Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I decided to take the plunge and got a soprano. I just ordered a BW bronze curved soprano with the AI option. I primarily play tenor but have also recently picked up playing alto. I would say i have been playing sax for about 6 years, though i am still not that great and there were a couple year gaps in there.. I am wondering what size tip opening and reed strength would be a safe bet to start out on soprano, given my prior experience, as i have never touched one thus far. I have been told that these sizes can be very different on soprano compared to alto and tenor. I was thinking of getting a Link HR and i typically prefer java red reeds. I play either a link stm #7 or a metal berg .080 with a larger baffle (don't remember the specifics) on tenor with a 3 strength reed. On alto i play a link stm 6* with 2.5 strength reeds. My budget for the mouthpeice is about $80 or less, which is primarily why i was looking at the link. I would really like to order the mp and reeds online so i can get them before i get the sax. Any and all reccomendations would be greatly appreciated, as i don't really know where to start or if my prior sax experience is a factor.

I apologize in advance if this topic has been discussed to death. I did quite a bit of searching, but the majority of what i found was targeted at sop. players with no prior saxophone experience.

Thanks a lot,
Chris.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
272 Posts
I would suggest getting a Yamaha 4 or 5 C MPC and use 3.5 reeds to start. You will find that the reed is very soft to what you are using and you will over control. You are entering a delightful and frustrating world my friend :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,675 Posts
I would suggest getting a Yamaha 4 or 5 C MPC and use 3.5 reeds to start. You will find that the reed is very soft to what you are using and you will over control. You are entering a delightful and frustrating world my friend :lol:
This is great advice. Too open a mouthpiece causes intonation problems. The Yamaha 4C or 5C or a Selmer S80 C* are easy to control. I find the 3.5 reeds a little hard to begin with. I started with a 2.5 or 3 reed but you have to decide what works for you. The plastic Yamaha mouthpieces are easy to play and cheap.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
6,831 Posts
I started on a a Runyon "Spoiler" #6 (plastic) and 2 1/2 reeds. This did me very well for my first 4 years on Soprano, until I bought a Pomarico Crystal #3, using 3 1/2 reeds (Med Hard), then replaced it with a Drake Jazz Ceramic piece (.055) and the same MedHard reeds (though a 4 or Hard would be better). I have a metal Rovner Deep V #6 that directly replaced the Runyon, I use #3 (Med, or Med Hard) reeds on it. The Rovner is much brighter, and louder, w/no "wall" and can peel paint! The Runyon was very limited, but so are many of the mouthpieces in that price point.

Search e-bay and look for H. Couf Artist (roll-over baffle) and Jazz (high baffle) pieces. They often go for very reasonable prices ($40 to $140), and are monster players in their own right!
 

·
Moderator
Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
Joined
·
28,948 Posts
I think soprano works well with a relatively narrower opening you would use on larger instruments.e.g. on tenor I use a 9* with 2.5 reeds. On soprano I use a Selmer C* with 2.5 reeds.

Why is this?

I don't know, could be because I take in relatively a lot more mouthpiece on soprano.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
21,034 Posts
I agree on the Yamaha mouthpieces. I have played soprano for years and use a Yamaha. Not a lot of $$$ and will get you started well.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,001 Posts
I'd like to add that it is important, when an experienced sax player takes up soprano, that he listen to several different soprano players and get an idea of sounds he likes on soprano. Examine how those sounds fit with your previous sax experience. The three saxes - tenor, alto and soprano are quite different in the way you must play them, in the quality of the tone you will find it easiest to make - ie- "your tone". As you practice during the first two or three years, you may pass through various phases in tone and style. This will be accompanied by changes in reed, mouthpiece and ligature. Its a good idea to keep old mouthpieces and ligatures. You may want to get back to them. Nobody does it the same way. But most of us have a good time in our endeavor. Those who don't are too critical of themselves and have preconceived notions forcing them to fail by trying to be someone else. Our basic uniqueness shows when we play the sop. Have you seen a section of sopranos all playing as one? I hope nobody ever tries that!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
860 Posts
Great advice so far - just two tiny additions: Firstly, all Tom said above about listening - even better is a way to record oneself from a pretty early stage in order to get an idea of one's own tone and style (and intonation...). It's quite some way from alto to soprano (I took up soprano before tenor, so I'm not sure if that'll be any different, I doubt it). Secondly, and as has often been said before in similar threads, try out different mouthpieces and openings with different reed strengths - you've been given excellent starting points in the posts above. While all the suggestions above are more than valid, I personally found that medium openings suited me best - I settled of an Otto Link Tone Edge 7 pretty early, and it's a great piece in spite of the higher demands in terms of control and intonation - furthermore, I came from a Link STM 7 on alto at that time. So I think your idea about a TE 6 (HR) might be the ticket! That said, I'm also pleasently surprised by the good control and playability a Rico Graftonite B5 offers - I'd recommend that as a beginner's piece any time since it's cheap and reliable (though it's a bit bright for my taste). But I'm still entoning the same old mantra: Try it out!

M.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013
Joined
·
631 Posts
Selmer D (0.72") Metal mouthpiece (classical) with rovner Mk III ligature and VANDOREN (Blue box) reeds strength 2.5 onwards
happy hunting!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,820 Posts
I actually think the Link is a good choice. Given what you are playing on your other horns, I would recommend a 5* or 6 Link. A Link 5 is just about equivalent to a Selmer C*, so this is only a little more open. 2 1/2 Vandoren or 2H Rico Select Jazz should be just about right for this.

Take a lot of mouthpiece in, and don't forget to hold the soprano in such a way that the mouthpiece goes straight out from your mouth, rather than angling down like a clarinet. Then take a deep breath and practice!!!!

Whatever mouthpiece you choose (and all the above suggestions are very good), resist the tendency to bite to get the higher notes out. Soprano requires a lot of work on vocal cavity manipulation to play well in the higher range.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
6,831 Posts
And biting so easy to do on Soprano! When my embuchure gets tired, I revert to this bad style, and my tone and range suffer from it. The cure: more practice! I rarely have opportunity to play soprano, so I often neglect practice on it. It is not a forgiving sax!
 

·
Moderator
Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
Joined
·
28,948 Posts
Take a lot of mouthpiece in, and don't forget to hold the soprano in such a way that the mouthpiece goes straight out from your mouth, rather than angling down like a clarinet. Then take a deep breath and practice!!!!
Good advice. Don't treat the soprano like a small tenor. I find I take in relatively more mouthpiece on soprano.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I think i am going to get a yamaha 5c. I am going to see if i can get a couple single reeds in 2.5 and 3 from my local shop. I think playing the yamaha for a couple months will give me a good idea of what i am looking for in a mouthpiece, and i wont have a lot of money invested in a peice i won't end up using. Thank you to everyone that replied. You guys gave me an overwhelming amount of useful information and it is greatly appreciated. I'll let you guys know what i think the mouthpeice and the sax when i get them. I'm pretty excited.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
307 Posts
I think i am going to get a yamaha 5c. I am going to see if i can get a couple single reeds in 2.5 and 3
That's what I just did, I was in London so I got a yam 5C. Couldn't be arsed messing around with single reeds so just got a box of 2.5 and a box of 3s. I had my first ever practice last night with a 2.5, plays ok.

Just gotta get used to the 'buzzing', jeez feels like you get an electric shock every time you tongue. Maybe I should go buy another few mouthpieces to see if they all do that :)
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,001 Posts
Actually, you might do better going to a 2.0 reed. I play Vandoren ZZ 2.0 reeds with the Y5C. I don't tongue by touching the reed so I don't know what buzzing you are speaking of. Isn't some buzzing necessary in a sax? (I tongue like a trumpet player saying "Too".)
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top