Even if there is a huge list of different saxophones, in fact Adolphe Sax the creator of this instrument patented 14 types of them in 1846, we're gonna focus on the four most common sax types. When we think in this instrument we think in Jazz music, usually played with one of the saxophones of our list, the tenor saxophone, however other types are used habitually too. Lets take a deep look to the 4 types of the most commonly used saxophones nowadays, the soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophone.
This is the highest pitched saxophone, the B-flat soprano saxophone, usually heard in background music it has that unique saxophone sound that anyone is able to recognize. Despite the curved sax is the most recognizable, we can find the soprano sax in straight form, like a clarinet. This sax is the most difficult saxophone to learn, the motive is that correct embouchure is essential to play it well so if you're a newbie you may find difficult to correctly form the required needed embouchure. Remember, this sax is not appropriate for beginners.
This saxophone is in the E flat key, with the fourth size of the family is a medium sax, the alto saxophone is one of the most usually played sax. Very common in school bands and most popular for the classic music composers and performers, is the perfect sax for amateur players, it have a smaller mouthpiece and a curved body. The alto sax play a mayor function in jazz, rock and blues music. Easier to play the alto saxophone may be the prefect choice if you want to start playing the sax in fact alto and tenor are the "easy to learn" brothers of the family.
Even if they are like a brothers you can recognize a tenor sax if you take a look at the size of the neck. The alto saxophone neck, with a higher tone, is straight in the other hand the tenor sax have a crook in the neck and is larger than the alto. If you want to speak about jazz you have to mention this sax in fact every time you're thinking about jazz music sax, you're thinking about tenor saxophone, you can say that this sax is the icon of the modern jazz music. It is pitched in the key B-flat, despite many beginners and students learn with the alto, many of then soon or later switch to tenor sax, in fact it is not a difficult step, same fingerings, similar size, if you're a student this may be the way to go.
The last of our list and one of the larger of the family, the baritone sax is much larger than the others. In the E flat key this saxophone brings a deep bass sound. This sax is heavy, big and difficult to handle, as a result the player use a harness to distribute the weight of this saxophone not around the neck but onto the back, in fact it have a exceptional weigh so it have to rests on a stand. More popular in classic music it is sometimes used in a jazz solos. Bigger than the tenor but smaller than the bass is the big boy of the family!