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Hello Fellow Musicians

Firstly, I thank all the Senior Musicians here for their Effective and quintessential reply.
I have been playing Sax for 2 years now.
I played more of Tenor Sax for almost a month and when i tried to play Alto again, I'm having trouble playing Lower notes specially D & C. There are unwanted Squeaks and Whistles.
To be honest this is Disappointing and Frustrating too.
Kindly, suggest how can i improve/rectify on this and what measures should i take to balance this in future.

Regards
Vaibhav
 

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OneSaxyGuy said:
I had the same problem with switching from tenor to alto. I just shed the tenor after and it was all good.
That does not solve his problem however. Shed his Tenor. You are going to want to do is try playing the Tenor and Alto in the same pratice session. You mouth needs to become adjusted to the smaller mouthpiece. I had a similar problem, but it was just my ombuchere. That could be your case.
Try praticing like this for a week and see if it gets better.

-Carbs
 

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You may well find that you have a natural preference (and ease of playing) for just one of them - but that doesn't mean you can't play both well.

And, like Carbs says, you need to practise them (reasonably) together. If you play one for any length of time, excluding the other, then (especially in the early doubling days) the changeover will seem more extreme, and take a little getting used to - again..
 

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If you want to play both effectively, you're gonna have to spend that much more time.

I mean, think of the cats you dig...98% of the time, they play 1 type of horn...it's their voice.

If you don't have 18 hr/day to shed, focus on just 1 type & develop your voice on it.

Otherwise, be prepared to be just ok on both (unless you are truly gifted & blessed, in which case, go for it!). Very few heavy players really spend much time on more than one horn (tenor/alto...sop?)...they are around, but the monster players have a primary axe.
 

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One more thing:

The more you play each, the more you realize that they are very different instruments, can take a lifetime to really appreciate, & require very different approaches to get the most out of them.

The alto & tenor are 2 very different instruments, demanding every ounce of focus to develop a true "TONE CONCEPT."
 

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Tenor to Alto problems

Vami,
there's good news and bad news with going from tenor to alto and back again. Bad news first; as Citizen Cane points out, they are very different instruments. Different embouchures, breathing, reed strength and feel, everything.

If you want to be a doubler, get similiar characteristic horns if you can, and mouthpieces of the same make and style help as well. Heaps in fact.

If you want a tenor tone and style in one direction and an alto tone and style in a very different and opposite direction, there will be lots of practice involved on both horns. Seperate practice sessions will be the order of the day.

If you want to add an alto to your tenor work, then try for a similiar set up, and practice going from one horn to the other. When I started out, it was on alto, and after 3 years I bought a tenor. After critisism that I played the tenor like a big alto, I had to go off and re-invent my tenor playing. These days my primary horn is tenor, and I can do a good job as an alto player.

Now, the good news; it only took me about 3 or 4 years more playing until I was happy with my style, sound and tone on both tenor and alto, and that has to be maintained with dedicated tenor sessions, dedicated alto sessions, and combo sessions where I switch back and forth. And now I have added Bari to the mix, so it just that bit harder to manage.
 

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I belive Alexk hit it pretty much. I have played Alto since 6th grade, almost 6 years ago. Started Tenor 5 years ago. They are Different, and once you grasp that concept, you will improve. I now play Alto in my Church Orceastra, and Tenor at School. I do alot harder stuff on Alto, but I am good (or so I am told) on Tenor. It took alot of pratice to play each differently. I have to play my Alto like a lead, and my Tenor better than a lead. Its hard, but if you learn to play both with the different styles, you pratice will not have been in vain.
 

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I agree with alexk about set up. i started on alto for 2 years before switching to tenor. didn't play alto for almost 10 years before buying one to play in the big band. took about 5 years of weekly playing to get a really good alto tone. I found it helped greatly when i got matching horns, mouthpieces and reeds. especially with intonation. i didn't have to think about which horn i was on.both horns were very similiar on which notes to lip. that left me free to think about the TONE. think about the sound before you play. listen to tenor and alto players in your style that you like and try to match them. then you will find your own voice. it helps to play up against a glass door or a wall to really hear your sound.
 

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To "lock in" the embouchure for each size sax I would suggest the following:

-Put a mouthpiece patch on each mouthpiece and mark with a pen the best spot for the top teeth. If you are not sure check out this article by Bruce Pearson. http://www.brucepearsonmusic.com/article/SaxEmbouchure.htm

-Practice playing your alto neck and mouthpiece combination adjusting the embouchure to make an Ab concert pitch.

-Practice playing your tenor neck and mouthpiece combination making an E concert pitch.

-Once each embouchure and feel of the mouthpiece is solid, go back and forth between the two saxes playing the same scale up and down in half notes.

It is also helpful to choose reeds for both mouthpieces that have close to the same response (resistance). Good Luck. Hope some of this helps.

John
 

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I find that if I play bith within 30min. of each other, I'm fine except at the end of Jazz Band rehearsals. I use Tenor for Concert Band first and Alto for Jazz after a quick lunch and rinse.
 

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When I first started doubling alto and tenor, I played a meyer on alto, and link stm on tenor, and found that switching between these two pieces was incredibly easy. They play very similarly, at least to me.
 
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