All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians
SYOS

M/Pieces - Ligs Metal Mouthpiece suggestions for a Tenor

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
I’ve been struggling to get the notes, especially the high ones in tune with a good embouchure. Yesterday I finally worked it out. I need to take the mouthpiece in more than I have but it isn’t comfortable and makes me gag a little! In that thread Sunray suggests that I try a metal mouthpiece because:

I… a Yani Metal mouth peice [an 8] Metal is much smaller, neater, louder and more comfortable to use ... :w00t:

Give Metal a try mate ... ;}
So the question is which one? I am playing on a Yamaha YTS-275 Tenor so don’t want to spend a fortune on a metal mouthpiece. I’ve read that metal mouthpieces aren’t recommended for a beginner but I don’t bite the mouthpiece so I reckon I’ll get away with playing one.

Ideally I’d like a free blowing mouthpiece with a matching ligature and cap. I play Jazz, Blues, Swing, etc … so a mouthpiece that suits would be great.

My biggest problem is living on an Isle and trying out various mouthpieces isn’t really an option!

Thanks in advance for any suggestions! :thankyou:

Paul
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,959
I think if you're looking for a metal piece to cure a problem with blowing technique then you're going to end up, ultimately, disappointed.

The reason metal pieces aren't recommended for beginners has nothing to so with their being metal, it's simple a matter of economics. A decent metal piece costs a great deal more than a decent basic HR piece...and by the time a beginner's embouchure has developed enough to tell what's good and what's not, they may find themselves stuck with a piece that's cost them a lot and is of no use to them.

That's not to say that it never works, just as long as you're aware of the pitfalls.

Regards,
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,959
I've just noticed you're using a Graftonite piece. I strongly suspect it's the root of your problems.

Regards,
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
Thanks Stephen! It was the smaller size that I was hoping for with the Metal Mouthpiece but think I'll steer clear for a while :D Why would the B5 cause a problem other than its huge! I guess I just have to get used to a larger mouthpiece after playing the Alto and Sop.

Nick suggested in another thread that I try the Runyon Quantum (Plastic) with a spoiler. It looks very nice but I'm not sure which lay would suit me best? 3 to 12?

As you say I don't want to throw money away!
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,483
First of all Paul, are you relying only on the advise of people here or elsewhere or have you got a teacher available to you?

Because I think that you are running the serious risk of confusing yourself trying all kinds of things while you should concentrate on building a good embouchure and breath support.

The Graftonites are nothing special but they are good general purpose mouthpieces and they should serve you well.

If , with an uncertain embouchure, you start messing around with things like Runyons and spoilers or sexy metal mouthpieces I am afraid that you might just do more harm than good to your embouchure.

You seem to be doubling alto en tenor. How good is your experience with any of them and how much time do you dedicate to both?

Doubling, interesting though it is , is not for everyone and the necessary adjustment to one horn or the other might very well throw your intonation all over the place, if you are still learning to cope with it.

Taking in more mouthpiece should't "gag" you , if it does you are taking in too much. Too little you choke the reed, too much and YOU are going to choke.

Take things slowly and go back to basics.

Practice long tones , especially pianissimo to fortissimo long tones. Don't put so much tension on you jaw, especially on tenor, drop it and form a O with your mouth when you play avoiding to support your embouchure by biting. We all do that, don't worry too much if you do, just be aware of it.


Can you play Low notes pianissimo? Can You play high notes pianissimo? When you do that does your sound waver? If it does you probably bite too much to stabilise your tone and send the intonation all over the place, the answer is breath control to not need any biting at all.

In my opinion the last thing you know now is another mouthpiece. Most of us when having problems can better go back (if you've ever been there) to to basics and take it from there.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

griff136

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,048
Paul - before you go down the metal mouthpiece route - and as you say - you cant try 'em where you are you are more than likely to end up dissapointed as Stephen Howard quite rightly pointed out.

You mentioned you had to take more mouthpiece in to get in tune - can you not push the mouthpiece on a little further instead?

Did your 275 come with a yamaha 4C OR 5C? these are more than adequate to get the whole range of notes including altissimo - reed selection is also important.

Practice, practice, practice and long tones will help your embouchure no end and before long you should be able to scream out and play pianissimo all the notes in your saxes' range.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
Hi Milandro,

Thanks for the reply! I do have a teacher but we mainly concentrate on the Alto. I can play it reasonably well from Low Bb to High F# and getting the hang of the Altissimo. The scales are going well as is my pianissimo.

I’m not having any problems with the Sop either apart from the high end but only been playing that since Friday :D

I understand what you’re saying and I’ve always run before I can walk :D I think I’m just so used to a smaller mouthpiece thus I’m struggling to take in the Tenor mouthpiece. Apparently the Runyon Quantum is smaller, so maybe more comfortable. My embouchure is quite good and I can now play top to bottom on the tenor with my 4c m’pce but I’m finding it a little big. My problem was choking the reed as I hadn’t taken enough in. My pianissimo is improving on the Tenor slowly :D Not bad on the lows but it does quiver past high c.

I practice six days a week for around 6 hours a day on and off.

I did start at the beginning this morning and its coming along nicely apart from the mouthpiece feeling quite big! I must have a small mouth?
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
Hi Griff,

It did come with a 4c m'pce and I put it back on this morning :D It is slightly smaller than the B5! I'm hoping the Runyon Quantum is a touch smaller than the 4c (fingerscrossed).

I'm practising my scales and its coming along slowly - hopefully if I just keep playing the Tenor this week I'll get it as well as I do with the Alto!
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,904
How about borrowing a baritone for a few days? After that, the tenor will feel small ;}.
 

VirusKiller

Member
Messages
449
The Tenor is starting to feel better now I've been playing it today. I'm slowly getting used to the mouthpiece :)
Hey Paul, even metal mouthpieces take some getting used to! It's taking me a while to get to grips with my new BW tenor and metal Yani #9 and a lot of that is getting the basic embouchure right...
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
Hey Paul, even metal mouthpieces take some getting used to! It's taking me a while to get to grips with my new BW tenor and metal Yani #9 and a lot of that is getting the basic embouchure right...
Thanks! I does seem so. I think if I keep playing the Tenor for a week I'll get that embouchure right. It's feeling more comfortable now so I can concentrate on the embouchure. I don't think I'll be getting a metal mouthpiece for a while but may get the Runyon Quantum (plastic) I'm thinking a Lay 6. I see you're using #9.
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,959
Thanks Stephen! It was the smaller size that I was hoping for with the Metal Mouthpiece but think I'll steer clear for a while :D Why would the B5 cause a problem other than its huge! I guess I just have to get used to a larger mouthpiece after playing the Alto and Sop.

Nick suggested in another thread that I try the Runyon Quantum (Plastic) with a spoiler. It looks very nice but I'm not sure which lay would suit me best? 3 to 12?

As you say I don't want to throw money away!
I have a lot of student clients who use Graftonite pieces and who complain about blowing problems.
Many years ago when I used to have a retail business I bought in a batch of these piece on spec. I tried a few of them and was so unimpressed by them that I refused to sell them...still got one or two knocking about.
Contrast that with the Yamaha pieces - up until a few years ago I was using these pieces as testbench pieces, for testing repaired horns ( my gigging Dukoffs being entirely unsuitable for such purposes ). I still use a Yamaha 5C baritone piece on gigs occasionaly.
They're not 'great' mouthpieces, by any means - but they're quite well made, more than adequate....and very reasonably priced. I tend to feel that players are only ready for £50+ pieces when they can play their way around a basic Yamaha piece...not because they won't be able to play them, rather that they won't really know which is the right one to get for the long term.

The bottom line is that 'dues' have to be paid, and when it comes to more expensive mouthpieces there's some wisdom in the saying "If you have to ask..."
I'd say give it a few months on the Yamaha piece at the very least before unchaining the wallet.

Regards,
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
Thanks Stephen! That does explains a lot. I've been playing the Yamaha 4c all day and it is all starting to come together. I put the B5 back on and I'm struggling with it. Maybe when my embouchure is better!
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,959
Pick one piece and stick to it...it's hard enough for experienced players to switch between pieces, let alone beginners.
Sounds like the Yamaha is doing the do - so away with the Graftonite, hit the deck and give me 20 ( in all major and minor keys )!

Regards,
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,953
Agreed, but if money's no object and you can't stand the sound of a Yamaha then why not give something else a bash. There's nothing special about Yamahas that makes them the only mouthpiece suitable for a beginner.
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
Pick one piece and stick to it...it's hard enough for experienced players to switch between pieces, let alone beginners.
Sounds like the Yamaha is doing the do - so away with the Graftonite, hit the deck and give me 20 ( in all major and minor keys )!

Regards,
Yes Sir :D

I agree with sticking to one mouthpiece. I did that on my Alto with the Optimum Ebonite AL3.
 

Stephen Howard

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,959
Agreed, but if money's no object and you can't stand the sound of a Yamaha then why not give something else a bash. There's nothing special about Yamahas that makes them the only mouthpiece suitable for a beginner.
What's special about them is that they're incredibly consistent...and ubiquituous.
This means that when a beginner says "I'm having trouble with my xyz notes.." it means that it's a great deal easier to home in on the problem ( embouchure...faulty horn etc. ). Having a 'given' quantity is a huge help in diagnosis.
I appreciate there's the aspect of not liking the sound - but you have to have a sound first, and that's not something you can just buy.

Regards,
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
Agreed, but if money's no object and you can't stand the sound of a Yamaha then why not give something else a bash. There's nothing special about Yamahas that makes them the only mouthpiece suitable for a beginner.
I've ordered the Runyon Quantum (Plastic) Lay: 6 in White. Four weeks delivery though! :D It seems the style that I'm after! Once it comes that'll be the only mouthpiece I'll play for a while (without the spoiler in place though).
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
What's special about them is that they're incredibly consistent...and ubiquituous.
This means that when a beginner says "I'm having trouble with my xyz notes.." it means that it's a great deal easier to home in on the problem ( embouchure...faulty horn etc. ). Having a 'given' quantity is a huge help in diagnosis.
I appreciate there's the aspect of not liking the sound - but you have to have a sound first, and that's not something you can just buy.

Regards,
Valid point! and putting the 4c on made me readdress my embouchure which was the crux of my problem. Getting used to a larger mouthpiece too!
 
Saxholder Pro
Help!Mailing List
Top Bottom