Photo by Leonard Alcira

Different Types of Saxophones and what you need to know about them

Photo by Leonard Alcira
Adolphe Sax may have invented the saxophone in 1846, but many people do not know the many kinds he created. The most common ones that people know of and use in contemporary music are the alto, baritone, tenor, and soprano saxophones.

However, there are other types of non-electric instruments available, as you will find out below.

The Soprano Saxophone

Of the four common saxophones, the soprano one is the smallest and the highest-pitched though the hardest one you can play. Kenny G and Wayne Shorter are some famous saxophone players to have excelled in playing the soprano instrument. It produces the Bb pitch when played.

Depending on the level you are at, one instrument will be more ideal for you than the other. You can get more information on the soprano sax and other different types of saxophones online. You will know which instrument suits your needs, thus saving you time searching for the right one.

The Alto Saxophone

Charlie Parker, Kenny Garret, and Phil Woods are among the famous Jazz musicians that played the alto sax. It is an instrument you can play when you want to produce the EB pitch. If you are a beginner, then the alto is the best sax to try out because of its convenience in size and range, allowing even kids to play it.

Baritone Saxophone

Among the four common saxophones, the baritone is the largest, and it gives an EB pitch with a lower tone. Due to its weight, size, and the need for air to produce sound, it is not a favorite of many though it can help you be a better performer if you use it as a beginner. Gerry Mulligan, Harry Carney, and Ronnie Cuber are famous players known for their prowess with the baritone sax.

Tenor Saxophone

The tenor sax is perfect for the Bb sound like the soprano one, but it is a lower octave. Of the four common types, it is the most popular one though not the best for beginners. You may have noted it in many genres like rock, pop, and jazz records with famous players like Clarence Clemmons and John Coltrane. Though similar in appearance to the alto sax, the tenor is lower-pitched, bigger, and has a curved neck.

Other Saxophones

Apart from the four saxophones, there are other kinds though you will not hear them as frequently. Some of them include the following.

C Melody Saxophone

The C melody produces the C sound when it plays a C though it lost its popularity in the 1920s, you can still get it or a newer version.

Bass Saxophone

The bass sax is big, so it has to be on a stand when playing it. The bass sax can be an ideal instrument for large jazz ensembles or concert bands thanks to its pitch, a full octave lower than the tenor sax.

Sopranino Saxophone

It is smaller than the soprano sax and has a pitch that is an octave higher compared to the alto sax. Due to its small size, it requires a player to have dexterous hands to play it well.

Subcontrabass and Contrabass saxophones

These two instruments are massive, but they are rare to find in popular music. The subcontrabass has a pitch that is an octave below the bass sax. The contrabass produces a full octave lower than the baritone sax.

Different Types of Saxophones and what you need to know about them
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