If it comes to saxophones, there are four primary forms: soprano, alto, tenor, and bass. The alto and tenor saxophones have been favorites among musicians, composers, and listeners. Professional musicians, such as John Coltrane (tenor) and Charlie Parker (alto), have attracted the two forms of saxophones to the mainstream. While the two saxophones are usually showcased in professional groups and orchestras and possess a similar music role, they’re also somewhat unique in character. Keep reading Fidlar’s post to see the difference between Alto Vs Tenor Sax.
Table of Contents
The Alto Saxophone
The alto saxophone’s several benefits and expressivity ensure it is the maximum widely-played of the saxophone family. Additionally, this is the tool where novices frequently take their first steps since it’s relatively mild, more accessible, and easier to master than tenor, soprano, and baritone saxophones. It’s the best tool for pupils, favoring with no doubt that a gratifying and encouraging learning process.
If you’re trying to find a saxophone for a young child mainly, that an alto saxophone is an excellent option as its weight and mouthpiece, which are less specialized than the other saxophones, create a difference. It should also be mentioned that there are alto saxophones, specially created for the tiniest hands!
Would you need to learn more about the sound of an alto saxophone? Below you will get the listing of this item”Baker Street” for the alto saxophone. You can compare the audio with all the sheet music to the tenor and soprano sax farther below in this report. Here’s the URL to the sheet music if you would like to play with the item.
The Tenor Saxophone
Around the 1950s, the tenor saxophone became a prevalent Jazz instrument, and genuine love was born between the tool and style. They’re created for one another!
It’s performed more by adults, due to its higher weight. If you already play the alto saxophone, handling the tenor saxophone could not be more straightforward. It’s uncommon, but somebody starts learning the saxophone with a tenor, as controlling the method is more challenging.
But in case you’ve opted to begin the saxophone to play with some jazz and discover the audio so characteristic of those tenor sax giants, then do it! It’s relatively feasible, to begin with, a tenor saxophone, which will only require a bit more work in the start.
Would you need to learn more about the sound of a tenor saxophone? Below you will get the listing of this item”Baker Street” for the tenor saxophone.
You can compare the audio with all the sheet music for the alto and soprano sax from the other parts of the report. Here’s the URL to the sheet music if you would like to play with the piece.
Differences Between Alto Sax and Tenor Sax that Each Beginner Must-know
One more thing that you need to consider is the one you enjoy the best.
Do you like listening to the lower, darker tones of tenor sax, or would you want to obey the more prominent, brighter tones of the alto?
This is one of these items that you chalk down to personal taste.
The design of the alto sax differs from that of the tenor. The alto saxophone (the bigger variant ) is, as I understand it, quite near the female voice.
Additionally, this is quite apparent once you hear it.
In how it seems, the timbre of this and the assortment of this, the tenor is actually near the familiar human voice.
Besides the look, the tonality is relatively quickly the principal difference between an alto and tenor sax.
Funny enough, you will notice most female sax players gravitate towards the alto, and nearly all of the male gamers, at least those that I understand, even when they begin on alto, gradually gravitate towards the tenor sax.
This occurred to me too. I started on alto, then picked up the tenor from fascination. Still, I gradually found out that I play comfortably on the tenor. I like the tenor sax’s sound more, possibly because the tenor feels somewhat deeper, lusher, thinner, and lower to the alto feel sharper, brighter, somewhat greater, even edgier.
I will prefix this by stating that though the alto sax is an E level tool and tenor sax is a B-flat tool automatically, the notes and fingerings are the same for all saxophones.
The fingerings in which you put your hands on the keys to get a C in alto sax, for example, is the specific same fingering for your C tenor. They have precisely the very same fingerings.
This usually means you can quickly return and forth between the alto and tenor, as well as soprano and baritone since all of them have the same fingering positions.
Thus, when you understand to perform one saxophone, you are more or less learning how to perform all of them.
Nevertheless, but the distances between the keys are a tiny bit different. The keys in an alto sax are somewhat closer together than the keys on tenor sax. Therefore, if you’ve got little hands, it may be a tiny bit more comfortable that you play alto (or at least to begin with this ).
The alto sax keys are closer together since the saxophone is smaller.
My personal experience from playing with alto is it’s somewhat easier for this, fingering-wise. Everything is slightly closer together, making it a lot easier to catch, more comfortable grip, and play up and down quicker.
However, this is only a hairline gap, as whatever you can do about the alto, you can on the tenor with pretty much the same mechanics. And I have large hands, so for me, the alto feels like I am pushing my palms along a little, whereas the tenor provides my hands a little more distance, more pleasing.
Both of these are the principal differences; any tune you’ll play around the alto, you can play around the tenor through the voicing is different.
Each saxophone player would understand that one big gap between the alto and tenor sax is their dimension. The alto saxophone is more prominent compared to the tenor saxophone. It’s lighter and simple to handle compared to tenor sax.
On the flip side, the tenor sax is thicker and more prominent and may not be as simple to handle as the alto sax. Considering size at the brass instrument family, we know that size affects the sound.
Smaller Western devices produce brighter and more lavish tones compared to a giant brass tool. On the other hand, the tenor sax produces a mellow, deep, and rich sound compared to the alto sax. Another distinction between both is the alto sax’s neck pops up while the tenor sax bends back again.
These gaps also involve the handling of their tools. Beginner sax players find it a lot easier to deal with the alto sax than tenor sax because of their smaller lung capacity and expertise playing with the tools. Professionals, however, can produce a vast assortment of tones from the alto or tenor sax.
Remember how we mentioned that the tenor sax is larger?
The tenor sax requires more atmosphere than the Alto.
Since the tenor sax is more extensive, its mouthpiece is larger, and the atmosphere has further travel than Alto.
This means that you want to blow off more and more challenging to find the very same notes on a tenor than in an alto saxist requires more air.
The alto and tenor sax are equally transposing instruments (a transposing instrument is a tool where the notice that’s written is different from the notice that audio, for instance: a C onto a Bb instrument will seem as a Bb based on the device ). They produce sounds that are not the same as the piano, along with other concert pitch instruments.
However, as we mentioned before, their size impacts the tones that they produce. In sheet music, the Alto or tenor sax pitch is written differently compared to what they produce. For example, a tune composed in the key of C will appear on a unique key besides C when you perform both of these two saxophones.
The sole difference between the Alto and tenor sax is that they have precisely the same fingerings, key places, notes, and need a mouthpiece to perform. These similarities are very observable, and you can undoubtedly tell by merely taking a look at both instruments. These similarities make many professional sax players understand the two kinds of sex to be marketable.
The tenor and alto sax require accessories exactly like any brass instrument.
Now, an individual can not deny that they utilize similar accessories. The vital accessories you need irrespective of the saxophone type comprise a mouthpiece, a spare pair of reeds, a sturdy case, and cleaning fabrics.
There are many accessories that you may use for these devices, but a few are less vital than the vital ones. These include a metronome and audio stand. On the other hand, the significant differences in these accessories are their dimensions.
By way of instance, a tenor sax event will be bigger than that of an alto sax. However, this may not be true in most accessories. The primary issue is to have the accessories for both tools since they come in useful to get a novice.
We’ve pointed out that the tenor and alto sax are alike in various ways that you can undoubtedly tell by merely looking at them. One big difference that many folks will not notice is that their difference in the notice register.
Alto sax is an E-flat tool. This usually means that sheet music onto the key of C will seem like E-flat on alto sax. The tenor sax is an octave lower than the written sheet songs. This usually means that a tune composed on C would seem like B-flat about the tenor sax.
That is why playing the alto saxophone to sheet songs composed for a tenor saxophone would look entirely off. As a student of this tool, you need to learn all of the note registers for the two tools to transpose into the necessary vital functions.
This usually means you could try transposing your tenor sax into E-flat to perform a bit of sheet music composed for alto sax and vice versa.
Alto vs Tenor Saxophone For Beginners?
There’s a good deal of buzz around the query that is best for a novice, Alto, or tenor saxophone?
The Alto or tenor sax buzz created many individuals to give their frank opinions, and you can not discredit their views since it may work for different men and women. But, we have to set a lot of things under consideration if we want to make a professional decision on what is best for a novice.
Some teachers consider that the dimensions of this instrument matter in learning for the first time. A more compact tool is a lot easier to manage concerning weight and simplicity of studying dynamics and may make learning to get a novice simpler.
This is only one of the more critical reasons why the alto sax gets the upper hand over the tenor sax. Its small size makes it ideal for younger novices. It’s a tight and smaller embouchure, and it isn’t too complicated to comprehend as bigger saxophones such as the tenor sax.
Knowing how to perform with an alto saxophone; about understanding that the embouchure makes it simpler to grasp bigger saxophones.
There’s not any doubt that an alto sax is an ideal alternative for smaller novice sax players of this tool. Since they have little hands, it would be simpler to maneuver around the tool and less energy to perform.
Many novices may have settled on a genre that they prefer playing and may have difficulty picking a saxophone predicated on that genre they would like to learn.
The bargain is that almost all sorts of saxophones are employed in most kinds of music. However, it’s difficult not to note that jazz music utilizes more of their tenor sax than each other tax.
This doesn’t follow that jazz song is restricted to the tenor sax. On the contrary, jazz songs employ every sort of saxophone and aren’t confined to a particular kind.
But because tenor is your best option for jazz songs, you should get a student under you a tenor sax to help accelerate and enhance their learning experience.
Generally, the alto sax is the smartest choice for all student players, although not in each circumstance.
Learning how to play the saxophone predicated on celebrity makes one consider additional alternatives like the tenor sax. But because we’re focusing on the overall understanding of the saxophone, the alto sax is probably the smartest choice.
As you can tell in the review, Tenor vs Alto Sax is excellent, and it mostly boils down to the artist’s taste. So, as soon as you’ve chosen the size of your device and the kind of music that you need to perform (which is very important on account of the audio output that the Alto having an octave lower), all that is left for you to do is begin making good music.