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M/Pieces - Ligs Mouthpiece problems - sorted

calorgaz

New Member
Messages
3
I switched to Tenor about 4 years ago, after playing alto for a couple of years, and I've always found it much harder. I've read on this forum that tenors require slightly more puff, but I was finding that I needed a huge amount more air. So much so that it was putting me off playing (an hours playing was like a gym session). The mouthpiece is an Otto Link metal (size 7), which is supposed to be a good make, so I was constantly trying to work out what I was doing wrong (no time to find a teacher).

I'd read on the forum that there were differences between mouthpieces but had put that down to the same gear comparison syndrome as experienced by cyclists: they spend so much time analysing differences between components that they develop super-senses to such an extent that no ordinary mortal will be able to tell the difference.

However, I got a slight dose of GAS and purchased a PPT 7* recently in the rather desperate hope that it might make things better. The first hour of playing was a revelation! The difference was so massive that I thought it might be worth telling everyone so that no-one suffers like I have over the last few years!

So, my Otto Link was:

1. Hard to blow - required massive amounts of air. The PPT is almost easier than my alto to play despite having a slightly larger gap than the original Link.
2. Out of tune - D-E on the middle register and palm keys are out by a semitone or more most of the time (and yes, I have tried all the suggested fixes, like moving the mpc in/out on the cork). The PPT is more or less in tune, all the time: if it's not sounding right, it's because my embouchure has tightened or something.
3. Open C# is ridiculously bright and middle register D-E are incredibly stuffy. The PPT has a pretty uniform (and much better) sound throughout the whole range.
4. Does not do quiet - the sound cuts out if I tried to play anything much below mf. The PPT can whisper.

And on top of all this, it seems I can now play faster. It's as though, by not having to concentrate so hard on getting a sound, my brain has got more time to pay attention to my fingering. Weird.

So, with the simple act of replacing the mouthpiece I have gone from struggling to make any progress at all, to realising that I'm better at this lark than I thought. I can see the way ahead and hopefully, this will allow me to learn much quicker and make the whole process more fun.

The PPT is a great mouthpiece (but I know that from all the good reviews it's got). The learning point for me though is that you absolutely have to audition pieces - the difference can be quite staggering (or is it just that my Otto Link is a duff example?).

Finally, thanks to Pete for sending the piece so quickly - it arrived a couple of days after I placed the order. :welldone
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Glad you're happy with the PPT. I love mine. I recently got one of Morgan Fry's Floridated links. Plays beautifully, slightly more resistance than the PPT and a different sound....

Perhaps your Link is a duff one. There's a lot on his site about how he sorts the mouthpieces out. Maybe send Morgan a pm, unless he picks up on this thread.
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,993
Sorry if this sounds boringly obvious, but did you ever try putting a softer reed on the Link?

I reckon Links have the same problem as Selmer MkVIs. So many of the greats played them (particularly Coltrane) that too many think they're must haves. Links (in my experience) need an awful lot of work to sound even halfway decent.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Absolutely. Players then had to work their socks off to play some of the rubbish around at the time. I have never been tempted to buy a Link when there are better made mouthpieces around - if you get a good one, consider yourself lucky.

I have tried the PPT and really liked it. He is soon producing a EPMFPT metal Tenor piece, which will be worth a blow...........:shocked::w00t:;}

Kind regards
Tom
 

Morgan Fry

Senior Member
Messages
447
Sorry if this sounds boringly obvious, but did you ever try putting a softer reed on the Link?

I reckon Links have the same problem as Selmer MkVIs. So many of the greats played them (particularly Coltrane) that too many think they're must haves. Links (in my experience) need an awful lot of work to sound even halfway decent.

Good suggestion. Does sound like there may well be some problems with the piece with any reed, though.

The thing about Links is that they really don't make them like they used to when all the greats played them and haven't for some 35 years. A good Link doesn't take any harder work to sound good than any other good piece. Whether it's the sound for you or not is another question.

calorgaz -- glad you found a piece that works better for you. It seems like you can play faster because you actually can play faster on a mouthpiece that lets the reed respond properly.
 
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