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Saxophones should i get a soprano????????????

neil

Member
Messages
74
Location
Hull
hi all
I currently have a tenor, and an alto (and a clarinet). I pretty much play the tenor all the time, the alto seems strange to my ears...a little to high pitched, i will add that i have only had the alto about 6 months and the tenor for a good few years now. here is the problem...i have a couple of hundred to spend and for some strange reason have a burning desire to buy a soprano, the thing is i have no idea why...if someone asked me the reason for wanting one i wouldnt have a clue what to say other than i just do.....so...will i play it????? will it just sit on a stand???....or will be be a joy to have????...i just dont know.
Has anyone else had an experiance like this and if so what was the outcome?.

heres hoping.
Neil
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,498
Location
Sweden
Nice saxes. You can buy one for less money nowadays. There are decent Chinese sopranos on the market.

I have three Bb sopranons: A player and a looker. One I try to play. The last I kept for sentimenetal reasons. And an odd C soprano as well.

90 % of my playing is on tenor!!!!
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,659
Location
Betelgeuse
I mainly play tenor, but also have three sopranos. I enjoy playing sop about once a week.

My suggestion would be to buy a decent used Chinese one for not much money and see how you get on. If youdon't like it, you can sell it onfor what you paid for it.

But then I would say that, wouldn't I, as I have one for sale soon!>:)
 

phooesnax

Member
Messages
97
Location
USA
Been mostly playing bari so the soprano is a nice change when I pick it up. It is a the game boy version of the saxophone! I have a 1923 Buescher in silver plate....
 
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neil

Member
Messages
74
Location
Hull
what is a cheap chinese one though??...a lot of the cheaper ones on ebay seem to be unbranded and surely thats a bigger risk.
 

Moz

Senior Member
Messages
841
Location
North of Liskeard, Cornwall,UK
I did it, I bought a soprano (I play tenor all the time now). I had that same whim and bought a Yani 901 sop and hated it from the word go. I love the mellow tenor and now I've been playing a while I can get a decent sound from an alto but the soprano was a step too far. I know in the right hands they sound very nice indeed, I however, do not have the right hands (or the left ones for that matter) to get a decent sound out of the thing and after a year I sold it. I can safely say I will never own another one.

One persons opinion.

Try before you buy and then don't buy.

Cheers

Martin
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
697
hi all
I currently have a tenor, and an alto (and a clarinet). I pretty much play the tenor all the time, the alto seems strange to my ears...a little to high pitched, i will add that i have only had the alto about 6 months and the tenor for a good few years now. here is the problem...i have a couple of hundred to spend and for some strange reason have a burning desire to buy a soprano, the thing is i have no idea why...if someone asked me the reason for wanting one i wouldnt have a clue what to say other than i just do.....so...will i play it????? will it just sit on a stand???....or will be be a joy to have????...i just dont know.

Neil
You are of course welcome to get a soprano, but only if you promise to learn it as well as your tenor. After I heard Amy Dickson play the soprano I also played with the idea of getting one. In the end I held off because I really don't know what would be worth getting. Simply producing a sound is not an adequate criterion.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
Hi Neil!

You raise a very significant concern. When I started on sax I was learning a Straight Soprano (Rampone & Cazzani/Rovner Dark/Berg Larsen Ebonite) and after a year bought an Alto. Since then I hardly played the Soprano, and sold it after a while. I eventually added a Tenor, which I played 30% of the time when sax was my main instrument. I had a Curved Soprano for my 50th birthday and play it occasionally - mainly improvising Scandinavian riffs. I see them all as a long term investment and currently focus on other instruments - electric bass and tenor trombone ( occasionally trumpet, flugelhorn, & cornet). I have never found it possible to focus on more than two at a time, and need to devote adequate time to both in order to achieve anything meaningful.

My conclusions would be that if:

1. You could envisage playing both Tenor and Soprano and devote some time to both, it would be a good idea to purchase a Soprano, and get one of sufficient standard that you would find pleasing/motivating.

2. You are able to take a longer term view and have some specific aims in getting a Soprano (mine was that I loved Jan Garbarek's music!) then go ahead and get a decent Soprano.

3. If you are curious and just want to have a Soprano, then get a cheap Soprano and satisfy your curiosity.

I think my own learning says that it is really important to have some clear aims/motivations in getting a particular instrument otherwise it will primarily sit gathering dust. My aim in learning trombone was to play Ska/Latin/Funk music, which is great fun. Learning electric bass (exactly the same range as a Tenor Trombone) is because I want to learn Reggae. It means I can devote time to both and learn about accompaniment, not just lead playing.

I mainly play Alto Sax, and have several heroes (Matt Wates, Gilad Atzmon, Martin Speake, Cannonball Adderley). Tenor Sax was purchased with less clear aims, so is played less. Once an aim emerges then I would imagine devoting quite a bit of time to it.
Anyway, I hope that the above reflections stimulate your own thinking, so you don't just spend money on a "White Elephant"

Kind Regards
Tom:cool:
 

phooesnax

Member
Messages
97
Location
USA
2 words
Bauhaus Walstein

I don't have the sop but my bari is awesome and short a few complaints I had heard for a loose cork nothing bad said on this brand. I have had zero problems with mine after 6 months.
 
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neil

Member
Messages
74
Location
Hull
thanks for all the good advice...its only what i`d expect on this forum...i think tom had some good points, i should find a good reason for getting a sop and not just get one on a whim, when i think about it thats exactly what i did with the alto and hes right in his conclusion that because of that i play it less,
many thanks
neil
 

Tartaruga

New Member
Messages
7
What motivates your "urge to buy"?
Is there a particular player or song that you like, that makes you like the sound of the soprano?
If the answer is yes, go ahead and get one (do yourself a favour and get a decent brand - it's a tricky instrument, sou you don't wanna struggle with imperfections). I would suggest you ditch the alto and alternate sop and tenor. Most players concentrate on either alto or tenor (but not both) and have soprano as a second.
If the answer is no, then it's a passing whim and you should not buy one or buy the cheapest possible so at least you don't waste too much money.
 

dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,418
Location
Daventry
Well, I bought a BW soprano on a whim and have never had cause to regret it. I don't play it as much as the tenor, and if I'm honest, I will probably always prefer playing the big boy because it is relatively easy compared to the sop and suits the music the band plays. But the sop has its moments and is very rewarding if you put in a bit of work and don't let the difficult intonation and high-end notes scare you off. I occasionally play it in the band and the contrast it gives to the tenor is great. I would not recommend a cheapie though - I tried one a few years ago and kept it only a few months before giving up on it. The BW is a different beast - a proper instrument. Having said that I tried a Yani sop recently - 3 times the price of the BW, and a lovely sax.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
It sounds like it would be reasonable to conclude that it would be fine to purchase a BW soprano on a whim, as it is both a quality instrument and also at a reasonable price. Additionally some times things start initially as a whim and grow into a serious/challenging interest. My initial purchase of a cheap trumpet was akin to this (being a soprano instrument with similar range to the soprano sax) and was something I really got into playing 50 - 60% of the time.

Kind regards
Tom:cool:
 

berniesax

Member
Messages
136
why not a rent a half decent one with the return or buy policy ? sax .uk have the sakuso range for hire
i have the alto and find it to be very good !
all the best
bernie
 

visionari1

Senior Member
Messages
1,606
Location
Out in the Countryside of Nelson NZ
Hi Neil your original comment that an alto sounds too high for you suggests that you may not practice much & getting a cheapie would probably scare you off anyway.
I enjoy the sound my cheapie Sop makes ( an American Blessings purchased for 420nz$- under £200) and found playing the sop also improved the sound of my alto playing. Either way without the interest in the sound. IMHO you will be on a looser!
Cheers
Jimu
 
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