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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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Hello All Woodwind Greats!

Question today is: what type of sax do you have and play predominantly? Is it an alto, tenor, bari, soprano? Or do you have multiple?

Would you expand on your choice? Let us know the reason for your choice. There is no right or wrong answer. It is your personal preference.
To answer this is a bit of a journey. I started on clarinet in 5th grade. In high school they started a stage band and did not need clarinets. My brother had a tenor sax in his closet he had quit playing so I started on tenor sax to get into stage band. Past that, I was sold a soprano sax at a discount by a community band director who needed a soprano for a solo part in a piece of music we were performing. I inherited an alto sax from a friend. I borrowed a school bari to play in a jazz band that had an opening for a bari/clarinet & flute player (yes I picked up a flute at a garage sale and learned to play). At this point I fell in love with the sax. I purchased a sopranino at a music conference, just for fun. I have since purchased a bass sax, and recently a contrabass. I perform in several groups including my own sax ensemble. What I play based on frequency from most to least are tenor, alto, bari, soprano, contrabass, bass & sopranino. My favorite from top to bottom is bari, contra, tenor, alto, soprano, bass, and sopranino. I also have a C melody which is the only one I have not performed in public.
 

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I play Tenor (Phil Barone Vintage) and Soprano (Rampone Solid Copper Curved). Tenor is the main instrument but my little curvy soprano is getting more and more love these days. Also learning bass clarinet...I guess I have a thing for B flat instruments. At least I can play all of my music on any of the three instruments.
Get this, ladies and gentleman!

I made $700 in Spokane, WA on a street corner, in Spokalieu: playing a flute made of a copper boiler pipe with ten digit holes, a bottle of bay rum and no tattoo..had a dream of getting high on the forth of July, bought a boat, to milk a a goat, so gotta shoat to make it float, then put the goat and the shoat in the boat to float.

What's a shoat?

I donno? A hog?

Copper pipe: "Fantasy Flute" c. 1982 Duel
Bluto wins:
Pop Eye, an old sailor at a bar: both long since worrying about things, reminisce. The miracle of the barge in Lake Lafarge: How love lost out, until..
Please remember to vote: "Owl Party" class of 1976 third place! "Show"
Elmer Fudd, and Elmer Fudd, Junior
A confessional: a punk rock bollywood musical. casting call:to be announced. For children...they all grow up; eventually?
Silly wabbit: the president.
The carrot: the vice president; one of those carrot ganga pipes...a big one!!!
Elmer Fudd: I'm Elmer Fudd and finally, things is sly..the mystery! the suspense! the women! slightly the sly; its a 'Nam thing. okay.
The hog:
Elmer Fudd sold the shot gun: hungry, no money, no shot gun shell, for a carrot..never tried acid before-sandoz 101..she's hot, kindly & proud. not too proud, says the silly wabbit...
 

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Get this, ladies and gentleman!

I made $700 in Spokane, WA on a street corner, in Spokalieu: playing a flute made of a copper boiler pipe with ten digit holes, a bottle of bay rum and no tattoo..had a dream of getting high on the forth of July, bought a boat, to milk a a goat, so gotta shoat to make it float, then put the goat and the shoat in the boat to float.

What's a shoat?

I donno? A hog?

Copper pipe: "Fantasy Flute" c. 1982 Duel
Bluto wins:
Pop Eye, an old sailor at a bar: both long since worrying about things, reminisce. The miracle of the barge in Lake Lafarge: How love lost out, until..
Please remember to vote: "Owl Party" class of 1976 third place! "Show"
Elmer Fudd, and Elmer Fudd, Junior
A confessional: a punk rock bollywood musical. casting call:to be announced. For children...they all grow up; eventually?
Silly wabbit: the president.
The carrot: the vice president; one of those carrot ganga pipes...a big one!!!
Elmer Fudd: I'm Elmer Fudd and finally, things is sly..the mystery! the suspense! the women! slightly the sly; its a 'Nam thing. okay.
The hog:
Elmer Fudd sold the shot gun: hungry, no money, no shot gun shell, for a carrot..never tried acid before-sandoz 101..she's hot, kindly & proud. not too proud, says the silly wabbit...
You still drinking bay rum? Your post would indicate that it is so.
 

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Selmer Paris Tenor 80 series II, Selmer Paris Series III Soprano, Custom Yamaha YAS- 875
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Hello All Woodwind Greats!

Question today is: what type of sax do you have and play predominantly? Is it an alto, tenor, bari, soprano? Or do you have multiple?

Would you expand on your choice? Let us know the reason for your choice. There is no right or wrong answer. It is your personal preference.
 

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Selmer Paris Tenor 80 series II, Selmer Paris Series III Soprano, Custom Yamaha YAS- 875
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I predominantly play a Tenor (Selmer Paris 80 super action series II) I have recently inherited a YAS-875 custom alto with an M1 neck and an odd serial number 002771 that I am exploring. Can’t seem to find out the approx age of it. Yamaha doesn’t answer emails I suppose. Would I expand my choice? Yes! You can never have too many saxes.
 

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Tenor from the start (I also have an alto, but hardly play it).

Main inspiration was Arnett Cobb (but also early Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Illinois Jacquet and Ike Quebec).
 

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I play mainly Tenor and soprano as a second horn. I believe the reason is that I simply have more to do with those instruments than with alto for example. Just personal choice I think. I always had a soft spot for Bari though. I don’t know if it is because of the prices the only reason I’ve never owned one. On Alto I had an old yamaha 62 purple logo for several years but I think ended up selling it just because I didn’t even look at it. I payed more attention to the clarinet.
 

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Primary tenor is a King Silversonic Series IV (400xxx) with a Theo Wanne Data 9. Second is my King Series 1A Super 20 (300xxx) with a Theo Wanne Kali 8 for a shade darker ( though funny to use the word dark when referring to a King especially compared to an early MVI (82xxx))
 

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I bought my first alto from the trunk of a junked car in a junkyard in Saginaw Oregon in "72, it cost 15 bucks. After practicing every day for three hours for a year, I got my first lesson. My teacher told me the horn was completely unplayable. So I bought a King Zephyr alto, which still lives under my bed. When I first played tenor I felt like the luckiest person in the world, I could not believe how fulfilling it was, like flying a Mack truck over the grand canyon...I still feel that way about tenor, splitting my time between a VI and a great 10m.....at this point, if alto and soprano were the only horns in the world, I'm not sure I'd even play. Thank god for tenor saxophones!
 

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SDA, SBA. 62ii tenors, Yana, B&S sopranos
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Started with an Alto - self taught as a young adult when someone gave me a Bundy. I did take lessons. As much as I would like to credit Ken the man :), I played soprano because of Jan Garbarek.. I was living overseas, Europe and then India and I wanted something I could carry easily so I got myself a EM Winston soprano and travelled with that. It was actually not a bad horn and was tough. Then a found a New Wonder Tenor and that has become my voice. Sold that to get an SDA in the early 2000s.

Upgraded my soprano to a B&S Blue label and the owner also had B&S alto (I paid 75$ extra) which I never really played but got a Barone HR for it along with the one I have for my soprano. Never really cared for acquiring new gear GAS less and basically was living under a rock, unaware on the developments of new saxes, brands and the increasing number of mouthpiece makers and saxophone makers (TJ Raw, TM, Barone etc ). I was also raising a family and stopped gigging regularly. Did the odd project here and there.

I wanted to upgrade to saxes with modern ergos this year so re-joined here for more info (no access to old email) Got me a used Yamaha YTS-62-II and a Yanagisawa S800 although one can argue that the 800 is outdated.
 

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Selmer Paris Tenor 80 series II, Selmer Paris Series III Soprano, Custom Yamaha YAS- 875
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I bought my first alto from the trunk of a junked car in a junkyard in Saginaw Oregon in "72, it cost 15 bucks. After practicing every day for three hours for a year, I got my first lesson. My teacher told me the horn was completely unplayable. So I bought a King Zephyr alto, which still lives under my bed. When I first played tenor I felt like the luckiest person in the world, I could not believe how fulfilling it was, like flying a Mack truck over the grand canyon...I still feel that way about tenor, splitting my time between a VI and a great 10m.....at this point, if alto and soprano were the only horns in the world, I'm not sure I'd even play. Thank god for tenor saxophones!
I totally get the feeling you have when playing a tenor its a rush every time. I have acquired an alto quite recently and it is an older model so it has a lovely dark sound but my tenor will always have my heart.
 

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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 · #93 · (Edited)
Well looking at the score board:
It looks like we have most predominantly Tenor.
Then comes the Alto.
Interestingly, we are mostly doublers, of three or more, which shows clearly that the sax voice has a masculine and feminine side to it.
The greatest thing is, it shows people are coming back and embracing the skill and voice of the saxophone with vigure. Showing that this great instrament is on the increase. Why shouldn't it be. It's the most versatile of all horns out there by far.

Saxophonists rule the waves!
Keep teaching the younger generations. They enjoy it just as much as we do.
😊
 
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