What to buy a Saxophonist (or yourself) | Saxophone Gift Guide


Do you have trouble finding time to practice these days? Me too. But I’m stealing a moment right now to share some great gift ideas

Here’s our first gift idea and keep in mind I’ve got stuff on this list for every budget…

The Sax Holder Neckstrap Alternative

This thing is just so ugly, but man it works well, and it’s a great gift.

Full disclosure, I don’t usually bring the Sax Holder Neckstrap Alternative on gigs, but I always practice with it. It is the best option available for reducing neck and back discomfort for saxophone players while also making you look very uncool. So I will suffer through gigs with a sore neck but in the practice room I am always rocking the Sax Holder.

Key Leaves

These little green things are called Key Leaves and this is like the ultimate stocking stuffer for any sax player.

BetterSax alto saxophone with Key Leaves Eb key
Eb key propped with Key Leaes

When you’re done playing, you put these things under the C# key and Eb key, which props them open allowing the pads on your saxophone that normally stay closed to stay open while you’re not playing.

This allows them to dry out which prevents the ultra annoying sticky keys not to mention it extends the life of those pads.

It’s the sort of thing you’re going to want one for each saxophone you have, so you may want to order a few.

ReedGeek Geeklet

This little guy here is the game changer when it comes to reeds. It’s called the ReedGeek Geeklet, and it’s probably my favorite saxophone accessory of all time. I use it before every playing session to flatten the table on my reed so I’m maximizing it’s performance.

Geeklet Reed Adjusting Tool
Geeklet Reed Adjusting Tool

I also use it to get every reed I use to play 30-40% better by doing some quick and easy adjustments on the other side.

They last forever and the thing pays for itself after you go through a couple boxes of reeds. 

BetterSax Burnin’ Mouthpiece

Now this mouthpiece is new and I freakin’ love it. It’s the BetterSax Burnin’ alto mouthpiece. I play the 7 tip opening, but it’s available in a 5 and 6 as well. 

BURNIN' Mouthpiece
BURNIN’ Mouthpiece

The idea behind this design was to create a very versatile jazz mouthpiece that would play great in a variety of musical styles but always offer lots of power and projection when you needed it while maintaining having a rich and complex sound that balances out darkness and brightness at the same time.

Power Ring Ligature

This is the Power Ring from Jody Jazz. It’s a great ligature that looks very cool. They make these for all different sized mouthpieces. I have to say this is one of the few ligatures where I can say there is a noticeable difference in fattening up the sound.

Better Sax BURNIN' mouthpiece Jody Jazz power ring saxophone ligature and cap
BetterSax BURNIN’ Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece with Power Ring Ligature

Hercules Tall Stand

These Hercules Stands are awesome. I originally got these cause I wanted to have the saxophones up higher to be in the shot when filming videos, but now they are my go to sax stands.  It’s just so much more convenient to have the sax at arms length rather than all the way down on the floor. 

In the 3 years since I’ve had these going in my studio, I’ve somehow never had an accident with all the cables, lights, tripods, mic stands and lack of space. The grip mechanism holds the horn very securely.

I wouldn’t take these on a gig, but for around the home or studio I love these things.

The Better Sax

And let’s not forget this beautiful saxophone which is of course the BetterSax Alto. It is hard to believe that this horn costs well under $1000. I wanted to create an entry-level priced horn that can be used by professionals, and that’s why I’ve played this saxophone as my main instrument for the past year.


Not only does it do everything I need it to, but I love how it sounds, how it feels and how it looks.

Now let’s get to practicing.


If you’re looking for some cool and fun stuff to practice, look no further than the courses here at BetterSax.

We’ve got stuff for players at every level.

If your’re new to improvising and playing by ear, check out the Pentatonic Foundation course.

Need to nail down your fundamentals of sound and technique? Core Essentials is for you.

Want to develop as an improvisor who can play solos in popular music styles, the Blues Foundation and Blues Language courses have you covered.

And of course, don’t miss out on the latest BetterSax course, Essential Jazz Repertoire Intermediate Etudes by Steve Kortyka.

Apogee Mic+

Ready to start recording yourself? Then I recommend the Apogee Mic+. It’s a professional quality USB microphone that I can connect directly to my iPhone with the included lightning cable. I use this thing all the time and absolutely love it for quick recordings on my mobile devices. 


Now don’t forget about the headphones. If you are doing any recording whatsoever, a good pair of headphones is absolutely essential. I love my Sony MDRs they take a lot of abuse, and last forever. Those red replacement ear cushions I found on the internet for like $20 and they’re better than the originals.

Already out of time for this practice session, but I’ve got 2 more of my favorite accessories for you to check out.

Wooden Reed Case

When putting my horn away first thing I do is take my reed off and store it in one of these beautiful hand made wooden reed cases I found these things and fell in love with them. If you want to treat yourself or some other saxophone player get one of these cases, best I’ve ever used. Can you say best gift ever?

BetterSax Wooden Reed Cases

BetterSax Swab Kits

And for our last gift suggestion/idea, the socks of saxophone gifts, my BetterSax swab kits.

I never put my horn away without first swabbing out the body, neck and mouthpiece and you shouldn’t either. These swab kits come with one swab for the neck and mouthpiece and another larger one for the body. 

BetterSax Swab Kit
BetterSax Swab Kit

Don’t neglect this essential maintenance of your saxophone. Unless you want a smelly case, sticky pads, more frequent trips to your repair technician, poorer performance and faster depreciation on the value of your horn.


All of the gifts here can be purchased at Sweetwater.com where you get free shipping, amazing customer service, the lowest prices, and access to their team of in house experts who can offer free advice and support on anything they sell.

This site has always been this retail oasis for musicians (and by musicians I mean mainly guitarists and drummers), but now, band nerds can finally get in on the action as well. So if you’ve never shopped on there before, now’s the time to go check them out.

I’ve put together a page on their website with my top gift picks, you can check it out for some more ideas on what to get for sax players.

Be sure to check out their Giveaway page as well where they are constantly giving away 10s of 1000s of dollars worth of amazing gear.

I want to thank Sweetwater for sponsoring this gift video and for finally expanding into the band instrument world. 

Want more great saxophone gift ideas? Check out this other list of great gear!

Also be sure to follow BetterSax on Facebook, InstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube to stay up to date with us for news, giveaways, and other saxophone tips and tricks.Post navigation

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2 thoughts on “What to buy a Saxophonist (or yourself) | Saxophone Gift Guide”

  1. Jay, I turn 70 in March and want to learn the alto saxophone. My heart only functions at 30% and It causes oxygenation issues with my lungs. Would I have issues in playing the sax? You have inspired me to learn the sax.

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