Mouthpiece Selection Book

Pete Effamy

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Lots of posts about mouthpieces. Many from players fairly new to the instrument, asking how to get a specific sound. Well, the answer is years of practice. Until your basic technique is fairly locked down the mouthpiece and reed combo you need is one that blows freely all over the compass of the horn.

Anyway, disclaimer out of the way...

Whilst sorting through some books I came across "Saxophone Mouthpiece Selection" by Robert Scarff. There's some good info in there and I think that it's well worth a read. It's a cheap book and an easy read. There's stuff on reed adjustment too.

Saxophone Mouthpiece Selection:Amazon.co.uk:Books

There's a big chance that this has been mentioned on the forum before - I haven't seen it, but apologies if that is the case.
 

Ivan

Undecided
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Peeblesshire
This mouthpiece thing seems more art than science

For example, last night I going through one of my periodic tone-is-rubbish crises and pulling mouthpieces out of the drawer to re-play and re-listen, live and recorded: Three quite different baffles and a couple of reed choices

I could barely discern a difference on recording

There was a difference in playability, with my current mouthpiece/reed combo feeling best, and small perceived differences direct to ear that were negligible played back
 
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Pete Effamy

Pete Effamy

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It is I agree, but I think that there is some good info in the book nonetheless. A buddy of mine played clarinet in the RPO years back. The Principle clarinet insisted upon the section playing on the same setup - Peter Eaton clarinets. He hated them. Suffice to say that if each player swapped instruments the difference in sound would still remain. Tone and blend are produced by the player. The same setup might make it easier to blend and play in tune together though. A valid idea.

With non-classical music we are less constrained by the type of sound we wish to have - from fluffy and subtone to hard and bright. Everything in between too. You can blow into a mouthpiece differently and get a different sound, or change the reed etc. The sky's the limit!
 

IGoddard

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USA
I don’t think it matters how often i’m told practise is what improves our tone, it’ll not stop me wanting/buying new mouthpieces. I think it’s part of the journey - along with tone exercises of course. But the excitement of a new mouthpiece will always get the better of me and there’s a lot to learn by playing on different mouthpieces.
For me I’d like to try a step baffle and see how it brightens my tone - something I’m struggling to understand how tone exercises can improve
 
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Pete Effamy

Pete Effamy

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771
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Hampshire
I think it’s part of the journey - along with tone exercises of course. But the excitement of a new mouthpiece will always get the better of me and there’s a lot to learn by playing on different mouthpieces.
You and me also! We're known in the jazz fraternity as mouthpiece whores.
 

Ivan

Undecided
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Peeblesshire
For me I’d like to try a step baffle and see how it brightens my tone - something I’m struggling to understand how tone exercises can improve
Keep working the embouchure and the understanding follows (Grasshopper)

Step baffles: my current theory is they are a crude way to add brightness and high notes at the expense of breadth of tone. But definitely worth trying to see what they do for you
 
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