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Mouthpiece/reed advice needed, please.

RedBottom

Member
Messages
191
I'm having difficulty getting top F on my straight soprano. Don't think it's the instrument as it's recently been regulated and I can't reach the note on a friend's curved sop either. I can get the note, but I'm lucky if I can hold it there and it sort of pitches down as I'm playing it. My mouthpiece is the unbranded, stock mouthpiece that came with the instrument, and I'm playing on a number 2 Java with a BG Super Revelation ligature.

On my alto and tenor I blow 7* Lawton metal mouthpieces with 2.5 Vandoren JaZZ reeds and have no problem getting to the top. So I'm wondering which route to take with the soprano?

I know I could use another mouthpiece, but I don't want to spend a huge amount at the moment. I'm thinking of one of the Yamaha pieces that retail around the £30-£50 mark. I don't want metal because the harder, edgier sound that I get from the other horns isn't what I want from the sop. I'm looking for a slightly sweeter, more oboe-like sound.

I think my first line of approach, new mouthpiece apart, is to try a few different reed types/strengths, so I'm asking for recommendations, please. Harder? A different type/brand?
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
Subscriber
Messages
5,690
Location
Minster On Sea
Sounds like the combination of an indifferent (crap) mouthpiece and a too soft reed is to blame. So go ahead and try some harder reeds. Practicing is always good too.

And stop pedalling the myth that metal mouthpieces are all hard and edgy!!!
 
OP
R

RedBottom

Member
Messages
191
And stop pedalling the myth that metal mouthpieces are all hard and edgy!!!
Sorry but for me, they are. They give the alto and tenor a certain brilliance and definition that I just can't get from anything synthetic. They 'speak' more readily too, especially useful for those mega-pianissimo passages that I have to play under a solo flute.

Agree with you re. the rubbish mouthpiece, though. I feel a trip to Dan the Saxophone Man coming on come payday.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,232
Location
Skabertawe, South Wales
Agree that metal mouthpieces are not all hard and edgy! It just seems to be the case that people who buy metal mouthpieces are looking for that in a mouthpiece. I have a Barone Jazz 8 Tenor, which has a large chamber, and it has a delightful dark smokiness, and little in the way of edge - Charles LLoyd plays one.

Kind regards
Tom:cool:
 

Morgan Fry

Senior Member
Messages
447
Location
Leeds
This really does sound to me like too soft a reed for the mouthpiece. For a 2, I would be playing on a huge tip, .075" or bigger. Yours is likely much smaller than that. See how you get along with 3 or 3 1/2s before you give up on the piece.

The difference you find with metal mouthpieces has everything to do with the difference in their design, rather than the material.
 
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RedBottom

Member
Messages
191
I've just bought a secondhand Yani 5HR at a good price. I can finally get a clean note out of the sax, with a very sore bottom tooth hampering me, so I'm making progress here at last. As soon as the mush is fit to blow properly again then I'm going to try some different reeds and strengths to see what's best.

Thanks
Red
 
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