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M/Pieces - Ligs Beginner Mouthpiece Trial Pack!

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Hi Folks!

Many times the question seems to arise of what Mouthpiece would be good for a Newbie to start with. Normally there are the usual suspects that are mentioned/recommended and it then is up to the individual to follow the issue up.

I wonder whether it might be an idea to develop a Beginners Mouthpiece Trial Pack (BMTP)..

The BMTP could be sponsored by Forum Members and consist, say, of a number of "Beginner" mouthpieces which could be loaned out to New Members, who pay some sort of refundable deposit (and/or small trial fee/charitable donation) and receive the BMTP for, say, a 2 week loan. They could then trial the various mouthpieces and get some idea of what most suits them.

There could be, say, 8/10 mouthpieces held centrally, and each beginner could choose 4 to try out, as preferred or recommended. This could help a Beginner to make an informed choice of which mouthpiece to buy and avoid making unnecessary random purchases.

The Mouthpieces chosen could all be at the lower price range (Yamaha, Rico, LaVoz, Hite Premier, Runyon 22 etc.) and could feature slight differences in tip opening.

This could be a very practical way of helping Beginners to deal with a complicated matter. I would be happy to make a donation (mouthpieces or money) to any fund set up to develop this. One could be developed for each sax type (Soprano, Alto & Tenor in all probability) and be available to UK members only at this stage.

I'll stop there. Any thoughts......?
Kind regards
Tom
 
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saxplorer

Senior Member
Messages
879
I like the idea. I have a Tenor Yamaha 5C that is all-but-unplayed and is surplus to requirements - I'd be happy to donate it.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Sounds like a good idea.

Some practical points -
Really needs Pete's approval.
Who's going to administer it/clean the mouthpieces each time?
Should we ask for a refundable deposit?
How big an impact will Paypal/postal costs have?
What about ligs/reeds?

I'd be happy to donate a Rico B5 tenor.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Of course needs the say so from on high. I am happy to donate Rovner ligatures, Rico B5 Alto and Runyon 22#5. This is just floating an idea. I am open to being involved in postage, cleaning mouthpieces etc.

Perhaps member could make available used mouthpieces either to a cebtral point or add to a list which could then be loaned to New Members who are trying to find a suitable low cost mouthpiece, and cover postage etc. Same with ligatures. With regard to reeds we could arrange for several individual or boxes of reeds to be bought/donated etc. which could then be passed on to such members who are keen to try a selection of 4/5 different brands/hardnesses. I have a number of unused reeds that I would be happy to donate to such a worthy cause.
 
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Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
How about a beginner donating a small non-refundable sum to Pete's charity for a mouthpiece including the P&P. Kev raises a good point about who’s going to clean mpc and post them. One thought could be a syndicate of forum members are prepared to help out. I don’t mind but the P&P is a smidge more from the Isle of Man.

I’m happy to donate the following mouthpieces for the cause:

Rico Royal B7 Soprano Mouthpiece
Rico Soprano Ligature and Cap

Rico Royal B5 Alto Mouthpiece
Rico Royal Ligature and Cap

Rico Royal B5 Alto Mouthpiece
Rico Royal Ligature and Cap
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,112
My thoughts on this topic go a bit of a different direction. Players just starting out have a difficult time knowing whether it is them or the equipment when the sound isn't right. It takes a degree of playing experience before the nuanced differences between mouthpieces become apparent. It is also true that in many cases people are more comfortable with equipment that has a familiar feel to it, than with equipment that feels different even though it may be an improvement over what they are used to.

My experience in 7th grade when my teacher recommended I buy a Selmer D mouthpiece to replace the closed tip plastic student mouthpiece I had played on for 3 years was that I squeaked every time I played for almost 2 weeks until my embouchure adjusted. Had someone given me one just to try out for a day or two I would have rejected it for the one I didn't squeak on.

I guess my point is that for a period of time developing players are better served by taking the advice of experienced teachers who are good players themselves, rather than trying to choose set ups themselves in my opinion.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
I can understand where you are coming from. Several points come to mind.

1. The majority of Beginners on Cafe Saxophone have left school, college and/or university some years prior to starting playing. If I was to hazard a guess I would say that the average age is early forties.
2. Most Beginner saxophones come with a poor quality mouthpiece. When I had my first soprano sax (Rampone and Cazzani) it came with an R&C mouthpiece - nothing online about it, and bought a Berg Larsen 65/2 within a month. If I had stuck with the R&C mpc it could have impeded my learning.
3. The purpose of the trial would be to check which mouthpiece was most playable, nothing more. With slightly different tip openings and actual size it would help someone to make an informed choice, with orwithout a teachers help, if they have one.
4. My beef about teachers is that not that many of them know what is available and at what cost. It does not surprise me that your teacher recommended a Selmer mouthpiece. That is what they do. Most of the teachers I know did not know that Rico made a very good mouthpiece for £15, and so on. The mouthpieces suggested would all be less than £35 - to reduce outlay etc.
5. Any Beginner who opts for the Trial Pack would be free to ask any questions on the forum, ask about reeds etc. and get some practical help.
6. I am not aware that we have that many Beginners at any one time, possibly an average of about 2/3 a month, so do not envisage a huge demand. I would be very happy to deal with postage, cleaning, etc. and don't imagine more than one person need be involved as such. What would be good would be to get 2/3 trial packs together for each instrument, which could then be loaned out as of need. Beginners would need mouthpiece patches, which could then be disposed of after the trial.

Won't say anymore. Just could see it being useful to have, say, 1 Soprano Trial Pack, 1/2 Tenor Trial Packs and 2/3 Alto Trial Packs.
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,112
:) My teacher recommended the Selmer D in 1960 when I was in 7th grade. It was the best classical mouthpiece available at the time and I played both that and the C* through graduate school in college as a music major. The scroll shank Selmers from this period are among the most sought after pieces on eBay because they play so well. I guess this means I am an old fart. I wish I still had those pieces, but I got on the Rousseau and Meyer kick and sold them years ago. It will be interesting to see how your idea works out.
 

cjR

New Member
Messages
29
As a beginner I think this sounds like a great idea and im sure people would be happy to make a charitable donation.
 

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
Messages
26,285
As another beginner I think it would be very useful and would be happy to make a donation or contribution to set it up.
:)

Jx
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
I am aware that there have only been a smattering of interest from more experienced members so currently I am not sure whether there is enough support to sustain such a scheme. It would be nice if there were several members involved in administering such a scheme, maybe one in charge of each sax mouthpiece type - Soprano, Alto and Tenor.

If, as KevvyG suggests, we need Pete's approval, then it has not appeared thus far, so it all feels a lttle unclear at this stage.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
I'm not sure if he's seen this thread, he's been busy sorting out our spam problem. I'll give him a nudge.
 

Pete Thomas

Well-Known Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
14,527
I have seen it and was going to reply earlier, but waiting to see how it panned out with differing opinions and what beginners at what stage wanted what.

My initial thought was keep it very simple: yamaha 4C, Rico and premier Hite, kind of thinking an absolute beginner should form a basic embouchure first on any mouthpiece that's good such as a 4C before being able to choose between those good but cheap, e.g. that 4C, a Rico or a premier Hite.

But by that time, maybe 2 months maybe 6, many players might want to try more than those few and get maybe a Selmer or Vandoren or Rousseau etc. then it all gets a bit out of proportion.

So I really don't know.

But it's a good idea.
 

Sunray

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,708
I like the idea Tom ...

I guess most of us has something we no longer use that we can donate to the pool ...

I do think there should be a small charge to raise some cash for Pete's chosen charity and to cover postage both ways.
 

Pyrografix

Senile Member
Messages
1,026
I think this is a great idea.
Until Royal Mail starts charging by the mile for delivery(!), I'd be happy to be involved in the admin (cleaning/despatching etc).

Cheers,

Amanda
 

saxplorer

Senior Member
Messages
879
How about bending the concept slightly into a "Mouthpiece Library" (as was mentioned elsewhere in a different context). The borrower (beginner or otherwise) pays a certain amount to cover postage and donation, and requests up to 4 (say) mouthpieces at a time, from the library, holds on to them for a couple of weeks, and posts back in good clean condition at their expense. Someone would need to volunteer to be the "librarian", (perhaps one librarian each for SATB, in line with Tom's suggestion).

Issues I can see are mostly around money, can't see a very sensible way for librarian to be recompensed for time, effort and postage, but perhaps we should not be overly focused on the money - don't think financial rewards would be uppermost in the mind of such a volunteer. (Spin-off benefit is that the librarian gets to try ALL the pieces!)
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
If anyone has a Hite Premier Alto I would be keen to borrow one to give it a blow. I know the Yamaha, Rico and Runyon 22, but not the Hite, nor the Selmer Goldentone either.

My concern was to give beginners an easy way of trying different tip openings and different types in order that they get a good start and can try out cheap mouthpiece without breaking the bank. Maybe a mouthpiece library could be the next stage where several mouthpieces could be available on a trial basis so folks who cannot get to a shop easily or would only have a very small choice could trial one or two that they have heard about or are interested in.
 

allansto

Senior Member
Messages
471
A mouth piece library sounds fantastic.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It would not nessesarily be available to begginers only

If everyone donated thier unused mouithpieces and a library was formed im sure there would be an excess of beginner type mouthpieces.............. and then others.... that would suit intermediate and more experienced players
there would obviously need to be fees to cover the handling and admin but the benefit to forum members could be many.
Allansto.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
I have arranged to trial the following Alto Sax Beginner mouthpieces:

1. Bari Esprit II.
2. Windcraft Plastic.
3. Windcraft Ebonite Etude.
4. Clark Fobes Debut.

I will be play testing them over the next few weeks and will do some reviews for the Forum. They vary in price from £14 to £45 and are generally approx 0.065 - 0.071" tip opening.
 
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