Beginner Saxophone Player Learning On A Soprano

by Vic
(Atlanta, GA, USA)

I received a soprano sax as a wedding gift from my husband. I want to learn how to play it. I understand that it is unusual for someone to begin on such a difficult instrument, but I believe I can do it. I'm in search of the proper finger placements for the soprano. Can you or anyone you know help me? I'm ready to start learning.


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Nov 15, 2007
Start learning on an alto saxophone, not a soprano.
by: SaxGuide

First of all I would never advise a beginner to start out on the soprano saxophone for three reasons.

1. The smaller the saxophone, the smaller the reed and the smaller the reed the harder it is to make a sound.

2. Soprano saxophones are bad on intonation. Trying to figure out how to play it in tune makes learning harder.

3. Music is not as available for the soprano as it is for the other types of saxophones. Beginner courses are usually geared towards the alto.

It would be a mistake to try and learn soprano without first learning the fundamentals on an alto saxophone.

With regards to fingerings for the soprano saxophone, all saxophone fingerings are generally the same. Do a search on google for "saxophone fingerings" and you will come up with several options.

Have you played a musical instrument before? How musically inclined are you? Have you considered a teacher or online saxophone lessons? I know you say you believe you can do it but if you really want to learn to play saxophone, do yourself a favor and get (maybe rent) an alto. After years of practice, only then can you consider the soprano saxophone.

Jun 15, 2008
I don't agree everyone should do alto before soprano sax
by: Rob

I don't agree everyone should do alto before soprano sax. If you have no musical background at all, you're probably right. But if you have some musical background, it may not be an issue. Plus there's the body size and natural embouchure capability to factor in.

For example, If you are small in size, but for some reason have a very fast developing embouchure, it may be better to start with soprano instead of alto. This would be because soprano is more compatible with your small size, and your embouchure will develop quickly to accomodate the quirks of the soprano sax needing adjustments of embouchure to play certain high or low notes in tune.

Also if you've been playing clarinet, going straight to soprano might be just fine. I'm actually speaking from personal experience. I found soprano was a good stepping stone to alto actually. Although it took less strong of an embouchure to play alto, it took more breath for me. After playing soprano about a year, alto started feeling fine for me.

Feb 01, 2010
Placing fingers soprano saxophone
by: Anonymous

Placing fingers soprano saxophone

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