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​​Frequently asked questions

 We have tried our best to answer the majority of questions we get asked.
  1. What make of saxophone should I buy as a beginner? I hear Yamaha, Selmer and Yanigasawa are the best makes?
    The world has changed and we live in modern times with better manufacturing technology resulting in better quality products at value prices. Saxophones from Taiwan and China have caught up in terms of quality so you don’t have to buy a saxophone from a big brand name as a beginner. You should be able to get a good quality new saxophone within your budget.
  2. How do I get better at playing? How do I sound like one of the greats?
    You should never aspire to sound like one of the greats because you are going to sound like you and people will love you because you sound like you. You will only get better by practicing every day. Minimum of 30mins per day and play some routines everyday. To get close to being one of the greats you need to practice at least 6 hour per day for a good number of years. Don't let that put you off because everybody has their reason for playing the saxophone.
  3. What reed size should I start using?
    Start with a 11/2. As you grow in your saxophone playing, your cheek muscles (embouchure) will get stronger and you might get to a point where you begin to regularly shut the reed or suddenly stop notes. This is a good time to consider progressing to the next level of reed. Reeds are usually in sizes 11/2, 2, 21/2, 3, 31/2, 4. The harder you play, the higher your reed size will become.
  4. How do I get rid of a sticky pad problem?
    Prevention is better than cure! Sticky pad problems results from eating and drinking close to the point of playing your sax. The drink culprits are beer, sugary drinks and even juices. Prevent the problem by leaving at least an hour between eating / drinking and playing. Drink lots of water during the interval and in between playing. If you have a sticky pad, drink lots of water around playing time and leave your sax with the box open in a dry room more regularly.
  5. Where can I play my saxophone? My neighbours have started complaining.
    Start by speaking to your neighbours to work out a regular time you will be practicing. Look for open safe spaces e.g. a school hall, an underpass etc. The sounds you will generate from some of these places will help you pitch your notes better and make your practicing more interesting.
  6. Would an expensive mouthpiece make me sound better?
    Not as a beginner. Mouthpieces are generally designed for the type of music you play and for your level of proficiency. As a beginner start with an entry level mouthpiece and focus more on your practicing. You should always try a mouthpiece before you buy.
  7. What types of saxophones are there? Which one is best for a beginner?
    There are 4 main types of saxophones – Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Baritone. The Soprano and the Baritone are best left to the pros because of size and tone problems you are most likely to encounter playing them everyday as a beginner. The Alto is the most popular and the best for a beginner. The sound from an alto is bright, it is easier to handle and you can make good progress quickly. The Tenor is also good for a beginner especially if you like its mellow tone.
  8. What age can I or should I start playing the saxophone?
    It is never too late to start or to learn so there is no maximum starting age. The recommended minimum starting age is about 11 - 12 due to the size of the instrument, the discipline required to keep going and the love and care the instrument deserves and requires.
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