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mouthpeices and reeds

frankiejb59

Member
Messages
39
hello. I am in ownership of two tenor saxophones. I'm waiting for the second to arrive. Both have a standard b flat mouthpiece but one has a "C4" mouthpiece What is that? Is it the C note in the fourth octave or something? I have quite a few reeds and the strength i usually play is two. I have some two and a half and threes as well. playing the three's gives me bulging veins and the two and half are labouring. I have noticed a deeper tone when i play these but i believed the difficulty was due to lack of experience and strength which would develop in time but I've seen on websites that this issue is more to do with the mouth pieces that my personal experience. Is this true?

Thanks

--
Frankie
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
In general, harder reeds means a better tone and more difficulty with the lower notes. Play what's comfroatable, unless there's a very good reason to change.

Not sure what you mean by b flat mouthpiece. Normally all that's mentioned is tip opening and possibly chamber size (e.g. Rico B5 where B is the chamber and 5 is the tip opening), and many makers don't mention chamber size as they have different ranges which have different chambers. Whatever, mouthpiece markings have no meaning as far as notes are concerned.

If you give us more details about the mouthpieces(make/model/any other markings/what it's made of), someone's likely to be able to help more.
 

frankiejb59

Member
Messages
39
In general, harder reeds means a better tone and more difficulty with the lower notes. Play what's comfroatable, unless there's a very good reason to change.

Not sure what you mean by b flat mouthpiece. Normally all that's mentioned is tip opening and possibly chamber size (e.g. Rico B5 where B is the chamber and 5 is the tip opening), and many makers don't mention chamber size as they have different ranges which have different chambers. Whatever, mouthpiece markings have no meaning as far as notes are concerned.

If you give us more details about the mouthpieces(make/model/any other markings/what it's made of), someone's likely to be able to help more.
I called it b flat because the sax is b flat, the redds are be flat and i assumed the c4 on the new one meant c key or something but now from what you said, i can see it doesn't. The c4 hasn't arrived yet. at present i have two. A plastic one and a metal one. the plastic one has no visible markings i can see but the metal one looks brass, is thinner than the plastic one and is marked with the number seven
 

frankiejb59

Member
Messages
39
In general, harder reeds means a better tone and more difficulty with the lower notes. Play what's comfroatable, unless there's a very good reason to change.

Not sure what you mean by b flat mouthpiece. Normally all that's mentioned is tip opening and possibly chamber size (e.g. Rico B5 where B is the chamber and 5 is the tip opening), and many makers don't mention chamber size as they have different ranges which have different chambers. Whatever, mouthpiece markings have no meaning as far as notes are concerned.

If you give us more details about the mouthpieces(make/model/any other markings/what it's made of), someone's likely to be able to help more.
I'm comfortable wit a two strength :)
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Troiuble with the numerical tip openings is that each manufacturer has their own scale. In general a 7 is fairly wide, 5 middling and below that narrow. If there's a * after the number it means that it's somewhere between that and the next number up - so a 7* is wider than a 7 and narrower than an 8 FROM THAT MAKER..... Selmer use letters (C,D etc.).

Generally wider tips require softer reeds. And each mouthpiece you have will probably require a different reed...

Is the C4 possibly a 4C? These are one of the standard starter mouthpieces made by yamaha. And are considered good, although opinions vary. Fairly narrow tip.

But.... Don't try too many mouthpieces at first. Pick the easiest to play and learn to play the sax. Try other pieces later.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
As neither mouthpiece seems to have a brand name attached to them it may be that both of them are possibly "cheap" stock mouthpieces, and are of no particular quality. What make are the saxes? If it is a C4 mouthpiece then it may be a low quality copy of the Yamaha 4C mouthpiece, in the same way that you will find lots of 7C trumpet mouthpieces (loosely based on the Vincent Bach 7C) - the most common beginner mouthpiece.

The Yamaha 4C has been a very common sax beginner mouthpiece (especially so for younger players) though there are other beginner mouthpieces out there, made by Bari, Clark Fobes, Rico, La Voz, Windcraft and others, all of which are pretty good.
 

frankiejb59

Member
Messages
39
As neither mouthpiece seems to have a brand name attached to them it may be that both of them are possibly "cheap" stock mouthpieces, and are of no particular quality. What make are the saxes? If it is a C4 mouthpiece then it may be a low quality copy of the Yamaha 4C mouthpiece, in the same way that you will find lots of 7C trumpet mouthpieces (loosely based on the Vincent Bach 7C) - the most common beginner mouthpiece.

The Yamaha 4C has been a very common sax beginner mouthpiece (especially so for younger players) though there are other beginner mouthpieces out there, made by Bari, Clark Fobes, Rico, La Voz, Windcraft and others, all of which are pretty good.
Hello. One sax is the boosey and hawkes 400. The unlabelled mouthpiece sounds quite nice and does well for most part. It struggled when i try to tongue five successive low Ds :) but that's probably just me. The other is a Corton LaFleur, b&H import. I haven't got it yet. waiting for delivery. That comes with the 4c mouthpiece. I accept any recommendations for affordable but decent mouthpieces and reeds.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Hi there!

For a Tenor mouthpiece I would recommebd the Windcraft Ebonite Tenor Etude - http://www.dawkes.co.uk/accessories/windcraft+ebonite+tenor+sax+mouthpiece+-amw602.html which costs £49 and is available on trial. Given the strength issues you mention I would try Rico Jazz Select 2M's or Marca Jazz 2.5's.

Kind regards
Tom
 
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frankiejb59

Member
Messages
39
thanks. I will try one of those. price isn't bad either, Incidentally. the other sax arrived yesterday and came with its c4 or 4c whatever mouthpiece. every note played as smooth as silk on my new sax, even the mid c# (sax mid c# not standard mid c#). I tried the same mouthpiece on my other sax and it played smooth on that one.. It just shows, good gear is always a good investment. :)
 
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