The saxophone is a very iconic instrument, from Jazz legends like John Coltrane to former president Bill Clinton, to Lisa Simpson – it’s a popular instrument. It can also be incredibly fun to play. In addition, over 150,000 saxophones were sold in North America in 2020, so playing the saxophone is undeniably a popular trend.
If you’ve ever thought about playing the saxophone, then you might be wondering, is the saxophone easy to learn? Or is it difficult to learn? While this is an open-ended question and might be easier or harder for different people, the general answer to this question is that it’s somewhere in the middle. The saxophone is moderately easy to learn. Not the easiest, but not the hardest.
Think of a piano or a guitar. Anyone can walk up to a piano and press a key to play a note. Anyone can walk up to a guitar and strum a string. Now, of course, learning to actually play those instruments requires professional instruction and dedicated time, but they generally have a lower barrier to entry for beginners. A saxophone, on the other hand, is less straightforward when you first get started, so it has a steeper initial learning curve. For example, when you open the saxophone case for the first time, it may not be clear how to put it together, where to put your hands, or how to play a note. You may need more detailed instruction to get started as a beginner than you would need for the guitar or piano.
However, once you get the basics down, you can start improving your skills more quickly as a beginner saxophone player compared to other instruments. For that reason, a lot of people may find saxophone easier to learn as a beginner compared to learning violin, flute, trumpet, trombone, etc.
In a nutshell, for a beginner musician, the saxophone may be more difficult than piano or guitar at first but might be easier to learn compared to other wind instruments like trumpet, or bowed strings instruments like the violin. If you’re thinking about learning to play the saxophone, you can find plenty of information online to learn the basics and get the top saxophone tips for beginners to help give you a better idea of what to expect in your potential saxophone-playing journey.
One other common question for anyone thinking about playing saxophone is: “How much does a saxophone cost?” For a used saxophone from a reputable brand (like Yamaha or Selmer), you could plan on spending about $800-$1,000 for a used, beginner-level saxophone. New beginner-level saxophones can easily cost up to $2,000, however, also keep in mind that many retailers these days offer financing and payment plans.
Music is a fantastic way to express yourself, process emotions, and escape from day-to-day stress, so even if you choose not to play the saxophone, you could certainly consider learning a different instrument. Or even if you decide not to learn an instrument just yet, even mindfully listening to music can provide positive benefits to daily life.