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Reeds Mouthpiece/reed advice for newbie to tenor sax

TheCureFan

Member
Messages
207
My Jericho tenor will be arriving tomorrow :). As it comes with the usual generic mouthpiece I will be looking to upgrade. However not sure what to get in so much - do I start with a basic yam 4c or similar or go for something with a bigger opening given I play a Runyon 22 no5 on alto. Also what reeds to start on, I play 2.5s on alto. I've been playing for 3 months (had 2 months at start of year but had to stop for 6 months after neck injury). I'll still be using the alto for lessons with my tutor but wanted to Getty tenor as I had the money now but may not in the future

Also If anyone's interested I'll be writing a review of the Jericho from a beginners point of view.
 
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MLoosemore

Deluded Senior Member...
Messages
759
Bet you are looking forward to tomorrow.... I got impatient for a tenor and went for the BW rather than wait for your review. I have a Yam 4c on it and for a starter mpc it is suiting me so far. Just wish reeds were more reliable :(
 

Chris

Well Known
Subscriber
Messages
3,821
I'd be tempted to stick with the Yam 4c. Enjoy the new sax when it turns up.

Chris..
 

TheCureFan

Member
Messages
207
Bet you are looking forward to tomorrow.... I got impatient for a tenor and went for the BW rather than wait for your review. I have a Yam 4c on it and for a starter mpc it is suiting me so far. Just wish reeds were more reliable :(
.Yeah can't wait, though once checked and a little play for the review it's going away til xmas :(. They've brought out two new finishes for the Jericho. Matte gold and silver with gold keys. have gone for the matte gold.

Hows the BW? How are you finding the tenor compared to alto.

My thoughts are to play safe with the 4c to start especially as they're not massively expensive.
 

Littlewailer

Member
Messages
133
I played a 4c for a few years. Certainly fine as a "just getting in the swing of things" mouthpiece.

But if you are planning to continue with it you'll want to go shopping at some point.

Depending on what type of sound your looking for you will probably get lots and lots of different suggestions.

I think it best that as soon as you feel that your equipment is holding you back to go out and try mouthpieces at a shop. As many as possible until you find one in there that you like the best.

The big thing really is going to be how it feels to you. Often the mouthpiece that feels right sounds right also.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
The Windcraft Ebonite Etude Tenor mouthpiece is my recommendation - sold by Dawkes for £49 and available on a weeks trial: http://www.dawkes.co.uk/accessories/windcraft+ebonite+tenor+sax+mouthpiece+-amw602.html It has a 0.090" tip opening, compared to the Yamaha 4C at 0.067" which should be playable by you with 2 strength reeds. It is a well made Otto Link style mouthpiece which I reviewed quite recently and is one of the best under £100 in my opinion.

Another Recommendation, at only £14, is the Bari Esprit Tenor - from Ackerman Music amongst others, and with an 0.085" tip. They are excellent, and I would rate both above the Yamaha 4C. The Bari is made of durable hard composite so unable to break if dropped (much stronger than plastic). I've recently bought one and rate it highly - some describe it as like an Otto Link HR 5*.
Hope this helps.

Regards
Tom
 
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Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,082
Good cheapies for tenor are the Rico metalite and the Bari Esprit. A little more expensive but quality and reliable is the selmer S80.

I tried all three on my recent return to tenor and all were successful. I've played tenor before but not for over a decade.


The no brainer is the Bari Esprit because it comes in under £15 and only has one lay.

The metalite is a bright loud piece but you'll need to pick chamber size and lay. Comes in around the £25 mark.

The S80 is a lovely piece imo. Dark and rich. Again you need to pick the lay but most beginners go with the C*. A new one will set you back around £100 but there are some good examples second hand on EBay.

As far as reeds go, I order a range of them in ones till I find the one that works for me, then get a box.

I've ended my quest for now after I won a Lelandais vintage on EBay.

You might want to invest in a reed clipper too.
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,946
hmmm... who has a new tenor and hasn't been mouthpiece shopping yet? :))):))):)))
 

MLoosemore

Deluded Senior Member...
Messages
759
Great advice coming in now. Trouble is the more help you get the wider the choice becomes :)

Loving my new BW. Not sure it loves me all the time but when I get a reed that behaves itself then everything works like a dream.
As for the move to Tenor I realise now that that is where I really want to be. I am glad I started with the alto for a few months as that got my head around the basic mechanics. Now for the real hard work of making music rather than noise..... Did somebody say something about playing long notes?
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Given that the larger the sax the easier intonation issues - hence why soprano is a challenge - it is usually better to start on Tenor rather than Alto as it is easier to make a nicer sound on it, at least to start with. The alto only seems to have been seen as a starter instrument as it is lighter and also slightly cheaper than a tenor and this benefits schoolchildren for obvious reasons. Similarly many years ago there were almost only Yamaha and Selmer mouthpieces and hence the Yamaha 4C and Selmer S80 C* were almost the only alternatives known by woodwind teachers, in the UK at least. Now there are many more "student" mouthpieces (Bari Esprit, Rico Royal, Fobes Debut, Windcraft Etude, Hite Premier) in addition to the Morgan Protone and Runyon 22 - several of them manufactured in the States, and now available in the UK!

And do play long notes - will help you work on both tone and breathing!
 

MellowD

Lost In Theory
Messages
544
Great advice coming in now. Trouble is the more help you get the wider the choice becomes :)

Loving my new BW. Not sure it loves me all the time but when I get a reed that behaves itself then everything works like a dream.
As for the move to Tenor I realise now that that is where I really want to be. I am glad I started with the alto for a few months as that got my head around the basic mechanics. Now for the real hard work of making music rather than noise..... Did somebody say something about playing long notes?
Hi M ......

Get a copy of Pete's new book just out - Taming The Saxophone Vol 1 - My copy arrived at the weekend and it is so much more pleasurable to get those basics down that the traditional routes which bore a budding musician to the point of procrastination about whether to go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on ........ breathe!

I use Vandoren Traditional 2 reeds with my Tenor - would you like me to send you a couple? PM me your address if you would like.
 

TheCureFan

Member
Messages
207
hmmm... who has a new tenor and hasn't been mouthpiece shopping yet? :))):))):)))
Dunno, give up. Who does have one................................




















Mine hasn't actually arrived yet. Will be here later today.
 
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TheCureFan

Member
Messages
207
Cheers Tom
Just what I was looking for. I tried the Bari esprit for alto and was impressed. The Runyon just edged it for me though. May get both for the tenor plus a 4c and see which suits.
 
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TheCureFan

Member
Messages
207
Won't be til after Xmas as once I've checked it and written my little review it's going away again :(
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,082
Just to point out that if you have the Esprit II for alto there isn't one for tenor. The Esprit for tenor is the original.

Personally I can't see the point of getting a range of student mouthpieces. They're all much of a muchness.

The beauty of the 4c Yam was it was a safe harbour in a sea of unknowns and it works for most beginners. In my opinion it has been superceded by Rico, Bari and others.

There's nothing wrong with the 4C but you can get equally as good or better for less money.

If you're looking at getting a Runyon at some stage, I'm thinking this will become your main piece and the student piece will be retired.

With this in mind it would seem more sense to pick one student mouthpiece to develop your embouchure to a point where you know what you want and then invest in a keeper.

This from the owner of a Bari Esprit, Yam4c, Rico Metalite, Rico Graftonite, Selmer S80, Old Amati and the G4M original.
 

Justin Chune

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,011
Yamaha mouthpieces are known to work for most people. I'd prefer the 5c for tenor. with Rico Royal #2 reeds. Anyway, I hope you have lots of fun with your new sax.

Jim.
 

TheCureFan

Member
Messages
207
Just to point out that if you have the Esprit II for alto there isn't one for tenor. The Esprit for tenor is the original.

Personally I can't see the point of getting a range of student mouthpieces. They're all much of a muchness.
Good point, didnt really give that a thought.

If you're looking at getting a Runyon at some stage, I'm thinking this will become your main piece and the student piece will be retired.

With this in mind it would seem more sense to pick one student mouthpiece to develop your embouchure to a point where you know what you want and then invest in a keeper.

This from the owner of a Bari Esprit, Yam4c, Rico Metalite, Rico Graftonite, Selmer S80, Old Amati and the G4M original.
The sax has just arrived :):):), well, hour and a half a go. Have had a go with the stock mouthpiece and the 2.5 no name reed that came with it. Found it really easy to play through my comfy range (palm d to low C i'm still learning). Not sure what the stock mouthpiece opening is probably generic equivalent to a 4c. May just get a runyon 22 and use that straight off and see how it goes. If its too difficult can always get a yam 4c and keep the runyon til later (as I did on alto)
 
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