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Been playing tenor for about 5 years.... just got an alto and a Runyon custom MPC #7. Its very difficult to get the palm keys to speak... and the low bell notes... Is this a common problem when switching from tenor to alto or do I need to look at the sax and MPC more for the problem?
 

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Alto is a more demanding horn.

usually tenorist won't agree. It is normal for people to defend what they do the most as the "most", but there are very clear reason to sustain this.

The alto embouchure is more demanding than tenor is as soprano is more demanding than alto.

Also, being a smaller horn, altissimo in alto will not go as high on tenor as "easily". Of course the saxophone is a dificult instrument to play. Also, alto has a very special constitution. To play in tune an alto is extremely dificult at the beguining. Tenor is more "forgiving".

Be patient and it will come. Low notes on the alto are also a problem and the air stream has to be steady.

All the best,

JI
 

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TenorTim, you don't mention what make your alto is, or is it new or second hand, but as you have been playing tenor for a bit you may have purchased a good one.
I'll go for the mouthpiece, a Runyon #7 Custom is a bit of an aggressive a tip opening at 82-85 thou for someone starting out on alto. Go to your sax shop if you can and try a few tip sizes that are smaller. IMO, that will be the problem.
 
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