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What type of sax do you play? Why your choice?

  • Soprano,

  • Alto

  • Tenor

  • Bari

  • Two of above

  • Three and more

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I've always wondered why there were so many more alto players than tenor in school, yet far more working pros on tenor than alto. Is it because most students learn on alto then quit playing after the get out of school?

So which one wins this poll will depend on whether a lot of students vote compared to adult players. Bari and soprano are of course going to be in the minority. But I wouldn't be surprised to see more soprano than bari given the volume of posts about sopranos and their lower price.

I have to ask why are there options for "two" and "three or more" when multiple votes are allowed. Players of two, three or more can just pick the two, three or more that they play.
 

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Well, I play whatever gets the gig! Meaning I chose "3 or more," but that may not be what you are asking.

My voice is bari and (unfortunately) there aren't as many gigs for bari as there are for alto and tenor. Even less for C melody!
 

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I play and own all but prefer baritone, although lately I'm feeling kind of stuck in my bari role.
 

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Selmer MK VI, Selmer SA80 II Silver-plate Alto, Selmer SA80 II Silver-Plated Tenor, Yani Soprano SC
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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I have to ask why are there options for "two" and "three or more" when multiple votes are allowed. Players of two, three or more can just pick the two, three or more that they play.
Yes, you do have a point. Should we ask a moderator to make some changes?
 

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I consider myself primarily a baritone player with a minor in alto; but I own and regularly play all the sizes from C soprano through bass, except for C melody. Also alto flute, C flute, and piccolo. No clarinet, though.

I've always admired those who concentrate on one voice, and turn down work that isn't for that voice. "I play tenor. You want soprano, clarinet, flute? Sorry." But then someone calls me for a flute/alto/piccolo/tenor gig and I cave in and take it.
 

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Keilwerth saxes (S/A/T), Selmer clarinets (S/B), Altus Azumi flute
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I'm most proficient on tenor, followed closely by soprano. I also play alto (mainly because I started on it), flute, and Bb soprano and bass clarinets.

I actually spend more time on flute and clarinets than I do on alto, but playing soprano and tenor regularly seems to keep my alto chops in decent shape, so I remain proficient on it.

I've never really been drawn to bari (I prefer the sound of bass clarinet in that tessitura), and I have absolutely no interest in playing anything pitched higher than a soprano.
 

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I’ve played alto, Bari and soprano as my main horn at different stages. Currently mainly play alto. As soon as I can get a tenor, I will.
 

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YAS-62 Series 1 | Holton 241 Tenor (1952)
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Alto and tenor pretty much equally. Also cornet/flugel/trumpet, though more sax lately
 

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Started on flute, switched to alto sax, added soprano sax a year later. Always wanted to play tenor but liked the portability of a smaller horn, so cultivated a tenorish vibe on alto. Between soprano & alto, I've never decided which is my main horn -- tending to prefer the sax I'm playing in the moment. For 1920s jazz & klezmer I usually choose soprano; for '30s jazz or '50s rhythm&blues it's gotta be alto. On original tunes, whichever sax expresses the appropriate texture & mood -- or occasionally piano, synth, electric guitar, blues harp, pennywhistle, Marxophone, MIDI, or pots & pans.
 

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I was originally a flutist, then I got a clarinet and alto sax. Then I just played flute, then I stopped playing for a long time. I got into alto again after dragging my sax out of the closet right at the beginning of the pandemic.

Sometimes I wonder myself why I play alto. My biggest jazz hero and the reason is got into jazz is John Coltrane. Probably more of my favorite players are tenor players, like Lester Young or Chris Potter. That said, I feel comfortable with alto.

I do think alto tone is of anything a more touchy subject than tenor tone. I'd love to see a poll for alto like we had for tenor on who had the best tone. A bright tone on tenor isn't controversial but pull out a Sanborn tone and it's another story. I think maybe this is part of why alto is a bit divisive.

Soprano sounds like a seagull no matter what so it doesn't have the issue anyways :^) I actually was originally thinking of getting a soprano before I settled on alto so long ago.
 

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I play Alto, Tenor and Soprano. My primary being Alto. I teach quite a few private lessons that run the gamut between classical and jazz, and since the majority of students are in High School I tend to be reaching for my Alto the most.

I also play in two sax quartets where I am primarily playing Alto and Soprano, which tends to monopolize my practice time.
 

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My main instrument is tenor, than alto, both are King Super 20's. I always take both with me to a gig. I'm looking to get another soprano, and another flute. I don't bother with bari. 😆
 

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Bari, quite a lot, because I’m occasionally not too bad at it
Tenor, not enough, because I love it and it inspires me
Alto, a bit, an old, dear friend
Soprano, a work In progress, challenging and rewarding
 

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i play all 4 but only play alto and sop since i am no longer playing out in bands. tenor is my least fav now. never touch it anymore
 

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Alto, because I like it.
 
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Alto - I started because I wanted to play in jazz band in high school.
Soprano - I always wanted one being a clarinet player.
Tenor - I came across a good deal on Yanagisawa T-990.
Bari - I figured I would round out the collection.

I play all of them because I enjoy them.
 

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I primarily play alto, although I also have a tenor, soprano and flute. The flute gets a lot of play these days because I'm just learning it and it's really easy to bring anywhere. I started on alto back in 1969 after hearing Johnny Hodges play. Before that I was playing clarinet, something I've long forgotten.
 
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