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I'm musical director of a big band. Doubling chairs usually doubles the problems. The problems can be generally described as:

1. Playing too loud
2. Not blending and balancing in your section because you're playing too loud
3. Not phrasing with the lead player because you're playing too loud
4. Not hitting attacks and cutoffs with the lead player because you can't hear them, you're too loud
5. The sections not balancing with each other because they're all not listening, too loud.

LISTEN. TO. EVERYONE. ELSE. MORE. THAN. YOU. STRIVE. TO. BE. HEARD.

And do whatever the director says. It's more fun to sound good! Have fun.\
 

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Great stuff, Saxhound. For bari though, I think it's more common that they're doubling the 2nd alto an octave down, 'drop 2', with some note differences here and there. That's my choice, personally, I rarely or never double the lead.
 

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That presumes 5 different saxophone notes on any given beat. It's not something I do very often unless it's a long note. If it's a soli or moving line, I tend to use 4 note voicings and drop 2 without removing it from the upper voice. It's a pretty common thing to do, especially if you want to avoid doubling the lead. It's different from drop 2 for piano or guitar, because they'd not be playing 5 moving lines at once, usually -- they'd drop 2 in a voicing without doubling it. They'd probably drop 2 and 4, or voice (bottom up) 1-7-3-5 or something like that.
 
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