To get started, all you need is a saxophone! Full details & recommendations listed below…


And so the journey begins! The Beginner Pathway is broken up into 4 sections, and is designed to teach you all of the basic skills you’ll need to know to start playing the sax. These sections are meant to address the 3 types of students who may be taking this course. Student #1 – starting from scratch. Student #2 – knows how to read music, but doesn’t know how to play the sax. Student #3 – knows how to play the sax, but doesn’t know how to read music. The Beginner Pathway is also a great starting point for someone who played saxophone several years ago, and needs a refresher course to get started back on their saxophone journey. Building a strong foundation is essential to the success of playing any musical instrument.


  • SAXOPHONE: Any reputable brand/model of sax will work, as long as it is in good working order. If you are buying or renting a starter sax, you can’t go wrong with a Yamaha YAS 23 (or any of the Yamaha beginner model saxophones). If you are looking for a top of the line sax – I play the P. Mauriat 67RX alto
  • MOUTHPIECE: Start with a beginner mouthpiece. They are much more user friendly than pro mouthpieces. A great starter mouthpiece is a Yamaha 4C. Once you have learned the basics of the sax and developed your embouchure you can move on to anything that you want.
  • REEDS: I highly recommend starting with a synthetic reed. They require almost no maintenance, are consistent, and play well right out of the box. They may seem more expensive than a cane reed, but 1 synthetic reed will last as long as a whole box of cane reeds. I’d suggest starting with a Legere Signature 2.0 or 2.25
  • LIGATURE: Most mouthpieces will come with a ligature. If you need to purchase one, pretty much any ligature will do the job. As a beginner, you will not feel or recognize the difference between a $10 and a $100 ligature. I’d suggest getting a metal ligature over a leather one (Rovner style).
  • NECK STRAP: There are tons of options! As a beginner sax student, I’d recommend starting with a basic neck strap with good neck padding. After playing for a while, you will have a better idea if you need a strap that shifts the weight of the sax to a different position.

Course Information