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Mouthpieces, how things change over time


Well-Known Member
North of Liskeard, Cornwall,UK
I've been playing sax for six years. When I started on tenor I used a (supplied) Yani mpc but changed to an Otto Link Metal ('cos the Yani kept jamming closed at big volumes) and loved it for a long, long time. Now, all of a sudden, I find my original Yani moutpiece has come to the fore once again, so much so that I find the OL almost unplayable and when I do it's really hard to make a big sound.

I wonder why this should be so.

My Otto has a seven opening, my Yani, a six, and while just a year or so ago my Otto was the bees knees, I now find it largely crappy and rather hard work.

Anyone any scientific theories as to why the above should happen? I play every day, I'm in a band and I do classical stuff with a trio. Now I'm back to a basic mouthpiece and my sound is better than ever before. I'm a bit baffled.

The shifting sands of the human condition. I think this happens to us all and there is just no explanation for it - no doubt there is a reason though and that is that the conscious mind is a mere play-thing of the sub-conscious and that the conscious mind's greatest achievement is that it fools us into believing that we actually make measured decisions on....for example..... how things sound.
I guess that says it all ;}

I'm totally guessing here as I am a complete novice but could it be possible that your embouchure has changed over the years or you've lost some teeth/had dental work? Like I said, I'm a novice but I bet if you lost a tooth, then your other teeth move to fill the gap, your gums adjust and hence your embouchure muscles, etc., would move too.

Just a thought.
Your embouchure may be getting stronger

As your muscles develop around your jaw, you become more capable of handling the nuances of the sound. Mouthpieces that once were beyond your muscle capability now become more possible for you. Also, the reed is important, and how you prepared the reed. Mouthpieces can be an endless area of study and use. If you have limited time, it would be best to stick with one mouthpiece. But if you have more time, there is a lot to be learned by investigating the variations allowed by different mouthpieces, such as low tones, top tones, volume, pianissimo, staccato, etc.

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