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Jazz Saxophones

Saxophones are musical instruments belonging to the woodwind category. Saxophones were generally used in the military and in big orchestras, but are now found in smaller bands as well. They are generally used for big band music, pop music and jazz. A saxophone is as complex as a classical instrument and as unconventional as a non-classical instrument. People who play saxophones are called saxophonists.

The saxophone was invented by Adolphe Sax, a Belgian, in the 1840s. Later, many people made their own alterations to the instrument. There are many kinds of saxophones but the most commonly used are: Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Baritone saxophones. The smaller alto saxophones are ideal for first-time players. The tenor saxophones are generally preferred by jazz musicians, especially soloists. The alto is the next preferred model. There are also vintage saxophones available.

Saxophones are generally associated with jazz music, but they are also suitable for classical music. The saxophone often complements the French horn since both of them have a similar range and timbre. Jazz saxophones use high-baffled mouthpieces. Their configuration allows the baffle, or ceiling, to be closer to the reed for a brighter sound. The sound should be bright enough to cut through the other big instruments in a band or an orchestra. The baffle and the tone depend on the shape of the mouthpiece. Those with larger tip openings allow for greater flexibility in the pitch for “bending” notes. This is very useful in jazz and pop music. Lower baffles and smaller tip openings make the pitch more stable and give a darker sound. This is more suitable to classical music.

The local music store, mail-order service, a private party or the Internet are popular sources for buying saxophones. The main aspects to be considered are the quality, service, price and the model. The Internet is a good place to find information about jazz saxophones, but it is wise to test a few of them before buying.


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