Buying a new saxophone requires minimal knowledge of the types of saxophones available in the market as well as the differences that distinguish them from each other. Saxophones are generally categorized into four types. The first would be the soprano saxophone which is in the key of B flat. Its sound or pitch is higher compared to the other saxophones and is therefore generally considered as the hardest to play. This is not recommended to beginners who are not yet adept at playing the instrument. The second type is called the Alto Saxophone and is in the key of E flat.
It is the one commonly played most especially by beginners. This type of saxophone is recommended to beginners because most of the practice materials and compositions for beginners are in the alto pitch. The third one is called the tenor saxophone. It is in the key of B flat and is mostly used for playing jazz and blues as well as rock music. However, the neck of this kind of saxophone is longer than the other types of saxophone making it more prone to damage. The fourth kind is the baritone saxophone. It is usually played for jazz solos. It is the largest among the other three types of saxophone that its players will have to wear a harness to support its weight.
The person buying a new saxophone must determine first the exact purpose(s) for which the instrument is to be purchased. For instance, if one is looking at buying a new saxophone to play mostly jazz or rock music, then the best choice would be the tenor saxophone. But if the person using the instrument is a beginner and wishes to learn more about playing the instrument, then the Alto Saxophone is the best pick. Since these saxophones also come in different shapes and sizes, one who intends to use the saxophone regularly and wishes it to be more handy and manageable as opposed to heavy and sturdy will have to do away with baritone saxophone.
After delimiting one’s choice to any particular type of saxophone, the next consideration would be the price. This is very important especially if one has to work with a limited budget. Nevertheless, price consideration is also important vis a vis the market value of the instrument. One would not want to purchase an extremely cheap saxophone as it may render the quality of the instrument in doubt; neither is it wise for anyone to just rush and purchase a new instrument for a price twice its real market price. That would be a total rip off!!
Checking out the manufacturer of the saxophone may also help in ensuring that the saxophone is going to be good quality. This is especially important to ensure that one does not buy an instrument which is difficult to tune, has bad or weak tone, or is easily broken. The model of the instrument may also be helpful in buying a new saxophone. However, for students who wish only to purchase new saxophones for practice and casual playing as opposed to professionally using the instrument, being particular with the model may not be necessary. Finally, when the questions on the type of saxophone, its price, manufacturer and model have been settled it is important to make sure that the instrument is in its best condition. Check for faulty hardware, breaks, leaks, or bent parts. When all these have been observed, one may then proceed to purchase buying a new saxophone.
By Will Thompson
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