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Discussion Starter #1
Man this thing is something else! As some of you already know from my other post, I put on order a sweet yas-82z in black laquer and rented a jupiter student soprano. I played it for a few hours and man is this thing hard. I thought I was bad ***** and tried to play it like I played my alto......but no way. I was squeaking, my fingers weren't used to the smaller instrument and my intonation is WAY OFF!! Everytime I hold a note it's almost as if my breath is shaking, the pitch goes up and down continously and I can't control it any.

Also, and not to say that I should sound anything like Kenny G, but the overall sound of the horn sounds extremely different from what Kenny G's and other sopranos I have heard. I know I know soprano saxophonists have their own sound, but when I play my soprano you couldn't even tell I was playng the same instrument as them. My sound is so "whiny", for lack of a better word.

I guess it's time to practice.

Any thoughts?
 

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yes, LONG TONES LONG TONES LONG TONES,
every time you practice alto or sop, start with going up and down the full range of notes holding each for as long as you can focusing on maintaining a steady note, not too much waviness. do this on both alto and soprano, this might take between half an hour and an hour and for me it started to show results within a week, my lips were bleeding by then but everything played and sounded so much better.
you might want to look into mouthpieces aswell if you havent already.
 

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Chico: I assume your Jupiter soprano is tight (no leaks) and is properly adjusted so everything works (a first-step, really).

I see two problems and seargeantsax mentioned them. Number one, develop your soprano chops - it takes time coming from a bigger saxophone. Two, you'll probnably need a different mouthpiece (assuming, again, that you are using the one that came with the horn - most stock pieces at that level are, shall we say, not so good). Keep workin' it. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes I am using the mouthpiece that came with the horn. The reed is a rico 2. Will the mouthpiece really matter a lot? I mean when I first started on my Bundy II alto I was using the mouthpiece it came with and it wasn't THAT bad, it was a fine until I started to improve my skill and required something more advanced. I figured since I'm just starting on soprano that this mouthpiece would be ok until I got good at it.
 

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Chico: Mouthpieces are VERY personal . . . there is no way for any of us to know whether or not the mouthpiece can play well for you. But most players, especially after developing their embouchure, find that a mouthpiece change from the cheap stock pieces supplied with many inexpensive saxophones (e.g., a move to larger tip-opening or different internal design) can make an improvement.

Most stock pieces are fairly closed (meaning their tip-openings are small), hence they require a stronger reed than do the pieces with bigger openings. I suspect that a #2 reed may be too soft for the piece you are using.

It may be too early in the process (your development on sop), but it is not that expensive to buy a few boxes of different brands and different strengths and experiment with them.

Even most inexperienced players can feel improvements when they have a good mouthpiece/reed match (good meaning a mouthpiece that suits their embouchure AND a reed strong enough to handle the tip-opening but soft enough to blow easily). DAVE
 

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Sopranos are more sensitive to small differences. What is Ok for alto or tenor, becomes a problem on sop. So a decent (not ridiculously pricy) mouthpiece comes into the frame. I can't quite fathom, Chico222, whether you are still playing the Jupiter or the Yamaha. If the former and the Yamaha is on its way, I would expect you to find a big difference. Yamaha stock mouthpieces do not enjoy a terrific reputation, though, and you may want to try another. That's where the problems start ... and I don't want to get into that one! I know what Dave will say, and my choices are shown in my signature. After that ....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sorry for the confusion, I'm playing the jupiter and the BundyII, the Yamaha is on it's way and it should be here at the end of next week.

Here's the breakdown.

Right now I have an Alto Bundy II, right now I have a Soprano Jupiter student model......

I ordered me an Alto YAS-82Z that I will use to replace my Bundy II, but not till I receive it next week. The Jupiter soprano is staying as this is the horn I'm trying to learn soprano on.
 

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Make sure that you use the same embouchure and horn angle for sop as for your other horns. Still blow 'warm' air, and fill up the horn. Take plenty of mouthpiece, especially on sop. I would go up in reed strength. A 2 rico is pretty soft. Maybe try a RJS 2M or 2H.

I also recommend no baffle mouthpieces and a closer tip than used on other saxes. For example, on tenor I'm playing a .125 (about a 9 or 9*), while on sop I'm playing a barone 6 tip.
 

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Pinnman: Just for clarification, he is talking about two different horns - alto and soprano. I actually think the Yamaha 4C sop piece is okay for a stock piece. But his soprano is a Jupiter and his pending Yamaha is an alto.

I'm guessing the stock sop piece with the Jupiter is not in the same league as a Yamaha mouthpice coming with a Yamaha soprano. Still, a stronger reed may help with whatever mouthpiece he has with the Jupiter sop. DAVE.
 

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Jupiter sop. should play fine with it's orig. mpc.
I have a 547 and a 847 and play the mouthpiece that came with the horn(s) and they play good. If I go to a Selmer S-80c they play better, and a Yamaha 6c better yet. Now, that is my opininion after putting quite a bit of time on playing soprano. The Jupiter 847 especially with the yamaha mpc. has a great sound.
Chico 222, I really think it is going to be a learning curve that you will just have to endure to get any sop. to sound the way you want to.
 

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When I first started the saxophone, my teacher advised me to start with the soprano, for he stated that,"if I mastered the soprano, I can play any saxophone."

His words rung clear when I bought an alto saxophone last week. When I first blew into the alto, I was surprised by how easy it was. Within an hour or two, I was already used to the alto's setup. All I really need now is a decent mouthpiece to perform live.

Yes, as everyone have already stated, keep practicing, for "practice makes perfect."
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks Haku, I noticed that the soprano came wit a single Vandoren V16 2 1/2 which I play with and made a BIG difference, but a little stronger wouldn't hurt neither. Curious, why would I want a mouthpiece with no bafle on a soprano? In my alto I prefer a mouthpiece with baffle as oppose to chamber. Can you explain?

Jazzsax my jupiter model is the 547 too, I think your right about the learning curve. It's just a little frustrating since I can get around the alto so well, and I thought since the soprano had the same fingerings as the alto it wouldn't be too hard. I'm gonna put in a couple of weeks of solid practice and see what it does for me before I start messin with mouthpieces and ligatures, although I'm already messing with reeds. Like Saxy says I'm gonna keep practicing, that's how I got good with the alto that's the way i'll get good with the sop.

Thanks
 
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