SYOS

soprano playing

lesmat

New Member
Messages
1
I bought my first sax, a tenor, when I retired aged 60,some 15 years ago.I have recently purchased a soprano to fill a gap in the small sax sextet that I play with every week.the group are all amateurs and we just play/practice for our own pleasure.our library ranges from classical to dance band standards and comprises 2 alto 2tenor 1 soprano(often playing trumpet parts) and a bari.My instrument is a Hanson with turned up bell and I have great difficulty reaching notes above top C. my mouthpiece is a Yamagisawa and I am now trying a soft 1 1/2 Rico.I can get these high notes but they sound screechy and I am biting the inside of my lower lip which I never did on the tenor . Any good advice on getting a good overall sound on the soprano especially on top notes would be much appreciated. lesmat
 

Pjonah

Member
Messages
870
Location
West Row, Suffolk
I Know the feeling, I find it hard to play much above top E and extended playing leads to my bottom gnashers leaving a deep groove in my gum.

But I have found the mouth piece makes a lot of difference, I had a Yamaha
5C and changed it to the Rico Graftonite, quite a difference.

I usually play bari so the little squeeky thing doesn't see a lot of action, I wonder if its exacting revenge for keeping it locked up? :confused:
 

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,361
Location
Buckinghamshire
I bought my first sax, a tenor, when I retired aged 60,some 15 years ago.I have recently purchased a soprano to fill a gap in the small sax sextet that I play with every week.the group are all amateurs and we just play/practice for our own pleasure.our library ranges from classical to dance band standards and comprises 2 alto 2tenor 1 soprano(often playing trumpet parts) and a bari.My instrument is a Hanson with turned up bell and I have great difficulty reaching notes above top C. my mouthpiece is a Yamagisawa and I am now trying a soft 1 1/2 Rico.I can get these high notes but they sound screechy and I am biting the inside of my lower lip which I never did on the tenor . Any good advice on getting a good overall sound on the soprano especially on top notes would be much appreciated. lesmat
I've been playing much less that you but have a similar experience with the sop - I also play tenor. I find the embouchure much tighter on the sop though to be honest I do struggle a bit with the upper reaches of the tenor (E, F and F# - especially front F/F#). So much so that I backed off using the sop as it was affecting my tenor embouchure. I know my mouthpiece (Yam 6M or the R&C one that it came with) are not helping me either and I should probably look at a different reed too.

I'm giving it until the end of June before doing anything much on the sop again.


I Know the feeling, I find it hard to play much above top E and extended playing leads to my bottom gnashers leaving a deep groove in my gum.

But I have found the mouth piece makes a lot of difference, I had a Yamaha
5C and changed it to the Rico Graftonite, quite a difference.

I usually play bari so the little squeeky thing doesn't see a lot of action, I wonder if its exacting revenge for keeping it locked up? :confused:
Those Rico Graftonite are pretty cheap aren't they. Maybe I should try one. What reeds do you use with it.
 

dooce

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,415
Location
Daventry
I was gamely doing the soprano part to Bolero at practise on Saturday and it was suggested by the others, through gritted teeth, that I should try playing it on the tenor......

Yes, those top notes take some work to prevent from being shrill - I'm taking my sop off to a good sax shop sometime soon to try some different mouthpieces.
 

Amaranth

Member
Messages
179
Location
Oxfordshire, England
I was gamely doing the soprano part to Bolero at practise on Saturday and it was suggested by the others, through gritted teeth, that I should try playing it on the tenor......

Yes, those top notes take some work to prevent from being shrill - I'm taking my sop off to a good sax shop sometime soon to try some different mouthpieces.
You have a Cannonball Tenor - is that where you store your Sop? It must feel tiny!
 

Gungehead

New Member
Messages
19
Location
High Cross, Herts
I have similar trouble but as my sop is very old, notes above high Eb weren't invented! However, above high A (where you have to release the low octave key and press the high octave key - yes it's that old that they hadn't invented the seesaw octave key or whatever it's called) are difficult to play well. I mentioned this to my old sax teacher who said 'but why would you want to play that high anyway?' so I try not to.
 

Pee Dee

Member
Messages
425
Location
Dorset
Like Pjonah, I started with a Yamaha 5C on the sop, and swopped for a Graftonite, now much better. Can get the higher notes most of the time but hard to keep in tune. I use a nr 2 plasticover reed. Still don't sound like Bechet though:(
 

Moz

Senior Member
Messages
841
Location
North of Liskeard, Cornwall,UK
I bought my first sax, a tenor, when I retired aged 60,some 15 years ago.I have recently purchased a soprano to fill a gap in the small sax sextet that I play with every week.the group are all amateurs and we just play/practice for our own pleasure.our library ranges from classical to dance band standards and comprises 2 alto 2tenor 1 soprano(often playing trumpet parts) and a bari.My instrument is a Hanson with turned up bell and I have great difficulty reaching notes above top C. my mouthpiece is a Yamagisawa and I am now trying a soft 1 1/2 Rico.I can get these high notes but they sound screechy and I am biting the inside of my lower lip which I never did on the tenor . Any good advice on getting a good overall sound on the soprano especially on top notes would be much appreciated. lesmat
I play tenor and have a sop. I see a trend with all these responses as I didn't get on with the Yani mouthpiece supplied and bought a Bari mpc instead. It is much easier to play but to get the high notes sounding nice is just practice -- I obviously haven't done enough of it yet!:shocked:

martin
 

thehunt

Member
Messages
797
Location
Studham Bedfordshire
Hearing a lot about these graftonite mp's. Just bought a 2nd hand BW sop, although it came with a selmer mp, it has been chewed.
( teenager used to play the sop ! )
Where can you buy these graftonite mps? thanks :w00t:
 

c9off

Senior Member
Messages
607
Location
London SE/Kent & Rickinghall
Hearing a lot about these graftonite mp's. Just bought a 2nd hand BW sop, although it came with a selmer mp, it has been chewed.
( teenager used to play the sop ! )
Where can you buy these graftonite mps? thanks :w00t:
try Trevor Jones Bristol: http://trevorjonesltd.co.uk/cart/index.php?cPath=54_459_467_504&osCsid=453044f893c69b4897fe77c109eee966
 
Last edited:

c9off

Senior Member
Messages
607
Location
London SE/Kent & Rickinghall
Anyone know how the sizing/models vary?
"The Rico Royal Graftonite mouthpieces offer great projection and an even sound at a most affordable price. Available with 3 different tone chambers - A, B, and C. An "A" tone chamber will give a dark sound which is best suited for concert work, a "B" tone chamber will give a little more brilliance (better for using with most bands), and a "C" tone chamber will give a lot more brilliance and edge which is great for rock and jazz bands. Every chamber is available in 3 different facings - #3, #5, #7."

where is TomM when you need him......
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,620
Location
Betelgeuse
I bought my first sax, a tenor, when I retired aged 60,some 15 years ago.I have recently purchased a soprano to fill a gap in the small sax sextet that I play with every week.the group are all amateurs and we just play/practice for our own pleasure.our library ranges from classical to dance band standards and comprises 2 alto 2tenor 1 soprano(often playing trumpet parts) and a bari.My instrument is a Hanson with turned up bell and I have great difficulty reaching notes above top C. my mouthpiece is a Yamagisawa and I am now trying a soft 1 1/2 Rico.I can get these high notes but they sound screechy and I am biting the inside of my lower lip which I never did on the tenor . Any good advice on getting a good overall sound on the soprano especially on top notes would be much appreciated. lesmat
Hi

Before you try another mouthpiece have a go with a different reed. 1 1/2 is very soft. The Yanagisawa mouthpiece is actually very good and highly regarded. I've got one, but don't just take my word for it, read the review on sax.co.uk I'd try about a 2 1/2 reed first and see how you get on. My guess is that with a slightly harder reed and a bit of practice, you'll be fine.
 
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