Whether you’re a young student who wants to play sax like Lisa Simpson, or an adult beginner inspired by John Coltrane and Charlie Parker, one of your first decisions will be whether to start with a tenor or an alto sax.
Tenor or Alto Sax – A matter of size
For youngsters, a first step in the tenor vs alto sax question is size. If you’re small, the tenor sax may be a bit too big to lug back and forth to school every day, and even if you’re using a school instrument, the alto may be hard to handle.
So for elementary-school beginners, in the “should I learn tenor or alto sax” battle, it’s alto for the win.
In fact, most beginners, whether children or adults, start with an alto sax. But there are other considerations.
Strike up the band
Some adult beginners pick a side in tenor vs alto sax because of a band they want to play with. If the band needs a tenor, that’s the one to pick up.
The best reason, however, is to choose whichever instrument resonates with you. Which sound do you prefer? Give both a try, and let your inner musician decide.