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How different is the tenor sax and the bari sax from an Alto saxaphone?

So, school starts soon obviously, and I am taking band. I currently am playing alto sax, and I am wondering if I should try to play tenor, bari and alto sax. However, I want to know what some main differences are, so if you play bari or tenor sax, I would appreciate any information. Thank you.

CapnTac3 years ago
Tenor is in a different key, so you have to re-learn all of your scales. Bari is in the same key, but in my opinion, is a waste of metal. I'd either go with Tenor, or stick with Alto.
The bari is a "waste of metal"? Surely you jest, sir. There is a deep, growling tone to the bari that is not available to the alto or tenor. The soprano and alto are great for soloing. The tenor has a great rasp to it, especially in the higher register.  But the big baritone rumbles and growls, providing the foundation for a horn section.

I have played all manner of saxes for more than 25 years, and I think that I have had the most fun playing the bari. "Waste of metal" indeed.
I simply find it obnoxious and a bit annoying, and for the money I spend on a bottom-line bari sax I can buy an extremely well built guitar, plus active pickups. Simply my opinion on the matter. I played it in pep band one night and simply missed the higher register of my alto, and went back to alto within ten minutes of picking up the baritone. I needed to be able to ring out moreso than growl out bass-y notes, and I can't play my rock riffs very well on bari ;) Turn the Page simply isn't the same. Sorry if I offended, I simply don't like that particular sax.
No offense taken.  I find it funny that I learned on an alto and play it still after many years, but that I always yearn for the bass line and the growl.  Perhaps my taste in music (Big Band, Jazz) predisposes me to like the bari more than someone who wants to wail on Rock riffs.  That is why we make different kinds of music and different kinds of instruments: so that everyone can find something that suits them.

And your point about the cost of a good sax is all too true.  I always envied the guitar players in school who could afford a couple of decent instruments, amps, pedals, etc, while I was stuck with a single student-level alto sax.  When I win the lottery, my music room will include a matchied set of Yanagisawa saxes, from soprano to bari.  And winning the lottery is probably the only way to afford this.
CapnTac3 years ago
Something else to note, Tenor plays in the same key as a trumpet, so you can jam out the melody line if you so choose.
zascecs3 years ago
Like Capn Tac said, the tenor has a different key from the bari and alto. Though it isn't that hard to learn, so that shouldn't discourage you. Though when you're in school, there is a lot of competition for the alto sax, so it is harder to get into the first chair. But, the music for the tenor and baritone aren't as fun as the alto. So really, it's you're choice, because there are many more pros and cons for each instrument.

Try the Tenor. The Tenor and Bari are larger and make lower sounds. I play the Tenor and it's lots of fun although you don't get too many solos or anything like that.
Rock Soldier (author)  shadowninja314 years ago
I am going with tenor. Also, I can live without solos.
Nice! Have you started yet or are you later?
Rock Soldier (author)  shadowninja314 years ago
Later, in a few weeks.
caitlinsdad4 years ago
If you are playing alto sax already, how much did you learn about the saxophone as an instrument and what do you understand musically? I don't play sax but just from the names, it indicates that they each have a different musical range and possible different tone. Possibly comparable to violin, viola, and cello. Fingering may be slightly different but it comes down to which part of music you like to play or how you want to solo out on the instrument. Sax is a very expressive instrument but I think the bigger, deeper voiced ones are more for rhythm or bass lines. The higher pitched instruments may take more technique to sound good. Have fun playing.
Kiteman4 years ago
Size?
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