The best tenor saxophone for beginners.Looking to get started learning saxophone? In this article we’re going to round up some of the best beginner tenor saxophones on the market, so you can get playing with a solid instrument – without breaking the bank.
We’ve reviewed some of the most well-known tenor saxophone brands to show you the features and highlights of each. If you have extra questions, feel free to use the comments section at the end.
Whilst the alto sax may be most common for beginners (especially younger students) due to its smaller size, there are some great reasons why you might want to get started on tenor instead.
You are watching: Top 6 Best Tenor Saxophone for Beginners (2021 Guide)
For a start, many of the most famous saxophone solos in history are played on this instrument.
From jazz legends like John Coltrane and Stan Getz to many of the biggest pop hits of the 70s and 80s, there’s a huge amount of recognizable repertoire for this instrument.
On top of that, it has a deeper sound (more closely resembling the male singing voice) and, whilst it needs more air, it’s easier to play in tune.
Ready to get started?
Check this summary of our top picks of student tenor saxophones, then read on for more detailed reviews of each of these excellent beginner instruments…
Top 6 Best Tenor Saxophone for Beginners (2021 Guide)
Jean-Paul USA TS-400
Best for: the serious saxophone beginner
If you’re looking for a beginner tenor saxophone that combines an affordable price with trustworthy quality, the Jean-Paul TS-400 is our favorite.
Designed with a traditional gold lacquer finish with a simple yet stylish engraving, it provides a solid basis from which to make quick progress playing saxophone.
It’s best described as an intermediate-level instrument, somewhere in between beginner and professional, which is shown in its quality manufacturing methods that aid easy playability and resonant sound.
Whilst it’s not the cheapest horn on this list it offers brilliant value, especially when considering the fact that this is a leading international saxophone brand that backs its instruments with generous parts and a labor warranty.
Read on about: [Top 5] Best Yamaha Saxophone Reviews in 2021
If you are confident about sticking with playing the saxophone or want to give yourself the best possible start to learning it, Jean-Paul tenor saxes are a worthwhile investment.
Best for state-of-the-art manufacturing
Regardless of whether you’ve ever bought an instrument before, you’ve probably heard of Yamaha.
As one of the most famous music companies in the world, buying a tenor saxophone from them includes a certain guarantee of quality, even with their beginner instruments.
Whilst not cheap compared to many lesser-known student saxophones, the Yamaha YTS-26 tenor is a solid choice for the serious and developing musician and combines many of the state-of-the-art manufacturing elements alo seen on their professional models.
Whilst intonation and sound on a saxophone are highly influenced by the person playing it, this saxophone provides its owner with the best possible foundation on which to develop that.
Mendini by Cecilio
Best for: complete beginners on a budget
California-based music company Cecilio has established itself over the last 10+ years as a solid provider of woodwind, brass, and string instruments.
Their Mendini tenor saxophone comes with classic gold lacquer as standard, but can also be ordered in silver/nickel or even black/nickel, for those looking for something a little more original.
As you’d expect from a good beginner saxophone, it comes with a range of accessories, such as an electronic tuner, sling, and even reeds. As such, it’s ready to play right out of the box.
If you (or your child) are looking to start playing an instrument for the very first time, you probably don’t want to spend a huge amount to see if the saxophone is right for you. In this case, the Mendini by Cecilio is an excellent beginner instrument that mixes reliable manufacturing and a solid sound, at an excellent price point.
Best for: a solid, long-term saxophone
Whilst Jupiter saxophones are less common amongst professional saxophone players (who tend to favor Selmer or Yamaha instruments), they are well-regarded as an incredibly high-quality beginner and intermediate instruments.
As you might expect of a technically solid instrument and a trusted leader in saxophone manufacturing, these are not cheap in the world of beginner instruments. But, for your money, you get an instrument that can see you far past ‘beginner’ status and into the realms of advanced technique.
Whilst Jupiter saxophones come in various colors, we’ve picked this strikingly original silver and gold model as our recommended choice. The silver plating (created using special artisan tooling) helps provide that dark, vintage sound that so many tenor players are searching for.
The keyword is designed to allow agility and flexibility, meaning that you won’t find yourself restricted by your instrument once you start making progress with your technique.
Thomann Antique Tenor Sax
Best for: combining modern manufacturing with a vintage style
Based in Europe, Thomann is the largest online retailer for musical instruments, light and sound equipment in the world.
In their quest to provide excellent instruments at a great value, they’ve invested in their own range of beginner saxophones including our favorite, the Thomann Antique tenor saxophone.
Read on about: Best Saxophones For Under $500 2021: My Top 5 Best Saxophone
As the name suggests, the horn is finished with a beautiful antique look. It’s not just about looking great though; this classic vintage style also contributes to its rich, deep sound.
Its lightweight, quick response and adjustable thumb rest also make it a comfortable choice for beginner saxophonists.
Selmer TS711 ‘Prelude’
Best for: manufacturing history at an affordable price
Not to be confused with the legendary Selmer Paris company, the TS711 is nonetheless an excellent choice for a beginner tenor saxophone player.
Introduced especially as an affordable but quality option for beginner school band students, the classic yellow brass body is designed for for added strength, durability, and enhanced projection.
The TS711 Prelude is ‘entry-level’ in name, but it’s a big leap forwards from the ‘under $500’ range of saxophones on the market and brings a great tradition of saxophone manufacturing into the 21st Century.
Glory Beginner Tenor Saxophone
Best for: younger students
The black & gold Glory saxophone is beautifully designed, with Selmer-Esque engraving on the bell. As one of the cheapest tenor saxophones on this list, it can take a little time to get comfortable with, but it’s an excellent all-around student horn.
All Glory saxophones are hand-tested for quality before delivery, feature quality leather pads, and come with adjustable key-height screws, meaning that you can tweak the setup to suit your specific requirements.
The key design is compact and lightweight, which makes this a great choice for even the youngest sax student.
Hawk WD-S411 Tenor Saxophone
Best for: the adult beginner
The gold lacquer-finished beginner tenor sax is a great all-rounder if you’re looking for a horn to play a range of different music, from classical to jazz to pop.
Whilst definitely an entry-level instrument, Hawk’s WD-S411 is on the high end of that spectrum with details such as mother of pearl key inlays, premium leather pads, and an ebonite mouthpiece setting it aside from others in that category.
The lacquer finish can reportedly be prone to coming off over time, so you need to pay extra attention to the care instructions. However, as with many beginner saxophones, it comes with all the required accessories cleaning tools and accessories to help you with that.