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feel outnumbered, by the amount of tenor players? or do you feel happy that less people choose the alto saxophone as a proffesional gigging instrument, because there'll be more work for you?

this is directed at people who play saxophone for a living.
 

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Adderleysfasthands said:
feel outnumbered, by the amount of tenor players? or do you feel happy that less people choose the alto saxophone as a proffesional gigging instrument, because there'll be more work for you?

this is directed at people who play saxophone for a living.
I used to be an alto player. I say this because now I just consider myself a saxophone player. When I started, I only played alto professionally because that was the horn I owned and loved. I always liked that there were not that many alto players as opposed to tenor players. This did not last that long however. There is not that much work in L.A. for someone who only plays alto (in my personal experience). I kept getting calls for tenor and would have to turn down the work. Due to economic considerations, I bought a tenor. It paid itself off quickly and I found myself playing more tenor than alto. I even took some gigs, just because they were on alto and I wanted to keep my chops up. I then got a bari and got swamped with bari work and my alto took third place. I now find myself playing more tenor than anything else. I really don't mind because I am still playing for a living. Whether it's alto, tenor or bari, as long as I'm playing I am happy. I think that more people "hear" tenor than alto. Most bands who use small horn sections use tenor because it fills up the sound of the section more than alto. Another reason for the tenor preference is the lack of real alto players. A lot of guys just play it as a double. It is very hard to get a big sound and play in tune on the alto. I find tenor to be an easier blowing horn. I am glad I spent years working on just alto. I have found my "sound" on the horn and feel comfortable on it. I really appreciate it when I hear a good burnin' alto solo. The reality is that in order to make a living on the horn, you must play all of them. The amount of gigs and venues for live music diminishes every year. If you do decide to concentrate on one horn, it is more difficult. You are limiting your opportunities. Some gigs require you to play more than one horn. If you only play alto, you are out of luck. If you only want to play alto, follow your heart. After all, that is what makes the music.:)
 

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I have met a number of Dutch alto players who do not (normally or at all) professionally play tenor.
Piet Noordijk, Candy Dulfer, Benjamin Herman and Paul Stocker (American but lived very long in Holland), Paul van Kemenade, Tineke Postma.....
So obviously, somewhere there is still space for the alto's in Holland....

In America too there seems to be a following, since there is a lot of info on
http://www.altosaxophone.us/ !

By the way, last time I checked, Maceo Parker was alive and kicking ***....not the bucket!
 

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I've played alto for 23 years, tenor for under a year and I gotta say I love playing tenor. It's almost like I can't believe I waited so long to get one. All players I think should have at least an alto and a tenor.

To answer your question though when I was only playing alto I did feel outnumbered and like I was missing something. All I can say is buy a tenor it is the KING OF SAXOPHONE!!!!!!!!!
 

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I like being on top of a big band sax section, soprano or alto---You can't do that on tenor (except Woody's band).

You also get the sweet ballad features.
 

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I do alot of bari work, I feel outnumbered by the sopranos!
 

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Watch out for the Sopranos ......:cool:
 

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I think there is a reason.

Harmonics. The bigger the horn, more harmonics you will get from it, so the tenor has a more "sax" appeal for some listeners (please note I said some listeneres:cool: ). It is, of course, completely possible to get a lot of harmonics in your sound while blowing and alto.

Also, its range is a little more. For blues and rock and roll all those solos that need altissimo often requiere a tenor for the feeling they want to get.

I am an altoist and I like to play altissimo. Geting C5 was a challenge for me years ago. I know there are alto players that can go further, but you will find more tenorists going to that note than altoists.

It is proven, the bigger the horn, the greater the range.

For me the alto is my horn. I have a setup that gives me the harmonics I like and you will never know how an alto may sound... so it takes some advantage there...

In Mexico, where I live, more altos than tenors, by far. Most of them are used in little town bands or military bands. You will find 5 altos per tenor around.

I first played tenor. I changed 20 years ago and found in alto a more demanding horn. Having a good embouchure in alto takes more time to develope.

Many times as I gig I get that strange look from rockers and some blues players when I take out my alto. The looks turn to smiles when you give them some growls and pentatonic altissimo going all the way down to rich, flavorous low notes that alto can give. You can get into a guitar sax battle and yes, you will win.

All the best,

JI
 
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