During the opening sequence, Lisa is often seen in her band class playing an improvised solo on her baritone saxophone much to Mr. Largo's annoyance. Mr. Largo sends her away, while still playing her saxophone. For a long time, Lisa's solos were provided by jazz baritone saxophonist Terry Harrington. As of late-Season 21, there has been 36 different sax solos used (a few are not played by a sax).
In "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular" and "He Loves to Fly and He D'ohs", the solo is heard without showing her, and has been reanimated in "Kill Gil, Volumes I & II", "The Burns and the Bees", "Treehouse of Horror XXIV", "White Christmas Blues" and "I Won't Be Home for Christmas". In "Boy Meets Curl", Lisa is seen playing solo 7 (Downward Blues 2) within the episode.
Since "Take My Life, Please", the opening has been redone in HD, and now Lisa is seen for more of the solo, and after she exits the music room, she peaks in and does a few more notes before leaving.
Below are the solo nicknames (which are unofficial and each solo is given one to distinguish it) and the description of it. Underneath that are each season with what sax solo each episode uses.
Solo 1: Main Theme (High)
This solo follows the 12-note main melody tune. Only used in Season 1, with the exception of "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", "Bart the General" and "Life on the Fast Lane".
Solo 2: Main Theme
This solo follows the main melody tune, but is one octave lower. This is used mostly in Season 2 episodes with full, uncondensed openings. A few variants of this solo also appear.
Solo 3: Main Theme, Variant 1
This is almost an exact copy of Solo 2, except that it sounds more breathy and the 14th note is more aggressively played. This is used in Season 2 episodes with condensed openings.
Solo 4: Slow Downward Blues Scale
A deliberate downward and chromatic blues scale that ends with a quick downward trill.
Solo 5: Main Theme, Variant 2
A very plain no-frill variant of the theme, but not breathy like in Solos 2 and 3.
Solo 6: Downward Blues 1
Similar to Solo 4, but quicker. Starts at the top and ends with two "friendly sounding" notes.
Solo 7: Downward Blues 2
Similar to Solo 6, but there is a pause at the beginning, and then a slide to the top note. The ending is plain in comparison.
Solo 8: Main Theme, Variant 3
The last variant of the theme. It has a fancy triplet on the third note that wasn't used in the previous variants. This may be the most famous solo that Lisa has done.
Solo 9: Crazy Be-Bop
Possibly the funniest Lisa solo, and this one is a favorite of many. It starts with several atonal blasts, followed by a crazy attempt to get back on rhythm.
Solo 10: Melodic Figure 1
Optimistic and happy sounding, this solo is bright, thoughtful and not bluesy at all.
Solo 11: Melodic Figure 2
Similar to Solo 10, but there's only a hint of notes.
Solo 12: Break Out
Very melodic and thoughtful, this solo starts early, as if Lisa is breaking out of the pattern and taking over.
Solo 13: Funk 1
Another favorite of many, this solo is a James Brown influence, and the accent is on the "one" (downbeat).
Solo 14: Funk 2
Sounds like Solo 13 coming in late, ending with two low blasts.
Solo 15: Funk Groove
Groovy, backbeat driven funk that begins with three 3/4 (dotted 1/2 notes) notes, which descend with three 1/16th notes a piece.
Solo 16: Slow Soul
Simple, slow and sad, this solo only has two longing wails.
Solo 17: Hot Jazz
Bluesy riff that starts slow, moves up to the top, turns downward with two "hot" blasts, and ends low and quiet.
Solo 18: Three Blasts
Familiar sounding melodic riff, but brand new, which is distinguished by three deliberate blasts in the middle.
Solo 19: Mellow Yellow
The first bar sounds eerily like the chorus of "Mellow Yellow" by Donovan, and ends very bluesy and sad.
Solo 20: Wailing Horn
Dramatic, drawn-out blues notes that end on a non-blues tonal center note in major.
Solo 21: Counter Rhythm
Starts off funky, then slows down and breaks out of the main rhythm with a soulful blues climax.
Solo 22: Coffeehouse Improv 1
A simple and slow-paced bluesy melody, largely from a minor key that is defined by an obvious beat.
Solo 23: Fragments
Four distinct groups of 4-5 notes each, sounding like a few false starts, but not unintentionally. Overall, this solo is reminiscent of fragments of the theme, but only if viewers don't listen too closely.
Solo 24: Coffeehouse Improv 2
Similar to Solo 22, but is lower and has more of a melody, ending on a down note.
Solo 25: Sorcerer's Apprentice
Kind of march with discrete notes, and the first four notes sound very similar of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice".
Solo 26: Wail and Bass
A sustained high note, followed by a few steps down to a low tone, which sounds a little uninspired.
Solo 27: Barn Dance 1
A rapidly-paced and knee-slapping piece that sounds like it belongs at a hoedown.
Solo 28: Funk 2.5
Starts like Solo 23, but sounds more like Solos 13 and 14 at the end.
Solo 29: Hot Jazz Minor 1
Starts a lot like Solo 17, but then hits a minor key and gradually works down in a jazzy way, finishing with the last four notes being repeated.
Solo 30: Hot Jazz Minor 2
Similar to Solo 29 (and sounds close to 17), but the trip down the scales is more playful and doesn't repeat.
Solo 31: Barn Dance 2
Similar to Solo 27, but is not as frenetic.
Solo 32: Up-Note Jazz
A jazzy finger-snapping tune with a sort of questioning up note near the end.
Solo 33: Deck the Halls
A syncopated, jazzy version of the first line to "Deck the Halls".
Solo 34: Staccato and Flourish
A few discrete and almost random notes, followed by a 6-note series of two alternating notes, ending with a final flourish.
Solo 35: 4 + 4 + More
Starts with two separate, somewhat similar groups of four notes, followed by what sounds like a third variant continues farther down a scale.
Solo 36: Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral
A thoughtful and drawn-out rendition of the first line of the song.
|1||No solo||Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire||7G08|
|2||Main Theme (High)||Bart the Genius||7G02|
|3||Main Theme (High)||Homer's Odyssey||7G03|
|4||Main Theme (High)||There's No Disgrace Like Home||7G04|
|5||No solo||Bart the General||7G05|
|6||Main Theme (High)||Moaning Lisa||7G06|
|7||Main Theme (High)||The Call of the Simpsons||7G09|
|8||Main Theme (High)||The Telltale Head||7G07|
|9||No solo||Life on the Fast Lane||7G11|
|10||Main Theme (High)||Homer's Night Out||7G10|
|11||Main Theme (High)||The Crepes of Wrath||7G13|
|12||Main Theme (High)||Krusty Gets Busted||7G12|
|13||Main Theme (High)||Some Enchanted Evening||7G01|
|1||Main Theme||Bart Gets an "F"||7F03|
|2||Main Theme||Simpson and Delilah||7F02|
|3||No solo||Treehouse of Horror||7F04|
|4||Main Theme||Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish||7F01|
|5||Main Theme||Dancin' Homer||7F05|
|6||Main Theme||Dead Putting Society||7F08|
|7||Main Theme||Bart vs. Thanksgiving||7F07|
|8||Main Theme||Bart the Daredevil||7F06|
|9||Main Theme||Itchy & Scratchy & Marge||7F09|
|10||Main Theme||Bart Gets Hit by a Car||7F10|
|11||Main Theme, Variant 1||One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish||7F11|
|12||Main Theme, Variant 1||The Way We Was||7F12|
|13||Main Theme||Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment||7F13|
|14||Main Theme, Variant 1||Principal Charming||7F15|
|15||Main Theme, Variant 1||Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?||7F16|
|16||Main Theme||Bart's Dog Gets an F||7F14|
|17||Main Theme||Old Money||7F17|
|18||Main Theme, Variant 1||Brush with Greatness||7F18|
|19||No solo||Lisa's Substitute||7F19|
|20||Main Theme||The War of the Simpsons||7F20|
|21||Main Theme||Three Men and a Comic Book||7F21|
|22||Main Theme||Blood Feud||7F22|
|1||Main Theme, Variant 2||Stark Raving Dad||7F24|
|2||Downward Blues 1||Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington||8F01|
|3||Main Theme||When Flanders Failed||7F23|
|4||Slow Downward Blues Scale||Bart the Murderer||8F03|
|5||Funk 1||Homer Defined||8F04|
|6||Downward Blues 2||Like Father, Like Clown||8F05|
|7||No solo||Treehouse of Horror II||8F02|
|8||Main Theme, Variant 2||Lisa's Pony||8F06|
|9||Main Theme, Variant 3||Saturdays of Thunder||8F07|
|10||Downward Blues 1||Flaming Moe's||8F08|
|11||Crazy Be-Bop||Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk||8F09|
|12||Melodic Figure 1||I Married Marge||8F10|
|13||Melodic Figure 2||Radio Bart||8F11|
|14||No solo||Lisa the Greek||8F12|
|15||Break Out||Homer Alone||8F14|
|16||No solo||Bart the Lover||8F16|
|17||Slow Downward Blues Scale||Homer at the Bat||8F13|
|18||Downward Blues 2||Separate Vocations||8F15|
|19||Crazy Be-Bop||Dog of Death||8F17|
|20||Main Theme, Variant 3||Colonel Homer||8F19|
|21||Melodic Figure 1||Black Widower||8F20|
|22||Melodic Figure 2||The Otto Show||8F21|
|23||Break Out||Bart's Friend Falls in Love||8F22|
|24||Main Theme, Variant 3||Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?||8F23|
|1||Melodic Figure 2||Kamp Krusty||8F24|
|2||Melodic Figure 1||A Streetcar Named Marge||8F18|
|3||Break Out||Homer the Heretic||9F01|
|4||Crazy Be-Bop||Lisa the Beauty Queen||9F02|
|5||No solo||Treehouse of Horror III||9F04|
|6||Main Theme, Variant 3||Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie||9F03|
|7||Melodic Figure 1||Marge Gets a Job||9F05|
|8||Downward Blues 1||New Kid on the Block||9F06|
|9||Crazy Be-Bop||Mr. Plow||9F07|
|10||Melodic Figure 2||Lisa's First Word||9F08|
|11||Break Out||Homer's Triple Bypass||9F09|
|12||Main Theme, Variant 3||Marge vs. the Monorail||9F10|
|13||Melodic Figure 1||Selma's Choice||9F11|
|14||Downward Blues 1||Brother from the Same Planet||9F12|
|15||Melodic Figure 2||I Love Lisa||9F13|
|16||Downward Blues 2||Duffless||9F14|
|17||Funk 1||Last Exit to Springfield||9F15|
|18||Main Theme, Variant 3||So It's Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show||9F17|
|19||Melodic Figure 2||The Front||9F16|
|20||Slow Downward Blues Scale||Whacking Day||9F18|
|21||Melodic Figure 1||Marge in Chains||9F20|
|22||Break Out||Krusty Gets Kancelled||9F19|
|1||Main Theme, Variant 3||Homer's Barbershop Quartet||9F21|
|2||Melodic Figure 2||Cape Feare||9F22|
|3||No solo||Homer Goes to College||1F02|
|5||No solo||Treehouse of Horror IV||1F04|
|6||No solo||Marge on the Lam||1F03|
|7||No solo||Bart's Inner Child||1F05|
|8||No solo||Boy-Scoutz 'n the Hood||1F06|
|9||Crazy Be-Bop||The Last Temptation of Homer||1F07|
|10||No solo||$pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)||1F08|
|11||Downward Blues 1||Homer the Vigilante||1F09|
|12||Downward Blues 2||Bart Gets Famous||1F11|
|13||Downward Blues 1||Homer and Apu||1F10|
|14||No solo||Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy||1F12|
|15||No solo||Deep Space Homer||1F13|
|16||No solo||Homer Loves Flanders||1F14|
|17||No solo||Bart Gets an Elephant||1F15|
|18||No solo||Burns' Heir||1F16|
|19||No solo||Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song||1F18|
|20||Downward Blues 2||The Boy Who Knew Too Much||1F19|
|21||No solo||Lady Bouvier's Lover||1F21|
|22||No solo||Secrets of a Successful Marriage||1F20|
|1||No solo||Bart of Darkness||1F22|
|2||No solo||Lisa's Rival||1F17|
|3||No solo||Another Simpsons Clip Show||2F33|
|4||No solo||Itchy & Scratchy Land||2F01|
|5||No solo||Sideshow Bob Roberts||2F02|
|6||No solo||Treehouse of Horror V||2F03|
|7||No solo||Bart's Girlfriend||2F04|
|8||No solo||Lisa on Ice||2F05|
|9||No solo||Homer Badman||2F06|
|10||No solo||Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy||2F07|
|11||Melodic Figure 2||Fear of Flying||2F08|
|12||No solo||Homer the Great||2F09|
|13||No solo||And Maggie Makes Three||2F10|
|14||No solo||Bart's Comet||2F11|
|15||No solo||Homie the Clown||2F12|
|16||Main Theme, Variant 2||Bart vs. Australia||2F13|
|17||No solo||Homer vs. Patty and Selma||2F14|
|18||No solo||A Star is Burns||2F31|
|19||No solo||Lisa's Wedding||2F15|
|20||No solo||Two Dozen and One Greyhounds||2F18|
|21||No solo||The PTA Disbands||2F19|
|22||Main Theme, Variant 3||'Round Springfield||2F32|
|23||No solo||The Springfield Connection||2F21|
|24||No solo||Lemon of Troy||2F22|
|25||No solo||Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part One)||2F16|
|1||No solo||The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson||4F22|
|2||No solo||The Principal and the Pauper||4F23|
|3||Break Out||Lisa's Sax||3G02|
|4||No solo||Treehouse of Horror VIII||5F02|
|5||Funk 1||The Cartridge Family||5F01|
|6||No solo||Bart Star||5F03|
|7||No solo||The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons||5F04|
|8||Downward Blues 2||Lisa the Skeptic||5F05|
|9||No solo||Realty Bites||5F06|
|10||No solo||Miracle on Evergreen Terrace||5F07|
|11||No solo||All Singing, All Dancing||5F24|
|12||No solo||Bart Carny||5F08|
|13||No solo||The Joy of Sect||5F23|
|14||No solo||Das Bus||5F11|
|15||No solo||The Last Temptation of Krust||5F10|
|16||No solo||Dumbbell Indemnity||5F12|
|17||No solo||Lisa the Simpson||4F24|
|18||Downward Blues 1||This Little Wiggy||5F13|
|19||No solo||Simpson Tide||3G04|
|20||No solo||The Trouble with Trillions||5F14|
|21||No solo||Girly Edition||5F15|
|22||No solo||Trash of the Titans||5F09|
|23||No solo||King of the Hill||5F16|
|24||Break Out||Lost Our Lisa||5F17|
|25||Slow Downward Blues Scale||Natural Born Kissers||5F18|