Saxophone for Beginners

October 4, 2017

Cool Cats Learn All About the Sax

Practicing an instrument builds up coordination, reduces stress and is enjoyable. Learn one of the coolest instruments ever – the Saxophone. The saxophone has a long history in the annals of modern American music in a wide variety of genres. Thousands of kids and adults each year start the study of the sax, and begin a wonderful journey into the world of music.

Saxophone History: Invented by Adolphe Sax

The saxophone is a single reed musical instrument invented by renowned musician Adolphe Sax. He revealed his invention to the world in 1844. Until that time, military bands of the time used oboes, bassoons, and French horns. During the orchestral debut of the Saxphone, Sax’s good friend Hector Berlioz conducted a concert featuring his choral arrangement Chant Sacre which featured the Saxophone.

As the instrument evolved and was adopted across Europe and the world, Sidney Bechet (1897-1959) became one of the first advocates of the Saxophone in the Jazz world, being a contemporary of Louis Armstrong. Other figures include Frankie Trumbauer (1901-1956), Coleman Hawkins (1904-1969) and Johnny Hodges (1906-1970).

Types of Saxophones: Sopranino, Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass, Contrabass and Subcontrabass

The most popular saxophones are the military band saxophones alternates instruments in B♭ and E♭. Other instruments exist in C and F, but these have always been marginal. Most military bands (including school marching bands) call for an E♭ baritone, B♭ tenor, E♭ alto and B♭ soprano. Discuss with your child’s band director what kind of sax would be most appropriate while checking out our article on choosing your child’s first instrument if you and your child are planning on exploring the saxophone as an instrument.

Saxophones in Jazz and other pop music

Jazz greats such as Charlie Parker helped popularize the use of the saxophone in jazz ensembles, revolutionizing small group performance. The sax has also played important roles in Reggae, Ska, and later Rock and Hip Hop, especially with the use of sampling.

Saxophone for Kids

Which saxophone is right for a growing beginner? By far, the Alto Saxophone is usually the most popular. Due to the fact it requires less lung power and puff than other saxophones, the Alto sax is more popular than its larger brothers. It also is easier to play “in tune” than the smaller Soprano sax.

Used and New Saxophones

Good starting brands for new saxophones are the Yamaha YAS280 (for a premium model), the Jupiter 500 Q (for a mid tier brand), and the Sonata 701 (for an entry level instrument.) Speak with our specialists at Joe’s music for insight and advice.

Is Saxophone Right for Me?

Only you can answer that question, but working with music professionals, teaches, and the child in question to try music and a few sample lessons can bring nothing but benefit. Reach out to your child’s arts and music teachers. You can also contact us, and we’d be delighted to answer any of your questions.

Come to Joe’s Music, and explore the Saxophone. Enter the world of music.

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