I have just aquired a soprano saxophone for the first time. Previously I have only played alto and baritone, never a soprano before.
Something I am encountering which I have never before - and it is driving me crazy - it seems like the entire range of notes from bflat to csharp (standard fingerings) is intonated really out of whack. When playing melodies centered around this range it is practically unnoticable but where it really becomes obvious is when doing wide jumps.
For instance, when I just go between the low c and the mid c, it is very obvious the mid c is off by almost an entire half step. Same thing when I go between the low b and the mid b. But if I use the octave key to make the jump while maintaining the low fingerings then the jump sounds perfectly correct. And fter I noticed this now I notice that the standard fingerings for bflat to csharp just all sound off by over a quarter step. To a lesser extent this is also true for the a and g, but not as pronounced. The keys from f down all sound fine.
If I allow my cheeks to fill with air while playing the problematic notes it can almost correct the problem, but it's not really stable, does not feel right at all, very prone to error.
Is this normal for a soprano saxophone? Am I supposed to be doing something differently to get the notes to sound correct? Or do I just have a cheap saxophone? It was a 300 dollar Kaizer brand. I bought it just to have something small around the house to mess around with. Is this something I will just have to live with until I feel like buying a better saxophone?
It just occurred to me that the problem could just be I did not push the mouthpiece far enough on to the neck, or I pushed it too far, and adjusting this could help. Sorry if these are very elementary soprano sax issues, I am basically diving in blind using just my experience with alto and baritone. I haven't read any "getting started" guides or anything tailored specificly to soprano sax.
The model is Kaizer SSAX-1000, purchased new.