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I want to start off by saying that I play both alto and soprano sax. Started off on alto originally and played longer. My problem is I tend to be more soulful on alto then soprano, because I can go from low to the altissimo register. On soprano it has less range then the alto, so it is hard for me to be very soulful on soprano.
 

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Not sure about the correlation between altissimo and 'soulful' playing but....

keep in mind that there are five major attributes/dimensions to playing. One is indeed pitch, but the other four are harmony, timbre, dynamics and rhythm.
 

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how much have you listened to others playing soprano 'soulfully'? King Curtis "Live at Fillmore West" has some great examples. Grover Washington Jr. also comes to mind though I can't recall any specific tunes.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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how much have you listened to others playing soprano 'soulfully'? King Curtis "Live at Fillmore West" has some great examples.
Especially listen to Soul Serenade, I love that tune, live and studio versions.
 

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I do prefer Sanborn's Soul Serenade (on alto).... but that's another discussion.
Grover Washington and Curtis are good examples. I think "soulful" on soprano is best when it has also a certain airy thoughtfulness.
Zoot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIbNGm8UqOs
I always get tears with this one.
Speaking of range, you really have to use the full range of the horn, including the lower notes. Zoot does it great.
Check out Branford Marsalis, Bob Berg or Bob Sheppard on soprano.
 

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Also Cannonball Adderly's Country Preacher.

Maybe a good exercise would be to take some melody's you like and find soulful and try playing them simply and in different registers, perhaps all twelve keys. The focus being on making a simple statement soulful and not trying to play flashy licks or use your whole range at once. Think of it as singing the melody.
Ideally you should be able to make long tones soulful... just one note. If you can do that then improvising in a soulful manner will probably be very natural.

Also listening to a bit of Al Green, Curtis Mayfield, and Otis Redding couldn't hurt.

(great recommendation this King Curtis track! I hadn't heard it before.)
 

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Not sure about the correlation between altissimo and 'soulful' playing but....

keep in mind that there are five major attributes/dimensions to playing. One is indeed pitch, but the other four are harmony, timbre, dynamics and rhythm.
^^^Great advice here^^^. My favorite soulful soprano player right now is Euge Groove. That dude uses all of the above to make his sop playing sweet and mellow.

B
 

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how much have you listened to others playing soprano 'soulfully'? King Curtis "Live at Fillmore West" has some great examples. Grover Washington Jr. also comes to mind though I can't recall any specific tunes.
 
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