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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, i'm 10th grader and i'm looking for a bari sax for jazz band. I'm an alto clarinet player but I've just recently picked up an alto sax. And I love it so I joined my jazz band. But the problem is my school doesn't have any more bari saxes soi have to play on my alto clarinet which doesn't work well because I can't go past low E-flat and it sounds a bit strange. So I started looking online for bari saxes and I found a few i'm interested in but nothing that says buy me now mostly because a lot of them are super pricey. So I fought I would ask for help on finding a decent priced bari sax, i'm looking for a professional to intermediate level one (i don't prefer to have a beginner) I'm looking at something for a decent price (hoping for less than $1500) that still sounds great and plays well. I did find a Taishan Winds bari sax that's an ok price but it from China, I saw a decent review on it but i'm not sure if I should trust it. So what do you guys recremond?
 

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I have a Jupiter that is just fine for what you are looking for. For mine for $1100 and folks that play it says I got s great deal.

I am also partial to saxophone.com saxes as I think they are a great value and good quality, if you can find one used they are priced right as the name scares folks off but know they are great horns for starting out (I have their tenor I love and just bought a sop
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've looked online the Jupiters are about $4000 which is too much for me and the ones on Saxohpone.com seem to be out of stock.
 

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Get the Taishan. Great for the price. Nothing else with low A really available at that price.
A raw beginner doesn't really need a low A. For $1500 if you consider the low Bb horns there are a number of options including Buescher 400/Bundy/Selmer USA, Mexi-Conn 12Ms, King Zephyrs, as well as (but you gotta look around) used Jupiters etc.

The biggest challenge in a used instrument is finding one in good condition that a "playing condition" won't break the bank. Unfortunately if you buy a mail order new horn, it will probably need some adjustments out of the box, as a baritone sax is an awful big heavy delicate thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm not a raw beginner, It's really easy to play the saxophone, and I've learned a lot over the 8 months I've had it, I need a low A for jazz music, so if it already has low an in it. I've looked at the low B-flat ones and there usually all trashed anyways.
 

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I'm not a raw beginner, It's really easy to play the saxophone, and I've learned a lot over the 8 months I've had it, I need a low A for jazz music, so if it already has low an in it. I've looked at the low B-flat ones and there usually all trashed anyways.
At 8 months playing alto and a few hours at most playing baritone, you are a raw beginner.

You do not need the low A for "jazz music", not even for modern big band arrangements, though it's helpful. I have been playing a low Bb baritone for 34 years now, including thousands of hours in all types of big bands. There are occasions when I would like to have the low A, but so far there has always been a workaround.

Used baritone saxes are harder to find in the non-trashed state than altos or tenors, just because they're bigger, and because a larger fraction of them are school-owned rather than privately owned (I think). It will take a longer and more in-depth search to find a used baritone (whether low Bb or low A) than to buy a new one. However, you can reduce this by buying from a known vendor that puts the instruments into playing condition before selling (there are several who post on this forum).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok thanks, I have to ask how would you work around low A then, because a lot of my music has at least 5 low A's or more. And they are a lot harder to find I haven't really been looking too much though if you know any vendors on here that would help a lot
 

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Ok thanks, I have to ask how would you work around low A then, because a lot of my music has at least 5 low A's or more. And they are a lot harder to find I haven't really been looking too much though if you know any vendors on here that would help a lot
Sounds like you probably need a low A. If you can find a used Kessler low A bari that might fit your criteria. He makes these Yani B901 copies that sell brand new for $2400 or so, a used one might fall into your price range.
 

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Ok thanks, I have to ask how would you work around low A then, because a lot of my music has at least 5 low A's or more. And they are a lot harder to find I haven't really been looking too much though if you know any vendors on here that would help a lot
For a low A that's just out there by itself you just play it up an octave. If there are approaching notes, or it is the last note of a descending line, you play the last few notes of the phrase up an octave as well, to lead into the A musically. In a few places you can play a different note that's harmonically proper, but arrangers generally use that low A when it's the tonic of a chord, so the harmony generally wants the A.

Fingering wise the low A isn't super convenient, so I don't see it used much in runs or melodic passages anyway.

At any rate, I have never had any trouble figuring out a place to break the line.

If I were offered a high paying gig in a funk or salsa band where the arrangements really have to have the low A (note the HIGH PAYING part) then I would have to get a low A horn, but for a high school jazz band I would say bring whatcha got.

In other words, for a beginner playing bari in the high school band, buy what looks like it'll work for you, but don't exclude low Bb horns. The director ought to be glad just to have someone to play the bari chair. Most kids think it's like ninth clarinet in the concert band, the chair for the people who really can't play, but in fact you need your two strongest players on lead alto and baritone sax. So if you really dive into it, it can make a huge difference in the sound of the band.
 

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Ok thanks, I have to ask how would you work around low A then, because a lot of my music has at least 5 low A's or more. And they are a lot harder to find I haven't really been looking too much though if you know any vendors on here that would help a lot
I think the best way to work around the low A is to play the note (or the phrase) an octave up. I don’t play the Bari, I play the tenor. (Low Bb). When I get assigned the trumpet part on a duet, (trumpets can play lower than my sax), I simply bump up some of the notes by an octave and it sounds great. No one knows except for the trombone I am playing with.

There are several challenges playing a low A on a Bari sax, even if you have a horn that can play it....1). It is going to be hard to hear you through the rest of the band. As your notes get lower and lower, you need more and more air to create the volume. Jumping an octave, therefore, makes you much more audible as the airflow required is more manageable. 2). Even if you have the right horn, the A is a bloody difficult note to play. A clarinet or alto sax embouchure likely won’t even be close to what you need to get that note out successfully in concert.

If you are going to be a music major in college, it would make sense to invest in a low A Bari Sax and put the time and effort in to learn how to play the full range of the horn. If you aren’t planning on studying music performance in college, consider purchasing the less expensive low Bb Bari and enjoy the $$ savings......You might actually find that you sound better in it because you will be less frustrated.

This is going to sound insulting. It is not intended that way. I have heard high school Jazz Bands. Jazz phrasing is exceedingly difficult for high school band. (Yours might be an exception). Your ability to get that low A out effectively (without) jumping an octave, will likely go completely un-noticed. What people will most notice is the ensemble’s ability to swing. If your band can swing well, no one will care if you jump an octave. If your band doesn’t swing so well, playing the note as written is absolutely not going to help. —- Anyone, please chime in if you disagree with me.

Good Luck
 

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Agreed about the Low A / Low Bb horn question. It will not be a problem.
If you can play the horn some, nobody will care about the Low A.
Playing bari is a blast. Most folks arte overwhelmed by it (it seems), partly from the sheer size of the thing, and partly the amount of air required. There is a certain amount of wrestling the beast around. But ... playing bari is a blast anyway.

+1 for the Kessler (Solist) Low A bari. Terrific horn for the $$. I have played lots of baris, and my Solist is a good one.

+1 for buying used too. Expect any bari to need a little attention when you get it. And to require careful handling.


dat
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I would like to add - even if you can survive without the low A, there's nothing better than blasting one out just for fun!
 

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It's really easy to play the saxophone,
I'm so glad to hear that! My life just got so much better!
:)

Good luck with your search. I don't really have the answer for you but any of the suggestions you get here will probably be good ones. You might need to decide your risk level (in terms of buying used and vintage) and in any case allocate some funds for a tech to go over whatever you buy, including new. I think it's every bit as important to get the best instrument you can and also to be sure you have it in excellent playing condition.
 

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+1 for the Low Bb Bari, the charts that we use have the alternative line in brackets for Bb instruments so it is not a problem.
WeltKlang do a Low A Bari, I overhauled one for my kids school and it played well. A used one could fit your budget - did have rolled toneholes so that could add to the cost of bringing into playing condition (or not).
 

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A
Playing bari is a blast. Most folks arte overwhelmed by it (it seems), partly from the sheer size of the thing, and partly the amount of air required. There is a certain amount of wrestling the beast around. But ... playing bari is a blast anyway.
Oddly, I found that maintaining air volume or whatever was easier the lower I went, from alto to tenor to Bari. I was surprised how easy blowing the Bari felt when I first tried it.
 

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This from a SOTW member (I have no affiliation or any other fiduciary or other interest with him):



http://www.2ndending.com/saxes.html

1930's Holton, Elkhorn Low Bb
$1129

In the pipe line:

1970's Pierret-made Olds Parisian Low Bb Baritone Sax


1960's Conn 12M Baritone sax, Low Bb
 
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