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 Hey Saxophone Players!
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Hotz Offline
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 11:36 am    Post subject: Hey Saxophone Players! Reply with quote

Or, Lt. Bob, because I don't expect too many other people to have an answer for this...


What kind of sax do you play most often? (Soprano, alto, tenor, bari, other, ect.) Do you play any of the others? What's your favorite? Why?


Just curious...

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Lt. Bob Offline
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

strictly alto .... I have a tenor but it never comes out of the case.
Why?
Well .... tenor was my axe for years and years, but a guy I worked for ( a total asshole) in a houseband gig made me play alto after Bobby Henderson (a friend of mine that's the best sax player on the planet Earth) played with us for a while and then left. He played alto so now Floyd Brown (the asshole) wanted me to also.
To tell the truth I hated it at first ...... but alto is just so much louder than tenor and cuts thru a lot better,
Since most of the bands I play with are guitar bands ( read:loud Smile ) I was after the loudest thing I could find so I could be heard. Now it's about 15 years later and I just like everything about an alto better than tenor. I often have bands go , "Well, we really like a tenor so you'll need to get that out." Once I play with them once .... it never comes up again.
I do play the others ...... used to have a soprano , alto, c-melody, tenor and a bari. Now I just have the alto and tenor.
Another reason I play just one is that the biggest problem with sax players is that they play out of tune ..... and I mean almost all of them. As a piano tuner I don't ..... and it's hard to switch between saxes and play perfectly in tune because they're all so different. To play in tune without taking any thinking about it almost requires that you just play one horn ...... thus .... alto.
Lastly, unlike most sax players ..... I don't double on other wind instruments ..... I double on guitar. So I've got my sax and then a git, amp, pedals ...... I often run the P.A. .... so I've just got enough to do already without carrying another horn........ and why?
There's nothing I can play on tenor that I can't play on alto.

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Dethska Offline
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My favorite is bari.

But I don't play. I just like that nasty farty low end that you get from a bari sax.

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MDK Offline
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tenor is my main axe, I play it on gigs 95% of the time. I like its range, sort of letting me go both low and high, and I feel like its altissimo is easier for me to hit the notes I want. Bari is probably my favorite to play just because it's got such a cool tone, and when I go to those low notes it makes you go YEAHHH! For practical purposes, I don't carry my bari to gigs, just play it at home. I do play alto and soprano some. The problem I have with soprano (as do a few other sax players I've talked with) is that playing on tenor most of the time doesn't condition me to make the drastic switch in my embouchure it takes for soprano. I always feel like I'm about 90 cents flat when I play soprano. That, and my soprano is a cheap piece of junk.
Like the good Lt. said, playing just one sax is advantageous, due to having your lip and brain "set" to the intonation of that horn. When you switch, you have to get your brain and lip adjusted to the horn, and sometimes that takes more time than the length of the song after which you have to switch back to the previous sax. Does that make sense?
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Hotz Offline
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lt. Bob wrote:
Lastly, unlike most sax players ..... I don't double on other wind instruments .....



That's really interesting. A lot of my education on the topic has told me that the demands on a modern freelance musician require them to play lots of similar instruments well. For example, Brain Grivna (I don't know if you know him...he's one of the leading freelance "woodwind" players in the Twin Cities, although, sax is his main thing.) I went to a Jazz Fest with him as a featured artist, and he was playing saxophone (tenor and alto), as well as clarinet. And he definitly preached the "play as many as you can...it'll pay more" gospel. Like you said, "other wind instruments"was the message he was trying to get across...but I suppose though that you are doing that with the whole bass, guitar, PA thing. Cool!

And MDK's a tenor guy. Actually, that does make sense. I'm a tromonist, and typically, tromonists are either the tenor or bass variety. The technique and style for each are really quite different, and while it's possible to play both, it's hard to be good at both, and even harder to switch between the two in one sitting. But like Lt. Bob said, you can do everything on one that you can do on the other, so might as well just play one. So yeah, I totally understand the only playing one thing!


Anyway, thanks guys. I was just curious, and felt like trying to stir up some conversation in this forum...


Oh, and Dethska...figures that you'd like bari. We once had a local ska band around here that only had a bari sax player for their horn section...and man, did they rock!

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Lt. Bob Offline
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And there's that alt band ..... ummmm ....Morphine maybe? Just drums bass and bari I think.
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Jesse Offline
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i like alot best but im in my school band (u of m) and i play tenor/bari.. personally i like alto best
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Hotz Offline
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is that the University of Minnesota?

And welcome to the board!

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seanmorse Offline
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

no university of michigan
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ironflippy Offline
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm an alto guy myself, although I do enjoy playing tenor and bari. My ska band has just 2 horns, alto sax and trombone, but it certainly fills out the spectrum. The alto has range similar to a trumpet, but the tone of a sax, so it's almost like having a trumpet and tenor sax playing in unison.

I'm with Lt. Bob on this one. The alto cuts through way better in a full band. I don't have to mike myself to be heard over drums, bass and guitar during rehearsal, and I match the volume of the trombonist. Also, as with Lt. Bob, I double on bass and guitar, and I'm learning keys. It's way more practical to have one perfected embouchure, rather than several decent ones (my teacher has perfected alto, tenor, clarinet, and flute, but he's been playing for 3 times as long as I have). I shouldn't say perfected, since you'll never get every note perfectly in tune, but you can get to the point where you're only a couple cents off.

Overall, I just like the sound, feel, volume, and variety that an alto offers.
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