Switching from alto to tenor

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  1. #1
    iwivera's Avatar
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    Default Switching from alto to tenor

    Today I decided to spent my bonus for the last five years on a tenor saxophone. I am really excited.

    I would be interested in your experiences with switching from alto to tenor. E. g. what is the most important to keep in mind, what exercises did help you? What needs more practice to begin? What to focus on?

    I want to keep playing the alto in the wind orchestra, but use the tenor in the bluesrock band, I started 3 months ago.

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    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Switching from alto to tenor

    There is nothing really specific, just play it and above all listen to loads of good tenor players
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    Default Re: Switching from alto to tenor

    You'll have to adjust to the extra weight of the horn; you may need to buy a longer neck strap, depending on what you use for your alto. This process shouldn't be difficult. Assuming you've chosen a tenor that fits you well, ergonomics shouldn't be a problem either. The tenor's key layout does not increase in size in proportion to the increased size of the horn; i.e., unless you selected a horn that's (in)famous for its "big" ergos, having a tenor in your hands shouldn't feel a great deal different than holding an alto.

    You will of course have to adjust to the larger mouthpiece. The general rule is to relax your embouchure somewhat from what you use on alto, and concentrate on pushing enough air through the horn. Breath support is a bit more challenging because the tube is longer and wider. I use a softer reed on tenor than on smaller horns, but your preference may vary.

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    Default Re: Switching from alto to tenor

    You should also be carefull on the "wow" factor you'll get for beeing super awesome now that you're going to play both alto and tenor!

    Just remember, with great sax playing comes great responsabilities, or something like that...

    LostConn already said pretty much everything, I would also recommend trying a few mpcs if you can to find one that works well for you and the sax. If not it can be unpleasent and a not so good experience due to the clash of your advance and sound on alto vs tenor.
    Viajar sempre a cantar... e a tocar!

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    iwivera's Avatar
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    Default Re: Switching from alto to tenor

    That was my first idea: Just taking it to the practice room and play, feel and listen, Very happy to have that confirmed.

    Ergonomics were surprisingly totally not a problem, when I played it in the store today. I had to try a different mouthpiece, because the one that came with it, didn't sound right to me. I ended up with a Otto Link Tone Master like I use on my alto. But 7* instead 6. And a softer reed.

    Tomorrow is practice time with the bluesrock band. I wonder about my bandmates reaction.

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    Default Re: Switching from alto to tenor

    Well, how did it go with your band?

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