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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just inherited a nice soprano sax (selmer super action 80/sII) from my uncle, who was a professionel musician. I've been playing flute for 10 years now, but really like to start playing the sax. I read here that the soprano is not the best sax to start out with, so I'm thinking about selling it and buying a Yanagisawa A-901 altsax instead.
There's four mouthpieces in the case, the original supersession and some called Bari. Should I make the jump to the alto? ( I can get a brand new Yanagisawa for the money, I get from selling the used soprano)

Finn (Denmark)
 

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Depends. Do you want to play the soprano?
It gets put down as a difficult sax to start on because it tends to be more unforgiving in terms of tuning and tone than its larger relations - but as you have have some experience in playing a wind instrument you'll have a head start. So from that perspective I'd say go for it - unless your heart is set on something else...in which case go for it.
Just don't sell it because you think you have to.

Regards,
 

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First learning to play saxophone on the soprano is not impossible. But I, like many, believe it's somewhat harder. If you believe that you like the alto best, selling the soprano and buying an alto is a great plan.

I do suggest that you consider finding a used 991 Yanagisawa that can probably be had for about the same as a new 901. The 991 has a few extra features and will hold its value over time. And be sure to research the true value of your Selmer soprano. Check the completed auctions on eBay to see what the same model actually sells for.

I recommend that you sell the mouthpieces separate from the soprano sax. The Super Session will probably bring $110 to $150 USD. The Bari-brand mouthpiece are cheaper new and will bring less used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks. When it comes to sax my favourite musicians plays alto (Cannonball and Desmond). I also find the the soprano heavy to handle ( I'm a small person with short arms). I tried it with a strap but it didn't give that much support. I wonder if that is the case with the alto? I found a fingering chart on the web and I was surprised how easy it was getting a decent sound from the instrument :)
 

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A straight soprano should be held out more away from your body in order to get the proper angle of the mouthpiece into your mouth. For this reason, I find it less comfortable to play my (straight) soprano sax for any length of time, even with the slightly curved neck that came with it. Some soprano saxes are curved (have the same shape as an alto). Alto saxes are curved, which means most of the mass of the alto sax is closer to your body, which allows the strap to hold much more of the weight of an alto sax as compared to a straight soprano sax.

If you like the sound of the alto better, then go for that.
 

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Just as an extra, I have to suggest, you may one day deeply regret selling that particular soprano sax simply because it belonged to your uncle.

Even if you are not a particularly sentimental person right now, you might grow into one and be sorry you let such a nice family heirloom slip through your fingers. :dontknow:

Just food for thought...
 

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Don't worry so much about it being said the soprano is not good to start on. If you want to play the sax, start on the voice you like the best.
 
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