Are you excited to take your online saxophone lessons? Compared to other musical instruments, learning to play the saxophone is much easier.
The saxophone mouthpiece is less complex than other orchestral counterparts, and its keys are designed for ease of use, and with a few practice sessions, playing in tune is feasible. This member of the woodwind family is a good bet if you want to learn a new instrument. All that’s left to do is to know how to join an online saxophone school!
This beginners guide will give you some useful tips on where to start when playing the saxophone.
How much is a saxophone?
Before you can take your online saxophone lessons, the first thing you’d have to do is buy a saxophone. When it comes to buying one, you have two options: new or vintage.
Buying a New One
If you’re still a beginner and it’s your first time in a sax school, a new instrument is the easiest and safest option for you. The prices for new, factory-built saxophones are consistent, and you get a guarantee that they’re of high quality.
There’s no need to visit a shop as you can order online saxophone and have it delivered today. A basic, beginner sax allows you to get familiar with the instrument and start taking online saxophone lessons. If this is your goal, you can find a brand new instrument, including all basic accessories, for less than $400.
However, if you’re looking to buy one that can last a long time, you can find entry-level saxophones under $1000 from established names in the industry.
Buying a Second-Hand
If you’re considering getting vintage saxophones, know that these old horns are premium as they’re not usually manufactured anymore. The nuances of their sound affect the pricing, which means you have to be already comfortable playing the sax before you decide to buy them.
While you may find a good enough horn for $5000 for your lessons online, there are top-quality vintage saxophones that sell as high as $40,000. So if you’re buying something vintage, make sure to test the saxophone first or ask a professional to do it for you and compare a few options before you commit.
Whether it’s new or vintage, it’s best to reach out to your music teacher ahead of time to ask for advice on which brand to buy before taking saxophone lessons.
4 Common Types
As you begin your journey to learn saxophone, you’ll encounter these four common types:
Patented in 1846, alto saxophones are the most common on the market, and you can often find them in school marching bands, orchestras, and jazz bands. The reason for this is because it’s a good mix of easy to blow, hold, and has a good mid-range sound.
Generally, if you’re a beginner, the alto is a good place to start. Also, if you’re tight on budget, the alto sax’s size is smaller than its tenor counterpart which means, it’s also more affordable.
The baritone or bari sax is the biggest among the four common types. It has a recognizable curved neckpiece that circles back on itself before going into the classic shape of a saxophone. Take note that this is a BIG instrument even for an adult and nearly touches the floor when seated and can be difficult to carry.
Because of its deep and dark sound, this instrument is mostly used in large ensembles like big bands and jazz orchestras. This instrument can produce a wide range of sounds you can’t hear from other saxophones.
This can be quite an unusual first instrument for a complete beginner, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a go! If you want an easy transition as you learn to play, first practice with alto sax, then switch to baritone later.
Resembling the clarinet in shape, the soprano sax is often straight and has one of the highest ranges. It’s the third smallest member of the sax family, following the soprillo and sopranino.
As with any other saxophone, the soprano uses the same fingering but is more difficult to keep in tune, which is why beginners rarely choose it as a first instrument. The soprano sax is in the same key as tenor (Bb), which is why you can often see musicians playing those two ahead of alto and baritone.
If you decide to get a soprano sax, you may want to get different mouthpieces and find one that feels right and produces the best tone. If you have an issue with tuning, you can also try different reed strengths.
The tenor sax looks very similar to alto but much bigger, which means it’s heavier and has a larger mouthpiece and reed. It will take more air for you to make a sound with this instrument. But for an adult intermediate saxophone player, this shouldn’t be an issue.
If your inspiration is to play jazz, the tenor sax is the most popular solo instrument in the style. As this is also the same key as the soprano, alternately playing saxophone between the two isn’t too difficult.
For beginners, the alto saxophone and tenor (or jazz saxophone) are preferred options. But regardless of whether your a beginner or an intermediate sax player, all four types have their unique styles.
Are you ready to learn the saxophone?
Hopefully, this quick guide gave you some useful tips! While there are ‘specialist’ saxophone types out there, the four mentioned above are the most common and should give you an ample choice. Nevertheless, a good sax school will be able to teach you everything you need to know about the instrument during online lessons.
Make sure to get the most out of your lessons by asking questions, and don’t hesitate to clarify things you’re confused about.