Hi, my name is George Shelby, and I’m a Saxophone player in Los Angeles. I have often gotten questions about which instrument is the best one for someone to start on. And my answer has always been the same: the instrument that the child,(or beginning adult), is most attracted to. I have seen parents start their children on an Instrument that the parent liked, only to see the child quickly lose interest. Parents, if there is an instrument that you’ve always wanted to play, my advice is to go out and get it, and take lessons yourself. Seriously. It really never is too late, and the benefits to playing an instrument are as valuable to you as they are to your child.

        Help your child find the instrument that they’re attracted to, and they’ll be more likely to stick with it. Of course there are physical limitations to be considered, and many other factors as well. But I don’t want to limit anyone into thinking they can’t play an instrument because they’re a certain height, or their reach is long or short. Without getting too mystical about it, the attraction we all have for our instruments is a big part of what keeps us locked in rooms practicing for hours at a time. And the more a child feels like the instrument is their discovery, the more apt the child will be to continue down that road. Like the time my guitar playing son told me he had just discovered this awesome guitar player, Eddie Van Halen. His finding Eddie on his own had way more meaning than Dad giving him a list of guys to listen to. Not that I haven’t done that as well.

        Anyway, I thought I’d print out something to hand out to parents about Saxophone. Then I thought, I’ll just find something on the web with the info I wanted, then hand that out. I discovered that there wasn’t a place that had the correlated information I thought would be important for new musicians to know. Then I uttered those four miserable words,”I could do that.”

         I starting calling my friends and asking them to participate, and they were very gracious and giving of their time and talents. Then I started calling complete strangers whose work I really admired. Every musician I called made time to come and shoot a video, talk to me about the likes and dislikes for their instruments, and performed while I held a decibel meter in front of them. It’s a testament to their passion about music that they were all eager to share their instruments with you. There are many common themes you’ll hear running through these videos. Practice and discipline is a must. The better you get, the more fun it is, which spurs you on to keep trying to improve. Everyone feels that their instrument is without a doubt the coolest one to play, and the reasons are as varied as the musicians themselves.

         I’ve tried to put together information about the instruments that I thought was the most relevant.

I hope you find this site useful, and that it will help you choose an instrument to play.

        One of the things that I love most about music:

In bands and orchestras, everyone plays, no one sits on the bench.

have fun,



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