Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Discombobulated SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 201
Joined
·
9,728 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After a couple of weeks of playing a lot of tenor and enjoying it immensely, I've got a problem: that huge sound that I thought I had on alto suddenly seems incredibly lacking. I can almost hear in my head Clara Peller asking "Where's the beef?" ;)

Is that just the nature of the two different beasts? Anyone feel like they are able to get that meaty sound out of the alto?
 

·
Forum Contributor 2015, SOTW Better late than neve
Joined
·
4,272 Posts
Start by listening to Earl Bostic. Now there's a sax version of a triple beef burger on a bun with some lettuce, tomato and special sauce ;)

I know what you're saying, but I think the key is to find the middle ground between the two. For example, I always thought Stan Getz sounded like he was playing alto. So it can happen both ways.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
4,147 Posts
Play bari for a while then play tenor. The same thing happens, at least to me.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW member
Joined
·
4,673 Posts
Are the tip openings on your alto and tenor mpcs comparable (relative to the horn) ?
Some players will play a bit more closed on alto than on tenor and it takes time for the embouchure to adjust.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
Joined
·
3,204 Posts
Martinman said:
Play bari for a while then play tenor. The same thing happens, at least to me.
I don't agree. They're two different beasts of the same family. My bari sounds completely different than my tenor, but I don't find my tenor sounding bad when coming from bari. I just find it small :D

Even more, sometimes I miss the subtility of the tenor-tone on the bari, especially in the higher register.

Is that just the nature of the two different beasts? Anyone feel like they are able to get that meaty sound out of the alto?
Also here I think it is just the nature of the two different beasts. When I play on alto's of friends of mine, I have a very nice tone. Completely different from my tenor, not "fat", but "clear". Again, sometimes I miss the clearness of my alto-tone on my tenor, especially in the higher register.

Where's the meat? Are you talking about spare ribs, T-bones or lamb crown?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013-
Joined
·
5,183 Posts
You need that Barone 8 back for the alto:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
tenor beef!

Lamb crown? At what time are you serving dinner Jolle?

Chitownjazz, could it be that the tenor sounds small because the bell is further away from you? I had that when I switched from alto to tenor. The first few days I could barely hear what is was playing.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
4,147 Posts
Jolle said:
I don't agree. They're two different beasts of the same family. My bari sounds completely different than my tenor, but I don't find my tenor sounding bad when coming from bari. I just find it small :D

Even more, sometimes I miss the subtility of the tenor-tone on the bari, especially in the higher register.

I don't think it sounds bad just small. Maybe we agree after all?:)
 

·
Discombobulated SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 201
Joined
·
9,728 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
52nd Street said:
Lamb crown? At what time are you serving dinner Jolle?

Chitownjazz, could it be that the tenor sounds small because the bell is further away from you? I had that when I switched from alto to tenor. The first few days I could barely hear what is was playing.
It's the other way around - the alto sounds like salad greens compared to the ribeye steak tenor. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
chitownjazz said:
It's the other way around - the alto sounds like salad greens compared to the ribeye steak tenor. ;)
That's been my experience. Which is why I play a tenor. I've heard others play alto in a way that made me envious. But for me, I have the most fun on tenor.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,313 Posts
I'm not sure I understand the problem. Do you think your alto sound has actually changed as a consequence of playing tenor? Or do you think your tenor playing has altered your expectations of what a saxophone should sound like?
 

·
Discombobulated SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 201
Joined
·
9,728 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Al Stevens said:
I'm not sure I understand the problem. Do you think your alto sound has actually changed as a consequence of playing tenor? Or do you think your tenor playing has altered your expectations of what a saxophone should sound like?
My tenor playing has changed my perception of my alto sound.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
Joined
·
8,322 Posts
Have you tried recording both at the same pitch and comparing? It might be interesting. The "feel" of the 2 is different + the range (obviously!), but it would be interesting to know if your sound is really that different on the two instruments or whether it's "all psychological". I always try for a quite different tone on alto and tenor - whether i get it or just more of the same mush is a moot point ;) . It sounds more like you are wanting the two to "match up" - or did i misunderstand?
 

·
Discombobulated SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 201
Joined
·
9,728 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
RootyTootoot said:
...It sounds more like you are wanting the two to "match up" - or did i misunderstand?
You folks really know how to probe a person's psyche ;)

Before playing tenor my perception was that I had a "big" alto sound. When I began playing tenor a found that there's a core and gutsiness to its sound. The absence of this "depth" on alto I now perceive as a shortcoming.

I haven't been able to track down my microphone yet - I'm beginning to think my wife hid it for the sake of posterity ;)
 

·
Distinguished SOTW member
Joined
·
4,673 Posts
chitownjazz said:
Oh, I've got a Berg 130 here for alto. Though it measures "only" .125". I've never tried playing it, I'm afraid I might get a hernia.
Or an aneurysm.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
32,929 Posts
I've gone through much the same - and I'm just now getting ready to revisit the game.

I'm a tenor player.

My closest approximation of an acceptable alto tone was on a Super 20 that made an unfortunate trip to the repair shop. Next closest was a Selmer Serie II but I let that one get away to a friend that craved it more than me. Now, years later, I am getting yet another II. I found my best mouthpieces were the SR Tech L85 and a Jon Van Wie refaced Meyer 6MM opened to .080. I'm currently questing again for mouthpieces. I'll see whether Fred Lamberson has any alto mouthpieces coming up soon. In the meantime, I'm looking for another L85 and talking with Ed Zentera about another Meyer - this time I'll go a little bigger in tip opening and a little smaller in chamber size.

I'm with ya tho', Chi', once you start filling the room with tenor tone, you want to hear MORE from the alto. I don't know that it's beef, maybe it's just a large bowl of Ben and Jerry's "Chunky Monkey" or "Double Chocolate Fudge Brownie" or somethin'. ;)

Check in when you find something that works. Maybe it's just learning to blow through the horn like a tenor that makes it fill the room. I've a friend whose Serie II alto sounds huge with a RPC .095 (red letter). I just don't think I could harness that setup. The guy has been playing alto for most of 60 years and that's a tough combination to challenge. Hmmm, funny. When I hear him on tenor (a Yamaha 61, I believe), I think "His alto sound is so much bigger, I wish he'd stick to that." ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,955 Posts
In my own quest to get a bigger sound out of my alto I've gone towards larger chamber sizes. I've got a Meyer 7L and a Vandoren V16 6M (i can't measure this, but it seems to me that vandoren's med chamber is larger than Meyer's) that both work well for this. I'm curious to try a Morgan L and a rubber Link too.

Based on my experience, Dr G, I don't think going to a smaller chamber will satisfy you.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top