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M/Pieces - Ligs mouthpiece advice please

Jen

New Member
Messages
5
Hi
Apologies as I know there are lots of threads about this. However I'm a novice and wondered if anyone can point me in the right direction.

I have acquired a lovely BW alto this week and I am really happy with it.

It came with a Yamaha 4c mouthpiece which I'm not so enamoured with.

My two top front teeth are capped and I have always used those sticky pads to lessen the impact on my teeth.

I was wondering if the hard rubber mouthpieces may be a bit softer on the gnashers ?plus, as the BW has a very bright tone I wondered if this would help to get a rounder sound?

Any advice would be much appreciated
Thanks
Jen
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
Messages
21,914
Locality
Just north of Munich
It's not the mouthpiece. And hard rubber ones are not any softer, at least as far as teeth go.

You've got 2 options - thicker patches, or switch to a double lip embouchure where the teeth don't touch the mouthpiece. Traditionalists frown on this, saying teeth on mouthpiece is the only way to play. However I had a similar problem and went double lip. Never looked back, but it did take a while to build up the lip strength needed.

Funny, about 12 months ago I got a new teacher when my old one retired. Old one hadn't said a word about double lip, the new one didn't either, but complemented me on my tone, until it came out in conversation that I used a double lip. He then insisted that I switch. I asked for reasons and got the usual "it's the right way", but nothing with any substance. So I refused, saying I coudn't stand the vibration on my teeth. After he got over the shock of me refusing, his reaction was to say he also had a problem with it and go digging in his bag for a second extra thick patch.... We didn't get on well and I've switched again. New guy's said nothing, but is really happy with my tone and intonation. Not sure if he's noticed or not.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,946
Locality
Burnley bb9 9dn
I use a 1mm patch with a 0.3mm clear patch on top . You can layer them up.

Make sure you're resting your teeth on the mp and not biting. It's a strange sensation at first but in a short while you'll get used to it.

There are lots of options for a mouthpiece to darken it up. A Selmer S80 in a C* lay splits the room and the Soloist gets good reviews. Changing the brand and type of reed you're using can help. However as most of the sound comes from you, practice will change your sound so I'd hang on till you are more comfortable playing.
 

Jen

New Member
Messages
5
Thank you both for the advice :)

I had the opportunity to go to a music shop today and tried quite a few mouthpieces out. I am now the proud new owner of a selmer s80 c*. It is gorgeous.

I've got some decent sticky pads and it feels great, really natural. My other half just said 'that's the one' after a few notes.

I knew that I was not going to get on with the Yamaha as I learned on a lovely old mouthpiece that my previous teacher gave me and the Yamaha just didn't feel right.

I just need to get a lot of practice in to get my tone right. Middle g, going to be a problem for a little while i think. Haven't played for 5 years so need to get going.

I've got a pretty nice set up now I think, so if I can't get a decent tune out of it fairly soon, I know its me not the instrument :)
 

sog50

New Member
Messages
5
Locality
Midlands, UK
It's not the mouthpiece. And hard rubber ones are not any softer, at least as far as teeth go.

You've got 2 options - thicker patches, or switch to a double lip embouchure where the teeth don't touch the mouthpiece. Traditionalists frown on this, saying teeth on mouthpiece is the only way to play. However I had a similar problem and went double lip. Never looked back, but it did take a while to build up the lip strength needed.

Funny, about 12 months ago I got a new teacher when my old one retired. Old one hadn't said a word about double lip, the new one didn't either, but complemented me on my tone, until it came out in conversation that I used a double lip. He then insisted that I switch. I asked for reasons and got the usual "it's the right way", but nothing with any substance. So I refused, saying I coudn't stand the vibration on my teeth. After he got over the shock of me refusing, his reaction was to say he also had a problem with it and go digging in his bag for a second extra thick patch.... We didn't get on well and I've switched again. New guy's said nothing, but is really happy with my tone and intonation. Not sure if he's noticed or not.

I have found there is no 'right' way for playing any instrument. Dizzy and Getz puff their cheeks out, Monk had different ways of playing depending on the tune or if he was comping, Lester Young played to the side, Dave Sanborn plays out of the side of his mouth due to polio when he was young, Jimmy Haslip plays his bass left handed with the strings the opposite way round. The list goes on ...

Whatever works for you.
 

AlistairD

Member
Messages
164
Not to get into the 'which material is better' debate, but from my experience the material does matter with the vibrations through the teeth. The following list is my take:

Worst - Crystal (e.g. Pomarico - There is no way I could play one without a thick patch)
Not good - Metal
OK - Hard Rubber
Best - Wood (easy to play without a patch - but I never do for fear of damaging the mouthpiece...)

Just my 2ps worth.

A
 

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