Taming The Saxophone

Making Your Own Mouthpiece

Veggie Dave

Bisaxual
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2,285
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Hutton, Essex
#1
This might be a really stupid idea but I really like the idea of trying to make a rubber mouthpiece. The first (of many) question(s) is, can you buy rubber blanks?
 

Phil

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Commercial Subscriber
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138
Location
France
#2
Before going and spending real money on a good blank pick up some garbage pieces and learn to make a curve. You are going to mess up a lot of pieces before making something worth using.
 

saxyjt

Well-Known Member
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1,875
Location
France
#3
You've got an expert online, so I can't be of too much help, but before you get started how many mouthpieces have you tried?

And what makes you think you're going to do anything interesting?

I have around 70 in total for soprano, alto, tenor and baritone. Only touched a few, very gently or to fix a problem with a bore that was too wide, but so far I've refrained from doing any serious changes.

I'd love to, one day, but it'll take a massive investment in terms of learning curve. And I'm sure you better have a good tutor! So maybe you should ask for one. There are a few specialists here... @Phil being one of them of course!

Good luck! Sounds like a fantastic project.
 

jbtsax

old and opinionated
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5,995
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Beautiful Springville, Utah USA
#5
My friend Ernie Northway who makes custom mouthpieces used to get his blanks from JJ Babbitt. I know he bought large quantities at a time. I don't know if they would sell just one or two.

My advice would be to learn to crawl before you try to run with making mouthpieces. Theo Wanne has an excellent kit and book for learning mouthpiece refacing. He gives you all of the necessary tools and clear step by step instructions to make a good playing mouthpiece even better. Mouthpiece Refacing Kit I have attended a few of Theo's workshops and he has broken down his approach to refacing to clear, and easy to understand steps.
 

saxyjt

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Messages
1,875
Location
France
#7
You seem to have thought about this more than I have. ;)
What I find interesting is to see that most resources are about facing. It's certainly an important part of a mouthpiece, but the interior shape is also very important and there are many variables there too that must influence the sound greatly and I haven't seen anything about it.

Trade secrets? :confused2:
 

Veggie Dave

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2,285
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Hutton, Essex
#8

jazzdoh

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1,965
Location
West Midlands
#12
I was hoping to see some videos from the master Joe Vassallo seeing that I'm pretty good with a mallet and chisel.
Seriously though i have tried to reface a couple of cheap mouthpieces but realise that it is better to stick to playing them.
 
Messages
234
#13
Have you moved to Venus? You obviously have many, many more hours in your day than Earthlings! I want to practice more, look into your Reaper resource, make play-alongs.
Not that mouthpieces aren’t fascinating, but let’s face it, they’re a bit of a 10,000 hours project.
Ooh, a thought: have you cloned yourself perhaps?
 

Veggie Dave

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Hutton, Essex
#14
You're right, real life has an annoying habit of trying to get in the way of really important things. ;)

As it happens, my Italian has been all but abandoned over the last couple of months. I really must find some time to start doing that again, although I've just joined another band and I'm thinking it would be fun to start a Rhythm & Blues Revue Show.
 
Last edited:
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234
#15
You're right, real life has an annoying habit of trying to get in the way of really important things. ;)

As it happens, my Italian has been all but abandoned over the last couple of months. I really must find some time to start doing that again, although I've just joined another band and I'm thinking it would be fun to start a Rhythm & Blues Revue Show.
I went from being amused to awestruck - you need to write about time management - there’s always room for another War of Art.
And yes, do all those things! After all, they say if you want something done, ask a busy person.
 

sax panther

Member
Subscriber
Messages
221
#16
Veggie Dave, I've got some old stock mouthpieces (an alto and a bari) you can have if you wanted to experiment with refacing etc.

Mojo Bari's videos are really helpful - he goes into a lot of detail and shows you most of the steps. I was actually watching some of his youtube videos at the weekend, and was very interested in the one about adding the removable baffle. I went out at lunchtime today and bought some orthodontic wax from boots (about £3), and spent about 1 minute adding a very rough step baffle to my Berg 110/2....first impressions...WOW! Need to record it tomorrow when the girlfriend's out and I can be properly loud, and will see how it projects in my next band rehearsal, but after a quick blast tonight it sounds incredibly punchy and responsive, and it seems to have made it even more reed friendly.
 

saxyjt

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,875
Location
France
#17
Oh yeah, I forgot! Blue tack is great to experiment with baffle and other chamber shape changes...

I cut out a few wood sticks to help doing that kind of thing.
 

sax panther

Member
Subscriber
Messages
221
#18
If I still like it in a few weeks I'll probably make a more permanent one from sugru or something similar. The dental wax seems pretty sturdy though, it stands up to a pull through. Smells minty too!
 

altissimo

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,893
Location
leicester
#19
Veggie Dave, I've got some old stock mouthpieces (an alto and a bari) you can have if you wanted to experiment with refacing etc.

Mojo Bari's videos are really helpful - he goes into a lot of detail and shows you most of the steps. I was actually watching some of his youtube videos at the weekend, and was very interested in the one about adding the removable baffle. I went out at lunchtime today and bought some orthodontic wax from boots (about £3), and spent about 1 minute adding a very rough step baffle to my Berg 110/2....first impressions...WOW! Need to record it tomorrow when the girlfriend's out and I can be properly loud, and will see how it projects in my next band rehearsal, but after a quick blast tonight it sounds incredibly punchy and responsive, and it seems to have made it even more reed friendly.
you added am extra baffle to a Berg??? You're even madder than I am..
 
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