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10 Posts
A few months back I ran into a situation with back pains that o felt were related to odd posture while practicing. After a couple of sessions with my chiropractor a lot of the pain subsided. I guess everyone's miles will vary.

390 Posts
I understand. Some of the saxophones made today are very heavy. People associate this with being made better but it’s not necessary to have all that weight and still be made well. They make very good saxophones and I’ve had the same experience that you’ve had. Something I’ve been doing for a while is taking a regular neck strap that has some good length on it and just keep it over one shoulder and wearing it like a sling. It really takes the weight off and feels good. You just need a strap that has some extra length.
Maybe look into a light weight tenor rather than giving it up.
Wishing you well.

Hi 10Mfan
Other than the Vikings -which you and I have both played but which are essentially unavailable - are there other good playing tenor that light? I sold my Vikings over the years and look almost every day for a used one. I have settled into two heavier vintage horns but at 69 now, with neck and back issues my whole life - I would love to strap on an M58 or an M40 again. But not too many people putting those on the market. My memory is that they were noticeably lighter. Anyway. Any ideas ?

726 Posts
My King Zephyr series II (1940) alto is noticeably lighter than my Yanagisawa AWO2. Not sure about tenor though, but you may want to check it out.

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Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
39,140 Posts
Aside from the Saxholder, there are many other devices to aid people playing.

this is the saxophone support

The saxophone support was developed by saxophonist Peter van den Broek.
Seated play loads the back, shoulders, head and neck muscles and cause physical complaints.

The sax-support relieves the upper body and supports the natural sitting position.
The musical freedom of movement remains present during the playing.

Of corse you may want to pursue a different approach like playing while standing?

Then a high stand like this will help, the entire weight is off your hands, neck or anything else.

we have had threads in the past that measured all manners of saxophones finding that at most we are talking of few hundred grams difference

I've compiled all the weights given in this thread so far (as of October 20, 2006 @ 19:00 EST) and have worked out the statistics. Keep in mind that these results are only as accurate as what was posted. First, here's the results of all the numbers given:

sample size: 42
minimum: 6.000 lbs / 2.722 kg
average: 7.312 lbs / 3.317 kg
maximum: 8.375 lbs / 3.799 kg
range: 2.375 lbs / 1.077 kg
std dev: 0.417 lbs / 0.189 kg

sample size: 9
minimum: 4.500 lbs / 2.041 kg
average: 5.257 lbs / 2.384 kg
maximum: 6.000 lbs / 2.722 kg
range: 1.500 lbs / 0.680 kg
std dev: 0.523 lbs / 0.237 kg

sample size: 3
minimum: 9.000 lbs / 4.082 kg
average: 10.833 lbs / 4.914 kg
maximum: 12.500 lbs / 5.670 kg
range: 3.500 lbs / 1.588 kg
std dev: 1.756 lbs / 0.796 kg

And for simplicities sake...
68% of all the altos weigh between 4.734 and 5.780 lbs (2.147 and 2.622 kg)
68% of all the tenors weigh between 6.896 and 7.729 lbs (3.128 and 3.506 kg)

Obviously the numbers for tenor are going to be more accurate than those for alto because there were almost four times as many tenors weighed. I would take the numbers for bari with a large grain of salt, since there are only 3 of them in the sample and there was a pretty big difference between their weights.

In the process of compiling these numbers I noticed that there was a wide range of accuracy in the weighing methods. In an effort to determine how much this may or may not effect the results, I went through everyone's descriptions of what they used to weigh their horns (if they even mentioned how they weighed them) and assigned a "score" to the weighing method. Using this, I was able to re-run the statistics with some of the least accurately weighed horns excluded. Rather than ask everyone to append their posts with a description of how they weighed them, I simply excluded the ones that were more than likely not very accurate (i.e. guesswork or rounded off more than about 0.2kg / 7 ounces) and gave the benefit of the doubt to those who didn't describe how they weighed the horns. The result of excluding these was minimal (i.e. the average alto and tenor weight changed by about 1%, or 0.06 lbs / 0.0275 kg), in my opinion, and only ended up removing 3 altos and 6 tenors from the samples. Only including the horns that were weighed very accurately reduced the sample size of tenors to only 18, but still only changed the averages by a little over 1%; not so much as to be useful to our discussion at this point.

If anyone is interested in more info about how I calculated this stuff, just ask away (or PM me). If anyone wants the raw data (spreadsheet), PM me and we'll work out how to get you the file.


469 Posts
Discussion Starter #26
Whatever instrument(s) you are playing, the important thing is that you are still able to enjoy music. Good luck to you!
In a nutshell . . . . YES. Still playing the alto and the Native American flute. Play a one hour gig every month at an adult day care center and play both instruments. At my November gig I played Wayfaring Stranger on sax and flute, switching back and forth. Before I left I was asked to play the song one more time. Music IS what color sounds like.
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