How To Play The Alto Saxophone? (5 Easy Steps)

Music is the gateway to enjoy a great life. The playing of music brings out one’s emotions and latent talents.

In this respect, the alto saxophone is an expressive instrument and vocal.

So, if you are a beginner with no knowledge of music, but willing to play jazz or classical music, get ready.

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Here, in this primer, we’ve discussed the ways on playing alto saxophone. Let’s start.

An alto saxophone is one of the common musical instruments. When one hears the term “saxophone,” generally they picture the alto sax.

Alto saxophones are pitched in “E” flat. Also, they are higher and smaller than tenor sax but lower and larger than soprano saxophones.

Besides, an alto saxophone offers large opportunities to learn music for young learners.

You can easily learn to play the alto sax by following some guidelines.

5 Easy Steps To Play The Alto Saxophone


Playing an alto sax is not a difficult task. You can learn ​by yourself.

For this, you don’t have to need any detailed knowledge of music.

All you’ve to do is just to follow the guidelines step by step. ​

1. First, collect an alto saxophone and other accessories required to play it

​At first, you​ have to collect the alto sax. You can borrow one from a music store or buy your own.

music store

The best way to choose the best saxophone perfect for you is to visit a saxophone warehouse. 

Thus buy the perfect one for you by trying out several saxophones.

Then, engage yourself in collecting the other accessories necessary to play it. The other required items are –

● Mouthpiece

● Ligature

● Reeds

● Swab

● Neck strap

● Fingering chart and

● Method books

2. Now assemble the sax

When you are ready to learn to play the alto sax, now focus on assembling it. First, attach the neck to the top part of the body.

Then, secure the neck with neck screw. While assembling the neck take care because your octave key is very sensitive.

Next, place the reed on the mouthpiece. Also, attach the ligature with the screws over the reed and on the side of the mouthpiece.

Now, place the neck strap to the back loop of your alto saxophone. And stand up putting it around your neck.

Moreover, make sure you are holding the saxophone accurately.

3. Make your embouchure and then blow the instrument

Now form your embouchure. However, don’t make the embouchure very tight. Then blow into the saxophone.

Make sure not to cover any holes or press any keys. If you’ve done the process correctly, you’ll hear the sound of concert “E” or C#.

Hence, if you fail to listen any sound, adjust the embouchure until the music develops.

Here is a video on how to play the B note. We hope it will help you to learn easily.

4. Move on to the other note

After developing the C# note now proceed to the other notes.

Press the first mother of your pearl key with your index finger.

This will produce concert D. Keep going down the scale covering more holes. Gradually you’ll learn to play every note correctly.

5. Finally, continue practicing

If you want to play your alto saxophone like a pro, there’s no alternative than practicing. So, find some music to play and keep practicing.

You’ll become a pro in a short period. So, focus on training on a regular basis.


Tips ​& Tricks

  • ​Choose the mouthpiece carefully. For the beginners, it’s better not to use the metal mouthpieces. They should use the ones made of plastic or rubber.
  • ​As a beginner start the reeds between anything from 1.5 to 2.5.
  • ​They are not too hard also not too easy. Also, you’ll learn to make decent tones with ease.
  • ​Keep a method book. If you’re learning by yourself, they are an excellent investment.
  • ​As you know “Practice makes a man perfect,” so keep practicing often.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is it the best choice to start learning with an alto sax?

Ans: Yes, it’s a great saxophone to start on. Besides, it’s not so big and not so small.

Q. What is the distinction between tenor and alto sax?

Ans: The tenor saxophone is in the key of Bb while the alto is in the key of Eb. So, the alto sax sounds higher than the tenor sax on the same note.

Q. ​Should I buy or borrow the instrument?

Ans: ​It’s your choice. If you want to be a professional, you can purchase your saxophone. Besides, you can borrow one.

Final Words...

Music is the interpreter of your deep feelings. So, if you are willing to express your thoughts through music, make it by your sax.

Here, in the article, the steps of playing an alto saxophone has been discussed.

So, read it, and we hope it’ll help you to learn. And express your emotions with your magical sounds.

 Happy Music!

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1 comment
Raphael Danjuma Boo says March 12, 2018

thankyou

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