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Beginner Just started playing Soprano

david_wood

New Member
Messages
4
I just started playing the soprano sax in my band classes. I play mostly alto then b flat soprano when theres a part in my first, and then a c soprano in my other class (reading oboe part). First I'd like to say I LOVE playing the sopranos, but they've been a big challenge, mainly the c soprano. Now for the issues:

1. Tuning on the c soprano almost takes an act of congress. Is this just a natural wall I have to overcome because of the nature of the soprano?
2. Every time I play a note that involves the register key and then go back down to a C#-A it wants to come out as if I were still pressing the register key. The only way I have been able to solve this is to finger a G or anything below before I continue playing. I looked at the mechanism and when I finger a G a piece goes against another rod, putting pressure on the register key. My guess is that its a leak issue, has anyone else experienced this? I'm very sorry if the explination was vague, but thats the only way I can think to describe it. The instrument is a Buescher True Tone, by the way and I'm using a Yamaha mouthpiece with a number 3 rico royal reed.

Luckily I havent had any real issues with the b flat soprano other than simply getting used to the feel of a 1920s Conn.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Sops have a reputation for poor intonation.

Register keys: The mechanism is a little complicated. The key opens one of two octave pips, depending on whether the G is pressed or not. One of the vents is on the neck, easy to find, the other is close to the top of the body tube an d sometimes difficult to see at first. Follow the octave mechanism pressing the register key on and off. You'll soon find it. Neck octave pip should open for the higher notes, body pip for the lower notes. Both should open/close completely and quickly.

Check for sticking/not closing by keeping the octave/register key pressed, open/close the G key watching the octave pips. The open one should close quickly and completly as you move the G key. Repeat the experiment, keeping G open and just opening/closing the register key. Then again with G closed.

Check whehter either pip, espicailly the body, closes better when you press on it.
Also check the condition of the pads on these pips.

If there's a problem with the opeing/closing, or the pads, it's a trip to the tecchie.

Could also be a leaks in another pad affecting it. So it's also a tecchie trip.

MAybe you need to get the sax looked at by a tech.
 

rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,371
1. Tuning on the c soprano almost takes an act of congress. Is this just a natural wall I have to overcome because of the nature of the soprano?
2. Every time I play a note that involves the register key and then go back down to a C#-A it wants to come out as if I were still pressing the register key. The only way I have been able to solve this is to finger a G or anything below before I continue playing. I looked at the mechanism and when I finger a G a piece goes against another rod, putting pressure on the register key. My guess is that its a leak issue, has anyone else experienced this? I'm very sorry if the explination was vague, but thats the only way I can think to describe it. The instrument is a Buescher True Tone, by the way and I'm using a Yamaha mouthpiece with a number 3 rico royal reed.
C sopranos can require special mouthpieces - not just a Bb sop mouthpiece. I've got a modern C soprano and have tried lots and lots of different Bb sop mouthpieces on it. The ones that work best, both for sound and tuning, tend to be smaller chamber pieces. Best of the lot is a special C soprano mouthpiece made by Ed Pillinger.

Rhys
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,125
2. Every time I play a note that involves the register key and then go back down to a C#-A it wants to come out as if I were still pressing the register key. The only way I have been able to solve this is to finger a G or anything below before I continue playing. I looked at the mechanism and when I finger a G a piece goes against another rod, putting pressure on the register key. My guess is that its a leak issue, has anyone else experienced this? I'm very sorry if the explination was vague, but thats the only way I can think to describe it.
Sounds like an issue with the automatic octave vents.

About the C sopranos...
Probably you would play more in tune transposing with the Bb soprano.
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,282
C sopranos can require special mouthpieces - not just a Bb sop mouthpiece. I've got a modern C soprano and have tried lots and lots of different Bb sop mouthpieces on it. The ones that work best, both for sound and tuning, tend to be smaller chamber pieces. Best of the lot is a special C soprano mouthpiece made by Ed Pillinger.

Rhys
Hi Rhys
I take it you have one of the Aquila C sopranos,how is the tuning once you sorted the right mouthpiece?
I have thought about adding one of these to my collection but sax.co.uk in london recently said there were issues with them and they were not going to have any more after the present stock has been sold.So i didn't commit to one.

Cheers

Brian
 
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BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,904
Sounds like an issue with the automatic octave vents.

About the C sopranos...
Probably you would play more in tune transposing with the Bb soprano.
I've never actually played a C soprano, but I agree with Aldevis. Transposing up a tone is not as scary as it sounds and is a very useful skill. You'll need to do it anyway if you play the (Bb) clarinet, as clarinet in C is really quite a different instrument (IMHO they sound horrid). If you're not happy about doing it on sight at first, you could always write the parts out a tone higher.
 

rhysonsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,371
Hi Rhys
I take it you have one of the Aquila C sopranos,how is the tuning once you sorted the right mouthpiece?
I have thought about adding one of these to my collection but sax.co.uk in london recently said there were issues with them and they were not going to have any more after the present stock has been sold.So i didn't commit to one.

Cheers

Brian
Hi Brian,

Not the Aquila but the E&R from Benedikt Eppelsheim. It was a joint venture with a US company (R stands for Reese) that apparently didn't continue after the first few horns.

I bought one of the last two C sops that Benedikt had last year. More information here: http://www.internationalwoodwind.com/inv10.htm

It's definitely got a subtly different voice from its Bb brother and I like it.

Rhys
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,282
Hi Brian,

Not the Aquila but the E&R from Benedikt Eppelsheim. It was a joint venture with a US company (R stands for Reese) that apparently didn't continue after the first few horns.

I bought one of the last two C sops that Benedikt had last year. More information here: http://www.internationalwoodwind.com/inv10.htm

It's definitely got a subtly different voice from its Bb brother and I like it.

Rhys
Rhys that is one fine looking horn,envy,envy with a lot gas is what i feeling right now.

Brian
 
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