How much does a saxophone cost? (2023)

How much does a saxophone cost?

Today we look at how to buy your first saxophone, how much a beginner or student saxophone costs and how much a good professional saxophone costs and what to expect.

Good entry-level Chinese-made saxes start at around $350, and a good student sax from Taiwan ranges from $650 to $1,000. A professional saxophone costs at least a few thousand dollars, maybe over $4,000.

Let's see.

One of the questions I keep getting asked isWhat is the difference between a student saxophone and a professional saxophone? Why is there such a price difference?

Before we get down to business, let's start with buying your first saxophone.

How much does a good saxophone cost for beginners (students)?

Now it can be intimidating and confusing just entering the world of saxophones because there are so many types, so many parts, so many accessories and so many other things to consider.

For the sake of simplicity, let's focus on the two main types of saxophones: alto and tenor.

Here is oneComplete Guide to the Woodwind Saxophone FamilyI wrote if you want to see how big this list can get. And that's not all... today there are about 30 types of saxophones, some widely used in everyday life, others rare.

A good beginner or student sax starts at around $350, it's probably a Chinese made sax, it will have the right shape, it will feel good under your fingers, it will sound good and that's it. I wouldn't recommend looking lower than that.

With a few dollars more, you can even choose the finish you like best.

What is the best sax for a complete beginner: alto or tenor sax?

If you've never gotten your hands on a sax and are wondering what to do between the two, here it is.a comparison of alto and tenor saxophones for beginnersto help you make that decision.

That being said, if we want to learn saxophone, let's try to learn alto saxophone. Therefore, our first saxophone will usually be the alto.

There are several reasons for this, but I won't go into them now.

(Video) $250 Saxophone vs $3,100 Saxophone

Buy from Amazon vs. buy online vs. shop at your local music store

I understand a lot of people want to buy a saxophone but don't have the thousands of dollars to get something professional.

A cheap and non-brand saxophone for beginners or students.Amazons- almost always made in China - will be somewhere in the $300 range. They can probably be a bit cheaper if you dig a little.

But is it good for a beginner?

Straight out of the box the included mouthpiece and cork taste like a Chinese factory, it plays a little on some of the pads but don't be surprised if it plays incredibly well.

This is with the included mouthpiece.

And it doesn't look bad either.

You can get a used saxophone from any website, say,EbayAs low as $150. Not guaranteed to work or play properly. And especially if you are a new player you will have no idea what you are paying for.

Yes, you can have your sax checked by a professional, but that's usually done after the fact.

If you're seeing less than $250, chances are you're getting something that doesn't work properly.

That's when you start to have a leak somewhere, part of the main work starts not seeing your hands well, etc.

Do you have to start with a student saxophone?

A student saxophone is designed for a student who does not want to invest too much. Someone who just learned to play the saxophone. Someone who is not 100% sure they will still be playing in 6-8 months.

The idea is to feel it. Learn to play and start.Nothing more.

And you get everything you need: a good case, a working saxophone, and some basic accessories. Nothing special here.

Almost anyone trying to sell a saxophone will tell you to buy something "amazing", something "really special" that will last forever. And you can do it.

(Video) How Much Does It Cost to Buy a Saxophone?

And nothing stops you.

Realistically, student saxes are great little horns, fantastic starting points, have good instant tone and play fantastic for the money.

Anything you can do with a professional saxophone, you can do with one of these student saxophones.

A good student saxophone (update) - things in between

Once you've passed the basic and full beginner level, here are a few options for you to explore.

A good mid-range beginner or student sax starts at the 650 euro mark. As a beginner you get a lot of sax here. You get a well put together student saxophone for your money, it looks good and plays great.

What you get is a saxophone made primarily in Taiwan rather than China. You will receive a crafting upgrade and parts of a Chinese horn.

Everything will be affected.

The quality of the horns, for example, will be better and the button configuration will be better: it will feel a little nicer on the fingers and be a little more responsive.

You can push a little more and pull a little more out of the horn. What you'll also get is a few more colors and finishes. It's great to play with, and again it comes with everything you need in a neat little package.

What you'll notice is that the voice is considerably larger and darker than the lower price point. But the best thing is that the keys work noticeably more ergonomically.

With better ergonomics comes considerable comfort and the ability to run a little faster.

For a beginner you get a great horn. You can't go wrong here. The rollover point is a bit further away at this point.

Most midrange saxophone horns will go in the same direction as I said earlier: you get more life from your horn for the investment, and the quality of the parts is fantastic, but they are all different in their own unique way be.

If you can snag a Chinese horn here, it's probably one of the best out there.

(Video) Cheapest Sax on Amazon VS My Professional Alto Saxophone

Some good student saxophone brands

#1 — Buffet 100

One of the big brands in the manufacture of instruments incrampon buffet🇧🇷 They are world famous clarinet makers and also make excellent student saxophones like thisBuffet 100.

The quality you getBuffetit is world famous.

ÖBuffet 100It's a Chinese horn, but quite possibly the best Chinese horn on the market. It certainly sounds like the darkest, most sophisticated and classic of the horns on this track.

#2 — Yamaha 280

Of course, when we talk about student horns, we have to talk about the gold standard: theYamaha 280.

If you go to any saxophone forum or talk to a music teacher or go anywhere on the internet and ask what saxophone you should buy whatYamaha 280will show up, and for good reason.

ÖYamaha 280it is the gold standard for student saxophones.

It has been designed in every way to be as convenient as possible for a new player. It's fantastically finished. It is made in Indonesia.

For example, the keyboard cover is designed for new gamers. It can't go wrong.

How much does a good professional saxophone cost?

While student saxophones are fantastic horns that are absolutely amazing for beginners, you may find they produce a slightly one-dimensional sound, at least for the first few years of your learning.

So if you're trying to get into different areas of music, you might find it a bit difficult to work with student saxophones.

A good professional saxophone costs at least a few thousand dollars. Prices vary wildly here, but if you're in the market for a professional saxophone you're probably already familiar with the block and hopefully have a good idea of ​​what you're looking for.

Saxophone for Students vs. Saxophone for Pros: What to Expect

We can break down the differences between these two sax price points into two basic ones: aesthetics (how it looks) and the tone quality and response of the instrument.

#1 —aesthetic differences

Student saxophones will not be recorded on the bell.While most professional saxophones will have some nice hand engravings.

With the bracing mechanism on the back, professional saxophones get a more unobtrusive design.which also reduces the weight.

(Video) NEVER Make These 10 Saxophone Gear Mistakes

On the keyboard, professional saxophones have an edit, which is decorative and intended to reduce the weight of the instrument.

Professional saxophones have a higher build quality, usually from Japan.while a good student saxophone is made in Taiwan.

The neck

Professional saxophones have denser metal in the neck receiver., which will be missing on the student saxophones. What this allows for is additional resonance between the neck and body of the instrument.

Likewise,Professional saxophone necks are larger in diameter and have thicker metal.

Key Work und Pads

Some of the subtle but important touches between the two revolve around how the buttons and pads work.

Professional saxophones have mother-of-pearl touches on the keyswhile the student saxophones will have fake pearl keys.

ÖThe ergonomics of professional saxophones will be much better thought out.For example, palm keys will be much closer to the palm, and the keywork will be much closer to the body.

The key work, much closer to the body, allows us to run more fluidly through the fastest passages.

Pads on professional saxophones are made from much higher quality leather.This gives us a warmer and rounder tone.

And finally,Professional saxophone pads have blue steel springswhich react much faster than ordinary steel.

#2 —tonal quality

On a professional sax you get a rounder, more refined stone and better responsiveness in all registers.

We can find the difference between these two horns mainly in the upper registers and ends of the instrument.

Hopefully that should give you a pretty accurate picture of what to expect when looking for a saxophone at various price points.


How much does a good saxophone cost? ›

Beginner saxophones usually range in cost from $800 to $2,700. Intermediate, or step-up saxophones usually range in cost $2,000 to $3,000 and entry level pro saxophones (still largely played by advanced students) around $3,000 and up.

Is it worth buying a saxophone? ›

Properly maintained saxophones can last a lifetime, which makes them an excellent investment and potential heirloom. If you do feel confident that buying a saxophone is the right idea, then you should talk to your (or your child's) music teacher about which instrument they'd recommend for you to start with.

How much is a cheap saxophone? ›

The cheapest alto saxophones cost around $200-$500. A quality student alto sax will usually cost $1,000-$1,500. The tenor saxophone is the second most common saxophone. The top-quality student tenor saxes can easily cost $3,000-$5,000.

How much should a used saxophone cost? ›

If all factors that can influence how good a used saxophone is, are met, you should expect to pay between $4,000 and $11,000 for a used saxophone. That's an approximate price range. It can of course be lower or higher depending on the type and level of sax you are looking for.

What is the easiest sax to play? ›

The alto saxophone is easier to play than the soprano saxophone, and so it is a good choice for beginners. A simple comparison of the length of the soprano and alto saxophones shows that they are about the same, 70 centimeters long.

Is it hard to play a sax? ›

Is saxophone hard to learn? In terms of learning the saxophone, it's one of the easiest instruments. The scales run up and down the keys, making it perfect for beginners or people who are switching from the piano or other woodwind instruments with similar technique.

Is it OK to buy a used saxophone? ›

Of course, a used sax will have a bit of wear and tear. But you should avoid dents or signs of major repairs. Look for a model that's a proven, great saxophone. On eBay, make sure you look for a seller with good feedback and some selling history who's happy to take payment using Paypal.

How long does a sax last? ›

Saxophones can last up to 100 years with proper care as they're very durable instruments. Most saxophones are made of brass, which can last up to a century with frequent exposure to moisture before it starts to rust and fall apart. With proper care, some saxophones can last well over a century.

Is playing saxophone good for your lungs? ›

1. Strengthen your breath. Playing a woodwind instrument will force you to become conscious of every facet of your breath, from relaxed and open inhalations to sharp and controlled exhalations. Woodwind instruments will absolutely give your lungs a serious respiratory workout.

Are saxophones still popular? ›

Today, the saxophone has become an important part of almost every genre of popular music: jazz, funk, R&B, blues, reggae, ska, soul, rock, pop, etc.

Is alto or tenor sax easier? ›

For younger players, I always recommend they learn to play the alto saxophone because it's easier to manage. It's smaller, and it's lighter. It's easier to carry and handle. If you're a smaller person, you might find the alto suits you better too.

Do saxophones age well? ›

There is no consensus on whether saxophones sound objectively better with age. Some experts swear a difference in sound can be ascertained as a saxophone ages. Detractors point out the metal or plastic material itself does not change in tone as it ages, unlike guitars and wooden instruments that do.

What is the best sax for beginners? ›

The alto saxophone is by far far the most popular choice when it comes to learning saxophone – especially for younger players who might find the tenor too heavy.

What is the best quality saxophone? ›

  • Selmer Paris. Saxophone brands don't come more prestigious than Selmer. ...
  • Yamaha. The Yamaha Corporation has put its name to all manner of products, from motorbikes to sporting goods to audio equipment. ...
  • Yanagisawa. ...
  • Elkhart. ...
  • P. ...
  • Keilwerth. ...
  • Conn-Selmer. ...
  • Cannonball Saxophones.
Nov 24, 2022

Do saxophones hold their value? ›

Highest quality vintage horns like the vintage Selmer saxophones will hold their value very well and generally slowly appreciate over time. This has been the trend for many years and even in the face of recessions, the value over time seems to go up.

Which sax is most popular? ›

The Alto Saxophone is the #1 type in terms of worldwide sales. It has become very popular due to the size and versatility of tone. The Alto is used in all types of musical scenarios, from jazz to classical. It has a higher 'voice' compared to the Tenor, but is not as high pitched as the Soprano.

What is the hardest sax to learn? ›

Soprano Saxophone

It is the smallest of the four main saxophones. It can be either straight or curved. The soprano is known as the hardest saxophone to play.

What is the smallest sax called? ›

The sopranissimo saxophone (also known as the piccolo or soprillo saxophone) is the smallest member of the saxophone family. It is pitched in B♭, one octave above the soprano saxophone.

Is sax or guitar harder? ›

Guitar is harder to learn for a beginner than saxophone. This is because a guitar has more fingering positions and allows for up to six notes at once, compared to a saxophone, which only plays one note at a time. Guitar music also requires knowing a bit more theory to read than music for saxophone.

Which is harder sax or piano? ›

It is harder to learn the saxophone than it is to learn the piano, especially for people who have never played an instrument before. The saxophone is a lot more complex than the piano because it requires you to memorize fingerings, practice breath control, and learn proper embouchure.

Is sax or clarinet easier? ›

Saxophone is simply an easier instrument than clarinet overall, and is more commonly used in rock music. It's the natural choice. That being said, oboists often find clarinet easier because the embouchure is a bit firmer, which they're used to.

What age should you start saxophone? ›

We typically recommend seven or eight as the minimum starting age for saxophone lessons. Alto saxophones are best suited for younger students due to their size, roughly two feet in length. The alto sax is also the most popular type of saxophone for beginners, due to its compact size and lower weight.

How can you tell if a saxophone is real? ›

The finish of the instrument is only the first step for determining the instrument's legitimacy. Look closely at the engraving on the bell of the saxophone, and compare the brand mark, model, and any other distinguishing marks on the instrument against a verified photograph of a Selmer Paris saxophone.

What is the side effects of playing saxophone? ›

  • Health Concern. Mild. Severe. Depression.
  • 30.54% 17.73% Headache. 47.78%
  • 10.34% Acute Anxiety. 37.93% 9.36%
  • Fatigue. 52.22% 8.87% Stage Fright.
  • 34.98% 7.88% Tinnitus. 27.59%
  • 5.91% Respiratory Allergies. 26.11% 5.42%
  • TMJ Syndrome. 12.32% 4.43% Sleep Disturbances.
  • 32.51% 3.94% ADD. 9.85%

What happens if a sax gets wet? ›

In most circumstances, it is damaging for a saxophone to get wet. Unwanted effects include: The pads and corks can fall apart or deform. Additionally, the metal components can oxidize.

Can saxophones go out of tune? ›

Indeed, a saxophone can get out of tune for various reasons, including extreme shifts in temperature, reassembling issues, mouthpiece placement, and dents produced across the body due to mistreatment. If a saxophone is played before a warm-up, it's also prone to deliver out-of-pitch notes.

What do I need to know before buying a saxophone? ›

What to Look For When Buying a Used Saxophone
  • Brands: there are many quality brands, and many poor quality brands. Brandon recommends Yamaha, Cannonball, Vito, Selmer, P. ...
  • Mechanics: This includes key action and body condition. Look for smooth action with tight fitting keys. ...
  • Organics: Organics include pads, corks, felts.
May 2, 2016

What can you not do with a saxophone? ›

Never lift your saxophone from the keys or neck. Always swab your horn from the bell to the top. Don't place your saxophone in a closed case after playing, as there will still be a little bit of moisture lingering in the horn.

How many hours should you practice saxophone? ›

If you are at all serious about learning the saxophone, a minimum daily requirement would be 30 minutes practice, but ideally at least an hour. If you intend to become professional then at least 2-3 hours daily is appropriate.

How long should you practice saxophone a day? ›

As a rough guideline, you should be looking to average about 3-5 hours of practise every day (even more some days) if you want to be the best of the best.

Why is there no sax in orchestra? ›

The composers and conductors were unwilling to fight with the orchestra members, and the orchestral saxophone was cast aside. So, the next time you see a saxophone in an orchestra, remember that its presence in the ensemble is a very contentious issue.

Can a 50 year old learn the saxophone? ›

It is NEVER too late to learn how to play the saxophone. I have a few students who are over the age of 70. One of these students has never ever had anything to do with playing music in her entire life. She has wanted to learn saxophone for the last 60 years and finally has summoned up the courage to start.

Are saxophones easy to learn? ›

The good news is that the saxophone is much easier to learn than other instruments, and it's a whole lot of fun! Like many instruments, the saxophone isn't too difficult to begin playing but challenging to master. Many people say that it's easy to make a sound on the saxophone but harder to make a good sound.

How heavy is a alto saxophone? ›

Typically, a saxophone would weigh between 4.5 pounds, while adding the case would make the whole setup weigh around 10.14 pounds. For transportation, alto saxophones are a bliss and don't require too much effort.

Which saxophone is best for jazz? ›

With its rich and warm tones, and its relatively lightweight body, the Tenor Saxophone is considered the mainstay instrument in the genre, and has been widely associated with some of the world's most popular jazz musicians such as John Coltrane and Charlie Parker.

What sax does Kenny G play? ›

Kenny G plays the Selmer Mark VI soprano, alto and tenor saxophones. He has created his own line of saxophones called "Kenny G Saxophones".

Does playing saxophone change your face? ›

Conclusions. Playing a wind instrument can influence tooth position and facial morphology in both children and adults. Aspects that stand out are overjet, arch width, facial divergence/convergence and lip thickness.

Do saxophones hurt dogs ears? ›

Sensitive Sounds

While you might not be able to hear a certain sound or won't hear it as loud, your pet could pick it up and the sound might become highly irritating. Saxophones can have exactly this high-pitch sound, causing your pet to perhaps feel discomfort while you play.

Can I learn saxophone in a year? ›

Realistically, playing the sax should take between six months to a year to really learn. That means maintaining the skill long after you have stopped playing regularly. However, once you start, you won't want to stop.

What is a good student sax? ›

Best saxophone for high school students: Yamaha YAS-280

The Yamaha YAS-280 boasts a lightweight, yet sturdy build, forgiveness if you tighten the screws too much (a common beginner issue), and the angles between keys and fingers are just right, so as not to cause aching hands.

What should I look for in a used sax? ›

The 12 Tips
  • It's best to stick with horns that have not been refurbished. ...
  • Make sure that the horn isn't dented. ...
  • Be careful about purchasing a horn that has been refinished or relaquered, as the finish may have been stripped in the process which can negatively impact the sound. ...
  • Make sure you can see the serial number!
Oct 29, 2010

Is a gold or silver saxophone better? ›

Silver plate is less common than gold lacquer and is more hardwearing, though it does need frequent cleaning due to oxidisation. It creates a brighter sound and is usually a bit more expensive to buy. As the name suggests the Vintage finish aims to recreate the look and sound of older saxophones.

Which saxophone is best for rock? ›

Tenor is the usual saxophone for rock, and it makes very little difference what make. You just need a good one as with any style of music. The mouthpiece is a more important piece of kit as far as making the sound goes.

Do you need a lot of breath to play the saxophone? ›

Not only does playing the saxophone require more breath than most instruments, but the flow of breath needs to be constant. Unfortunately, this isn't a natural process for most. In order to control the flow of air you'll need to “train” your throat and diaphragm.

Do saxophones break? ›

Fortunately, problems with saxophones typically fall into one of the below categories: broken or missing neck cork, air leaks, stuck keys, and dents. Generally, these problems are easily addressed by a qualified repair technician.

Is it okay to leave saxophone in car? ›

Keep Your Saxophone Out Of The Heat and Cold

Many instruments are sensitive to extreme temperatures, and saxophones are no exception. It might be tempting to leave your sax in the backseat or trunk of your car, but this is not recommended. In the warmer months, the inside of your car can get extremely hot.

What saxophone should a beginner buy? ›

The Alto saxophone is the go-to saxophone for new beginners, and the one we typically recommend learning on!

What saxophone brand is best? ›

  • Selmer Paris. Saxophone brands don't come more prestigious than Selmer. ...
  • Yamaha. The Yamaha Corporation has put its name to all manner of products, from motorbikes to sporting goods to audio equipment. ...
  • Yanagisawa. ...
  • Elkhart. ...
  • P. ...
  • Keilwerth. ...
  • Conn-Selmer. ...
  • Cannonball Saxophones.
Nov 24, 2022

How much is a good alto saxophone? ›

For beginners and students, alto saxophones can be available around the $300 to $400 price point. What is this? Whereas professional players who want all the highest quality features can access saxophones costing well over $3000.

Is alto or tenor sax better? ›

Beyond the aesthetics, the size of the two instruments makes a difference in the notes that they produce. Since the alto sax is smaller, its notes are higher and brighter than those of the tenor sax. The tenor sax produces a mellow, rich, and deep sound.

Is it okay to buy a used saxophone? ›

Of course, a used sax will have a bit of wear and tear. But you should avoid dents or signs of major repairs. Look for a model that's a proven, great saxophone. On eBay, make sure you look for a seller with good feedback and some selling history who's happy to take payment using Paypal.

Are old saxophones good? ›

Of course, the great old saxophones are still great, as long as they are properly maintained, they just really aren't better in general than modern horns, and definitely not as easy to play.

What are the side effects of saxophone? ›

Several problems stand out with a high percentage of mild cases but very few severe cases; most notably eye strain (42.86% mild, 2.96% severe) and noise induced hearing loss (26.60% mild, 0.99% severe). Michael Davis is a saxophonist who began his saxophone career at the University of Iowa.


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