What saxophone should I buy for a beginner?

Updated: Jul 11, 2021

Hoping to start learning the saxophone but not sure what to buy? Well read on!

Avoid eBay

Please avoid eBay and those 'cool' looking black saxophones and other coloured instruments. Please, please avoid them. They are cheap in the outset but will cost you more in the long run. Invest a little and get a good instrument that will be good until you decide to upgrade.

What Brand to Buy?

The brand, and even model, I would suggest for a beginner is a Yamaha 280. This is not the cheapest Yamaha student saxophone, but the model above. I prefer this instrument because it sounds better than the previous model and has a high F# key (which is missing on the previous model). Basically, if you don't want to upgrade, you won't need to.


So a YAS280 (alto saxophone) will set you back about $1,700-2,000AUD give or take and a YTS280 (tenor saxophone) will set you back about $2,700AUD. The other two options are buying second hand or hiring from a music store. Both options can be a little more wallet friendly.

Why the price difference?

You may have noticed that this instrument is a little more expensive than that 'cool' black instrument on eBay. This is because of the quality of materials that are used and the amount of time a human spends on setting the instrument up.

On a cheaper instrument, it's not uncommon for corks and pads to fall off in the middle of playing due to the lack of, and quality of glue. And this is just a visible issue that you can see. There are also setting up issues as untrained workers put these instruments together. If there are even the slightest leaks in the pads, the instrument can be difficult to play or just won't work. This means that you then need to get the instrument serviced for an additional cost and technicians may even refuse to work on these cheaper instruments because of the cost involved in getting them up to a playing standard.

Other Considerations

These are my opinions and what I recommend to my students. They are by no means the only saxophones out there.

**This is not a paid advertisement and I do not receive any money for my posts.

***Pictures from https://unsplash.com/

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