This is a basic guide to maintaining and using an alto saxophone. This could kind of apply to other saxes as well. Im sorry about having no pictures, I will get them up as soon as I find a good camera in my house.
Step 1: Basic Information
I believe a saxophone was created by Adolphe Sax as a replacement for the clarinet, due to the fact that clarinets project sournd downward, instead of to a crowd. I guess if you really wanted, you can look up info on Wikipedia.
Saxophones range from from bass to sopranno (Lowest to Highest pitch)The most common are alto and tenor.
Step 2: Required Things
Some of the requred things for playing a saxophone are
Saxophone- Mouthpiece,neck, the body, and ligature(holds reed onto mouthpiece)Most saxes come with all of this stuff
Reeds- Reeds range from lowest number(1) to higher numbers. The difference between them are that the higher the number, the thicker the reed.
Cork Grease- gets your mouthpiece onto your saxophone easily
Neck Strap- connects to your sax and acts as a strap so you dont have to hold onto it
cleaning and polishing supplies- self explanitory
Step 3: Putting the Sax Together
First off, if you have an instruction manual, you should probably use that instead of this guide. This guide is pretty basic and general for all saxophones. First, you take the neck, and attatch it to the body, On the body, there should be some screws towards the front of the sax (use the picture if you're not sure). Tighten those screws. Next, take your reed, and place it in your mouth. This is to wetten it so then its soft enough to vibrate, which produces the sound. Place it on the underside of the mouthpiece and position it so that the tip of the reed is at the tip of the mouth piece. Slide the ligature in from the top and tighten the screws. Put cork grease on the cork on the neck and slide the mouth piece on. Attach your neck strap to the ring on your body and you're done!
Step 4: Playing
Theres not really much to playing the saxophone. What I can say is that you need to blow on the mouth piece like you are saying "ta" and use the fingerings on the chart below. Basic knowledge of the musical staff will provide further meaning to the chart and is a must for playing any instrument, so I shouldnt need to explain that.
Step 5: Where to Begin...
To buy a saxophone and all the required things you can visit your local music store, or a good website is musciansfriend.com
You can also buy music from stores, or you can buy music online and print it out at home. I'm in the school band so I dont worry about music.