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What Do Saxophone Musicians Do?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2016
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Musicians are people who play musical instruments or sing either professionally or semi-professionally; sometimes the term is used to describe people who play as a hobby, but the term implies that the person has an in-depth knowledge of music theory and practice. Saxophone musicians are people who play the saxophone, as a professional, semi-professional, or hobbyist with in-depth knowledge of the instrument. Saxophone musicians may play alone or in a band comprised of other musicians playing other instruments, and the saxophonist can play in a variety of musical genres.

Jazz, blues, and rock and roll are common genres in which saxophone musicians tend to play. These musicians may play as a profession, which usually means that person is performing regularly for money or promoting a music album that will make the person money. Some saxophonists even arrange permanent gigs at specific performance spaces and play in those spaces nightly or weekly. A semi-professional musician may also play in venues, though he or she is likely to have another source of income besides playing the saxophone. Saxophone musicians may also be hired by recording studios to act as session players, or saxophonists who play on recordings for various artists.

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The exact definition of the term can vary, and it is not uncommon to hear people who play saxophone as a hobby labeled saxophone musicians. One does not necessarily need to be making money off the music in order to be considered a musician; many people play for fun, but those people have an in-depth knowledge of music as well as some skill in playing the instrument well. More commonly, however, the term is reserved for people who are in some way incorporating the saxophone into a daily routine or career path.

The saxophone is a brass instrument with several keys placed along the length of the curved instrument. The musician plays the saxophone by blowing into one end of the instrument. That air passes through the curved brass horn, creating sound. The tone of that sound can be altered by depressing or releasing the keys along the length of the instrument. Saxophone musicians will spend a significant amount of time mastering the techniques used to create sounds in a creative and pleasing manner. Some musicians choose to teach others how to play the instrument, offering yet another career path for the saxophonist.

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