A Disposable World
When you hear the word disposable, do you think of the following?
- Short term use
There are probably dozens of reasons why so many products on the market today are disposable (cell phones are a good example). One reason comes from technology. It progresses so quickly, that new (and more advanced) products are coming out all the time.
With these advancements, the general public purchase the newest product (and maybe their older product isn’t even worn out yet). So, the companies who build these products don’t see the need for longevity. In the saxophone world, the disposable saxophone is a very new idea and often rejected. Longevity, quality, pride, and tradition have been the goal in saxophone manufacturing. However, times are changing and we have a new player in town.
Last week we covered saxophones that are made by trusted companies. Many of these saxophones will last a lifetime- probably even longer. The rest of the consumer world has moved onto disposable products, but the saxophone world has not. Trusted saxophone manufacturers have a strong tradition and take pride in their craft. They’ve probably never even considered manufacturing a disposable saxophone.
What is a “Disposable” Saxophone?
First of all, companies don’t label their saxophones as “disposable”. This is a label I have given this category of saxophone for the purpose of this post. These saxophones will look nice- even beautiful! When you look at the price tag, it will be priced at $200-$500 for an alto saxophone. In addition, the brand name may be unknown to many. In summary, here are some general signs of a disposable saxophone:
- Can look as nice as a professional saxophone
- Price of Alto: $200-$500
- Many saxophonists won’t know the brand name
What Should I Expect
Actually, I have been surprised by how well some of these saxophones play (some have played poorly, and some have played well). If you want to give this type of saxophone a shot, and you don’t want to spend a lot of money, these saxophones may be a good fit. But, you should keep this point in mind: these saxophones are most likely disposable, meaning they’ll probably only last 2-5 years. If that meets your needs, then you may want to consider this category of saxophone.
The big name saxophone manufacturers are not making disposable saxophones, and maybe they never will. The mindset of the musician has not moved on to disposable saxophones either. In fact, there might even be uproar if companies such as Selmer started making a saxophone that only lasted a few years. However, some people are interested in this category of saxophones. Who are they, and why are they interested?
It May Be You
If your needs match the list below, you may be in the market for a disposable saxophone:
- I don’t want to spend much
- I don’t know if I’ll play for very long
- I don’t know if my child will stick with it
- I want a new saxophone at a low cost
- I want a saxophone that provides enough quality to get started
- I am a beginner
- I don’t mind if the life of the saxophone is 2-5 years
Where Can I Find a Disposable Saxophone?
An online search will provide many options. If this is a category for you, then I would suggest buying a disposable saxophone from established retailers such as wwbw.com. Yes, the disposable saxophone is beginning to be noticed by big name retailers. This is good for the consumer, because these large companies have a return policy. If you don’t like the saxophone, or if it’s broken, you can return it.
Wait! Don’t Throw it Away
Just to be clear, “disposable” doesn’t mean that you should throw the saxophone away after a few years of playing. It’s simply an attitude or mindset you should have when shopping for this type of instrument. There’s even a chance that some of these saxophones could last many additional years. However, you should not be surprised if the life of the disposable saxophone is very short.
Many saxophones will play well, but there will also be saxophones that won’t. If you are interested in purchasing one of these saxophones, here are a few tips:
- Make sure it has a return policy
- Take it into a repair tech and have them look it over
- Inform them of your “disposable” point of view
- Some techs won’t work on these saxophones- make sure this isn’t a problem
The most trusted brand names in saxophone manufacturing build quality instruments. Because of this, the price for a saxophone can be extremely high. These prices can actually dissuade people from learning the saxophone. To fill this need, new manufacturers have surfaced. Saxophones can now be purchased at a price that is shockingly low. But the reduced price comes with a sacrifice. The quality of these saxophones is much lower, resulting in a new category that should be looked at with new eyes: eyes that can see the purpose of the disposable saxophone.
If you liked this post, please feel free to share it with the social media buttons on this page. Do you have a disposable saxophone? If you do, please share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section. It will be an informative conversation for everyone involved. Thanks!