Saxophone Forum


by jinhyung.ahn
(6 posts)
8 years ago

METAL MOUTHPIECE, ALTO--GETTING SANBORN SOUND

I put up a post like this earlier, but since I dont know a shortcut to look at my personal posts--if there is any--I cant respond to anyone that replied to me. I must be retarded. But anyways. Someone told me that getting a sanbornish sound has to deal w/ the tip opening, larger=brighter. and another teacher replied online that I should practice on a rubber one first, but since he doesnt know my skill level, he cant give a definitive answer. He added that playing on a metal mouthpiece might make bad habits. I'd love to ask him, but I cant find my old post. Does anyone know what these bad habits are? Also, I've been looking at mouthpieces recently and there are so many diffrent metal ones: Bari Gold, Dukoff, Beechler, etc.etc. Does anyone of these produce a significantly different sound than eachother? Cuz i'd really like a sanbornish sound, and I dont wanan buy the wrong mouthpiece w/ a .80 tip opening (thats what I use on my rubber lakey) Thanks for all the help

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  1. by The Insomniac Saxman
    (141 posts)

    8 years ago

    Re: METAL MOUTHPIECE, ALTO--GETTING SANBORN SOUND

    It's not the fact that the mouthpiece is metal that might cause you to develop bad habits . . . the fact is that so many mouthpieces out today are so hot-rodded to make certain things easier that they can actually hide the flaws in a player's fundamentals. It's only when they put on a pure setup (round chamber, little to no baffle), such as a Meyer or Otto Link, that they can really see these flaws. There is nowhere to hide when playing a pure setup--you need to fill the horn up properly. I recommend practicing on a pure setup to ensure that your fundamentals are correct. Sanborn plays on a Dukoff. For years the Beechler bellite was the industry standard amongst contemporary and fusion players (a lot of guys still use them, such as Eric Marienthal, Dave Koz, etc.).

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    1. by The Insomniac Saxman
      (141 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: METAL MOUTHPIECE, ALTO--GETTING SANBORN SOUND

      That being said, you are going to sound like yourself no matter what mouthpiece you play on. I can put a classical mouthpiece on my horn and play screaming fusion stuff, because I play the horn properly. Marc Russo who was with the Yellowjackets in the 80s (also with Tower of Power, currently with the Doobie Brothers) is reputed to play on a rubber Meyer 5M and has one of the best contemporary sounds out there (as well as fantastic altissimo control). Warren Hill plays on a rubber Vandoren mpc with a baffle and has a great contemporary alto sound.

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      1. by jinhyung.ahn
        (6 posts)

        8 years ago

        Re: METAL MOUTHPIECE, ALTO--GETTING SANBORN SOUND

        Thanks for all your help. I remember my teacher saying that he wont ever TELL me to get a certain mouthpiece, because a good player will always sound like himself regardless of the mouthpiece. I'm guessing the different mouthpieces help in certain aspects more than others, like making altissimo easier to get to, etc. but at the same time, it might hide the flaws of the player. --correct? I recently started jazz, like 2-3 months, and I'm progressing fast says my teacher. In 6 months to a year or so, he says I can be just as good as the kids that played w/ him for 3-4 years--granted that I practice as much as I am doing now. When would you recommend getting a new mouthpiece? Do you think ligature plays a big role on sound ?

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        1. by The Insomniac Saxman
          (141 posts)

          8 years ago

          Re: METAL MOUTHPIECE, ALTO--GETTING SANBORN SOUND

          You're opening a whole new can of worms with ligatures . . . I'd say stick to finding a good mouthpiece first. There are numerous ligatures out there--some make your sound more vibrant, others compress the harmonic spectrum of your sound. I would reserve looking for a ligature once you find the mouthpiece you like and only if you need to dial it in further. My recommendation at this stage of the game would be to get a mouthpiece that's a pure setup--round chamber, little to no baffle. Stick with that for a while and develop your fundamentals solidly first.

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      2. by user0188
        (2 posts)

        8 years ago

        Re: METAL MOUTHPIECE, ALTO--GETTING SANBORN SOUND

        I tried for years to do what you are trying to do. I realized that you can't, and it led me somewhere else. At some point you have to find yourself. I experimented w/ all sorts of pieces and reeds. Then I realized I kept going back to the same thing after each failed experiment: Beechler metal 7, Rovner ligature with fibracell reeds. IMHO: bad habits are only bad habits if you can't play the music you hear in your head.

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