The saxophone is a woodwind instrument. They are usually heard and played in jazz music. There are four main types of saxophones. The alto, baritone, soprano and the tenor saxophone. They are available for all different levels and abilities, including popular models from Yamaha, Sonata and Yanagisawa ranges.
The alto (Eb) is one of the more common types of saxophones. Saxophones available have come in different prices and size; your choice will depend on level and budget. There is a great range of alto saxophones for students.
The alto is most used in classical music, including jazz, marching bands and concert bands. This saxophone is smaller than the tenor but larger than the soprano.
Pitched in Eb they are the largest saxophone and lowest-pitched. The mouthpiece, reeds and ligature used are larger than the tenor, alto and soprano saxophones. This sax is commonly used in classical music, jazz and military bands.
Due to its weight it’s more commonly used by older and more advanced players. However he weight issue can be resolved by using a strap to hold some of the weight.
The soprano is pitched in Bb and one of the highest pitched saxophones. It’s pitched an octave above the tenor.
It’s one of the smaller types of saxophones and as you can see from the picture it has a slightly different shape. It doesn’t have the common curved neck like the others. You can find a soprano with a more curved neck which some players believe gives it a warmer tone. This saxophone is sometimes compared to the Bb clarinet.
It has a swan shaped neck and this is how you differentiate it from the alto saxophone as they are very similar in looks. Many call it the crook or bend.
When playing in a concert band the tenor plays the supporting role. Whilst in jazz ensembles it’s the complete opposite. It has a more dominant role and sometimes sharing harmonies with the alto saxophone.
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