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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I am getting to know my new curved Bauhaus walstein sop.I have been practicing long notes and vibrato, mid range..ok high notes (with octave key) ok and getting better, but low notes c sharp b flat and b (left hand key cluster) sound honky and loud, I am using Yamaha 4c mouthpiece 2.1/2 reed and BG super revelation and BG standard ligature. I was listening to Stan Getz earlier, I know he is playing a tenor, but his lower register notes are so smooth and quiet, Is it possible to get a smooth sound on my set-up please?
Thanks
 

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I think it is possible. Have you had the horn checked by a technician? If it is new, that doesn't matter - have someone check it. And, you can check it yourself by closely watching all the inter-connected mechanisms to see if they are functioning correctly. Specifically, the G# may be rising ever so slightly when you use any of the low notes associated with the left pinky cluster. OR, the upper octave may be rising slightly. Anything like that will make those low bell-tones very difficult.

To play those low notes, the horn has to be TIGHT! DAVE
 

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All of the above...+ maybe try either a slightly softer reed - have you tried 'polishing' the reed to make it vibrate better and sound more easily? That could make things a little easier, it could open up the bottom end to speak without having to blow too hard.
 

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1. Make sure the horn isn't leaking. 2. Match a good mouthpiece and reed. 3. Practice!!
I play a BW curved soprano too. I am using a Selmer super session H and a rico plasticover #2. The horn leaked a bit from the factory and I had to regulate the action before it played well. My 2 cents!
 

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Getting the low notes to speak softly and accurately is difficult on all saxophones. Using a softer reed may help, but not necessarily (I find that a too soft reed has a tendency to create a note one octave above the note you want). Sorry to sound boring - but practice is the only way out.
 

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I listened to trumpet players that play low and kind of developed a style based on that. It let's me a very soft and sultry low sound.
 

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Yep, it's the leaks. Sop is no more difficult to play down low than any other sax. As Pete says, if you want to subtone, you gotta really support to keep from going flat.
 

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Sop is no more difficult to play down low than any other sax.
Curved sopranos play differently than straight ones and the mouthpiece can be the cause of a recalcitrant low (or high) register. On curvey's, low is usually the issue.

It's even money that it's that particular mouthpiece. Play some other pieces and see if things change for you.

Hakukani's right- soprano isn't any harder than any other sax.
 

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Joe Giardullo wrote: "Curved sopranos play differently than straight ones and the mouthpiece can be the cause of a recalcitrant low (or high) register."

In my 55 years of playing sopranos, including a few curvies, I've never heard this, and for sure I have never experienced it. I can play my SC902 and any of my straight sops side by side and feel or hear no difference in tone, response, intonation, or volume. Oh, each horn has its own sound, but not because of its shape, and all responded similarly. Same with my vintage Conn curved, or other curved sops I've owned or played - they played top to bottom, just like my straight horns.

As far as mouthpieces go, I HAVE experienced response and intonation differences among various mouthpieces but never because the horn was curved, straight or had a tipped bell or was a real Saxello. DAVE
 

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I don't have the years (on soprano) that Joe G and Dave D have, but I agree with Dave. I have played Buescher TT straight and curved, Conn curved, Vito Japan straight (Yanigisawa? Yamaha?) and Selmer VI straight; while each has its small quirks, I feel and hear precious little difference in their response, and none attributable to shape.
Just another man's opinion, and no dig aimed at anyone.
Sax Magic
 

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I think there are many of us who play the soprano as a second or third sax, or who don't have quite the experience and/or control on the soprano as they do on other saxes. This can make the upper register not sound as good, cause intonation problems, or make it difficult to make the palm key notes speak. Some of us try to deal with that by playing on a harder reed than what would be ideal for making the lowest notes sound good on the soprano.
 

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I think there are many of us who play the soprano as a second or third sax, or who don't have quite the experience and/or control on the soprano as they do on other saxes. This can make the upper register not sound as good, cause intonation problems, or make it difficult to make the palm key notes speak. Some of us try to deal with that by playing on a harder reed than what would be ideal for making the lowest notes sound good on the soprano.
This is a very good point. Those palm keys take a lot of effort unless you are a dedicated soprano player. I find I use a totally different embouchure an mouthpiece type on soprano (quite closed tip Selmer and a lot of mouthpiece in my mouth).

Another thing I noticed is that many soprano mouthpieces are more resistant than their bigger counterparts, which can make the lower notes seem harder to get. Part of the reason I'm now working on a soprano mouthpiece.
 

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Just heard Stan Getz on soprano playing 'Be There Then'.
Low notes don't come much smoother...and it still sounds just like S.G.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks everyone for your advice...it does help a lot! I have just listened to Stan Getz playing 'be there then' on Dailymotion, and yes very smooth (is this the same instrument that Kenny G plays!!!!) I have had a thought about smoothness, what about classical players? they sound smooth I think,I wonder what set up they use?
 

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Thanks everyone for your advice...it does help a lot! I have just listened to Stan Getz playing 'be there then' on Dailymotion, and yes very smooth (is this the same instrument that Kenny G plays!!!!) I have had a thought about smoothness, what about classical players? they sound smooth I think,I wonder what set up they use?
I'm pretty sure this hasn't got anything to do with set up
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
but would a classical player use a wide tipped metal mp and a plastic reed? set up must come into it?
 

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The key to what you are after is development of your diaphragmatic breathing. Get with a classically trained teacher who understands and can teach you about proper breath support and everything else will begin to fall in place. The great players of the past were often on leaky instruments yet still produced extraordinary music in large part because of their sound production skills.
 

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Joe Giardullo wrote: "Curved sopranos play differently than straight ones and the mouthpiece can be the cause of a recalcitrant low (or high) register."

In my 55 years of playing sopranos, including a few curvies, I've never heard this, and for sure I have never experienced it. DAVE
I've got more than a few clients who would disagree with you, Dave. Many of them have more experience with this than you.

I play maybe 15 soprano pieces a day on 7 or 8 different sopranos a day, straight , tip necked, tipped bell and curved. A mouthpiece that plays perfectly well on a number of straight sopranos, when put on this or that curved horn, plays poorly.

My conclusion: the curved horn plays differently than the straight ones.

By poorly, I mean: the top end might not speak, the intonation might be off, or the bottom end end might not play quietly, softly, smoothly, - in other words, just what the OP was asking about.
 
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