Saxophones How loud is the saxophone?

bensax

New Member
Messages
2
Hi, I rwally want to take up playing the saxophone but I am wondering how loud it is, as I havent got a sax yet or know anyone that does so I cant really judge how loud it is goong too be.
I really dont want to anmoy the neighbours!
I have read you can play into a cupboard full of clothes to reduce the noise?
Also how loud do you think ot wouldbe if i played in a summerhouse in the garden, considering that the surrounding houses are fairly close.
Thanks in advance
ben
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Just north of Munich
You'll be heard, especially when you first start as you'll have no control over volume. A sax can easily push out over 100dB, I've measured it at about 110dB..
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
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Burnley bb9 9dn
Designed for outdoor playing, marching bands etc, before electric amplification. Go see your local Trad jazz band. Mostly the front line don't use amplification. Think Truck horn. The sound will carry easily for a quarter mile.
 

jbtsax

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Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
A good test would be to play some medium loud recorded music in the room you are considering practicing in and then walk about outdoors to see how far the sound carries. You may find that keeping windows and doors closed with curtains drawn blocks most of the sound.
 

RichardSX90

Member
Messages
47
I really dont want to anmoy the neighbours!
Low frequencies travel through walls more easily than higher frequencies.
In theory, a soprano sax would be a better choice than a tenor, but:
1. A soprano isn't often recommended for beginners.
2. If you like listening to tenor sax, you will probably want to buy a tenor.
3. The higher notes of a soprano that do pass through the walls might be more annoying to the neighbours than the lower notes of a tenor.
 

RichardSX90

Member
Messages
47
A good test would be to play some medium loud recorded music in the room you are considering practicing in and then walk about outdoors to see how far the sound carries. You may find that keeping windows and doors closed with curtains drawn blocks most of the sound.
Good idea! Two extra things:
1. Try to play the music through fairly large speakers so that the low frequencies of the sax are reproduced at a realistic level
2. Solo sax music would be most realistic. The low notes of a double bass would travel through walls more easily and give a false impression.
 
OP
B

bensax

New Member
Messages
2
Thanks for all the replies, i will try with some speakers and see how it is, i think i would have to practice in the spare room that is away from the party wall.
I will just have to clear it of building materials first!
Is there much of a difference between noise levels of alto and sax? I dont really have a preference but I am leaning towards alto, after watching some youtube videos.
 

tenorviol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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Whitchurch, North Shropshire UK
Both alto and tenor will be loudish in the hands of a beginner - you will be able to play quieter once you have been playing a while. Tenor is probably louder, in part due to its bigger physical size.
 

Alice

Psychedelic
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Location
Kent
Hi, I rwally want to take up playing the saxophone but I am wondering how loud it is, as I havent got a sax yet or know anyone that does so I cant really judge how loud it is goong too be.
I really dont want to anmoy the neighbours!
I have read you can play into a cupboard full of clothes to reduce the noise?
Also how loud do you think ot wouldbe if i played in a summerhouse in the garden, considering that the surrounding houses are fairly close.
Thanks in advance
ben
@bensax don't be put off. I'm sure your neighbours have all done their fair share of banging and drilling. I know mine have! On one side is a couple who are constantly whacking with hammers and drills and on the other is an old man who has a room full of karaoke and dj equipment. Well that's what it sounds like anyway when he's listening to rock n' roll from 7am
I've almost paralysed myself with fear however *trying* not to bother anyone whilst I'm practicing at home and this has seriously marred both my enjoyment of my beloved sax and also my practice times. I'm a considerate person to the extreme that it's actually detrimental to my own happiness and well being! :(
Some parts of practice involve a lot of repetition not only of the scales but also the songs you learn if you are having lessons.
I echo the Prof. Buy your sax, do what you can to limit the noise with doors and windows shut and enjoy it. Playing into a wardrobe? No.
 

Veggie Dave

Sax Worker
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2,842
Location
Citizen of Nowhere
Sadly, saxophones are loud. Worst still, I've learnt the hard way that while you can happily practise while playing quietly, you have to practise at full volume, too, otherwise you'll find that when the day comes for you to play in public/with others you'll really struggle and will probably find that you won't be able to hit certain notes at all.

It is, however, not an insurmountable problem. As long as you don't play too loudly, too often and you don't play too late in the evening then you shouldn't have a problem. Keep doors and windows closed, if possible don't play in a room that shares a wall with a neighbour and you should be fine.

As loud as a sax is, it's not a drum kit, or a rock guitar through a Marshall stack. As annoying loud noises go, it's just not in the same league as drums - trust me on this. ;)

Be considerate towards your neighbours and they should hopefully be considerate towards you.

So get buying! :D
 

RichardSX90

Member
Messages
47
I think i would have to practice in the spare room that is away from the party wall.
Great idea!
That should greatly reduce the sound before it even reaches the party wall - especially if your spare room door is solid wood (not a hollow door filled with a cardboard honeycomb) and the interior walls have insulation between the plasterboard outer layers.
Wooden Interior doors - the different types
A hollow door filled with a cardboard honeycomb - even that will be much better than no door at all.

Also, you could put cheap insulating strip between the door and the frame to make an airtight seal e.g.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/ADHESIVE-WEATHER-STRIP-WINDOWS-DOORS/dp/B002OHZX1S/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1448572190&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=insuklation+strip
 
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jimmylh

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,019
Location
Warner Robins, Georgia USA
My wife says she can hear me playing when she goes out to the mail box and the end of our drive way. That's about a hundred feet from the house. I guess that would be 30.48 meters to you folks. I doubt any of my neighbors can hear me when they are inside their houses though. Nobody has ever said anything.
 
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