Difference Between Alto and Tenor Saxophone

What is Alto Saxophone?

Alto Saxophone is an E flat instrument. Beginners choose this saxophone model because it is light and easy to play. Students frequently use this device to study with ease. It is cost-effective and easy to use. It also requires less air to play, making it an excellent instrument for beginners. Yamaha, Buffet Crampon, and cannonball are some of the brands that make alto saxophones.

The Alto saxophone is rarely heard in classical music, preferring instead to be heard in jazz, funk, and pop music. Adolphe Sax created the Alto saxophone in the 1840s. The Alto saxophone produces brighter notes. The Alto saxophone is also known as the Alto sax. The range of Alto saxophones is concert Db3 to concert Ab5.

An Alto saxophone’s neck is angled upwards. Since the alto saxophone is a transposing instrument, it does not sound like the piano or other concert pitch instruments. When playing the Alto saxophone, you’ll need a durable case, extra reeds, a mouthpiece, and a cleaning cloth as accessories.

What is Tenor Saxophone?

The Tenor saxophone is larger and heavier, with a crook at the mouthpiece and a neck that bends slightly down. The Tenor saxophone produces a mellow, rich, and deep sound. The Tenor saxophone is around 3.5 kg in weight. Tenors require more air, resulting in a richer tone. The Tenor saxophone, like Alto saxophone, is a transposing instrument. Tenor can only play notes in the low register.

The tenor saxophone has a B-flat tuning. The tenor saxophone has a tapered barrel and is made of brass. It is commonly used in concerts, big bands, jazz groups and symphonic bands. “Tenor saxophonists,” “tenor sax players,” and “saxophonists” are all terms used to describe tenor saxophonists.

The tenor saxophone rose to prominence in military bands. In classical music, the Tenor saxophone is also utilised. The Tenor saxophone’s fingering system is simple to grasp. Since the fingering method of the Tenor saxophone and the flute are identical, anyone who has mastered the Tenor saxophone may simply learn the flute.

Difference Between Alto and Tenor Saxophone

  1. The Alto saxophone is a smaller, lighter, and more approachable instrument. Meanwhile, the Tenor saxophone is a huge and heavy instrument.
  2. The Alto saxophone generates brighter, higher notes, whilst the Aenor saxophone creates deep, mellow tones.
  3. The Alto saxophone is classified as an E flat instrument, while the Tenor is classified as a B flat instrument.
  4. The Alto saxophone’s neck bends upwards, while the Tenor saxophone’s neck bends downwards.
  5. The Alto saxophone requires little air to perform, but the Tenor saxophone requires a lot.

Comparison Between Alto and Tenor Saxophone

Parameters of ComparisonAlto SaxophoneTenor Saxophone
SizeThe alto saxophone is a smaller and lighter instrument. It’s also simple to transport.The tenor saxophone is slightly larger than the other saxophones and is unsuitable for beginners.
PriceThe alto saxophone is a reasonably priced instrument.The tenor saxophone is a bit pricey.
PitchAlto saxophone is an E flat instrument.The tenor saxophone is a B flat instrument.
SoundThe Alto saxophone produces brighter notes.The tenor saxophone produces mellow, rich, and deep notes.
NeckAn alto saxophone’s neck is straight and facing upwards.A tenor saxophone’s neck is slightly curved down.


  1. https://search.proquest.com/openview/0c321ff1adf19cf8b69d4dc1f37938b0/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750&diss=y
  2. https://asa.scitation.org/doi/abs/10.1121/1.1919287