Hi, I was just wondering. When I was in middle school I use to play the saxophone but it has been years and I was thinking on starting again. But I don't really remember if it was the alto the one had. I was wondering how hard would it be to start playing again and what are the differences between the saxophones?

Ariana - First off - CONGRATULATIONS and welcome back!  

You most likely began on an alto saxophone which is typically what most middle schoolers do.  The simple reason is that the horn is easily managed physically. Every now and again youíll see some of the bigger kids begin on tenor sax simply because they can handle the extra weight and the deeper tone can be a nice addition to a band program.

As an adult you can begin on any one of the saxophones.  I've had adults come to me as very beginners on alto and tenor saxes and it really doesn't matter.  If youíre extra passionate about the soprano or baritone you can even begin on those though it is less common, it is not out of the question.  Both soprano (which is typically a straight horn - like what Kenny G plays) and the baritone (Gerry Mulligan) can be a little more cumbersome to hold and get adjusted to, so just be aware of that as you choose.

Itís not hard to begin again, here are 3 things to keep in mind:

1.) Choose a teacher who has some experience in working with adults.  Donít be afraid to share what you remember and what you may need some refreshing on, even if it means you start again from the very beginning.  Nowís the time to get into good habits rather than falling back to any old ones you may have had.  B

2.) Choose a book or method that teaches musical concepts on saxophone (not a band method book).  I welcome you to check out dlp music books which are all online and  take a step by step approach toward learning and applying concepts to saxophones (as well as 30 other instruments). I am a staff member at the site and we are available for educational support if you need us! You can even join as a social member (free) and get the benefit of accessing amazing blogs, notebooks, and resources for saxophone.

3.) Be patient and enjoy the process of learning!  The musical journey is a fun one.  Please keep me posted on your progress!  :)


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Eugene Cantera


I have been a music educator for over 25 years and have taught on many levels from young children and school agers on through to college level, professional players and senior citizens. My main areas of expertise are saxophone(s) though I have taught many instruments including, guitar, bass, piano, oboe and drums to name a few. I have also done research on horns both vintage and new.


I have been in music education for 25 years and I have written and published in the subject of professional music education.

The Dallas Morning News, Dallas Business Journal, Marketing and Higher Education Newsletter.

Bachelor of Music Education, Hartt School of Music - The University of Hartford.

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