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I've just had an eye opener. My 7 year old is learning to play, I started him out on soprano because of the size, you can see him in my avatar. He was doing OK, but his intonation was horrible. Good mouthpiece had no effect. Then I heard a guy say that starting on clarinet was better than playing sax and playing clarinet later. My daughter has two clarinets, so I tried it....WOW! His intonation is amazing! He loves playing it because he sounds good and he knows it. He plays the middle range and lower right now and is having a great time. As he progresses he can move up the scales to the more challenges notes. He has tiny little fingers and still does fine covering holes, for the most part.

As he gets older I'll start him doubling on the alto sax. Maybe this is common knowledge, but I was pretty excited to find this out. The truth is I had a hard time telling him to practice before because it was truthfully painful to listen to. He does squeak from time to time on clarinet, but he can go long periods of sounding great too, which he never did on soprano. I was told his fingers would be too small, but its really a minor problem.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Columnist/Official SOTW Guru
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As long as you and he remember that they are two totally different instruments, the transition back to alto sax should go just fine. Either way, your son is enjoying himself and that's what it's all about.
 

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It's the nature of clarinets to sound better than soprano saxes. Come to think of it, cats in heat sound better than most soprano sax players. :evil::)
 

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Yup, the clarinet is usually easier for that age group to learn.
The straight sop is hard for the little ones to wrap thier fingers around and it's HEAVY.
Now if you really would prefer that he play sax... find an inexpensive curvy for him to learn on.
They hang from a strap just like it's bigger brothers. MUCH easier for little hands and fingers of a 7 year old.
AND... You can play some sweet Sop/Tenor duets with your kid! :)
 

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I certainly believe the Clarinet is easier to play for a youngster than the sax. Which is why we adults have been subjected to the torture of kid clarinet sections since time immemorial.

I also agree that the Curvy Sop would have been a better choice than the straight....because, hell, when I play a Curvy (although I find 'em hecka cool) I just feel like my entire body physically is "drawn in" and compacted....which is generally not how I wanna feel when playing an instrument. But I'd imagine for a grade-schooler, it'd work quite dandy.

I do think, however, if it was the kid's idea that he/she wanted to play sax....then givin' 'em a Clarinet... isn't the best thing to do, despite all of the very valid rationalizations there may be for it.

Let them own their decision.
 

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It's the nature of clarinets to sound better than soprano saxes. Come to think of it, cats in heat sound better than most soprano sax players. :evil::)

Almost wet my pants on the cat line. :mrgreen:


I tried clarinet after a couple years on tenor and had the dangdest time fully covering the holes. Sax is quite forgiving by comparison.
 

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Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
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It's the nature of clarinets to sound better than soprano saxes. Come to think of it, cats in heat sound better than most soprano sax players. :evil::)
How true. :mrgreen::twisted:

What's wrong with starting kids on recorder is what i want to know. "Come back when you can play the flight of the Bumble Bee". The clarinet may not be heavy but it's pretty damn squeaky.
 
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