The best money you can spend on a saxophone, besides purchasing the saxophone itself, is purchasing a case that fits your child’s horn and fits the needs and usage pattern of your child. A proper case typically costs no more than a quality mouthpiece and could prevent costly repairs down the line. In many cases, those who avoid buying a saxophone case will spend more on repairs than they would have on the case. From finding the right fit to assessing the unique needs of your child, here are a few tips for choosing the best saxophone case for your child.
Find the Right Fit
First and foremost, your child’s saxophone should fit snugly in the case. When the body of the saxophone is inserted into the case, it must not move in any direction- including horizontally or vertically. If this is an issue with your current case you can fill the gaps and spaces with bubble wrap or soft foam until you can purchase a replacement case. While this isn’t recommended for long-term use, the bubble wrap or soft foam will keep your child’s saxophone case in the meantime. If your saxophone experiences any movement whatsoever, it will ultimately lead to adjustment issues, or worse. If your current case is old, the padding may have compressed over time. If this is the case and you’d prefer not to replace the entire case, you can take your case to a luggage store and have the padding replaced.
Latches & Locks
Once you find a case that fits your horn, check the hardware and latches. Needless to say, they should be sturdy and in working order. If they seem flimsy, chances are they’ll open when your child’s saxophone is inside- something you don’t want (unless you enjoy footing the bill for costly repairs.) Although replacement hardware is relatively easy to find, in most cases it makes more sense to keep looking for a sturdier case. Next, see if the case flexes. Apply pressure in all areas, and see if it allows movement. If it does, you’re practically asking for a bent body tube. The case should remain rigid at all times if you want the case to protect your saxophone. Finally, if you’re concerned about security, purchase a saxophone case with a built-in lock- many are even TSA approved.
Which Material is Best?
In terms of material, many saxophonists prefer cases constructed of nylon due to their durability and light weight. Plastic cases are more affordable at first, but may require replacing earlier than the others. Although fiberglass cases are more expensive, they are a much better option in the long run. Regardless of the material, many saxophone cases come with shoulder and backpack straps to make them easier to transport from gig to gig. Once you find a material you prefer, check the inside.Take a good look at the padding, and only purchase a case with a firm and flexible lining. In terms of padding, avoid styrofoam and don’t rely on spring enclosures, as these can occasionally open on their own.
Gig Bags vs. Cases
While gig bags are adequate for traveling short distances and storing the saxophone at home, they shouldn’t be used as your child’s primary saxophone case. Even a top-of-the-line gig bag doesn’t offer the same protection as a low-quality hard shell case. In addition to hard shell cases providing more protection against drops and bangs, many hard cases are waterproof. When combined, these two things will give you peace of mind that your child’s saxophone is protected against rain, snow, and accidental drops. If your child will be traveling with their saxophone often, a spacious and sturdy bag with wheels will make it easier for them to pack all their essentials for longer trips.
Make Sure Accessories are Secure
The last option to consider when choosing a saxophone case is whether or not it has room for accessories. These accessories can range from the instrument itself to any replacement parts, cleaning cloths, tuners, metronomes, and sheet music. If you can’t find a saxophone case with built-in space for accessories, another option is purchasing a zippered case that covers the standard case and provides extra space for accessories. Typically, these types of cases will also provide protection against the rain and snow. Finally, make sure the accessories don’t move around in the case during transport, as they can dent the neck of the saxophone. If you do notice items rattling about, fill in the gaps with bubble wrap or foam. Additionally, if you’re concerned about your child’s ability to carry the case on their own, Music & Arts has a wide variety of saxophone cases with wheels.
Buy Online & Save
A saxophone can be an expensive purchase, which is why finding an affordable and durable saxophone case is so important. That’s why many parents turn to Music & Arts. With over 130 stores across 23 states and over 50,000 products on our website, you’ll find one of the largest selections of gear, accessories, and instruments on our website.If you have questions about the specificities of a particular case, contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any of your questions. With one of the largest product offerings in the world, we offer educator-approved band instruments and accessories, including a variety of saxophone cases, from some of the most-trusted brands in the industry.
Need a sax, too? Check out our Saxophone Buying Guide.
Want to learn more about the sax? Check out this video: