Types of saxophones: How many are there and which is the easiest to play?

Types of saxophones: How many are there and which is the easiest to play?

The saxophone is a single-reed woodwind instrument with a conical body usually made from brass. The sound is produced when a reed on a mouthpiece vibrates to have a sound wave inside the instrument's body. Since the first one was invented, the instrument has been rebranded, and today, there are different types of saxophones, each with its specifications and unique sound.

Types of saxophones
The saxophone was invented by Adolphe Sax. Photo: @eavone, unsplash.com
Source: UGC

The saxophone, otherwise called sax, was invented by Adolphe Sax and developed on 28th June 1846. Today, the instrument is used in jazz, big band, marching band, some classical and even pop. Nevertheless, if you are considering learning how the play it, the journey begins with learning various types of the class of this instrument available.

What are the 14 different types of saxophone?

How many saxophones are there? Although only four types of this instrument are well known, there are around 14 various types available. They include:

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  1. Soprano sax
  2. Baritone sax
  3. Alto sax
  4. Tenor sax
  5. Sopranino sax
  6. C-Melody sax
  7. Bass sax
  8. Contrabass sax
  9. Sopranissimo sax
  10. Bass sax
  11. Tubax sax
  12. Mezzo-soprano sax
  13. Connosax sax
  14. Saxello sax

What are the 4 main types of saxophones?

The four main saxes commonly played in modern musical times are the soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones. They have significant characteristics that make them special as explained below:

Soprano saxophone

Types of saxophones
Saxophone soprano on music sheets. Photo: ilbusca
Source: Getty Images

This is the smallest of the saxophone family and is often confused by the undiscerning eye for the clarinet. But then, unlike their familial counterparts, most soprano saxes feature a linear architecture and lack the familiar bell curve that most saxophones are recognised as having.

Despite often being visually mistaken for a clarinet, the soprano saxophone has a much fuller, louder, and more midrange-focused tonality by comparison.

Alto saxophone

Unlike the soprano, the alto is an excellent woodwind instrument to pick up if you're beginning your musical journey and learning to play for the first time. Tuned to E-flat and pitched slightly lower than the soprano, the alto is excellent for introductory players because it is small, lightweight, and easy to grip, unlike some giant horns.

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Tenor saxophone

This woodwind instrument is slightly larger and sounds more profound than the alto. However, it has become a prevalent instrument across various popular musical genres like the alto.

In addition, it features a deep, rich tonality that can quickly fill a room while simultaneously projecting through a dense band mix. This unique blend of sonic elements makes the tenor saxophone so alluring.

Baritone saxophone

The baritone is the deepest and boldest of these four typical horns. It is the largest woodwind instrument in this category that you will come across in most modern ensembles. Tuned to low E-flat, the baritone has a raw, organic tone that will bring a thick, full low-end to any musical context in which it is featured.

Which saxophone is the easiest to play?

The easiest saxophone to play is the alto saxophone. It is advisable for beginners because it isn't complex to understand. The length of alto saxophones is about 70 centimetres. It is also supported by the strap and can be very maintained.

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Which saxophone is the hardest to play?

The hardest saxophone to play is the soprano. It is tough to play because of its difficulty in making sound and higher range. Also, the increased backpressure, its high capacity and the rarity of examples contribute to why it is challenging to play.

What instrument does Kenny G play?

Kenny G plays a Selmer Mark VI soprano saxophone. In addition, he plays the alto and tenor saxes. Interestingly, he has his line of saxophones called Kenny G Saxophones, including soprano sax, the alto sax, tenor sax, bari sax, and bass sax.

How many keys are on a saxophone?

21 standard keys can be seen on every sax, although some models have a few extra keys making it 20 or 23. The keys on most modern saxes range from low Bb to high F, even though you can find high F# on professional models. Some Asian saxes have a high G key, while some baritone saxes contain a range that goes to low A.

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Types of saxophones
Alto sax on wooden table outdoor in woodland. Photo: Edwin Tan
Source: UGC

However it may be, each of the keys features a soft leather pad that creates an airtight seal.

What family is the saxophone in?

The sax, patented in 1846, is a member of the woodwind family. It is usually made of brass and played with a single-reed mouthpiece, similar to the clarinet. The woodwind instrument is used by the military marching bands, in classical music, and jazz and contemporary music, including rock and roll.

Learning a musical instrument like the sax is so much fun. Interestingly, the different types of saxophones give beginners options to choose from. As a result, if you're interested in this kind of instrument or are already a master, you will agree that it's worth the time and attention.

As published on Yen.com.gh, since the invention of the movies in the entertainment industry, inventors have come up with innovative ways of capturing bodies in motion and representing them in the same motion later.

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Source: YEN.com.gh

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