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Hi guyssss!

from lots of years I used to play my tenor. I Always wanted to listen to the tenor sound, music, players etc. I used very seldom to listen to some alto players and never and never the soprano players and music. For me the soprano was a ****ing horrible flute with a terrible and nasal sound. Its players had to be some frustrated guys that for some illogical reasons didn't want to play a real sax.

Then three years ago I tried a soprano. I've been a bit touched by the action, the shape, dimension and I decided to buy a modern one to try it for some time. I used it 3/4 times in 2 years! My tenor always won on this little toy and for me the time on the soprano was simply "wasting time".

I wanted to sell it but everytime someone called me to see the instrument I took out some stupid excuses not to sell it. 6 months ago I decided to put the tenor in the case and try exclusively for some months the soprano! WOOOOOAAAAAA after some weeks it entered in my veins. I started to play better than my tenor. I started playing more interesting patterns. I've been blown away by its strongness. The position with all the Keys in front of my eyes was fantastic and for some reason it gives you the idea to have a phisic connection between your brain and the sax (I use to play a straight one).

At the end from 6 months I'm using exclusively my soprano and every time I try the tenor I come back playing my "small toy". I enjoy much more with it! Last week I bought a straight Buescher TT 1926 in great conditions and now I'm (if possible) much more satisfied !
I started to listen to Steve Lacy, Bob Wilber, Sidney Beschet... Bob Wilber is a real master ! I also started listening to lots of trumpet players like Miles Davis, Chet Backer, Clifford Brown.. sometimes I find the Soprano much closer to the trumpet than the sax.. I like playing it as Chet plays its trumpet and it works much more than the tenor! I prefear the linearity of Wilber than the virtuosity of Liebman.

What happened to me?? Am I ill ?! Wich disease is this? How could it happen?!
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
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You've been sop'd. You may have a genetic predisposition, or perhaps you endured a traumatic event with a big horn in a previous life.


Regardless, if it gives you joy, then embrace it.
 

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This is why we need a "like" button.

I like both of the comments and have nothing else to add.
 

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Its players had to be some frustrated guys that for some illogical reasons didn't want to play a real sax.
Trapped in darkness!

At the end from 6 months I'm using exclusively my soprano and every time I try the tenor I come back playing my "small toy". I enjoy much more with it! Last week I bought a straight Buescher TT 1926 in great conditions and now I'm (if possible) much more satisfied !
You now have achieved enlightenment.

Look at it this way: If the soprano sax really had nothing special to offer to players, even those who already love other saxophones, it wouldn't have endured the way it has. It wouldn't have become gradually more popular in jazz, classical, and pop music. It would have become more like ... the sopranino. :)
 

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Ziubelu: I caught the same disease in 1956 - and it consumed me. I play it more like a trumpet than a saxophone, too. DAVE
 

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I absolutely feel you! Ever since buying my first soprano after college, I fell in love with the sound and the feel of the instrument. It's absolutely my go-to axe, given the choice. Do you play in a quartet? It's incredibly fun.

Count me in with the soprano sickness!

Hi guyssss!

from lots of years I used to play my tenor. I Always wanted to listen to the tenor sound, music, players etc. I used very seldom to listen to some alto players and never and never the soprano players and music. For me the soprano was a ****ing horrible flute with a terrible and nasal sound. Its players had to be some frustrated guys that for some illogical reasons didn't want to play a real sax.

Then three years ago I tried a soprano. I've been a bit touched by the action, the shape, dimension and I decided to buy a modern one to try it for some time. I used it 3/4 times in 2 years! My tenor always won on this little toy and for me the time on the soprano was simply "wasting time".

I wanted to sell it but everytime someone called me to see the instrument I took out some stupid excuses not to sell it. 6 months ago I decided to put the tenor in the case and try exclusively for some months the soprano! WOOOOOAAAAAA after some weeks it entered in my veins. I started to play better than my tenor. I started playing more interesting patterns. I've been blown away by its strongness. The position with all the Keys in front of my eyes was fantastic and for some reason it gives you the idea to have a phisic connection between your brain and the sax (I use to play a straight one).

At the end from 6 months I'm using exclusively my soprano and every time I try the tenor I come back playing my "small toy". I enjoy much more with it! Last week I bought a straight Buescher TT 1926 in great conditions and now I'm (if possible) much more satisfied !
I started to listen to Steve Lacy, Bob Wilber, Sidney Beschet... Bob Wilber is a real master ! I also started listening to lots of trumpet players like Miles Davis, Chet Backer, Clifford Brown.. sometimes I find the Soprano much closer to the trumpet than the sax.. I like playing it as Chet plays its trumpet and it works much more than the tenor! I prefear the linearity of Wilber than the virtuosity of Liebman.

What happened to me?? Am I ill ?! Wich disease is this? How could it happen?!
 

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I love tenor the most, but soprano comes as a close second. That little horn can be really expressive and IMHO that mellow round sound of the soprano(dark or not) can be actually bigger than many of the asthmatic approaches many alto players have gone for. In many cases for me it's more similar to tenor where you can, but don't need to play 1000 notes /p.second to impress the audience.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3R8-mrtj3A

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhJJPV7vWZE
 

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For me, I played trumpet in high school. The university I went to did not have a music program, and I received an offer I could not refuse for my Benge trumpet. I focused on vocal music rather than instrumental for the next several decades.

When one of my daughters began becoming proficient with the bassoon, I wanted to duet with her, so I looked for a complementary voice. The French Horn had some appeal, but all the brass instruments gave me the feeling of been-there-done-that. I started looking at woodwinds. We had a clarinet in the house, and I made good progress on it. I didn’t care for the stuffy sound; flute was ok, and I liked advanced players on the oboe who could reduce the reedy part of their sound. Then, I started hearing soprano saxes. There was such variety and expression in their sound. I fell in love with them all.

I started out with a very trumpet-like sound, ala Bob Wilber, but with zero skill. But again, been there done that. Then, I became enamored with the more woodwind timbre of Remco Jak and others as the sound to which all soprano woodwinds aspire but that only the soprano sax can achieve. My window of performing with my daughter was very narrow before her college and busy-ness became prohibitive. She has since moved into composition, and I remain sop’d, although my musical interests using the soprano sax have greatly broadened.
 

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I play both alto and curved soprano but as years pass by, I am leaning more on my alto because from my perspective, I sound better on my alto. I am not sure if it is the horn or just myself, (altos, YAZ 82ZB and Conn 24M while the soprano is an LC). I like the soprano sound but there are times that I am unable to adjust my embouchure when shifting to soprano.
 

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I started to play better than my tenor. I started playing more interesting patterns.
Haha I'm a bit in in the same boat, having started to play both tenor and sop on every practice session for some weeks now.

I found I get much better melodic/harmonic ideas on the soprano, and can carry more easily a tune sounding like I know what I'm doing (usually I'm purely improvising on top of semi-random songs).

It might be that on tenor I get carried away trying/exploring too complex stuff with tone, dynamics, rhythm and various effects.. then stumble and lose sense of the melody. I have always felt those non-melodic areas are something I might be better at (at least I'm happy with my own tone, rhythmic etc ideas although not always able to execute them...) But then, I feel like I suck at carrying melodic and harmonic ideas or flow. I'm almost embarrassed to let anyone hear me practice/improvise because my melodies are more like riffs and sometimes even stumble on those..

But I have found on the soprano all that cames more naturally, and sometimes surprise myself, like, WHOA, I just played a long solo with progression, tension, release and whatnot. Every note knew it's place, what happened? Then I switch to tenor, get blown away by the deep low tone, and try to keep in mind all the ideas I got while on the sop...

In any case, I love both horns and they complement rather than compete each other.
 

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You don't have to make a choice - the great King Curtis played tenor and soprano and had hits on both horns. I find that spending an hour on soprano is like two hours on a larger sax as far as embouchure strengthening. To me soprano is an interesting addition to my arsenal but tenor is the reason I get gigs. I use the sop, alt and bari as icing on the tenor cake. In order to pull this off, you actually must have a good sound on all of them - otherwise you're just making a fool of yourself. If you stink on soprano, do not take it out of the house. You can get away with a lot on baritone, for example, but on soprano, every note rings out, and a stinker cannot be hidden.
 

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Last week I bought a straight Buescher TT 1926 in great conditions and now I'm (if possible) much more satisfied !!
I have a 1926 Buescher TrueTone also. It's my fifth (and last, I hope) soprano purchase. It really is a lovely horn to play, with great intonation.

I was initially turned off wanting to play soprano by listening to Sidney Bechet. While I admire his virtuosity, I find his strident tone and dominating playing style pretty off putting. But in trad jazz Sidney set the benchmark and many of his emulators play in that aggressive manner.

As for John Coltrane, well, his soprano tone is an assault on the ears.

I was turned around to wanting to play soprano by hearing Kenny Davern live here in Australia before he gave up the soprano to concentrate on clarinet.

There have been a lot of US west coast trad players who have lovely tones and approaches, not least of whom is SOTW's own Dave Dolson.

Have fun with this challenging but rewarding horn!
 

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You don't have to make a choice - the great King Curtis played tenor and soprano and had hits on both horns. I find that spending an hour on soprano is like two hours on a larger sax as far as embouchure strengthening. To me soprano is an interesting addition to my arsenal but tenor is the reason I get gigs. I use the sop, alt and bari as icing on the tenor cake. In order to pull this off, you actually must have a good sound on all of them - otherwise you're just making a fool of yourself. If you stink on soprano, do not take it out of the house. You can get away with a lot on baritone, for example, but on soprano, every note rings out, and a stinker cannot be hidden.
Big Truth highlighted in bold.

Thanks for that. I’ve never found a subtle way of saying it.
 

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Ex-trumpet player here. I can confirm that it's possible to translate a trumpet-like musical approach over to the soprano.

Well actually, it's probably more accurate to say: whatever I learned on trumpet wasn't wasted on the soprano, but the soprano is a superior instrument, in terms of agility, range, and practicality. I can practice the soprano for 4 hours straight, but if I tried that on trumpet, I'd need to be hospitalized. I can can play intervals and register shifts that no trumpet player would even attempt. The brass player's strategy of using one's lips to do the job of a reed has started to seem quite bizarre to me.

My only regret is that I didn't switch instruments sooner.
 
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