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Starting out after an injury

1231 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  YveJ222
Hi guys. I'd like some advice about potentially trading in my alto for a soprano. Heres the history.

I bought an Elkhart Alto about 10 years ago. Picked it ap a few times but life got in the way and it has remained untouched for about 9 years 11 months! A couple of weeks ago I dusted it off to start again as I now have the time to commit to learning. My issue is that I broke both wrists just before Christmas. While they are both "healed" they are in no way what they were. I'm finding the Alto painful to play. It could just be bad technique or something I'm stuck with. I've bought a new neck strap but the weight on my right thumb causes so much pain. I'm also having issues stretching to the keys as my hands are tiny for an old bird.

I'm still very much a beginner and don't want to quit so I'm considering down sizing to a soprano. I'm hoping that the weight difference will be enough to ease the pain. I understand that its much harder to learn but figured im not so far down the alto path that it may not be so bad. If I did go for a soprano, would it be better to opt for a straight or curved model. Is the hand stretch required less than an alto? I've also seen an alphasax. Is this any good? In an ideal world I'd hop on a train and go shopping to try some out but its still not really an option. I've seen a few rental options but I'm just so confused. I'm uk based.

Any thoughts/advice appreciated.
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A soprano with curved neck (most sopranos today have the removable neck, with a curved neck and straight neck) might be the thing for you because the curve in the neck allows the use of a strap with the soprano. One thing to note; many years ago, Selmer pioneered the key arrangements on their saxes so they felt amazingly similar from sax to sax - this was one of their selling points, particularly with the 'Balanced Action' and later models. Now, all sax makers have copied that, even the low-priced Chinese horns, so you should know that while a soprano is obviously smaller than an alto in many ways, it might not feel much different to your hands. Definitely get your hands on one before buying. I bought my latest soprano from Eastern Music on ebay. These Chinese horns are usually copies of the Yanagisawa models but they are still making the 'tipped-bell' or 'semi-curved' type which in addition to the removable neck, also has the bell section 'tipped' forward at about 40 degrees. This design was originated by Buescher in the 1930s and was called the 'Tipped Bell'. These are commonly and mistakenly called 'saxello-style' by many.
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