Saxophone Forum


by spida
(12 posts)
10 years ago

Tenor for beginner?

Okay, I'm looking to start playing sax and was originally going for an alto, but then I saw an interesting ad for a: 'Tenor Saxophone, Amati, 1950s silver, case plus accessories, Berg-Larsen mouthpiece, stand, strap, good condition, AU $620 negotiable'. Does this sound any good? I was wondering if there's a great deal of difference in the effort required physically to play a tenor to an alto? I'm 25, female, and my hands are big enough to reach a tenor recorder and I have enough breath for bass recorder and flute. I did play strings mostly, but I had to give up viola because my misalligned back teeth couldn't take the pressure of the weight of it. Also, what do I need to check for? Any technical help here would be so lovely!! I know dings can be a problem, and I'm assuming that it would be a good idea on a vintage sax to ask when it was last professionally set up (to be brutally honest I have no idea what that means. Would it be tuning and realligning keys at a wild guess? Is this very expensive to do?). I have a fairly good ear, what should I be listening for? I'm going to ask the chap who's selling it to give it a bit of a honk for me. Any other suggestions? A good book to learn from? I'm going to take a few lessons to start off with, but I'd like a book that dosn't take up a lot of space with teaching basic music theory and airs on 3 notes. Studies would be good though. AAANY single thing you could tell me to point me in the right direction would make me pleased as punch : ) Ta!

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  1. by karebear1012
    (395 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Tenor for beginner?

    I guess it depends on what tone you like. The alto is slightly higher and in the key of Eb, and the tenor is slightly lower and in the key of Bb. If you play tenor, it would be easier to transpose you flute music. I play the alto, and i'm looking for a new pro horn to play on. The advice i've been given so far is to never buy a horn over the web unless you're able to return it. Sometimes a certain brand could be great, but one particular horn could suck. If you've never played the sax before, you should probably go with an experienced player in search of a horn. Never do this sorta thing alone, because you want to invest in a horn that will last you. The Rubank Beginner Method is really good for starting out. My teacher is an amazing sax player and uses that book for everyone. I'm on the Advanced method, and I love it. Basically, there's a section with scales, duets, articulation, and fingering. Some good brands to look for are Selmer (series III or the reference), yamaha Z or EX (unlaquered is great), keilwerth, yanigasawa. Just make sure you can play the horn before deciding if you're going to buy it or not. Good luck! Kara

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    1. by spida
      (12 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Tenor for beginner?

      *pleased as punch* thanks Kara!

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      1. by Spike
        (248 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Tenor for beginner?

        all well said. as for that amati, it sounds good to me, but the mouthpeice might be a little hard to start on. i really got nothin' else

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    2. by Sax Mom
      (964 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Tenor for beginner?

      I would suggest Rubank Intermediate or Advanced rather than beginner. Your fingerings will be easy to learn if you play flute already, so the more advanced books will be better.

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      1. by tenor562
        (297 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Tenor for beginner?

        You'll be fine on the tenor. I'm 13 and originally played clarinet from fifth to seventh grade, because they said my hands were too small to play even the alto. Then I got to middle school, and they had no altos to try, so I tried a tenor. And now, I'm in love with it. Don't worry about air support either, i don't find it too hard. Keep in mind, even though my hands are smaller then my 9 year old sister's, I still play well, even though on other non yamaha saxes I can't reach the bottom keys very well. I also support the Rubank Books. They're great. They really emphasize scales and rhythm mastery. My teacher takes them really slow so you understand the technique and fundamentals perfectly. It seems to be working. Yamaha saxes are the best. Don't buy their student tenor though, I'm not very impressed with it. I reccomend highly their intermediate and pro tenors, (I own a 62II) a lot. The keywork, and tone just blow me away. Good Luck playing Tenor!

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        1. by karebear1012
          (395 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Tenor for beginner?

          just be careful...sometimes yamaha has problems. it's usually really good though

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        2. by tenor562
          (297 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Tenor for beginner?

          I agree. The YTS23 is basically junk. It's quite overpriced, and doesn't have the tone or response you want. The YTS23 that I play at school is a piece of old junk with flimsy keys, HORRIBLE octave and neck system, and not as nice range as the 475 or 62II. It's still better than those old bueschers we have sitting around. The YTS475 is definitely better, but lacks the tone of the 62II. For me, I reached a better range on the YTS62II, then the 475. That's just an opinion though. The Yamaha sax that you get most for your money is the 62II. Deluxe Case, annealed bell, engraving, high F#, awesome ergonomics, that thing just blows me away. If you're looking for a top of the line sax, you really need to try the specific one you're going to get before buying. Even though the sax has the same name, it might not sound right. When I bought my sax, I tried 3 necks and 3 bodys, and saw what combo worked best. So the best idea is to try the sax out. Glad to Help!

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        3. by spida
          (12 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Tenor for beginner?

          Thanks so much for all your help!! I did get it in the end, on the reasoning that 1) it was some money from my tax return, so not really what I'd miss and 2) it couldn't be too hard to sell on coz I paid $600 for it in the end and 3) the chap who sold it was helpful and honest. Just to let you guys know, don't accept cheques wherever possible if you're selling to people via the trading post (see 'scammers') we've had some problems with peole presenting fake bank cheques people had printed up especially. So anyway, I'm on the hunt for the Rubank Intermediate book, and I managed to squeeze a bit of last of the summer wine out of it (not literally, hee hee)so it plays at least, gave it a bit of a polish with a silver polish cloth and it looks kinda nice. I'll put pictures up for your perusal when I get the html thing working... Don't bash me, but I still gotta get a second opinion...

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