I will never forget my first saxophone. It was an old without brand on it, and as a result my first year of music practices was so difficult. Playing the notes, playing music scales, playing chords were the most difficult tasks and it causes me a lot of frustration. Today I believe that music like any profession, a musician needs some tools in order to improve their music performance and achieve better results. As a saxophone player I want to share my knowledge about using some of the most important music tools such as instrument in my case a “Good Saxophone Brand”, mouthpiece, metronome, chromatic tuner and books.

Music Instrument – Great Saxophone Brands

In this article I am going to classify musicians in three main groups based on the level of education or experience playing a musical instrument. Also, I am going to refer to each group different types of saxophones. These recommendations are based on my own experiences since 1988 when I started my music career. Any questions or comments are welcome, just type it on the comments box.

  • First Level or Student Level: In this group are included people who want to start saxophone’s lessons or people who have being practicing music from 1 week to six months. In my opinion, Yamaha is great saxophone brand to get started. There are Yamaha student level saxophones like YAS 25 or YTS 25. They play very well and their sound are nice and bright.
  • Second Level or Intermediate Level: In this group are musicians with more than 6 months of practice and they are playing with bands ( jazz, salsa, rock, school etc). I like the Yamaha Alto Saxophone YAS 475 it is the old version of the YAS 480 Intermediate level with great playability and optimum tone. Also, It has a good low B-C# connection, and the left-hand seesaw key increase a more comfortable feel when playing faster songs.
  • Third Level or Professional Level: In this category are professional musicians who perform with famous bands, concerts orchestras, and recording companies. As a professional saxophone player I had played many kinds of saxophones but I strongly recommend the professional Yamaha series like the Tenor Saxophone Yamaha YTS 875 . It is the most comfortable to play with its stress-free key it works very well on low register pliability. Also, I can recommend the Selmer Paris Super Action professional series. I like its tone specially for playing jazz music.

The Mouthpiece

The mouthpiece is a very important piece of the tools kit. As Clothing mouthpieces are variable and choosing one depends on many factors like the sound you like to produce, the tone (Bright,opaque). Everyone has different likes but I’m going to recommend Vandoren Jumbo Java A55 for alto saxophone and T75 for tenor saxophone. Their balance between projection and comfort make them the standard model. Also, I used Claude Lakey, and its sound is perfect to play jazz music. Other brands you can try are Yamaha C5, The metallic line specially for tenor and baritone saxophones. For example, Otto Link #7, Dokoff or Meyer. There are many options of mouthpieces so you have to try different mouthpieces until you can find the right one for you, the one you feel comfortable and happy playing it.

The Metronome

I’m writing this article to help musicians specially saxophonist to improve their music performance. The metronome is an important tool that helps to improve our daily music practices. We can use it to improve the fluency and velocity of the execution of any musical instrument. We should play any song or any music lesson following the bit of the metronome starting a slow speed and then increasing it gradually.

The Chromatic Tuner

The chromatic tuner is really important tool because we can train the ear making any sound at the right level of vibration (It is call tuning 440). It means every note of the musical scale has to vibrate around this measure of sound and the chromatic tuner is going to measure and show us on the screen that vibration. We can practice making long sound and keeping a stable vibration around 440.


In conclusion using a good music instrument, a good mouthpiece, a metronome, a chromatic tuner and different books, I guarantee a musician is going to improve their performance and they are going to move up to a better musical level. Any concern or any comment do not hesitate in writing it below. I hope you enjoy this article.






8 Thoughts to “How to Improve Musical Performance – 5 Tools That Really Helps”

  1. Fabio, I really appreciate how you have explained important tools and methods used to enhance playing the saxaphone. Also, I didn’t know that the saxaphone you choose makes a big difference based on the type of music you will be playing on a regular basis. This is critical for the saxaphonist, and enables the best and correct selection for their music genre. Thanks for this informative article as a great reference source to make the best saxaphone buying decision.

    1. Hello Phildora,

      Thank you for your feedback. If you have further questions about music or saxophones please do not hesitate in contact me.

      Fabio Jimenez

  2. Awesome write-up man! I have been playing music for the last 17 years, started out playing violin in elementary school and shortly transitioned to the guitar which I have played ever since. I certainly know how vital it is to have the right equipment and tools (including a mentor/teacher) to aid in becoming a better musician. You can indeed do it alone, but with the right tools, you can advance much faster no matter what instrument you play!


  3. How many hours a week would you recommend someone to practice playing the saxophone? I suppose something to consider is how quickly someone can pick up the instrument. Would you say the saxophone is an easy instrument to learn?

    1. If you want to be a proffesional musician, We have to practice as much as possible ( 8 hrs a day ) As a hovey 1 hrs a day will be fine. The most important is enjoying the practice.

  4. Hi Fabio,
    Thanks so much for your thorough review. I don’t play saxophone myself, just piano and guitar, but my father did, for many years. Your article brought back many memories!!
    Thanks so much,

  5. Thanks Fabio I learned things about the sax that I didn’t know. I understand how the mouthpiece would be important. Especially when playing long sessions. I play the Native American Flute and see how the Chromatic Tuner would be a good addition to my tools. Is there one that you recommend?

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