Beautiful young woman playing tenor saxophone in the city streets

The Tenor Saxophone is the 2nd largest saxophone out of the four most common members of the saxophone family, and has a pitch of Bb. It is often the second favourite choice of saxophone for people to begin learning on after the Alto saxophone, due to it being a little larger in size and therefore slightly less comfortable initially for young students to hold. However, it is still a great choice of instrument for a beginner, especially if you are taller (!), as it is easy to blow and produce a sound, and relatively affordable.

The Tenor Sax is often thought of as the archetypal saxophone and is recognised by most people, thanks to it being widely used in popular music and jazz. It can easily be distinguished from the Alto by its curved neck (crook) and larger size, and by its lower pitch or sound. Here at Normans we stock a variety of Tenor Saxophones to suit all players from beginners to advanced, and below you will find a list of our full range:

BRAND MODEL ABILITY LEVEL
Elkhart 100 Series Beginner
Jupiter JTS-500-Q Beginner
Yamaha YTS280 Beginner
Yamaha YTS480 Intermediate
Yamaha YTS62 Intermediate/Advanced
Yanagisawa TWO1 Intermediate/Advanced
Yanagisawa TWO10 Advanced

 

 

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The type of Tenor Saxophone you should purchase depends on a few things, but primarily you should consider what level musician you, or the student, are. If you are completely new to the saxophone, or to music as a whole then a beginner or student level saxophone would be most suitable for you. Student saxophones are designed with complete beginners in mind, often meaning it is easier to produce a sound on these instruments to encourage beginners in their music making. These entry-level instruments are often relatively light-weight compared to higher models and have good ergonomic key-designs, making them easier to hold and play even for younger students. Here at Normans we stock a few Student Tenors of varying prices, with the Elkhart 100 Series being the most affordable, followed by the Jupiter and Yamaha models.

yts480 yts62 two1

If you are already a musician who plays another instrument to a decent level (such as clarinet, flute etc.), or you already play another saxophone and are looking to “double up” and play multiple saxes then an intermediate Tenor Sax might be the right choice for you. With a little bit more resistance and flexibility than a beginner instrument, intermediate saxophones allow musicians to build on their knowledge and develop their own unique musical voice. As well as the “true” intermediate instrument in the form of the Yamaha YTS480, we also stock a couple of Tenors that “bridge the gap” between intermediate and professional models. The Yamaha YTS62 and the Yanagisawa TWO1 are both professional outfits that are also well suited to intermediate players due to their excellent response and ease of playability. These two saxes make great investments, especially if you are looking to play to an advanced level, as the instruments will grow with you as you develop into an accomplished musician, saving you the cost of upgrading to a more expensive model at a later date.

two10

Finally, we reach the Yanagisawa TWO10, which is advertised as an Elite Professional model, making it a real luxury instrument. With a heavier brass body to allow for more resonance and projection, and a superb tonal range and depth of colour, the advanced saxophone is suitable for someone pursuing a professional musical career, or studying music at degree-level, who expect a lot in terms of response from their instrument, and need an instrument that meets their demands. When investing in a saxophone of this level, or at any level in fact, it is always advisable to try the instrument out before purchasing, as different saxophones often have their own distinct characters that suit people differently.

If you would like any more advice about the Tenor Saxophone, or if you are interesting in visiting us to try some out then please call our Sales Team on 01283 535333 (option 1) as we will be happy to help you further.

About the author

A graduate from the University of Huddersfield Music Department, Isabelle has played both Clarinet and Saxophone for over 13 years, in many ensembles both in the Staffordshire area and at university, and currently performs in a function band. With her experience of woodwind and performance, this is obviously what she loves to write about.

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