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Yo

some of you will remember I bought a Martin Magna tenor (my first horn) at a good price a couple of months ago and then got it repadded and overhauled. I've struggled finding time to play it but had my first lesson yesterday and have agreed to make sure to find the time everyday to at least practice long tones and look at some scales. One problem im having is, due to the sax being my fifth instrument I'm really self critical because I know what sounds good and what doesnt.

Obviously tone production is something that takes years but I'm wondering how would you describe the Martin tone? I'm not interested in playing rock or R&B at all on it (strictly jazz and maybe afrobeat) and I'm aware lots of people have a preference for them because they make good rock and r&b horns. My two favourite players are Pharoah and Trane (Im aware these two are no easy target to aspire to) and I also like this tone: https://youtu.be/lUmNtpJpm9o?t=55 , do you think I can get a tone even similar to these on a Martin or am I better trading it in for a Conn or a French tenor of some kind? I'm using an Link STM 6.

Cheers
 

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I wouldn't worry about any of this stuff right now, just start working. Long tones daily and scale studies + etudes will provide a very solid foundation. It's great that you have a teacher as well, to keep you on track. When doing the long tones, have that target sound in your head and you will find that over time you will just get there. Don't waste time worrying about equipment!
 

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Martins are generally considered to have a complex rich tone. Lots of folks also describe them as being good R&R/R&B horns, but with the right mouthpiece and attitude about any horn can fill that bill.

As Buddy Lee says, that Martin won't be the limiting factor in getting a tone you really like. Remember, the importance of tone production, from most important to least important is player, reed, mouthpiece, neck, the rest of the horn. Assuming your tech set your Martin up correctly, you can know that your Martin will be able to take you to some really excellent tone.

See if this tone works for you as a target: https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?353700-Testing-The-Martin-Committee-III
 

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When you develop your own sound on tenor you will be able to answer whether the Martin helps or hinders you in achieving what you want. Till then it's premature to say anything. You have a professional quality instrument in good repair. Go with that.

By the way, I can guarantee you that more rock and roll and R&B saxophone solos have been recorded on the Selmer Mark 6 than any other sax. On the other side of the coin, at least one well known classical saxophonist (Cecil Leeson) played Martin.

I don't believe in emulating someone else's tone except as an exercise.
 

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VI Soprano, Searchlight Alto, TH&C Tenor
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neither the horn nor the mouthpiece need a 2nd thought at this point. (nice combination, actually!) cut down the distractions and stay focused on developing your chops and key work for the time being. (there will be plenty of time dallying with the dreaded Gear Acquisition Syndrome later on.)
 

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Yes, the STM really works with the CIII Martin tenor. Typically we describe the Martin tone as 'warm' and 'spread' rather than 'focused', although the way you play certainly determines what comes out of the bell. I used a Guardala King Curtis on mine which sounded great and the Martin warmth still came through, but it was definitely more focused than yours will be with the STM. The Martin produces a more complex sound than most any other sax because of its thick, soldered-in tone rings. Your Magna was a good investment, not because of its sound, which is the same as any other CIII, but simply because they are more rare and command greater values. This isn't really going to change anytime soon.
 

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Alto sax, Tenor sax, Clarinet
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Seriously, you should practice regularly and seriously for at least 1 year to develop your tone. You might think you are there by the 6 month point, but not really. It will take at least this long to really develop a strong, reliable embouchure and air support. Then you can start to think about equipment. If you make changes too early, you will never develop the strong muscles, and muscle memory needed to control your tone. Your Martin is very capable of providing the type tone you are looking for.
 
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