I was listening to Balek by Marc Moulin, and really liked the bright tone of the soprano (or maybe alto?) sax that was soloing: 20 second solo excerpt

Would any StackExchangians know a good alto/soprano reed/mouthpiece/ligature combo to sound like this? Any help is greatly appriciated!

  • I'm 99% sure that's an alto. Unfortunately for your question, I'm primarily a classical player and don't have any specific mouthpiece suggestions. I can tell you that you are looking mostly for a mouthpiece, along with a ligature and reed that will work on that mouthpiece. I just can't tell you which mouthpiece.
    – Andrew
    May 22, 2012 at 23:01

2 Answers 2


I'm actually fairly certain that's a soprano horn (long time alto player myself). I'd have a hard time guessing what mouth-piece / reed combination would produce that on a soprano, but you can get something similar on an alto with a good thick reed (4 maybe?) and a hard rubber mouth piece. You could also check out things like the spoiler here (check the video):

If you want a really razzy sound, I've found a metal mouthpiece with a fiberglass reed does the best trick (although it takes a hellish amount of time to master the dynamics on that reed).


Man... to me, it sounds like it's primarily a soprano, but with another horn... probably a tenor thrown in an octave below. The solo has the kind of simple, limited to one octave characteristic that people get when they've figured out how to play two horns at once, but they're not Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Usually one dominates, and you get kind of a muddled, quieter tone out of the other one. Plus it's the early 70's, so it's prime time for that kind of thing.

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