M/Pieces - Ligs New Mouthpiece, Blowing sharp.

Discussion in 'Saxophones & Accessories' started by funkymonk, Apr 10, 2010.

  1. funkymonk

    funkymonk Member

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    Hello all.

    I hope this message find you all well and good. Last Week I got a new mouthpiece for my tenor. I decided it was time to upgrade from a yamaha 5c. My teacher recommended something more open, so I tried a few and picked the standard BL 7*. My tone has improved immensely. It's so much fatter and more similar to what I hear in my head.

    Anyways, I've noticed that on quite a few notes I blow sharp. As a result I've been practicing these notes with a tuner. Is there anymore I can do? Or will it slowly correct in my playing if I keep playing the troublesome notes to a tuner? Also the reeds I use seem slightly too long on the thicker end and extent past the table. Is this normal?

    Thankyou

    FM
     
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  3. koumou

    koumou Member

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    What's a standard BL 7*? Which notes are sharper? Could it be the larger tip opening is causing you to bite, hence the sharpness?
     
  4. Mikey B

    Mikey B Member

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    Hi, I wouldn't get too obsessed with playing into the tuner, I am sure that as you get to grips with your new mouthpiece you will get these notes in tune. I have also had various mouthpieces that the reed protudes and this is not usually an issue.

    Regards, Mike
     
  5. funkymonk

    funkymonk Member

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    Hey guys

    Thanks for the replies. Its a Berg Larsen. The problem seems to have corrected itself. I think I was expecting too much too soon and thus worried my sound was "destroyed" and required a major overhaul. But I'm playing in tune now. I put down the tuner for a few days as It was making me obsessed with perfect tuning. After the advice you guys gave and reading petes' blog on parker and blowing sharp I just practised and now all is fine, my mouth has adjusted.

    Danke

    FM
     
  6. rhysonsax

    rhysonsax Well-Known Member

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    When you said "standard 7*" is it actually marked as a 7* or is it equivalent to an Otto Link 7* ?

    All the Berg Larsens I've ever seen are marked something like 105/1 SMS rather than 7*. The first number is the tip opening in thousandths of an inch, the second number is the code for baffle height (0 = highest baffle, 2 = lowest baffle) and the SMS refers to facing length.

    Rhys
     
  7. richardr

    richardr Well-Known Member

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    For over a year I've been using a Berg-Larsen 110 - 1 - SMS mouthpiece on my tenor. From the start I've been aware that I'm playing about a quarter of a tone sharp across the range but I haven't been able to cure this. I've pulled the mouthpiece as far back off the crook as I can without creating other problems. Anyway, no-one has noticed, or at least no-one has remarked on my sharpness,until yesterday when my teacher spotted it.
    Now that I've been called out, what should I do about it? My teacher says that it's me and I need to alter my chops so that I play in tune. I doubt whether this is going to work. At present I can get the pitch down but I don't think I can play like that consistently and doing so wrecks my tone. I can cure the problem instantly by using a different mouthpiece, a well-worn Selmer that I have lying around. Some of the details have worn off this but I can distinguish "C", "110" and "E". This sits about a quarter of an inch further onto the crook than the Berg Larsen and, without any effort on my part, plays in tune from top to bottom.
    Maybe the Selmer is the answer. I can play it easily but I don't like it as much as the Berg-Larsen which both feels and sounds slightly better.
    Recommendations, please!
     
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  8. Colin the Bear

    Colin the Bear Well-Known Member

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    Matching mouthpiece to player and horn is the thing. If it won't play in tune on this horn with you blowing it, it's not the one. A nice tone out of tune isn't a nice tone.
     
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  9. Tiberius

    Tiberius Senior Member

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    And they're never what they say the are :) My 105/2 SMS is supposedly a 7*, but there's no way it is, it's very similar to my teachers 6* Link, a 7 at the most. I think Berg's go up to a 4 on the baffle, although, that would be kinda, no baffle :)

    Sadly, Bergs are in my experience, very inconsistent. When they're good they're the best, but most of them are err, not. Also, they don't seem to suit all horns, my teacher's Sequoia seems to have the strange ability to 'kill' Bergs.
     
  10. richardr

    richardr Well-Known Member

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    Now I remember, Colin told me a couple of weeks ago that I sounded out of tune, so chalk it up!
    I've been playing on my Selmer for the last half hour and I can manage with it, but I miss the Berg-Larsen.
     
  11. nigeld

    nigeld learner

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    I have recently been surprised how much I can control overall pitch with my embouchure, but a quarter tone sounds like a lot.

    I have a PPT alto mouthpiece which was great on my Yamaha YAS 280, but (when I play) it is hopelessly out of tune on my Buescher True Tone. So some saxophones and mouthpieces are a match, and some aren't.

    Sounds to me like the perfect excuse for a visit to a saxophone shop.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  12. kevgermany

    kevgermany ex Landrover Nut Cafe Moderator

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    Try a harder reed on the Berg.
     
  13. jbtsax

    jbtsax old and opinionated

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    I played a Berg for years on a Conn "Franken horn" that play a lot like the 10M I have today. I remember it having to be pulled right out to the end of the cork to get down to pitch. It a hot area it was impossible. I used to put a thicker cork on the neck which helped a bit. Some players have had an extension soldered on to the end of the mouthpiece to fix the problem. Nothing changes, except there is more cork under the shank to hold it in place.

    If someone ever suggests soldering an extension onto the end of the neck, put you hand on your wallet and slowly back out of the room.
     
  14. Tiberius

    Tiberius Senior Member

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    While I don't have my Berg hanging off the end, I do need to push my Teachers Link on further than the Berg to get it in tune.
     
  15. richardr

    richardr Well-Known Member

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    @kevgermany , thanks for the advice but I went through different reeds as a potential cure when I noticed the problem over a year ago. Nothing cured it so I decided to carry on playing the Berg until someone noticed.

    @nigeld , I can bring the pitch down far more than a quarter tone but that's when I'm trying. My teacher suggests practising this until it becomes my normal embouchure, but that's going to absorb time that I need for other kinds of practice and, if it works, I'm going to end up with odd chops just so that I can play the Berg.

    @jbtsax ,if I pull my Berg further down the cork I can play in tune but that comes with other problems, particularly a rustling/crackling sound, and it feels as if the 'piece will fall of while I'm playing. Extra metal: I'm not that desperate.

    Thanks for all the advice which has confirmed that, contrary to my teacher's advice, it's not just me, it's the wrong mouthpiece. It looks like I'll have to follow Nigeld's advice (reluctantly of course) to visit a sax shop and for the meantime I can manage with my Selmer mouthpiece.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  16. Colin the Bear

    Colin the Bear Well-Known Member

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    Selmer mouthpieces are very reliable and consistent. It's a safe place to start or to use as a reference point. Take it with you when you go looking and only buy something that is better in the areas that you find it lacking.
     
  17. Colin the Bear

    Colin the Bear Well-Known Member

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    Selmer S80 E tip opening 2.11mm / 0.083"
     
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  18. thomsax

    thomsax Well-Known Member

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    I think old Berg Larsen (London) are great mouthpieces. A ss bullet with o baffle is best for me. But I use differnent mouthpieces and reeds on differnt saxes. Here is what I use on tenors:

    Martin HC (Comm I) -39. An old CZ mouthpiece with small chamber and high baffle. C 0.120" tip. A Lavoz (unfiled) reed is fine.

    "The Martin Tenors". Berg Larsen ss bullet 120/0 M facing with Lavoz reeds or Dukoff X9 chamber with Lavoz reeds. Vandoren V16 reeds is also working for.

    The New King (Keilwerth). Berg Larsen ss bullet 120/0 M facing with Lavoz reeds or Dukoff X9 chamber with Lavoz reeds. Vandoren V16 reeds is also working . A Rovner Deep-V mpc with baffle is allso good on this sax. I use Plasticover on Rovner.

    Yamaha 25: Rovner Deep-V with baffle with Plasticover.

    I use the Yamaha most of the time nowadays.

    Berg Larsen mouthpiece baffles:

    bl.jpg
     
    • Informative & Useful Informative & Useful x 1
  19. thomsax

    thomsax Well-Known Member

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    Reeds are longer nowadays. I used to saw off the stock when I play a mouthpice with smaller table. Some players says is doesn't make any differnce, other says the reed lose energy? I don't know, but I think it nice when the reed fits on the table of mouthpiece.
     
  20. Ivan

    Ivan Undecided

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    Don't forget the Taming the Saxophone Shoppe with an exciting selection of PPT mouthpieces
     
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