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M/Pieces - Ligs Yamaha 4C mouthpiece

jbtsax

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The Yamaha 4C is designed to be a "safe" mouthpiece for students who are still developing their embouchures and tone production skills. As such it has side and tip rails that are a bit wider and a tip opening on the smaller end of the spectrum at .063". The Meyer 5M which is a popular "middle of the road" jazz mouthpiece has a tip opening of .071 and they go up from there.

As mouthpieces move from "safe" student specs to what are called professional mouthpieces, the rails are made thinner, the tip openings wider, and the lays longer to offer more volume and flexibility. Of course these mouthpieces demand more control from the player. I am sure there are others more knowledgeable about mouthpiece design who can add to or correct what I have written.
 

Greg Strange

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2,085
Why do professional saxophonists not use a Yamaha 4C mouthpiece ?

Really? Who said this statement? Donald Trump?:rofl:

According to our interview with Jay Beckenstein of Spyro Gyra fame in Saxophone Journal in the early 2000s his mouthpiece of choice on his Keilwerth SX 90 soprano sax was a basic Yamaha soprano mouthpiece. If you search "YouTube" for a Spyro Gyra concert 2016 you can see Jay playing his black Keilwerth soprano and the distinctive Yamaha logo on the mouthpiece...and there's probably other pro players in the big wide world playing 4Cs...my advice is don't worry what mouthpieces other players are playing, choose the mouthpiece that YOU feel comfortable with and the sound and tonal quality YOU want...

Greg S.
 

Brian Webber

New Member
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20
Its an interesting journey and mouthpieces are only part of it. The reed combo will make a huge difference too. I have an old Trevor James Revolution alto that came with a factory version of a 4C... which I was gifted 20 years ago. Sadly, I never really learnt to play and the sax spent most of its life under the bed... At the beginning of lockdown, I decided to invest in playing again (so every day, for several hours, for 6 months - is about where I'm at!!) In July I visited my local woodwind and brass and after trying some mouthpieces opted for a Selmer s80 c* which was fab, easy to blow and a nice warm / classical tone... but basically a posh version of my TJ 4C factory original (probs gonna be lambasted for that comment :p) However, years ago a friend - ex sax player long story, for another time - gifted me his Vandoren Jumbo Java A45... along with a box of Vandoren 3s... (I know Ive been really blessed with some hugely generous friends in my life!! :cool:) but surprise surprise I could never blow it... Don't ask me why I tried with 3s I was never told any different... Anyway, I recently bought a box of Vandoren 2s... Firstly, the S80 was so much easier to play... and then I thought mmm lets try the A45... wow what a phenomenal difference!!! Now its all I play... its still bigger than me (as is the sax in general) but I am growing in ability to flex tone and it sounds (to me) much closer to where I want to be.. and feels like I'm growing everyday :D
 

Phil

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716
A pro can play a 4c. I have heard several professionals play them and sound quite good. However, I can aslo say that the same players sounded measurably better on better pieces.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
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1,864
Really? Who said this statement? Donald Trump?:rofl:

According to our interview with Jay Beckenstein of Spyro Gyra fame in Saxophone Journal in the early 2000s his mouthpiece of choice on his Keilwerth SX 90 soprano sax was a basic Yamaha soprano mouthpiece. If you search "YouTube" for a Spyro Gyra concert 2016 you can see Jay playing his black Keilwerth soprano and the distinctive Yamaha logo on the mouthpiece...and there's probably other pro players in the big wide world playing 4Cs...my advice is don't worry what mouthpieces other players are playing, choose the mouthpiece that YOU feel comfortable with and the sound and tonal quality YOU want...

Greg S.
But was it a 4C ? I would be surprised if Jay played that tip opening.....maybe it was, but that'd surprise me.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,864
A pro can play a 4c. I have heard several professionals play them and sound quite good. However, I can aslo say that the same players sounded measurably better on better pieces.
And there is your answer. The 4C (all Yama pieces, IMHO) isn't made/intended to really dial in tonality and produce nuances in blowing response. It is intended to be easy to play while sounding ....acceptable.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,864
The Yamaha 4C is designed to be a "safe" mouthpiece for students who are still developing their embouchures and tone production skills....

As mouthpieces move from "safe" student specs to what are called professional mouthpieces, the rails are made thinner, the tip openings wider, and the lays longer to offer more volume and flexibility. Of course these mouthpieces demand more control from the player.
And there is your answer....again.
 

Greg Strange

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,085
But was it a 4C ? I would be surprised if Jay played that tip opening.....maybe it was, but that'd surprise me.

The interview is in the March / April 2002, Volume 26, Number 4 issue of Saxophone Journal magazine, and on page 23 Jay Beckenstein advises his soprano sax set-up as follows (direct quote) "Keilworth straight soprano saxophone, with a stock medium Yamaha mouthpiece similar to Selmer C Star and Vandoren 3 1/2 reeds"...

according to a reliable source the Selmer (Paris) C* and Yamaha 4C have the same tip opening measurement of 47 thousandths of an inch...

so make of it what you will...

Greg S.
 

Greg Strange

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,085
Its an interesting journey and mouthpieces are only part of it. The reed combo will make a huge difference too. I have an old Trevor James Revolution alto that came with a factory version of a 4C... which I was gifted 20 years ago. Sadly, I never really learnt to play and the sax spent most of its life under the bed... At the beginning of lockdown, I decided to invest in playing again (so every day, for several hours, for 6 months - is about where I'm at!!) In July I visited my local woodwind and brass and after trying some mouthpieces opted for a Selmer s80 c* which was fab, easy to blow and a nice warm / classical tone... but basically a posh version of my TJ 4C factory original (probs gonna be lambasted for that comment :p) However, years ago a friend - ex sax player long story, for another time - gifted me his Vandoren Jumbo Java A45... along with a box of Vandoren 3s... (I know Ive been really blessed with some hugely generous friends in my life!! :cool:) but surprise surprise I could never blow it... Don't ask me why I tried with 3s I was never told any different... Anyway, I recently bought a box of Vandoren 2s... Firstly, the S80 was so much easier to play... and then I thought mmm lets try the A45... wow what a phenomenal difference!!! Now its all I play... its still bigger than me (as is the sax in general) but I am growing in ability to flex tone and it sounds (to me) much closer to where I want to be.. and feels like I'm growing everyday :D

Considering an A45 mouthpiece measures out to about 85 thousandths of an inch it's not surprising a softer reed works better...:rolleyes:

Greg S.
 

Brian Webber

New Member
Messages
20
Considering an A45 mouthpiece measures out to about 85 thousandths of an inch it's not surprising a softer reed works better...:rolleyes:

Greg S.
If only there had been forums like this back in the 90s when I started out!!... I literally didn't have a clue and no idea about mouthpieces / reeds etc. My experience with the sax since re-engaging with it earlier in the year has been phenomenal... Advice from teachers online, YouTube vids and this forum have been amazing... and now I'm blowing tunes rather than my ears off :happydance:
 

ESJohn

Member
Messages
214
I agree Brian! A few years ago I found a very nice deal on a 4C that included the ligature and cap. According to the seller, it had come with a new sax that he had purchased so I guess he didn't need it. It really helped me to improve (our director refers to me as an "advanced novice, whatever that is). Unfortunately, I dropped it which took a slice out of the tip. My current preferred is a hard rubber model that was made by our woodwinds instructor (DTWoodwinds.com) and is marked as a 4C*. I also have two other pieces of unknown brand. This forum is my top source for information and input and I also watch the videos from bettersax.com. One of these days, I will actually learn how to play this thing!
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,864
The interview is in the March / April 2002, Volume 26, Number 4 issue of Saxophone Journal magazine, and on page 23 Jay Beckenstein advises his soprano sax set-up as follows (direct quote) "Keilworth straight soprano saxophone, with a stock medium Yamaha mouthpiece similar to Selmer C Star and Vandoren 3 1/2 reeds"...

according to a reliable source the Selmer (Paris) C* and Yamaha 4C have the same tip opening measurement of 47 thousandths of an inch...

so make of it what you will...

Greg S.
FWIW - according to the Theo Wanne soprano charts.... the C* Selmer has a.050 tip.....the Yama 5C has a .049, the Yama 6C has a .051.

So 'similar to a C*' puts whatever he used closer to a 5C or 6C Yama, it seems....
 

Phil

Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
716
2 thousandths in a production piece means they are all the same. Pull 10 off the shelf...get 6 different sets of numbers. .002 is almost meaningless, even in soprano. On alto or tenor I dont put much stock in anyone who claims to be able to feel it. Its less relevant than a reed that is one day old vs 3.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
1,864
2 thousandths in a production piece means they are all the same. Pull 10 off the shelf...get 6 different sets of numbers. .002 is almost meaningless, even in soprano. On alto or tenor I dont put much stock in anyone who claims to be able to feel it. Its less relevant than a reed that is one day old vs 3.
...a Yama 6C vs. a Yama 4C, to me, and many players....there's a difference in how the mouthpiece feels and performs (that'd be a .004 tip difference on the soprano pieces)

I just am a little skeptical Jay used a 4C, is all. He called it a 'stock medium Yamaha'...which could mean a 4, 5, 6 as all were readily available back then. I'd just think a player of his calibre and experience didn't go with the 4 tip. But it'll always be somewhat unclear, I guess.

I certainly agree with you...if one were moving from a 4C to a 5C it would be a pointless endeavor if what they expected was something perceptibly different.
 

Greg Strange

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,085
FWIW - according to the Theo Wanne soprano charts.... the C* Selmer has a.050 tip.....the Yama 5C has a .049, the Yama 6C has a .051.

So 'similar to a C*' puts whatever he used closer to a 5C or 6C Yama, it seems....

My reliable source was Jody Jazz soprano comparison chart...


Greg S.
 

Pete Effamy

Senior Member
Messages
2,521
Really? Who said this statement? Donald Trump?:rofl:

According to our interview with Jay Beckenstein of Spyro Gyra fame in Saxophone Journal in the early 2000s his mouthpiece of choice on his Keilwerth SX 90 soprano sax was a basic Yamaha soprano mouthpiece. If you search "YouTube" for a Spyro Gyra concert 2016 you can see Jay playing his black Keilwerth soprano and the distinctive Yamaha logo on the mouthpiece...and there's probably other pro players in the big wide world playing 4Cs...my advice is don't worry what mouthpieces other players are playing, choose the mouthpiece that YOU feel comfortable with and the sound and tonal quality YOU want...

Greg S.
Don’t say that Greg, if we don’t obsess about everyone else having better gear what are we gonna do for all those decades?
 

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