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Metal Mouthpiece suggestions

eb424

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Erm think i said just easier..normally a bit of a struggle for me palm keys high F # with a 2 reed nd large chamber piece...
 

lydian

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369
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USA
Erm think i said just easier..normally a bit of a struggle for me palm keys high F # with a 2 reed nd large chamber piece...
Yeah, it's going to be quite a challenge on a reed that soft. I don't think the mouthpiece is the issue. It's a matter of developing the skills on a reasonable setup. If I play a #3 reed on a 7* mouthpiece, altissimo and palm notes are not a problem. Sounds like you haven't yet developed your chops on your open mouthpiece, and the extra soft reeds are a crutch.

How's your intonation up there, sharp or flat or right on the money? What I find with less experienced players on mouthpieces that are too open for them is that they bite in order to close the reed up to an opening they're comfortable with, but it results in bad intonation (sharp) and a poor tone (pinched).

If I were you, I'd set aside your open mouthpieces for a while and develop your skills and your sound on a more conservative opening. It takes a lot of strength and stamina to control a very open mouthpiece. Unless you're playing constantly for long periods of time, it's not going to happen. I played very open pieces in my younger days when I was playing a lot. But I had to go down to smaller tips in my old age. I didn't really lose anything in terms of tone quality or volume. Better to play a more closed piece you can control than an open one that you can't.
 

eb424

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london
Sound advice as usual..the v16s med chamber going to play that for a while now..
 

Jimmymack

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London
There's a current obsession with altissimo, as if it's an essential part of playing. I can play altissimo, but so what, I don't bother practicing it to become slick because I don't have a use or need for it, it's not that difficult or special, most of the time it's a gimmick or just a bit of passing flash. I don't want to play up there, if I did I'd get a soprano. Basing the quality of a mouthpiece on how easily it lets you play altissimo is just a waste of time, as many have said you can play altissimo on any piece, except Colin's vintage lelandais, if you really need to. There are two and and a half octaves below that are far more important.
 

eb424

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london
Hi @Jimmymack...its probably more palm key stuff I play..Quite a few songs I play are up in the high register but only up to high F# at the mo..The trouble with me is that If I do anything I have to be able to do it all otherwise I will never be a player...That's why i'm such a pain in the butt on here ;-).. i'ts striving to be the best I can be...Saying this I am not looking for a piece to do it all for me...for a novice I put in quite a few hours per week..The V16 is fine but I want to be preped to go above high F# with the clarity that the TW offers..whether I will ever need to is another question...
 

eb424

Senior Member
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london
Yeah, it's going to be quite a challenge on a reed that soft. I don't think the mouthpiece is the issue. It's a matter of developing the skills on a reasonable setup. If I play a #3 reed on a 7* mouthpiece, altissimo and palm notes are not a problem. Sounds like you haven't yet developed your chops on your open mouthpiece, and the extra soft reeds are a crutch.

How's your intonation up there, sharp or flat or right on the money? What I find with less experienced players on mouthpieces that are too open for them is that they bite in order to close the reed up to an opening they're comfortable with, but it results in bad intonation (sharp) and a poor tone (pinched).

If I were you, I'd set aside your open mouthpieces for a while and develop your skills and your sound on a more conservative opening. It takes a lot of strength and stamina to control a very open mouthpiece. Unless you're playing constantly for long periods of time, it's not going to happen. I played very open pieces in my younger days when I was playing a lot. But I had to go down to smaller tips in my old age. I didn't really lose anything in terms of tone quality or volume. Better to play a more closed piece you can control than an open one that you can't.
Hi @lydian thanks for the advice as usual...I have always played a 7 7* and can play large chamber no / low baffled pieces but find they don't give me the projection I am looking for...I just think I haven't appreciated what they can do mid range..The V16 is medium chamber and this seems to have resolved the issue..I can play quiet and whispy with one reed and stick a Rigotti gold on and wow what a difference...I tried the c1 neck with the Durga because it offered some resistance so should have darkened it up..with a java 2 red it works fine..ready for altissimo or to offer some clarity in the high register...

With regards to intonation it's a bit all over the place with the drop of my lip I go from -20 to plus 20...The same happened when I changed from the raw to the using the G1 neck on the Custom Z...A few nights on the tuner with long notes and it was resolved...For me the adjustability of the piece through change of emboucher shows the flexibility of the piece...At the mo it doesn't matter if I can't hit it perfectly, I know I can hit it, I will get back on the tuner now I know that a 2 java plays darker..2.5 easier on the highs...I think I have maybe been trying to get something out of pieces that I find them easier to play something else with...If that makes sence..I.e. my main piece will be the V16 which does everything I need It's down to me to make it do more...
 

jazzdoh

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2,686
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West Midlands
There's a current obsession with altissimo, as if it's an essential part of playing. I can play altissimo, but so what, I don't bother practicing it to become slick because I don't have a use or need for it, it's not that difficult or special, most of the time it's a gimmick or just a bit of passing flash. I don't want to play up there, if I did I'd get a soprano. Basing the quality of a mouthpiece on how easily it lets you play altissimo is just a waste of time, as many have said you can play altissimo on any piece, except Colin's vintage lelandais, if you really need to. There are two and and a half octaves below that are far more important.
This is me too, I use altissimo sparingly, it's more important to have something to say in the normal 2 1/2 registers.
Some tunes lean more towards using it like Caravan but I much prefer to stay in the normal registers.
 

Phil

Senior Member
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1,186
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France
The ambika is closer to a link and can probably be found used. Its warmer and darker than the gaia. A lot less intense than a durga. If yours are committed to significant baffles it might be the trick. Personally I think taking the time to build air support around a link style piece vs a baffled piece pays off in the longer run. In the end your tone benefits and you have a super versatile piece.
 

eb424

Senior Member
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london
The ambika is closer to a link and can probably be found used. Its warmer and darker than the gaia. A lot less intense than a durga. If yours are committed to significant baffles it might be the trick. Personally I think taking the time to build air support around a link style piece vs a baffled piece pays off in the longer run. In the end your tone benefits and you have a super versatile piece.
Hi @Phil...got warm and dark in a lovelly hr piece the same size as a metal. The v16 is a good mid range piece, i dropped to a medium chamber long facing. I'm not committed to baffled pieces at all but find them quite fun to play the higher registry. Picked up a used impulse great fun..i do think I have been playing to wide an opening on large chamber no / low baffled pieces i play them fine on quieter ballady stuff..when i play in the hall i need / want some projection but a cerain tone..I know the Gaia was a tad to open at an 8 it plays best with a 3 reed which was a bit whispy..I was looking for something inbetween the Durga and Gaia tone of the Gaia flexibility of the Durga..the durga on a c1 neck with a java red almost tames down to the gaia..and i have more control..could still lose a bit of baffle tho..I think..lol
 

thomsax

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4,554
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Sweden
You learn the fingering for the altissimo tones. Or just learn to blow 4-5 useful tones. I didn't manged to play altissimo licks I just learned/practiced to blow a few out of range of the sax. My favourite player when it comes to altissimo playing, Jr Walker, he didn't play licks or melodies "up there" (maybe he did, but nothing I've heard ....?) his altissimo tones came out clear and powerfull with out altissimo fingerings.

Learn altissimo fingerings or to overblow?

The mouthpieces and reeds is helping up.
View: https://youtu.be/0SVZ4cLwa3E
 

Colin the Bear

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15,881
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Burnley bb9 9dn
My retired lelandais alto piece was much repaired and refaced. The tenor I suspect had been tampered with. Both lovely down low and would overblow to an extent but impossible to get high altissimo. The older the piece, the more chance it's been altered or is worn/faulty.
They've both been replaced with soloists and altissimo pops out.
Now there's a thought. An old Selmer metal for the Yam. :manicure:
 

eb424

Senior Member
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2,354
Locality
london
My retired lelandais alto piece was much repaired and refaced. The tenor I suspect had been tampered with. Both lovely down low and would overblow to an extent but impossible to get high altissimo. The older the piece, the more chance it's been altered or is worn/faulty.
They've both been replaced with soloists and altissimo pops out.
Now there's a thought. An old Selmer metal for the Yam. :manicure:
I
My retired lelandais alto piece was much repaired and refaced. The tenor I suspect had been tampered with. Both lovely down low and would overblow to an extent but impossible to get high altissimo. The older the piece, the more chance it's been altered or is worn/faulty.
They've both been replaced with soloists and altissimo pops out.
Now there's a thought. An old Selmer metal for the Yam. :manicure:
If it works hey why not ive often looked at their jazz pieces and thought shall I..strange sizing system tho..
 

thomsax

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4,554
Locality
Sweden
It so hard talk and recommend players when it comes to mouthpices and reeds. It's often a long journey to make. Expensive but also fun. My tenor mouthpieces are Rovner Deep-V D40 (baffle), I play Plastcover reeds #3-4 (harder if I play baritone reeds). He is my thoughts and why I'm still playing my Rovners.

  1. Clarence Clemons, Jake Clemons, Bo Gustafsson, John Laughter ...... were/are Rovners users, so why shouldn't I buy a Rovner? I never played a Rovner before I bought my first one. I admit that other playes influennced me. I played a Berg Larsen SS bullet 0 chamber in the 70's as well. And Dukoff silverite with diffent chambers.
  2. What kind of music are playing? A Rovner Deep-V D40, the Stratocastor foe or friend? If you play amplified, guitar based, Blues, R&B, Rock & Roll, Soul ... a metal mpc with baffle and hard reeds can be a good choice.
  3. The reed and mouthpice is just helping you to get a more "rocking sound". You can play Rock & Roll Saxophone on all mouthpieces and reeds. I you want a big and full volume rocking sax sound you must practice!! You must also be able to blow and practice with a big and full volume. A mute or playing in a closet is (IMO) not enough to get there.
  4. Altissimo. The RockSax signum? I don't think the altissimo is so much Rock & Roll! To play a few altissimo tones is good so it not the same "up and down" all the time. As wrote earlier a few altissimo tones is more than enough for me. Just a few that will fit the keys that I use to play in. It's not alltisimo in all 12 keys for me !!!!! Just pick some easy tones.
  5. To be a naughty child is also helping you to become a good altissimo player!?!?!?! A good altissimo player told me that he was often sent up to his room when he had done somthing stupid or wrong. And he started to do his saxophone homework. It was often altissimo and ovetones excercises. It didn't take long before one of his parents showed up in his room and asking him what he was doing. "I'm just doing my home work" and hold up his book. When he went to Berklee classic saxophone classes he had done a lot of altissimo playing !!!!
I'm not seaching for the right mouthpiece and reeds any more. I have Rovners from #8 (.115")- #10 (.130"). The day i'm not able to blow the #8, I should spend my time on something else.
 

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