• Alto Saxophone

    Alto Saxophone students will need:
    • 1 alto saxophone
    • Accent On Achievement Book 1 for Alto Saxophone
    • A music stand to use to practice at home
    • A box of ten alto saxophone reeds, size 2 (students go through at least one box of reeds per year).
    • 1 alto saxophone cleaning swab (if not included with the alto saxophone).
    • 1 tube of cork grease (if not included with the alto saxophone).
    • 1 alto saxophone weight strap

    beginband.com alto saxophone information page

    The alto saxophone is considered part of the woodwind family. Beginners usually play at a medium loud to loud volume until they get control of their sound.  It is carried in a medium sized case.  Alto saxophone players usually sit in the second or third row of the band.
    Producing a good sound on the alto saxophone is within the abilities of many 4th graders, but the size and the wight of the alto saxophone can make playing difficult for students who are small for their age or even average sized.  Many band programs do not offer alto saxophone until 5th grade.  Clarinet is an excellent alternative choice for students who are interested in alto saxophone but who may need to grow more before they can handle its size and weight.

    Alto saxophones come in three different parts and must be assembled by the player.  The parts are the body, the neck and the mouthpiece.  The mouthpiece needs to have the reed held against it by a small metal or plastic clamp called a ligature.  Assembling the alto saxophone can be a challenge at first, but with practice and repetition it becomes easier.  It is important to use care assembling and disassembling the alto saxophone and making sure the instrument and reeds are kept clean.

    Alto saxophone reeds are made of bamboo and have a very thin edge.  They can become chipped or broken try easily.  Students will go through a number of reeds per year.  Beginning students should use reeds with a thickness of 2, but may move on to a thickness of 2 1/2 or even 3 before they graduate from 5th grade.
    The alto saxophone is held in the hands but the weight of the instrument is supported by a neck strap.  In concert band, the instrument is played in a seated position off to the right side of the player's chair.
    If your child shows a strong interest in the alto saxophone please contact me about setting up an appointment near the end of the year to see if they are ready for the instrument in my classroom.
    Please take a few minutes to watch some of the videos for beginning alto saxophone players I have linked to here.