Top 6 Best Saxophone in India | 12th Aug 2020
Reviews, Comparison and Buying Guide
What is a Saxophone?
The saxophone (referred to colloquially as the sax) is a family of woodwind instruments usually made of brass and played with a single-reed mouthpiece. Although most saxophones are made from brass, they are categorized as woodwind instruments, because sound is produced by an oscillating reed (traditionally made out of woody cane) rather than lips vibrating in a mouthpiece cup as with the brass instrument family. As with the other woodwind instruments, the pitch of the note being played is controlled by covering holes in the body tube to control the resonant frequency of the air column by changing the effective length of the tube.
Best Saxophone | Buying Guide : Things to consider while buying a Saxophone
You might be in the market for a new saxophone for a number of reasons. Maybe you’re looking for a great beginner’s model for yourself, a family member, or a student. Perhaps you’ve been playing for some time and are considering an upgrade. Or maybe you’re an alto or tenor sax player looking to broaden your range with a second sax-family instrument.
Whatever your reason for buying a new sax, the selection process can be daunting. This guide will help you sort out the possibilities and find the instrument that best meets your needs.
Saxophones have enormous versatility. From the gruff honking tones of the baritone sax to the warm and mellow tenor sax sound, to the bright and articulate alto and soprano saxophones, these instruments cover a wide range of pitches and conjure musical moods that range from raucous to restful. You’ll hear saxophones and their distinctive voicings making huge contributions in countless genres including R&B, soul, reggae, salsa, pop, and of course, jazz. They’re also an important part of the wind section of orchestras and marching bands and continue to be among the most popular instruments for budding elementary, high school and college musicians.
Some advanced players learn to be proficient with a number of different voicings. However, many saxophonists hone their skills on one particular saxophone type, developing their own, distinct solo voice.
It’s important to decide which saxophone is right for you. We will explore some characteristics of each of the most popular voicings and discuss some buying considerations for each.
The alto saxophone—tuned to Eb, two-and-a-half steps higher than the tenor saxophone—is far and away the most common starter instrument in the saxophone family. Its more compact key layout and need for a little less air make it a solid choice for the younger student. In elementary and high schools, altos typically represent the largest share of the saxophone section.
Other factors making the alto a popular first saxophone is its generally lower cost as well as the wealth of classical repertoire written for the instrument. Moreover, most of the skills that will be learned on the alto are readily transferable to other saxophones.
Intermediate and professional players looking to expand their skills would do well to consider the alto sax as well. Even jazz players who have little interest in the alto’s status as a classical mainstay will find a lot to love—many jazz greats have found their signature sound in the instrument’s higher range.
Even though the cost of an alto can be lower, it’s important to remember that craftsmanship and materials are critical to the instrument’s tone, intonation, playability, and durability. While these factors might seem less important for those who are just starting out, just the opposite is true. Keep in mind that an instrument that doesn’t stay in tune, is difficult to play, or breaks easily can quickly discourage a student from progressing on the saxophone and enjoying their experience.
The tenor saxophone is the one most closely associated with jazz players, as it is a mainstay in that genre. It is tuned to Bb and has the familiar, curved body style. Since it is not as large or heavy as the baritone or bass sax, the tenor is somewhat easier for young beginners to play. However, with its relatively large, curved shape, it still is quite susceptible to damage, so it’s important to make sure the body is built from durable materials.
Bass and baritone saxophones
Although there are saxophones capable of producing even lower frequencies, bass and baritone saxophones are the lowest-pitched instruments in the saxophone family that you will find commonly played.
The bass models are tuned to Bb, one octave below the tenor sax. They are very large and almost always played in a seated position.
While it’s less common to hear bass saxophones in pop or jazz music, you can find them in classical arrangements or as part of saxophone ensembles. So while their use is rarer, you might find your skills in high demand if you can learn to play the bass saxophone proficiently.
Baritone saxophones, on the other hand, make a regular appearance in several types of music. They are often used in classical, and a number of jazz players have incorporated them as a primary or secondary instrument for a distinct solo sound. Their honking, deep tones continue to be an important part of the sound of old-school R&B and rock ‘n’ roll.
Baritone saxophones are tuned to Eb, two-and-a-half steps higher than the bass saxophone’s tuning.
For players who are just starting out, bass or baritone saxophones have the advantage of being relatively mobile, compared to other bass-clef brass and woodwinds such as tubas. However, they can sometimes be difficult for younger players to reach the complete range of keys, particularly with bass saxophones.
Baritone saxophones are often played standing, using a strap to help the player position this larger instrument. With their large bodies, baritones are particularly prone to taking some damage, so it’s important to look for a model that is built for durability—typically one made from quality lacquered brass. With bass saxophones or baritones that you plan to be playing in a seated position, it also might be wise to look for a model that includes a sturdy floor peg, as this will support the instrument and protect against damage from contact with the floor.
Like the alto, the soprano saxophone can be a somewhat less costly instrument than other members of the saxophone family. This is in large part because its smaller body requires less material to construct. However, it’s important that you don’t base your decision to pick up a soprano sax on cost alone, especially if you are a beginner. Because the soprano sax is a smaller, higher-pitched instrument than its alto cousin, it can be a considerably more difficult for a beginning player to produce a good sound from. Achieving good intonation and staying in in tune are skills that usually develop somewhat more slowly in soprano sax players.
That said, the soprano saxophone is an excellent choice for those who want to produce a rich, full sound in the higher registers. The soprano is tuned to Bb, two-and-a-half steps higher than the alto, and it fits in particularly well with orchestras and concert bands. Notable jazz players such as John Coltrane have included the soprano saxophone in their repertoire as a means of expanding their tonal coloration options.
Which quality level of saxophone is right for me?
Regardless of which type of saxophone you settle on, you will need to choose among three instrument quality levels:
Manufacturers have put a lot of attention into producing starter instruments that are affordable while offering the musicality that will keep a neophyte committed to developing his or her skills. Good student saxes feel comfortable to beginners and are capable of producing pleasing tone quite easily. If your child’s commitment to the saxophone is uncertain, a student model makes sense. In three years or so, you will be ready to trade up to an intermediate instrument, and provided the student model is still in decent shape, its sale or trade will help to underwrite the cost of the new saxophone.
Keep in mind, of course, that lower cost does not mean dirt-cheap. Make sure you buy a reputable brand of instrument constructed with musicality and playability in mind. Nothing will kill a student’s interest in playing more than an instrument that doesn’t sound good or is unusually difficult to play.
As the name implies, intermediate models straddle the area between student and professional instruments. Although the key work and action may feel similar to a professional instrument, the intermediate horns usually do not produce quite the fullness of tone typical of pro models. They usually have less handwork than professional instruments and lack the deluxe cosmetic detailing of their higher-end brethren.
Professional saxophones offer a significant step up in tone, response, and intonation. There is usually a lot of handwork, such as hand-hammered keys and elaborate hand engraving, on the bell. The metal alloys, solders, and other materials used are of the highest quality, resulting in advanced playability and full expressiveness.
Specifications and upgrades
We’ve covered the different saxophone voicings and levels to consider. Now let’s take a look at some common details to look for in a sax and some additions to consider.
Saxophones have either ribbed or non-ribbed construction, with most modern instruments being ribbed. This refers to how the posts (the knobs that protrude from the body to hold the keys) attach to the body. Individual posts are attached to plates or sheets of brass with high-temperature solder or brazing material. These rib assemblies are then attached to the saxophone body with lower-temperature solder. Ribs strengthen the bond between the posts and the body helping to keep the instrument in adjustment longer.
Materials and finishes
Most saxes are made with yellow brass bodies. Some instruments are available with bodies, bells, and/or necks made of bronze, copper, or sterling silver. These alternate materials darken the tone, add cost, require careful handling, and are geared towards the professional player seeking a distinctive tone and look.
The standard finish for most saxophones is a clear lacquer. Today, the saxophonist can choose from an array of alternate finishes including colored or pigmented lacquers, silver plate, “antiqued” or “vintage” finishes, nickel-plate, or black nickel-plate.
Most modern saxophones have a high F# key, though it is possible to play the note without the key. A growing number of soprano saxophones offer a high G key, though again, the note is playable without the key. Selmer Paris Series III altos include a C# resonance key for improved clarity of middle C#. Low A keys are now seen on most baritone saxophones.
If you aren’t getting the tone you want out of your current saxophone, but you are otherwise happy with the instrument, one upgrade to consider is a new saxophone neck, which can drastically alter both sound and responsiveness.
Top 6 Best Saxophone – [Updated and Highly Recommended]
Comparison Chart to make your purchase easy
Jazz it up with the all new range of Kadence Saxophones. These fine pieces of brass are designed for the smoothest playability while maintaining an optimum tone. Crafted to unleash some pure feels, these will get the best of music out of you! Hit the toughest of notes with the ease of a pro and make every session – smooth as jazz!
Features / Reviews
Smoothest playability while maintaining an optimum tone
High Quality yellow brass
Alto Saxophone Tone
The Saxophone Is A Family Of Woodwind Instruments. Saxophones Are Usually Made Of Brass And Played With A Single-Reed Mouthpiece Similar To That Of The Clarinet.
Features / Reviews
Brass material in silver color
Comes with hard case and belt and globes
Havana Alto saxophone is the most sold Saxophone recently with a good Output tone and recommended by legends . You can carry it any where with the compact case provided
Features / Reviews
Sound quality for lower and upper scale mix with each other
Carry it any where with the compact case provided
This product is from Music World brand. It is made of Brass and is silver in color. Material: Brass Nikle; Colour: silver , Package Contents: 1 Piece Alto Saxophone , Easy Blow Mouthpiece and Designer Hard case Included Alto Saxophone with mouthpiece , 2 Reed , Ligature and Cap , Hard case easy to carry case Brings fine Quality of saxophone .
Features / Reviews
Easy Blow Mouthpiece
Designer Hard case Included
Jinbao Alto Saxophone features E key tone, lacquer high F# appearance, yellow brass material.
Features / Reviews
Alto saxophone tone
Yellow brass material
Generic Altosaxophone AS100LG of good sound quality comes with a free case suitable for beginer and professionals both
Features / Reviews
Comes with a free case
Suitable for beginer and professionals
Benefits of Saxophone
The saxophone is always one of the top instruments considered for those who are wanting to participate in a marching band, jazz ensemble or symphony because of the cool and sultry image associated with it.
Choosing the saxophone makes you sophisticated, smooth, with a lot of soul and many people are drawn to this image.
The sax doesn’t just help your image though, there are other reasons that you should learn how to play the saxophone.
There are 9 different types of saxophone with the most common being the Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Baritone.
Alto saxophone is what most beginner saxophone players learn when they are in a public school band or ensemble.
The various types of saxes are used for different parts of a song. The Baritone has bassline parts while the soprano and alto saxophones have melodies.
The saxophone has a very creative sound that is flexible for many genres including classical, jazz, soul, blues, contemporary, pop, rock, and marching bands.
This instrument can suit any musical taste with dynamic sounds that allow the musician to convey emotion and project their own style and creativity.
Make You Smarter
Research has proven that kids who learn music excel in abstract reasoning skills, literacy and math skills, and do better overall in academics.
Learning an instrument like the saxophone also improves memory function, teaches patience, perseverance and other important leadership skills.
Playing an instrument takes a lot of brain power, muscle memory and neurological control.
There have been numerous studies that prove people who play instruments have better memories and can better control their cognitive and motor functions congruently than those who do not play instruments.
Playing the saxophone is a workout for your brain.
The sound from the saxophone is smooth, sensual, and is very relaxing to play. Many people enjoy playing an instrument to relax and live in the present moment.
Playing or composing music requires you to be present and focused on just that one thing which is a great way to get centered, relax, and de-stress.
Making music is also great for improving mood or being used as your own personal therapy device.
An evolving Skill
Musicians love the saxophone because there is always something new to learn.
With 9 instruments in the saxophone family and being an instrument that is genreless, or rather, not bound to any one genre, there are an endless number of songs to learn and ways to advance your skill level.
There are few instruments that you can hear in contemporary billboard top 40 chart topping songs and on the classical AM radio station.
Saxophones however are an instrument that people will never get tired of or stop listening to.
The sounds of the saxophone are suitable to nearly every genre of music from jazz to rock, pop, and soul.
Mainstream pop starts such as Macklemore and Ariana Grande frequently use the saxophone on their album.
Learning the saxophone ensures a much better chance at a long lasting music career.
Easy to Play
The Saxophone is a newer instrument when compared to others in an orchestra and has a fingering system that is relatively easy to understand.
The sax is also one of the easier of the woodwind instruments when it comes to producing the correct tone with the instruments.
The Bb Soprano sax is the smallest and has the most unique sound but is the hardest to control when it comes to intonation.
Most composers and music teachers recommend learning on the alto sax because of its medium size that almost anyone over the age of 10 can handle well, and has the most material to learn from.
The Tenor and Baritone saxes are much larger (the baritone is 4 feet tall!) and harder to maneuver, especially if you are considering being a part of a marching band.
Makes Learning Other Woodwinds Easier
The saxophone is in the woodwind family of instruments alongside clarinet and flute.
If you learn to play the saxophone, chances are that the clarinet, which also uses a reed and has a similar fingering system, will be extremely easy for you to learn.
The best saxophone players also easily transition to flute because the instrument lacks a reed making it somewhat easier to produce tone from and has almost the same register as the soprano and alto saxophones with nearly identical fingerings.
People love the saxophone and jazz, blues, and soul music are all becoming more mainstream on the radio with the sound of this instrument permeating every genre.
Once people know that you play the sax, they will want you to play for them.
Being a part of a band or orchestra is also a fun social activity that teaches people about team work and determination.
The saxophone also sets a great ambiance that is hip, cool, and sophisticated.
Just like any time you conquer a hard task or learn a new skill, learning to play a musical instrument, especially one like the saxophone is something that should instill confidence in the musician.
Reading sheet music and learning to play woodwind instruments, or any really, is hard.
These skills take a lot of time, patience, and dedication to learn, but once they are mastered will stick with you for life.
People who play instruments tend to be more confident in their decision-making abilities, their musical skills, social skills, academic life, and problem solving.
Buying the right saxophone involves meeting both the player’s needs and their skill level. Whether you’re looking for the very first instrument for a new student or stepping up to a professional model for an experienced and skilled musician, making the right choice is essential for getting the sound and performance you need.
So that’s a guide through the weird and wonderful world of saxophone! The one piece of advice I will give you is that the saxophone is a beautiful, rewarding instrument to play, so go and play it!
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