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Discussion Starter #1
As a newb, I've just recently went through the process of deciding which sax to start on.

So I'm curious, how did you decide which sax to start on?

Did you switch at one point?

And for those of you who play more than one kind of sax, what is it about the sax you play primarily that makes you play it- well - primarily? (lol!)

Are some of you on the fence about it all?


I guess I'll start.... I decided to play the alto after comparing several tracks between tenor and alto and ultimately, although I enjoy blues and rock and was told the tenor is better for those genres, I decided to play the alto because its range is the closest to my vocal range and I felt like that might cause me to connect to it more (i think i was right, i love to play melodies that i also love to sing and although i'm not very good my sax is slowly becoming an extension of my voice)

Oh and I apologise in advance if a thread like this exists.. i couldnt find any :mrgreen:
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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I started on alto, partly because I heard Ornette Colman and partly because there was a cheap alto in the music shop I saw the next day.

I started playing tenor and flute as well when I decided to become professional and needed to get more work.
 

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badkitty good thinking on sax choice!!! if you can hear it,you can play it... i chose alto first because i thought it was sonically closer to trumpet than tenor and that i would be able to hear it..... it DIDNT work out for me...because i DONT hear in Bb....

MY first tenor i bought was a silversonic...just because I love sterling silver,as well as the idea of it.... that didnt work out either as i deduced that you have to be more focused and preficient on the instrument to get it to respond.... I found Selmer style saxes much easier to play
 

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My first saxophone was a tenor (I started on recorder and then went to clarinet). In fact my first four saxophones were tenors. It's my preferred voice even though I now own and play soprano, alto and C-melody as well.

The tenor's comfortable range is basically my singing range. If I'm trying to work out a tune I reach instictively for the tenor. I get hired principally as a tenor player, followed by clarinet and then soprano. No one has ever hired me as an alto player, I just bring it to gigs and play a few songs on it - no one has stopped me yet. I've yet to play a gig as a C-melody player.
 

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I started on alto (gorgeous Conn 6m) but shortly moved to tenor (nice Conn 10m). Traded them for a Selmer Mkvi Soprano. Stopped playing for several years, sold the Mkvi. Started playing again on a Yani 900 Soprano. Moved back to tenor Selmer series iii. Sold both and went back to alto Yani a992 and Selmer SBA. Moved to baritone starting on a Yani b900 then getting my current love a MKvi Bb bari. I just seem to think better in Eb and the bari is a better fit for my vocal range. I also like to be the only bari at a jam session vs. being yet another tenor.
 

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I started like a lot of middle school kids-on Alto. Mine was a 70's Bundy. I don't have it anymore, but everytime I get one in the shop, they always play well. A thin bright, but lively sound. I moved to Bari in highschool for a bit. And someday I hope to get one. I guess I think better in Eb too. I currently have three altos plus one more on the way...
 

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the idea of a sax,and how it really plays are 2 different things!!!

why else do we buy 60 year old mark 6s from 5000 miles away that weve never played before???

i used to play test the yamaha trumpets at the conventions.....not understanding the numbering system,i simply played all the horns on the table...... my favorite,CONSISTANTLY was the cheapest student model

I'm curently liquidating my entire tenor collection for the most inexpensive horn ive ever bought!!!!
 

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Started on Alto - Elementary Band - the neighbor played saxophone when I was a kid and it looked like fun. Switched to tenor in 8th grade - I was getting tall and it fit better. Bought a used Mark VI for $600 back in the newspaper classified days. I play all the saxophones but gig primarily on tenor and teach on alto.
 

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I started on piano, went to clariphone, jumped to altophone, then bariphone, then tenophone.
 

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I started on alto (gorgeous Conn 6m) but shortly moved to tenor (nice Conn 10m). Traded them for a Selmer Mkvi Soprano. Stopped playing for several years, sold the Mkvi. Started playing again on a Yani 900 Soprano. Moved back to tenor Selmer series iii. Sold both and went back to alto Yani a992 and Selmer SBA. Moved to baritone starting on a Yani b900 then getting my current love a MKvi Bb bari. I just seem to think better in Eb and the bari is a better fit for my vocal range. I also like to be the only bari at a jam session vs. being yet another tenor.
Wow , thats a lot of horns gooey dough. i started clarinet until the director wanted a sax in the band and switched to tenor. switched to alto in college when the band didnt have one. now i like the protability of the alto. i probably like the sound of a tenor better but it is such a pain to carry one and who wants to check the bag at the airport. in retrospect, i dont know if middle shoolers have enough air volume for tenor.
 

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Ten years ago, when I was but a tad of 63, I decided to start playing music again. Going to a local music store in search of some kind of horn (brass, woodwind, alpen - didn't really matter) I spotted an absolutely gorgeous black nickle Antigua soprano. It called my name and I was lost ...

Of all the beautiful saxophones in the world soprano is still my favorite , but now I have seven of them (Keilwerth and Yani straights, a curved Yani, two tipped bell horns, and two C sopranos - a Conn and a Beuscher) and love/play them all. I've added a soprillo, 3 sopraninos (1 curvy), 5 altos (2 straight), a nice Conn C-Melody, 2 tenors (1 straight), 2 baritones and a bass to my arsenal. For whatever reason(s) I've wound up playing bari in the municipal band, a jazz rehearsal band, and the local University wind ensemble.

Too many horns, probably, but I don't have a boat, an ATV, or much of a life (??).
 

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Tenor was my first saxophone and remains my preferred voice 40 years later.

Tenor - it's all that matters.
 

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I started on soprano about 4 years ago because I'd wanted to play sax for a long, long time (thinking alto), and then I saw a saxophone quartet that included a guy playing a curved soprano, and I fell in love with it. When they were finished playing, I had to ask him what kind of sax it was because I'd never seen one before. I bought one shortly thereafter. (Should I be embarrassed to say that this sax quartet was at Disney World? Is it less embarassing that I was there for a business conference?)

After I got "good enough," I joined a community band. There is almost no concert band music written for soprano sax, so I ended up in the trumpet section playing the trumpet music on my soprano sax. But trumpet music sounds much better when it's coming out of a trumpet. So I bought a tenor since the band was short on tenors. Because of that, and the fact that I work 60+ hours a week (not in music), I play primarily tenor right now, but next year, when I'm not working as many hours, I'm looking forward to getting back into my soprano. About 2 years ago, I also bought an alto, but that probably has less than 5 hours of playing time on it. Sad, really.

And if we go way, way back, I actually started on flute when I was 10.
 

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i probably like the sound of a tenor better but it is such a pain to carry one and who wants to check the bag at the airport.
I agree about the heavy part. Just last night, I went to band rehearsal for the first time in 6 months after taking some time off for some neck surgeries. I had to walk a bit to get to the building, and I was thinking "damn this horn is heavy!" That was confirmed after playing it for 2 hours (again, for the first time in 6 months)!

I guess I'll never play a bari!
 

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I started on alto because I saw one for sale incredibly cheap (a 50% off of a 50% off sale). I played it for a year, then tried a curved soprano. I bounced around soprano, alto, and tenor for awhile, but am now playing mostly tenor. The soprano comes most natural to me-but both my wife and I like the tenor sound most. I also think the tenor is the coolest looking to play. :cool:
I will probably take spells of playing one for awhile, then another, etc. I tend to do that.
 

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I started on tenor. One reason was because I loved the sound. The second reason was that I was over six feet tall at thirteen years old and I felt the alto was too small.

But my main instrument today is the soprano. For the type of music I play, the sop is a much better lead horn for wind ensembles. And it's perfect in contemporary gospel music. I'm probably 80% soprano, 19% tenor and 1% alto these days. I've never really been a big fan of the alto and I figure I never will be.
 

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I started on clarinet in 6th grade. My older bro played alto in his high school band at that time. My brother was and still is a cool cat. So to me, you could not get any cooler than playing alto sax like him. My middle school was the only middle school marching band in the bay area at the time. Marched with an alto in 6th grade, moved to Tenor in 7th grade since we had 3 alto's, 1 bari and no tenors. By 8th grade the lone Bari player graduated a year prior and I was asked to play Bari. I really felt special being the only bari, and I was the only player who's instrument sat on a stand in the closet in the front of the band :). I loved being the backbone of the band, while poppin up for an occasional solo. I was taken by the sound and versatility of the bari and I haven't looked back since. It's been 20 + years since I've played and it feels awesome playing again! I'll probably never play anything else unless I need to expand to open up oppertunities for gigs or something.
 

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I remember my first love. When I was in Jr.HS the school got a brand new Selmer MKVI bari w/a low A. We opened it up outside on a stair landing. It was a bright sunshiny day and that horn sparkled in the sunlight! Needless to say I gave up my old black, green, silver Buescher alto and started playing bari. I would have "killed" for that horn. :)
 

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As others have said, I started on alto and moved to bari. I don't remember why I started with alto, but it was probably for the same reason that most people start with alto: I was fairly small back then. My first alto, which I still have, is a King Cleveland 613 that still plays quite nicely. I was asked to move to bari (presumably because I played really loud, and I recall that we were weak in low brass) in 7th grade and really liked it. I switched back and forth between alto and bari throughout junior high and high school, but mostly preferred playing the bass lines. Some 30 years later I've moved to tenor and feel most comfortable there, but I would really like to get my hands on a good bari. I only got back into playing seriously again about 5 years ago, and that started with bari. I only moved to alto and then tenor because the band I was playing with got a good bari player who was dedicated to that horn, and we didn't need two. But I really love playing the bari.
 

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My first tenor was a Yamaha YTS 25, easy to play and to with a good intonation, but a very ugly soundwise, but I still on it for 15 years, thinking I sound good with this, but then I buyed an old Conn tenor sax and WOW, what a sound, what a character!!!! I love it instantly!!!! and I bought Yamaha thing in a few years......and I still with Conn now.......
 
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