Mouthpieces Squeaking with my new otto link mouthpiece


New Member
South Wales
Just purchased my first hard rubber otto link 5* after using a plastic YAM 4C. I've only been playing for 7 months but was fed up with the tinny sound of my plastic mouthpiece. My teacher suggested the Otto Link which sounds fantastic, but I keep squeaking, particularly on the basic C note. (Still learning the correct names for the notes!). The lower C and D sound really mellow, but I'm struggling with the higher notes. There's also a much more noticeable sound of saliva spoiling the sound. Is it just getting used to a new mouthpiece or could the mouthpiece be faulty? I'm using the same reed - Rico 1.5.

First stop should be an opinion from the teacher, he/she is there and can see/hear, maybe prepared to test...

I'm assuming the problem wasn't there before. Could be the mouthpiece or you. Could be lig. or lig position/tightness. Could also be the reed, might be time to try something a little harder, try a 2, if that helps... Otherwise a 2.5, but given you were using a 1.5 on a 4C, anything harder than that would probably be too much at the moment.

Watch for losing the lower notes with the harder reed, if it happens, you've gone too far.

Does tightening your lips from the sides help? Taking a little moe mouthpiece in, increasing bottom lip support may also help.

Let us know how you get on, I'm sure there'll be more suggestions from the others.
I'd be tempted to try a strength 2 reed, it could be with the fairly small opening the reed is too soft. I too have an Otto Link mouthpiece and love the sound of it on my Yani T901 sax. Interestingly I too noticed the sound of saliva when I first tried an Otto Link (7*) but was less noticeable when I used a 7 instead, but that's gone now maybe just got used to the different shape.
I'd go for a 2 strength reed as well. The other thing is to make sure the reed is positioned absolutely spot on. Slightest mis-alignement with the mouthpiece wil make it more likely to squeak.

Also, as a good discipline when learning any new instrument is to always look to your technique rather than thinking your gear is faulty. Get it checked out by your teacher (that's part of what teachers are for) but until an experienced player notices a fault, assume it's you!
Perhaps you should have tried Rico Royal reeds before buying a new mouthpiece. Some people think that these sound better than the plain Rico reeds. Having said that, I was once given a couple of boxes of Rico baritone sax reeds with 25 reeds in each box and I played them with complete satisfaction.

A friend of mine changed to an Otto Link 5 and he likes it a lot. Your symptoms will improve as you get used to yours. Have fun.

Awfully soft reeds for that piece, even for a beginner -- 3 to 3 1/2 is right for most players. I've never been fully convinced about super soft reed for beginners. If you have any kind of breath support it will just hold you back (mind you it's been 30 years since I was one and I don't teach so take that with a grain of salt).

Definitely try new reeds, of varying strengths. Any reed that is broken in on one mouthpiece isn't going to play properly on another. Get a couple of everything from 2 to 3 1/2 and see if one of them works. I know I wouldn't be able to play the top end well on a 1 1/2 and 5* either.

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