Tips for getting started with the saxophone: choosing the right equipment

Tips for getting started with the saxophone: choosing the right equipment
Table of contents
  1. The saxophone:
  2. The beak:
  3. The reeds:

To start the saxophone well, it is essential to respect a few fundamental rules to allow you to acquire a solid foundation from the start of your learning. Getting started on the saxophone is relatively easy and here I will share my advice on how to start learning the saxophone with or without sheet music.

The material to start the saxophone well is composed as follows:

The saxophone:

To start the saxophone well and it will seem obvious to you, you will need to get a saxophone in good working order! If I insist on the good working order of the instrument, it is because I have too often seen apprentice saxophonists come to see me with perfectly unplayable saxophones to begin with. And believe me, it won't make your job any easier.

Above all, do not hesitate to have your instrument checked and / or repaired by a professional! Do not be fooled by the feelings, even if you have an irresistible urge to play on the family saxophone, the one you have been told about all your childhood, chances are it has become unplayable and often irreparable by the same occasion (apart from a fewexceptions of course but difficult to find in France). You will adapt to this instrument and you will make it an extension of yourself. It must therefore be properly adjusted so as not to develop bad habits from the start!

The beak:

You will also need to get a quality mouthpiece suitable for your instrument! The mouthpieces supplied with the saxophones (regardless of the brand, except perhaps the Selmer saxophones) are very often of poor quality. They will produce sound, of course, but also of poor quality. It is important to choose a spout that is neither too open nor too closed to begin with. I advise you to choose an aperture between 170 and 190 for the alto saxophone for example: Selmer S 90 C *, Vandoren V5 A15 or A25.

The reeds:

And of course you will need reeds, because without a reed there is no sound! The reeds you choose should also be of good quality (I insist!) Because they are the centerpiece of the sound emission and you will quickly realize that, believe me! They might even become your worst nightmare! As for the mouthpiece, choose reeds that are neither too strong nor too weak, between 2 and 3. Be careful because the strength of the reeds vary depending on the brand. They will give you the feeling of being stronger at Vandoren than at d'Addario (ex Rico) for example. So make your choice according to your preferences.

By putting these tips into practice, you will grow in learning the saxophone and can become a professional.

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