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Curved Soprano as travel sax

Guenne

Senior Member
Messages
941
Hello!
I started to teach very young children (about 7) using the curved Soprano.
Like most teachers, I have always been sceptic about doing so.
But it turns out fine, they develop a great sound and have no problems playing what we adults think is the beast of the saxophone family.

I have never been very interested in playing Soprano, I had a Yani 981 straight Soprano, which was great. For teaching reasons I switched to this horn:


You will find it under different names, it is manifactured by Green Hill in Taiwan and the same as this:

The horn has great intonation and is relatively easy to play.
In the meantime I sold it and switched to this one, mainly because I got it very cheap. It's also a bit more mellow, and curved Soprano can be rather loud for the player.


I must say I'm enjoying playing the curved, it's easier to hold, to record, it's pure fun.

For a beginner who plans to practice away from home I would recommend buying one (not the cheapest, if possible) and forget about the tales about the difficulties. I think in more than one way your Tenor playing will benefit as your flexibility has to increase.

Cheers, Guenne
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,190
The case for my straight soprano is bigger than my alto case. There's no good reason for this, but it is. I think it would be too long for airline carry-on.
Hmmmmm...your typical straight-skinny sop case is only 25-26" long (this is for single-piece, a removable neck would be even shorter). I'd be extremely surprised if one would ever be rejected as a carry on....(?)

Curved, more feedback, looses some brightness
Straight better intonation, more choice in models
OOMPH.....:oops:o_O....

(steady, Jaye, steady.......)

....perhaps let's not go there for the sake of the OP ;)
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
Subscriber
Messages
5,249
Hmmmmm...your typical straight-skinny sop case is only 25-26" long (this is for single-piece, a removable neck would be even shorter). I'd be extremely surprised if one would ever be rejected as a carry on....(?)
22 inches is typically the maximum length allowed for carry-on luggage. My soprano case is 26”.
 

saxyjt

I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
Subscriber
Messages
3,531
As anybody experienced trouble carrying a straight soprano sax into an airplane?

I only did it twice, so I can't say for sure. But it would seem odd. Well, my case was just a light gigbag type. But still.
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
Subscriber
Messages
5,249
I imagine that it will normally be OK, but an officious member of staff might refuse to allow it in the cabin.
 

David Dorning

Senior Member
Subscriber
Messages
665
I imagine that it will normally be OK, but an officious member of staff might refuse to allow it in the cabin.
Find out what the airline says about instrument cases, Easyjet's maximum sizes for normal carry-on luggage are different from those for instruments. I rang them just to make sure my alto case would be ok and they assured me it would, and it was.

Perhaps I managed to avoid the officious member of staff!
 

Wade Cornell

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
1,794
There are some airlines that have extremely strict policies and measure every piece of carry-on. They have the regular measure device at check in, but don't bug you there. They then have another measure device at the gate and demand that each passenger place their carry-on in the frame. I saw one guy with what looked like a standard size carry-on get nailed because it was 1 cm sticking out the top. I don't know what he had to pay as an extra bag, but I bet it wasn't cheap. The other issue is that airlines are BRUTAL with checked in bags. You don't want to check any instrument in if you can avoid it unless it has a precise fitting flight case. The normal sax cases DO NOT MAKE THE GRADE!!!! If you can feel any movement in your case by shaking it back and forth, then it's not safe. The fit has to be precise and the case suitably hard on the outside to accommodate being under a pile of other baggage. The pertinent question is would you throw your sax in its case across the room? Yea, that's what happens with baggage.

Curvy (Yani) sop case 18"
My smallest Alto case 24"
Regulation for many airlines carry-on is 22"
You want to take a chance?

I know nothing about the Thomann stencil sax, which I'm sure must be a cheap Asian sort. I wouldn't buy any cheap sax unless I know for sure that it's OK. Soprano can be difficult. Short story: My first soprano was a cheap LA sax. I couldn't for the life of me make it play in tune, but had known that they could be difficult. I persevered for a year or more until I had the opportunity to play a decent soprano and knew instantly that it wasn't me. You don't want or need that kind of practice and frustration. Only buy a curvy soprano that you are sure is good.
 

apinter

Member
Messages
80
I'm not familiar with the size of a good straight sop case, but they may be too big for airline carry-on? (Or I'm wrong). Oops, I just now saw you mention they fit on airlines. I wouldn't have guessed that as I fly EasyJet and other budget lines :)
On easyjet I bring my tenor anytime. They have very nice policy with musical instruments. Any case to a certain size (good for tenor in light gator case like mine) can travel in place of handbag. All written and true and tested.

When they see me boarding with this big bag they just ask “is it musical instrument?”. And I answer “yes”.

If you have to fly sax, easy jet is perfect.
 

apinter

Member
Messages
80
I also travel a lot for work and play tenor after long lay off.
I like to listen alto, but not to play it.
Soprano I don’t like in any way.

So what I thought for my business travels was, if any, to buy another cheap tenor that it can be damaged or lost in extreme instances, if any. And of course a good case for it.

Yet from when I discovered easy jet is very tenor friendly, I just bring my tenor with me as handbag and make without some other garment stuff.
 

apinter

Member
Messages
80
I imagine that it will normally be OK, but an officious member of staff might refuse to allow it in the cabin.
That’s the problem, except with easy jet.
There rules specific for musical instruments are written and to a certain size (good for my tenor in semi-hard gig bag) instruments fly as handbags. This was told me by my teacher, I experienced by me as true, and I pass it to you.
 

randulo

Playing alto 25 months
Subscriber
Messages
3,483
As a curved soprano owner and far from being an experienced player, I can only say that I like th look of it, it looks like a toy, a baby sax. It's also a gateway for an alto player to play a Bb instrument. Perhaps someday I will buy a decent instrument, but today it's just a novelty, and to carry on the train, it's lighter than the alto. Yes, I could have bought a straight one, but for some reason I liked the curved look.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,190
22 inches is typically the maximum length allowed for carry-on luggage. My soprano case is 26”.
Interesting. I have never heard of an alto player (case at 24-25") fail to get his case aboard as a carry-on. I guess it sorta depends upon how niggling an airline employee would choose to be...but something like an Alto or Soprano case LOOKS innocent enough not to set off the vast majority gate people, at least on this side of the pond.
I also travel a lot for work and play tenor after long lay off.
I like to listen alto, but not to play it.
Soprano I don’t like in any way.

So what I thought for my business travels was, if any, to buy another cheap tenor that it can be damaged or lost in extreme instances, if any. And of course a good case for it.

Yet from when I discovered easy jet is very tenor friendly, I just bring my tenor with me as handbag and make without some other garment stuff.
That's a good policy of them. Quite honestly it is pretty hard to make an argument that even a 30" tenor case seriously causes any sort of hardship as a carry-on.
Sax cases are actually quite narrow, regardless of the horn.
 

randulo

Playing alto 25 months
Subscriber
Messages
3,483
Unfortunately, airline personnel varies a lot. Many times, I flew out of the same airport and if a checked bag was a little overweight, they smiled and let it fly. Once, it cost me $100 to bring him a $30 item! Anyway, EasyJet has always been pretty cool for us.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
12,600
Please don't think of a soprano as a small tenor. Different animal altogether. Took me ages to find the right mouthpiece and years to find my sound. It drove me mad.

All is well now though as long as I keep up with the medication. I do like to show off switching from baritone to soprano. ;)
 
Saxholder Pro

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