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Marching bari is in the same category as marching bass clarinet and marching bassoon in my opinion. What is the point? Granted the bari has more volume than these other woodwinds, but the Tubas shouldn't need help on the bass line. Taking any large woodwind outside on the field, street, or in the bleachers is just asking for damage to the instrument. To me the potential harm to the instrument far outweighs its contribution to the "balance" of the ensemble.

I am retired band director who is now an instrument repair tech, so I have seen this issue from both sides of the repair counter. That said, if you must play the bari sax in parades, have someone drive you down the street behind the band in a golf cart so you can play sitting down in a way that is safe to both your body and the instrument.

:soapbox:
I agree with this, but I'm more worried about the damage to the human. Marching baritone sax is just stupid.

But if you must, for heaven's sake wear a harness. Screw the uniform.

Any band director that makes people hold any sax straight in front of them, totally unnaturally, deserves to be horsewhipped.:tsk::soapbox:
 

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Any band director that makes people hold any sax straight in front of them, totally unnaturally, deserves to be horsewhipped.:tsk::soapbox:
It's an unnatural activity to begin with. You have to adapt to march with any kind of jam.
 

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Marching with a Bari is like beating your head against a brick walls... It feels sooo good when you stop. Personally I thing all marching bands should be drum and bugle corps affairs with the flag thing added. All woodwinds do is fill in holes on the images made by formations on the field.

If you must march with the big horn consider the flimsiest strap or harness with the weakest hook and make sure it breaks on the way to the field, preferably in the parking lot. If you accidentally trip over it so much the better. Be prepared to look both horrified and disappointed. Personally I think having a smallish person subjected to the marching Bari thing borders on child abuse.

That being said, I played Bari when our high school band played for a NY Giants and Baltimore Colts game at the old Polo Grounds stadium. Great fun and freezing misery... Made me forget how heavy the horn was. Wouldn't trade the memory for anything. This too shall pass... Use a harness.
 

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Finally! (A thread that I have some experience with....) Changing from clarinet to bari sax just for marching season??!! How large is your band?? I was 6'2" and 205lbs. in high school and I used a neck strap only. That being said, I remeber what it was like when I changed from the alto to the bari in 8th grade! The thing was enormous!! I became a full time bari player so I got used to the size of the instrument. However, were I to only play the bari during marching season, I would definitely have problems with just a neck strap!

You are a clarinet player in concert band. You realize that the fingerings are different for the bari than for the clarinet due to the octave vs 12th interval register key? Why not go bass clarinet? Yes, it's soft sounding but it makes more sense than trying to change to a saxophone! The other posters mentioning that the bari essentially doubles what the Sousaphones (c'mon, nobody marches with a Tuba! Yes, I'm being overly clever...) are playing is pretty much dead on accurate! The bari is (I can't believe I'm actually admitting this) redundant! Why are you playing bari? Do you not have any Sousaphone players? Also, why you? Don't get me wrong but I'm having trouble with the justification for taking a petite young female clarinetist and saddling her with a baritone saxophone! Are there too many clarinets? Why not switch to alto sax? Marching bands need altos more than they do bari's and you could learn to double on the sax leading to other opportunities!

Either way, using only a neckstrap is inadvisable in the extreme, especially if they require you to hold it out in front of you!!! (That's just insane!!) I'm really surprised at your band director for letting you get into this situation without proper information ahead of time. What we are telling you now on this forum should have come from him before a decision was ever made! I probably shouldn't ask this but I'm going to anyway: did you volunteer for this bari gig or were you forced into it? This also includes whether the call went out for a "volunteer" to play bari. Has your director given you any advice about this? If it's not too late, I would steer clear of the baritone saxophone! It's too different for an easy transition for what is essentially only marching season. There are much easier options....or are there? It would really help if you could let us know. If you have already gone down this road and there's no turning back, be smart and use a harness!! Good luck!

P.S. I just now noticed that she originally posted this in June of 2010 and has never posted again. It looks as if we are all a year too late. Well, perhaps another young student will see this thread and get some good advice before they make a fateful decision... :scratch:
 

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I've been wondering about a harness >.< I've been marching with a bari the past two years with a neckstrap but I'm a taller and larger guy. X3

I have a friend who marches with a harness but the other two baris at my school march with neckstraps.
 

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In my band, we NEED a bari because, no offense to anyone, we have the quietest sousaphones in the world. I'm thankful that we got a beast of a bari player. He at least doubled the sound of our sousa section. I'm actually not exaggerating the beast part though. Once, the plastic on his neck-strap broke on the way to the gate at a competition. Thankfully the bari was OK but he was forced to march the entire show sans strap. We offered to give him one of ours(I play alto) but none of ours were long enough. He nearly dislocated his arm.

Back to advice, It isn't impossible but it is quite difficult. The way he pulled it off was with a simple neck-strap. He held the bari to the right but he also held it forward so as not to impede his movement. It was tough but again, not nearly impossible.
 

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I marched with a bari with a regular stretchy neck strap. It could be a pain, but wasn't unmanageable. Remember that you are not trying to actually "hold" the bari up. You're just pushing it away from your body with your thumbs and letting the strap do the work.
 

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I marched Bari in my field show in high school this year and first year playing bari, I use a harness, BG Metal snaphook, You may want to wrap your RH thumb around the side of the bari to hold it a little away from your thigh as it will bounce and make your sound wobble like a dying duck.
 
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