Why do we do it?

Messages
499
Location
kent
I have just spent a couple of hours going through all the old and neglected mouthpieces that i have collected over the years all those wonderful mouthpieces that promised to make me sound like my heroes, tenor sax, alto sax, clarinet, it made no difference to me i had to have them , every one and surprise, surprise, they made not an ounce of difference i still sound like me i was seduced by phrases like "free blowing " "those altissimo notes just pop out" etc now that i am older wiser and lord know how much pooreri dont get fooled by all this stuff anymore afterall i reckon i could have bought some pretty good horns if i had saved up the money i spent on these little devils,or even a small island in the west indies.

Its odd, but even though i will probably never use any of them again i cant bring myself to sell them after all maybe i will find a horn that will finally make them do what they were supposed too.

what am i saying! please keep me off of Ebay
 

cherrybyte

Member
Messages
110
Location
Dulverton, Exmoor, West Somerset
I have just spent a couple of hours going through all the old and neglected mouthpieces that i have collected over the years all those wonderful mouthpieces that promised to make me sound like my heroes, tenor sax, alto sax, clarinet, it made no difference to me i had to have them , every one and surprise, surprise, they made not an ounce of difference i still sound like me i was seduced by phrases like "free blowing " "those altissimo notes just pop out" etc now that i am older wiser and lord know how much pooreri dont get fooled by all this stuff anymore afterall i reckon i could have bought some pretty good horns if i had saved up the money i spent on these little devils,or even a small island in the west indies.

Its odd, but even though i will probably never use any of them again i cant bring myself to sell them after all maybe i will find a horn that will finally make them do what they were supposed too.

what am i saying! please keep me off of Ebay
That's the problem with M/Pieces and the Hype...anyone that spends £600.00 + on a 'Hand finished Guardala'...is it part of his rehab. program..??..needs to take their head for a 'wobble'...bit like these 'sad' blokes who played a bit of guitar when twenty...went on to make 'piles of dosh' and in their 50's buy '57' strats/teles/335's..'cos eric' played one for £10,000+ 'n' think its going to make them sound good...regretfully much the same for the 'Mark VI' people..fact..no substitute for talent..if you practise hard enough on crap gear when you get better stuff(law of diminishing returns applys)..sure it makes it easier but a £5000.00 Selmer is not going to sound 5 times better than a £1000.00 Trevor James..practise..practise..practise..so said charlie parker...'n' I think he's very a very technically adept uninspiring player....Sonny Rollins...now he's good..!!...and yes I have bought a Guardala in my time..!!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,997
Location
Just north of Munich
Have experimented with different mouthpieces on my tenor and am starting to do the same with my alto. I've found a big difference in playability and sound between the different mouthpieces I've tried so far. Best for sound on the tenor is the PPT. But I'm struggling with the low notes, even with a soft reed(needs more skill or a narrower tip, I think). Easiest to play is the Rico Metallite, but it doesn't have the sound of the PPT. I might just stick my neck out and oprder a Ponzol Vintage HR for the alto... Wish I could try one for a week or two, though.

So for me it's worth it, but I don't think I'll be continuing to experiment once I find ones that work for me.
 

saxnik

Member
Messages
381
Location
Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom
So for me it's worth it, but I don't think I'll be continuing to experiment once I find ones that work for me.
Of the musicians I know, the folk who keep searching for 'ones that work for me' never seem to actually find them... (Trumpet players are terrible for it for some reason)
I think you have to give each mouthpiece at least six months of solid playing to really know if it works for you. By this time you work out if there's anything you really CAN'T manage on it. Obviously if the piece feels uncomfortable or very difficult instantly, it's wrong for you.

I recently changed my Berg Larsen (which I've had for about ten years) for a Dukoff, which does sound more powerful, and more pleasant - though I think that this is largely down to the groundwork I did on the Larsen, learning to play loudly! The reason I changed was that I was having to play louder, and wasn't getting the altissimo notes so easily any more, at least on stage (still no problem while practicing). I still use an Otto Link for everything except loud pop/rock/soul/funk.

I think that you can pretty much play any style on any mouthpiece if you're willing to put the practice in to adapt your embouchure, however certainly some are more suited to certain styles. Try some alto pieces in a shop to rule out the bad ones, then pick one based on the style you want to play, take it home, play it to death and repeat the process in six months if you're still not happy!

Cheers,

Nick
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,619
Location
Betelgeuse
I've had loads of tenor mouthpieces over the years, really just because I enjoy experimenting. In all honesty if I'd had to stick with my first proper one, Lawton, I'd have been fine. I've still got it and will never sell it. Lots of the intervening ones have been traded on, and I'm well up on what I've paid, as I always buy used, and sell with good descriptions and photos. I've had loads of fun with different mouthpieces. Although I sound like me on all of them, it's just different shades of me. At the moment I'm playing on three main ones.

New model Brilhart Level Air - a real surprise, plays a storm, only cost $40. Thick tone, with a bright edge.

Berg Larsen Grained Ebonite 110/2 SMS - more mellow, bright edge, very versatile. Great. Thanks Jules.

RPC 115B - very edgy and loud, can do soft ballads.

I've played them back to back and recorded them and listened back though high quality headphones. Distinct differences to the tone on all. I like the sound they all make too.

Disappointment? Francis Louis Spectruoso SP. I was expecting to love it, but I don't. I just don't like the moise it makes. So it'll be up for sale and I'll get my money back.

On alto I play three, but haven't been through anything like as many. Oleg Maestro refaced by Brian Powell, Yanagisawa Metal and Runyon Jaguar. Again, all great but different.

Why do we do it? Some elusive chasing of 'the sound'? Not for me, maybe because I know fine well I'll never sound like my sax heroes, and I'm happy with that. I just enjoy trying different sounds from different mouthpieces.

Jon
 

Greywolf

Member
Messages
61
Location
Morecambe prom
Yes, I've collected a few. I tried Otto Link Tonemasters. I really wanted to play one because they were the sort of standard piece. I've tried 3 and never been able to get on with one of them. Bari, Runyon, Yanagisawa, Selmer, and others, Now I play a Lawton and have done for several years. It suits me just fine. I occasionally play a Tone Edge for a slightly different sound.

I once thought about buying a fancy crook for my Yani T991 so I spent a morning in Bradford working my way through about 8, various metals, combinations priced from £10s to £100s I honestly couldn't tell any significant difference between them.

So its a Yani T991 standard crook and the Lawton and lots of practice and playing.
 

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
697
Not all of us do it. Those of us who have gone through the golf process know how futile the search for perfect equipment can be. Still, I am sure that some mouthpieces are much better than others. But which are the others?
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,399
Location
Sweden
I like to try and play different mouthpieces! Mouthpieces and reeds are often one of the first things saxophonists talk about when they come togheter

You can never copy a sound by the choice of mouthpiece. I like Clarene Clemons and could kill for having his sound/tone!! Impossible, there is just one CC. But I can try to copy his:

Practise rutines
Energy
Heavy vibrato
Volume (loudness)
"Few tone solos" (pentatonic)
Courage (self-confidence)

.......... .

Of course, a good mouthpiece always helps up!

I bought my first expensive mouthpiece the other year. There is a difference between a Rovner and a Dukoff. You get three Dukoffs for the same price as one Rovner (roughly). I think it's worth it!?!?! Being a hobby saxophonist I had a limit how much money I could spend on my saxplaying. Nowadays I can spend more, after the children moved out!!

Thomas
 

Der Wikinger

Member
Messages
188
Location
Silvis, IL USA
I have just spent a couple of hours going through all the old and neglected mouthpieces that i have collected over the years all those wonderful mouthpieces that promised to make me sound like my heroes, tenor sax, alto sax, clarinet, it made no difference to me i had to have them , every one and surprise, surprise, they made not an ounce of difference i still sound like me i was seduced by phrases like "free blowing " "those altissimo notes just pop out" etc now that i am older wiser and lord know how much pooreri dont get fooled by all this stuff anymore afterall i reckon i could have bought some pretty good horns if i had saved up the money i spent on these little devils,or even a small island in the west indies.

Its odd, but even though i will probably never use any of them again i cant bring myself to sell them after all maybe i will find a horn that will finally make them do what they were supposed too.

what am i saying! please keep me off of Ebay
Just a suggestion. I went through the same thing only with probably less money. You can't believe the power and tone I get with an Otto Link 6* and a rico 2 1/2 reed. that's on all my saxes.
 
OP
zootsaxenberger
Messages
499
Location
kent
I totally agree with you all, having started playing semi pro at the age of sixteen( now the wrong side of fifty) i have long since realised that my sound is a personal thing which is as much anatomical as it is to do with my setup.
i just hoped that by starting this discussion, i could save some money and prevent disapointment for anyone out there who is still going down the route of trying to find that magic mouthpiece, horn set-up that will propell them into superstardom .
because as all of us can confirm there is no such animal!
 

Greywolf

Member
Messages
61
Location
Morecambe prom
The funny thing is, after reading and contributing to this thread I got out my Bari and I've started playing that again. Ideally I would like to move to a Lawton 7*
 
OP
zootsaxenberger
Messages
499
Location
kent
you see what happens? we saxists are such an inquisitive bunch we cant help ourselves,be warned Greywolf it wont stop with the lawton!
 
Top Bottom