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  1. #1
    Forum Contributor 2008 Kermit's Avatar
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    Default How to make soprano sax sound like clarinet?

    I love the sound of the clarinet, but I cannot justify buying one for a few reasons:

    1. I have not mastered the sax, so why start learning another instrument?

    2. I don't have time to learn another instrument, and the time I do have to practice, I want to spend on sax.

    3. I spent thousands on my Yani SC-9937 soprano sax and it deserves more playing time than I currently give it.

    So... are there some mouthpiece & reed combinations you would suggest I try to help my soprano sax sound a bit more like a clarinet when I'm in a clarinet mood? I am not a pro player. This is just for fun.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Distinguished SOTW Member Dr G's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to make soprano sax sound like clarinet?

    Stuff a sock in it?

    OTOH, have you tried a classical mouthpiece on it (ala Rousseau "Classic" or similar)?

    Beyond that, it's all in your head. Really.
    Go for The Tone,

    g



    "When you are doing well, don't forget to do good." - Sichan Siv.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How to make soprano sax sound like clarinet?

    Kermit: I am not ignoring what you "claimed" in your opening post but there shouldn't be a problem with playing both . . . I do it and so do many others. I think tackling the clarinet will probably aid your development on saxophone. I know it did for me. I started on soprano saxophone and added clarinet years later. There are enough similarities to get you started and the change isn't rocket science.

    I seriously doubt if ANYTHING you did with your soprano saxophone would make it sound like a clarinet, though. DAVE
    Dave

  4. #4

    Default Re: How to make soprano sax sound like clarinet?

    You gotta play the sound you love. When it comes down to it.

  5. #5
    Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and 2014 Forum Contributor maddenma's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to make soprano sax sound like clarinet?

    I suppose you could create a wax casting of the inside of the sop and use that to create an insert that would turn the sop's "cone" into a "cylinder". Not quite sure what that would do to the intonation though I suspect it would be ugly.

    You could I suppose, also get an old metal clarinet and then bodge together some keywork that would resemble a saxophone -- at least for 1 register, though it strikes me that registers two and three might get a little tough.

    You might also be able to use said metal clarinet as the insert to the sop instead of creating your own.

    Ultimately, you need to get to a cylinder shape.
    1926 Buescher True Tone Series III Gold Plated Soprano -- Morgan Vintage 6
    1936 Buescher Custom Built Bare Brass Baritone -- Strathon 8*
    1938 Buescher Aristocrat "Custom Built" Gold Plated Baritone -- Strathon 8*
    1939 Buescher Aristocrat Silver Plated Series I Alto -- Ishimori Traditional Jazz 7, TW Durga 8
    1947 Buescher 400 B-11 "Top Hat & Cane" Bare Brass Tenor -- TW Durga 8
    1949 Buescher Aristocrat "Big B" Lacquer Alto -- Ishimori Traditional Jazz 7
    1949 Buescher Aristocrat Gold Plated "Big B" Tenor -- TW Durga 8
    1980-something Yamaha YBS-61 Baritone -- Strathon 8*



    Nothing works so well in gathering information as a display of ignorance. I've been learning a lot lately.


  6. #6

    Default Re: How to make soprano sax sound like clarinet?

    Waste of time. You aren't going to make a soprano saxophone sound anything like a clarinet. Oboe.....yes. You can make a soprano pass for an oboe. But clarinet? Not a chance at all. You'd be better off getting an EWI and putting on a clarinet patch.

  7. #7
    SaxTon's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to make soprano sax sound like clarinet?

    Kermit,
    Lots of standards played traditionally on clarinet work very well with Soprano. I do this all the time bringing tenor and soprano and sometimes other saxes to combo gigs. If you enjoy sax as your passion no reason to play clarinet imo

  8. #8
    Distinguished SOTW member/Official SOTW Sister bandmommy's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to make soprano sax sound like clarinet?

    I love the sound of soprano sax but cannot justify buying one.
    Is there any way I can get my clarinet to sound like a soprano sax?

    It can't be done. To sound like a clarinet you have to play a clarinet.
    Old reed players are like fine wine. They only get better with age. Tom Hagen

    Play the Music, not the instrument.

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    Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and 2014 Forum Contributor maddenma's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to make soprano sax sound like clarinet?

    Well, it strikes me that you could bore out the clarinet into a cone shape. Not quite sure what that would do to the intonation, but I'll bet it would be ugly.

    Another thought is to get an old metal clarinet and a tubing expander. Stretch it out horizontally into a cone shape.

    Finally, I guess you could find an old beat-up sop and switch it over to the Albert or Boehm system fingerings. Not sure what to do with an open tone hole ring on a low D, but maybe your fingers are larger than mine.
    1926 Buescher True Tone Series III Gold Plated Soprano -- Morgan Vintage 6
    1936 Buescher Custom Built Bare Brass Baritone -- Strathon 8*
    1938 Buescher Aristocrat "Custom Built" Gold Plated Baritone -- Strathon 8*
    1939 Buescher Aristocrat Silver Plated Series I Alto -- Ishimori Traditional Jazz 7, TW Durga 8
    1947 Buescher 400 B-11 "Top Hat & Cane" Bare Brass Tenor -- TW Durga 8
    1949 Buescher Aristocrat "Big B" Lacquer Alto -- Ishimori Traditional Jazz 7
    1949 Buescher Aristocrat Gold Plated "Big B" Tenor -- TW Durga 8
    1980-something Yamaha YBS-61 Baritone -- Strathon 8*



    Nothing works so well in gathering information as a display of ignorance. I've been learning a lot lately.


  10. #10
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician Grumps's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to make soprano sax sound like clarinet?

    It's not the sound, it's the looks that count. Take it from me, get a black lacquered soprano and most folks will think it's a clarinet...

  11. #11
    Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and 2014 Forum Contributor maddenma's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to make soprano sax sound like clarinet?

    That was going to be option 4, but then I thought, "You know, no one is going to be stupid enough to think that"....

    Then again, there's those folks still out on Hattaras Island that thought the g'ment was joking about a hurricane....... so,

    You could also spray paint a wood clarinet with gold paint and folks would think it was a saxophone.

    With a metal one, nickle or silver, they'll assume it's a sax, so if they ask, just tell them it is. 99% of them won't know the difference.
    1926 Buescher True Tone Series III Gold Plated Soprano -- Morgan Vintage 6
    1936 Buescher Custom Built Bare Brass Baritone -- Strathon 8*
    1938 Buescher Aristocrat "Custom Built" Gold Plated Baritone -- Strathon 8*
    1939 Buescher Aristocrat Silver Plated Series I Alto -- Ishimori Traditional Jazz 7, TW Durga 8
    1947 Buescher 400 B-11 "Top Hat & Cane" Bare Brass Tenor -- TW Durga 8
    1949 Buescher Aristocrat "Big B" Lacquer Alto -- Ishimori Traditional Jazz 7
    1949 Buescher Aristocrat Gold Plated "Big B" Tenor -- TW Durga 8
    1980-something Yamaha YBS-61 Baritone -- Strathon 8*



    Nothing works so well in gathering information as a display of ignorance. I've been learning a lot lately.


  12. #12
    Non Resident SOTW Eccentric & 2012 Forum Contributor Jazzaferri's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to make soprano sax sound like clarinet?

    Buy a large boer sop, with a mpce ( Soprano Planet Open Sky or similar), get Dave Leiman's book "Developing a Personal Sax Sound" which is all about really loose lower lip and tona control through the larynx. Study well, practice lots and use the low note lower lip position up to the upper stack C# and practice timbre balancing betwen the registers. My JK is black nickel and an jazz radio DJ mistook me for playing clarinet. Go figure
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed

  13. #13
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    Default Re: How to make soprano sax sound like clarinet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzaferri View Post
    My JK is black nickel and an jazz radio DJ mistook me for playing clarinet. Go figure
    Someone once told me that most of your typical audience hears with their eyes. I guess that must be what they were talking about.
    "Nothing is worse for a musician than getting an opportunity you aren't prepared for." - Quincy Jones

  14. #14
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    Default Re: How to make soprano sax sound like clarinet?

    My metal clarinet is often confused with a "thin soprano sax".
    Ben

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  15. #15
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to make soprano sax sound like clarinet?

    you might get away with fooling someone in the high register but no-way can a soprano sax (or a clarinet) be mistaken for a clarinet in the low register. so, I guess, the only possibility is to buy an wind controller for a synthesiser

  16. #16
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to make soprano sax sound like clarinet?

    I do think it's possible to make a soprano sound more like a clarinet than many people think, but it involves mostly personal work on embouchure rather than reeds or mouthpieces (otherwise I'd recommend a PPT mouthpiece of course )

    Oddly, I posted a soprano soundclip a while back that quite a lot of people thought sounded (more) like a flugelhorn so I believe it's possible to get a much less sopranoish sound. The upper register of a clarinet would be easier to get the sound of than the lower (chalumeau) but I bet if you worked at it you could get maybe half way there.

  17. #17
    Forum Contributor 2014 patmiller's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to make soprano sax sound like clarinet?

    Quote Originally Posted by tictactux View Post
    My metal clarinet is often confused with a "thin soprano sax".
    When I play my Silver King metal clarinet most folks just don't know WHAT it is, despite the pure clarinet sound. Smartypants who think they know a thing or two say it must be a soprano sax, despite the pure clarinet sound. Just goes to show that lots of people judge instruments with their eyes and not their ears.
    Pleasing everyone is impossible; pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

  18. #18
    Forum Contributor 2008 Kermit's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to make soprano sax sound like clarinet?

    Thanks for all of the replies. Looks like general consensus is that I can try some different things with my embouchure to get a bit closer to a clarinet sound, but if I REALLY want to sound like a clarinet, then I'll have to buy a clarinet. Darnit. I'm a sucker for some of those beautiful (looking) rosewood clarinets, and I was really hoping I could get away with not buying one!

  19. #19
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    Default Re: How to make soprano sax sound like clarinet?

    Kermit: Funny. Playing STRANGER ON THE SHORE with a soprano saxophone just ain't the same (and I've done it!!).

    By the way, you don't have to pop for one of those rosewood things (admittedly very nice looking). I recently bought a Buffet E-11 from Kessler's (for under $1K) and it turned out to be a very nice instrument. No, not up to my expensive one, but still for sitting on a peg ready for instant arpeggios, it works just fine - and sounds pretty good, too. I keep it assembled with a Fibracell reed - instant clarinet (easy enough to fit into a busy schedule, too). DAVE
    Dave

  20. #20
    Non Resident SOTW Eccentric & 2012 Forum Contributor Jazzaferri's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to make soprano sax sound like clarinet?

    I got a mpce from Joe Giardullo that when played right at least with a large bore horn (can't say beyond that) can be very similar. It's a 20's French piece of unknown mfr that Joe reworked. Very dark sounding mpce. Still has to be played right but it is uncannily close to a clarinet timbre.

    You might try talking to Joe. Very down to earth approachable guy and he really knows all things soprano. If anyone can lead you in the right direction it would be him.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed

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