So you want to start learning saxophone – but which is the best beginner sax to buy?
When you’re trying to decide the best beginner sax, you’ll probably have a choice between a super-cheap saxophone or a good mid-range sax.
There are loads on the market so it can be confusing. So, to help you, I’ve been testing this beginner saxophone by UK manufacturer Hanson. I think this might be one of the best mid-range saxophones I’ve come across.
How to choose a beginner sax
I’m going to be demonstrating this sax, plus giving you some tips on choosing the best beginner sax for you, and talking about why going for a mid range sax might be a better option.
PLUS – I’m giving away this whole set-up worth around £1000, which is $1300 US. It’s our biggest giveaway yet! Find out how you can enter, below.
We’ve got thousands of students in Sax School, and they often ask about how to choose the right sax as a beginner. If you buy the wrong saxophone when you’re starting out it can make learning saxophone really frustrating, and you end up upgrading your sax earlier than you really need to.
Cheap Vs Good
When you’re starting out on saxophone, it can be really difficult to tell why one sax might be a better choice than another – apart from looking at the price. It’s not easy to see the difference.
But price shouldn’t be the only thing you consider when choosing a saxophone. What’s more important is the way the instrument is made. The manufacturing process has a big impact on the playability and durability of your saxophone.
With a cheap saxophone, you’ll be struggling with build quality and quality of materials, which can affect how easy the sax is to play, and how long it lasts.
With a mid range saxophone, you’re getting:
- a better design
- Better quality materials
- More care and attention to the build and assembly of the saxophone.
- That means the instrument plays properly for longer.
With a super-cheap saxophone, I find students often struggle with getting the low or high notes to play, getting some notes to play in tune, or getting faster fingers. It’s really frustrating when you don’t know if you’re hitting a roadblock because of a problem with your technique, or a problem with your saxophone.
With a mid-range sax you can be confident that the instrument is not going to hold you back. In fact, I know plenty of pro players who still play on a mid range saxophone because it works great, it sounds great and it’s really durable. My zebra sax is a great example of this – read more about how I bought a used alto sax from eBay here.
So, there are loads of benefits to choosing a mid-range saxophone if you can afford it.
Hear this sax in action in the video below. I’m playing on a Yamaha 4C mouthpiece which is a great choice for beginner players, and it’s the mouthpiece I’m giving away with this saxophone! You can learn all of the tunes I’m playing, inside Sax School.
- My One and Only Love
- Hi Fly
- Faces of the Heart
- Take Five
Where vs What
With so many saxophone manufacturers out there, we often shop by price. So we find the sax we want to buy, then we shop around to find the cheapest place to buy it. But where you buy your sax from can be just as important as the saxophone you choose.
If you have a problem with your saxophone, you’ll want to be able to easily contact the seller you bought it from to get some support. Even with really expensive, pro level saxophones, things can go wrong. And when they do, it’s great to be able to get advice quickly on how to fix it.
Buying from a company that is established, understands the instruments they are selling and can provide that support gives you peace of mind. That way, you can go back to them for repair, service, and even for other instruments down the track. This might sound old-fashioned, but with a saxophone I think it’s really important!
About the Hanson V
As a brand, Hanson are more well known for their pro level, LX instruments. Check out my review of the Hanson LX tenor.
Like all saxophones in this price range, instrument is made in the Far East. This one this is made in China, but there are differences in the manufacturig process which makes the Hanson V stand out.
Hanson Instruments is a British company based in Yorkshire, just 30 minutes from where I live. Alistair Hanson, who runs the company, helped to revolutionise the musical instrument industry in China. So he’s a real expert when it comes to making saxophones.
With his own saxophones, Alistair uses his own factory, with modern engineering techniques you don’t see with other brands. The saxophones are made top to bottom in the same factory, which is unusual – many saxophones are constructed from parts made in several different factories.
Also, the Hanson V is built using designs and tooling that Alistair developed in England. So, this is an English-designed saxophone which is manufactured in China.
These techniques mean that the key mechanism is hard-wearing and durable and will need very little maintenance. The beautiful finish and engraving is down to Hanson’s modern lacquer technique.
All of this adds up to a saxophone that is very consistent in the way it’s put together which means it’s consistent in the way it performs, and super-durable.
This saxophone costs around £930 / $1280 US – which is about the same as a Yamaha YAS 280. This is more than a cheap sax from Amazon, but it’s only about half of what you’d expect to pay for a decent pro level sax. Plus, this Hanson V should take you a long way into your saxophone playing career.
Hanson V Giveaway
You could with this great Hanson V saxophone in our giveaway!
You’ll win this brand new Hanson V saxophone, which comes with a care kit, a neckstrap, a couple of boxes of reeds and a sturdy, shaped case. I’m also including a Yamaha 4C mouthpiece which is perfect for beginner players.
This whole set-up is worth around £1000 or $1300 US – this is our most valuable giveaway ever!
I’m also giving away 2 Runner Up Prizes of a full year’s access to Sax School.
To enter, all you need is your email address. Enter here:
We will be announcing the winners live on our YouTube Channel very soon.
Find out more about Hanson Saxophones here.
If you’re ready to make great progress on saxophone, find out more about how Sax School can help you here. We’ve helped thousands of students just like you, with our video lessons, Masterclasses, support from our tutor team and our worldwide community to share your saxophone journey.