1840: Adolphe Sax designed the Saxophone. Personally, I would have done it before twenty to seven!
Ever since his early development of the Saxophone, it has taken center stage in Jazz Bands, Big Bands, Wind Bands and 20th Century Orchestras.
If you have already purchased, or are about to purchase, a Saxophone – I presume from Normans Musical Instruments, as we do offer a great range and amazing prices! – it is important that you look after and care for it with the correct accessories.
In this article, I will highlight the perfect Saxophone Accessories available here at Normans Musical Instruments, that will ensure your performance is Par Excellence.
After all… This is your Saxamaphone we’re talking about!
Usually the Saxophone comes with a Mouthpiece, Ligature and sometimes a Reed(s). BUT What if the Mouthpiece and Reeds aren’t suitable? What if you break your Mouthpiece? Where do you go if you want a better Mouthpiece?
Normans Musical Instruments… Obviously! 🤦
Starting with Mouthpieces… Probably the most important accessory. They affect the intonation, articulation and tone. As such it is obviously important that you have a good quality and suitable piece of kit.
If you are just starting to play the Saxophone you (usually) need an inexpensive, high quality Mouthpiece. There is one such model that stands out. Our Sonata Saxophone Mouthpieces. At around the £25/£29 mark for the Sonata Alto/ Tenor Mouthpiece these mouthpieces are manufactured to the highest standard using durable plastic construction.
In the mid-range, I recommend the most popular make and model of Mouthpiece throughout the world: The Yamaha MP range. Designed and produced to the very highest of standards, these Mouthpieces are available for Soprano, Alto & Tenor Saxophones. They can be found in either a 4c or 6c variants (the difference being the shaping and spacing of the reed position.) At under £40, you will not find a better value-for-money Mouthpiece than this Yamaha MP range.
When it comes to Saxophone Mouthpieces, the ‘best money can buy’ option on the market are the Selmer S80 Mouthpieces. (Again, available for Soprano, Alto & Tenor Saxophones.) These Mouthpieces have been created by Selmer, to provide a mouthpiece suitable for the highest level of professional performance. Their many years of Saxophone production experience allow them to do this to the highest standard.
When it comes to Reeds, it really is a personal preference. In musical social circles, I have endured many an hour of listening to Saxophonists discuss their Reeds and preferences. (Not as bad as Trumpet players and Mouthpieces though!)
Here at Normans we stock a full range of the most popular brands: Vandoren & Rico, and all strengths from 11/2 – 3: and for all Saxophones: Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Baritone. They can be supplied in boxes of 10 and/or 5 and/or 3.
We supply the two main Rico models. The Rico 2 and ever-popular Rico Royals for the proficient performer and professional. Rico use the most advanced and high-tech machinery to produce these highly superior reeds to ensure quality and consistency throughout production. The thin vamp cut allows ease of play and a consistent tonal response and articulation.
When it comes to woodwind Reeds, Vandoren are one of the first names in quality and consistency. Both historically and today.
The two models we stock for students just starting out are the Vandoren Juno and the professional quality Vandoren Originals. These Reeds are one of the most widely used in the world as they offer an extremely pure sound due to a very thin Reed tip being balanced by a solid vertebral column, which simply means, they sound amazing!
Instrument stands, I believe, are a necessity. No matter how old or young, inexperienced or experienced you are, it doesn’t take much to heavy-handedly grab an unbalanced Sax while attending to your music, resulting in straining or bending the fragile keys or rods.
The simple solution is to have a dedicated stand to safely rest your beloved instrument on.
You don’t have to spend much either. The Sonata SXS01 is under £8 and fits both Alto & Tenor Saxophones. For that price everyone should have one!
There are other makes and models available, such as the Stagg WIS-A31 which has a clarinet/flute peg for you multi-instrumentalists. Alternatively the very popular KM 14300 Alto/Tenor Sax Stand offers the best in robust engineering.
At the very top of the range sits the Hercules brand. As used by many professionals around the world, the Hercules range, including the DS532B suitable for both Alto & Tenor, or the DS537B which can hold both your Tenor & Alto with its dual holding bracket design.
Comfort is paramount when performing, and a good quality Sax Sling is essential. Otherwise you can end up with aches & pains in your neck and back. The first word in neck comfort over the past decade+ has been Neoprene: A soft a resilient padded material to take the strain and ease the burden during performance.
The Large Saxophone Sling has a large neoprene neck pad offering the ultimate in comfort, ensuring that the Sling does not dig into your neck. The open hook means that you are not restricted when playing and can quickly attack your Saxophone. A popular choice with Saxophone players worldwide.
The Sonata Padded Neckpiece Sax Sling – at under £7 – is outstanding value for money. It is a robust and easy to use Saxophone Sling with special padded neck section for added comfort while playing. The strap length can be adjusted to suit the size of the player and there is an easy clip on mechanism to attach it to the Saxophone safely.
Here at Normans we have a range of Superslick pull throughs to clean and dry the inside bore of your Saxophone. Also, we stock an all-in-one answer for the upkeep and care of your Saxophone, with our Saxophone Care Kits.
Produced by the ever reliable Rocket, the Rocket Care Kit for Alto/Soprano Saxophone consists of a swab/pull-through, mouthpiece brush, cork grease, cleaning cloth and cleaning paper.
We also have the Superslick Alto Saxophone Care Kit, with similar contents; La Voz reed guard; cork grease; key & tone hole brush; body pull-through; neck pull-through; mouthpiece brush; and lacquer polishing cloth.
These great kits give you everything you need to keep your Sax playing and sounding wonderful!
HW Pad-Saver de-moisturisers for Alto & Tenor Saxophones feature a micro-fiber material that will not shed, shrink, or bleed. Store the Pad-Saver in your instrument when not in use to soak up any moisture: Thus protecting and extending the life of the pads. They quickly remove corrosive moisture from pads, tone holes, and bore. Therefore Pad-Savers extend the life of your instrument and save you money.
Similar to Reed choice, ligatures are an accessory of personal preference, from metal, plastic, rubber and even boot-lace type of construction.
One of our most popular ligatures is the Sonata range, available for Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Baritone Saxophones, and all retailing unbelievably under £10. Manufactured out of adjustable metal, they will keep your reed securely in place whilst allowing you to freely blow to create a great sound.
We also provide the premium Rovner S1RL Alto Sax and S2R Tenor Sax ligatures. The high quality rubber Rovner ligature is a popular choice among many saxophonists due to it’s innovative design, allowing the reed to vibrate more freely than other conventional ligatures. The Rovner dark model offers a warm sound often favoured by Classical players, allowing Reeds to swell and shrink without distorting the Reed body. Hence reducing the likelihood of leakage at the facing, and it also comes with a plastic mouthpiece cap.