SYOS

Saxophones Quiet alternative to a Saxophone?

JasonC

Member
Messages
218
Location
Swadlincote, Derbyshire
Hi All,

I was just wondering if any of you know of an instrument that I could practice on that is much quieter than a Saxophone?

Obviously you need to practice your embouchure but for me at the moment I am also having to learn music from scratch so, a quieter instrument with the same fingering system would help greatly so I can practice the notes and the relevant keys without disturbing the neighbours late at night after I have finished work. Also, it would be useful if there was such an instrument which was quite small so I could take it with me on business trips.

I've looked at the mutes that you can get but from what I have read you need to spend a fair bit to get one that actually helps, plus this would be an extra bulk to carry if I have to go on a business trip.

Any help would be appreciated!

Jason
 
OP
JasonC

JasonC

Member
Messages
218
Location
Swadlincote, Derbyshire
Oh right ok, I've never used a recorder so I'll take a look at one. I also just found a thing called a Zaphoon, has anyone had any experience with these? are they similar fingering to a Sax?

Many thanks.
Jason
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
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22,004
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Just north of Munich
Flutes, clarinets are similar - but don't overblow on the octave, so apart from the basic octave the fingering is quite different. Not sure about the recorder, was too long ago. Tin whistles overblow on the octave and are similar - at least in their natrual key, but.... they're very piercing and tricky to play in different keys. blowing and embouchire are also really different.
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
The sounds in a standard EWI is awful, hooked up to a decent set of samples and listened to with earphones will be quiet, or you'll soon be deaf. ;}They can be rigged for saxophone fingering but you must use flappy fingers as the keys are touch sensitive and can help with air support but not with embouchure.

Flutes are a good idea, suggest secondhand but checked by a tech.

Recorders, flutes and whistles all share the same first three fingers of each hand fingering as the sax but again no good for embouchure.
 

dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,415
Location
Daventry
Adolphe (Sax) nicked Boehms fingering system for his invention from the flute so it is as compatible as any instrument. I came from flute-playing and found it fairly intuitive. Trouble is that it takes months of practice to get any kind of consistent, reliable noise out of the things........
 

Mikec

Member
Messages
201
Location
Buckinghamshire, UK
For embouchure practice it's worth playing the mouthpiece/reed on its own. Not much fun and sounds awful (but quieter than the whole sax), but it really helps. Try and get as many notes as you can just by breath and embouchure control.
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,590
Location
UK
The thing is - if it's not a saxophone, it's not a saxophone...so you might as well look for an instrument that gives you something else.

The Xaphoon is fun, but doesn't have any keys - and if you're happy with a keyless solution then the recorder is perhaps a better bet.
Flute is an excellent choice, with many similarities in the fingering system. Clarinet likewise, though less so - but it at least uses a reed and a similar embouchure.

My personal choice is a low whistle - think of a giant penny whistle.
It's relatively quiet, it's great for working on breath support and it really helps you to develop a concept of tone.
The fingering is tricky - you have to use the middle joint of your fingers, but it doesn't take long to get the hang of it.

http://www.shwoodwind.co.uk/Reviews/Flutes/howard_low_whistle.htm

Regards,
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,455
Location
brighton by the sea
The thing is - if it's not a saxophone, it's not a saxophone...so you might as well look for an instrument that gives you something else.

The Xaphoon is fun, but doesn't have any keys - and if you're happy with a keyless solution then the recorder is perhaps a better bet.
Flute is an excellent choice, with many similarities in the fingering system. Clarinet likewise, though less so - but it at least uses a reed and a similar embouchure.

My personal choice is a low whistle - think of a giant penny whistle.
It's relatively quiet, it's great for working on breath support and it really helps you to develop a concept of tone.
The fingering is tricky - you have to use the middle joint of your fingers, but it doesn't take long to get the hang of it.

http://www.shwoodwind.co.uk/Reviews/Flutes/howard_low_whistle.htm

Regards,
Low whistles are lovely bits of kit in their own right too..
 
OP
JasonC

JasonC

Member
Messages
218
Location
Swadlincote, Derbyshire
Thank you everyone for the many suggestions you have given, I will be looking at all of these alternatives as soon as I can.

I love the Saxophone a lot, it sounds great and it's great to play! but as I said, I'm very busy with work at the moment and when I finish at around 9-10pm its a little late to blast out, so just being able to blow into something to help me learn to read music at these times is fine for me, then when I can practice properly I can concentrate on my embouchure and breathing.

I will let you know how I get on.

Thanks again.
Jason
 

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,361
Location
Buckinghamshire
I looked at this some while ago and came to the conclusion there was nothing that fit the bit - ie quiet, compact, same fingering and similar embouchure. Best option I came up with for a tenor substitute was a straight sop!

Fingering on things like the recorder and Xaphoon are sufficiently different to not be much help and same goes for the flute though also blowing is much different - can't even get a note out of my daughter's flute!

In the end I gave up and just learned to control to sax better. Some evenings I have to practice quite late (around 9pm) and so I work on different things than if it's earlier. Works OK for me. :)
 

SteveK

Member
Messages
149
Location
Guildford, Surrey
Has to be the flute - the clarinet is not (I believe) a simple octave jump.
I took up flute some years ago for a period while my neighbour was going though a nervous breakdown ;}
Steve
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
One other item that complies with fingering, key movement, air support and has what is called a reed.
See if you can persuade that nice Mr. Thomas to part with his Yamaha W something, hook it up to Pete's SampleAid and listen on headphones. Saxophone shape, keys, sounds and techniques, what more could you want.
BTW If you move to a place where you can practise in the evening, offer it to me, or trade for my EWI4000s.
 
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