Advice on Buying a Saxophone 

If you are in the market to buy saxophone parts, accessories, or the entire instrument, you need to know certain facts about this instrument.

The saxophone can be used in both jazz and classical music, marching bands, and rock. The choices you have when buying saxophone equipment are largely centered around the basic types of saxes.

The most common forms of the sax are the alto saxophone, the tenor saxophone, and the baritone sax. The higher pitched soprano sax is becoming more popular all the time with its high wailing tone. For children just starting out in band, the alto sax is usually the one you should pick when you buy a saxophone for the youngster.

There are several reasons the alto sax is a good first choice. It is smaller and easier to handle than the tenor sax. The soprano sax is small, too, but the mouthpiece is smaller and harder to master than the medium sized mouthpiece of the alto saxophone. For a new player, definitely consider an alto sax when you're shopping for a saxophone.

A more experienced player will probably want to have more than one type of sax. It is not cheap to buy saxophone horns of every style, though. Even the cheapest horns cost in the hundreds of dollars, with $700 or so being a minimum to get a decent horn. Still, a serious player might enjoy having a choice of saxophones.

The fingering of notes is the same for all the saxes, so the player doesn't have to relearn how to play the notes when moving from one type of sax to another. However, the pitch is different, with some of the saxes needing the music transposed. The soprano sax is written in C, which means it does not have to have its music transposed.

Another consideration when you buy saxophone instruments is that you get a decent brand. There are many horns on the market these days that are simply poorly made and hard to play, even though they look like expensive saxophones.

Further Reading:

  • Used Saxophone Buying Guide
  • Buying an Alto Saxophone
  • Buying a Tenor Saxophone
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