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Saxophones If I get a soprano...

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,076
I was idly working out how best to justify the eventual and inevitable soprano acquisition when it suddenly came into focus. My alto playing has been greatly helped by playing the tenor! The low notes on the alto just aren't the issue they used to be, so... would a soprano help my alto playing in the higher register?

If this all pans out I can see a need and justification for a baritone to help my tenor playing :w00t:

This is probably just Sunday night madness and the fact that it has started raining and I'm trying to work out how dedicated I am to do the 5.5 mile run I was planning.

All the best,

Chris.
 
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Chris98

Chris98

Senior Member
Messages
1,076
I did my run, it rained and I got soaked! And right at the end some G*t in a big black Land Rover diligently identified the largest puddle on an empty road, right next to where I was running, and proceeded to accelerate towards it with the inevitable consequences for me! Frankly I'm wondering if it was some retaliation from the CaSLM!
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
697
Taking up the soprano is clearly full of pitfalls. Whether the soprano would help you to improve your playing skills generally is not easy to answer. From what I have read it is quite different to the other saxophones, even though it looks the same (well, the curved one anyway). A couple of years ago I saw one in a music shop, and I thought it looked rather inviting. In fact it seemed to me that it only waited to be picked and played. All the same, i desisted.

So, my view is that if you are advanced enough to manage the embouchure successfully, and if you put in extra time, then your saxophone playing would in all likelihood improve. If you were minded to spend more time on the alto and tenor instead, improvements also would be very likely. In the end, much comes down to the amount of time you spend learning and playing.
 

Moz

Senior Member
Messages
841
Location
North of Liskeard, Cornwall,UK
I had a soprano

I bought a soprano really because it was small and handy to carry around for a quick blow (ooh er missus) at short notice. I spent £1300 on a Yani 901 and to be honest I hated it from the word go; it was so different from my tenor. The high notes were the worst and any playing I did was usually in the lower register where it sounded ok really. I kept it for about a year then sold it for just abot what I paid for it, which was nice. Can honestly say I will never, ever buy another one.

In the right hands they sound good but the input required is too much to get that good sound, I felt I would have to start from scratch.

Borrow one if you can, you may save yourself a lot of soul-searching.

Cheers

Mart
 

visionari1

Senior Member
Messages
1,606
Location
Out in the Countryside of Nelson NZ
Hi Chris,

I had the opposite to Moz experience. Having played alto for 20 years the recent purchase of a Sop (took at least a month of playing to get used too) it did open my embroshure to make the alto tone fuller and easier over the whole range of the horn. However I've tried Tenors (only brief blows in shops) & can't get on with them at all!
Good advice from Moz re try out first tho!
 

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,361
Location
Buckinghamshire
Chris

I'm still keeping my sop 'in the box' until Karen says it's safe to get hr out. Every time I try to get her going it mucks up my tenor embouchure so i'in the box she remains, much as I love the way she looks and sounds. Still can't get top C or D every time and as for E,F & G - ha, no chance. Love the sound and the light weight compared to tenor though.

So caveat emptor. :w00t:
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Café Supporter
Messages
12,720
Location
McLean, Virginia
In my experience playing the larger horns help the low notes of the smaller horns. I may have worked the other way round but I didn't really notice it as such. But it's very possibly true.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
I find that playing a trumpet really helps my soprano embouchure and sound. I think that it is quite a challenge for part time Tenor sax players to develop the strength of some of the lip muscles such that they avoid having a concertina type embouchure when playing smaller saxes - having to squeeze in all that stretched lip into such a small space. The image that comes to me is one related to excessive activity in other bodily apertures, and how you tighten up your muscles afterwards.

A useful suggestion would be to get hold of a trumpet mouthpiece and try and make a buzzing sound on it a few times a day as a way of developing a tighter and more efficient embouchure when playing soprano sax. This can be done anytime - just carry said mouthpiece with you as you go about your daily business - in the car, by the computer, as part of warm up. It will also help with other activities............;}

It does mean that when having a break from trumpet the soprano sax is a natural alternative!

Kind regards
Tom:cool:
 

Clivey

Senior Member
Messages
849
Location
Edinburgh/Hot Rock off African Coast
I was actually inspired to buy a sop after hearing the title music to the film " Withnail and I" which just happens to be King Curtis playing a live version of " Whiter shade of Pale".


I loved the movie that much, I bought the horn. I suppose it helps to be inspired, or even better. to aspire to something:(
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,623
Location
Betelgeuse
Ah, Withnail and I. A truly great film. I remember watching it with a ratcatcher in a flat above a dry cleaners in Leyton. We had our very own homage to the Camberwell Carrot - the Leyton Log.

(If you've never seen the film you'll think I've lost it. Even if you have, you might still think that)
 

Mack

Senior Member
Messages
482
Location
Devon
I played nothing but alto for two years and then bought a soprano - a Buescher Truetone - found it quite easy to play contrary to what I had heard. I'm not saying I sounded like Courtney Pine exactly - but I was in tune top to bottom and I could reach all the notes straightaway - maybe its the Buescher and not me...! I also bought a tenor recently and when i went back to alto this week my sound has improved considerably - I suspect because of the Soprano playing.
 
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