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Soprano sax notes cutting off/no sound


New Member
Northern Ireland

I have played alto sax since June 2018 when I started to learn. I upgraded from a Yamaha YAS-280 to a Yanagisawa AWO2 and I find it easy to get all notes out on the Yani from low Bb to high notes. However, last year I bought a straight soprano sax, a Conn-Selmer Avant DSS-200 and I have recently started to play it every day. I am using a Vandoren SL3, Legere Signature 2.25 reeds and a Rovner Versa ligature. I put a BG Performer patch on the reed to raise the height of it since Legere reeds are a little thinner than cane reeds and it plays better with the patch on. I am finding it a little hard to play.

I had my soprano checked over with a repairer last year to make sure it was in fully working order and had a leak in the low notes fixed so all the pads on the sax seal properly. The issue I am having is that when I play, I can start playing fine but sometimes a few notes in on the same breath, the sound just cuts off and no sound comes out until I stop, take a breath and play again.

I notice it happens especially from playing G down to low Bb and at times I can play down to a low C and no sound will come out of the low C, or it will but no sound comes out of the low Bb or the low Bb warbles making me thin it could be a lower notes issue. I don't seem to have this issue when playing notes from A upwards, especially middle to high notes.

I thought it could either be the reed, or the Rovner Versa ligature which I find adds a bit of resistance (I don't have another ligature to try other than a Rovner Light ligature which I find too resistant). I tried Legere Signature 2 reed and it felt a bit soft and buzzy and a 2.5 was a bit hard. Does anyone have an idea on why this could be happening and what I can do to fix this issue?
Last edited:

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Burnley bb9 9dn
Sounds like you may be closing off the reed with too much embouchure pressure.


Well-Known Member
Café Supporter
Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
What angle is the mouthpiece going into the mouth? When you play the mouthpiece alone with your normal embouchure, what pitch does it produce? Try playing a long tone on low G medium loud and holding the note for 25 or 30 seconds. Does the sound stop or the reed close off when you do that? You might also check to make sure you are not accidentally bumping one of the palm keys as you play.

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