All About the Sax!!
The saxophone is one of the most interested and versatile musical instruments in use today. It was designed to fill a niche between woodwind and brass instruments, and it has since found uses in many different musical applications from military bands to symphony orchestras. It is one of the most easily recognizable instruments by both sight and by its sound, and its unique characteristics have made it a favorite instrument with musicians all over the world. Most people know about the alto sax and the tenor saxophone, but many people may not know that there are actually nine types of saxophones.
The Saxophone Family
The saxophone family consists of nine different instruments, although only four are commonly played. The following sections describe the most common saxophones from the soprano sax to the baritone sax.
The Soprano Saxophone consists of the smallest members of the saxophone family. There are three main versions of the soprano saxophone, and they are mainly of straight designs as opposed to the common image of curved saxophones. The soprano is one of the hardest types of saxophones to learn how to play properly, so it is not recommended for beginners. It is used most commonly in Jazz applications due to its higher pitch.
The Alto Saxophone is larger than the soprano and is considered a medium-sized saxophone. It is the most commonly played type of saxophone because of its size and ease of use. It is the easiest of all the saxophones to learn how to play. It has a small mouthpiece, which limits the amount of intonation the musician can apply to the sound, making it more consistent. It is mainly designed with the classic saxophone curve at the bottom of the instrument, but they can be designed as straight or having only a slight curve. Altos are used is classical music compositions but can also be applied to jazz and contemporary music as well.
The Tenor Saxophone is slightly larger than the alto and is still considered medium-sized. It, along with the alto saxophone are the most common type of saxophone due to their size and ease of use. The mouthpiece on the tenor saxophone is larger than that on the alto, making it more suitable for more skilled musicians who can take advantage of the additional intonation characteristics of its size. The tenor saxophone is almost always a classic curved design and it is known as the most versatile of all the saxophone family. It is used extensively in jazz, but is also popular in rock and classical applications as well.
The Baritone Saxophone or just known as the "Bari" is the largest of the regular family of saxophones. Its size and weight make it the least commonly used of the regular saxophones. It is difficult for musicians to produce proper intonations through it, so it is not a good beginner saxophone. It does have a deep and rich tone which still makes it popular for many different music genres.
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