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Soprano tuning


Well-Known Member
Wolverhampton West Midlands
Hi all,had a gas attack and got a b-w soprano straight sax,its a bosta!!but having probs tuning,it came with a yamaha 6c m/p and number 2 reeds,i have a korg tuner so anyone with any suggestions to help,would be grateful.Thanks Bumnote.:)
Hi Nick,trying to get high notes sometimes squeaky or muffled or difficult to get sound out,not long had it so maybe trying to hard??Does that mouthpiece and reed seem ok to someone with your experience!?Thanks Bumnote.
Set up's probably fine for a start. Sounds like you might well be trying too hard.

Anybody else tried your set up?

You mentioned tuning at first - is that a problem over the lower range?
Hi Nick,seems fine lower range,nobody else tried sax yet,think let my sax teacher try it out when i see him next.Bumnote.
Soprano is not always easy at start,they take time to get used to especially tuning,more control is needed,your setup is fine,in fact i think the yamaha 6c soprano is the best they make (alto,tenor and sop)i always keep one in the case with me.

Enjoy your new sax.

I have to really use my ear and work hard to keep in tune while playing the high notes, I believe it's a Soprano thing?
Generally the smaller the sax, the bigger the tuning problems - i.e. the finer the margins for error.

Additionally the finish of the mouthpiece can have a major effect on the sound and intonation of the beast = at least according to my soprano sax hero Joe Giardullo who is talking about refaced mouthpieces on his Soprano Planet website -

"The things that make new out-of-the-box soprano mouthpieces play so poorly have been diagnosed and corrected. Design and finishing flaws have been eliminated and these pieces have been liberated to play!"

I would have to agree that this is a good point, whatever the reputation of the mouthpiece brand concerned.

BTW welcome to the BW Soprano sax crew!
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Bought a sop 18 months ago - curly Elkhart, and very pretty. But, really hard to play compared with the tenor as there seem to be no margins of error. I have found that the mouthpiece seems to make a big difference. Just got a Link 7* which has been a big improvement - much easier blowing and a thicker, fuller tone. I still find that one or other register is in tune - if I tune to lower A, then upper A is sharp, and haven't cracked that. I also find that my lip gets sore very quickly compared to the tenor, which may be that I'm just trying too hard. That does seem better with the Link.

With all of that, really enjoying it - just being playing along with Gato Barbieri's duet with Carlos Santana on Europa - great fun!
Try adjusting the mouthpiece so that both A's are out by the same amount, making sure you don't adjust your embouchure between the registers. (e.g. both 20 cents sharp, or both 30 cents flat, as long as it's the same amount). Then adjust your embouchure to get both in tune to the tuner.
Exactly my thought - and then modify when actually playing. i like to think - and self-delusion has always been my strong point - that when I play in public this all corrects itself!
There's actually good theory behind this - the registers are affected differently by the volume of air in the mouthpiece and the overall length of the sax. Getting these in balance allows a pretty constant embouchure correction across the registers.

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