Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I have been playing soprano for about six months (I play tenor), I play with a Phil Barone 7 and I think I am having difficulties for its tip opening (I guess it is too big for me). The sound is terrific, but I can not handle the sound properly. Do you think I have to switch to a more closed mouthpiece or keep working with my current mothpiece?

*I play with La Voz medium soft. After trying a few, these are the best for me. I have tried different sizes but maybe I have to try with the softest ones.

Thanks.
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
38,399 Posts
What do you mean by "difficulties"?

I played a Barone HR 7 many years ago on my Selmer Serie III sop, and thought it was a great piece.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I find very difficult to get (especially) the lower notes, I need to blow very hard. I am not saying that it is not a great piece, I am just thinking it is too open for me (or maybe it is the soprano, which is more difficult to play... or just different).
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,671 Posts
Dbatenor: You should adjust those reeds - there's much posted on SOTW about how to do that. I don't know the tip-opening on that mouthpiece but I'm guessing it is fairly open as soprano mouthpieces go. You most likely need softer reeds. DAVE
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
38,399 Posts
I find very difficult to get (especially) the lower notes, I need to blow very hard. I am not saying that it is not a great piece, I am just thinking it is too open for me (or maybe it is the soprano, which is more difficult to play... or just different).
Has anyone else played your sop? Have you played it with another mouthpiece? I'm wondering whether you are fighting the mouthpiece or the horn (leaks?).

If the entire setup is too hard to blow, then +1 for Dave's suggestion to use a softer reed. The Barone HR 7 has a tip opening of .065".
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
9,279 Posts
A 65 is certainly not an extreme soprano tip but is certainly well into the 'pro' range. What I mean is, find a softer reed that allows you to play it easier. You should be doing long tones which build the embouchure quickly. In time you will feel like going back up to the MS, and later maybe to the M, but don't be in a hurry. The need will express itself when the Soft reeds don't last and you can't play loud without the reed closing on you.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Dr.G, no one else has played my horn. For the moment I just play with my tenor, so the soprano stays quietly at home. I need to fix that, it could be that easy...
And about reeds and embochure, yes, I can go even softer, but the next step would be the softest reed, and if I need the softest reed maybe the opening is too big for me. Anyway, I will check the leaks first and I will tell you.

Thanks.
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
9,279 Posts
I play the softest reed on a .090 soprano piece. Its about what works for you. Pro players have been getting lush sounds with soft reeds on open mouthpieces for many years. At the same time, many others have used hard reeds on open mouthpieces and many more are somewhere in-between. Soprano is a beast. Whatever you can come up with to tame it is okay. Nobody is going to tease you about it.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,357 Posts
...And about reeds and embochure, yes, I can go even softer, but the next step would be the softest reed, and if I need the softest reed maybe the opening is too big for me......
What brand reed and hardness are you playing?

... Anyway, I will check the leaks first and I will tell you....
Are you going to look for leaks yourself, or are you going to take it to a tech to do that?

And when you say the lower notes are difficult, exactly which notes are difficult? Low F? Low Bb?
 

· Banned
Joined
·
3,550 Posts
I agree. make sure the horn is ok. But, since you're a tenor player, you already know how to play, so you're not a real beginner.

It could easily also be a facing issue on the piece. A short facing will choke off that low end quickly. I see it almost every day.

But, most importantly, at least for me, is to say: It isn't you, and it almost certainly isn't the tip opening. Don't chase tip openings until you've got your feel and basic tone down. It's a false path.
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
21,507 Posts
That tip does sound a bit open for a first time soprano player. I usually figure that going from tenor to soprano, you go about .040" smaller thus if you use a .095" tenor (link 6*-7 range) you would use a .055" soprano and for alto about a .075".
I have played soprano a lot for the past 50+ years and use a .095-100" on tenor. .075" on alto and ,.,........... a .047" on soprano. Soprano has the widest range of tips that players use from about .045" to .090"+.

Start by trying a much softer reed, maybe as soft as a #2. Now you probably get a lot of "barking" on the low notes. As mentioned, have someone else try your horn to see if it has leaks.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
What brand reed and hardness are you playing?
La Voz Medium Soft.

Are you going to look for leaks yourself, or are you going to take it to a tech to do that?
A tech. Right now my horn is there. Not checked yet.

And when you say the lower notes are difficult, exactly which notes are difficult? Low F? Low Bb?
I can play all of them but with too much blowing and great difficulty (in my opinion).

I agree. make sure the horn is ok. But, since you're a tenor player, you already know how to play, so you're not a real beginner.
Exactly!!

It could easily also be a facing issue on the piece. A short facing will choke off that low end quickly. I see it almost every day.
It could be, but I don't think so. The piece is a good one (Phil Barone HR 7).

But, most importantly, at least for me, is to say: It isn't you, and it almost certainly isn't the tip opening. Don't chase tip openings until you've got your feel and basic tone down. It's a false path.
Right again. This is the reason why I am asking.

That tip does sound a bit open for a first time soprano player. I usually figure that going from tenor to soprano, you go about .040" smaller thus if you use a .095" tenor (link 6*-7 range) you would use a .055" soprano and for alto about a .075".
I have played soprano a lot for the past 50+ years and use a .095-100" on tenor. .075" on alto and ,.,........... a .047" on soprano. Soprano has the widest range of tips that players use from about .045" to .090"+.

Start by trying a much softer reed, maybe as soft as a #2. Now you probably get a lot of "barking" on the low notes. As mentioned, have someone else try your horn to see if it has leaks.
Yes, this is also what I was thinking. You really got mi idea (and thanks for sharing your experiences with different saxes and tip openings).

Thanks guys, I'll tell you about the leaks in a couple of days. Let's see...
 

· Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi again. The sax had a couple of leaks. Anyway, the difference is not huge and I still find that the lower notes are, in my opinion, too difficult (I need to do something like subtoning to get these notes; from E to low Bb). Of course, this may be due to my inexperience with soprano sax, but I suspect it might be the tip opening. Do you recommend me to stick with my current piece or to change to something smaller (following the suggestions made by Bruce Bailey). In the latter case, could you give me some mouthpiece suggestions. Yes, I know all of this is very personal, but I am interested in your opinions.

Thanks.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
495 Posts
In addition to the advices above, I have observed that most soprano mouthpieces are extremely critical regarding reed placement. Half a millimeter up or down can make a real difference!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,357 Posts
..... I still find that the lower notes are, in my opinion, too difficult (I need to do something like subtoning to get these notes; from E to low Bb).....
A La Voz Medium Soft reed is plenty soft. Just make sure you have tried more than one; my experience with La Voz alto sax reeds was that the hardness of the reeds in a single box can vary quite a bit. But assuming you have tried multiple La Voz medium soft soprano reeds, and are still finding it difficult to hit notes from E1 on down, I would try a mouthpiece having a smaller tip opening.

I'm a big fan of the Barone HR piece for the soprano, but there's no such thing as one mouthpiece that works for everyone.
 

· Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
21,507 Posts
If you are just starting, get the Yamaha 4C for under $20, play it for a few months and THEN shop for a better mouthpiece. I have owned Vintage Links, Short shank Selmers, older metal Selmers, Vandorens and a gaggle of vintage mouthpieces and the 4C works well for me. Easy rich low register, good intonation and it works on any soprano I have had Bb or C.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
SveinJo: Thanks, I have been experimenting with reed positioning as well.

HarmonizerNJ: I have tried with several La Voz, also with Hemke #2, classic Vandoren #2 and #2 1/2 and Rico Royal #2 and #2 1/2. So my next option would be going to the softest reed, something that I thought was a little extreme provided that I am not a beginner with saxophone (I play tenor).

Bruce Bailey: I think that would be a good option. Cheap enough to try without a great economic loss. I will feel like a beginner, but let's try.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top