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How old to start the sax?

(16 Posts)
EarlyInTheMorning Wed 12-Dec-12 18:41:23

9 yo DS, grade 3 piano, is considering the sax as 2nd instrument as he loves jazzy-type music. What does everyone think?

charlieandlola Wed 12-Dec-12 18:42:34

My ds started it when he was 9 and loves it.

BrigitBigKnickers Wed 12-Dec-12 20:22:02

Alto sax? 9 should be ok so long as he is not small for his age.

RaspberryLemonPavlova Wed 12-Dec-12 22:57:18

Dd was 9 and had no problem. She is now 12 and playing baritone sax, but her friend who is also 12 still doesn't have big enough hands for alto.

Its a lovely instrument - hope he enjoys it.

YDdraigGoch Wed 12-Dec-12 23:02:25

My DD started about 13. She was grade 4 piano at the time and took to sax really quickly. Is now 15 and working on grade 5 sax and grade 6 piano, so is progressing quicker on sax. She joined the local youth wind band and school orchestra with sax, and has a great social life through music. Piano is great, but sax is much more sociable.

EarlyInTheMorning Thu 13-Dec-12 12:13:56

Thank you for your answers. Ignorant mum of musical boy here, but what's the difference between alto and baritone? Would it matter which one he starts with?

RaspberryLemonPavlova Thu 13-Dec-12 12:20:56

Yes it would. Baritone is huge! It is the same fingering for all saxs though, so it is easy to transfer. DD actually plays alto and baritone, depending on the group. She is doing her grade on alto.

Soprano is the smallest, and some schools here start with it. Howveer I think it is harder to get a good sound out of it. Alto is probably the most usual. There is also tenor, which is a bit bigger than alto.

I have only found all this out since DD began!

As YD said, it is so much more fun to play a band instrument and if they can join a group they are practising at the same time. Some orchestras won't allow sax, our school and local youth orchestra don't, but there are plenty of wind bands that welcome them.

BackforGood Sat 15-Dec-12 00:42:32

Another option is to tart with clarinet - then it's easy to swap to the sax later, once hands have grown.
I love the sax - I think my fave instrument to listen to smile

FastLoris Sat 15-Dec-12 23:22:20

The main limitation on starting woodwind instruments generally is having the permanent teeth come through, so a nine year old should have no problem.

Pretty much all kids seem to start on the alto, which is relatively small and easy to get a decent sound out of. But once learnt, the same fingering and reading is applied to all the saxes - they just transpose differently. No nine year old is going to be able to play a baritone (and you wouldn't want them to, when you see how much they cost smile)

EarlyInTheMorning Sun 16-Dec-12 10:33:38

Thank you everyone. Very helpful. What sort of money should I expect to pay for a decent beginners one?

RaspberryLemonPavlova Sun 16-Dec-12 23:01:10

I'm probably not going to be very helpful here. DD borrowed a Yamaha for 6 months, which then meant she found the beginner type saxes not great. So I paid around £800 for her Yamaha alto, which is still a student one but will see her to Grade 8.

Will he be learning through school/or music service? If so school should be able to order it for you and you get it VAT free. With DDs cello I got the educational price too.

EarlyInTheMorning Mon 17-Dec-12 07:08:13

You are being helpful Raspberry. That's something else I had't considered so all info is welcome. I am not sure about music lessons provision; I think most likely a tutor will come home. If it's not too cheeky of me, may I have a link to your Yamaha alto so that I know exactly what I should be looking at?

RaspberryLemonPavlova Mon 17-Dec-12 22:59:53

DD has a Yamaha YAS-275, which has now been replaced with the YAS-280. I have seen it online for £831.

Something else to consider as it would be your DSs second instrument. DD had learnt violin for 18 months and recorder for 2 years when she started, and was Grade 4 sax in 18 months. Therefore a beginner sax would not have lasted her long!

EarlyInTheMorning Thu 20-Dec-12 17:43:39

Thank you raspberry

realcoalfire Sat 12-Jan-13 18:20:20

My DD started at 7 on the Alpha sax -a mini-saxophone for younger children suitable for up to grade 3

morethanpotatoprints Thu 17-Jan-13 23:18:46

My dd is 9 and started at about 8.5, dh is a pro and educator of 25 years.
You should get a recommendation for an instrument as no disrespect any of the above mentioned models dh wouldn't touch nor would they have suited dd. You don't really get student/beginner models although some are marketed in this way. There are some more suitable for beginner but really its what suits the player.

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