Saxophone Forum


by pianist8
(1 post)
6 years ago

Am I ready?

I've played Alto Saxophone at my school for five years now, and I think I've gotten pretty darn good. Out of any class, I'm one of the best in our school, and I always have been. I have a natural ease with it, maybe because I've played piano forever. Lately, the alto just hasn't been doing it for me, though. I don't enjoy it. I REALLY want to play Soprano, but my director says that 'it has horrible intonation, and would detract from our band's sound'. Now, the desicion is still mine to get the Soprano. I think I am anyway. That's the only way to keep me turned on to this band thing. And that's important, since I want to continue in college.

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  1. by Altonian11
    (39 posts)

    6 years ago

    Re: Am I ready?

    hmm. I've only been playing for 3 years, but I already have an alto, a bari, and a soprano. If you want to play a soprano for fun, and play something like a tenor or bari for band, you can find VERY cheap Selman Soprano Saxophones on ebay. There are few left so if you do it do it quickly. I know selman's a no name, but it's great to try out and plays beautifully with several professional adjustments not found on student horns. Getting a tenor or bari is expensive and I wouldn't neccesarily reccomend it, but if you like the idea, I suggest you try one out. The selman Saxophones on ebay are priced around $200.

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    1. by cuber
      (653 posts)

      6 years ago

      Re: Am I ready?

      IF YOU WANT TO PLAY SOPRANO, GET A SOPRANO. my jr high band teacher told that too a kid (who could do it), and guess what? the teacher is a frickin drummer. couldnt play a woodwind decently to save his life. If you do get a soprano, dont get some cheap knockoff brand (aka SELMAN) that will literally fall apart in a year, get something worth your money

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      1. by Altonian11
        (39 posts)

        6 years ago

        Re: Am I ready?

        yeah, if you want a good horn that'll last you the rest of your life, go with a selMER, Stephanhauser, or perhaps yamaha.

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        1. by saxophonist_104
          (148 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Am I ready?

          Even though I play alto, I tried a soprano last summer and it was a lot easier than I thought. If you feel it, go for it! Follow your dreams! I found out most band directors don't know more than a drummer. Oh, by the way, what did the drummer get on his IQ test? Drool.

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        2. by cuber
          (653 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Am I ready?

          he IS a drummer, so im guessing (a rough estamate) about 59. tops.

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      2. by jazzman47
        (4 posts)

        6 years ago

        Re: Am I ready?

        Here's the thing, speaking from personal experience, soprano should be the least of you worries. First, Listen to some of the great alto saxophonists (Charlie Parker, Dick Oatts - jazz; Eugene Rousseau, Kenneth Che - classical) to hear what the instrument sounds like on it's highest level. Second, If you want to get another saxophone tenor sax should be your next step. It is much more commonly used in music than a soprano. Also you can get a good tenor cheaper than a good soprano. Third, If you really want another instrument consider getting a clarinet or flute. These instruments are very similar to the saxophone and being able to play them well will open up more opportunities for you. This is why the soprano sax is not used much in ensemble music. You can play the same thing on clarinet and it usually sounds much better. Forth, I am a saxophone major in college and I DO NOT own a soprano. You will not need to have your own soprano for college. The school will provide you with a good, usually really expensive, horn that plays extremely well. Fifth - Don't fall into the trap of thinking - Well I have a natural gift? Yes, I am sure it's true you have natural talent as is needed to play the horn but don't let it be a guideline for your skills. I fell into this trap in high school. It came easy to me and I was top sax in all the bands, so I didn't practice that much. When I got to college things changed. In order to stay in the mix and up to par one has to practice, practice, practice. The 3 things to do to improve you skills quickly and greatly is #1 Practice more than 2 hours a day. Preferably 4. Practice 2 hours a day keeps you at the same level. Any less and you will start to slowly lose it. #2 Listen and record yourself. Obvious mistake will reveal themselves that you could not hear when playing. #3 Listen to the greats, some mentioned above, to hear the instrument on it's highest level, and try and imitate their style, sound, tone, etc. This WILL improve you skill greatly and quickly. Last, The decision to get a soprano is still up to you ( or whoever is buying it for you). If you do decide to get one, shell out the big bucks and get a good professional horn, that if taken care of, will last you the rest of your life. I hope this has been helpful. If you have any questions please reply to this post. I wish you the best in following a musical path.

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        1. by azurealto
          (79 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: Am I ready?

          Great post, jazzman47! I agree.

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      3. by wkusax87
        (12 posts)

        5 years ago

        Re: Am I ready?

        If you really want a soprano, buy one. Intonation is different for every horn, so just play it and get used to it. Practicing with a piano or tuner will help.

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        1. by chalazon
          (547 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Am I ready?

          also, my friend, you get what you pay for...I would strongly advise against getting any horn shaped object that is labeled selman..or smellman, or whatever..if you're gonna spend the bucks, try for some quality, 'specially when it comes to the soprano...

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