Sam Newsome asks the question, “Can You Double And Still Be A Great Soprano Saxophonist?”
As I see it, if you play the soprano using a set-up that’s comparable to a much larger horn, you’re not dealing with the soprano on it’s own terms. It’s being treated as an extension of a much larger horn, and not as a separate entity.
2 thoughts on “Sam Newsome on not doubling”
It all depends on your goals/opportunities. If you want to be among the top 5 in the world on any 1 of the saxes or clarinets or flutes, then you had better make that your #1 instrument ALMOST to the exclusion of any other.
In orchestras, you see piccolo specialists, bass clarinet specialists, english horn specialists. You do not see the principals doubling.
Coltrane was a tenor player. Oh sure, he played/recorded some soprano but it never came close to his tenor playing. Sonny Rollins plays tenor ALMOST exclusively.
Then there are those of us who enjoy the multi-woodwind experience and are “good enough” on all of them to get theatre and other gigs. Having said that there have been times that I have almost sold all of them except for 1 (and if I did that it would be my tenor) and focus strictly on it. But then I remember the opportunities I have had and that I would have missed and then it’s back to trying to find some practice time balance between 3 saxes, clarinet, flute and piccolo.
Thanks, Bret, for including links like this.
Great points. Doubling is a good path for some players, but it isn’t for everybody. There are very talented people who choose doubling, and very talented people that don’t.