Accessories Two aspects of learning the baritone saxophone

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
697
I mentioned in my doorbell thread that I find it easier to play the baritone than the tenor. Probably this is because I happened upon a set-up that suits me. For the first eight months I used the Yamaha 5C that came with it, but it seemed to be difficult to find the right reed. Soft ones were too flexible and caused inadvertent air blockages, and the harder ones made playing an effort. I thought about this for a fair while, and I read what I could. I have noticed that good players never sound forced. Clearly, the mouthpiece/reed combination is critical for achieving this. In the end I guessed that a Vandoren BL3 (recommended by many for classical music anyway). This guess was right. I match it with a Rico Royal #3. This set-up allows me to play pp passages easily, no matter where in the phrase they occur. Quite possibly I was simply lucky because Vandoren mouthpieces are generally considered to be of high quality.

In the first few months I used a Neotech strap which I find highly satisfactory on the tenor. But the baritone is heavier, and I decided to get a Gemini harness from a Canadian supplier. This has made a considerable difference. Playing the instrument is much more comfortable. Anyway, it seems to me that harnesses are worth considering for baritone.

Other than these two purchases and some experiments with reeds I have not bought anything. What I have noticed is that as my playing improved (by my standards), the importance of software (e.g. attitude and technique) seemed to increase relative to the importance of hardware (the instrument). New gear is always a temptation for the saxophone player, but what has been at the back of my mind for a long time is a post Luluna a year or so ago as to whether she she should consider updating her gear to fit in with any chnages that might have occurred during her extended absence from playing. I think she later answered the question herself: the conductor assessed her a player, not as an owner of shiny new gear.

Anyway, this has been my experience.
 

jthole

Member
Messages
231
About baritone straps, this one works best for me on baritone: BG S02M Shoulder Strap

Much more comfortable than a neck strap, and more flexible than a harness.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
22,004
Location
Just north of Munich
...What I have noticed is that as my playing improved (by my standards), the importance of software (e.g. attitude and technique) seemed to increase relative to the importance of hardware (the instrument). New gear is always a temptation for the saxophone player, but what has been at the back of my mind for a long time is a post Luluna a year or so ago as to whether she she should consider updating her gear to fit in with any chnages that might have occurred during her extended absence from playing. I think she later answered the question herself: the conductor assessed her a player, not as an owner of shiny new gear.
As someone who bid on 4 mpcs this wekend - and pulled out of all when they got too expensive, :w00t: I must remember this. Thanks, could save me a lot of money... :)
 
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