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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 started on tenor, because I like the voice of a tenor. Tenor is still my main horn and I still take classes on tenor (have another 5 years to go).
About 1.5 years ago I got myself a used bari, I love the deep sound it makes. I mainly play it during the (sumer) holiday period or when my tenor is away for a service.
Might add a soprano in the future, but alto is unlikely since I don't like the sound of an alto.
I would love to get a bass sax, but that would have to be a bargain, or I would have to win the lottery :cool:
 

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Sop: Yam 82ZR, Yani SC-WO20, Tenor: Yam YTS-62iii, Ishimori WoodStone "New Vintage", GS Reso FG 7*
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218 Posts
I play Soprano and Tenor for fun. I love Soprano as played by Branford Marsalis and also Sidney Bechet. I love Tenor Ballads as played by Scott Hamilton, Houston Person, and Stanley Turrentine.


 

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I tend to rotate in my practice routine a week on alto then tenor and soprano i get on top of the reed issue by doing this . These days im drawn more to alto playing and listening to Hank Crawford John Handy and many more .
 

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All 4 common sizes: tenor 1st choice, then bari, then alto and finally soprano.
 

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Alto: Buescher Aristocrat 1937, Tenor: Yanagisawa T880, Bari: Martin Committee III 1948
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180 Posts
Have alto, tenor, bari. Play bari the most, but the alto gets used when im working out section stuff, just a tad more nimble. Tenor looks pretty in its stand. Theres a selmer soprano in the family i could appropriate, but that aint going to happen. The alto is too high as it is
 

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Soprano, Alto, and Tenor. Alto is the main horn for me but it’s not the best choice for every song. They are all fun to play though, so why not!
 

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Tenor was my first, but I've been trying to spread the love to my alto and especially bari. My soprano and C-melody are mostly sitting.
 

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Depends on the band. I was with one group for years where I'd bring alto, tenor and bari to every gig. Another group, just tenor. Then there's a combo where I played alto, tenor and soprano. Another group, just alto and tenor. Although I consider myself primarily a tenor man, over the last two years the vast bulk of my gigs have been on soprano. You take what you get.
 

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I am just a longtime hack player, I only own a tenor and (this seems like an unusual thing among this group) I have never played any other type of sax, although I am bari-curious.
 

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Mostly Tenor these days because I can. I do about 20 +/- dates a year where I have to haul an alto and bari out as well - I wouldn't bother but I really like the guys in the band.
 

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last bands i was n allready had a tenor player so this forced me to be come an alto specialist and i am glad i did. turns out it s my best sax voice
 

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Yanagisawa B901 Bari (Otto Link STM 7*), Yamaha Advantage Tenor, Martin Comm. III Alto
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4 Posts
I main on bari for big band and pop/funk music, tenor for combo and as a secondary for when I'm not playing bari, and alto for when I am bored or left my other two saxes at school overnight. Never tried soprano, but it's on my list to try someday (even though I would probably really struggle with it)
 

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Tenor - because of the pleasant pitch and Bill Evans :)
Soprano - good addition to the tenor and because of the easy handling
 

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Probably like most players (at the very least in my generation) I started on alto. It was a sax that had been my dad's from the 1950s. (I wish I had any idea what kind it was, but it burned up in a fire years ago.) In middle school, a kid a year older than me played tenor and was so amazing that I switched to tenor.

Years later, after grad school, living in an apartment in NY, I bought a Yamaha WX5 to scratch my playing itch. It didn't entirely do it for me, though, so I got a soprano (in hopes of playing a little quieter). I ended up buying a tenor after that. Just before the pandemic I started playing tenor with a community jazz band and, when the pandemic shut that down, started playing a lot of soprano. So now those are my two horns.
 

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Mostly Tenor these days because I can. I do about 20 +/- dates a year where I have to haul an alto and bari out as well - I wouldn't bother but I really like the guys in the band.
When you're the only horn player, it can be nice to use a different voice throughout a show. Though they're all saxophones, I tend to see them as completely different animals. You know... play a tenor like a tenor, and alto like an alto... and yeah... you gotta change the mind frame completely for bari.
 

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When you're the only horn player, it can be nice to use a different voice throughout a show. Though they're all saxophones, I tend to see them as completely different animals. You know... play a tenor like a tenor, and alto like an alto... and yeah... you gotta change the mind frame completely for bari.
I have to agree. Nothing beats that low "A" on some stuff...
I quit telling blues bands I play Bari though - they all want me to play it and I'm sure you know what your average blues gig pays...at least here in the states you get some BBQ and tips as well as the door, but on a bad night that can be slim pickins'

One of the joys of playing the blues is the, walk-on / walk-off opportunity to play music that people actually listen to. Multiple saxes just take the joy out of those...
(I think my age is showing - I want to be packed and on the road ten minutes after the music stops)
 

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I quit telling blues bands I play Bari though - they all want me to play it and I'm sure you know what your average blues gig pays...
There's a reason I play a curved soprano with my brass band. Over time, it sort of became a signature of the group, but initially I was on tenor and would actually prefer that voice given the genre. But that little soprano is so easy to use with the sort of chaotic gigs we get. Like jumping from boat to dock to boat in the harbor. Or second-lining from point A to point B. Plus with a neck strap, it comes with me to the bar, the buffet line or even the can while on a gig. But there's a guy in the group that always asks me if I play bari (he's a Morphine fan... and forgive me if you read this story on another thread). So we're playing on my deck for a get together and go inside the house and I get my bari and do a set on that horn with him and the group. Now it's a month or so later and Morphine comes up again, and he asks if I play bari too. Lot of drinkers, in that band...
 

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Play and own 'nino down to bari.
Almost bought a soprillo.
Will never be tempted by Bass. DV Bass on bari is where I stopped in my reach for lower notes.
Why? Because I like to have options as circumstance arises + I love each (SSATB) for their tone & character and like Dexdex above, 'life is too short' for me not to taste them all!
Currently, I spend more time on bari because its the latest I have.
 
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