What type of sound

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Before choosing a saxophone, think about the sort of sound you are after and the sort of music you want to play. The best way to do this is to listen to some different sax players and find out which instrument you are listening to. The Listening section on this site introduces you to many different saxophone players.

To hear soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones on one  fabulous album, I can recommend "Joyriding" by UK sax player Derek Nash (who also plays with the Jools Holland Rhythm & Blues Orchestra). 

As you listen closely to sax music, and begin to play, you'll tune in to the different tones that players produce, and start to hear how the character of each sax can be quite different between players. Good players can also vary the sound they make on a sax to fit in with different types of music. They may switch mouthpieces to create a brighter or darker tone for different playing situations.

Whilst the different sizes of saxophone vary in pitch (the smaller the sax, the higher the pitch), a good player can extend the range by playing in the altissimo register (harmonics). Many tenor players can hit some notes way above the standard range of the much smaller soprano, you hear this in a lot of modern sax solos.

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