A Saxophone for you

What is it?

The saxophone is a french instrument designed in 1846 by Adolphe Sax by combining characteristics of brass (ophicleide) and wind (bass clarinet) instruments.                                                    

A person that plays the saxophone it’s called a saxophonist.   

Not to be confused with

You may hear about it with other names. Pronounced /ˈsaksəfəʊn/, from the combination of its inventor’s name and the latin meaning “Sound of sax” and called Saxofón in spanish and Saxofone in portuguese.                       


The instrument it’s from the Wind family meaning the sound comes by blowing air in a mouthpiece into a tube(resonator), but it’s also from the brass category for it’s material and origin. 


The types of saxophone are determined by range meaning they reach different notes:

  • Soprano 
  • Alto
  • Tenor
  • Baritone
  • Sopranissimo
  • Sopranino
  • Bass
  • Contrabass
  • Subcontrabass

This can be confusing, just know that the most common variant is the tenor and alto.

In terms of materials the option is brass with a lacquer of gold or silver or just colored paint that looks like lacquer. The lacquer has no effect in sound (our article here) but it does in price.

Before you buy 

Getting a saxophone for sale? as a gift? If you do, here’s all you need to know.

The price of the instrument is around $200 – $6,000 USD , the cheapest I found was a Glarry alto sax painted gold (not real gold) and the most expensive was a Performance silver plated Baritone sax.

In the middle we have something like a Yamaha YAS-280 gold lacquer alto sax for 1,100 USD, you can search in amazon here or ebay here.

All of these brands (Yamaha, Glarry also Mendini, Jean Paul ) are a good start, just make sure they have a guarantee and shipping to your country, good reviews and if they don’t you can get them other ways

The size goes around 24 x 10 x 5.5 In (61 x 25 x 14 Cm) – 30 x 10 x 15 In (76 x 25 x 38 Cm) and has a weight from 8.5 Lbs (3.8 Kgs) to 13 Lbs (6 Kgs).


There are a lot of accessories for example:

  • Mouthpiece: they all look similar, but they have different sizes, so if your sax is 4C, 5C or other.
  • Reeds: Go in the mouthpiece and help create vibration in the air, they come in different sizes and change the sound a little.
  • Bag & Case: Bag for transportation and case for safety and transportation. If you don’t get one with your instrument check the sizes section to get a perfect one.
  • Stand: there are generic stands that work for a variety of instruments so you don’t necessarily need the specific one
  • Cleaning kit: a complete one should have brushes (short and extremely long), oil, microfiber and germinicide          

How to learn the saxophone   

We recommend learning to read sheet music, play notes and learn the tricks playing songs.
For learning to read sheets we try a lot of resources to help you choose.

To learn to play all notes you need a finger chart (also known as position chart).

The tips & tricks are all the details that combined make a big difference.

They way you hold it, efficient warmups, positions and techniques.

You can search for music sheets in places like musescore & pinterest

Here are some book and courses:

Remember,the saxophone is easy to learn and fast too and although it’s not similar to many other instruments there’s plenty of resources just for it. We hope this helps, we’ll keep working on this article.              

Luis Gerardo

Musician as a hobby for +6 years, documenting every instrument in simple words for this website.

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