Sax on the Web Forum banner
21 - 40 of 60 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,126 Posts
What about tuning? Older flutes are pitched to A440 and newer flutes are being made to be tuned at A442 as compared to the tuning of saxophones. It's something I've been wondering if modern saxophones are still pitched to A440.
Selmers are, and always have been, tuned to 442 (as per info from selmer)
 

·
Registered
VI Soprano, Searchlight Alto, TH&C Tenor
Joined
·
1,372 Posts
something i recently learned, alto flutes tend to be tuned a little flat in the lowest register, growing increasingly sharper with the increase of pitch. thus, one learns to blow more across the hole for the lowest notes and increasingly down into the hole for the highest notes. (until recently i rolled the hole away for the lowest and in for the highest.) don't think this ever was an issue way back when i played a c flute, so i suspect this is not universal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,860 Posts
My 2 cents; more dissimilar than similar and the notable experience I’ve encountered is that soprano sax and flute are both more susceptible in the lower stack to have even the most minute leak make the rest of the instrument a nightmare to play. That being said, the simple fact that both are also in the soprano range with obviously a lower register that speaks full and beautifully, very much like the Bb soprano clarinet’s chalemeau range.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
lesacks- I'm doing a project about notable players who play both flute and saxophone equally well, with solo recordings on each and who basically elevated the flute in jazz in a revolutionary way. (Frank Wess, James Moody, Eric Dolphy, Lew Tabackin and Joe Ferrell). Although there are great doublers and jazz flute players, but looing to study players who invested in both and significantly contributed a moving jazz flute to a higher level.

I wanted to do a little part at the beginning discussing how the horns are so different in many ways, yet these players spent the time and resources to become very accomplished at both. Yes- I'm needing to get it more focused- just having a hard time with that!

It's a personal interest- I want to play saxophone and flute equally well and am inspired by players who have done it. The flute and saxophone just have a very special relationship I think.
Don't forget Chris Potter. He is playing flute regularly, and plays beautifullly on the alto flute. Check out recent performances with Craig Taborn, and his work on alto flute with Pat Metheny's Unity Band.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,551 Posts
What do you all think: Coming from sax, which instrument is easier to play: flute or clarinet (to name the most obvious doubles)? Clarinet shares the mouthpiece, flute the fingering system with sax (more or less of course).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,681 Posts
Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Taragot-- I don't play clarinet, so can't really comment, but I was thinking I owned a clarinet somewhere and found it a few days ago in the back of a cabinet...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,541 Posts
What do you all think: Coming from sax, which instrument is easier to play: flute or clarinet (to name the most obvious doubles)? Clarinet shares the mouthpiece, flute the fingering system with sax (more or less of course).
Personally, I find flute much easier than clarinet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,586 Posts
Personally, I find flute much easier than clarinet.
In terms of the transfer of finger technique, they are both about the same once you get used to the fact that the clarinet has different fingerings for notes an octave apart. What made flute much more difficult for me was the tone production. I have a full bottom lip which makes the "standard" flute lip plate placement and embouchure not work well for me. I also still struggle with keeping the corners relaxed when I play the flute after all these years. If I can warm up on the flute and just play it I am fine. When I play sax or clarinet for a while and then have to quickly pick up the flute as a double "switching gears" with my embouchure has always been a challenge.
 

·
Moderator
Grafton + TH & C alto || Naked Lady 10M || TT soprano || Martin Comm III
Joined
·
30,102 Posts
In terms of the transfer of finger technique, they are both about the same once you get used to the fact that the clarinet has different fingerings for notes an octave apart.
ie after forty or so years...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,860 Posts
Dirk, it's a good question and for myself I would say that each instrument has its easier side as well as its challenges. I treat them as equally as possible, taking all of their inherent/essential differences into serious consideration. For example, flutes don't have octave pips and keys, the player changes the octave range from D2 and above with their embouchure. The clarinet technically doesn't have any either but, from B2 and to the upper clarion register, the LH Bb thumb key is pressed open to vent those tones. And so on, and so on...

What do you all think: Coming from sax, which instrument is easier to play: flute or clarinet (to name the most obvious doubles)? Clarinet shares the mouthpiece, flute the fingering system with sax (more or less of course).
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
You can't compare them. Both have quite different challenges. For example:

Clarinet:
- You have to cope with ring keys where fingers can leak.
- You have to cope with the messy fingering associated with overblowing a 12th.
- You need significantly more air pressure and lower lip support than sax.
- The embouchure really is quite different to sax; make no assumptions about them being the same.

Flute:
- You have a very fussy embouchure. You may teach yourself and think you have it right, but it may be an embouchure that works OK only in the first 1 1/2 octaves, and you discover this too late, and you have to start all over again.
- A set of embouchure and air pressure parameters has to be exquisitely good in order to play the third octave with control of tone, pitch and volume. It's difficult, and the flute plays up there a lot!
- Strong, rich low notes also need an excellent embouchure and air pressure control. get it slightly wrong and you overblow an octave, or get a pathetic note.
- Sax players assume that fingerings a pretty much the same, but certain little complications, like the little finger, mean that only 1 note has the same fingering. Get lazy with this little finger and big problems await you.

Personally I think it is best to start with flute, then clarinet, then sax.
(Flute players going to reed tend to be a lot more successful than vice-versa.)
The average sax player can get away with being a lot lazier than one can on flute or clarinet.
Of course, to be a great player, there are big challenges on any instrument.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
295 Posts
I played flute before sax. Once you have a great flute embouchure, you are set. You never have to worry that a reed is going to die and betray you during a gig. BUT, if you have an outdoor gig, or one where A/C starts to blow on you at an angle you weren't aware of when setting up, the air current competition can make it very hard to play flute consistently.

Like sax, there are different schools of embouchure technique taught for flute. The flute embouchure uses the very small muscles at the inside of the lips to obtain a much smaller aperture. I'm not expert on sax, so I may be wrong, but to me, flute requires more air speed and less messing with anything like vowel shape changes or the back of the throat. You just want to be open.

Flutes have less volume, so can be versatile for performances in small venues for music therapy or with other quiet instrument, such as violin.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
selmer 26 nino, 22 curved sop, super alto, King Super 20 and Martin tenors, Stowasser tartogatos
Joined
·
3,402 Posts
The philosopher in me is amazed by how many musicians are physical reductionists.
It's not a question of reductionism, it's based on the fact that sound production is a physical mechanism and subject to the laws of physics. What you do after that is your own affair, but every single nuance that comes out of the horn is pure physics, and understanding the physics is useful when you start asking questions about the differences and similarities between instruments, unless the responses are along the lines of "flute has a nicer sound than saxophone" or "hotter girls are attracted to sax players".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,229 Posts
It's not a question of reductionism, it's based on the fact that sound production is a physical mechanism and subject to the laws of physics. What you do after that is your own affair, but every single nuance that comes out of the horn is pure physics, and understanding the physics is useful when you start asking questions about the differences and similarities between instruments, unless the responses are along the lines of "flute has a nicer sound than saxophone" or "hotter girls are attracted to sax players".
Read the OP response in post #4.
Chasing the obvious is easy, drilling down to what the actual question is is harder.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
selmer 26 nino, 22 curved sop, super alto, King Super 20 and Martin tenors, Stowasser tartogatos
Joined
·
3,402 Posts
Read the OP response in post #4.
Chasing the obvious is easy, drilling down to what the actual question is is harder.
Since the OP clearly did not fully understand the physics in question, I thought it might be helpful to get that straight before tackling whatever else the question might entail.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,229 Posts
Since the OP clearly did not fully understand the physics in question, I thought it might be helpful to get that straight before tackling whatever else the question might entail.
So did lost of people. Hence my remark.
There are many threads discussing and comparing people's approach to SATB sax, in terms of Voice etc. Not just "they are different lengths".
eg
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...tween-Alto-amp-Tenor-Sax-quot-Conception-quot
Why not flute v sax?!
 
21 - 40 of 60 Posts
Top