Jazz Alto

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Frequently Asked Questions...

Help trying to pick out a professional jazz alto saxophone.need to know what to look for?

I know very well the person behind the counter at sam ash wont know anything and will try to sell me anything (sad combo) so i need to know what type of saxophone and mouthpiece and info i need to know when buying a saxophone.i need to know what type of mouthpueces go with what types of saxophones. ( by what type of saxophone i mean what metal) also if brand really matters.i can play altissimo all the way up to high G.the thing is my teacher told me different saxes have different ranges and fingerings so a student saxophone isnt really going to go that high.so what type of stuff do i need to help play high.i can play a good tone quality high g with a messed up mouthpiece and a student saxophone.also im looking to play fast jazz.i need a mouthpiece and instrument with good articulation.i can do it it just seems like the instrument is going slower than my fingers.please help.

Best Answer...


i know alto, tenor and soprano (i'm not certain on baritone but i was told it is) all have the same fingerings but if i remember correctly.

when buying your instrument inspect the cushions carefully, if they aren't/weren't maintained and left to dry they'll let air escape and replacing them is a pain and check if they are secure but if you play the instrument you should be able to tell. also make sure the valves are free, offer little resistance when pressed and that they spring back, also check the cork gasket where the mouthpiece fits. be comfortable with it the . try a few.

on your mouthpieces, i played E♭ alto and preferred hard rubber/plastic with the concave ridge like this one.


but that is me, it's completely up to you which shape contributes to your playing style, not everyones mouth sits in the exact same place when they play, i found it almost impossible to play clarinet properly at first because the mouthpiece was just too different so i moved to one like this


(though also hard rubber/plastic at first, i found it easier to change between this mouthpiece and clarinet)
maybe ask your music teacher for advice or even try finding a mouthpiece shape similar to your current.

check out my source links for more reading, that might help