Saxophone Forum


by vegasax
(6 posts)
9 years ago

Can't stop squeaks or get the sound that I want!(alto)

Since I turned to metal mouthpieces I have dealt with many problems. I have tried many mouthpieces (sizes and shapes), reeds (varied strengths), different brands of altos and I cannot get the sound I want and stop my annoying squeaks. I am an active player (practice during the week and play weekend gigs) I strive to play Norteno music, similar to polka music where an accordion harmonizes with a saxophone. Maybe my problem is that I have not found my correct mouthpiece dimensions yet? I think I need help! Anybody???

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  1. by dolly
    (4 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Can't stop squeaks or get the sound that I want!(alto)

    do you know some one els that plays norteno music in los angeles, I am in desparate need of a sax player... alkevmatt@gmail.com

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  2. by dolly
    (4 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Can't stop squeaks or get the sound that I want!(alto)

    do you know some one els that plays norteno music in los angeles, I am in desparate need of a sax player... alkevmatt@gmail.com

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  3. by lallopop
    (1 post)

    2 years ago

    Re: Can't stop squeaks or get the sound that I want!(alto)

    Have you tried the jody jazz noteño? Maybe it works for you. Good luck finding your solution.

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  4. by CountSpatula
    (602 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: Can't stop squeaks or get the sound that I want!(alto)

    What kind of sound are you looking for? Reeds that have a thin tip and a thick heart tend to squeak more, especially with long mouthpiece facings. A Fibracell reed has a cut that's difficult to make squeak...Tight embrochures and playing on the tip usually make it chirp, so maybe try taking in more mouthpiece? Usually mouthpieces with high baffles have this problem, metal or not...

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    1. by vegasax
      (6 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: Can't stop squeaks or get the sound that I want!(alto)

      Thanks Count! I did not know that this was an issue among sax players (high baffles have this problem). I thought I was the only one. Honestly! When I used to play with hard rubber mpc's #5's, I never had this sqeak problem, but the sound quality was not bright. My ultimate goal is to play bright and thick with a metal mouthpiece with dimensions (tip opening, reed size) I do not know what!! I need to accomplish this because my historical tradition and music style is Norteno (border music*polka*). The sax is bright and thick, yet it needs to be easy to play because chicken sax requires many notes for an extended period of time.

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      1. by CountSpatula
        (602 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: Can't stop squeaks or get the sound that I want!(alto)

        Well, I'm a big fan of Ron Coelho's custom mouthpiece, but they tend to be expensive and it takes him 1-2 months to make, and they're hard rubber... Dont think that HR mouthpieces can't be bright either. Have you tried a Beechler Diamond Inlay, Claude Lakey, or a Vandoren Java before? (Hard rubber...) Maybe other people on the forums have different suggestions... Out of curiosity, what mouthpiece do you play on now for it?

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        1. by vegasax
          (6 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Can't stop squeaks or get the sound that I want!(alto)

          Thanks again! To answer your question: I play with an otto link #6 metal and it does not squeak on me but I do not like the sound>it is too mellow. What if I bought a Berg Larson with a a bigger/open baffle, will that reduce my squeaking problem? Just to let you know my squeaking comes from my lower lip especially when I play fast arpeggios.

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        2. by CountSpatula
          (602 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Can't stop squeaks or get the sound that I want!(alto)

          Dukoff and Berg Larsen are two metal mouthpieces that are known for not being made as well as they use to/should be. If you can find a good Berg Larsen I'm sure it would suit your needs. Or you can find a refacer to get one fixed, but that would cost a bit more money....

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        3. by vegasax
          (6 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Can't stop squeaks or get the sound that I want!(alto)

          Do you think if I buy a Berg with an open baffle will reduce my squeaks? Do you know anything about Yanagisawa mouthpieces (alto)? Beechler? How do I compare my Berg to a Yanagisawa: Internet comparison charts are confusing/inaccurate. Or maybe I am using a far too big tip opening (90/1)? How do I figure all this out?

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        4. by CountSpatula
          (602 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Can't stop squeaks or get the sound that I want!(alto)

          It might. Yanis are bright mouthpieces without edge. Beechler is very similar, along with the Selmer Metal Jazz. The berg will be a bit brighter with more edge. Don't know what reed your playing on, but a 2.5/medium hard reed should cover it. You should really try these mouthpieces out. If you don't have a local store near by, wwbw.com has a return policy you can do.

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        5. by vegasax
          (6 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Can't stop squeaks or get the sound that I want!(alto)

          I know this is a crazy question, but what is having more edge?

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        6. by CountSpatula
          (602 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Can't stop squeaks or get the sound that I want!(alto)

          Um...not sure how to explain it. Have you ever listened to David Sanborn? I'm sure you can find short samples on the web. He has an extremely bright and edgy tone (kinda like that buzz in the sound).

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        7. by vegasax
          (6 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Can't stop squeaks or get the sound that I want!(alto)

          Thanks! One question. Lets say I am going to purchase a yanagisawa metal alto mouthpiece and I have 5 years experience playing a sax, I play with a 90/1 Berg w/ #2 reed, I also play an Otto Link #6 w/ #2 reed, what should I be aiming for: bigger tip opening, smaller tip opening? Bigger tip opening w/ softer reed or smaller tip opening with thicker reed? What would you pick?---

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        8. by CountSpatula
          (602 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Can't stop squeaks or get the sound that I want!(alto)

          I don't really know the tip openings of yanagisawas, sorry. Bigger tip openings will generally give you a bigger, brighter sound. I would definitly go with bigger tip, thicker reeds...

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        9. by Sax Mom
          (964 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Can't stop squeaks or get the sound that I want!(alto)

          That would be... stiffer reeds. However, I would suggest experimenting with several different strengths of reeds with whatever mouthpieces you already have. See what works best for you.

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        10. by CountSpatula
          (602 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Can't stop squeaks or get the sound that I want!(alto)

          Eeee not stiffer reeds, I meant softer. Big tip openings + stiff reeds=baaddd (Thanks saxmom for correcting me :P)

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        11. by Sax Mom
          (964 posts)

          9 years ago

          Re: Can't stop squeaks or get the sound that I want!(alto)

          No problem. I just wondered how "thick" you wanted to get, popsickle stick! :P)

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