How To Play The Sax

Resources

The Saxophone Resources You Need To Succeed.

At HowToPlayTheSax.com we only recommend Saxophone Resources that we have either used or created ourselves.

Nothing unnecessary, no fluff – just the best stuff that we’ve found to be extremely helpful with achieving Saxophone Success.

Saxophone Lessons

Saxophone Lessons

Yes, we are a little biased, because we believe that the Saxophone Lessons contained within the Members Area here at HowToPlayTheSax.com will, quite simply, help you learn how to play the saxophone !  Starting at the very beginning, you will quickly learn how to play your favourite rock, soul, funk, blues and classic hits on your saxophone, without reading music.  Plus, you will have a lot of fun along the way.  Find Out More

 

Saxophones

Best Beginners Saxophone

The Yamaha YAS280 is by far the best value for money beginners saxophone.

The perfect combination of quality vs cost, this saxophone is ideal if you are brand new to the sax and just starting out on your saxophone journey.

Best Intermediate Saxophone

The Yamaha YAS480 is the best beginners/intermediate saxophone.

The quality is excellent and the playability is excellent too.  This saxophone is perfect if you have either a few years of playing under your belt, or you have a budget that allows you to start with a really top class saxophone.

Best Overall Saxophone

The Yamaha YAS62 is by far the best overall saxophone.

This is a professional level sax, suitable for beginners and professionals alike.  It will almost play itself before you even put it in your mouth….and it does come with a price tag to match.

May I suggest that if you are going to spend some fairly serious money on a YAS62 alto saxophone then you should go to or buy from a reputable music shop in your local area – and try before you buy if possible.

Saxophone Mouthpieces

Warning – saxophone mouthpieces are addictive.  Once you start buying them, it is hard to stop…..

Best Beginners Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Yamaha 4C Mouthpiece is the best value for money saxophone mouthpiece, in my opinion.  It also comes standard with a brand new Yamaha saxophone.

Suitable for Rock, Jazz, Blues, Classical and pretty much all styles and genres of music you can think of, it will make your saxophone playing so much easier.

Cheaper saxophones often come with cheap and nasty mouthpieces that will make your sax harder to play – not easier.  A good mouthpiece will make a cheaper sax sound and feel so much better.

If you are more into rock and “heavier” music with a heavier saxophone sound, then perhaps a Yamaha 5C mouthpiece might be worth exploring too.  But the Yamaha 4C is the best beginners saxophone mouthpiece.

I wrote a blog post about the Yamaha 4C Saxophone Mouthpiece Review for further reading.

Best Intermediate / Professional Saxophone Mouthpiece

The D’addario Jazz Select D5M Mouthpiece is an amazing saxophone mouthpiece.  If you are ready for the next step in your saxophone playing, then get one of these.

The D’addario Jazz Select D5M is suitable for Rock, Funk, Blues, Soul, Latin, House, Jazz, Big Band or styles of music that require a little more oomph.  While still certainly able to play those soft passages and phrases of music, this mouthpiece can certainly belt out some sensational saxophone sounds.

A couple of my students have “graduated” from the Yamaha 4C and moved on to this amazing mouthpiece.  The difference in sound and control that they have achieved has taken their playing to another, and in fact, the next level.

These come in both Alto and Tenor versions.

Saxophone Reeds

Saxophone Reeds are actually quite a personal item.  Try a few different brands and then stick with one you like, but be open to trying something different on a vaguely regular basis !

Rico Saxophone Reeds

Rico Reeds are by far the most well known and well used saxophone reeds for beginners and professionals alike.

They come in different sizes which equate to their strength.

Size 1.5 are the softer reeds which are better suited to beginners or sometimes people who prefer a very wide tip opening on their mouthpiece.

Size 3 are the strongest and are better suited to long time players who have very strong embouchures.

Sizes range from, 1.5, 2, 2.5 and 3.

Royal Saxophone Reeds

Royal Reeds, like Rico, are made by the same company – D’addario, who also make excellent guitar strings.

Previously known as Rico Royal, the Royal model are a bit more refined and accurate in their construction.

Think of these as the “premium” style of saxophone reeds from D’addario.

They come in different sizes which equate to their strength.

The smaller the size number, the softer the reed and the easier it is to play.

Sizes range from, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, and occasionally 4.

Vandoren Saxophone Reeds

Vandoren Reeds, like Rico, are well suited to almost all styles of music.

These are a slightly different shape – a “French cut” (probably because they are a French company) and as a result they have a slightly different sound.

Arguably they have a slightly meatier or raunchier sound, but again, like mouthpieces, reeds can be a personal taste concept.

As with all saxophone reeds, the smaller the size number, the softer the reed and the easier it is to play.

Sizes range from 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4 and occasionally 5.

Legere Saxophone Reeds

Legere Saxophone Reeds are made of a synthetic material rather than the traditional cane.

They are usually sold on an individual basis, rather than in a 3 pack, or 5 pack or 10 pack.

The polypropylene synthetic material makes them translucent (nearly see through).  They do not need to be broken in, they are water proof, and they last longer than cane reeds.

Legere Saxophone Reeds also come in multiple sizes – even 1/4 sizes – starting at the softer 1.5 and up to the harder 3.5

Saxophone Stands

You need somewhere to put your saxophone temporarily when you are not playing it.  Check out some of these saxophone stands.

Hercules DS730B Tall Saxophone Stand

Apart from my saxophones themselves, my Hercules DS730B Tall Saxophone Stand is one of the best purchases I have ever made.

A while ago I hurt my back and bending over to pick up my saxophone(s) was painful and difficult.

The Hercules DS730B Tall Saxophone Stand is actually rather tall.  It holds up your sax at almost what ever height you want it to be at – making it very easy to simply pick up your saxophone from a comfortable height.

It features in the background of all of my saxophone lessons videos too !

I wrote a review about these saxophone stands on the blog – Hercules DS730B Saxophone Stand Review – if you would like to find out more.

Hercules DS533BB Saxophone Stand

The Hercules DS533BB saxophone stand is a nice piece of saxophone kit.  I like mine and use it regularly.

It has an adjustable middle part that allows you to fit EITHER your Alto saxophone OR your Tenor saxophone onto it, so that everything fits nicely.

The Hercules DS533BB saxophone stand also comes with a straight Soprano sax attachment that simply screws in to either/or of the main stand legs.

I wrote a review about this saxophone stand on the blog – Hercules DS533BB Saxophone Stand Review – if you would like to find out more.

Saxophone Accessories

Coming soon.

 

 

Please note that some of the links here on this page are affilitate links.  This means that if you happen to buy after clicking on some of these links, I will get a miniscule commission.  This in no way influences my recommendations – I only mention products and services that I have either created myself or have personally used.  In fact, often the links provide you with a cheaper deal, so it’s win-win all around !

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