Choosing a Saxophone

Student level saxophones are generally made from yellow brass and include the basic keys a beginning player needs to start learning. Though student level instruments are designed to allow beginners to learn and play well for the first two to three years, they will eventually need a higher quality instrument. Intermediate and professional saxophones are made of higher quality materials, involve much more handwork and adjustment, include extra keys and triggers that will allow the student to conquer more advanced music, and provide an overall better tone.


The saxophone family is divided into four different types: Alto, Tenor, Baritone, and Soprano.


Alto is tuned to the key of Eb, and is the most common type of saxophones for beginners to learn on. Tenor is built in the key of Bb and plays in a slightly lower octave than the alto. The Baritone, like the Alto, is built in the key of Eb but plays much lower than any other type of sax. The Soprano is built in the key of Bb and plays in a higher octave then Alto, Tenor, and Bari.


When choosing a saxophone, you will want to make sure that the instrument is not made of materials that will bend or break easily. You will also want to check the condition of all the pads to ensure that all the pads seal tightly and do not allow air to leak out, which


A word of caution: It may be very tempting to purchase an instrument online due to attractively low prices. Unfortunately, these instruments are sold at such low prices for a reason. These online special instruments are poorly constructed and hinder students’ ability to learn. They are difficult to adjust and regulate and their cheap construction causes them to break down often. Many repair shops will not repair these instruments, and if they do, you will often spend more on repair fees than you did on the instrument itself. Buying quality instruments from a qualified dealer such as Summerhays Music will not only save you money in repairs, but will save your child the frustration of having and instrument that does not allow them to play well or improve. 


© 2020 by Summerhays Music Center

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