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Thread: General Question on the various saxophones

  1. #1

    Default General Question on the various saxophones

    Hi, can anyone give me a brief intro as to the use and application of each of the sax instruments? Like what genre of music is usually related to each of the several types of sax, tenor>pop/rock... sop/alto>jazz... stuff like that.

    And what are the difference between the various sax mechanically speaking? Are the fingerings different?

  2. #2

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    The fingerings for all the saxes are the same, just your hands/fingers are more/less apart depending on the size of the sax. Basically pretty much all kinds of saxes are found in different genres of music. Classical is usually alto/tenor stuff, jazz is usually soprano/tenor (well, soloists anyway). But really anything goes I guess. Then there's like the sopranino and contrabass saxes...good luck finding music for those =]

  3. #3
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    Sunrisewatcher: Suffice to say saxophones from sopranino to contrabass can be used in any type of music.

    How do they work? All saxophones finger basically the same, and except for certain features too numerous for brevity, they are all basically the same mechanically. DAVE

  4. #4

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    I will probably go for a teacher soon, but for now I will go with instructional DVD and books. The DVD is on alto but I might buy a tenor. Things I learn from the alto DVD should apply to a tenor sax, right?

  5. #5

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    Some things can apply to tenor too..like the mechanics of everything, but alto is in the key of Eb while tenor is Bb. Maybe you could search for a DVD for tenor? I'm sure there are some out there.

  6. #6

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    all of the saxes have the same fingerings give or take a low a or high F#, sorprano and sorpranino are used less than alto and tenor when they are used it is most of the time for a solo. Alto and Tenor are used the most and are primarly jazz and classical, Tenor is used in pop, bari is used for jazz and classical, the differences between them are keys, Sorpranino E Flat, Sorprano B flat, Alto E flat, Tenor B flat, Bari E flat and Bass B flat

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    woodwindmaster06: Tell that to Sidney Bechet and the many other players (me included) who use soprano as their first instrument in ensembles, etc. Like I said before, all saxophoines are used in all types of music; to place one saxophone in a corner (your soprano-for-solo comment) is ludicrous. DAVE

  8. #8

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    im just saying it is less used in bands perticularly concert bands, they just dont wright parts.

  9. #9

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    OI! TENOR PLAYS JAZZ TOO! IT NOT JUST ROCK! LONG LIVE TENOR AND SOPRANO! BAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!

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    Crickey woodwind you're not spellingmaster are you??

  11. #11

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    Techniacally the mechanics of a tenor and a alto are basically the same with the exception that one is obviously bigger than the other...
    Apply what you learnt on the alto therefore can be applied to the tenor

  12. #12

    Red face Help son moving from Oboe --> Alto or Tenor ???

    One is bigger -- but HOW MUCH BIGGER??? How much heavier??? This is all relative -- but I have nothing to compare it to.

    My son is switching from oboe to "sax" for marching band as he enters 9th grade. He was set on Alto but when he got to the school, they are desperate for Tenor sax players.

    How much bigger is 'bigger'???? He's a fairly big boy, but it's how in Texas and I don't want him suffering too much and I really just want him to do what he will enjoy....he's a teenager and I am sure there will be plenty of moaning already

    Where can I get some basic stats on these horns??? They are in such a RUSH at the school, they aren't really helping the kids decide much and I don't have ANY music background....so I found this forum.

    If this message is in the wrong place, someone please point me to the place to post it so I can get some responses tonight. I am desperate.

    Thanks so much! (reading all this makes me wish I had stayed in band as a kid!)

    Holly

  13. #13
    Distinguished SOTW Member hgrail's Avatar
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    Tenor is maybe 20% bigger than alto. Noticable - but if he is of average build he will be fine.

    It will be an adjustment from oboe - but now he's got a strap to support it. There are a variety of straps out there to make it more comfortable as well. Neotech comes to mind..

    Stats are hard to come by - so take him to a music store and let him "try" a few tenors and see what he thinks (no need to buy that day). If he thinks it's too heavy let him try a bari - he'll love tenor then....

    It's always nice to play an instrument that's in demand.

    If the school has a horn he can play for a few weeks until you find one for him that would give him a good feel - and something to compare the horns he tries to also - but sadly not all schools have loaners.

    Don't rule out used horns as well. Buy a good used horn from a music store that gives a warrenty on it. No sense spending big $$ on a shiney new extra pro horn when he's really just starting & might be playing out in the rain in the marching band ya know?

    Good luck to you & your son-
    Finding a new horn should be a fun experience. Take your time - tell the school if they are in such a rush to give him a loaner...

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