Baritone Saxophone Size Sound And Comfort

By Mike D. Schmitt

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When it comes to saxophones, size does matter. The size of a saxophone can affect its sound, playability, and even the musician’s comfort level while playing. In this prompt, we will focus on the baritone saxophone and its size in relation to other saxophone sizes.

The size range of baritone saxophones can vary depending on the manufacturer and model, but typically they are around 34-36 inches in length. The bell diameter is usually around 7-8 inches, and the instrument can weigh anywhere from 11-15 pounds. However, it is important to note that there can be slight variations in size and weight between different brands and models. Additionally, there are different sizes of mouthpieces and reeds that can affect the sound and playability of the instrument.

The baritone saxophone is the second-largest saxophone, following the bass saxophone. It is typically pitched in E-flat and has a range that extends from low A to high F. The baritone saxophone is commonly used in jazz, blues, and classical music, and is often featured in saxophone ensembles and big bands.

When it comes to sizing a saxophone, there are a few factors to consider. The most important factor is the musician’s comfort level while playing. A saxophone that is too large or heavy can cause strain on the musician’s neck, shoulders, and back. The length and diameter of the saxophone’s neck and body can also affect its tone and playability.

The best size for a saxophone depends on the musician’s experience level, playing style, and personal preferences. For beginners, it is recommended to start with a smaller saxophone, such as an alto or soprano, as these sizes are easier to handle and produce a brighter tone. Intermediate and advanced musicians may prefer a larger saxophone, such as a tenor or baritone, for their deeper tone and greater projection.

So, how does the size of a baritone saxophone compare to other sax sizes?

Here is a breakdown of the most common saxophone sizes, from smallest to largest:

  • Soprano Saxophone: The smallest saxophone, pitched in B-flat or E-flat. It has a high, bright tone and is commonly used in classical and jazz music.
  • Alto Saxophone: Slightly larger than the soprano saxophone and pitched in E-flat. It has a slightly deeper tone and is commonly used in jazz, blues, and pop music.
  • Tenor Saxophone: Larger than the alto saxophone and pitched in B-flat. It has a rich, warm tone and is commonly used in jazz and blues music.
  • Baritone Saxophone: The second-largest saxophone, pitched in E-flat. It has a deep, powerful tone and is commonly used in jazz, blues, and classical music.
  • Bass Saxophone: The largest saxophone, pitched in B-flat. It has a very low tone and is primarily used in classical music.

When it comes to manufacturers that produce baritone saxophones, some of the most popular brands include Yamaha, Selmer, Keilwerth, and Yanagisawa. These brands are known for their high-quality instruments and attention to detail in design and manufacturing.

In terms of the use of the baritone saxophone in popular music, there are numerous examples of its unique sound and powerful presence. One well-known example is Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker Street,” which features a memorable saxophone solo played on a baritone sax. Other popular songs that prominently feature the baritone saxophone include “Yakety Sax” by Boots Randolph, “Gimme Some Lovin'” by The Spencer Davis Group, and “Goodnight Tonight” by Wings.

Overall, the baritone saxophone is an important and versatile instrument in the world of music. Its size and unique tone make it a popular choice for musicians across genres and skill levels. When it comes to sizing a saxophone, it’s important to consider comfort, playability, and personal preferences in order to find the best fit for the individual musician.

When choosing a baritone saxophone, it’s important to consider several factors to ensure the best size for the player.

Here are some tips for picking the best size baritone sax:

  • Consider the player’s height: A taller person may be able to comfortably play a larger baritone saxophone, while a smaller person may need a smaller size to avoid strain and discomfort.
  • Think about the player’s strength: Playing a baritone sax requires a fair amount of physical strength and breath support. A larger saxophone may require more effort to play than a smaller one, so consider the player’s strength and endurance.
  • Consider the player’s skill level: If the player is a beginner or intermediate, a smaller baritone sax may be more manageable and easier to play. A more advanced player may be able to handle a larger saxophone.
  • Try different sizes: It’s always a good idea to try out different sizes of baritone saxophones to find the best fit for the player. This can be done by visiting a music store and trying out various models or by renting different sizes before making a purchase.

Ultimately, the best size baritone saxophone is the one that feels comfortable and natural for the player. It’s important to choose a size that will allow the player to play with ease and avoid unnecessary strain or discomfort.

Are you ready to explore the world of music with some smooth and groovy baritone saxophone sounds? Look no further, because we have compiled a list of 10 great songs that feature the baritone sax. From classic jazz tunes to contemporary hits, this list has got it all.

Let’s dive in and explore some of the best music that showcases the beautiful sound of the baritone sax:

  • “Body and Soul” by Coleman Hawkins: This jazz standard features a beautiful baritone sax solo by the legendary Hawkins himself.
  • “Moanin'” by Charles Mingus: The baritone sax takes center stage in this soulful and groovy tune.
  • “Baker Street” by Gerry Rafferty: The iconic saxophone riff in this 70s hit is played on the baritone saxophone.
  • “Pick Up the Pieces” by Average White Band: Another classic funk tune that features a prominent baritone saxophone riff.
  • “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck Quartet: This jazz classic features a memorable baritone saxophone solo by Paul Desmond.
  • “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” by Hall & Oates: The baritone sax plays a funky and prominent role in this hit from the 80s.
  • “Just the Two of Us” by Grover Washington Jr. featuring Bill Withers: This smooth and soulful tune features Washington’s masterful baritone saxophone playing.
  • “Harlem Nocturne” by Earle Hagen: This classic jazz tune is a perfect showcase for the sultry and rich sound of the baritone saxophone.
  • “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole: This timeless ballad features a beautiful and romantic baritone saxophone solo.
  • “You Know I’m No Good” by Amy Winehouse: The baritone sax adds a touch of old-school soul to this modern classic.

So there you have it – 10 amazing songs that feature the baritone sax. Whether you’re a jazz aficionado or a fan of funk and soul, these tunes are sure to please.

By Mike D. Schmitt

Mike is your 'Go-To-Guy' for all things music and pro audio. Engineer, musician, luthier, and quite possibly the biggest gear head on the planet. With over 30 years of industry experience in the studio, and on the road, we turn to Mike and his expertise for those hard hitting music and pro audio questions.

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