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Discussion Starter #1
I've only had one sax before, and it wasn't specifically made for big hands. Some of the keys where hard to reach (those you touch by the side of the finger), due to the large hands I have.

I have thought it would be better to start out with a tenor for now, but is there a way when buying a sax online, that you can see or know the keys are set for larger hands?
 

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I would also suggest a Conn 10M, but the OP doesn't want a used saxophone from what I gather from previous posts. Not sure if any of the new ones made today fit large hands, as they all seem to have that ergonomics thing going or are made in countries not known for folks with large hands. That's one reason why I can't stand many of the new horns out there. They all seem to want to put my rather large fingers in places they don't necessarily wish to go.
 

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Keywork can be customised with cork risers to fit big hands. Don't rule out a good horn just because you have difficulty reaching the side keys.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So as far as I can gather, there really aren't any industrial terms to specify handsizes for saxes?
I would think this is very important since a lot of the sax users are kids, who may want saxes that'd fit their small hands!
I had thought that there must have been some form of number that you can see what kind of hands the sax fits to... Unless all saxes are created equal, and the keywork is largely the same in distance on each sax...

The reason I say is because, eventhough the valves all have a fixed positions, the knobs and distances of them are set by manufacturers specifications.

(and since nearly half the saxes are made by the tiny asians, (with tiny hands), I suspect I won't be able to choose much else than a tenor sax (which is said to have keys made for larger hands than the alto or soprano).
 

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Lots of thoughts in that post, man.

1. There is no industrial term for handsize on saxophone.

2. The biggest problem kids have with their small hands is avoiding accidentally hitting the palm keys as they reach over them to get to the stack keys. They learn to arch their little hands more, and it works out. My 4 year old can reach the keys on an alto. So can I (I'm 6'3'', and large).

3. Saxes are generally created equal. Minor variances from brand to brand -- we all talk about the fact that VIIs are made for large hands, but the actual variances are quite small.

4. Don't assume that asians have smaller hands, or that asian-made horns will be set smaller or anything like that. You're speculating .... wildly and wrongly.

5. You can play alto or tenor or bari or soprano. I do. Tenor and bari may be more comfortable (they are more comfortable for me). But you can play anything with some practice.
 

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I haven't noticed Asian horns (Japanese horns anyway) having smaller keywork than European horns. As a matter of fact, the keywork on my Yanagisawa alto feels roomier than the keywork on my Mark VI altos. And I've played Yamahas and their keywork feels similar to Selmers. I don't have much experience with the Taiwanese horns.
 

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My Keilwerth SX90II sop has adjustable palm keys which really helps me with the ergos on the left hand. The other thing I have found is that changing the thumb rest (I get rid of it completely and put a piece of leather to allow my right hand to support the horn in a more ergo friendly position) has helped me immensely with accuracy at speed.

I have very large palms with short (for palm size) fingers. To give perspective I can play a 5 note root position ninth chord on piano ok.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
not that asian horns are smaller than european, but just like in the car industry. When you go to Europe, you'll see that many of the asian cars are quite comfortable for the average person below 5'8", as a 6'2" man I had to always set the seat all the way back, and even then I had issues with my head bumping against the roof, the gas pedal being too steep, knees hitting the dashboard, difficulty getting out of the car because of the steering column etc..!
On German cars I would not have these issues, they would be very roomy and comfy for me.

I just presumed that when chinese do their R&D, and see that the saxes are built for their type of hands (chinese, taiwanese, and Japanese people are generally below 5'6", with hands fitting for these body sizes), they did not do the R&D to include larger size hands for the european/american sized person.
But since you say there are no distinct differences, I guess it's one point less to worry about.

With my large hands, and an alto sax I had about 4 years ago, I had a hard time touching some of the palm keys, because my hands needed to curve a lot in order to keep my fingers on the buttons at all times.
 

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not that asian horns are smaller than european, but just like in the car industry. When you go to Europe, you'll see that many of the asian cars are quite comfortable for the average person below 5'8", as a 6'2" man I had to always set the seat all the way back, and even then I had issues with my head bumping against the roof, the gas pedal being too steep, knees hitting the dashboard, difficulty getting out of the car because of the steering column etc..!
On German cars I would not have these issues, they would be very roomy and comfy for me.

I just presumed that when chinese do their R&D, and see that the saxes are built for their type of hands (chinese, taiwanese, and Japanese people are generally below 5'6", with hands fitting for these body sizes), they did not do the R&D to include larger size hands for the european/american sized person.
But since you say there are no distinct differences, I guess it's one point less to worry about.

With my large hands, and an alto sax I had about 4 years ago, I had a hard time touching some of the palm keys, because my hands needed to curve a lot in order to keep my fingers on the buttons at all times.
That's probably because the average north European men are the tallest people in the world with an average of about 1,80( about 6 ft)
 

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not that asian horns are smaller than european, but just like in the car industry. When you go to Europe, you'll see that many of the asian cars are quite comfortable for the average person below 5'8", as a 6'2" man I had to always set the seat all the way back, and even then I had issues with my head bumping against the roof, the gas pedal being too steep, knees hitting the dashboard, difficulty getting out of the car because of the steering column etc..!
On German cars I would not have these issues, they would be very roomy and comfy for me.

I just presumed that when chinese do their R&D, and see that the saxes are built for their type of hands (chinese, taiwanese, and Japanese people are generally below 5'6", with hands fitting for these body sizes), they did not do the R&D to include larger size hands for the european/american sized person.
....here we go, again.....drawing parallels between two distinctly different things.....

...plenty o' big folks play Alto...plenty o' lilliputians play Tenor....

....btw...so we are Tenor shopping, now ?????????.....
 

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Discussion Starter #12
....here we go, again.....drawing parallels between two distinctly different things.....

...plenty o' big folks play Alto...plenty o' lilliputians play Tenor....

....btw...so we are Tenor shopping, now ?????????.....
always where. You have a problem with that?
Or just seeking to butt in to ruin another thread with unrelated comments?
 

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unrelated comments?
I think JayeSF was referring to your comparison of saxes to autos. That analogy gets made a lot, but there is nothing analogous in any way between them.

Bottom line, to answer your question in the OP, is no, saxes are not set for different size hands. Putting risers on palm keys is a very good (and easy) solution for those who find the palm keys too low due to large hands or whatever reason.
 

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Horns aren't made for hand size. I've had students with all sorts of sized hands. You learn to play the instrument.

I mean, really..think about it. Do piano players have different sized keyboards?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Horns aren't made for hand size. I've had students with all sorts of sized hands. You learn to play the instrument.

I mean, really..think about it. Do piano players have different sized keyboards?
Definitely.
There are 2 main piano sizes. The standard and the mini sized.


But that's why I asked, because I just don't know. It seemed credible that some manufacturers would put keys wider apart than others (which they don't).
 

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For me, the Keilwerth SX90R (shadow) tenor requires more reach than others I've tried, including Yamahas, Selmers, and old Conns. You might test drive a Keilwerth if you can.
 

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The Barone Tenors have a small bit of reach for the left hand pinky keys.

I do have small hands but this issue is not usually evident in most modern horns I have tried.
 

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For me, the Keilwerth SX90R (shadow) tenor requires more reach than others I've tried, including Yamahas, Selmers, and old Conns. You might test drive a Keilwerth if you can.
The SX-90 tenor, especially the right hand require the biggest stretch of any horn I have tried.
 

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I played a Keilworth tenor a while back and the keywork did seem to be slightly more spread than on Selmers. But not enough to make much difference for my hands. The only horn I know of that seemed to be specifically designed for large hands is the Mark VII. Supposedly it was designed to the specifications of classical saxophonist Frederick Hemke, who reportedly has hands like an NBA forward.
 
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