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Discussion Starter #1
I played for 25 years or so, then dropped out for about 20 years (career, etc.). Now I'm looking at playing again.

What's a recommendation for the particular sax to get to start back? I was primarily an alto player, but doubled on tenor, soprano, clarinet and flute when I was playing.

I'm thinking tenor may be a good way to go. Perhaps easier on the embouchure to start, while also positioning me to perhaps play in a local college band, etc.

Thoughts?

Thanks.
 

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I played for 25 years or so, then dropped out for about 20 years (career, etc.). Now I'm looking at playing again.

What's a recommendation for the particular sax to get to start back? I was primarily an alto player, but doubled on tenor, soprano, clarinet and flute when I was playing.

I'm thinking tenor may be a good way to go. Perhaps easier on the embouchure to start, while also positioning me to perhaps play in a local college band, etc.

Thoughts?

Thanks.
Tenor is the best voice. For me. Hands down. No prevailing interest in alto at all. I'd rather play clarinet (and I don't really like clarinet).

But why play something that doesn't connect with you?

The local college band is likely full of tenor players too, so play whichever horn you prefer. If you find that there is a shortage on one instrument, consider playing it, but in the bigger picture, be true to yourself. You are old enough to realize that you can now play what you prefer - not to please someone else. I did a similar thing many years ago when I moved to a new region. The local bands were short on bari players at the time, so I bought a bari and filled a niche. Within a couple years, a chair opened on the fourth sax (second tenor) and I was first to get an offer - they knew me, I knew them, and there were other players that preferred to play bari.

Regardless of all that, welcome back to playing sax!
 

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Early 70's Yamaha YTS-21 with a 10MFan Classic 7* 'piece and whatever reed is in the case
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New sax player here and I started with tenor myself. Why? Part of it is my familiarity with the range (sing tenor and play tenor trombone) and just the sound of tenor sax that I have always loved. I picked up a old Yamaha YTS-21 and have been working at it for almost a year. I'd also say play what your ear is drawn to and enjoy it. Welcome from one of the newer SOTW players.
 

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Go to a good music store and try a few instruments and see which one speaks to you, maybe you end up with a bari or soprano and ditto, welcome back to playing sax!
 

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What's a recommendation for the particular sax to get to start back? I was primarily an alto player, but doubled on tenor, soprano, clarinet and flute when I was playing.

I'm thinking tenor may be a good way to go. Perhaps easier on the embouchure to start, while also positioning me to perhaps play in a local college band, etc.
What do you mean by "college band"? A big band? A concert band? Someone's garage band? Are official college ensembles in your area open to nonstudents?

Aside from that, (1) IMO the best way to restart is to restart on whatever horn you were best on. After a 20-year break, it's too early to worry about how your embouchure will feel, or about "positioning" yourself for gigs. (2) Do you still have a saxophone at home? If so, fix it up and play it. If not, see (1).
 

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Welcome to SOTW. The only question I would pose to you is, what is your voice? I started out many moons ago playing alto and gradually moved on to tenor as was listening to and being inspired by so many tenor players. However, there was always something missing for me and after a while I realized my true voice on the saxophone was on alto, so I went back to it as my main horn. I still play a little tenor as well as soprano. If your goal is to play in a community band there may be more positions available on tenor than alto. Or, as Dr. G. said, baritone players are always needed but that might be a tall order to get started on for a comeback.

As far as brands go I would suggest a used Yamaha. Depending how much money you have budgeted you could even get a used 62 at a good price or the student/intermediate horns are good as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the advice and comments. I purchased a tenor late yesterday. I was able to get around the entire range of the horn with no problem. Will take a while to get my sound the way I want it. Also, finding a comfortable strap is proving challenging.

BTW: Reeds are super expensive today, eh? Ouch!
 

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I was in the same boat as you. Stopped playing alto 20 years ago. Bought a tenor a couple of years ago trying to get back into it. I did end up now playing in the community college jazz band playing tenor.

Tenor is a different beast to get into after time. I got a Mark VI alto. Plays beautifully. No issues. I recently played it again and it's WAY different for me compred to tenor. However, playing tenor now is just as good. There's gonna be an adjustment period. Breathing again, articulation, weight of the horn. It will take some time getting used to just playing again.

This is what I learned. Practice as much as you can. Even if it's for 5-10 minutes. Blow through the horn again and remember what it's like. Things will come back to you. Once you get comfortable, I started playing jazz tunes to backing tracks from Youtube. It'll get your feel down on reading music again. Make yourself goals. Set standards for yourself. Most of all don't give up again. It will be frustrating. You'll get mad cause you're not playing like you used to. Get past it and keep pushing forward.

My biggest issue now is solos. I can play the charts, I got the tone now, just soloing. This is my next focus. I'm mad at myself cause I lost the "feel" solos. Not that I was ever Coltrane or anything, they just weren't terrible. So that's my next goal.

There's help here, just ask for it. There's now videos you can watch. I just bought a book on how to solo better. There's a lot of resources that you can use to help. If need be, go get a couple of lessons, I am in a couple of weeks. Make it fun too. Once you lose that aspect, you'll drop it and that's all.

Good luck!
 

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IMHO the best strap is Just Joe's
Google him. He is in Oregon.
+1000. They are expensive compared to some (especially if you are shocked by reed prices), but buy one Just Joe's and you will be set for the rest of your life, even if you live to 150.

P.S. - they are not THAT expensive, you can certainly pay a lot more for a strap.
 
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