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What is the most common saxophone to learn on?

  • alto saxophone

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • tenor saxophone

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
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"Practice" and "learn on" mean different things to me.

The answer to "learn on" is not cut and dry. It's easier to play alto, if you start when you're starting in middle school/earlier or you have small hands: keys are closer together and (most) altos are lighter than a tenor. Additionally, if you're playing in a school band, they're probably going to want an alto player, not a tenor player. Also, new altos (if you want to buy new) are cheaper.

The tenor is easier to play, provided you don't have a problem with the keys, weight, etc. as listed above. You also need more lung power.

Practice? Alto for the embochure and tenor to get the lung workout.
All other things being equal, I would choose the one that fits the vocal range of the student the closest.
But I didn't get a bass sax :(

Notes, that's an interesting idea. I've gone back and forth over several years wondering whether bari sax (bass or lower is too expensive) or bass clarinet would be more representative of my voice. Low C bass, I think. However, I wouldn't recommend anyone start on bari sax (or lower) or bass clarinet. Those horns are usually quite expensive. If the student turns around and says, "Not my thing," they're going to be out a lot more cash buying a bari than an alto. Another thing is that I've attended one high school where I was one of the three bass clarinet players, the director knew I was learning how to play sax, so I was asked to switch to bari. Because nobody else wanted to touch bari, I played in "concert" band, the band a level below that, and jazz band. At another high school, I started as one of three bari sax players and moved to contrabass clarinet. It got me out of marching band, at least. That being said, I haven't seen another band/orchestra with either three baris or three bass clarinets since my HS years, i.e. 1.5 million years ago.

I also wouldn't think that a Bb soprano, or higher, would be a good choice to start on. It's harder to play, just overall. Yes, I'm skipping the C, G, and F pitched saxophones.
Alto is the one that most start on IMO; easier to handle/balance/hold.

As a former school music teacher I had parents of students ask some interesting questions:
Parent: My 5th grade daughter has small fingers and I know that they make a "little clarinet" me: You mean an Eb clarinet? Parent: yes!
Me: That may not be the best option...
A note: my school clarinet classes had 8-10 students in a group-lesson program at that time.
I started on tenor, my vocal range is baritone, but tenor was close enough. For a soprano singer, alto would be close enough.

I just think that if they can sing some of the notes they are playing, it will seem more natural to them.

But then, I could be wrong. Although I've given lessons to a half dozen or so, I'm not a professional teacher, I am a professional musician.

If someone came to me and I thought I could help, I'd agree, if not, I'd tell them I'm not the one, and the people that came to me already had instruments.

Notes ♫
One thing I might add for a beginner, is to take it to a good repair tech, and have them check it for leaks. If the sax has a leak or more, it makes it more difficult to play. As a beginner, you wouldn't necessarily know if it 's the sax fault or yours.

Notes ♫
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