Saxophone reviews, articles, and tips for beginners and beyond
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The Saxophone was invented by a Belgian musician called Adolphe Sax in the 1840s. His idea was to create a hybrid instrument, combining attributes from both the woodwind and brass instrument families.
Rather than just one instrument, his concept was for a whole family of Saxophones, and when he filed his patent in 1846 it described 14 different versions of various sizes.
The most common Saxophones are the Alto and Tenor, with the Soprano and Baritone following shortly after.
Despite its classical origins, the Clarinet is now more renowned for its use in the jazz genre.
All Saxophones are conical, rather than being a straight cylinder like most other woodwind instruments (such as the Clarinet and the Flute).
Most Saxophones are made of metal, although it is possible to buy some cheaper ones made out of plastic.
The main parts are a detachable mouthpiece at the top, to which you need to attach a single wooden reed before playing. The size of the reed depends on the size of the Saxophone you are playing.
The main body is where the keys are, and the large flared section at the bottom of the instrument is called the bell. Most Saxophones are curved before the bell, but some of the higher ones are straight.
The range of pitch available differs depending on the type of Saxophone you are playing, but generally the range of each one spans just over three octaves.
How To Play
To play a note on the Saxophone you need to put the mouthpiece between your bottom lip and top teeth and blow, ensuring that you seal the corners of your mouth around the mouthpiece.
Saxophone players place a finger on each of the instrument’s keys, and the note that’s produced depends on which of these keys are open and closed.
In 1998 a 24 year old called Geovanny Escalante broke the world record for playing the longest note on a Saxophone, by holding a single note for 90 minutes, using a technique called circular breathing!