Saxophone Info

In the miscellaneous information section

  • Saxophone Buying Advice

    How to get the Best Buying Advice Don’t just listen to me, there are many different and valid opinions so for a start log in to the Cafe Saxophone discussions, you will also get a lot of useful saxophone information on choosing your first saxophone. Watch out for the Bad Guys It’s important to question any online advice. Somebody advising you to buy a saxophone could ... Read more…
  • Saxophone Reviews

    Disclaimer: I do not get paid or receive free instruments in return for reviews on this page. Very Inexpensive Saxophones Note that I’m not using the description “Cheap” saxophones. Although the models I intend to review in this category are cheap, many of them are only cheap in the sense of not costing as much as you might expect as opposed to ... Read more…
  • Saxophone Recommendations

    What’s a Good Saxophone? I am often asked to give saxophone recommendations, endorse mouthpieces and big up the retailers. I am not an official endorser of any product apart from Legere Reeds, and so I feel I can give independent advice on most things. I only recommend those that I have personal experience of, but I cannot guarantee that what works ... Read more…
  • Saxophone Insurance

    Insuring a valuable instrument While there are no dedicated saxophone insurance policies, there are several insurance brokers than specialise in musical instrument insurance. If you are not taking the instrument out of your house, you should be able to include it in a normal house contents policy, but check with them first, especially if your saxophone is a more valuable one. ... Read more…
  • Saxophone Maintenance

    Cleaning Inside the Body of the Saxophone 1. The Pull-Through (or “Swab”) Probably the most important part of general saxophone maintenance, this is a cloth attached to a piece of string with a small weight on the end. You can buy these or else make one yourself by attaching a weight to one end of a piece of string (or any type ... Read more…
  • Saxophone Repairs

    Leaks A leak happens when something on the saxophone such as pad closing is not an airtight seal. The symptoms are squeaking  or notes not sounding properly and generally a feeling of resistance. A good indication of a leaking saxophone is when you suddenly find you can no longer play a low note pianissimo. Leaks are commonly due to: The leather pads being ... Read more…
  • Saxophone History

    Story of the Saxophone Now available, this beautiful A4 reproduction of Buescher catalogue and saxophone book See/download scanned extracts at the bottom of this page. The Early Years of Saxophone History From the Story of the Saxophone The Middle Ages gave us a variety of new instruments and gradually the elements of the modern military band were gathered together. The development of these bands was encouraged ... Read more…
  • Leaking G#

    Problems with leaky low notes? The issue is very often your  G# The G# on modern saxophones has quite a complex mechanism. All saxophone players need to know about adjusting the tabbed/articulated G# as it is one of the most common, and yet easily fixable, causes of leaks. The first thing we need to know is what is a tabbed/articulated G#, and why ... Read more…
  • Saxophone Comparisons

    The Shootout I have chosen to compare five saxophones, three vintage and two modern. The vintage saxophones are my own two tenors, a 1930s Conn 10M (Naked Lady) and a 1950s “The” Martin, along with a 1954 Selmer MKVI which I borrowed. The two modern tenors are a Yanagisawa 901 and one of the new generation of inexpensive Chinese saxophones, a ... Read more…
  • Saxophone Material

    Science vs Common Sense Saxophones are mostly made from brass, which is an alloy mostly of copper and zinc. There are and have been slightly different combinations, and various other metals (e.g. lead) also included. Saxophones are also made from other materials, e.g. copper, bronze, silver and plastic. Various finishes are available: different types of lacquer and metal plating, e.g. silver, ... Read more…
  • Serial Numbers

    What Can Serial Numbers Tell Me? The main thing you learn from serial numbers is the age of the instrument of course. Although the dates in these charts are reasonably accurate, there may be some discrepancies for various reasons. Here are a few things to bear in mind: Sometimes a company may hold back a batch of instruments and then release them ... Read more…
  • Vintage Saxophones

    Are vintage saxophones better than modern ones? Yes and no, “better” is very often subjective. It used to be the case that you could buy a professional quality vintage horn for much less than a professional quality new one, however the market is now opening up due in part to some very good and inexpensive saxophones being made in Taiwan and ... Read more…
  • Bright Sound or Dark Sound

    There seems to be a lot of confusion about how we describe sound. It seems many people these days want what they call a dark sound, but when I delve deeper into what they mean, I realise it may not be the same as what I call a dark sound. I write a lot about saxophone sound, but there seems ... Read more…
  • Mixing Saxophone

    Who is this for and what do you need? This is for anyone who wants to make recordings of their playing (or singing) along with basic backing tracks. This isn’t meant to be an advanced or even complete tutorial on mixing, and I will be looking at a typical scenario: Backing tracks from an audio file (e.g. Aebersold) or self generated using ... Read more…
  • Petting Zoo (rare & unusual)

    Here are a few of the strange and unusual instruments and accessories I have collected over the years. Some sound great, others not so. Maybe I’ll record some soundclips one day… Conn Clar-O-Sax – “A real musical instrument, not a toy” A few people might dispute that marketing statement as there appear to be no known recordings of any band featuring one ... Read more…
  • Recording a Saxophone

    This article is based on my experience playing the saxophone on recording sessions, and also recording saxophones while working as a producer/sound engineer sometimes alongside some of the best sound engineers in the world in some top studios. These methods work for me and are based on a lot of trial and error as well as years and years of ... Read more…
  • Saxophones For Sale

    Saxes for Sale – 5 things to watch out for:   1. Asking advice online People often ask on the forums or social media “what is the best saxophone?” hoping for an answer. Note I said “an answer” (singular). Unfortunately they tend to get a whole raft of different answers and end up being no better off. If you ask “what is the best saxophone?” it can ... Read more…

 


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