Baritone & Bass Saxophones
Playing the baritone or bass saxophone is an entirely different experience from a higher sax like the alto or soprano. Of the 14 varieties originally conceived by Adolphe Sax in the 1840s, these two instruments are the lowest saxophones regularly heard in modern music. If you're an aspiring baritone or bass saxophone player, be prepared to move a lot of air and get your fingers ready for a workout. Although it is one of the least common saxophones seen today, the bass saxophone was actually the first form of the instrument to be developed. On the modern stage, one of the most well-known appearance of the bass saxophone is in Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story score. The more common baritone sax is popular with military bands as well as jazz and blues musicians, and has a reputation for its deep and rich tone as well as for how challenging it is to play when compared with an alto or tenor. Because new saxophone players generally start with one of the more mainstream instruments, baritone and bass saxophones are not as often made at the student level and most of the instruments you will find range from intermediate to professional designs. There are several baritone models aimed at the school or band segment. All the same, the focus on the advanced market means that shopping for a baritone or brass saxophone is a bit more straightforward. Pads, for example, are leather on almost all of the instruments, making their material less of a concern in your decision. As with other varieties of saxophone, these two can be found in several finishes including the standard lacquer, somewhat brighter-sounding silver-plated and warmer-toned gold-plated finish. Choose your bass or baritone saxophone based on your level of experience and your preferred finish. Since all makers decorate their instruments with their own characteristic engravings and lacquers, there's a choice to fit the tonal and aesthetic preferences of any player. Whatever the genre you play, there is a saxophone that's perfect for you.