I’ve always been in love with the sound of the saxophone. It is sensual, alluring, and very much appealing. I think saxophone is the only musical instrument that sounds like someone is actually singing. When it plays, there is some kind of attraction that instantly sparks in me. I don’t know what, but something about it is really sexy.
My fascination with sax started when I was still in kindergarten, sometime in the early 80’s. I would listen to my dad’s vinyl records and especially play the ones with instrumental sax in it, over and over.
Saxophone belongs to a family of woodwind instruments, developed in 1846 by Belgian instrument maker, Adolphe Sax.
In the 1980’s notable saxophonists such as Kenny G (Kenny Gorelick, a soprano, alto and tenor sax player) played a radio-friendly style of fusion called smooth jazz.
A few of the famous classic songs which used saxophone from way back when are George Michael’s Christopher Cross’“Arthur’s Theme”, “Careless Whisper”, Sade’s “Smooth Operator”, and some of the newer ones are Lady Gaga’s “Edge Of Glory”, Taylor Swift’s “Shake it off”.
We may not notice it but sax has been all over even in the new hits lately. Try listening to the radio and pay attention to the instrumental parts, you’ll hear most songs especially jazz, have instrumental saxophone in the background. Even our very own Original Pinoy Music (OPM) has sax in them.
We have Ric Segreto’s “Loving You” Jaime Garchitorena’s “Just a Smile Away” Gino Padilla’s “Now that I Have You” among others.
If given a choice, I would definitely try to learn how to play this particular wind instrument.
I have interviewed a friend who plays saxophone and have asked a few pointers about the instrument, and here’s what I’ve learned:
Saxophone can be expensive, so it’s important to know how to get the best quality for your money when you buy one.
Baritone Sax is the most expensive type among the four (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone), with basic models that cost over Php 225,000.00, professional model over Php 337,500.00.
A basic Soprano Sax, on the other hand cost between Php 90,000.00- Php 300,000.00, and a professional Soprano Sax at Php 300,000.00 and up.
The Alto Sax, however, is the type that is usually recommended for beginners. An Alto Sax cost between Php 10,000.00 and Php 250,000.00.
In the Philippines, there are brand new and second-hand instruments that you can buy. You’ll find good quality saxophones in Pangasinan and La Union, and sometimes in Baguio.
If you can’t go to a music store, however, you may opt to try shopping online, but I suggest to consult first an experienced saxophonist before making a purchase.
While some music schools in the Philippines offer rental, if you can afford it, it’s more convenient to own one.
The important things to consider when buying a saxophone are price, quality, and service. Improper maintenance and accidents can lead to potential problems, such as damaging dents and dings which can affect more than just the looks of the instrument. You may want to choose a music store with a repair person on-site or, if you purchase from a mail-order service, it would be wise to have a repair shop available to you locally.