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Mouthpieces Mouthpieces yet again

Melissa

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Hi,
I have written beofre that I have been playing the Tenor on a Berg 100/1 sms, then problems with reeds etc, one of my latest saxes came with a selmer short shank also mouthpiece C*- and as I have so many altos I decided to try it out, I did not actually realise that blowing would be as easy as breathing- guess that is why I have jaw ache when playing the Tenor!

I had to go for endoscopy a few days ago due to problems swallowing food- that last 3 months have been a main diet of porridge and soup, all clear on the endoscopy but he believes it is due to muscle constriction in my throat- I did tell him I played and I have to go for a scan now, has anyone else had any problems like this whatsoever, as I am wondering if attempting to growl and such on an obvious difficult to use mouthpiece have caused these problems...

I am waiting for another mouthpiece to come up which may be more suitable, I am so shocked at just how different they play ith a really easy blowing mouthpiece, can anyone tell me just off the cuff what the difference would be between the Berg and the selmer C*? I do not really wish to give up Tenor, but after playing my Pierret tonight I am certainly leaning towards staying with Alto.
 
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If a mouthpiece is hard to blow it's the wrong one for you, at this time, in my opinion.

I like vintage mouthpieces. Large chamber small tip and an easy blow. Why struggle? It's hard enough being musical without fighting the mouthpiece.

Alto is my main instrument. I was lucky to find my alto piece early on, a Ben Davis vocal tone and have found nothing more suitable since the 1980's. It does everything I want with a little control and not much effort.

I have a Selmer S80 C* for baritone. Some say it's a boring piece but it suits me and the weltklang. Again not much effort required from gentle subtones to full ooomph

I struggled off and on with tenor for years and decided if it was time to get to grips with it. I tried all the cheap student mouthpieces, rico graftonite and metalite, the Yam 4c, the Bari esprit and a selmer S80 C*. All very easy to blow but with varying tonal results. After some sucesswith the S80 I tried a vintage selmer airflow and was becoming comfortable with it when I acquired an old Lelandais which stopped me looking. It does everything I want effortlessly.

It's a balance of chops, mouthpiece and horn coming together to make you the best you can be. Trying the student pieces got my tenor chops going. I find the tenor to be a very different instrument to Alto or Bari. I found it very frustrating to be proficient on two and struggling with the other.

The point I'm trying to make is that there is a mouthpiece that is right for you out there. One that will let you be musical without giving you a brain hemorrhage or straining your chops. It may be new or ancient. It may or may not be a fashionable market leader. You may not get a world shattering tone but your intonation will be good and the rest is just practice.

I tried a berg on tenor and didn't like it at all.
 
If a mouthpiece is hard to blow it's the wrong one for you, at this time, in my opinion.

I like vintage mouthpieces. Large chamber small tip and an easy blow. Why struggle? It's hard enough being musical without fighting the mouthpiece.

Alto is my main instrument. I was lucky to find my alto piece early on, a Ben Davis vocal tone and have found nothing more suitable since the 1980's. It does everything I want with a little control and not much effort.

I have a Selmer S80 C* for baritone. Some say it's a boring piece but it suits me and the weltklang. Again not much effort required from gentle subtones to full ooomph

I struggled off and on with tenor for years and decided if it was time to get to grips with it. I tried all the cheap student mouthpieces, rico graftonite and metalite, the Yam 4c, the Bari esprit and a selmer S80 C*. All very easy to blow but with varying tonal results. After some sucesswith the S80 I tried a vintage selmer airflow and was becoming comfortable with it when I acquired an old Lelandais which stopped me looking. It does everything I want effortlessly.

It's a balance of chops, mouthpiece and horn coming together to make you the best you can be. Trying the student pieces got my tenor chops going. I find the tenor to be a very different instrument to Alto or Bari. I found it very frustrating to be proficient on two and struggling with the other.

The point I'm trying to make is that there is a mouthpiece that is right for you out there. One that will let you be musical without giving you a brain hemorrhage or straining your chops. It may be new or ancient. It may or may not be a fashionable market leader. You may not get a world shattering tone but your intonation will be good and the rest is just practice.

I tried a berg on tenor and didn't like it at all.

Thank you Colin, you know when I had my Penn I played ok on it but not as easy as this on the Alto- the last few days I have been on the alto and picked up my Tenor today and just could not get anything out of it, I thought my head was going to explode!
 
the Selmer C* has a much smaller tip opening than the Berg Larsen and most Bergs I've had are hard going, even with soft reeds. Try a mouthpiece with a smaller tip opening and you'll have an easier time of it. I've never found tenor as easy as the alto, not sure why, but some things just suit me better than others.. hope your throat gets better..
 
Hi Melissa

Got to agree with Colin, try loads until you find one that suits you and your sax. It took me a day at Woodwind Exchange trying mouthpieces until I found one I liked. My first criteria was ease of blowing followed by tone. I just slowly narrowed them down.

Hope you are better soon

Jx
 
Funny, I found alto harder to blow than tenor. And the Selmer Soloists very restrictive, even with a big tip. The S80 C* not much easier. I use a Morgan with a large chamber on alto now, lovely easy blowing.

Agree with the others, though, try lots and get something that works for you.
 
I cannot understand how for like 3 years I have been using this Berg:doh:, it just seems to be getting harder, or whether it is because I have so many Altos and been playing them-as have found them So much easier I have barely touched my Tenor.

I even went through different reeds, in the end shaving my Lavoz down and seemed to get on much better, I put one of the lavoz Tenor reeds on the Selmer Alto mouthpiece and tried it on, (I don't have any Alto reeds!) it blew me away so to speak, how can it be this easy! it is then I tried playing my Tenor and it was as if a sock was stuck down the bell.. nothing! Trouble is, I love the darkness of the Tenor, at present the only Alto which seems to be dark is my Pierret, I put it up for sale with a high price- only really because I do not really wish to sell it, I just cannot seem to let go of some saxes in the fear that I shall never come across another the same!

I have had quite a few metal mouthpieces but just cannot get used to the feel of metal in my mouth, feels strange to me except that of a vintage metal Lelandais alto mouthpiece which I hate myself for selling, it felt so different to all the others, but it was silver plated so maybe that made a difference?

I think I shall take everyones advice and go over to the Cambridge shop and try some out, but that in itself may be scarey, what if the mouthpiece I get on with needs a mortgage to pay for it!

Thank you for your advice, big hugs, Mel
 
I think I shall take everyones advice and go over to the Cambridge shop and try some out, but that in itself may be scarey, what if the mouthpiece I get on with needs a mortgage to pay for it!

Thank you for your advice, big hugs, Mel

Give the shop a price limit and tell them not to bring you anything over it :)

Jx
 
Your embouchure changes. Playing one more than another can alter your embouchure enough to lose your tone. I don't practice on the baritone, just play it. If I blow it for any length of time, several hours, my tenor goes out of control. If you want to be a multi instrumentalist it's a compromise.

I bought and sold on ebay till I found what i wanted. If you buy wisely , which I'm sure you will, you may even make profit. I've been pleasantly surprised by vintage selmer goldentone mouthpieces. I'm currently playing one on clarinet. They go very cheap and are an easy blow with a warm dark tone. The new ones are less good for me.
 
Funnily enough, it played reasonably well today but it just wasn't there so I am going to sell this Tenor for the time being,stay with the Alto for now and hope a nice Tenor comes up soon- one I have in my watch list due to DavidUK, my Tenor is out of the ark and to be honest the low Bb seems to be a very long way down for me- must have been built for giant I guess.
 
hmmm, i know that thread but not sure where tho...
compromise = hard work on every aspect of playing = never being satisfied and NEEDING to do better = compromise
all a big circle to me.
Sorry to drop you in that one. :)
I meant - if there was compromise, it wasn't apparent. It's perfectly possible to play 4 or more different saxes equally and very well.
 
no problem at all, now i see the context, and you are absolutely correct, it is very possible to switch between not only saxes but crossover between many instruments, just that thing called time and effort... all good and thank you for using my piece as an example, flattered sir!
Sorry to drop you in that one. :)
I meant - if there was compromise, it wasn't apparent. It's perfectly possible to play 4 or more different saxes equally and very well.
 
I think what happens is that you practise a lot with a single mouthpiece, reed, and sax and get locked in. It's less confusing at first. But after a while introducing different saxes, mouthpieces, reeds and playing them alternately builds flexibility and adaptability, although it's confusing at first. It's also easier to go up or down one sax size rather than, say, sop to baritone.

Think of it like cars - each one you drive is a bit different, and you adapt to it and drive it as well as the last one. But go back to when you learned to drive. Remember how hard it was to drive another car after the one you learned on?
 

Similar threads... or are they? Maybe not but they could be worth reading anyway 😀

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