Saxophone/alto choices


after 5 years of playing im tempted to change from an intermediate level yamaha yas280 to a canonball scepytr semi pro model, is this a progression and what price do the cannonball instruments retail at?


Thank you for asking me the question about stepping up to a semi-pro sax from the student Yamaha that you are currently playing.

I love the tone and play-ability of a Cannonball brand horn. In fact, I was at a church conference a couple weeks ago where this was the sax players primary instrument. It sounds great!

As to whether it would be a good fit for you is another question. I am always a fan of play testing several different brands of instruments and various models before making that decision. For example, you may very well find that a semi-pro or pro Yamaha may fit you better since you are already accustomed to the Yamaha feel and tone on your current instrument. That being said, Cannonball is a wonderful choice and I am sure the overall aesthetics have an appeal to why you are considering one. They look awesome!

Cost consideration for the Cannonball Sceptyr puts it in an affordable place at a retail price of $2400 to $2800. I have seen them used at various prices to include as low as $700.

My advice is to go to your local sax dealer and play test as many different brands and models as are available to you. You might even consider using various mouthpieces and reed strengths on each one as well. It will make a huge difference if you cover all of your bases before making an absolute decision.

It looks as though you are on the right path as wanting to upgrade is usually indicative of the player realizing the tone and play-ability of their current sax is either limiting their performance ability or stifling their playing altogether.

I appreciate you taking time to ask your question. It is my hope that you find the ideal instrument for you and that it takes you to greater heights of playing.


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Gwen Shroyer


I am interested in networking with other saxophone players of all levels of experience and answering questions about varied techniques and methods of training, specific brands and models made, mouthpieces, reeds, and various other questions about performance.


I have been playing sax since 1977 where as a student of the clarinet I wanted to play the instrument of my Jazz heroes. I studied under Berklee College of Music renowned Jazz theorist Andrew Jaffe and I have a degree in Music Business from Berklee. I have traveled and performed in several countries mostly in Europe and North America. As an instructor, I have taught students from beginning through college/professional performance ability. I previously owned The Horn Doctor, a band instrument repair shop. Since 1998, I have been playing alto and tenor sax with the Dexter Thomas Band which is an 11-piece horn-band playing hits from the 60's, 70's and 80's. I play saxophone in the worship and praise band at my local church as well.

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Berklee College of Music, Boston Massachusetts - Bachelors Degree, Music Business/Management Tomlinson College, Cleveland Tennessee - Associates Degree, Music Education/Mass Communications

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