After searching the internet for interesting new inventions in the world of the saxophone, I present to you something that will blow your mind. It is a keyless saxophone! Yes, you just read that right, it is a saxophone without any keys. This product reminds me of a spin off of the slide saxophone (see it being played here) except it looks more alto saxophone-like. Invented by Siguard Rascher, this strange invention seems to be used to help train a student in overtones, improving tone quality, and lung capacity (see the testimonials below):
"In addition to practicing the overtone series, the keyless saxophone allows the student to focus on the concept of filling the saxophone with air which allows the bell of the instrument to ring."
“I use the keyless saxophone to get my students to concentrate on the timbre (sp) of their sound and flexibility between registers. I use it as a great tool in making my students aware of how little effort it should take and the importance of diaphram support instead of mouth over-kill. This also allow students to see just how the reed should vibrate in each register and if done correctly, see just how a big mouthpiece is not the answer to finding a full and even sound. I've always told my students that the keys are nothing but a distraction and a crutch when it comes to finding the right sound.”
At the price of $495 for an alto version and $695 for a tenor, it seems like I would rather invest in a cheap Asian-made horn, but if this invention really improves tone-quality and overtones, then every teacher should use one! It appears that you can only purchase this saxophone through HollywoodWinds, a site that also offers beginner and pro horns. If anyone wants to try this thing, please email me and tell me if it helped your students. Seeing that I'm not a private instructor, I think I will have to pass on this invention.
picture of Mr. Rascher with a normal alto sax and it's keyless counterpart