A Buying Guide for Different Types of Saxophones

Another favourite instrument used in bands and orchestras is the saxophone. Whether you are looking for a model fit for students and beginners or would like to upgrade your current sax, buying a new musical instrument is always challenging. When you have many options, you’ll need to consider several factors to ensure that the instrument you buy matches your budget and skill level.

Renting a saxophone vs buying

Renting saxophone instruments is a popular choice for students and beginners. This is true when it is the student’s first time trying to play and may not be sure about their commitment. Although renting does appear to be the most logical option, buying an instrument poses many benefits as well:

  • Renting is only best for short-term arrangements. If a student plans on taking up saxophone playing for an extended period, purchasing is the cheaper option.

  • Many people rent because beginners and students don’t always know how to care for a musical instrument, and, often, renting comes with insurance. But if you buy a saxophone and care for it well, it will retain its value and will still fetch a reasonable price when sold used or traded in for a new one.

  • When you buy a saxophone, you get what you pay for with quality. Renting, on the other hand, does not always assure that what you get does not have any damage, scratches, or dents.

In deciding whether to buy or rent a saxophone, always think about who will play it and the skill level.

Different types of saxophones

Saxophones are quite versatile instruments and became popular in the jazz and rock and roll genre. But those who are unfamiliar with the saxophone family of instruments may not know that there are different types of saxophones to choose from.

  • Alto saxophone. An alto saxophone is considered the most popular among the instruments in the saxophone family. It is also suitable for beginners and students. An alto saxophone’s keys are compact which makes it easier to play. Another reason for its popularity is the relatively lower cost and the range of classical arrangements you can play with an alto.

  • Tenor saxophone. Tenor saxophones are closely associated with jazz music. It is smaller and lighter making it another excellent choice for beginners.

  • Bass or baritone saxophone. A bass or baritone saxophone produces the lowest pitch in the saxophone family of instruments. It is easy to identify a bass saxophone because it is large and often requires the player to play it in a seated position. Bass saxophones are common in classical arrangements, but in general, are rarer than other kinds of saxophones.

  • Soprano saxophone. A soprano saxophone has a smaller body compared to different saxophone types which makes it another inexpensive choice for beginners and students. But since a soprano saxophone produces a more high-pitched sound, it is more challenging to play.

Choosing which kind of saxophone to get if you are a student still depends on your skill level. You can select a model suited for beginners, professionals, or intermediate learners. Before shopping for a saxophone, ask for the help of an expert or a musician who knows their way around saxophones to help you find the best choice.