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The differences (other than pitch) in alto and tenor are basically some differences in the embouchure and breath control. Outside of that they are the same beast. Now, most people have a different concept when it comes to playing either or, but fundamentals are the same for both horns.

Now, I guess my question is, what are you learning? And, how are you learning it?
 

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I think I learned them both more or less at the same time. Like most, I had the alto first but after a few months I got a tenor because that was the open seat in the school jazz band. But it seems like I was playing a fair amount of alto at the same time though I don't know where it would have been. When I went off to college my sax playing was still very much in development and in the first couple years there I was on alto, tenor, baritone, and soprano all at the same time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The differences (other than pitch) in alto and tenor are basically some differences in the embouchure and breath control. Outside of that they are the same beast. Now, most people have a different concept when it comes to playing either or, but fundamentals are the same for both horns.

Now, I guess my question is, what are you learning? And, how are you learning it?
Well, for one, I try to figure out the same songs on both ( so different fingerings), and I practice scales and long notes on both. Also embouchure on both. I don't play them both every day, but I play one or the other every day, and sometimes both some days.

Is that good?
 

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Well, for one, I try to figure out the same songs on both ( so different fingerings), and I practice scales and long notes on both. Also embouchure on both. I don't play them both every day, but I play one or the other every day, and sometimes both some days.

Is that good?
different fingering, or do you mean transposing into different keys? that's pretty basic, regardless. if you're still early into this, then basics are going to be learned on either and both horns. (if these horns have any ergo differences, that's might be another matter, though when i started i was using a Bundy (Buescher) bari at school and a Selmer Tenor at home and don't remember that being an issue.) i'd say just learn the basics on either or both. then, as you grow confident, figure what you want next. lessons?
 

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Well, for one, I try to figure out the same songs on both ( so different fingerings), and I practice scales and long notes on both. Also embouchure on both. I don't play them both every day, but I play one or the other every day, and sometimes both some days.

Is that good?
Well, there's nothing wrong with playing them on the same day either. Do you have a teacher? You really need someone qualified to look at your embouchure to make sure it's correct. You don't want to develop bad habits early on because it's harder to correct after that muscle memory sets in. Also, as far as scales and long tones go what is your goal practicing them? Everything you practice should be done for a reason. Can you read music?If not you should learn to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
different fingering, or do you mean transposing into different keys? that's pretty basic, regardless. if you're still early into this, then basics are going to be learned on either and both horns. (if these horns have any ergo differences, that's might be another matter, though when i started i was using a Bundy (Buescher) bari at school and a Selmer Tenor at home and don't remember that being an issue.) i'd say just learn the basics on either or both. then, as you grow confident, figure what you want next. lessons?
Not sure what you call it, but for example... the first sax note to "Smooth Operator" is different fingering on alto then it is on tenor. I don't read music or anything so I hear a note and try to match it on which ever sax I am playing.

I have a YAS-26 and a YTS-26 so the ergo is the same on both (except one is bigger).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, there's nothing wrong with playing them on the same day either. Do you have a teacher? You really need someone qualified to look at your embouchure to make sure it's correct. You don't want to develop bad habits early on because it's harder to correct after that muscle memory sets in. Also, as far as scales and long tones go what is your goal practicing them? Everything you practice should be done for a reason. Can you read music?If not you should learn to.
I've been taking some on line lessons from YouTube about embouchure and stuff, and i do work on it. Long tones I practice keeping my embouchure steady and using my air to control the notes. Scales I practice different combinations of fingerings going up and down. Stuff like that.

I play by ear so I don't see reading music as being in my future, but I will not rule it out.
 

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Generally, when you see professional sax doublers, they play two horns in the same key. Like bari and alto, or tenor and soprano. For most of my playing, I've been an alto/tenor guy. If you want to play modern music, it's nice to be able to switch from alto to tenor depending on the tune (cover) or genre. So long as transposing doesn't bother you... or if you're like me, and don't like to think too hard about it.
 

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How much listening to great Saxophonists do you do

If I understand correctly your a self taught beginner with some help from youtube right? :)

I am concerned that you are flipping between Alto and Tenor so early in your development. While the fingerings are pretty much the same these are two different instruments.

While your beginning you need to develop you embouchure independently of either Sax and focus on developing your sound. Since your choosing to learn by ear, I highly recommend sitting down and listening to a number of alto and tenor players separately and find out what you like and don't like and more likely than not you'll be drawn to either Tenor or Alto.

If you need help and you'd like someone to get you started for free you can DM me. I'm happy to help. :)
 

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I've been taking some on line lessons from YouTube about embouchure and stuff, and i do work on it. Long tones I practice keeping my embouchure steady and using my air to control the notes. Scales I practice different combinations of fingerings going up and down. Stuff like that.

I play by ear so I don't see reading music as being in my future, but I will not rule it out.
Well, if your intent is to play solely for yourself then reading music should not be necessary. But if you intend to play with others then being able to read a lead sheet is beneficial to everyone in the group. Reading will also help you to learn patterns and exercises quicker when you can get them from method books.

As someone who has been having problems with my embouchure as of late,I can attest to the difficulties of getting back in shape. I was starting to play very sharp and it was something that just crept up on me. As we get older all our muscles weaken and the face and throat muscles are no exception. So, building and maintaining a proper embouchure are a must. I've been working on rebuilding my embouchure using the Joe Allard method and also by playing overtones or harmonics.

Since you are a YouTube guy here are a couple videos you may want to check out.


 

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I play by ear so I don't see reading music as being in my future, but I will not rule it out.
Given this and your transposition thread, if you are interested in jazz, I'd recommend Randy Hunter's beginning sax lessons (I have no relation with Randy etc). When I started I could read music "phonetically" ie. I knew where b or g was and counted from there. Now I'm pretty ok sight reading at some level, in treble clef, anyway. Not just from those courses, but they really broke the back of it for me, and they are a really great way to learn all kinds of other good stuff.

https://www.beginningsax.com/
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
How much listening to great Saxophonists do you do

If I understand correctly your a self taught beginner with some help from youtube right? :)

I am concerned that you are flipping between Alto and Tenor so early in your development. While the fingerings are pretty much the same these are two different instruments.

While your beginning you need to develop you embouchure independently of either Sax and focus on developing your sound. Since your choosing to learn by ear, I highly recommend sitting down and listening to a number of alto and tenor players separately and find out what you like and don't like and more likely than not you'll be drawn to either Tenor or Alto.

If you need help and you'd like someone to get you started for free you can DM me. I'm happy to help. :)
Thank you for offering to help me. Just so you can get a feel of where I'm at, here is a clip I just recorded with my YTS-26 and a Sure beta 58A mic plugged directly into my audio interface set flat with no effects or anything. It's the intro to boardwalk angel from the Eddie and the cruisers soundtrack that I found on youtube yesterday and figured out. I'm not playing it along with the music or anything in this recording, and it's just the intro part...

https://soundclick.com/r/s8cl0e

Maybe you can tell if I'm on the right track or not by hearing my sound so far.

Thanks again for offering to help me.
 

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... here is a clip I just recorded with my YTS-26...
You need more diaphragm support for your air stream. Keep the mouthpiece out of your mouth and just pretend it's there and blow. See how fast the air leaves your lungs? Now tense up your stomach a bit. Like someone is about to punch you in the gut. Again without the mouthpiece, try blowing as you do this. The air is more focused, yes? Lasts a bit longer too, right? Now do it when you play.
 

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Selmer Paris Reference 54 Alto N791XXX
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Well, if your intent is to play solely for yourself then reading music should not be necessary. But if you intend to play with others then being able to read a lead sheet is beneficial to everyone in the group. Reading will also help you to learn patterns and exercises quicker when you can get them from method books.

As someone who has been having problems with my embouchure as of late,I can attest to the difficulties of getting back in shape. I was starting to play very sharp and it was something that just crept up on me. As we get older all our muscles weaken and the face and throat muscles are no exception. So, building and maintaining a proper embouchure are a must. I've been working on rebuilding my embouchure using the Joe Allard method and also by playing overtones or harmonics.

Since you are a YouTube guy here are a couple videos you may want to check out.


Given this and your transposition thread, if you are interested in jazz, I'd recommend Randy Hunter's beginning sax lessons (I have no relation with Randy etc). When I started I could read music "phonetically" ie. I knew where b or g was and counted from there. Now I'm pretty ok sight reading at some level, in treble clef, anyway. Not just from those courses, but they really broke the back of it for me, and they are a really great way to learn all kinds of other good stuff.

https://www.beginningsax.com/
Thank you for offering to help me. Just so you can get a feel of where I'm at, here is a clip I just recorded with my YTS-26 and a Sure beta 58A mic plugged directly into my audio interface set flat with no effects or anything. It's the intro to boardwalk angel from the Eddie and the cruisers soundtrack that I found on youtube yesterday and figured out. I'm not playing it along with the music or anything in this recording, and it's just the intro part...

https://soundclick.com/r/s8cl0e

Maybe you can tell if I'm on the right track or not by hearing my sound so far.

Thanks again for offering to help me.
Thats awesome stuff :). Grumps assessment is totally correct your still working on training your muscles to be able to have a consistent air stream. I would have you just play alto for 1 month because it is easier to develop these muscles but if you love Tenor you can work only on tenor. It seems to me your musically gifted enough that with a little direction you can make drastic improvement. It would be good for you to learn how to read sheet music as well but if you don't want to I wouldn't force you to do it. Your on the right track but your kinda sitting on the fence between two parallel tracks with playing both alto and tenor while going through an important phase of development. If you would like to do some skype lessons for or anything. Let me know I'm happy to help at no charge.
 

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You need more diaphragm support for your air stream. Keep the mouthpiece out of your mouth and just pretend it's there and blow. See how fast the air leaves your lungs? Now tense up your stomach a bit. Like someone is about to punch you in the gut. Again without the mouthpiece, try blowing as you do this. The air is more focused, yes? Lasts a bit longer too, right? Now do it when you play.
It also sounds like the OP isn't using the tongue to articulate. Sounds like air attacks to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You need more diaphragm support for your air stream. Keep the mouthpiece out of your mouth and just pretend it's there and blow. See how fast the air leaves your lungs? Now tense up your stomach a bit. Like someone is about to punch you in the gut. Again without the mouthpiece, try blowing as you do this. The air is more focused, yes? Lasts a bit longer too, right? Now do it when you play.
I just recorded it again with my alto sax this time, and tried to follow your advice. Is this a little better?

https://soundclick.com/r/s8cl2u

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thats awesome stuff :). Grumps assessment is totally correct your still working on training your muscles to be able to have a consistent air stream. I would have you just play alto for 1 month because it is easier to develop these muscles but if you love Tenor you can work only on tenor. It seems to me your musically gifted enough that with a little direction you can make drastic improvement. It would be good for you to learn how to read sheet music as well but if you don't want to I wouldn't force you to do it. Your on the right track but your kinda sitting on the fence between two parallel tracks with playing both alto and tenor while going through an important phase of development. If you would like to do some skype lessons for or anything. Let me know I'm happy to help at no charge.
The tenor is actually a lease and I can stop the lease at any time. Maybe I will stop the lease on the tenor and stick with the alto for a while.

I may take you up on the lessons at least to get me going in the right direction.

Do you have zoom?

Maybe we can use that if you do.
 
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