Why Choose the Alto Saxophone?
A very popular instrument with all children but best suited to older children due to its size and weight.
Easy to play and children make progress quickly.
Produces a beautiful, mellow sound.
Very versatile and can be found in big bands, swing, jazz and blues music. Can also be found in classical settings such as concert bands and orchestras.
Smaller children should consider starting on another instrument and then swap when they are older.
About the Alto Saxophone
The alto saxophone is a member of the woodwind family and was invented in 1846 by Adolphe Sax, a Belgian instrument maker. He wanted to develop an instrument loud enough to compete with brass instruments but to be played like a woodwind instrument.
The sound is produced by a small, thin piece of cane called a reed. It is fastened firmly in the mouthpiece and vibrates when you blow it.
The notes are changed by covering different combinations of holes which effectively make the pipe longer or shorter.
One of the most iconic saxophone solos is in "Baker Street" by Gerry Rafferty.
More useful information
As the Alto Saxophone is easy to blow, most children will be playing tunes within a few weeks.
Due to the size and weight of the instrument it is best suited to older children. Clarinets and Flutes use similar finger positions to change the notes, so younger children should begin with those instruments and swap to the Saxophone when they are older/bigger (probably year 5 or 6).
The most important thing to remember when looking after your alto saxophone is to dry it inside and out after use.
Reeds will need to be replaced from time to time as they are fragile and wear out eventually.
For more information on caring for your alto saxophone click here.