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The Saxophone Family: How many members are there?

Learning to play the saxophone also includes having a better understanding of the saxophone and all of it's glory. While we always hear and see the popular saxophones like the Tenor and Alto saxophone, did you know there are seven additional styles of saxophones!?



When it comes to middle to high pitch horns, the Alto and Soprano Sax are the ones that can get up there. You may have seen the straight saxophone, also known as the Soprano saxophone, But did you know there are smaller saxophones than the soprano? The other two saxophones who's pitch is high like the soprano are the Sopranino saxophone and the super rare Soprillo saxophone.


Working to the lower register starts with the Tenor Saxophone, This is probably the most popular of the saxophones for Rock & Roll and Blues. The Tenor Saxophone is unique because it can touch the high notes and play the low notes. However, if you would like to play a lower pitch saxophone there is the Baritone Saxophone. Did you know the Baritone Saxophone (Bari Sax) has 3 brothers?


Believe it or not, the Bari Sax is actually the smallest of the low pitched saxophones. Going lower than the Baritone Saxophone, you have the Bass Saxophone and the Contrabass Saxophone. These two really large saxophones that play super low require the instrumentalist to sit in a chair to hold the instrument upright.

Finally, the lowest pitch saxophone and largest of them all, is the Subcontrabass Saxophone. This saxophone along with the highest pitch horn, the Soprillo Saxophone, are mythical creatures in the world of music. These saxophones exist, but there were so few of them made and they are extremely uncommon.


In review, we briefly discussed the nine-different types of saxophones listed below:

  1. Soprillo Sax (Bb)

  2. Sopranino Sax (Eb)

  3. Soprano Sax (Bb)

  4. Alto Sax (Eb)

  5. Tenor Sax (Bb)

  6. Baritone Sax (Eb)

  7. Bass Sax (Bb)

  8. Contrabass Sax (Eb)

  9. Subcontrabass Sax (Bb)



How many different types of saxophones have you seen?

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