M/Pieces - Ligs Selmer Concept VS Yanagisawa HR No. 6 Soprano Pieces

GCinCT

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Nicely done, Aidan. I'm always interested in opinions on gear. Thank you for sharing!
 

s.mundi

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That was cool video and nice soprano voice.
It scared me to see you rolling the mouthpieces around in your hands. I could never hold two mouthpieces in my hands, because I was born supremely clumsy. Rock on Baby!
 

rhysonsax

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Nice video and a soprano sound that i like. I thought that the Selmer sounded sweeter and the Yanagisawa (a touch) more "nasal".

The Selmer Concept is £144 from Howarth and the Yanagisawa HR £123, so not much between them and both quite a bit less than "boutique" mouthpieces.

The Selmer Concept has been my soprano mouthpiece of choice for the last year or two - I was very surprised that such a small tip opening piece could sound so big, rich and flexible when I was used to playing tip openings around 0.065".

You didn't comment on the unusual shape of the Selmer's shank. It is very distinctive but I don't particularly like it, either in terms of looks or knowing where on the cork to place it for a tuning point.

You commented on the width of the tip rail and said that generally prefer a thinner tip rail. On soprano I like a rail like this provided that it is well formed and even, which both the Selmer and Yanagisawa seem to be.

I was also slightly surprised that you played it (and sounded good) on a 2.5 reed as that seems quite soft for a narrow tip opening.

Looking forward to hearing more reviews and recordings.

Rhys
 

Mostlytenor

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I have a Selmer Concept for my alto and I'm very happy with it. It has a remarkably full sound and is very easy to play.
 

AZMay

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Nice video and a soprano sound that i like. I thought that the Selmer sounded sweeter and the Yanagisawa (a touch) more "nasal".

The Selmer Concept is £144 from Howarth and the Yanagisawa HR £123, so not much between them and both quite a bit less than "boutique" mouthpieces.

The Selmer Concept has been my soprano mouthpiece of choice for the last year or two - I was very surprised that such a small tip opening piece could sound so big, rich and flexible when I was used to playing tip openings around 0.065".

You didn't comment on the unusual shape of the Selmer's shank. It is very distinctive but I don't particularly like it, either in terms of looks or knowing where on the cork to place it for a tuning point.

You commented on the width of the tip rail and said that generally prefer a thinner tip rail. On soprano I like a rail like this provided that it is well formed and even, which both the Selmer and Yanagisawa seem to be.

I was also slightly surprised that you played it (and sounded good) on a 2.5 reed as that seems quite soft for a narrow tip opening.

Looking forward to hearing more reviews and recordings.

Rhys


Thanks for the nice comments!

The unusual shank is a bit of a pain at first- I have drawn a line on my cork that follows the curve of the mouthpiece which I am now fairly comfortable with.
Re soft reeds: I was primarily an alto player for 4 years before starting soprano last summer and I have stuck with softer reeds so I can build up a sound concept without struggling too much with the resistance. I would like my soprano playing to get as relaxed as my alto playing one day. I still think I'm miles off sometimes...

Cheers
Aidan
 

7201

 
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Morning all,

I'd just like to share a short video I made comparing the Selmer Concept and Yanagisawa Hard rubber mouthpieces on Soprano.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGlOYeA9gII


Hopefully it might be of use to one or two people out there and you all enjoy it.

Cheers,
Aidan

P.S. Excuse the playing...
I think you have a tough choice. The Yani is a bigger sound. The Selmer is obviously more comfortable for you to play, but I hear an ever-so-slightly tighter sound. I think that you could open the embouchure a few %. Having said that, you are coming from a classical direction and if trends are the same as classical clarinet playing, tonally things have gotten a tad tighter recently. Are you not a fan of the classic C* or C**?
 

AZMay

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I think you have a tough choice. The Yani is a bigger sound. The Selmer is obviously more comfortable for you to play, but I hear an ever-so-slightly tighter sound. I think that you could open the embouchure a few %. Having said that, you are coming from a classical direction and if trends are the same as classical clarinet playing, tonally things have gotten a tad tighter recently. Are you not a fan of the classic C* or C**?
I would like to loosen the embouchure if I'm totally honest. In terms of trends, although my training is more classical , I wouldn't really want to follow classical trends (and I'm not sure what the done thing is nowadays anyway) as I think it's fairly dangerous from a creative perspective to box myself in. This all sounds very hipster... I do apologise! I did try a Selmer S80 C* and although it was a tip opening I liked (quite narrow!) I found it very nasal and thin. I couldn't really produce a sound I liked with it, and I found the Concept a much richer sounding mouthpiece. I also really liked the S90 I tried (I can't remember the facing I tried) but the slightly more consistent playing and the "Mouth-feel" of the concept won me over.
 

7201

 
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I would like to loosen the embouchure if I'm totally honest.
Try this experiment to see whether it's just what the mouthpiece gives or whether you could open up - push the mouthpiece some way further on so that it will play really sharp. Now play along with a recording and try to play in tune. You'll have to drop off a little and maybe even open the throat more (if there is any more to be had). You may need a tickle more air support too.
 

7201

 
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On the jazz side, Branford Marsallis and Brandon Fields both play on surprisingly close tips (for jazz). Branford I think might be the C* and Brandon a D or E. Lovely tones.
 

AZMay

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Try this experiment to see whether it's just what the mouthpiece gives or whether you could open up - push the mouthpiece some way further on so that it will play really sharp. Now play along with a recording and try to play in tune. You'll have to drop off a little and maybe even open the throat more (if there is any more to be had). You may need a tickle more air support too.
I've been doing this a fair bit recently and to be fair it has helped a fair bit. Check this out for a bit of A/B comparison to the review video:
View: https://youtu.be/8Bk1gIMFDbY


The one issue I keep having is I always tighten up during harder sections which means I might play a piece well but one section will be a tad sharp and the rest is good. More thoughtful, relaxed practise required!
 

7201

 
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Man, you're putting yourself out there! Very brave practising in public.
Ok... Is your tongue coming down the face of the reed a bit? It doesn't sound clean enough. I found staccato really hard as a (classical clarinet) student, so I get the articulation thing. Make sure that you are not pushing the tongue "through" the reed as if spring loaded (ie don't travel too far - be lighter. You only have to touch the reed to stop it vibrating).
On embouchure - play around with your angle of sax into your mouth, and don't forget that it is affected by your head tipping forward. If you have your head a little further back (straighter) then you will have a naturally greater support and might not have to alter your pressure when getting to upper B or C.
Yes, you definitely use the air in articulating - like "ha, ha, ha". Yes?
 

7201

 
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The art of practice is being able to ascertain exactly where a problematic part of a phrase is. It might not be two hard sections, it might be linking them together. Try to break the difficult stuff down into much smaller bits. You just called it "chunking"! Go smaller. Try to go as small and as slow as possible so that you don't make a mistake at all. Play it correct 5 times at this speed. Slowly gain speed. Repeat, repeat etc.
<it's amazing what the brain learns - including all the slips and wrong notes>
 

7201

 
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Also try and learn these phrases. If you've played it 5 times then you'll know it anyway.
 

AZMay

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Man, you're putting yourself out there! Very brave practising in public.
Ok... Is your tongue coming down the face of the reed a bit? It doesn't sound clean enough. I found staccato really hard as a (classical clarinet) student, so I get the articulation thing. Make sure that you are not pushing the tongue "through" the reed as if spring loaded (ie don't travel too far - be lighter. You only have to touch the reed to stop it vibrating).
On embouchure - play around with your angle of sax into your mouth, and don't forget that it is affected by your head tipping forward. If you have your head a little further back (straighter) then you will have a naturally greater support and might not have to alter your pressure when getting to upper B or C.
Yes, you definitely use the air in articulating - like "ha, ha, ha". Yes?
It does seem like there is no end to my self assurance. Who knows what I might do next in public next!?
Thanks for all the advice, there's certainly a lot to tackle here and I'm sure some of it will be really helpful. Simple things like providing suitable air pressure is stuff I know but it's absurdly helpful when I get a reminder!
 

7201

 
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It does seem like there is no end to my self assurance. Who knows what I might do next in public next!?
Thanks for all the advice, there's certainly a lot to tackle here and I'm sure some of it will be really helpful. Simple things like providing suitable air pressure is stuff I know but it's absurdly helpful when I get a reminder!
Even my old clarinet professor went for "check-ups", and he's an internationally acclaimed soloist. It's easy to come off the gas here and there.
 

jthole

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Different beast, I know, but I play a Selmer Concept clarinet mouthpiece. So far (for the past three years) it's my favourite one. It compares favourably to the various Vandoren mouthpieces I have tried.
 

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