Are you interested in learning the saxophone, but don’t know where to start? Read on for some impartial advice about the best course of action to take. The truth is that you’ll have to make quite a few decisions about what type of saxophone is best for you. The price of a saxophone can vary quite a lot, but they are definitely on the expensive end of the woodwind scale. This is why you’ll need to choose wisely when making your decision.
Generally, you will discover four conventional sizes of saxophone. The soprano saxophone, the alto saxophone, the tenor and the baritone. There are other types available, but these are the most common. Soprano is the physically smallest of the four and also has the highest pitch. Baritone is the largest and lowest of the four. There is a full octave between the key of the soprano and baritone.
School pupils may find themselves being urged to take up clarinet before saxophone. This is based on the fact that clarinet provides a good grounding in the basics of woodwind instruments. Once you have mastered the finger work and embouchure on a clarinet then you will find all the other woodwind instruments comparatively easier. It’s a bit like saying Latin is the basis of all languages. However, if you’re solely intent on learning just the saxophone then this shouldn’t be an issue. One of the big advantages of the sax is that is actually quite an easy instrument to progress on at a fast rate. This is largely down to its easier embouchure. In case you’ve not heard of this term, it means the way in which you apply your mouth to create the sound of the notes. The finger work on the saxophone is also relatively straightforward. All of this means that you should be able to get a satisfying tone out of your sax fairly quickly.
Now let’s have a look at which type of saxophone is best suited to beginners. I must say that it is clearly the alto saxophone. Here are the reasons why. Firstly, the pitch of the alto is neither low nor high. So when you are starting out you will not have to worry about your breathing too much in order to elicit the full range of notes. Secondly, the alto sax is an easy size to handle. A child will be able to get their hands around it. This also means that the keys are not too far apart from each other. This makes the finger work less tricky on the alto compared to other saxes. Thirdly, it is the easiest saxophone to find sheet music for. This is largely because it is the most commonly written for in classical music.
Finally, the main thing with regard to choosing a saxophone is going for one that “speaks” to you. If you love your instrument than you’re far more likely to continue practicing on it. Get advice from independent retailers on what make and model will suit you best. Saxophones aren’t cheap, but that doesn’t mean you should pay top dollar for your first instrument. Some music stores operate try before you buy schemes. Additionally, you may be able to go through your music teacher to get a discount or rental option. Don’t be afraid to ask and good luck!
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