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I do not have any prior musical training. I do not know how to read music.

The only instrument I have played are a keyboard and a harmonica. I think I can learn the saxophone if I remain as passionate as I am now, but I seek advice first because buying a saxophone is a costly affair.

Does learning a saxophone involve a very steep learning curve? I know most people start playing in their school-days. Is it too late for me to start? (I am 22)

I really want to play like David Sanborn some day.

All suggestions are welcome!

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It's never too late to learn music :) –  Shevliaskovic Nov 30 '13 at 7:21
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up vote 6 down vote accepted

As has been said so many times - get a good teacher - at least for a while. I believe anyone can learn to play an instrument by themselves - if they live long enough !! A teacher will guide you to a suitable sax, be it soprano, alto tenor or baritone (quite expensive). Watching videos and using tutor books is good, but they won't answer a question you suddenly come up with while you're playing. A teacher will.

Some music schools will let you rent an instrument which can eventually be bought. You should go to music shops and talk with the guys there about your dreams - they have lots of experience playing, and maybe know a person to point you to.

Learning to play an instrument and learning to read music are two different skills, and I always advocate getting to know the instrument and making sounds with it well before starting to correlate dots to fingering.

No, even in retirement it's never too late. Just make the time to practise and play.It's worth the effort !

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I’d also add the very usual: a teacher will tell you what you do wrong. This is especially important in the early stages of learning, where you have to learn how to produce sound: how to take your mouthpiece, how to “hit” the reed with your tongue — you don’t want bad habits there, and with a saxophone, it’s easy enough to “force” sound just by blowing harder. Plus they’ll tell you when you need to switch to harder reeds, help you find the right mouthpiece. When you want to buy an instrument, they can even try them for you — because a good serial number never guarantees a good instrument. –  Édouard Nov 30 '13 at 11:16
    
+1 for learning to play before worrying about reading music. My dad has played the sax since he was a kid and just started learning to read music and play the keyboard in his 60's. –  CoderDennis Dec 3 '13 at 4:41
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