Saxophone Forum


by TenorsBass
(1 post)
6 years ago

From Tenors to Tenor Sax

Hey everyone, Ive been perusing through this site for a while now and I decided to finally come out of the shadows. Im a percussionist for my hs marching band, I play Tenors because I love the ability to have pitch on a drum. While that has nothing to do with sax's, this does. Recently I wrote a piece of music for our high school jazz band and I've always wanted to learn a wind/brass instrument of some sort. After learning (the hard way) that I suck at playing alto, I tried to play French Horn and sucked even more. Anyways, I recently (about a month or so ago) started to play the Tenor Sax and I love it possibly more than I love my drums, Ive been playing it basically night and day and recently I have been persuaded by my fellow bandmates to try and play for concert band this year. Im really thinking about playing but I just want to ask some questions due to the fact that ive been teaching myself everything so far 1) What can I do to stop playing the higher notes with a squeeky tone, I mean, whenever I first start to play a note it squeeks and I really dont that to happen anymore. BTW I have a really bad reed, its chipped on the right side and the left side is ready to tear any day now. 2) About the reed, I have no clue what to do about it lol. Im going to replace it but I was wondering what kind I should get (i.e. is there any specific type or size or something?) I just want to be able to play the Tenor without sounding bad. 3) and finally, what should I try to focus on, I can sight-read relatively well thanks to piano but I mean what is the biggest problems that saxaphonists run into. sorry for the huge post and thanks in advance for everything :)

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  1. by Kay Kagy
    (1 post)

    6 years ago

    Re: From Tenors to Tenor Sax

    Hi, your best option to play the sax is PRIVATE LESSONS with a good sax player. I can't tell you what a difference that will make. My grandaughter playes 3 saxes (alto,tenor,bari) and has taken private lessons from a pro jazz player for 3 years. She is 17 and plays in a private jazz band, honors and varsity bands in HS and wins competitions. Here is the opening statement the instructor made to her after she played for him the first time. "You can sound like that which is ok or you can go on and learn how to really play and sound more like this". And then he got behind her and told her to blow and he played the music. She was blown away at the sound. That is the secret to playing well. As to reeds? She goes through a box a month-have to change often. If you have a local college with a music program often advanced students are giving lessons at a lower cost. Her lessons run $200 a month. Good luck--love the tenor. JKK

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    1. by chalazon
      (547 posts)

      6 years ago

      Re: From Tenors to Tenor Sax

      this is the right stuff...I once knew a self taught sax player..he told me with some regret that all this time he'd been studying with an ignorant teacher..find a good sax player who is also a good teacher and get to work...oh yeah..have fun.

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  2. by dmoney
    (9 posts)

    5 years ago

    Re: From Tenors to Tenor Sax

    1.) A few options. Long tones. Play a high note and hold it till you run out of air. This helps form the embochure. Umm maybe you might be biting the high notes also. Ask a teacher about your embochure. It may be off. And definately get a private teacher. 2.) Reeds are up to you, but its generally a good idea to stay away from ricos. Reeds like Vandoren are what everyone i know plays. For concert band i would say a size 2.5. Youre gonna need the response and ease of that or similar strength. Also a step up classical mouthpiece will help. Yamaha is what i recommend. There fairly cheap, around 40 usd. If you try jazz band try a vandoren ZZ. and try as many as you can out. Never be caught without a good reed, so make sure to stock up. 3.)There isnt really one thing to focus on, more like several. Being a good sightreader really helps. So just work on tone,balance, and articulation. Oh by the way im a freshman t. sax also.I play on a cannonball gerald albright, a dukoff l5, and vandoren java 3. I love my tenor. I know you will too . Make sure to practice,practice, practice. Another good thing is to make sure you listen to saxes that you like, and you will develope a similar style. Let me know how it al works out for you.Good Luck!

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    1. by dmoney
      (9 posts)

      5 years ago

      Re: From Tenors to Tenor Sax

      I forgot to make sure to have fun. Playing the sax is fun, so make sure to enjoy it!

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      1. by saxall60
        (29 posts)

        5 years ago

        Re: From Tenors to Tenor Sax

        Sure, there is a lot of things only a teacher (good) can see and he (she) can drive you on the necessary way. It is pedagogy and it's a job !

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