I would like to start learning to play saxophone. I know there are many different ones but I am not sure whether should I start with soprano, alto, tenor or which other.

Can you recognize and say what saxophone is used here by this artist? I like the way the sax complements to this famous song very much! from minute 7.40

Thanks, Davide.

3 Answers 3


Alto or tenor is usually the best place to start. I started with tenor because I was big enough to hold the thing, and I preferred the range of the instrument. My younger brother started with alto for the opposite reason.

Soprano is a bit boutique, to be honest. Not a lot of parts. Bari is more useful that Soprano, but I would still suggest starting with one of the other two first.

The sax in your posted video is a tenor.

  • Us fans of Sid Bechet & John Coltrane beg to differ :-) . OTOH, some one please kill Kenny G! Great list at huffingtonpost.com/ralph-a-miriello/… Jan 16, 2018 at 13:35
  • BTW in the end i bought these days a YTS-62 2 and taking lessons with a teacher, in previous months i used a rented YTS-280 but then as I like to learn to play i bought the better one. Aug 8, 2018 at 13:07

Alto is probably what most start on, it's smaller for carrying, cheaper, so there's a couple of good reasons. From there it's not a problem to go bigger onto tenor or (rather expensive) baritone, or smaller to soprano - available in bent or straight. Some are Eb, some Bb, but if you're working from the dots, that's already compensated for you.

As already identified, it's a tenor.


I've played saxophone for ten years or so, as well as working in a band instrument store for around 8. Of the four main types, soprano would be the most difficult to start on. People usually start on alto or tenor. I played baritone, and it's by far my favorite; if you think you might be headed in that direction, it might be better to start with alto.

If you really want to develop really good music practices, I might suggest starting with clarinet. As a saxophone player, I wish I had started on clarinet. But that was when I was wanting to be a music major; for something that is more casual than that, I wouldn't worry about being that involved.

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