What is the weight of a saxophone. Explained by saxophone teacher showing personal comparisons.

What is the weight of a saxophone?

Written by Greger Hillman, Saxophone teacher and music educator

The weight of a saxophone varies depending on the type of sax, the brand and materials the manufacturer use to make the saxophone and during what period in time it was made. As it also relates to the choice of materials.

The average weights for the most common types of saxophones:

  1. Soprano Saxophone: Ranges from 2.5 to 3.5 pounds (1.1 to 1.6 kg).
  2. Alto Saxophone: Ranges from 4.5 to 6 pounds (2 to 2.7 kg).
  3. Tenor Saxophone: Ranges from 6.5 to 8.5 pounds (2.9 to 3.9 kg).
  4. Baritone Saxophone: Ranges from 12 to 20 pounds (5.4 to 9 kg).

This gives you a rough idea of how much different saxophones weigh. However, as I mentioned it comes down to the material and type of saxophone as well.

I've owned and played all four main types of saxophones and based on my experience, especially with Alto and Tenor saxophones, there are big differences in weight depending on the Saxophone Brand.

This has to do with the mix of Brass materials being used in the body of the Saxophone.

I've compared the King Zephyr Alto Saxophone from the 1930's with a Selmer Mark VI Alto Saxophone from the 1950's with a Yanagisawa A-WO10 Elite and they vary in a lot in weight.

While the old King Zephyr saxophone is loud it lacks the build quality that the Selmer Saxophone has. They used different mixtures of brass metals in the 30's compared to the 50's and even to what we see in modern saxophone today.

This does not only affect the weight of the saxophone but also the saxophone sound and the way the tone resonates through the baffle of the mouthpiece, down the neck and body of the saxophone.

Selmer Saxophones have always been considered the gold standard when it comes to saxophone brands. However, things are changing as more Saxophone manufacturers are coming on the scene and the quality of these newer brands both compete and in some cases outperform the Selmer Saxophone.

If you are a musician or just a music enthusiast, you might have wondered about the weight of a saxophone. The weight of a saxophone can vary depending on the type of saxophone, the material it is made of, and its size. In this article, we will explore the different factors that can affect the weight of a saxophone.

Saxophones are made of different materials, including brass, bronze, silver, and even plastic. The type of material used can significantly affect the weight of the saxophone. For example, a brass saxophone is generally heavier than a plastic saxophone. Additionally, the size of the saxophone can also impact its weight. A tenor saxophone is typically heavier than an alto saxophone due to its larger size.

Understanding Saxophones

If you are interested in music, you have probably heard of saxophones. Saxophones are a type of woodwind instrument that was invented by Adolphe Sax in the 1840s. Saxophones are known for their unique sound and are used in a variety of musical genres, including jazz, classical, and pop.

Saxophones are part of the Hornbostel–Sachs classification 422.212-71, which means they are a single-reed instrument with a conical bore. There are four main types of saxophones: soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone. Each saxophone has a different range and is used for different types of music.

Saxophones are made of brass, but they are not always gold in color. They can be plated with silver, nickel, or even black nickel. The weight of a saxophone varies depending on the type and the material it is made of. On average, a saxophone weighs between 2.5 and 3.5 kilograms.

When playing a saxophone, the musician blows air into the mouthpiece, which causes the reed to vibrate and produce sound. The sound then travels through the instrument and out the bell. Saxophones are known for their expressive sound and are often used to play solos or improvise.

In conclusion, saxophones are a unique type of woodwind instrument that are known for their expressive sound. They come in four main types and are made of brass with various plating options. The weight of a saxophone varies depending on the type and material it is made of.

Different Types of Saxophones

When it comes to saxophones, there are four main types: alto, tenor, baritone, and soprano. Each type has its own unique characteristics and sound. In this section, we will take a closer look at each type.

Alto Saxophone

The alto saxophone is the most common type of saxophone and is often the one that beginners start with. It is pitched in the key of E♭ and has a bright, clear sound. The alto saxophone is often used in jazz and classical music.

Tenor Saxophone

The tenor saxophone is slightly larger than the alto saxophone and is pitched in the key of B♭. It has a deeper, richer sound than the alto saxophone and is often used in jazz and rock music.

Baritone Saxophone

The baritone saxophone is the largest of the saxophones and is pitched in the key of E♭. It has a deep, rich sound and is often used in jazz and classical music. The baritone saxophone is sometimes referred to as the “bass saxophone” because of its low range.

Soprano Saxophone

The soprano saxophone is the smallest of the saxophones and is pitched in the key of B♭ or E♭. It has a bright, clear sound and is often used in jazz and classical music. The soprano saxophone is sometimes referred to as the “piccolo saxophone” because of its high range.

Overall, each type of saxophone has its own unique sound and characteristics. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced player, there is a type of saxophone that will suit your needs.

Physical Characteristics and Dimensions

When it comes to saxophones, there are a few different physical characteristics and dimensions that are worth considering. These include the weight, size, and shape of the instrument.

Weight

The weight of a saxophone can vary depending on the specific model and materials used. On average, a saxophone can weigh anywhere from 5 to 10 pounds. Some saxophones, such as those made from brass, tend to be heavier than others. It's important to consider the weight of a saxophone when choosing a neck strap or harness to ensure maximum comfort while playing.

Size

Saxophones come in a variety of sizes, ranging from soprano to baritone. The most common type of saxophone is the alto saxophone, which is often used in jazz and pop music. The size of a saxophone can affect its sound, with larger saxophones producing a deeper tone.

Shape

The shape of a saxophone can also vary depending on the specific model. Some saxophones, such as the curved soprano saxophone, have a distinct curved shape that can make them more comfortable to play. Other saxophones, such as the straight soprano saxophone, have a more traditional shape.

Overall, the physical characteristics and dimensions of a saxophone can have a significant impact on its sound and playability. When choosing a saxophone, it's important to consider factors such as weight, size, and shape to ensure maximum comfort and enjoyment while playing.

Materials and Construction

When it comes to saxophones, the materials used in their construction can have a significant impact on the instrument's weight. Here are some of the key factors that can affect the weight of a saxophone.

Materials Used

The materials used in the construction of a saxophone can vary depending on the manufacturer and the model. Some saxophones are made entirely of brass, while others may feature nickel plating or other materials to enhance their durability and sound quality.

In addition to the metal components, saxophones also require a variety of other materials, including reeds, pads, and key mechanisms. These materials can also impact the overall weight of the instrument.

Key Mechanism

The key mechanism is one of the most critical components of a saxophone, as it allows the player to control the instrument's sound and pitch. The key mechanism is typically made of brass or nickel-plated brass, and it can be quite heavy, especially on larger saxophones.

Some saxophones feature a more complex key mechanism than others, which can also impact the weight of the instrument. For example, a saxophone with more keys and pads may be heavier than one with a simpler key mechanism.

Mouthpiece

The mouthpiece is another critical component of a saxophone, as it allows the player to control the sound and tone of the instrument. Mouthpieces can be made of a variety of materials, including plastic and metal.

A heavier mouthpiece can add weight to the instrument, which can be a consideration for players who are looking for a lighter saxophone. However, the weight of the mouthpiece may not be as significant a factor as the weight of the key mechanism or other components.

In conclusion, the weight of a saxophone can be impacted by a variety of factors, including the materials used in its construction, the key mechanism, and the mouthpiece. When choosing a saxophone, it's essential to consider these factors to find an instrument that meets your needs and preferences.

Saxophone Sound and Tone

When it comes to saxophones, the sound and tone are what make them stand out. The saxophone has a unique sound that is unlike any other instrument. The sound is characterized by its rich, warm, and resonant qualities.

Sound Characteristics

The sound of a saxophone is influenced by many factors, including the type of saxophone, the player's technique, and the music genre. In jazz, the sound is often bright and bold, while in classical music, the sound is more mellow and subdued. Contemporary music often features a mix of both styles.

The sound of a saxophone is also affected by the material it is made from. Saxophones made of brass tend to have a brighter sound, while those made of nickel silver have a more mellow tone. The lacquer finish on a saxophone can also affect the sound by making it brighter or darker.

Tone Variation

The tone of a saxophone can vary greatly depending on the player's technique. Players can manipulate the tone by adjusting their embouchure, breath control, and finger placement.

The saxophone has a wide range of tones, from bright and piercing to mellow and smooth. Players can also produce a variety of effects, such as vibrato, growling, and overblowing, to add texture and depth to their playing.

In conclusion, the sound and tone of a saxophone are what make it a unique and versatile instrument. Whether you're playing jazz, classical, or contemporary music, the saxophone's rich and resonant sound is sure to captivate your audience.

Playing the Saxophone

Playing the saxophone requires a certain level of skill and technique. As a beginner, it may take some time to develop the necessary movements and flexibility to play the instrument effectively. However, with practice and dedication, you can improve your playing range and become a skilled musician.

Techniques

To play the saxophone, you need to learn the proper fingerings and movements required to produce different notes. This involves learning the treble clef and altissimo fingerings, as well as developing the necessary flexibility to move your fingers quickly and accurately.

As you progress, you may also need to work on your breath control and embouchure to produce a clear and consistent sound. This can be challenging, but with practice and guidance from a skilled teacher, you can improve your technique and develop your skills as a saxophonist.

Challenges

Playing the saxophone can be a challenging and rewarding experience. Some of the difficulties you may encounter include mastering the various scales and learning to play with proper intonation. Additionally, playing in the altissimo register can be especially challenging, requiring precise fingerings and a high degree of skill.

Despite these challenges, playing the saxophone can be a fulfilling and enjoyable experience. With dedication and practice, you can improve your skills and become a skilled musician.

Saxophone Brands and Models

When it comes to saxophones, there are several brands and models available in the market today. In this section, we will discuss some of the popular brands and model variations to help you make an informed decision when buying a saxophone.

Some of the popular saxophone brands include Yamaha, Selmer, Keilwerth, Yanagisawa, and Cannonball. These brands are known for their high-quality saxophones that are suitable for both beginners and professionals. Yamaha is a popular brand that offers a wide range of saxophones, including the YAS-280 Alto Saxophone and YTS-62III Tenor Saxophone. Selmer is another popular brand that is known for its professional-grade saxophones, including the Selmer Paris Series III and Selmer Paris Reference 54. Keilwerth is a German brand that produces high-quality saxophones, including the SX90R and Shadow. Yanagisawa is a Japanese brand that is known for its premium saxophones, including the AWO20 and T-WO20. Cannonball is an American brand that produces affordable saxophones, including the Big Bell Stone Series and Vintage Reborn.

Model Variations

Saxophones come in different models, each with its unique features and specifications. The most common models include the alto, tenor, soprano, and baritone saxophones. The alto saxophone is the most popular model and is suitable for beginners and intermediate players. The tenor saxophone is larger than the alto saxophone and produces a deeper, richer sound. The soprano saxophone is smaller than the alto saxophone and produces a higher-pitched sound. The baritone saxophone is the largest saxophone and produces a deep, mellow sound.

Some saxophone models are designed for specific playing styles, such as jazz or classical. For example, the Yamaha YAS-62III is a popular saxophone model for jazz players, while the Selmer Paris Series III is a popular model for classical players. Additionally, some saxophones come with special features such as a high F# key, adjustable palm keys, and a detachable neck.

When choosing a saxophone, it is important to consider factors such as your playing level, playing style, and budget. By doing so, you can find a saxophone that meets your needs and helps you achieve your musical goals.

Care and Maintenance

Taking care of your saxophone is essential to ensure it lasts a long time and continues to sound great. Here are a few tips to help you maintain your saxophone:

Clean your saxophone regularly

Cleaning your saxophone regularly is essential to keep it in top condition. You should clean the mouthpiece, neck, body, and keys after every use. Use a soft cloth to wipe down the body and keys, and a mouthpiece brush to clean the mouthpiece and neck.

Use a harness

Using a harness can help reduce fatigue when playing your saxophone for extended periods. A harness can help distribute the weight of the saxophone more evenly across your body, reducing the strain on your neck and shoulders.

Use quality accessories

Using quality accessories, such as reeds and ligatures, can help improve the sound of your saxophone. Cheap accessories can produce a poor sound and may even damage your saxophone.

Store your saxophone properly

Storing your saxophone properly is essential to protect it from damage. You should store your saxophone in a case when not in use and avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures or humidity.

Get your saxophone serviced regularly

Getting your saxophone serviced regularly by a professional can help ensure it remains in top condition. A professional can check for any damage or wear and tear and make any necessary repairs.

By following these tips, you can help ensure your saxophone remains in top condition and continues to sound great.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average weight of a saxophone?

The average weight of a saxophone is around 5-6 pounds. However, this can vary depending on the type of saxophone and the material it is made of.

How much does a tenor saxophone weigh with its case?

A tenor saxophone with its case can weigh anywhere from 15-20 pounds, depending on the brand and model.

How much does an alto saxophone weigh with its case?

An alto saxophone with its case can weigh between 10-15 pounds, depending on the brand and model.

What is the weight of a Yamaha bari sax?

The weight of a Yamaha bari sax can vary depending on the model, but it typically weighs around 30 pounds.

How heavy is a baritone saxophone?

A baritone saxophone can weigh anywhere from 20-25 pounds, depending on the brand and model.

What is the weight range of the saxophone family?

The weight range of the saxophone family can vary depending on the type of saxophone. The soprano saxophone is the lightest, weighing around 2-3 pounds, while the bari saxophone is the heaviest, weighing around 30 pounds.

Saxophone teacher online Greger Hillman

Written by Greger Hillman

Greger Hillman is a saxophone teacher with +36 years of experience playing saxophone. 

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Greger Hillman is a saxophone teacher and musician from Sweden.

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