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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been thinking about getting a tenor within the next half a year or so, but I really love sopranos. I love the higher ranges on sax, and whenever I'm just making up a song as I go, it's a miracle if I'm not holding down the octave key. Why are tenor almost always bought before sopranos? And if I was getting a sop, (for $2000 max) what would be a good one? Barone, Cannonball, etc, etc. I want a professional level sax that I won't have to replace in a few years because its not good enough. (Sorry for the long thread, but I didn't want to start 2 threads when I could just make one) Thank you.
 

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I would start with a alto or tenor first as the soprano is less forgiving than either of those two. Take up soprano after a year of playing tenor so you can develop your embouchure properly . So no I wouldn't start with a soprano
 

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Starting on soprano is a recipe for disaster. And what are you playing now?

But knowing that you probably won't take the advice not to get a soprano in your stated price range I'd recommend a Antigua, in my opinion much better than the two brands you mentioned.
 

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I started on soprano when I was 16. Added alto after that, then clarinet. I've dabbled with bigger saxophones (C-Mel, tenor, and bass), but finally realized that hi-reeds was my voice. I don't know if there are any stats to say which comes first for many players, it is a personal thing.

As far as which brand of soprano - if you can afford the $2K max, I'd try for a really nice used Big Four horn. Not too long ago I found a clean and wonderful Yanagisawa S901 for under that amount. Hard to beat that brand. There's nothing wrong with any of the well-known Taiwanese/Chinese sopranos, it is just that the Big Four are mostly a step ahead of the less expensive models. DAVE
 

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I'm playing a YAS-23.
The only real reason the tenor comes first is because the player learns to play on tenor. Since you already play alto, just grab yourself a soprano and be happy. I find the soprano more versatile in modern music than tenor anyway. So it's a good choice.
 

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I dont see any issue with starting on Soprano first. You should begin with a conservative set up regarding the mouthpiece/reed/ligature selection that will enable you to produce a focussed sound, in tune with a good attack. I use a Yamaha 7C Student Model mouthpice and for the price (25 BUX) they punch so far above their weights its ridiculous. The Taiwanese sopranos are IMO a good option. I play and own two Barone Sopranos and I couldnt be happier with them. In fact my Soprano plays easier than my Tenor. I did play Selmer SA 80 Serie II for 15 years, but the Barone leaves it for dead. Heres a sample with a Yamaha 6C and Rico Jazz Select 2H Unfiled reeds:

http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?155990-Barone-Soprano-Clips-At-Last-!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow, this is really interesting to hear what people have to say about this.
 

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The only real reason the tenor comes first is because the player learns to play on tenor. Since you already play alto, just grab yourself a soprano and be happy. I find the soprano more versatile in modern music than tenor anyway. So it's a good choice.
Also, if you doubling in a big band with alto as your primary, you'll probably need a sop way before you need a tenor.
 

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Yep,

I really do.

Sent from my Buecher with integrated smart phone/underslung neck.
It's certainly easier to pull out on the fly for the impromptu jam session out on the street with the guitar player next door.
 

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Yeah,

I find the sop works very well with the following:

Accompanying female singers.
Light pop and contemporary Gospel.
Solos and breaks in many styles of modern music.
Leading Dixieland style band. (Perfect in this role)
Substituting for trumpet.
Substituting as high Bach trumpet.
Playing with trumpets or as lead trumpet.
Substituting for clarinet and/or flute, or other pipe instrument.
Playing music meant for oboe.
Playing music meant for alto sax.
Playing Kenny G and Kenny G style music (of course)
Playing Chuck Mangione in place of flugelhorn.
Often works in music where standard sax styles seem less appropriate (dance, eletronica, country, chamber music)

And the list goes on for the sop. In contrast, the tenor works best specifically where a sax is needed. And I love tenor best, but at least for me, there's much more opportunity to play sop.
 

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Yeah,

I find the sop works very well with the following:

Accompanying female singers.
Light pop and contemporary Gospel.
Solos and breaks in many styles of modern music.
Leading Dixieland style band. (Perfect in this role)
Substituting for trumpet.
Substituting as high Bach trumpet.
Playing with trumpets or as lead trumpet.
Substituting for clarinet and/or flute, or other pipe instrument.
Playing music meant for oboe.
Playing music meant for alto sax.
Playing Kenny G and Kenny G style music (of course)
Playing Chuck Mangione in place of flugelhorn.
Often works in music where standard sax styles seem less appropriate (dance, eletronica, country, chamber music)

And the list goes on for the sop. In contrast, the tenor works best specifically where a sax is needed. And I love tenor best, but at least for me, there's much more opportunity to play sop.
Interesting point of view.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
+1. Never thought about it that way but it sounds interesting. I'd probably use alto as a primary in jazz bands and big bands, but use sop for playing in church (once I get better and don't sound like an out of tune dying hamster) and for playing smooth jazz and jazz ballads, maybe a little something faster, I don't know. So the positive about sop would be more versicle and the negative is takes a while to get a good sound to come out of? Thanks for all the posts!
 

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There is certainly no dearth of horrible sounding soprano players-I suppose one more couldn't hurt. You're allowed to get one on the promise that you'll practice it everyday and wait 10>15 years to play it in public.
 

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hahaha, OK I promise.
Yep,

After about 25 years on tenor, it took me two full years and experimentation with eight mouthpieces before I began performing with my sop regularly. Now it's my main horn about 80% of the time.
 

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Professional soprano ? Big 4. Full stop. With a personal preference for the Japanese, specially if your budget is limited. Besides that, I'd also strongly recommend to spend some time on tenor to build a strong air support. Soprano should be the last in a row, even after the baritone.
 
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