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Many times a "low register leak" (or what seems to be) with straight soprano saxophones is the way the player is holding the instrument. The soprano saxophone mouthpiece should enter the mouth at about the same angle as the alto sax mouthpiece. The bell needs to be held well up and out to obtain the correct angle.

Many times I have had players complain of a warble on low notes, and while they play, I hook my finger in the bell, and lift... suddenly, the tone clears up, becomes warm and rich. The player looks at me with wide eyes. Wow!

This is one of the main causes of sopranos going back to the store for adjustments and leaks... which the repairman cannot seem to fix.

I have some articles here on SOTW that may be helpful to you:

http://www.saxontheweb.net/Coats/tone_production.html

http://www.saxontheweb.net/Coats/SopranoIntonation.html
 

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Alto: Couesnon and Bettersax (by Bundy); Tenor: YTS-61; Sop: Antigua Winds 4280; C-mel: Conn
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My pleasure, DanA. You're at the beginning of what I hope turns out to be a long and successful journey seeking to become a competent sax player. I wish you well and hope the enjoyment of your experience makes the effort required seem more worthwhile as you steadily improve toward the achievement of your personal goals.
 

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Question about biting: As I play the upper register notes for long tones, I feel my lower lip getting tighter. I try to keep it steady and not move it, but it moves anyway and if I don't tighten it, I can't get the palm notes to play. I read the suggestions for beginners about biting and keeping your lower lip firm but it feels like I'm biting. Also, after practicing for about 30 minutes to an hr, when I check the mirror, there are teeth marks in my lower lip (not like craters, just a light outline) but no bleeding. Am I biting? Or is this natural? Can anyone give me any advice about how they hit the upper register without tightening the bottom lip causing a bite?
 

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DanA,
I've had a lot of fun with my sop. Only problem is I also play clarinet (which is increasingly getting less time for some reason :lol: )

Like Paul side, I notice quite a difference in tone when I let the horn slowly drop down (old clarinet habit). When I bring it back up, viola. It sounds lovely.

But I tend to drop my head a bit to keep my bell from hitting the music stand when practicing.

I also noticed, like they've all said so far, you may need a harder reed. I need a 2-1/4 right now - i just trim the thing and it works fine otherwise I can't get the high notes w/o really tightening up.
 

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Here's something I've found out about my playing which may apply to you.
When I play to the point of my mouth being tired, I tend to bite. I've forced myself to stop playing at that point because further practice is counterproductive. Only play up to that point. You'll find your session times will increase without biting and be more productive.
Sergio
 

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Yeah, that's what I tend to do but I'm not satisfied with playing only an hour. I have so much to learn and don't really have the time to play once and rest an hour before playing again...or not until summer vacation hits. I was just wondering if it was natural for beginners to play about an hour before the biting kicks in.
 

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"D" note wobble

I just got my Antigua yesterday and its great! A problem with my low D, though, wobbling. I read an earlier post about the need to hold the bell up higher, but my question is, why is it mostly the "D" that wobbles?
Thanks!
-Ang
 

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DanA/Sergio

This past year I started using a mouthpiece patch. I've never used one before until on came on a used mouthpiece that i bought. It was strange at first but since then I think I can play longer without as much fatigue as before. I also think it helps my embouchure stay looser for longer periods.

I use those Yamaha clear medium patches. Quite inexpensive to improve your playing. There's several threads somewhere on this site about patches.
 

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Re: "D" note wobble

Angelo said:
I just got my Antigua yesterday and its great! A problem with my low D, though, wobbling. I read an earlier post about the need to hold the bell up higher, but my question is, why is it mostly the "D" that wobbles?
Thanks!
-Ang
This is most likely due to you not having the mouthpiece on far enough. Soprano sax cna be very picky about the length of its wind column. On the Antigua sopranos, you need to be almost all the way on the cork with very little cork exposed.

The other possibility is a leak in the Right Hand, however, if there is a leak, you would have a problem with the lower notes beyond it as well.
 

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T H A N K S

Many thanks to Paul Coats and David Kessler for their helpful advice regarding low note, "D" wobbling on my Antigua!
It seems that the problem is fixed. :lol:

Thanks also to all on this thread for the help regarding the purchase of an Antigua!

-Ang
 

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Yes, Dave, I forgot about that. Thanks. That happens quite often, too, just putting on the mouthpiece, and not tuning it. I see this with guys just casually trying the instrument in stores or at trade shows. At one time Antigua was even marking the neck corks (the only company I have seen do so) with the approximately correct position for the mouthpiece to play in tune.
 

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I have a similar problem with my Antigua, except opposite... I can't seem to get anything above the high C! I can't get any of the left palms to work. Quite frusterating, because everything else is so easy and perfect! Besides that, I'm very much enjoying playing soprano :D
 

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The weak high notes may be due to your reed/mouthpiece combination, or, it may be your oral cavity.

When we were kids in school bands, the band directors always told to to keep the mouth and throat open, as if saying awwww, to get a full, resonant tone. That is true to an extent, but it does not work for playing the high notes.

On the soprano, as for the high E and F, and altissimo notes on the alto saxophone, the oral cavity is altered beginning around high A (A2, upper register A). The tongue must be raised slightly, as if saying ehhh or errr. This raises the middle of the tongue somewhat. As you play higher, the tongue is raised even more, as if saying eee. The embouchure pressure is not increased. Biting does not help produce the high notes.
 

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high notes--position on mouthpiece? Paul?

I now join the ranks of happy Antigua soprano players, having received mine a little over a month ago now. What a beatiful horn...looks great, easier to play than my Selmer tenor, and sounds great--up the the extent of my present abilities. (And more praise here for Dave Kessler who has been helpful throughout the pre- and post- purchase process. He even rushed mine out so I had it before leaving on a couple weeks of travels, thereby saving me from missing all that important practice. Thanks again, Dave!)
So here's my high notes question: I'm struggling with them like other beginers here. As my embouchure is developing it's definitely getting easier and I can now usually play chromatically up to the high F# tonging each note. But coming back down starting on a high note, or just trying to hit individual high notes, I find I often take two or three tries to get the note. Either I choke off the reed or just make a "thppt!" noise. To hit the note I have to adjust the mouthpiece further into my mouth, tighten my lips or change the angle of the mpc. I think people here have been saying lip tightening is not so good, at least beyond a certain point. I can't imagine it's good to be changing the angle alot. Taking the mpc in further seems to reliably work, but doens't feel to me like the ideal place for playing middle and lower notes, and the mpc slides back out to the position I'm more used to pretty quickly anyway. (Tho' maybe that's a habit I can change). I seem to recall that Paul wrote on another thread about figuring out the proper position on the mpc, but can't re-locate that. Paul, or anyone else, can you remind where that was or say more here? And do most experienced folks find a position for the mpc relative to the mouth and pretty much stay with it, or do you move in-out a bit as you play? The advice I'm seeing here suggests I should mostly focus on developing a good embouchure and experiment with thoat and tongue positions. I'm finding that helps too, but wonder about this position aspect. Thanks for any thoughts on this.--Adam
 

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Greetings.

Add me to the list of Antigua soprano owners. Yesterday, I received my 582 from Scimonetti Woodwind and Brass (I'll post a separate message in the dealer and Ebay sections to share my very favorable impressions of Jimmy Scimontetti and his shop).

I recently and reluctantly sold my Yani S901 soprano as I needed some quick cash to help out a family member. The 901 was a great horn. Before I purchased it, I tried all of the major brands and all of their top models. I liked the Yani 901 best.

The Antigua is very close, as least in my initial impressions, to the Yani 901. As you know, the 582 is a copy of the 901. While I obviously didn't have them side by side to compare, the Antigua looks, feels, and plays very similarly to the Yani. It is indeed an accurate copy.

The Antigua's fit and finish are excellent. The materials and workmanship seem to be exceptional, especially considering the price (I paid $650 which included shipping). There is NOTHING about the Antigua that is problematic. It is a quality sax that plays very well. Its intonation (against my tuner) is good from Bb1 to F#3. The tone is also quite good. I would say that the Antigua is 90+% as good as the Yani (at one-third its price). The Yani keywork is a bit faster, and the tone of the Yani seems a bit more resonant. Keep in mind, though, that this is based on my memory of the Yani.

I'm obviously still getting accustomed to this horn, so I will post another message after I've put in many more hours on it. I am confident to say this, though: I wouldn't hesitate to gig on this sax. I have owned other "cheap" horns that I would not gig on. The Antigua appears to me to be one heck of a bargain. I have played a number of Yamaha YSS 475 and several Taiwanese sopranos. The Antigua is superior to those horns.

Add me to the list of happy Antigua owners!

`Tim Wolfe
 
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