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Beginner Two mouthpieces? Or stick to one?

Der Wikinger

Member
Messages
180
Locality
Silvis, IL USA
Purchased an Otto Link 6* about 2+ years back, and never looked back. Although I have a Selmer C* that plays well consistently.
 

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,302
Locality
Buckinghamshire
They are both bought and paid for, the discussion should not be on the rights and wrongs of which mouthpiece I am using.

What I am learning, and I appreciate we all learn differently, is that different mouthpieces can produce different sounds. I am listening to lots of sax music, and I am starting to hear two different sounds that I play, albeit only slightly. In time I expect I will start to prefer a certain sound and wish to emulate that. For now I enjoy playing/ learning/experimenting and acquiring an ear for what I am doing. My biggest teachers are the noises I make, and the people/responses on here.

Of course as OG says buy what you want. As for rights and wrongs...... well I can't see there are any that should be imposed on you. You do what you like.

We all of us influence the sound we make far more than any sax or mp choice we might go for. I'd love to sound like Sonny Rollins or Dexter Gordon but I ain't made that way no matter what kit I use or how much I improve my playing and I never will do.

One other small point. I met Andy Sheppard 2 years ago and chatted with him about stuff including mps. Andy brush was there too and AS asked our opinion on a new mp he was considering buying. Both of us agreed he sounded better on his 'old' one but the main point of interest to me was what he said next which was along the lines of...

"I use one mp for ages then sometimes I decide I need a change. When I find the next one, I always get rid of the old one. Initially I love the sound of the new mp but after a few weeks I always feel a little disappointed and end up just sounding like 'me'..."

So by all means search for your sound but it may be that once it develops, it'll be what it is and that's pretty much that. I'm sure some mps are better than others and some better suited to one individual over another. Same goes for reeds. In the end though, it's your whole body; lungs, airway, diaphragm, teeth, tongue, embouchure and probably a whole lot more before you get to technique, experience etc etc - that affects the sound. Not just the mp.
 

saxnik

Member
Messages
381
Locality
Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom
...by all means search for your sound but it may be that once it develops, it'll be what it is and that's pretty much that. I'm sure some mps are better than others and some better suited to one individual over another. Same goes for reeds. In the end though, it's your whole body; lungs, airway, diaphragm, teeth, tongue, embouchure and probably a whole lot more before you get to technique, experience etc etc - that affects the sound. Not just the mp.

Quite true. This is why in my earlier post I suggested that you need to learn to play initially on a middlish mouthpiece. In the same way that you wouldn't pick a Harley Davidson on which to do your CBT, or try to learn to walk in high-heeled shoes, it's sensible to make the task as easy as possible to start with. It sounds like Dave is past this point (only he, or possibly his teacher, can tell) and that his goal is now to find a sound he is happy with.

This too is fine, but as Ian says, your sound ends up being 'your sound' in the end, not the sound of a sax or a mouthpiece. All you can really do is influence it a bit, so it doesn't matter too much which mouthpiece you use to practice from this point provided you like the way it plays - you'll get used to it and learn to play on it.

If one is getting used to a mouthpiece and starting not to like it (i.e. finding areas in which it performs badly) one may consider changing again, but if one does this too often there simply isn't the time to get used to the setup. Playing using more than one piece for different styles or effects is also fine, but practice on each setup will be required to get the best out of them. If you need to swap in a gig, practice swapping too since you'll need to train your embouchure to do this.

Hope this has helped,

Nick
 

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