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PPT Mouthpieces

M/Pieces - Ligs I need some advice

BigT

Member
Messages
61
Hi Guys, I have been playing Alto for about 6 weeks and progressing well considering the lack of 1 to 1 tuition and with lots of help on here. I quickly changed to a Legere Signature and a Rovner Dark lig on the Yamaha 4C. Through a friend I was offered a sale or return of a brand new Meyer 5M mouthpiece for a really good price. (Before anyone comments I can guarantee it’s not a knock off as the guy had the original invoice from Dawkes). When it arrived it was not a Meyer 5M it was a Meyer 8M. Needless to say it is a bit of a different experience compared to what I have been useful. Looking at the specs I suspect it’s down to the tip gap? I am tempted to keep it as it’s a really good price but would I grow into it, ever?
 

turf3

Member
Messages
56
Hard to tell after 6 weeks of beginner action whether you would "grow into" a facing that most experienced professionals would say is a bit too open for them.

Until your embouchure develops to the point of having a stable point to return to every time you pick up the instrument, a too-open tip is likely to just cause all kinds of instability and tuning problems.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,558
Maybe yes. It might be a while before you have the chops. It will need a softer reed being a wider tip opening. I'd wait till you're ready to try it before moving it on.
 

BigT

Member
Messages
61
Thanks guys, my feelings exactly. I did love the tone though. Really bluesy. Do you think someone would swap it for a Meyer 5? I can get this for £130 so it’s a good deal.
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
Subscriber
Messages
6,611
Sorry to be a wet blanket, but it seems to me that you will be paying quite a lot for a mouthpiece that you may never use and that will be difficult to sell.

An 8 opening is very large. It’s quite possible that it will never be right for you.
And £130 is not that great a deal - I found an online shop (Alan Gregory) selling Meyer alto mouthpieces for £138.

I’m a mouthpiece junkie - I have far too many mouthpieces, but I don’t buy a mouthpiece unless I think it could displace the ones I have got, and a Meyer 8 does not sound attractive to me. But of course it could be just right for someone else.
 

ellinas

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,032
Keep the meyer for later. Grow on that 4c and stop buying things. Practice practice practice . And find a tutor at least for some beginning lessons.

Greetings from Athens
 

BigT

Member
Messages
61
Ok. Good advice and that’s why I plug into the info and advice here. I will return it and carry on with the 4C and keep my peepers open for a bargain when I have liquidated some bits and bobs later in the year. As far as lessons are concerned...I will and I want to but we are in the grip of a serious infection situation here in my part of the U.K. with 1 in 30 people infected and I am in one of the risk categories so personal tuition will need to wait. Stay Home Stay Safe.
 

BigT

Member
Messages
61
I have to wonder why change to a different ligature on a 4C?
Hi Pete, Simple really, the original one that came with the Yamaha 23 I was gifted was so corroded it was scrap and the mouthpiece was chipped. The replacement genuine Yamaha 4C one was carelessly knocked onto the floor and stood on by my wife. I ordered another Yamaha lig from Dawkes to be delivered by post. It arrived in a JIFFY BAG and was crushed by Royal Fail. On contacting Dawkes they offered me the Rovner Dark as a FOC replacement as more suitable for the Legere Reed at no extra cost and would be safe in the post. Given the price point I took the offer. So thats what I have been using on the 4C with a Legere Signature reed. Is this the wrong combination? Was the advice from Dawkes incorrect?

The Meyer was offered to me by the repair tech after he serviced the Yamaha 23 as a future upgrade, which, incidentally, he said was the best one he had seen in 20 plus years of instrument repair, but he will take it back, no problem. He may have given me the wrong one, I will check with him when this one goes back.
 

Pete Thomas

Well-Known Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
14,634
So thats what I have been using on the 4C with a Legere Signature reed.
No it's absolutely fine to use that ligature, as long as it's a good fit for the mouthpiece which it should be.
Is this the wrong combination? Was the advice from Dawkes incorrect?
Well, I have never thought of any ligature being more or less suitable for any specific reed. It's all to do with mouthpiece. A ligature should form well to the profile (taper) and have enough adjustment to both go tighter or looser.
 

Pete Thomas

Well-Known Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
14,634
OK looks good then as I can fiddle with the tension and get different sounds.
Something seems wrong about that. You need to get it the right tightness. With Rovners that can be just a little tighter than you might tighten with a metal lig, on account of the elasticity. make sure it is lubricated, sounds like there may be some binding.

I would say it is wrong (especially for a beginner) to "use" a ligature for different sound.
 

BigT

Member
Messages
61
Something seems wrong about that. You need to get it the right tightness. With Rovners that can be just a little tighter than you might tighten with a metal lig, on account of the elasticity. make sure it is lubricated, sounds like there may be some binding.

I would say it is wrong (especially for a beginner) to "use" a ligature for different sound.
Lubricate with what? Cork grease?
 

Pete Thomas

Well-Known Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
14,634
Lubricate with what? Cork grease?
No, oil - on the screws and hole the screw goes through. Just a little bit of 3 in 1 or something like that should be fine. Any difference in sound would imply you aren't tightening enough, which would interfere with the reed being held firm so it vibrates properly.
 

BigT

Member
Messages
61
So thanks for the advice, guess in my enthusiasm to try it I didnt read the instructions, which I now have. So it does say a bit about getting different sounds from different tensions.

"LUBRICATION IMPORTANT! This ligature will not perform unless the metal fittings are properly lubricated. Lack of lubrication can cause the ligature to sound stuffy or dull. Lubricate rubbing surfaces and threads of metal parts regularly with a good general lubricant (household oil) or cork grease. A GOOD FIT Proper fit is essential to good performance. If the ends of the ligature (the pins) butt together when you tighten the thumbscrew, but you have not achieved a snug fit, the ligature may be too big. If the gap be-tween the ends of the ligature exceeds 1/4”, it may be too small. Try a different size ligature. BREAKING IN A break-in period of at least several performances is required to permit the ligature to stress out evenly and take a “set” to your mouth-piece. Allow yourself a reasonable period of time for getting used to the subtleties of your new ligature. With some experimentation using different reeds and adjustments, even greater tonal brilliance can generally be achieved."

 

Pete Thomas

Well-Known Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
14,634
So it does say a bit about getting different sounds from different tensions.

Where does it mention different tensions?

I mean, obviously you may get a different sound from having it too loose because , as mentioned above, it won't be holding the reed properly. You need to tighten it enough that the reed does not move or slip at all when you remove, adjust for tuning or put on the mouthpiece.
 

MikeMorrell

Netherlands
Subscriber
Messages
1,512
@BigT It's great to hear that you're progressing so well after 6 weeks! But IMHO, unless you're having real problems playing that can't be fixed with different (strength) reeds, perhaps now is not the right time to change your setup.

On the 'charts' a Yamaha 4c has a tip opening of 65mm. A Myer 5M is about 72mm-73mm (a next step) and a Meyer 8M is about 87-88 mm (who knows?).

I'm beginning to sound like a broken record on the café ;) but I suspect that the 'adjustments' to achieve
'even greater tonal brilliance' are not adjustments in tension. If a reed is lying flat on a mpc and is already firmly - and evenly - secured, dialing up the tension on the screw(s) won't IHMO have any effect on the tone. It's more likely to just damage the screws (and lig)!

'Adjustments' that might affect tone are IHMO more likely to mean those that affect
  • the position of the lig on the mpc, and/or
  • the position of the reed on the mpc (under the lig)

Look up some of my previous posts on this.

As I've previously said, I actually prefer just enough but not too much tension on my lig because this allows me to finely adjust (with my thumb) the position of my reed on my mpc 'on the fly' if I need to. During concerts/rehearsals (depending on how my 'chops' feel), I've occasionally adjusted the position of my lig too. If my embouchure is seriously in danger of caving in, my last fallback is changing mpc's to something less demanding!

Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS) is common in many kinds of hobbies. I'm not talking about collectors, just about people who believe that 'better/different' gear would enable them to 'perform' better. At a professional level, I'm sure that this is true. At an amateur level I have my doubts. I have 2 main hobbies, playing sax and photography.
Some sax players: "If only I had a better/different sax/mpc then I would be able to play/sound better"
Some photographers: 'If only I had a better camera/lighting equipment then my photo's would look better.

My take: Great saxophonists can sound great on cheap saxes and mpc's. Great photographers can take great photos on the most primitive automatic cameras.
 
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