ANSWERS: 7
  • About five pounds :) Actually, while both saxes use essentially the same fingerings, embouchure, etc., the main difference is that the alto sax plays in a higher register than the tenor sax. They also play in different keys--alto in Eb and tenor in Bb. The tenor sax generally has a mellower, deeper sound, though good players can get a huge range of sounds out of both instruments.
  • An alto saxophone is in the key of Eb (E flat) and a tenor saxophone is in the key of Bb (B flat). The alto saxophone can hit higher notes than the tenor, but the tenor can play lower notes than the alto. The alto saxophone is smaller and lighter, and the tenor saxophone is bigger and heavier. Usually, they can both be played for the same type of music (e.g. they're both excellent for jazz).
  • In addition to being deeper sounding and larger in size, the tenor sax has a neck piece that is shaped differently than that of an alto sax - which is important since it's the easiest way to figure out what kind of sax you're looking at. The neck of an alto sax comes up slightly then up at an angle. The neck of the tenor sax comes up, makes a slight bend down, then out perpendicular to the body. Bari saxes have very noticeable bends in the necks. FYI, saxes are generally considered woodwind instruments, not brass - one of those weird classifications that makes only slight sense. Not trying to be a pain, but it might help others to get quicker answers to their questions if they ask in the most appropriate area.
  • In addition to being deeper sounding and larger in size, the tenor sax has a neck piece that is shaped differently than that of an alto sax - which is important since it's the easiest way to figure out what kind of sax you're looking at. The neck of an alto sax comes up slightly then up at an angle. The neck of the tenor sax comes up, makes a slight bend down, then out perpendicular to the body. Bari saxes have very noticeable bends in the necks. FYI, saxes are generally considered woodwind instruments, not brass - one of those weird classifications that makes only slight sense. Not trying to be a pain, but it might help others to get quicker answers to their questions if they ask in the most appropriate area.
  • There are many differences between altos and tenors, even though they both have the same basic shape and fingering. One main differencce is the fact that tenor is in Bb while alto is in Eb, which gives the tenor a deeper sound and tone. The alto reeds, as well as the instrument itself, is smaller and more easily managed than a tenor. Nearly each type of saxophone is used for jazz music, but the tenor is the one that is used the most often. Altos are a good instrument to start on because they need a smaller, sometimes tighter, embouchure that is easier for younger musicians to grasp before they move up to tenor and/or bari (baritone saxophone)
  • alto sax is built in the key of E-flat. tenor sax is built half of an octave lower, in the key of B-flat. the tenor is slightly larger, and has a longer, more curved neck.
  • Besides being the sweetest of all saxaphones. :) I think the tenor has a little bit of a wider range over all than the alto, and can also go lower.

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