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M/Pieces - Ligs Tip Opening on Mouthpiece: Larger Opening or Smaller Opening Better?

TripleB

Member
Messages
32
In looking at new mouthpieces, it seems the Yamaha mouthpiece comes in various sizes of tip openings.

The three models I'm looking at are the 4C, 5C, and 6C.

Is it better to have a larger tip opening (6C), the smaller tip opening (4C), or the one in the middle (5C)?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

Thank you for your help.

TripleB


BTW: I'll be probably using 2.5 reeds and playing hymns/Christmas music/etc. around the home.


The Yamaha website says: "Wider tip openings provided consistent intonation and easy response, generating a good, clear tone. Narrow tip openings help the player achieve a more focused sound with greater volume and projection while providing a richer tone quality and easier vibrato."
 
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kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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21,947
People generally start with a smaller tip opening and move on to a larger one as they progress/feel the need. Generally larger openings, softer reeds. Also a wider range of sound. I found the narrow tipped pieces really difficult when I started playing. Still do. Suggest you try and buy whatever's easiest to play. You'll probably find a 2.5 reed too hard at first, although you may get away with it on the 4C.

A small tip with a harder reed gives as much volume as a wider tip and a softer reed. But generally there's a wider range of tones/sounds and volume with bigger tips. In general smaller tips are thought to be easier to control. But the 6C isn't really big, more approaching mid-range and would also be OK to start on, although not everyone will agree with this.
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
When you're talking about the Yamaha standard range of mouthpieces, what you're actually looking at is a range of tip openings from very, very small to quite small. Have a look at

http://uk.yamaha.com/en/products/musical-instruments/winds/mouthpieces/woodwind/saxophones_series/?mode=series#tab=PD5110940

For tenor, the range goes from size 3 at 1.6mm, or 0.063 inches to 7 at 2mm, or 0.079 inches. The 4 is 0.067 inches, the 6 is 0.074 inches. All of these are narrow tip openings, even the 7. By way of comparison, an Otto Link 6 (a very conservative choice of mouthpiece, and fine for a beginner) is 0.090 inches in tenor.

Yamaha mouthpieces are fine to learn on, and very cheap, but I would suggest getting the biggest you can if you've decided to use one of their pieces. If not, you'll find a big jump when you progress to a more expressive mouthpiece later on. It really isn't any more difficult starting on a larger tip opening with a softer reed. If anything, I think very tiny tip openings, like the 4c inhibits playing as there is a tendency for the beginner to cause the reed to clam up.

As an indicator, my 11 year old daughter, who plays guitar, not woodwind, has no trouble blowing a Lawton 7 tenor piece, and can just about manage to blow my Otto Link Super Tonemaster 10 with a softish reed.
 
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MellowD

Lost In Theory
Messages
544
If anything, I think very tiny tip openings, like the 4c inhibits playing as there is a tendency for the beginner to cause the reed to clam up.
That happened to me with this mouthpiece at the recent Stax of Sax, - I was very embarrassed as I didn't know what the problem was - new sax, new mouthpiece, me? Thanks, this has settled my mind to start using the Runyon 22/6 that TomMapfumo recommended I give a go and haven't dared yet!
 

TripleB

Member
Messages
32
People generally start with a smaller tip opening and move on to a larger one as they progress/feel the need. Generally larger openings, softer reeds. Also a wider range of sound. I found the narrow tipped pieces really difficult when I started playing. Still do. Suggest you try and buy whatever's easiest to play. You'll probably find a 2.5 reed too hard at first, although you may get away with it on the 4C.
I think I'm going to go with the 5C, then if I stick with playing for a while, I will probably put more money into a mouthpiece and go with a larger tip opening.

Would the 2.5 reed be 'too much' with the 5C? If so, what size reed would you suggest with the 5C?

I found a Brilhart Ebolin Tenor Sax Mouthpiece Model 5 for $49. Would it be worth the extra $20 to move to this mouthpiece or should I just start out with the Yamaha and then look to move to something even better than the Brilhart later on? From what I've read about this mouthpiece it gives a very 'warm jazz' sound...something that would make hymns or Christmas songs sound good or not?

Thanks again to everyone's help and patience!!!

TripleB
 
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BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,904
If anything, I think very tiny tip openings, like the 4c inhibits playing as there is a tendency for the beginner to cause the reed to clam up.
On the other hand, I suppose there's a case for arguing that they need to learn not to do that, and to play with a looser embouchure and more air support.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Reed - if you can't try one, get a couple of 1.5s and a coupole of 2s, by the time you've worn the 1.5s out, you'll be ready for the 2s. Don't think about high notes. Just concentrate on getting your embouchure developed/under control.

Doesn't really matter what you start on, but not everyone would agree with Jonf, even though I do. I've a soft spot for Brilharts, but they're not necessarily good starters. I'm surprised we haven't had more suggestions yet, just to add to your confusion. Buy the Yamaha 5C or 6C, learn to blow it, in 6 months or so think again. But don't change for the sake of it. Especially when forum members run the Yamaha down and you feel you need to change for credibility...
 

TripleB

Member
Messages
32
I wasn't looking at the Ebolin because of comments here...I just didn't see the Ebolin until I looked a little more this morning. I like the comment about it having a warm jazz sound but I'm not sure if that type of sound is best for the hymns and other type of music I'll be using my tenor to play.

If it will give me a better sound than the Yamaha then I'm willing to put in the extra $20 or so.

TripleB
 
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Justin Chune

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,011
I think you should settle down with the Yamaha 5c for now. It will be just fine for playing hymns.

Jim.
 

Filton

Member
Messages
243
The sound you get for at least the first 6 months will be the sound you make. Whilst the mouthpiece will either help or hinder your ability to make a reasonable tone, it certainly won't 'describe' your tone.

You need to develop your embouchure first with a piece that it is easy to play - one of the better 'starter' pieces such as the Yamahas or perhaps a Runyon 22 (or even a Graftonite/Metalite if you really want to go with something a little different) with a relatively narrow opening and concentrate on developing your playing for a while before getting too bogged down with GAS :thumb:

My own starter was a Yamaha 5c on Tenor with a 1.5 then a 2. I now play on a Link 7* with a 2 1/4 Legere Sig because I like the feel of Metal pieces more than some of the HRs as I have a reasonable narrow mouth.
 

jbtsax

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8,005
I would like to add to the mix of opinions that it is important to take into consideration the style of music to be played. A set-up to produce a classical concept of sound will be different than one to produce a jazz or "pop" saxophone tone quality. A set-up to allow the player to blend in a concert or symphonic band setting will be different than one used in a jazz ensemble. It is also important to know whether the mouthpiece is for an alto or a tenor sax---something that the op hasn't revealed.

My experience teaching beginning saxophone students in a concert band setting is that the Yamaha 4C is an excellent choice for alto sax. It facilitates learning to control the sound with the muscles of the embouchure without undue effort at first, abd reduces fatigue which can form bad habits. Once good tone production skills and a good concept of sound is established, then the learner can move up to a wider tip opening and longer lay to increase the volume and flexibility. On the tenor, the Yamaha 5C is a good choice for the same reasons given above.
 

TripleB

Member
Messages
32
I would like to add to the mix of opinions that it is important to take into consideration the style of music to be played. A set-up to produce a classical concept of sound will be different than one to produce a jazz or "pop" saxophone tone quality. A set-up to allow the player to blend in a concert or symphonic band setting will be different than one used in a jazz ensemble. It is also important to know whether the mouthpiece is for an alto or a tenor sax---something that the op hasn't revealed.

My experience teaching beginning saxophone students in a concert band setting is that the Yamaha 4C is an excellent choice for alto sax. It facilitates learning to control the sound with the muscles of the embouchure without undue effort at first, abd reduces fatigue which can form bad habits. Once good tone production skills and a good concept of sound is established, then the learner can move up to a wider tip opening and longer lay to increase the volume and flexibility. On the tenor, the Yamaha 5C is a good choice for the same reasons given above.
Sorry about leaving that information out.

The mouthpiece is for a Tenor Sax, I plan on playing it around the house (maybe at church if I ever get brave enough), I'll be playing hymns/Christmas music/hopefully some jazz down the road, played for 7 years but that was a long time ago.

After some more looking I'm also considering the Brilhart Ebolin over the Yamaha. What do you think about it compared to the Yamaha for what I'll be using it for?

TripleB
 
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Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,664
I still have a Yamaha 4 c in my mpce drawer. They are a fine early student mpce and IMO it is better to develop the embouchure with that and a traditional strength 2 reed (unless the player is quite young) than a larger opening softer reed deal.
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,552
In looking at new mouthpieces, it seems the Yamaha mouthpiece comes in various sizes of tip openings.

The three models I'm looking at are the 4C, 5C, and 6C.

Is it better to have a larger tip opening (6C), the smaller tip opening (4C), or the one in the middle (5C)?
Hi TripleB,

Is this on Tenor or Alto?
The only reason I ask, is because I have a virtually brand new Yamaha 5C for Tenor that I am planning to sell (if you are UK based) as that nice Mr Santa Claus chappie brought be a Selmer Soloist D for being a good girl last year.
My 5C is about 6 months old, and played for maybe 1 or 2 hours a week, as Tenor is my 3rd instrument behind Alto and Bari.
 
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