Parts of a Tenor Saxophone

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The parts of a tenor saxophone include a mouthpiece with a reed, a ligature, a neck piece, palm keys and a thumb holder. Learn about the functions of the different parts of a tenor saxophone with help from a professional saxophonist in this free video on music and instruments.

Part of the Video Series: Music Lessons
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Video Transcript

Hey, my name's Brian Medeiros. I'm going to illustrate the different parts of a tenor saxophone. On every saxophone we have a mouthpiece which has a reed on it; creates the sound as you blow through it. This is a ligature; holds the reed on the actual mouthpiece. Then you got your neckpiece here. Has a cork so that there's no air escaping when you put the mouthpiece on. These are specially shaped and sized so that no air escapes. The neckpiece comes off, and you need to be real careful when you're putting on and taking off your neckpiece, because it can damage the sound of the horn big time. If this neckpiece gets damaged you're going to affect the sound of the horn more than any other horn damage. Goin' down the horn this screw right here just tightens the neckpiece so that it doesn't flop around. Going down the horn further we've got the keys and the actual mechanics of the saxophone. This top key is called an octave key. It's controlled using your left thumb. And you've got palm keys here. These keys go down, all the way down to the bottom of the saxophone. The lowest note on most saxophones is a B flat. That goes for all saxophones, tenor, baritone, alto. They all have low B flat key, which is located right here. And all saxophones have springs in them which keep the keys up so that you can press em' down to get the notes comin' out. Also, you've got pads on the bottom which cover up the tone holes and create, you know, hopefully no leaks. When you have leaks in your horn that that makes, that makes it not play properly. So, those are some of the parts of the sax. You also have a this little thumb thumb holder, which is plastic on my horn. Some have metal ones. I prefer the plastic because it's adjustable. And those are all the parts of a tenor saxophone.

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