldn't voice it correctly. Anyway...I have always been an alto basher WELL...tonight my world was turned upside down.

    I have been dabbling in with the alto for about 4 days so I decided to take it (a Conn 6M) with a new mouthpiece (Semer Soloist H) out to my gig (sting/steely dan type stuff) tonight. HOLY CRAP! I don't know if it was the music or the mouthpiece or the horn or me (unlikely), but I LOVED it. Not only that....every one in the crowd (the regulars at least) and the guys in the band were saying "bring that horn every week. PLEASE."

    So I no longer know how to feel. I never really liked alto and I have always felt it was my weakest horn, but tonight and the last couple days have been messing with me. I am confused!>!>!>! Have I been wasting my time with tenor. Maybe I am an alto player. I feel like I'm cheating on my tenor. OH NO!!!!
    Just remember to make the best MUSIC you have the ability to make. If you do that, you are a successful musician.

  2. #2
    rayyip's Avatar
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    Default Re: My world is turned upside down!!!!

    There's no shame in dabbing with other instruments, I'm learning flute (a Germeinhardt 2SP) and playing my alto sax (a Kessler alto sax) at the same time. It doesn't mean I'm cheating on my alto Humans naturally are are curious creatures. Does it mean we have to stay playing the same instrument all the time? of course not!
    Kessler Custom Alto
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  3. #3

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    Default Re: My world is turned upside down!!!!

    I see the Tenor and Soprano as having very distinct personalities, where the alto can be anything (we) want it to be.
    Often I don't know what to make of it because of that. Trying to use a tool when you don't know what you want to do with it can feel like the tool isn't good.
    If you suddenly found something you need to do with the alto, then it becomes a good tool for the job. Cool...
    I wouldn't question the mystery too much, if you've put a lot of work into thinking music, and suddenly the music is thinking you, enjoy the gift.

  4. #4
    Forum Contributor 2013 SimonJazzSax's Avatar
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    Default Re: My world is turned upside down!!!!

    I know I haven't been wasting my time with tenor. The last part was more of a joke. In fact the whole thing was supposed to be funny (I guess you have to know me more to find it funny...oh well.)

    It's just how we get so used to one horn and become known as a tenor player or an alto player or a bari player in the professional world. No one calls me for alto or bari sax. They call the guys that play those. So it becomes interesting when you play another voice and enjoy it!!!! It's different with flute and clarinet. Those are standard doubles. seems most guys pick one sax and stick with it now a days.
    Just remember to make the best MUSIC you have the ability to make. If you do that, you are a successful musician.

  5. #5
    Distinguished SOTW Technician. southfloridahorns's Avatar
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    Default Re: My world is turned upside down!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonJazzSax View Post
    I feel like I'm cheating on my tenor. OH NO!!!!
    Welcome to the world of saxophone polygamy.

  6. #6
    Distinguished SOTW Technician. southfloridahorns's Avatar
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    Default Re: My world is turned upside down!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonJazzSax View Post
    It's just how we get so used to one horn and become known as a tenor player or an alto player or a bari player in the professional world. No one calls me for alto or bari sax.
    As a guy who plays a lot of horns, I experience something similar; some contractors only call me to play tenor, others know of me as a bari player, some call me for alto. Once you're pigeon-holed, it's hard for people to think outside of that box.

  7. #7

    Default Re: My world is turned upside down!!!!

    I dont think stitt thought he was cheating ...
    Cannonball global alto - tone edge 6.
    1920 buescher tt tenor - rico metalite.
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  8. #8
    Forum Contributor 2013 SimonJazzSax's Avatar
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    Default Re: My world is turned upside down!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by thejazzsponge View Post
    I dont think stitt thought he was cheating ...
    I'm sure he didn't, but I bet about 1/2 of each audience did Depending on which one they showed up to hear him play.
    Just remember to make the best MUSIC you have the ability to make. If you do that, you are a successful musician.

  9. #9
    Forum Contributor 2014 Selmer Fudd's Avatar
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    Default Re: My world is turned upside down!!!!

    Simon, I've heard a little bit of your playing and I think you would make any horn you play sound good. Alto sounds good when you play it (and a 6m)? No surprise.

  10. #10
    SOTW Administrator SAXISMYAXE's Avatar
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    Default Re: My world is turned upside down!!!!

    I play over a dozen different families of instruments, albeit with varying degree of success. No shame whatsoever in diversifying.

    Keeping up one's chops with them all, now THAT is another story!
    Mike S.
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  11. #11

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    Default Re: My world is turned upside down!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonJazzSax View Post

    I never really liked alto and I have always felt it was my weakest horn!

    it's ok man...I thought the exact same thing as a beginner before I took lessons. As I progress, alto is becoming my primary horn, since I'm developing my embouchure further with overtones and the long tones that I need to do in order to keep my tone in shape (it's what I'm doing in my primitive years of playing so that in the next 10+ years it can pay off- i'll still be doing it though.)



    Quote Originally Posted by SimonJazzSax View Post

    I feel like I'm cheating on my tenor. OH NO!!!!
    no you have not been cheating on your tenor. What can be worse than that is if you quit playing saxophone for good.

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonJazzSax View Post
    Have I been wasting my time with tenor

    No, you did not waste your time with the tenor.

    keep playing the horns man

    On a side note, I once thought about quitting saxophone, but 2 years after I discovered Grover Washington Jr., I considered not to, because his influence on me came quicker than lightning and as heavy as a sack of bricks, but not only because of his lasting influence on me but my saxophone teacher's encouragement and him saying to me " just stick with your Meyer".

  12. #12
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
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    Default Re: My world is turned upside down!!!!

    Should this be: "Don't ask, don't tell"?

  13. #13
    Forum Contributor 2009 saxguy007's Avatar
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    Default Re: My world is turned upside down!!!!

    Congrats, I say! All you've done is open the door to a new avenue of sax enjoyment! Honestly, I suspect that a skilled player could sound good on all the main four of the sax family, once the right set-up was discovered. I feel blessed to have found some nice setups after trial and error (WWBW and SOTW transactions/flips). I feel for you though, since I primarily consider myself a tenor player, but people have hinted that they may prefer me on alto.....
    Covering the bari part- because no-one else owns one...
    Cannonball "Lady Godiva" Vintage, Selmer Ref 36 and Barone MAC 8 tenors; Cannonball Stone Series and Mk VII altos; Cannonball Stone series soprano and bari

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: My world is turned upside down!!!!

    Traitor!

    I only ever dabbled in alto after switching to tenor. I think it (like soprano) is just a little higher up in the sonic spectrum so it gets people to raise their heads a little more.

    Steely Dan should be played on Tenor...
    (\__/) Amati ATS-61 Custom Unlacquered key work, Phil Barone Neck
    (0.o ) CE Winds Legend I. FL Ultimate lig, Vandoren Blue Box 2.5
    (> < ) www.soundcloud.com/seanwintersax All of my posts should be prefaced by "IMHO"

  15. #15
    Distinguished SOTW Member Kelly Bucheger's Avatar
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    Default Re: My world is turned upside down!!!!

    I was forever just a tenor guy, and I only picked up an alto because I had so many students starting out on alto -- it seemed silly to demonstrate stuff and play along with them on tenor...

    Once I picked up the smaller horn, it was as if all those years of working on long tones on the tenor ... were intended just to give me a great alto sound!

    AND, the best thing I've done for my tenor playing was to pick up the alto: dealing with the alto has busted me out of some of my habits on tenor, and opened up and enhanced my tenor sound...

    So: go forth and play that damn alto without shame!
    My BRAND SPANKING STILL HERE CD, • House of Relics • iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp.
    Sakshama Link on a VIGwind Slant on a 10MTenney Berg on a VIPhil-tone Alto on a TH&C
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  16. #16

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    Default Re: My world is turned upside down!!!!

    I'm an alto guy. Since I write mainly for alto, but I've written for soprano sax. I hope one day I can play soprano saxophone, and maybe flute (for funky arrangements) and tenor sax.

  17. #17
    Distinguished SOTW Member Dr G's Avatar
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    Default Re: My world is turned upside down!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by saxguy007 View Post
    I primarily consider myself a tenor player, but people have hinted that they may prefer me on alto.....
    Ouch!
    Go for The Tone,

    g



    "When you are doing well, don't forget to do good." - Sichan Siv.

  18. #18

    Default Re: My world is turned upside down!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelly Bucheger View Post
    I was forever just a tenor guy, and I only picked up an alto because I had so many students starting out on alto -- it seemed silly to demonstrate stuff and play along with them on tenor...

    Once I picked up the smaller horn, it was as if all those years of working on long tones on the tenor ... were intended just to give me a great alto sound!

    AND, the best thing I've done for my tenor playing was to pick up the alto: dealing with the alto has busted me out of some of my habits on tenor, and opened up and enhanced my tenor sound...

    So: go forth and play that damn alto without shame!
    This is more or less why I own an alto as well. At some point I hope to do some teaching if I live long enough and save enough money to retire from my day job. Right now nobody ever calls me to play alto- just tenor and bari and I'm fine with that. I really enjoy playing bari the most but tenor is more flexible and desirable for many of the combo gigs I've been doing lately.

  19. #19

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    Default Re: My world is turned upside down!!!!

    I was just waiting for Dr. G's response...a bit underwhelming

  20. #20
    Distinguished SOTW Member Dr G's Avatar
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    Default Re: My world is turned upside down!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by scargo View Post
    I was just waiting for Dr. G's response...a bit underwhelming
    I'm saving the greater whelms for more deserving topics - you already know the punchline here.

    Tenor - It's all that matters.
    Go for The Tone,

    g



    "When you are doing well, don't forget to do good." - Sichan Siv.

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