The Most Important Saxophone Accessories You Need For Your Sax

Saxophone accessories are an important part of playing the saxophone. True saxophonists know that having the right accessories can make a big difference in sound, performance, and comfort. They make your instrument more enjoyable and easier to play. But what are some accessories that all sax players must have?

The most important saxophone accessories are – the mouthpiece, reed, ligature, case, neck-strap, saxophone stand, reed cutter, mouthpiece cushion, mute, and cleaning kit. For saxophonists who play in a band or an ensemble, other saxophone accessories such as a music stand, sax mic, and metronome are also recommended.

This might seem like a long list of accessories, and if you’re a beginner, you’re probably wondering if all of them are really necessary. In this post, we’ll take you through what each saxophone accessory does and why they are important. We’ll also give you our favorite recommendations to help get you started! So whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been playing for years, this post will help you get the most out of your sax!

10 Most Important Saxophone Accessories For Your Alto or Tenor Sax

Let’s take a closer look at each of the saxophone accessories on our list and learn more about how they work. 

1. Mouthpiece

The mouthpiece is perhaps the most important saxophone accessory out of them all. It’s the part of the instrument that you blow into. The mouthpiece is made up of three parts – the tip, the throat, and the body. The tip is where the reed goes, and it’s also where you put your lips. The throat is a small opening that helps control airflow. And the body is the larger portion of the mouthpiece that helps shape and direct the sound.

The material of the mouthpiece plays a big role in sound production. Mouthpieces can be made out of different materials such as metal, wood, or plastic. Each material has its own unique properties that affect the sound produced. For example, metal mouthpieces tend to produce a brighter sound, while wood mouthpieces produce a warmer sound.

Most saxophones will come equipped with a stock mouthpiece that’s made out of plastic. These mouthpieces are okay for beginners, but as you progress, you’ll want to upgrade to a better-quality mouthpiece. They will help you produce a richer, fuller sound, while also making it easier to play in tune and control your tone.

Our recommendations for saxophone mouthpieces:

2.  Reed

The reed is a small piece of wood that’s placed on the mouthpiece. The vibration of the reed is what actually produces the sound when you blow into the mouthpiece. Without it, your saxophone is useless. This makes it another important accessory that you must have at all times.

Reeds come in different sizes and the size of the reed corresponds to the size of the mouthpiece. For example, if you have an alto saxophone mouthpiece, you’ll need an alto saxophone reed. Do not interchange them (such as using an alto reed for a tenor mouthpiece), as this can hamper your playing.

Reeds also come in different thicknesses. The thicker the reed, the harder it is to play. For beginners, it’s best to start with a thinner reed, around a strength of two or three. As you progress and get more comfortable with playing, you can move up to a thicker reed.

Our recommendations for saxophone reeds:

3. Ligature

The ligature is a small band that goes around the reed and mouthpiece. It’s used to secure one end of the reed in place so that the other end can vibrate freely and more easily. Think of it as a seatbelt for your reed. Without a ligature, your reed will fall off every time you take a breath, which obviously isn’t ideal.

Ligatures come in different materials such as metal, wood, or plastic, all of which make a difference in the tone. They also come with a single screw, double screws, and sometimes no screws. The number of screws usually corresponds to the quality of the ligature – more screws mean better quality. But decent players can play just as well with any ligature, as long as it holds the reed securely in place.

Our recommendations for saxophone ligatures:

4. Case 

The saxophone is a pretty expensive instrument. Even basic student models can go for $600 to $1000. Thus, it’s important to invest in a good saxophone case to protect it. Although most saxophones are delivered with a stock case, these are often flimsy and not very protective. Upgrading to a good-quality case will not only safeguard your saxophone from bumps and scratches but will also help prevent the pads from drying out.

When it comes to saxophone cases, there is a huge variety in terms of size, the material used, and features. Some are rigid (heavy, better for rough use) whereas others are flexible (lightweight, easier to carry around). Some cases will come with extra pockets to keep your accessories while others will only have enough space for your saxophone. 

Depending on your needs, you can find a saxophone case that’s perfect for you and will last for a long time. 

Our recommendations for saxophone cases:

Since there are different models of saxophones, we’ll give you recommendations for the best saxophone case brands, rather than the cases themselves. This will help you look up the brands and find the case that suits your sax. 

  • BAM (Professional quality cases, quite expensive)
  • SKB (Mid-range, good quality at an affordable price range)
  • Gator (Highly durable cases with heavy-duty protection)

5. Neck-strap/Harness

If you’ve ever picked up a saxophone, you know that they’re pretty heavy instruments. Playing one for long periods of time can really strain your body. This is where the neck strap or harness comes in. 

Neck-straps and harnesses help to distribute the weight of the instrument evenly so that you don’t get tired easily when playing. A good quality neck-strap or harness will also be adjustable so that you can find the perfect fit for your body.

For most alto and tenor saxophones, you can go with a single neck strap, preferably made of leather. For heavier types like the baritone sax or the bass sax, you might need a full exoskeleton harness so that you can play comfortably.

Our recommendations for neck-straps/harnesses:

6. Saxophone Stand

A saxophone stand is a great way to protect your instrument when you’re not playing it. It also allows you to have easy access to your sax so that you can pick it up and play whenever the mood strikes you.

Whether you want a basic floor stand for a single sax or a more sophisticated orchestral stand for multiple saxes, there is a wide range of options available. Some even come with built-in instrument holders so that you can keep your other accessories close by.

When choosing a saxophone stand, make sure that it’s sturdy and won’t tip over easily. You also want to make sure that the finish is smooth so that it won’t scratch your instrument.

Our recommendations for saxophone stands:

7. Reed Cutter

As time goes on, your reeds will start to wear down and will need to be replaced. A reed cutter is a tool that helps you cut off the damaged part of the reed so that you can continue using it. Reeds may also get soft over the years, and clipping them down to a shorter size can help them get back their rigidity.

A good-quality reed cutter will have sharp blades that can make a clean cut without damaging the rest of the reed. It will also be comfortable to hold so that you can make precise cuts.

Our recommendations for reed cutters:

8. Mouthpiece Cushion

Mouthpiece cushions are small pieces of rubber or silicone that you place on your mouthpiece to make it more comfortable to play. They also help to absorb some of the vibrations from your saxophone to give you a steadier embouchure so that you don’t get as tired when playing.

Another advantage of using cushions for your saxophone mouthpiece is that it protects them against damage from your teeth. Let’s face it, nobody wants to see their beloved saxophones covered in bite marks after a particularly intense practice session.

Our recommendations for mouthpiece cushions:

9. Mute

Saxophone mutes are handy pieces of equipment that will help to reduce the overall volume of your saxophone. They are especially useful when you want to practice some tunes or jam with your friends without disturbing any neighbors. 

There are a few different types of saxophone mutes available. Some are placed near the mouthpiece, while there are others that are designed for the bell. There are even mutes that completely cover the saxophone so as to reduce the sound to a greater degree. Depending on your situation, you can look for a mute that goes with your saxophone model. 

Our recommendations for mutes:

10. Cleaning Kit

This goes without saying, but cleaning your saxophone regularly is essential to keeping it in good condition. A cleaning kit should include a cleaning rod, cloths, swabs, and brushes. 

You can use the cleaning rod to remove any dirt or debris that has gotten stuck inside the saxophone. The cloths can be used to wipe down the outside of the instrument, while the swabs are great for getting into all the nooks and crannies. The brushes can be used to clean the mouthpiece, neck, and keys. 

Although you can purchase each of these items separately, you’ll often get better value for your money if you buy them as a kit.

Our recommendations for cleaning kits:

Saxophone Accessories for Bands/Ensembles

Along with the 10 saxophone accessories that we’ve mentioned above, there are a couple of extra accessories that you will find really helpful if you’re in a band or ensemble. Let’s take a look at them.

  • Music Stand

The first accessory is a music stand. If you’re playing in a band, chances are that you’ll be reading from sheet music quite often. A music stand will help to keep your hands free so that you can focus on playing your instrument. 

Whether it’s for practice sessions or performances, a music stand is an essential piece of equipment for every musician.

The Manhasset Symphony Stand (4801) is often considered the best music stand in the industry. It’s a little on the expensive side, but it’s worth every penny. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, try out the On-Stage SM7122.

  • Sax Mic

Another essential accessory for saxophonists who play in bands is a saxophone microphone. Saxophones are expressive instruments. You want your sound to be captured clearly so that the audience can appreciate all the nuances of your playing. A good quality mic will help you to project your sound so that you can be heard over the rest of the band. It’s also great for solo performances.

There are a few different types of saxophone microphones available. The most popular type is the clip-on mic. This type of mic is great for solo performances or for when you want to be able to move around on stage. Nowadays, they even have wireless mics that you can use.

The Pyle-Pro PMSAX1 (UK) and FerBuee UHF are great clip-on and wireless saxophone mics, respectively. Great value for money with professional sound quality!

  • Metronome

The last accessory on our list is a metronome. This is a piece of equipment that all musicians should have, regardless of their instrument. A metronome produces a rhythmic pulse, usually in beats per minute. This helps musicians keep time and stay in rhythm while practicing or performing. 

For saxophonists, a metronome is a great tool for practicing. It helps you to keep time so that you can play with precision and accuracy. It’s also helpful for learning new pieces of music.

If you’re looking for a good-quality metronome, check out Boss Dr. Beat DB-30 and Korg KDM-2. You can also use free, online metronomes that you can easily find on the internet. One such example is –

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding saxophone accessories.

Q.1. Are saxophone mouthpieces interchangeable? 

A. Yes, saxophone mouthpieces are interchangeable, which means that most of them will fit any neck. In case the mouthpiece is a little too loose or too tight to your liking, you can always shave off some of the cork or have it replaced. (Source)

Q.2. Which brand has the best saxophone accessories?

A. There are different brands that specialize in creating particular types of saxophone accessories. Vandoren is a great brand for mouthpieces, ligatures, and reeds, whereas BAM produces the best saxophone cases. Depending on the accessory that you need, you’ll be able to find a well-known brand that produces high-quality products.

Final Thoughts

Saxophone accessories are essential for every musician, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been playing for years. They can help you to improve your sound, practice more effectively, and even protect your instrument. Investing in a few key accessories will make a world of difference to your playing!

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