Tutorials

Beginner Learning the Sax

JustJ0e

New Member
Messages
7
Hello everybody!

Completely new to this site and to all saxophone related topics!
I know you may have seen a post like this many of times but I wanted one to help me personally.

I'm pretty sure everyone else is bored in lockdown and maybe like me thinking of something new to pick up, I've never played an instrument but I am a lover of all music.

With no current real skills I can add to the world I thought what would be a fun instrument to have a go at. I sat down and thought of the options... Being a smaller male my hands are pretty small so a keyboard was out of the equation, guitar has never appealed to me and a drum kit is impossible for the space in my home. Saxophone appealed to me because of the amount of genres and music styles it can be played in! So I had my winner.

Anyway, I've done research. Alto Saxophone for beginners. So my questions are what brand/type saxophone should I be buying? The cheapest I found was on gear4music but with basic research the Yamaha brand comes up quite abit. Can anyone recommend where I can get my first student sax? I know it's probably not much but my budget is £300 - £350 max.

Cheers,
Joe!
 

GCinCT

Seeker of truth and beauty
Subscriber
Messages
1,525
Welcome to the Cafe and the saxophone. Yamahas are great for students and often recommended but there are other very good options to consider. I will leave those recommendations to more qualified Cafe members. But I wish you the best of luck on your saxophone journey!
 
OP
J

JustJ0e

New Member
Messages
7
Welcome to the Cafe and the saxophone. Yamahas are great for students and often recommended but there are other very good options to consider. I will leave those recommendations to more qualified Cafe members. But I wish you the best of luck on your saxophone journey!
Thank you!
Can I ask what was your first saxophone? :)
 

GCinCT

Seeker of truth and beauty
Subscriber
Messages
1,525
My first saxophone when I returned to playing as an adult was a Reynolds that I purchased from a music store on a rent to own contract. I also took lessons there. It was okay, but there are better beginner horns.
 

Halfers

Finger Flapper
Subscriber
Messages
1,960
Have a look round the forum as lots of people are thinking the same as you and taking up an instrument, which is great. There's a few recent threads on the same subject which might help. There's a danger you'll get info overload ;)

Good luck with your search.
 

CliveMA

Member
Messages
341
Welcome to the Café! I started on a used Jupiter (soprano) for about your budget. No-one would recommend starting on a Soprano but I enjoyed the challenge! An Alto is probably the sax most people learn on.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,556
Welcome, Joe.

So, that is a very low budget for a saxophone (just saying...not impossible, but low). It severely limits what is available new (I, personally would go so far as to say it nixes anything new, because at that price point for a new horn you are not going to get anything of reputable quality). Yes, there ARE new saxes out there (Altos primarily) for that price...but if your expectations was for one of those to last several years and generally give you problem-free performance....those are lofty expectations for a £300 new sax.

So....second-hand is a better option as far as getting good 'bang for the quid'. It opens up a lot of possibilities to secure a reputed, solid model of Alto. Of course, there are caveats for a newbie in buying a used instrument. Unlike, say, a guitar or set of drums, buyng a used sax requires a bit more care and inquiry. In a nutshell, it requires a seller willing to confirm the sax is in good, serviced, playing condition - and if it is not, he/she will accept a full return. Not a 'low bar' for a seller, but there are honest sellers out there & it is certainly do-able. I am in US, so I cannot help you but if you were here I could certainly provide you with a serviced alto of good name for that sort of $. I'd imagine there are sellers in UK who can do the same.

Another option is renting one for a bit....the issue here would be can you find a music shop which is in operation and able to get the sax to you ?

Cheers.
 

TBay

Member
Messages
42
Hi Joe! Complete beginner here as well, but been playing Bass guitar for a long time now. I notice you aren’t too far from me, Birmingham has some excellent music shop, there are also a few decent ones in the satellite town. Most will be closed to foot traffic but may well respond to emails/ phone calls and be happy to do mail order. The one in Tamworth is very friendly but limited stock (and can be pricey but occasional bargains can be had), Lichfield and Sutton Coldfield ones are better. There is one a bit further away in Ashby but heard mixed reports on that one. And quite a few in Brum itself. If you are prepared to take more of a risk then there are always loads of instruments on gumtree, but as a novice that is a risky way to star.
 

georgesax

Member
Subscriber
Messages
75
Hi Joe, welcome to Sax world. This cafe is great ! Members are very willing to help.
I started as complete beginner last September . My first sax was Yamaha 280, which is great horn with Yamaha 4C mouthpiece and vonderon traditnal blue box 2.0 reed. Some points which I have learned
1. alto is not easier than tenor. I found tenor is relative easier.
2. It is alway about practice, do no fall in trap in seeking new gears, which would not make big differences at least for me.
3. Tomplay is a very much app, have a look at it.
4. Practice longtones and overtones
5. Use tuner and metronome, TE tener is a good app.

finally enjoy playing,
 

GCinCT

Seeker of truth and beauty
Subscriber
Messages
1,525
5. Use tuner and metronome, TE tener is a good app.
I would like to caution beginners against constantly playing while looking at a tuner. A tuner is a great diagnostic tool, but if you want to be a good saxophone player, train your ears to tell you when you're in tune. Play with a drone or reference pitch. The TE Tuner has a feature where it will automatically play the closest pitch to the note you are sounding. Learn to use that.
 
OP
J

JustJ0e

New Member
Messages
7
Welcome, Joe.

So, that is a very low budget for a saxophone (just saying...not impossible, but low). It severely limits what is available new (I, personally would go so far as to say it nixes anything new, because at that price point for a new horn you are not going to get anything of reputable quality). Yes, there ARE new saxes out there (Altos primarily) for that price...but if your expectations was for one of those to last several years and generally give you problem-free performance....those are lofty expectations for a £300 new sax.

So....second-hand is a better option as far as getting good 'bang for the quid'. It opens up a lot of possibilities to secure a reputed, solid model of Alto. Of course, there are caveats for a newbie in buying a used instrument. Unlike, say, a guitar or set of drums, buyng a used sax requires a bit more care and inquiry. In a nutshell, it requires a seller willing to confirm the sax is in good, serviced, playing condition - and if it is not, he/she will accept a full return. Not a 'low bar' for a seller, but there are honest sellers out there & it is certainly do-able. I am in US, so I cannot help you but if you were here I could certainly provide you with a serviced alto of good name for that sort of $. I'd imagine there are sellers in UK who can do the same.

Another option is renting one for a bit....the issue here would be can you find a music shop which is in operation and able to get the sax to you ?

Cheers.
Yeah my budget is low, I guess renting one would be the ide
Hi Joe, welcome to Sax world. This cafe is great ! Members are very willing to help.
I started as complete beginner last September . My first sax was Yamaha 280, which is great horn with Yamaha 4C mouthpiece and vonderon traditnal blue box 2.0 reed. Some points which I have learned
1. alto is not easier than tenor. I found tenor is relative easier.
2. It is alway about practice, do no fall in trap in seeking new gears, which would not make big differences at least for me.
3. Tomplay is a very much app, have a look at it.
4. Practice longtones and overtones
5. Use tuner and metronome, TE tener is a good app.

finally enjoy playing,
Wow thanks, all noted!! Where did you get your first sax from? Ive decided to go for a second hand yamaha
 

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
Messages
25,527
You could call Hanson's in Yorkshire they don't put all their stock on the website, their own brand are good starter saxes if they have any 2nd hand might be affordable.

Don't email :)

Jx
 
OP
J

JustJ0e

New Member
Messages
7
You could call Hanson's in Yorkshire they don't put all their stock on the website, their own brand are good starter saxes if they have any 2nd hand might be affordable.

Don't email :)

Jx
Thank you, I'll give them a call. Any other places you can recommend?
 

tenorviol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,791
Hi - you should get something reasonable second-hand from a reputable supplier. You can try Curly Woodwind in Liverpool. I know they're still supplying. There's Windband in Shrewsbury - not sure they have much in the way of second-hand.

At your price point, there are some new Chinese instruments - which can be good, but they are have a tendency to be inconsistent. They also do not hold their value very well. I would not buy online from a random supplier.
 
OP
J

JustJ0e

New Member
Messages
7
Hi Joe! Complete beginner here as well, but been playing Bass guitar for a long time now. I notice you aren’t too far from me, Birmingham has some excellent music shop, there are also a few decent ones in the satellite town. Most will be closed to foot traffic but may well respond to emails/ phone calls and be happy to do mail order. The one in Tamworth is very friendly but limited stock (and can be pricey but occasional bargains can be had), Lichfield and Sutton Coldfield ones are better. There is one a bit further away in Ashby but heard mixed reports on that one. And quite a few in Brum itself. If you are prepared to take more of a risk then there are always loads of instruments on gumtree, but as a novice that is a risky way to star.
Hey man thanks for the reply! Yeah I'm very close to Tamworth I'm by the NEC. Don't suppose you know the names of the music shops? Or will they just come up on a Google search?
So you're a beginner at the sax? What model have you got? :)
 

GCinCT

Seeker of truth and beauty
Subscriber
Messages
1,525
I find the enthusiasm of beginners very energizing. Thanks, guys! Keep that passion. You can reach all of your goals.
 

TBay

Member
Messages
42
Hey man thanks for the reply! Yeah I'm very close to Tamworth I'm by the NEC. Don't suppose you know the names of the music shops? Or will they just come up on a Google search?
So you're a beginner at the sax? What model have you got? :)
The one in Lichfield is S&J music, they have a website, The one in Tamworth is Evans, it’s just around the corner from the council offices if you know Tamworth. I am guessing you know about PMT in Brum which has recently moved to new premises, There is also Hobgoblin, which is a quirky place with very friendly staff. And also fair deal music but not really used them so don’t know much about them.
I bought an Elkhart 100 series tenor sax from the rhythm guitarist in one of the bands I play bass in. He bought it new a bit over a year ago but lost interest so I thought it would be fun to give it a go. I started a whole 10 days ago so very much a beginner but having fun!
What sort of music are you hoping to play? I mostly play rock/ alternative in the bands I play in but love Ska which is the main reason for picking up the sax.
 

georgesax

Member
Subscriber
Messages
75
Yeah my budget is low, I guess renting one would be the ide

Wow thanks, all noted!! Where did you get your first sax from? Ive decided to go for a second hand yamaha
I got it from sax.co.uk, I would suggest you give woodwind exchanges at Bradford a call. Stuart, the owner has a large collection of sacs, also Hanson, the owner Alastair, both are super friendly, helpful and reliable
 
OP
J

JustJ0e

New Member
Messages
7
The one in Lichfield is S&J music, they have a website, The one in Tamworth is Evans, it’s just around the corner from the council offices if you know Tamworth. I am guessing you know about PMT in Brum which has recently moved to new premises, There is also Hobgoblin, which is a quirky place with very friendly staff. And also fair deal music but not really used them so don’t know much about them.
I bought an Elkhart 100 series tenor sax from the rhythm guitarist in one of the bands I play bass in. He bought it new a bit over a year ago but lost interest so I thought it would be fun to give it a go. I started a whole 10 days ago so very much a beginner but having fun!
What sort of music are you hoping to play? I mostly play rock/ alternative in the bands I play in but love Ska which is the main reason for picking up the sax.
Got in contact with Hobgoblin and they've got a second hand Sax for £250!
Honestly any kind of music, I believe that's one of the main things about the Sax you can spread around the genres. Ska & Jazz would be fun! A mix of the commitments and blues brothers would be sweet!
How are you learning to play? Are you just teaching yourself or are you following an online instructor?
 

TBay

Member
Messages
42
Got in contact with Hobgoblin and they've got a second hand Sax for £250!
Honestly any kind of music, I believe that's one of the main things about the Sax you can spread around the genres. Ska & Jazz would be fun! A mix of the commitments and blues brothers would be sweet!
How are you learning to play? Are you just teaching yourself or are you following an online instructor?
Fantastic! Tenor or alto? I have a mate who is a music teacher so I am getting lessons by Skype (third one due tomorrow) and a lot of youtube stuff. I like to experiment (probably not the best way!). I taught myself bass and harmonica so happy to pick and choose bits from here and there. McGill (Nigel?) is doing a free two week trial but I thought I would get a few weeks down the line before I signed up for that.
 
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