About The Saxophone
The saxophone was first formed by a Belgian instrument maker by the name of Adolphe Sax in 1843. The sax was developed mainly to be played in military groups but has these days come to be more synonymous with Jazz, Big Band, and many other genres of popular music today.
The sax, is a woodwind instrument, although it is formed of metal. It has a cool, sexy character that is highly outstanding. The sax is quite easy to learn and is a nice instrument for anyone above the age of 12 who wants to be able to render one or two elementary pieces without needing any great musical experience. The sax has a single reed connected to the mouthpiece which is thinner at the reed end and broadens out along the length into a wide 'bell' at the other side. To make the saxophone more manageable, the horn is bent into the distinctive 'S' shape appearance, apart from the very small saxes, such as the soprano, which is straight similar to a clarinet.
The earliest saxophones had a range of around two octaves. With today's class of saxophone the range is now about two and a half octaves, but with special playing skills a lot higher notes can be achieved. Modern saxes also have a higher quality designed key construction making them easier to play.
It is suggested that you start learning with the alto saxophone. The soprano is also good for a newcomer, but it is not advisable that you start with a tenor or baritone sax - get an alto to begin with, you can always shift after. The transition will be a great deal simpler.
because the sax isn't one of the most difficult instruments to learn and play, if you put the work in you will easily be playing pieces extremely quickly.
In order to play the sax you need to have arms strong enough to hold the instrument and hands large enough to cover the keys. There are no small instruments especially for beginners, although of course the little soprano sax is easier in this regard. It is common for kids of 11 or 12 to start on the sax. Please take note that acquiring a sound embouchure (how your mouth fits the mouth piece) from the outset is an out right necessity because this will affect the overall tonal character of your saxophone, this is why it is not advisable for children who still have their first teeth take up the saxophone as your teeth form an important part of an excellent embouchure.
Good Practice Makes Perfect
You will most certainly require excellent books and dvd's that give lessons in fingering, scales, exercises that aid you to achieve an excellent embouchure etc.
Starting to play a saxophone will challenge you to put in much effort for regular practice. Shaping your technique so as to play like a pro comes with determination and hard work, as well as with tuition and practice on a consistent basis. Give yourself a generous amount of time to practice the technique and know how to develop your weaknesses.
It is highly suggested that you find a reputable tutor in the vicinity which you live that will be able to watch your progress and help you maintain discipline and keep you on track.
Be Properly Equipped
Purchasing a high quality saxophone will give you the best start on this musical journey, keep in mind you will always get what you pay for, you may be tempted to get the cheapest but you'll probably pay out in the long term or become disappointed with its sound character very quickly. Think of it as an investment not an expense. Buying a Quality horn from a well known manufacturer will put you in good stead for the future, not to mention having a high-quality tone and a more precise intonation. Other basic equipment are-
a solid case (not a soft gigbag)
a good sturdy stand
a swab (pullthrough) to clean the internals
Resources for scales and fingering technique exercises.
Sheet music. Start with easy musical pieces