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Saxophone Investments

Hello! I've been playing Tenor Saxophone for 5 years now and I am curious about a good investment. I currently have an Allora Intermediate Series Tenor and I would like to have a more permanent investment saxophone.
Another topic I would like to know more about is a good Soprano Saxophone investment since if you don't buy a good one, repairs can get quite expensive! 

Pad savers! Do we need them ?

I’ve been playing the Alto Saxophone for over 2 years now, and I’ve never used/owned a pad saver.
However I recently brought a new saxophone and the dealer insisted that I buy a pad saver as it is essential to prolong the life of a Saxophone,
He also mentioned that without a pad saver the saxophone pads would be at risk of moisture/humidity, which will reduce the life of the Saxophone pads to a year or two.

Now most of the advance/pro saxophonist I’ve met do not use pad savers, instead they prefer to use swabs to clean out all the moisture after playing the saxophone and keeping the case open for an hour or two to allow the residual moisture to dry out.
Moreover some(including me) believe that pad savers actually do more harm than good by retaining moisture in them, and if you keep it inside the Saxophone then it could damage the pads.

What are your thoughts about pad savers?

Jazz standards transcription plan

Below are song titles from a "transcription plan" that was being pursued by this group in 2017-2018. The idea was to take the top 100 jazz standards appearing on the list and provide lead sheets. The list was  compiled statistically, and is ordered by frequency of recording (see the site for more details).

As of this writing, lead sheets for about 2/3 of the top 100 songs on the list have been submitted to the group. (The full list includes 1,000 tunes, in case you were wondering.) At the bottom of this message are the titles that have not been done.

You are welcome to work on the remaining titles, or any other titles considered to be jazz standards (or popular song standards from the classic jazz/swing era--roughly 1910 to 1960). If your song isn't one of the 1,000 songs on the full list, it's probably not what most musicians and jazz fans would consider a jazz standard. That doesn't mean it's not a great tune, but in most cases it means the tune is not widely performed. (Perhaps we need a Musescore group dedicated to overlooked and under-appreciated  jazz tunes and traditional popular songs.) We will try to be as inclusive as possible when adding submissions to the group, while still keeping the focus on tunes that you might hear played and sung in jam sessions or on gigs by relatively mainstream jazz performers.

You are also welcome to submit improved versions of any songs that have already been done for the group. Perhaps a song previously submitted is missing lyrics, or missing the introductory verse, or has chord changes that are not widely used by musicians in performance. So far, the group has not been flooded by multiple versions of any given song--if we were to get, say, 10 charts for "I Got Rhythm," we might need to pick the best 2 or 3 for the main listing, but currently that's not an issue.

Note that if you are starting a new chart, you may save yourself some time by working with an existing "Wikifonia Archive" chart and adding your own corrections, improved formatting, and missing sections / lyrics as needed. See the following discussion for more details:

To add a score to the group's collection, open the score in or find it in your account's list of scores, click the "three dots" action icon at the top right, and then choose type in "Jazz Standards Lead Sheets" to search for and choose this group. You can then leave a comment here with the song title and the URL for the link to let us know you've added a new score. If your chart has notable features or corrections, add a note about it when you post, and consider adding the details to the comments on the score page as well.

Jazz standards not currently in the collection of this group (ranking from

16. Sweet Georgia Brown
19. In a Sentimental Mood
21. How High the Moon
25. On Green Dolphin Street
26. Tenderly
28. These Foolish Things
48. Stompin' At the Savoy
53. You Don't Know What Love Is
55. On the Sunny Side of the Street
69. Lover Come Back to Me
70. Darn That Dream
71. All of Me
72. More Than You Know
74. Just One of Those Things
75. Mean to Me
76. September Song
79. Polka Dots and Moonbeams
80. Easy Living
81. Pennies from Heaven
82. I Didn't Know What Time It Was
84. It Don't Mean a Thing
86. They Can't Take That Away from Me
87. Star Eyes
89. Alone Together
90. Just You, Just Me
92. Things Ain't What They Used to Be
93. Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me
94. Blue Moon
95. I Surrender Dear
96. You Stepped Out of a Dream
97. My One and Only Love
98. 'S Wonderful!

List of available jazz standards

Here is the alphabetical list of jazz standards lead sheets that are already done and available in our group.
(Note that everything can be downloaded as mscz file and transposed to the key of your choice.)

After You've Gone -
After You've Gone [alt chart] -
Ain't Misbehavin' -
Ain't Misbehavin' [alt chart] -
All Alone -
All the Things You Are -
All the Things You Are [with verse] -
Among My Souvenirs -
Angel Eyes -
Angel Eyes -
April in Paris -
As Time Goes By -
Autumn Leaves (Les Feuilles Mortes) -
Bag's Groove -
Begin the Beguine -
Begin the Beguine -
Body and Soul -
But Not for Me -
Ballin' the Jack -
Best Thing for You -
Born to Be Blue -
Call Me Irresponsible -
Caravan -
Charleston -
Cheek to Cheek -
Cherokee -
China Boy -
China Boy [includes verse, alternate 'QHCF' chord changes] -
Come Rain or Come Shine -
Crazy Rhythm -
Christmas Song, The -
Dream a Little Dream of Me [original version]
Dream a Little Dream of Me [Mamas & Papas arr.] -
Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans -  
Don't Be That Way -
Don't Blame Me -
Don't Get Around Much Anymore -
Drop Me Off in Harlem -
East of the Sun -
Embraceable You -
Embraceable You [with verses] -
Estate -
Fly Me to the Moon -
Fly Me to the Moon (4/4)
Fly Me to the Moon (3/4)
Flying Home -
Foggy Day, A -
Frim Fram Sauce, The -
Georgia on My Mind -
Ghost of a Chance, (I Don't Stand) A -
Groovin' High -
Here's That Rainy Day -
Honeysuckle Rose -
How Deep Is the Ocean? -
I Can't Believe That You're in Love with Me -
I Can't Get Started (with You) -
I Cover the Waterfront -
I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good) -
I Got Rhythm -
I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart -
I Should Care -
I Wish You Love -
I Won't Dance -
I Won't Dance [with verse] -
If I Had You -
I'll Remember April -
I'll See You in My Dreams -
I'll See You in My Dreams [with verses]
Indian Summer -
Indiana -
Isn't It Romantic -
It Could Happen to You -
It Had to Be You -
It Might as Well Be Spring -
Joint Is Jumpin', The -
Just Friends -
La Vie En Rose -
Laura -
Lester Leaps In -
Let's Fall in Love -
Let's Get Lost -
Louisiana Fairytale -
Love for Sale -
Love Is Here to Stay -
Love Is Here to Stay -
Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?) -
Lush Life -
Man I Loved, The -
Maple Leaf Rag -
Memories of You -
Misty -
Mr. PC -
My Funny Valentine -
My Romance -
My Ship -
Nearness of You, The -
Night and Day -
Night in Tunisia -
Nightengale Sang in Berkeley Square, A -
Oh, Lady Be Good -
Old Country, The -
On a Misty Night -
On a Slow Boat to China -
Over the Rainbow -
Out of Nowhere -
Perdido -
Poinciana -
Prelude to a Kiss -
Puttin' on the Ritz -
Rosetta -
Round Midnight -
Royal Garden Blues -
Satin Doll -
Secret Love -
Sentimental Journey -
Shiny Stockings -
Skylark -
Smile -
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes -
Sophisticated Lady -
Someone to Watch Over Me -
Sonnymoon for Two -
St. James Infirmary -
St. Louis Blues -
Stardust -
Stardust [with verse] -
Stars Fell on Alabama -
Stella By Starlight -
Stompin' at the Savoy -
Summertime -
Sunny Side of the Street, The -
Sweet Lorraine -
Take the 'A' Train -
Taking a Chance on Love -
Tea for Two -
There Is No Greater Love -
There Will Never Be Another You -
There Will Never Be Another You -
This Can't Be Love -
Topsy -
Turn Out the Stars -
Two Sleepy People -
Walkin My Baby Back Home -
Way You Look Tonight, The -
What Is This Thing Called Love? -
What's New? -
When You're Smiling -
Where or When -
Willow Weep for Me -
Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams -
Yesterdays -
You Go to My Head -
You Go to My Head -

Top-50 jazz sax players

Came across the list of "top 50 greatest jazz saxophone players of all time", thinking that the list is quite good. But I would place Pharoah Sanders at list in the Top-5 (he is in the end of the list, but, in my opinion, that's not right), for me he is one of the best ;Ornette Coleman was really great as well. What you guys think about the list and what changes would you make in it? 

Importance of lacquer ?

Hello everyone.

I’ve been playing the Alto Saxophone for a year and a half now, I have a used Holton Saxophone which is over 20 years old a the lacquer has almost worn out. I’ve been planning to by a new student Saxophone (conn Selmer AS-710) which is a brand new Saxophone with a full clear lacquer.
Now most of the jazz gigs I’ve been to and most of the professional saxophonist I’ve seen use Saxophones without any lacquer.

So my questions are
1) what is the importance of lacquer to Saxophone? (Does is affect the sound, or is it just for the cool look ?)
2) Is the conn Selmer AS-710 a good Saxophone for a student / beginner ? (It’s definitely in my budget)


Star Wars

I am a alto sax player, but i don't compose music. i was wondering if any of those in this community were star wars fans and would like to write up a melody for star wars that isn't to hard. not a lot out there for this


[article] Sax as a transposing instrument and writing music for saxophone

Saxophone (no matter what type we are talking about: alto,tenor, soprano, bari or some less used ones) is so-called “transposing instrument”. It means that you are “in a different key” than “concert pitch” instruments, such as piano, guitar, (double) bass, etc. If you are not familiar with the “transposing instruments” thing, I suggest that you read the first section of the wiki article before continuing with this review, it is pretty well explained there:

So, to get the pitch you need when writing some sax part, you need to transpose it up (from concert pitch):

  • For soprano sax: a major 2nd
  • For alto sax: a major 6th
  • For tenor sax: a major 9th (1 octave + major 2nd)
  • For bari sax: a major 13th (1 octave + major 6th)

As you can see the difference between soprano and tenor is one octave (as well as the difference between alto and bari).

Soprano and tenor saxes are called "Bb instruments", it means that for the “C” note in these instruments’ part the actual sounding pitch will be “Bb”.

Alto and bari saxes are called “Eb instruments”; so if you write the “C” note in some part for this instruments, you will actually get the sound of “Eb” concert pitch once it is played.

All this stuff seems to be quite complicated for someone that has never dealt with transposing instruments before, but using MuseScore notation software you can quickly make parts for saxophones even if you do not know all this transposing instruments theory (though this knowledge is vital for composers). There is a quick video tutorial on the topic, I'll post a link in the end of this post.

One more thing to remember: once you have written some sheet music for saxophone, check the range - the saxophone part (make sure that it is not shown in concert pitch, so unpress the “concert pitch” button in MuseScore editor while viewing the part) should have pitches only inside this range (from small octave “Bb” to 3rd octave “F”) :

The only exception is bari sax - it has the additional low “A” note, which, by the way, sounds pretty cool. Good arrangers, like Gordon Goodwin, often use this feature of bari saxophones. Of course, there are also altissimo pitches, but that is a separate topic for conversation.

If you wish, you can check the whole sax family at:

This table from wikipedia is really “true to the fact”. Sopranino and sopranissimo saxes sound “higher” than concert pitch instruments: I mean that the first-octave “C” notated in sheet music for these instruments will actually sound as 1st-octave Eb and Bb respectively. All other saxes sound “lower than written”, just remember this rule. However, the most used saxes have been already mentioned before, so other ones are pretty rare,I should say.

And one more thing to be aware of when writing a piece for sax ensemble: saxophones and saxophonists are not perfect, and an arranger, especially writing for an amateur/student sax ensemble, or even for big band, should try not to overuse (I write the pitches that occur in sax part, not in concert pitch, of course) notes higher than 3rd octave C# (high notes tend to sound out-of-tune-high) and lower than 1st octave D (on some medium quality saxophones it’s hard to play those pitches, especially if saxophone is not in a perfect condition).

Don’t hesitate to add some thoughts and more tips on the topic in comments.

Don't you worry 'bout a thing arrangement.

Hey guys,

So I have a problem with the arrangement I am making for a Sax Trio. The song is called Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing by Stevie Wonder, but for this trio I wanted to transpose the Tori Kelly version from the movie Sing. 

Unfortunately, I don't know all of the notes since there are no other sheets of this version on the internet. I'd hope that some of you could help me with finishing this piece of music.

Thanks to those who would like to help!!

You can find my score in my profile ;)