3 best saxophones for beginners

Are you looking to purchase your first saxophone but don’t know which one to choose?

Let’s take a look at the 3 best saxophones for beginners models under £1,000.


We will be taking a look at the following aspects of these 3 best saxophones for beginners:

    • Sound and playability
    • Table keys (low C#, B and Bb)
    • Overall mechanics and ergonomics


Sakkusu – Alto Saxophone – Gold Lacquer

This is a great saxophone if you are just starting out and don’t want to spend a fortune and it has all the qualities of a student model that you would expect.

It produces a nice sound across the whole range though notes such as middle C lack some body.

Ergonomically, overall it feels great with good key action though the palm keys are slightly too high (at least for my hands).

The table keys are great and smooth rollers that allow your finger to change keys with no problem.

If you are getting started on the saxophone this is the perfect saxophone to get for the price you get a good horn that will make your learning pleasant.

It retails at £429 from Sax.co.uk and it’s the most affordable saxophone in this price range that actually works well and sounds decent.

Check it out here on the Sax.co.uk website


+ Great and affordable price
+ Good sound
+ Good mechanics+ Table keys feel great


– Palm keys slightly too high (but not a deal breaker)

Trevor James – The Horn – Alto Saxophone – Gold Lacquer

This is a fantastic horn with a great feel, mechanics, and tone overall.

It definitely has more character than the Sukkusu and the produces a powerful and rich sound. Something very impressive to see in a student model.

Ergonomically, it feels good throughout the horn including palm keys. However, the table keys are way too big and don’t have a very smooth action for your pinky.

When I tried this, my pinky would hit low Bb every time I played C# so this is something to consider if you are planning some heavy practice in the low register (e.g. scales).

I always recommend this horn if you are on a budget as this Trevor James will last you for a very long time.

Check it out here on the Sax.co.uk website


+ Great and affordable price
+ Powerful sound
+ Good mechanics overall+ Palm keys feel great


– Table keys are very uncomfortable

Yamaha YAS-280 Alto Saxophone

The Yamaha YAS 280 is the ultimate beginner’s saxophone.

It is the perfect saxophone for under £1,000 and you just can’t go wrong with it.

Not only this feels more comfortable on the fingers and its mechanics are great.

The Yamaha YAS-280 has an explosive yet sweet sound with some of the qualities that you will find in semi-professional and professional horns.

When you pick this saxophone up it just feels right in the hands.

Table keys are the perfect size with smooth rollers for your pinky.

Palm keys are excellent, comfortable and the right height.

If you or your child are more committed to playing the saxophone you will go far with this saxophone before you’ll need to upgrade to a more professional saxophone.

This horn will allow you to build a great sound with ease and confidence.

Check it out here on the Sax.co.uk website


+ Great and affordable price
+ Explosive and sweet sound
+ Amazing mechanics+ Palm keys are very comfortable and the right height+ Table keys are the right size with smooth rollers


– None

So, which is the best saxophone for you?

It all depends on your budget and how committed you are to the saxophone at this point in your journey.
I personally recommend the Yamaha YAS 280 with no doubt as it’s a solid instrument with a powerful and sweet sound. A great starting horn is 50% of the work done.

On the other hand, if your budget is tight and you are still not sure if you want to commit to the saxophone long-term, I’d definitely recommend the Sakkusu.

Improve your saxophone playing with our online saxophone courses, with our in-person lesson and courses for kids and adults.