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Beginner Yamaha 4c closing off problem

BeBopSop

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274
Hi I am fairly new to the Sop sax, (I have played a few years ago though, and started again)I started with the Yamaha 4c and then got a sopranoplanet MP (which is being modified at the moment) and I didnt have this problem with the sopranoplanet one meanwhile I am using the Yam 4c again with a vandoren 2.1/2 reed which is is quite easy to shut off and what is worse when I am playing I often go up an octave, I have found I can quite easily make this happen if I try. here is the question, Do you think I have outgrown the MP (the sax has been checked over) is this normal to go up an octave because I am biting perhaps? I have tried a 3.1/2 but it sounds very airy and takes more work, but I can close that off as well, the problem gets worse when the neck and Mp gets wet, perhaps the moisture helps close the tip?
Do you think a Yam. 5c or 6c would help while I am waiting for the modification on my other MP please?
 

Pete Thomas

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14,527
Hi I am fairly new to the Sop sax, (I have played a few years ago though, and started again)I started with the Yamaha 4c and then got a sopranoplanet MP (which is being modified at the moment) and I didnt have this problem with the sopranoplanet one meanwhile I am using the Yam 4c again with a vandoren 2.1/2 reed which is is quite easy to shut off and what is worse when I am playing I often go up an octave, I have found I can quite easily make this happen if I try. here is the question, Do you think I have outgrown the MP (the sax has been checked over) is this normal to go up an octave because I am biting perhaps? I have tried a 3.1/2 but it sounds very airy and takes more work, but I can close that off as well, the problem gets worse when the neck and Mp gets wet, perhaps the moisture helps close the tip?
Do you think a Yam. 5c or 6c would help while I am waiting for the modification on my other MP please?

It's very hard to say, strangely I find that I like a 4C as a back up soprano mouthpiece. I use very wide tips on tenor (9*) but on soprano I'm totally happy with quite small tip opening. I use a PPT 5 or 6 (which is like a Selmer C# and D) and with 2.5 reeds it doesn't close off, but if I did that on tenor or alto 'd be in trouble.

You could try taking in a little more mouthpiece, I find on soprano I can take in relatively a lot more than tenor.

However a yamaha 6c is cheap enough that it might be worth trying until you get your main piece mended.
 

Pete Thomas

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Hehe, I just realised and noticed that was you (i presume) I responded to on SOTW about taking in more mouthpiece.

I think that's good what Jazzaferri said there:

Top lip stays pretty much the same. His methodology calls for a very active lower lip just sealing the mpce and damping the reed as necessary to balance tone. As little upward pressure on the reed as possible.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Hi John!

I wonder whether a slight change of reed would be of benefit. I imagine that a Vandoren Traditional reed encourages you into a certain type of embouchure, which can encourage some extra pressure on the reed, hence closing, going up an octave and such like. I use a Marca Jazz 3 on my Soprano Planet 0.056" Via Coro, which is the same hardness as a Vandoren 2.5 but it does encourage a calmer blow and does not ever do what you say.

Therefore a different reed cut may well be an answer - Joe Giardullo does rate Marca Jazz and Alexander DC cut reeds, and plays the Marca on Soprano Sax FWIW.

If you think about getting a Yamaha 6C I do have a Yamaha 6CM (HR Version) for sale in Yard Sale.
Kind regards
Tom
 

Pete Thomas

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However a yamaha 6c is cheap enough that it might be worth trying until you get your main piece mended.

Sorry (another brain fart) I just saw you are having your main mouthpiece modified not mended. What is the modification?
 

BeBopSop

Member
Messages
274
The Rue lapis mp, was great it produced easy dark mellow rounded sound down on the bottom C. Bflat. B. but it was a strugle and almost impossible to get top E and F palm keys, so Joe at sopranoplanet said he would modify it to enable me to get the high notes. I do have faith in this mp as my 1st enquiery to Joe was to get those super smooth low notes, which it did. I just need a tempary MP to keep me going while it is away. especially as I have just got the Bflat real book 462 jazz songs! and I am awaiting the Cd sets of backings to go with the book, I have so much to go at now!
 

Gallen

Senior Member
Messages
397
Hey Bebopsop, thanks for starting this thread. I'm having exactly the same issues, my sop mouthpiece (Yamaha 5C) seems to close up for anything above high D (plasticovers 2,2.5,3, rico 2.5, vandoren, hemke etc etc). I'll definitely be giving the recommendations of Pete and Tom a go - before I go for a runyon custom or bari hr. High E on sop is getting better with practice though, however I don't put in as many hours on the sop as my alto.

Cheers!
 

Pete Thomas

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14,527
Hey Bebopsop, thanks for starting this thread. I'm having exactly the same issues, my sop mouthpiece (Yamaha 5C) seems to close up for anything above high D (plasticovers 2,2.5,3, rico 2.5, vandoren, hemke etc etc).

Soprano mouthpieces more than anything seem to suffer from having to compromise either high or low. One reason I developed the PPT. High notes on soprano are obviously particularly difficult, so people tend to bite up there or else go for a reed that's too hard or facing that's too difficult to get nice low notes. After extensive experimenting with loads of mouthpieces, the only really useful one for the complete range was a Selmer Soloist, however I wanted a warmer sound, so I set off to invent my own mouthpiece based on that.

In fact I had a almost a dozen mouthpieces with different facings lined up ready to do a big recording shootout, but honestly, the only one I could play with any real authority over the full range was that Selmer, so in the end I found it pointless to waste time on the comparison, it was a no brainer.

Sorry if this reads a bit like an ad for a PPT, but that's exactly what happened.

I believe half the battle (at least) is getting the correct soprano embouchure, it requires a different approach. The other half of the battle is finding a soprano mouthpiece that has been designed with that different approach in mind, not just a "small alto" mouthpiece.
 

Gallen

Senior Member
Messages
397
Pete, will definitely look at the ppt a few months down the road. Budget and time is into the alto and setting up my daw atm :) Cheers!
 
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