Which sax should I start with?

If you are a beginner to music and plan to play on your own for pleasure, I recommend the Trevor James Esprit alto for £10 per month to hire.

These are designed for beginners and are ideal to learn on.  However, if your aim is to play with others in bands etc or you have played an instrument before, you may wish to consider the Yamaha alto (£19 per month) as the tuning is better which is important when you are playing with others.

You would only need to upgrade from the Yamaha if you start pIaying professionally.  The hire scheme is completely flexible.  Many beginners start with an Esprit to keep the cost down and upgrade to a Yamaha on purchase.  .

Yamaha YAS-280:

Tenor Saxophone
(B flat)

I recommend that beginners to the sax start with an alto and transfer to the tenor later.  However, if the mellow sound of the tenor is what you love and you have a lot of puff, go for it!


The Trevor James Esprit for £20 per month is fine to learn on but the Trevor James Horn or Yamaha for £29  per month  would be more suitable for playing with others as the tuning is better.  You would not need to upgrade from these for many years (if ever).   


Yamaha YTS-62 02 / Yanagisawa / Selmer  -Superb quality and tone, ideal for professional playing.

Soprano Saxophone  
(straight  B flat)

I do not recommend the soprano as a first sax unless you have played clarinet, flute or oboe to about grade 5 standard.  This is because the soprano is difficult to keep in tune for beginners.

The Yamaha YSS-475II is an excellent soprano.  It has a beautiful warm tone and the build quality is superb.

If this is too expensive, the Trevor James Horn is a good compromise and is ideal to learn on. 

The curved soprano is ideal for children too small to hold the alto.

Baritone Saxophone
(E flat)

Not advised for the beginner! 

The Yamaha YBS-62 and Yanagisawa B991 are my favourite baritones.  However, if these are too expensive, the Yamaha YBS-32E and Yanagisawa B901 are also excellent instruments.


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. Neotech neck strap - "classic strap". 

 "Makes your instrument feel up to 50% lighter!"....Children: The weight reduction system makes the classic strap ideal for a small child.  The student is free to concentrate on technique rather than fighting the weight of the  instrument.   Professionals: Long gigs are physically less demanding with use of the classic strap.  When doubling on instruments, the weight difference between horns feels greatly reduced.  Has a "snap hook" with spring to ensure it will not come loose from the sax by accident.  Suitable for alto and tenor saxes.