Assembling your Saxophone
There aren’t many pieces to deal with, so learning to put together your saxophone is relatively simple.
- Place the neck strap around your neck. Make sure your strap fits well.
- Grease the cork with your cork grease and then put the mouthpiece onto the gooseneck.
- Place the flat side of the reed on the mouthpiece and then carefully slide the ligature over the top and tighten.
- Twist the gooseneck onto body, then tighten the neck screw.
- Clip your strap onto the neck strap ring. Always support the weight of your saxophone from the bell – never hold it from the gooseneck and never let it swing from the strap!
Cleaning and care
You will need to purchase cork grease and a cleaning pull-through cloth from your local music retailer or online.
To clean your saxophone, follow these simple instructions:
- Remove the strap from your saxophone and rest gently in your case.
- Disassemble your saxophone in the reverse order to setting up.
- Drop the string of the pull-through cloth into the body, carefully tip the instrument until you can reach the string and pull it through .
- Drop the string into the larger end of the gooseneck, pull it through until you feel some resistance and then pull it back out the other way. If you try to pull it all the way through, it will get stuck or the string will break.
- Make sure you have taken the reed off the mouthpiece before you clean it. The reed should be stored in its plastic case to prevent bacteria from building up. The reed will need to be changed at least once a fortnight when you first start playing. By the middle of the year you should be changing your reed once a month.
- Clean the mouthpiece the same way as the gooseneck.
- Make sure each piece of your saxophone is back in the right spot before you close your case. Don’t force your case closed – if it doesn’t close properly, check how you have packed your saxophone away. Do not put your book or anything else on top of your clarinet as this will damage the keys.
- Make sure your case is closed and locked properly before you pick it up.
- Be sure to grease the cork with your cork grease before assembling your saxophone.
The sounds of the Saxophone
From Mussorgsky to Rachmaninoff, Coltrane to Stan Getz, the saxophone is a unique instrument. It was a late addition to the family of acoustic instruments, finding it’s most soulful sounds in the world of jazz and popular American music. The saxophone has chameleon-like qualities, making it not only versatile but intrinsic to popular and contemporary music.
What type of saxophone does my child need?
When you are first starting out on an instrument, your child just needs a basic student model of their chosen instrument.
The Saxophone you will start on will be an E-Flat Alto Saxophone. Some brands and models that are perfect for students starting out are: Yamaha YAS280 and YAS26 (there is no high F# on this model), Jupiter 769 and Buffet 100.
Helpful videos and tutorials
We also have our own YouTube Channel, where you can find a collection of useful videos and tutorials.