Home Forums General Sax Questions Changing from alto to tenor

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    Sam Chapman

    Hi all,

    I have been playing alto for about 9 months now and have just started playing in bands. I can’t quite seem to get the bluesy sound out of my alto that I am after and am considering trying a tenor horn.

    Any advice?




    lots of options
    try playing a vintage sax in a music shop – lots of old blues players will tell you this (so all you guys saying the choice of sax doesn’t make a difference to how your playing sounds need to think again).
    however i wouldn’t advise a learner to get a vintage sax.

    one way is to store some reeds in water with some mouth wash, when you aren’t playing the reed – this does make a difference to the reed playing sound.

    another option is to change your mouthpiece/reed set up.

    Also it helps if you are good at bending notes and doing scoups and all that sort of stuff to get bluesy. Some condider it as playing with a different accent, just like you would put on a foreign accent when talking, it can also be playing more flattish or sharpish

    lots of stuff to try out.

    you don’t need a tenor to play the blues…



    Hi Sam. Consider the following PDF document which shows the normal range of notes played on three saxes.
    The Tenor plays five notes lower than your Alto. My advice would be to rather focus on your tone using a hard rubber MP for a more mellow sound.

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