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Hi! I am very new to saxophone, but really love the instrument. I have borrowed an alto for a couple of months, but do not have the economy to buy my own at the moment. I have the opportunity to rent one at a very good price, only problem is that it is a tenor - and I am 152 cm (5') tall. Will I be able to play it still?
It is far away, so I cannot test it beforehand.

Thank you for your help! :D
 

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I don't think that your length is , in itself, the problem.

Having said that some longer people seem to find some tenors difficult to play because of the reach of their hands (but this video shows that it isn't " really " a problem for a normal child to play tenor). By the " economy" I suppose you mean the money :bluewink:, " the economy" has us, always, we don't " have" it! :whistle:

 

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There are some famous tenor players who aren't tall at all, like Jimmy Heath (1.60 m) and Johnny Griffin (1.68 m, nicknamed the little giant). So from that point of view 1.52 m could be possible too, I guess.

But you also have to consider the weight of the horn (average weight of a tenor is about 3 kg). I'm not sure how old you are, but the men I mentioned above were adults and strong enough to hold a tenor.

You also have to consider hand-size. If you have very small hands and/or short fingers the horn good be too big for you.

Best would be to try one of someone you know, or just go to a music shop and try how it feels to hold a tenor.
 

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I think that a lot of people complain about hand size but I think that that isn't really the problem for most people.( difference between most saxophone is very much smaller than a lot of people would have you believe otherwise people who play soprano wouldn't be able to play tenor at the same time). The weight can be easily addressed by a saxholder carrying it on your shoulders rather than your neck.


 

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Not a problem. Tenor is incuded in first year music programs in schools during the sixth grade, or 12 years of age. Average height at that age is 4'11". 10% or tenth percentile low side is 4' 4". It would have been smaller in the 70's when I was in school. Some school include baritone at that age as well. Our schools' did not factor size into selection.
 

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Not a problem. Tenor is incuded in first year music programs in schools during the sixth grade, or 12 years of age. Average height at that age is 4'11". 10% or tenth percentile low side is 4' 4". It would have been smaller in the 70's when I was in school. Some school include baritone at that age as well. Our schools' did not factor size into selection.
I wanted to correct spelling and grammar errors, but we can't edit in this forum. So, I will reply with an apology. Why no editing privileges in this forum btw?
 

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Well, here's a true story! When I was in elementary school, 4th grade was the first year you could play a band instrument. You could rent from the school for $1 a month, or from a music store for $7 a month. (Yes, this was a long time ago.) I wanted to play trombone, but they ran out of school trombones. I didn't want to subject my parents to the astronomical $7 rental from a store, so I said never mind the whole music thing.

About a month later, the band director came around to my classroom to tell us some more school instruments had come in. There was an oboe, some other stuff, and something called a tenor saxophone. Now I knew what a saxophone was, but no idea what this tenor saxophone thing was supposed to be. Anyway, he looks around the classroom and says, "Yeah, I guess you're all big enough to play a tenor saxophone."

I got ahold of the band director and said I was interested in this whatever-saxophone thing. I wasn't at all a big kid back then. (Grew a lot later on!) But I took to this tenor sax thing, and never really gave it up.

If a puny, skinny little 4th grader can play a tenor sax, you can too. So if you have the opportunity, don't let it slip away.

Also, there are videos floating around on Facebook of some 8 year old kid prodigy playing a tenor sax. It's almost as big as he is, but he can play it! He plays Coltrane solos by rote. It's amazing to look at. He's just a little kid!

Good luck. You can do it!
 

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From photos of Down Beat high school jazz bands and some other sources I've gotten the impression that bari sax is almost becoming a "girl's chair" in school bands. I don't know why and the speculation would probably go in an undesirable direction, but I think it's a good trend - being able to play these big instruments is not purely size and strength related (not that any fourth grader male or female has any size or strength).
 

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… but I think it's a good trend...
I'm going back over 40 years ago when I was a sophomore in high school. The bari player, a senior, was also the section leader; and she was the smallest of us all. A very good high school player who kept up with it. Even before that, in junior high, the bari player in our sax quartet was also a girl. Blue ribbon baby!
 

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I'm a little taller at 5'7". As for the hand thing, I have child size hands and tenor is my main sax.

I have also played bari and whilst it got heavy after a while it was doable.

I find hand/stretch exercises help and a good neck strap...
 

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I was the second shortest in 5th grade when I started on the Conn 10m tenor. Out of 90 students.
Do not remember the actual height, but for sure shorter than all of the girls.

183cm now, biggish hands, still play the same Conn 10m tenor.
 

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You are mistaken, this forum is editable, only old posts ( several weeks old) or for sale ads are not editable

try, I just did add this bit (and more...above too)
Look at the time stamps. I have no editing option. BUT, it could be this Surface Pro, with Windows 10 and Edge - the three worst products I've ever purchased ever. And I took the first one back, and waited a year, thinking they'd correct the errors, which are vast and many.
 

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Hi! I am very new to saxophone, but really love the instrument. I have borrowed an alto for a couple of months, but do not have the economy to buy my own at the moment. I have the opportunity to rent one at a very good price, only problem is that it is a tenor - and I am 152 cm (5') tall. Will I be able to play it still?
It is far away, so I cannot test it beforehand.

Thank you for your help! :D
It may present a slight extra struggle, but it's almost a trope in the saxophone community that the baritone sax player is often a very petite person. Unless you have abnormally short fingers, or some other mobility issue, you will merely need to adapt a bit. Look on the internet for pictures of tenor sax players. I believe you will see that a whole lot of us are fairly tiny people. It shouldn't matter.
 
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