The saxophone is a beautiful instrument, but how hard is it to learn to play the saxophone? For many people, the answer is very. The sax is a difficult instrument for beginners because of its size and complexity. In this blog post, we will explore some tips that can make learning to play the saxophone easier.

What is the saxophone and what is it used for?

The saxophone is a metal wind instrument that is used in classical and jazz music. It is usually made of yellow brass metal and has a curved shape. The saxophone is played by blowing into it, and the sound is produced by the vibration of the metal. 

The saxophone requires a reed to create sound. The reeds are made of metal, and they vibrate when air passes over them. The vibrations produce different notes depending on which part of the reed is hit by the player’s breath.

A brief history of the saxophone

The saxophone was invented in the 1840s by a Belgian instrument maker named Adolphe Sax. He invented it as a way to create a new kind of brass instrument that would be louder than the horns that were commonly used at the time. The saxophone was first used in military bands and later became popular in jazz music.

young girl wearing dungarees sat on bed playing saxophone

Types of saxophone

Today there are 6 key types of saxophone in widespread use.

  • Sopranino: one of the smallest members of the saxophone family. It has a sweet sound and is tuned in to the key of E♭.
  • Soprano: another small type of saxophone. Soprano saxophones have a high pitch (B) and are generally considered a second instrument they are not included as standard in concert or swing/jazz band sets.
  • Alto: one of the most popular types of saxophone. Most saxophone players start their journey with an alto sax.
  • Tenor: the second most popular saxophone. The tenor sax produces a deeper sound due to its larger size and lower pitch.
  • Baritone: one of the lowest instruments in the saxophone family. The baritone sax requires a significant volume of air to produce a sound.
  • Bass: the Bass is one of the largest saxophones. Although less common than the Baritone sax, Bass sounds can be heard in 1920s jazz music.

Which type of saxophone is hardest to learn and why?

The type of saxophone that is hardest to learn is the soprano saxophone. There are several reasons why this might be the case:

  • Tone production: creating a sound on a soprano saxophone can be tough due to the structure of the mouthpiece and the embouchure (lip, tongue, and teeth alignment) required.
  • The difficulty of pieces: as one of the rarer types of saxophones, it can be tricky to find music suitable for beginner soprano sax players. Soprano heavy pieces are high, fast, and tend to jump around a lot.
  • Fewer examples of good players: listening plays a significant role when learning to play an instrument. It is harder to track down skilled soprano players and pieces with soprano solos are also uncommon.
  • High range: the soprano saxophone has one of the highest ranges when compared to the alto or tenor saxophones.
  • Backpressure: soprano saxophones are prone to backpressure issues due to their smaller size. If a saxophonist cannot create enough airflow pressure, the reed won’t vibrate and a hissing noise will be produced. If there is too much airflow, the backpressure forces the reed shut onto the mouthpiece, producing no sound.

Which type of saxophone is easiest to learn?

Above all, it depends on your level of experience playing musical instruments. If you are a beginner, the alto saxophone may be the best option for you because it has a smaller size and is easier to play than the other types of saxophones. The weight of the saxophone is also supported by a strap which is ideal for beginner students.


The baritone saxophone may be a better choice for experienced players looking for a second instrument. It has a larger size and is more challenging to play than an alto or tenor, but it is not as small or as complicated as a soprano.

Buying a saxophone

When buying a musical instrument it is important to consider the following factors: the quality of the instrument, the price, and how well you think you will be able to learn how to play it.

The quality of the instrument is important. Ideally, you want something high-quality that will last. You don’t want to have to buy a new one in just a few months. The price is also important because you don’t want to spend more than you can afford.

Some of the most well-known saxophone brands are Yamaha, Selmer Paris, and Yanagisawa. Comparing different models can help you to make the right purchase for your needs.

And finally, how well you think you will be able to learn how to play it is vital. If you don’t think you’ll be able to pick it up quickly then it might not be worth buying the most expensive saxophone on the market.

woman in black dress playing saxophone in a maize field

Saxophone tips for beginners

Learning how to play saxophone can be overwhelming at first. However, here are some helpful tips and tricks to make the learning journey more manageable:

  1. Start by learning the different parts of the saxophone.
  2. Then, learn how to hold and blow into the saxophone.
  3. Practice breathing exercises and use fingering charts to improve your playing ability.
  4. Experiment with different sounds and techniques.
  5. Find a teacher who can help you learn properly and give you feedback on your playing.
  6. Practice, practice, practice!

How to find a saxophone teacher

Are you looking for a saxophone teacher? If so, here are the steps to finding one:

Check out directories in your area

Hiring a musician is not something you want to take lightly. Take some time and research local music teachers that have experience teaching beginners. You’ll likely find what you’re looking for in this directory of listings which will help guide you along the way.

Search the web

The internet is pretty much your best friend when it comes to finding someone who can help you learn something new! Google, YouTube, and social media are all great resources that will allow you to tell people exactly what you’re looking for and then narrow down your choices.

You can also lookup reviews on sites like Google My Business or Yelp which allow business owners to list their services and address details with an accompanying review page from customers who’ve already tried it out themselves.

Talk to your friends and family

You’ll be surprised how much knowledge you can get from just asking around or taking a quick survey of friends, family members, and coworkers. They might point you in the direction of someone they used before or provide an amazing little tidbit about an instructor you wouldn’t have even known if not for their input.

Try out a few instructors before making your decision.

It helps to talk to several people first before deciding on one final person because you might find that you’re not getting what you want or something else speaks more to you later down the line.

You might even be able to try someone’s lesson for a free taster to see if you like the lesson format and your prospective teacher’s personality before committing. Making sure that they have experience in teaching beginners and figuring out your goals for wanting to learn in the first place is also a great way of finding the best teacher.

Ready to give the saxophone a try?

Ultimately, there is no definitive answer as to whether or not the saxophone is hard to learn. It depends on the person and their level of dedication. With enough practice, anyone can learn how to play the saxophone. However, it may take some time and effort before a person becomes proficient at playing this musical instrument.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.