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M/Pieces - Ligs Alto mouthpiece

saxyman

Member
Messages
267
After playing my Tenor, when I go back to my Alto I find it hard to play and it makes my mouth ache. I use a Selmer C** with a No 2 reed. It does not seem as free blowing as my Tenor. Would it help to go down to a C* or another mouthpiece.?

I used to have an old TJ Alto with TJ mouth piece and I found that to be quite easy, mind you may not have had the same sound/tone.

Any advice please.
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
Hi there. I take it the Selmer C** is the S80? I've had a couple of them and found them like blowing into a sock. Rather than getting an even closer tip opening than the C** (which is already really narrow) you might want to try a more free blowing mouthpiece. Maybe a Yamaha. All the plastic Yamahas are also very closed tip openings, but a 6c might be OK. Otherwise, try an ebonite Yanagisawa 6. These are free blowing, very well made and have a good tone. You can often pick them up from eBay for a reasonable price as people buying new Yani saxes persuade themselves they need a mouthpiece other than the one supplied by Yanagisawa.

If they go into a shop and someone suggests an Otto Link, think carefully. Just my opinion, but I find the ebonite ones very, very stuffy.

Another option would be a Runyon Classic or Jody Jazz Classic - they're pretty much the same. Just watch out for the opening numbers - Runyons are quite different from others. A Runyon 7 sounds pretty wide opening for alto, but in fact it's a narrower opening than an Otto 5.

Jon

PS - Practising more also helps switching between alto and tenor!
 

Justin Chune

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,045
The tenor is a lot more free blowing than the alto, and there is nothing wrong with your reed or mouthpiece. My clarinet is a very free blowing instrument, just like your alto, until, that is, I pick it up after playing the tenor sax. It then seems as if something has been stuffed up the bell, or it needs an overhaul. Give yourself a chance to get used to the difference between playing alto and tenor before changing anything.

jim.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
I have the same 'problem'. I agree with what the others say, but tend towards a bigger alto opening. I find it easiest to play the alto until my lips/cheeks get tired, then switch to tenor. It's like moving from a wooden chair into a settee...
 

saxyman

Member
Messages
267
Thanks guys
I think you are right in that it is my technique that is at fault, I had a reversal the other day I was playing my Alto for a while and then went onto my Tenor and I had a job to get it right, particularly the low register, I was over blowing.
I will just have to practice more.
Saying that I think I will invest in another mouthpiece as JonF suggests, it's not mega money and wont break the bank.
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
Thanks guys

Saying that I think I will invest in another mouthpiece as JonF suggests, it's not mega money and wont break the bank.

Just don't do what I did and go mad - I've had dozens of mouthpieces over the years. I've slimmed down the collection a lot, but still have

Alto

Oleg Maestro
Runyon Jaguar
Ponzol M2
Lakey 4*4
Yanagisawa metal 7
Rico Metalite M7
Rico Graftonite C7
Rico Graftonite C5

Tenor

RPC 115B
Lawton 7
Lawton 8B
Otto Link 10 with big added baffle
Brihart Level Air
Saxscape Naima
ROC Britone
Yanagisawa 7 Ebonite

Plus a variety of others for soprano, C Mel and baritone. It is an addiction. Oh, and then there's the small matter of ten saxes. Oh my, there's no hope once it gets hold.
 

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,302
I think, and certainly in my experience, there is a world of difference between the saxes when it comes to embouchure. For me, playing alto pretty well (from a sound/intonation perspective at least), it was a real shock moving to tenor. It seemed everything was harder; more resistance, more breath support needed, totally different embouchure - much more relaxed at the bottom end but less so in the upper register. It took me a fair few months to make the transition from one to the other.

Then I go buy a sop! Moving between tenor and sop was such a nightmare for me that I haven't used the sop in the last 8 or 9 months at all. My teacher advised I shelve it as it was destroying my nice laid back and relaxed tone on tenor. In fairness, I just have the original and another cheap plastic mouthpiece for the sop and I never did any trials whereas for tenor I spent weeks and tried out maybe a dozen.

I just have the one mouthpiece on tenor, a Jody Jazz DV NY. I've been playing sax just short of 3 years and tenor for about 21 months. Embouchure takes a good few years to develop and I still feel mine is still improving - less so in the 'best' quality of sound and more so in my ability to produce the same consistent sound every every time I pick up the horn.

What has also helped IMO is sticking with just one mouthpiece and in my choice of reed. After almost 2 years using Marca Jazz 3s I just a couple of months ago switched to a synthetic Légère Signature which is totally brilliant. Initially I thought the 3 was a little hard but having tried the 2.75 I am now convinced the 3 is the right one for me. It plays from cold exactly the same time after time.
 
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