A great instrument for so many is the saxophone. In home saxophone lessons are your ticket to playing the blues, or some of that awesome Kenny G. Christmas music that is playing all over the place at that most wonderful time of the year. If you have had aspirations to pick up the sax and see what you can do, this is a great time to do it! There are some great in home saxophone teachers here in the Denver area, and they do a great job of teaching the instrument in a way that makes you want to learn.
What is a Saxophone
A saxophone is any member of a group of musical instruments in the woodwind family. They are single-reed instruments,meaning they use the vibration of a single piece of thin reed against the mouthpiece to produce a tone. They are generally made of lacquered brass, although many are plated in other metals, such as silver or nickel, and some are left unlacquered. Saxophones use a system of keys that open and close holes along the body of the instrument in order to change the note played. The combinations of keys used, known as fingerings, on saxophones is largely similar to that of clarinets.
Types Of Saxophones
There are four common types of saxophone, as well as a large number of unusual types and variations. The four most commonare, listed highest to lowest, soprano, alto, tenor and baritone. Beyond these standard four, some of the more common saxes include the sopranino (higher than the soprano), the soprissimo (even higher than the sopranino), the bass (lower than the baritone), the contrabass (lower than the bass), and the subcontrabass (the lowest). Many other variants and saxophone-based instruments exist aswell.
The alto sax is the second-highest saxophone of the standard four. It is pitched in E-flat, meaning that an alto saxophonist playing a C plays the same note as a pianist playing an E-flat. Its most immediately distinguishing characteristic is its shape; like most saxophones, it is straight along most of its length, with a nearly 180-degree bend near the bell. However, the alto has a bend near the mouthpiece, rather than two bends as in the tenor, or a loop as in all saxes lower than the tenor. The alto saxis approximately the same overall height as the soprano sax, which is usually completely straight like a clarinet.
Famous Saxophone Players
Born in the small town of Shenandoah, PA in 1904, Jimmy Dorsey and his younger brother, Tommy, were destined for fame. Theyformed bands and acted as studio musicians for the new radio and record crazes.He played the clarinet and the alto saxophone with equal ease while leading theband in complicated runs. He died shortly after his brother in 1957.
Another famous saxophone player was Lester Young. Lester Young was born in Mississippi in 1909 and is credited by many as being the progenitor of “cool” style saxophone playing. Singer Billie Holiday crowned him the President of Tenor Saxophonists, and he was forever known as Prez. Young is best known for the introduction of improvisation thatso entranced later generations of solo artists. He performed with many famousmusicians, including Count Basie, Johnny Otis, and Jo Jones. Hedied in NewYork City in 1959.
A Captivating Instrument
Saxophone really draws you in when you see it performed in a great jazz setting. The addition of the saxophone in a band is something very special as well. Finding a great instructor to help you on your journey of learning the saxophone is a key to great success. In the Denver area, many great jazz musicians find outlets to play their music throughout the week and some wonderful local venues. An in home saxophone instructor may be easier to find than you think and can help start you on that quest into the fascinating world of saxophone music!