So you’ve decided that you really want to learn to play the saxophone. But things aren’t quite that straightforward. Saxophones aren’t that cheap and so it’s important you spend your money on the right one for you.
Commonly, you will discover 4 prevalent sizes of saxophone. They are soprano, alto, tenor and baritone. You’ll find soprano is in the key of Bb, then alto sax which is half an octave lower, in the key of Eb. Tenor saxophone is a full octave lower than the soprano, and also in the key of Bb. Then finally, the baritone sax is one octave below alto saxophone. For that reason it is also in the key of Eb.
Beginners are occasionally advised in school to try the clarinet just before taking up the sax. The clarinet offers trickier fingering. It is believed if you’re able to understand this then you’ll find the saxophone easy. But others argue that the saxophone’s gentle learning curve make it the ideal place to start. The embouchure of the saxophone is said to be a bit less onerous. Embouchure is the term for how to apply your mouth to the mouthpiece to produce musical notes. Both this and the ordinary spread of keys are less complicated to play on a saxophone than on a flute or clarinet. This means that a student saxophonist will be able to coax appealing sound out of their instrument with less effort.
The alto saxophone is usually the one nearly all enthusiasts are advised to try first. This is mainly down to its moderate pitch. The fact that the alto’s pitch is neither too high nor too low means that it requires less difficult breath work to play successfully. The scale of keys is also smaller on an alto and consequently kids will have no trouble in keeping hold of the instrument. The alto sax is actually the most frequently used form of saxophone in classical music and as a result there’s a glut of written music readily available.
But remember that the most important part of buying any instrument is to get one that you click with. This ensures that even when learning becomes difficult you will still want to continue. It’s also advisable to seek out recommendations from your music teacher. They may know of a good music store to try that offers independent and impartial advice. Additionally, you may be able to hire out a saxophone before buying one.
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