Essential Saxophone Accessories for Every Player
Exploring the world of saxophone accessories.
While it’s true that having a wide range of accessories can be beneficial, we believe in a minimalist approach that prioritizes practicing and honing your skills. Let’s dive into the essential accessories that every saxophonist should consider.
1. Saxophone Case
A durable and reliable saxophone case is a must-have accessory for any musician. Martino, the founder of the London Saxophone School, recommends the Eastman case for its excellent protection and compact design. While it may not have ample space for additional items, there are alternative solutions for that.
Mouthpieces play a crucial role in shaping your sound. Martino carries four mouthpieces with him: a Meyer 6 for jazz and three others (Selmer C*, C** and D) for classical music. Storing them in a convenient pouch allows easy access and protection. Finding the right mouthpiece for your desired style is a personal journey, so don’t hesitate to explore different options.
Although ligatures may not seem like a significant accessory, they do affect the sound produced by your saxophone. Martino confesses to using a cheap ligature for years, focusing instead on practicing and perfecting his sound. However, he acknowledges the Ligaphone ligature as a fantastic option if you’re looking for a higher-quality alternative.
4. Cork Grease
Cork grease is an essential accessory for maintaining your saxophone. It lubricates the cork so that you can easily adjust your mouthpiece for tuning purposes. It’s an inexpensive item that should always be in your case, especially if you just had your neck re-corked.
A small screwdriver is a handy tool to have in case you need to make minor adjustments or tighten a loose screw. It’s especially important when travelling to ensure that your saxophone remains in optimal playing condition. Just remember to pack it in your checked luggage if you’re flying.
6. Cigarette Paper
Cigarette paper might seem like an unusual accessory, but it can provide relief and protect your bottom lip when playing for extended periods. It’s particularly useful for classical and contemporary music that requires prolonged playing time.
7. Pull-Through Cleaner
To keep your saxophone in top condition, regular cleaning is essential. A simple pull-through cleaner is a practical accessory that helps remove moisture and debris from the instrument’s interior. Martino recommends a basic model, emphasizing that it gets the job done without the need for anything fancy.
While saxophone accessories can enhance your playing experience, it’s crucial to balance investing in them and dedicating ample time to practice. The essential accessories mentioned in this article will serve you well on your musical journey. Remember, becoming a great musician requires commitment, practice, and a focus on developing your skills. So, prioritize your playing and enjoy the process.