Which student saxophone is best for my child
This is a very great question, one that I hear so often. Also one that you may get many different answers to from numerous sources, which generally can lead to frustration for anyone seeking the answer. Being someone who began playing saxophone as a young student at age 11, I fully know about the long and vigorous journey a student goes on from first starting out, to playing in high school; onto the college level; and finally into the professional arena.
The Journey of a Student Saxophone Player
As a young student saxophone player, I was not given the best tools to succeed with. In fact, I was given a student saxophone that was purchased by my grandmother from a local music store for $300; and because of the condition, in my opinion, this saxophone was way over priced. My first saxophone was the dreaded, beat up, Selmer Bundy II student alto saxophone. It was very worn and used when I got it and to this day, I do not think it was ever in 100% working order, which kept me from playing all the notes that the sax was designed to play.
So how did I make it through all those years as a student saxophone player with such an inferior instrument? Honestly, I don’t know. Well, officially I only played that student saxophone for 4 ½ years, and for what I was asked to do during that time, it did what I needed it to do. You see, as a student saxophone player, there was not too much demand on me, as long as I learned my scales and parts for the band, my individual tone and experience level was not as noticed until I entered the high school level of playing; which introduced me to solo performances for both classical and jazz. Here is where the quality of the sax could no longer be hidden and actually became a hindrance to my ability to advance as a young student saxophone player.
When I entered 10th grade, my parents purchased a brand new Armstrong student tenor saxophone for me. I think the sale price on it was around $1,200, but by the time it was paid off, I think it cost my parents around $2,400; which is no where near what that student saxophone was worth. The initial $1,200 was a big stretch for a student saxophone, especially at that time, for that model. I know you may read that and say, “$1,200 seems cheap for a student saxophone, I see Yamaha student tenor saxophones selling for over $2,200,” and you are right; but if you have a true grasp on the saxophone market and you understand what it is that you are buying, you will clearly see that there are so many other options available to you as a parent buying a saxophone for your child, and that the most expensive option is not always the best option.