What’s The Difference Between A Beginner, Intermediate and Professional Saxophones

difference between Beginner Intermediate and Professional saxophones
Written by Corey Morgan

Students often wonder what differences lie between these categories of saxophones. Getting a saxophone can be quite the stress on a saxophonist. This is because you have different prices, models, keys, and designs to choose from to suit your current needs. This article seeks to guide saxophone players to know the differences between the beginner, Intermediate and Professional saxophones based on their skill level.

What Are the Opinions of Other Saxophone players?

I asked over 80saxophone players what is the difference between Beginner Intermediate and Professional saxophones .

There was a wide range of viewpoints. Many people were of the opinion that there was a significant difference, while others were adamant that there was none. Is this possible? Why isn’t this a straightforward inquiry?

First off, let’s consider the student saxophone.

Differences Between Beginner Intermediate and Professional saxophones

Student saxophone

Student saxophones can also be called beginners saxophones, this is because they have mostly a very simple build, and are relatively light. The best student saxophones are the alto saxophones, beginners alto saxophones have magical melodies which have over the years increased the love and value saxophones have in our society today. Student saxophones are made with quality materials that are carefully constructed to resist wear and tear.

Student saxophones are the most common types to get by. With a lot of youths showing interest in learning the saxophone, companies complement their increasing demands to create more students or beginners’ saxophone.

These saxophones are made to be a lot lighter. Sure, since they’re new to these instruments, it’s only rational to make it light so they can practice it for long hours without being fatigued and bored from ever trying again.

Students fancy stylish and flashy designs so it’s not a surprise to see most students’ saxophones taking all the beauty and of course glory. That goes without saying that these saxophones are built with less durable materials, so in comparison to intermediate and professional saxophones, I personally find them lacking. This is not to say that they’re built with poor materials – absolutely not. But when you compare their average lifespans, this should be lower. Student saxophone focuses more on cheaper prices, less sound quality (just fairly good) and lightness

  • Price range of student’s saxophone

Student saxophones are relatively inexpensive. Yeah, they’re produced to be affordable to beginners. Plus, given that it was made from a cheaper raw material. This doesn’t mean you should buy a very cheap material.

Beware of some low budget companies who produce enticingly cheap saxophones. Not only do they produce unpleasant sounds, they’re made of poor quality. If purchases must be made, it should be from reputable companies such as Allora, Jupiter and Yamaha to mention but a few. The average price of a student’s’ saxophone range from $900 – $2700.

Intermediate Saxophones

As the name suggests, this is midway between beginners and professional saxophones. They offer both reliable quality and moderately expensive prices.

There is no point remaining on the beginners saxophones if you have gained mastery of the beginners saxophones. There is always room for improvement, unless you play saxophone just for fun.

Intermediate saxophones are for players who have gone past the beginners level. At this point, you’d have already learnt a few techniques and you’d need more practice to master them.

However, as you improve, so must your weapon. Hence the need to get a better saxophone to offer you a brighter and better tone. Intermediate saxophones are richer and fuller. They provide a rich deep tone and better sound quality. They’re ribbed which offers stability and helps to maintain fine adjustments.

It comes with brass keys , engravings on the bell and mother of pearl or abalone key touches. Intermediate saxophones offer a better responsiveness and range. Their bodies are made of copper, bronze or silver. These are more durable and reliable compared to student saxophones which are made with lacquer.

Their build and lacquered finish add to the tone and sound quality. If you are a good listener or a well grounded saxophonist, you would tell the difference in the sound produced by the beginners and intermediate saxophones respectively

  • Price range of an intermediate saxophone:

Like we reviewed earlier, owing to the extra costs of getting these above average, they appear relatively expensive compared to students’ saxophones. When it comes to intermediate saxophones, quality differs.

The higher the quality of the intermediate saxophones the more it should cost. I suggest you make purchases from reputable companies so you can get the worth of your money. Companies like Yamaha and P. Mauriat offer great products at reasonable prices. An average intermediate saxophone ranges between $2700- $3,200.

Professional saxophones

As the name suggests, it’s for high end users. If you’re still an intermediate player, I suggest you still stick to intermediate saxophones because its professional counterparts require more than you can handle.

The body of professional saxophones are made of brass, several other brands can be silver or gold plated. This way, they produce the best of sound and are resistant to rusting.

The finishing touches are quite remarkable. Since they’re made for performers and pros who are likely to be seen on stage more often, they make a unique and eye-catching appearance. Sure, if you see one, you’d know. Unlike student saxophones which are lacquered, these variants offer an unlacquered finish with gold, silver, vintage and many other fanciful platings.

Furthermore, another remarkable feature of professional saxes is that they offer a faster response and have a wide tonal range.They’re made for professionals who know the need for a quicker response and are able to achieve high notes during performances.

They have more additional keys to achieve a higher range of notes.The keys are made differently from those of intermediate saxophones and the bell brace are distinctively better.

Again if you have gained enough mastery of the professional saxophones, you should have less difficulty making similar sounds with low end saxophones.

The truth is as a professional saxophone player, you would be able to handle all levels of saxophone perfectly, in as much as there is much difference in the build and quality of materials used in the production of professional and beginners saxophones, the sound produced would still sound similar only that it would be redefined in professional saxophone.

  • Price ranges for professionals saxophones

A professional saxophone ranges from $3,500 to as much as $9,000 and above. Renting a professional saxophone isn’t a bad choice but it becomes burdensome over time. It’d be a better option to buy a new one or fairly used one from trusted local shops.