Learning and playing the saxophone is a wonderful experience, and the depth and breadth of the music that you can play is unending. Renting an instrument can get costly, so for the serious player, it is a good idea to buy a saxophone of your own. Although a bit more expensive at first, it is well worth the freedom of being able to practice whenever you want to.
Finding the right saxophone can be difficult because there are so many options to choose from and so many features that they can offer that it is understandable that some people may get confused. That’s where we come in. We have developed this guide to give you all of the information that you need to make an informed decision on what your needs are and what features may fill them so that you can find the right saxophone to learn and practice with. We hope that, like with all our guides, you enjoy reading our advice and tips, and that we help you to find the perfect saxophone for you. We have carefully researched all of our guides and each product very carefully so that we can assure you that all of this information is correct and as informative as possible. So, take a read and we hope this guide and review helps you to find the right instrument for you.
TOP 5 SAXOPHONES
LJ HUTCHEN EB ALTO SAXOPHONE
The LJ Hutchen Eb Alto Saxophone is crafted with a heavy-duty brace in order to prevent misalignment and damage so that your saxophone is much more durable.
The ergonomic metal thumb-rest is much more comfortable than other models, allowing you to play for much longer.
The LJ Hutchen Eb Alto Saxophone is designed for the younger player, incorporating smaller and more comfortable pinky keys for younger players.
Each pad is specially treated to enhance and extend the durability of the saxophone keys.
The LJ Hutchen Eb Alto Saxophone comes with everything that you need to get started, such as a mouthpiece kit, a neck strap and a lined hard case to get you started as soon as possible and keep your saxophone protected.
Each LJ Hutchen saxophone comes with a 2 year warranty to protect your interests should there be any damage or issues with your saxophone.
The case that is provided with the LJ Hutchen Eb Alto Saxophone is of relatively low quality and there is not enough padding to properly protect the saxophone.
The strap falls off of the saxophone quite easily as it is glued rather than stitched, so it is recommended that you purchase your own, higher grade strap.
Some of the parts of the saxophone do not match up properly for sealing to occur if you dismantle and reassemble the saxophone yourself and this can cause air to escape and the sound to be altered and not as true to the tones.
Some customers have found that the valves take a lot of pressure to close properly, causing air to escape and an incorrect sound to be produced.
The LJ Hutchen Eb Alto Saxophone is rather heavy, which can be difficult for younger players to sustain for longer practice sessions and performances.
The LJ Hutchen Eb Alto Saxophone is an incredibly durable saxophone. Woth a heavy-duty brace and specially treated pads, this saxophone is guaranteed to be much more durable and robust saxophone, whilst still being able to create beautiful tones and music.
This saxophone is much more comfortable than many other models, especially for younger players, as it has specially designed thumb rests and pinky keys so that you can play for a lot longer and younger players can play much more comfortably.
With everything that you need to get started, the LJ Hutchen Eb Alto Saxophone is the perfect saxophone for both beginners and performers because it can be used straight out of the box.
The long warranty gives each customer plenty of time to get used to the saxophone, as well as covering them in case there are any issues or damages to the saxophone that may need fixing.
The LJ Hutchen Eb Alto Saxophone is an excellent quality saxophone that gives players everything that they need to get started, learn properly and perform well. With its highly comfortable and impressively durable design, the LJ Hutchen Eb Alto Saxophone is perfect for older and younger players, as it has specially designed pinky buttons that aid the younger player in reaching and applying pressure in the correct way. This helps to build and develop the strength in the fingers so that the player can learn the correct technique for professional playing. If you want to buy your own saxophone and have the freedom and ability to learn and play whenever you want, then the LJ Hutchen Eb Alto Saxophone is a brilliant option for a first saxophone, even giving you everything that you need to get started right away on your journey to learning the saxophone.Nicole
The Mendini Gold Lacquer Saxophone has a gold lacquered body and keys to give it a much more professional and beautiful finish, perfect for performances.
The manufacturing of this saxophone is absolutely beautiful, with contoured keys and faux mother of pearl inlays, this saxophone is one of the most professional looking on the market.
The large bore and ribbed construction helps the saxophone to fit together much more snuggly to minimize any air loss.
The Mendini Gold Lacquer Saxophone comes with a pro-deluxe hard shell case to help protect your saxophone during travelling, but also a neck strap and a box of ten reeds so that you can get started right away.
With a one year warranty, you have plenty of time to get used to your saxophone under the insurance coverage from any manufacturing issues.
The screws holding parts of the saxophone together can become lose with frequent use and practice, so it is important that you maintain these with regular tightening.
The pads are not very thick, so it can be uncomfortable to play for longer periods of practice and performance without thicker padding.
The brass plating can begin to erode with regular use, so cleaning and proper care is very important.
This saxophone can be difficult to tune into different keys as it is set in E flat Alto, and this can have an effect on the sound and tones the saxophone is capable of producing.
The base metal of the saxophone is lower in quality than others, which makes the saxophone less durable and hard wearing in the long run.
The colour of the saxophone does not fit with some school band and performance group standards, so make sure that you check these before you buy.
The gold finish, faux pearl keys and expert construction makes this saxophone perfect for performers as well as those who practice solo with the hopes of reaching performance level.
The premium construction makes each part of the Mendini Gold Lacquer Saxophone fit perfectly together and seal completely, helping to produce the most professional and natural sound of the saxophone.
Each saxophone comes with everything that you need to start playing right away and protect your saxophone during moving and storing.
The long warranty gives you plenty of time to get used to the saxophone and find any issues that you may occur and have them fixed or replaced without having to pay the cost yourself.
The Mendini Gold Lacquer Saxophone provides you with everything that you need to get started and practice right away without having to buy extra supplies such as reeds and a neck strap, everything that you need is already supplied.
The Mendini Gold Lacquer Saxophone is a very high quality saxophone that offers everything that a beginner could need in order to practice and perfect their saxophone skills and performance techniques. With everything that you need to get started, you can practice whenever you want without all of the added costs of renting an instrument from a facility. The main drawback of the Mendini Gold Lacquer Saxophone is that it can loosen very easily and needs regular maintenance in order to stop this from happening. As well as this the padding can easily wear thin and become uncomfortable, but if you take due care and attention then the Mendini Gold Lacquer Saxophone will serve you well as a beginner and learners saxophone, no matter what your age or experience level.Nicole
This saxophone is an incredibly beautiful, hand-engraved, antique-esque saxophone with a gorgeous floral design etched in gold over a grey coloured saxophone body, making the design and features stand out beautifully.
Each saxophone comes with all of the added accessories that you need to get started, such as a mouth piece, reeds and a neck strap, making it simple to use straight out of the box.
Each saxophone is hand-designed, making no two exactly alike so that you have your own personal saxophone to fit your taste.
The compact design and key layout makes the Engraved Flower High Grade Antique Saxophone easy to play in the hands of both adults and children, so it is ideal for anyone who wants a saxophone of their own.
All saxophones are tested by a professional inspector to ensure the quality and standards of the saxophone before it is sent to the customer.
Each key has an adjustable height so that you can tailor the keys to the needs of the player.
The adjustability of the keys makes it easy for them to slip out of place and this can make it difficult to use the saxophone properly should this occur during practice and this needs constant monitoring.
The keys can become sticky with regular use and need regular cleaning, maintenance and oiling in order to keep them moving freely.
The Engraved Flower High Grade Antique Saxophone can look very brassy over time if it is not properly cared for and cleaned.
It can be difficult to hold the keys for younger players as they are rather heavy and difficult to apply enough pressure to cut off any loss of air.
Some of the parts are cheaply made, but these can be replaced by upgradable pieces from a music store.
This saxophone is simply gorgeous. The hand-painted floral design gives the saxophone a beautiful and feminine feel, perfect for a performance saxophone for those who want to catch the eye of the audience.
The added accessories with the Engraved Flower High Grade Antique Saxophone make it easy to use straight out of the box so that you can get practicing right away.
The inspection before shipping ensures the highest quality and standards throughout each of the saxophones so that you only receive a top quality product.
The compact and comfortable design in the finger keys can be used by both adults and children to help learn and develop the proper saxophone technique without having to up or down-scale the size of the saxophone, it will grow with the player.
The adjustability of various areas of the saxophone make it very easy to use and tailor to the needs and preferences of the player.
The Engraved Flower High Grade Antique Saxophone is one of the most beautiful saxophone options on the market, giving you a stunning instrument to use as a statement when performing, or as a display piece in an instrument room. For beginners, the Engraved Flower High Grade Antique Saxophone offers everything that you need to succeed and learn, as well as the features that you need to progress without having to buy newer and more advanced models, saving you time and money. Once you play the Engraved Flower High Grade Antique Saxophone, we are sure that you will fall in love with the sound and professionalism, so if you want a brand new saxophone of your own to play at home, then we think that this saxophone is the perfect fit for your needs.Nicole
The Lazarro 360 Saxophone is one of the most versatile options on the market, perfect for lessons, practice and performance, as it has features for the needs of all kinds of players.
This saxophone is manufactured by international standards, making it one of the best saxophone options around the globe for you to choose from.
Each saxophone comes with a mouthpiece, reeds, and other accessories to help you to maintain your saxophone and get started playing straight away.
With 24 colour styles to choose from, you are certain to find a design that will suit your needs and personal style.
The Lazarro 360 Saxophone is checked for quality before it is shipped, ensuring you a high quality saxophone with every purchase.
This saxophone is one of the most stylish options on the market, perfect for performances and the player who enjoys standing out from the crowd.
There are plain brass options in case you need a uniform instrument.
The padding of the Lazarro 360 Saxophone is relatively thin, so it can be uncomfortable to play and practice with over long periods of time.
The supplied reeds are not very high in quality, so it may be a good idea to buy yourself a new set in order to get the best sound.
The metals can bend easily on the saxophone, causing dents and issues which can affect the sound in a negative way, so you need to be careful when you travel with this saxophone.
The corking is quite thick, making it difficult to out the saxophone together after cleaning, but it does produce a better seal on the saxophone.
The screws can become loose very quickly so you need to make sure that you check and maintain this part of the saxophone regularly to stop the saxophone from falling apart.
The lacquer is delicate and can rub off or flake easily and this can ruin the overall look of the saxophone easily.
This saxophone is incredibly stylish, with over 20 colour options and styles to choose from so that you get a saxophone that will suit your personal style. However, if you need a simple brass option, there is an option for that too.
The Lazarro 360 Saxophone is crafted to fit and fill all international standards for saxophone manufacturing, as well as being carefully checked and inspected by a team of specialists to make sure that all of the saxophones are of the same high quality and standard.
With everything that you need provided with the saxophone, you can get started straight away with practicing and performances for the ultimate convenience.
The Lazarro 360 Saxophone comes with a useful maintenance kit to help you maintain and clean your saxophone carefully and properly without having to purchase any extras for your saxophone.
The Lazarro 360 Saxophone is a stunning saxophone for those who love to stand out and there are lots of colour choices and combinations to choose from. This saxophone fits all of the international standards of saxophone manufacturing and is carefully checked over by a team of experts before it arrives at your door, so you can be sure that you receive a top quality saxophone. Although there are some issues with the saxophone, such as thin padding and thick corking, it is well worth the money as it offers everything that you could need from a saxophone in order to play and learn as a beginner. When looking into buying a saxophone to learn and practice with, the Lazarro 360 Saxophone is one of the best options.Nicole
The Professional Alto Saxophone is crafted from solid brass, making it one of the more durable options available, perfect for those who travel a lot.
Comes with its own protective carrying case to keep your saxophone as safe as possible during travelling and storing your saxophone.
The Professional Alto Saxophone comes with everything that you need to get started, including a reed and a strap so that you can get started straight away with your new saxophone.
The Professional Alto Saxophone lies in the F key, making it an alto saxophone which is the most common key for the saxophone.
The corking on the saxophone is greased to stop it from sticking when the keys are pressed.
The Professional Alto Saxophone is professionally crafted to make it easy to disassemble and reassemble when the saxophone is cleaned or stored.
The construction of the Professional Alto Saxophone is much more lightweight than other options.
The Professional Alto Saxophone does not offer as many accessories and add ons as other options on this list, so you will need to buy a number of accessories before you can really get started.
The screws can come loose very easily so you need to check this regularly and ensure that you have a screwdriver small enough to fit and tighten the screws.
Some of the accessories and parts are quite cheap feeling, but this can be upgraded if you are ok with spending a little bit of extra money for a higher quality instrument.
The Professional Alto Saxophone does not come with a serial number, making it difficult to replace if the parts get damaged or lost.
This saxophone does not belong to a brand and this can make it difficult to get proper customer service, as they are difficult to get in touch with if there are any issues.
The solid body design of the Professional Alto Saxophone is one of the most durable saxophone products on the market so that it can survive bumps and scratched during travelling and storage to keep the saxophone in the best condition possible.
The easy to assemble body makes this saxophone easy to assemble and take apart for cleaning and maintenance without having to struggle to get the saxophone back together, which can damage the seal.
With everything that you need to get started, the Professional Alto Saxophone is especially perfect for beginners as you can get started straight away and you will know what you need to replace as you use the provided features.
This saxophone is tuned as an F alto saxophone, one of the most common and more widely recommended tuning settings for beginners and those learning.
The greasing on the cork of the keys makes the keys much less sticky so that you can easily loosen the grip on a note or tone.
The lightweight design makes the Professional Alto Saxophone ideal for those who play and practice for long periods of time.
The Professional Alto Saxophone is a very good option for a beginner saxophone, as it offers the basic features that a beginner and learning saxophone player needs. The body of the Professional Alto Saxophone is lightweight, durable and very easy to disassemble and reassemble for cleaning and storage, making it even better for beginners. Although it does not belong to a brand or a serial number, it is still a professional standard saxophone that is a great option for many beginner players who do not want to spend too much on their first saxophone, as this will allow them to develop without having to spend too much. If you are a student saxophone player who is looking for your very first saxophone that will give you everything that you need, but won’t break the bank, then the Professional Alto Saxophone is an excellent option to go for.Nicole
HOW TO DISTINGUISH A GOOD SAXOPHONE FROM A BAD ONE
New or Used?
It is always recommended that if you want to buy an instrument, a new product is always better than a used one. This gives you a lot more room to get used to your own instrument and keep you free from suffering with an instrument that has already had wear and tear and any natural damage that saxophones may go through. A new saxophone will give you much more accuracy in sound and feel as it has not had any wear and tear.
The condition of the saxophone is also important, as the better the condition the better the sound. Usually the best condition comes from a new saxophone, but it is also dependent on materials, sealing and padding. The thicker the padding, the more comfortable the saxophone is to hold and play, and the higher grade the materials, the better the seal and the more natural and full the sound. The condition will be better the newer the saxophone, but the more expensive the materials and padding, the better the saxophone will feel and sound so this is also a consideration.
The higher level brands will almost always produce the better saxophone, but there are a number of brands that offer budget prices and still produce some pretty incredible saxophones, perfect for the beginner player. There will be a detailed breakdown of all the best brands for a budget saxophone so that you can get a better idea of what the best options are, but make sure that you take brand into consideration when looking into the different products on offer. Different brands offer different product features, so make sure you take a look into the different options available.
Materials can change the feel, weight, seal and sound of a saxophone, all of which are incredibly important in how the instrument plays. The most common material that saxophones are made out of is brass, and it is often common for performing groups to normalize their instruments to simple brass so that everyone looks uniform in a performance. Some options will offer a material cover, such as gold or an ornamental design, so this is down to personal taste so make sure that you have a look around if you would like an ornamental or more luxurious design for your new saxophone.
Beginner saxophones can offer a number of different features, such as adjustable keys and mouthpiece and accommodative pinky keys to help younger player learn the proper technique and style of play. The keys can adjust in height and weight to accommodate growing players who need the keys to move and adjust to get the right technique. Make sure that you take a look at what features the different options offer and which ones you think may suit you best. Better options will offer more features than cheaper options, but not all features are completely necessary for all players.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A SAXOPHONE
Renting vs Buying
This is a buying guide, but you may be tempted to rent a saxophone. Although a viable option, the cost of this can continue to rack up and cost more than simply buying a saxophone and not having to worry about any minor dents or scratches, as you wont have to pay any fines.
Alto or Tenor
Alto saxophones are two and a half steps higher than a tenor saxophone and is the most common saxophone sound and they are generally of a lower cost than other options. A tenor saxophone is more closely associated with jazz players and is a lot lighter than alto saxophones, so this can be a great option for those who are not as strong. There are other types of saxophones available, primarily bass and baritone, but the alto and the tenor are more popular saxophones available to buy and practice with, and most schools will recommend these.
There are three types of saxophone, the student saxophone, the beginner saxophone and the professional saxophone. The student saxophone is the ideal saxophone for the beginner and learner, as they are much more affordable but still give you everything that you need. The intermediate model is more similar to the professional model and will produce a much fuller and richer sound. And finally, the professional models offer a significantly better tone and features, such as weighted and hammered keys and elaborate manufacturing.
The construction of the saxophone is very important, as the way that the pieces fit together and seal can massively effect the tones and sounds that the instrument can produce. The more professional the construction and build of the saxophone, the better the tones and sounds will be. This will also depend on the materials that are used in building the saxophone, the thickness of the corking and sealing materials and how the saxophone fits together, but generally the higher the price, the higher the quality the materials and construction.
Most saxophones are crafted from yellow brass, but there are features available in silver or even whole bodies saxophones in silver, but these options are more expensive. Alternative materials include copper and bronze, but these increase the cost of the saxophone. A lot of manufacturers choose to lacquer the saxophone in different materials such as gold, silver and nickel, which add a stunning design onto the finish of the saxophone. These finishes depend on personal choice so have a look and see what is available. We have a few options with some different designs on our list of recommended products above.
Keys and Additional Keys
There are a number of more professional saxophones that offer key enhancements such as weighted and hammered keys, but it is also possible to buy saxophone that have lower and higher keys constructed into the saxophone in order to give you a lot more options on what you can play and the pieces you can play. This is not necessary for beginners but the more that you play and practice, you may want more options for notes and tones.
Price is, of course, important. You should have a look at the price range of saxophones before you can properly define and decide your own budget. You should always try to buy a saxophone that is on the higher end of your budget, as this will offer you more features and room to grow as a player so that you can learn more complex pieces without hindrance. Make sure that you take a look at a number of options before deciding on your own budget to make sure that you know what you can get for your budget.
There are three main shapes of saxophone. Traditional, straight and curvy. The traditional shape is the tightly curled saxophone that is common on films and television and is the most common shape available. The straight shape is a straight saxophone with a higher range of keys. They tend to be lighter and more professional. The curvy saxophone shape is more like the traditional shape but is slightly more relaxed than the traditional shape, but these tend to be more ornamental and stylish.
The finish can change the entire look of the saxophone and some finishes can be incredibly beautiful. Be careful though, if the finish can change the entire look of the saxophone and some finishes can be incredibly beautiful. Be careful though, if you are a part of a performance group then you should check if the group has any regulation on what finish the saxophone might have to keep the group uniform. However if you want to stand out then we have some really beautiful options on our list of recommended products.
Some materials and options are a lot more durable than others, so you should also take this into consideration when purchasing a saxophone. Brass is the most versatile option and silver the least. If you are travelling a lot with your saxophone, then it is important that you consider the durability of the saxophone, as the more durable materials will keep it from getting bumped and scratched. If you are looking for an ornamental saxophone that may not need to travel often then a silver saxophone is a really gorgeous option.
BEST SAXOPHONE BRANDS
There are a number of brands that you can go with when purchasing a saxophone, and the brand that you go with really depends on the type and quality of the saxophone that you would like to go for. That can make it complicated and difficult to know what brand is the right one for you, your skill level and needs. This part of our helpful guide walks you through five of the best brands to choose from across the board of saxophones. We will feature brands that suite anyone from the beginner to the experienced player so that you will definitely find the right brand and the right saxophone to suit your needs.
Yamaha has been developing instruments and other electrical products for over 50 years, making them one of the most high quality brands and manufacturers on the market. Their products are known for their high quality craftsmanship and the company prides themselves on giving customers a high service to keep satisfaction high. Yamaha focus on higher quality products for the performing player, but they have a few options that are suited for those who are learning. These saxophones will offer you plenty of room to grow and develop your saxophone skills so that you don’t have to buy a new saxophone when your skills improve with practice and time, saving you money.
Selmer is a French company that focuses on brass instruments, and produces instruments that are most popular in Europe and the UK, however their products are available worldwide. Selmer have been developing products since the late 1930s and focus on producing instruments of the highest quality, perfect for the learner and the performer alike, so you don’t have to buy a more advances instrument once you have reached a certain level in your saxophone education. To this day, Selmer have been producing high quality instruments, making them one of the best brand to browse from and trust with the purchasing of your new saxophone. However, this brand is more Europe-centered, so you should check that their products ship to your area.
Buescher is a German company that was established in the 1800s and has since been manufacturing some of the highest quality saxophones on the market. The company itself is one of the longest standing instrument manufacturers and produces a huge range of products for both beginners and experienced players. They produce saxophones in a range of keys and tones, with extras and without extras, so you are certain to find a saxophone that will suit your skill and preferences perfectly.
Mendini focus on the learning saxophone player, producing saxophones and products that center around helping younger learners to develop their skills. Features such as adjustable keys and accommodating pinky keys help those with smaller hands learn the proper technique and style of play to allow them to grow. These keys will give them room to grow as they adjust as the player grows, but still makes the placement easier to learn than an adult saxophone. Mendini are a great brand to go with if you are planning on using your saxophone throughout school.
Lazarro are another brand that focuses on the beginner player, also. They offer all of the same features that Mendini do, as well as a number of features that help the adult learner develop the proper skills and techniques also. Most of Lazarro products are online, making it very easy to browse and purchase from this brand. They also ship their products across the world, so no matter where you are, Lazarro are the perfect brand to go for when looking for a beginner and learners saxophone. We have a few Lazarro products on our recommended list, so make sure that you check them out.
We hope that this has helped you to find a brand that will accurately match your needs. With so many brands to choose from, finding the right one can be confusing, and not all of the brands out there will tailor their products more accurately towards learners or children. We aim to help you find everything that you need when you’re buying a new saxophone, and branding is one of the most important aspects. With this guide we hope that we have helped you to find the right brand and, eventually, the right product for your needs so that you can learn more and progress with your very own saxophone.
HOW TO FIND THE BEST SAXOPHONE FOR YOUR NEEDS
There are five main areas that you need to consider when you’re finding the saxophone to suit your needs, but first you need to find out what your needs actually are. Here we have these five areas and a detailed description on what these needs are and how to fill them so that you can narrow down the options that will best suit you so that you get the best saxophone so that you can learn and grow with your saxophone without having to buy a replacement. Take a read and make note of what you think will suit you best.
If you are looking for a saxophone that will be easy to carry and hold during a long period of practice or a long performance then you need a saxophone that will be lightweight enough to hold in the same position for long periods of time and lift and move around. This is best in a brass lightweight model, as these are the standard models that are designed for the performing and practicing players. Make sure that you take a look at the weight, as the higher the weight, the more difficult it is to maintain the correct stance and positioning for proper technique.
Another important aspect is durability. Saxophones can take a bit of a battering when they’re being moved, stored, constantly put in and out of cases. They can scratch and dent and this can cause damage to the body and sound. Some materials are more durable than others, namely brass, and some are more delicate, such as silver. If you are planning on using the saxophone a lot, moving it around and storing it in a box then you should look into a more durable bass material in order to keep the saxophone in the best condition that you can.
Your skill level is also an important factor, as more advanced players and performers will need a lot more than a beginner and a learner. There is a detailed segment in this guide that helps you to understand the differences in a number of different styles of saxophone so that you can find one that will suit your needs and skill level. As a beginner you will benefit more from a typical, brass alto saxophone, but there are options that look different and have lacquers so that you can find a style that suits your preferences.
Age is not as important as the size of your hands, but unfortunately this is designed by age. The smaller your hands, the more compact you will need the keys to be. Some options also offer accommodative keys so that you can find a saxophone that will make it easier to use. Some keys are also adjustable so that they are more compact for younger players but also can be moved and adjusted as the players hands grow to fit the proper size of a saxophone, minimizing the need to buy different saxophones at different sizes.
Performance is an important factor, as if you are a performing saxophonist you will need to go one of two ways with your saxophone. If you are a solo performer then a more ornamental or pretty option may be the right one to go with as it will make you stand out. If you are playing with a large band then you may need to look at any kind of restriction or guide on the saxophone that you need, as some want a uniform look to their band so as to look much more professional.
TIPS, TRICKS AND ADVICE
Once you have a saxophone, it’s important to know how to maintain it, clean it, and generally get the most out of it. We have put together a few clever tips and tricks to advise you on some things that you can do to help get the most out of your money after you have bought the saxophone itself. Take a read and we hope that these tips and tricks can help you with your brand new saxophone to make sure that you enjoy it and use it well.
Cleaning your saxophone properly is vitally important to keep it maintained and sounding its best. Repeat the process once a week for the best results and so that you keep your saxophone working, sounding and playing at its best.
Start by removing the mouthpiece, reed and ligature and running a mouthpiece brush through the mouthpiece. Then run lukewarm water through the mouthpiece and dry with a lint free cloth. Next, pass the brush attachment through the neck and run a lint free cloth through the tubing to clean the area. It’s important not to use water as this can expand and warp the cork of the seal.
The body should now be swabbed with a standard cleaning swap and cloth. Try to hold the keys down if you can and don’t be alarmed if you see a slight greed colour, this is totally natural and just a part of the brass coming into contact with air and some water. It shouldn’t rust the brass if you are careful. Individually check and clean the key pads. This is probably the most time consuming part of the process as you need to place a piece of paper or cloth under each pad and gently pull away to remove any foreign objects.
Swab and grease all of the corking to keep it conditioned so that it doesn’t stick when it is played. Tighten any loose screws. Reassemble your saxophone.
Minty Breath is Best
It may sound silly, but if you eat a lot of sugary foods and drink a lot of sugary drinks, this will accumulate in your breath and be blown into the saxophone as you play. This can leave a sticky solution on the pads and corking of your saxophone which causes each pad to stick once it is pushed and the corking to warp and cause issues. Cleaning and brushing your teeth before you play can prevent this from happening and maintain your saxophone padding and corked parts as much as possible so that you don’t have to clean your saxophone a lot more in order to accommodate for your sugary food and drink habits.
Dry Before Putting Away
One of the things that not many saxophone players think about is the bacteria that is put into your saxophone after playing. Although cleaning your saxophone once a week is just the right amount, the practice that you do in between cleaning still allows bacteria to settle in the saxophone. If you put away your saxophone right after playing without letting the water dry you are creating the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and cause some seriously disgusting damage to your saxophone. Let the saxophone air dry before you put it away and shut the lid. Although there will still be bacteria, there won’t be any moisture that allows it to grow more than it needs to.
Hold Your Saxophone by the Bell
When you are carrying your saxophone, it is always best to carry it in a proper case, but if you are carrying it without a case then make sure to hold it by the bell. Holding your saxophone by the body can cause damage to the keys and rods that can lead you to replacing parts before you may have needed to.
Separate Your Mouthpiece
When you’re outing your saxophone away make sure that you keep your mouthpiece separate. This will minimize any biological issues it may spread and protect the mouthpiece from any knocks against the hard metal body of the saxophone, so bag it up separately and keep it safe.
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