Marching Band: Tenor vs. Alto Saxophone

Marching Band: Tenor vs. Alto Saxophone

Marching Band: Tenor vs. Alto Saxophone    18:20 on Tuesday, February 19, 2013          

(4 points)
Posted by saxinetgirl23

Hello all!

I am currently in grade 10, and have been asked about next year's marching season. We are a small but not so competitive band. For my freshman year I marched my B Flat Clarinet and sophomore year I marched alto saxophone. However, as I am starting to grow as a serious musician, I am learning how to double and also falling in love with the tenor saxophone. It's just such a pure, rich, powerful sound and is not as screechy as the alto! It's just that it is so hard to choose which one to do. I know you cannot make this choice for me, but I figured maybe hearing some stories from others on what they did during high school and other musicians will help me make my choice. I am capable of playing both very well (including my Clarinet) and considered to be advanced proficent. (I know all the major scales, appergios, etc, and a little bit of theory) I take private lessons on my tenor, but have more experience with the alto. I am just wondering, if you were in my position, which one would you pick?

P.S. We have four veterans marching alto next year and will probably have 0 tenors.

Re: Marching Band: Tenor vs. Alto Saxophone    05:36 on Sunday, February 24, 2013          

(57 points)
Posted by rbreslin

I think you should go for the tenor.

I play both tenor and alto - but if they already have altos, then go for the tenor.

My daughter plays clarinet and tenor Sax. She thinks (and her teacher thinks) that the tenor playing is affecting her clarinet embouchure. But she loves the tenor so much, she is keen to carry on both.
I mention this, just so as you're aware.

Re: Marching Band: Tenor vs. Alto Saxophone    08:41 on Monday, February 25, 2013          

(4 points)
Posted by saxinetgirl23

I see what you are saying. And tell your daughter that she should still practice clarinet everyday, that helps with the embouchure. And i think you are right, I am going to stick with tenor saxophone throughout high school, and play bass clarinet for our wind ensemble, since my band does not have a tuba, so that covers the bass section.

Re: Marching Band: Tenor vs. Alto Saxophone    07:48 on Sunday, March 03, 2013          

(4 points)
Posted by Jaxy

I would say if they already have enough altos and no tenors, and you have less experience on tenor, then it would be a good way of getting more experience on tenor.

I don't pretend to know anything about marching bands (and I don't really like them very much), but some idiot on another forum years ago tried to tell someone (and would probably tell you now) that you should stick to alto because the tenors never get heard in a marching band. He never was able to answer the question of why they would be scored and used in the first place if that were the case. He would always quote something along the lines of 'they look good', but I don't buy that one.


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