Saxophone Forum


by yotengotenor
(29 posts)
8 years ago

Need suggestions on new mouthpiece

I'm a senior in high school who plays the tenor sax. Recently, I've been starting to get a better hang of overtones and a few altissimo notes. I'm good at note bending and growling and have pretty much a decent tone on my sax. I'm looking for a new mouthpiece, though. I still have the same old plastic mouthpiece that came with the instrument when i got it three years ago. Any suggestions on a good mouthpiece to produce an edgier jazz sound? I've gotten one suggestion about a Meyer Nickel Plated Mouthpiece, size 7J I believe. Problem is, it's about 140 dollars. Does anybody know of a good, solid mouthpiece that's somewhat cheaper? Also, can someone help me out as to what the sizes really mean? I'm somewhat of a novice when it comes to equipment/accessory stats, so any and all help would be greatly appreciated!

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  1. by mjohnnie
    (66 posts)

    8 years ago

    Re: Need suggestions on new mouthpiece

    I heard that claude lakey pieces are cheap and edgy. But be sure to try it out first! Control could be a problem

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    1. by blackfrancis
      (396 posts)

      8 years ago

      Re: Need suggestions on new mouthpiece

      All too true- they are cheap (i.e. poorly built of a poor material), edgy, and control is a problem. Vandoren makes some nice pieces for a fairly modest price.

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  2. by bleeding gums
    (18 posts)

    8 years ago

    Re: Need suggestions on new mouthpiece

    First of all, what kind of horn do you have? Vintage horns, in my opinion, sound better with the mp's from the same era...they were made to be played together. Once you figure out which mp's are typically played on your horn, you're going to want to try them out. Go to a store and say you want to blow on a few, if there is a particular model that you like play on a few of them because there are small differences in the feel and play of every mp. Play overtones and altissimo and a few scales to get the feel of each mp. Also blow on it without the horn attached, bend around a bit and see if you can get a nice solid note w/o the horn. Of course you're going to want to prepare some reeds that you feel comfortable with (I have a post about preparing reeds in the legit sax section, I think). A note of facings. The larger the number, the more open the facing. It takes more umph to play on a larger facing. With this in mind, every manufacturer has there own number system. You might want to try talking to Gail over at www.vintagesax.com about the mp. She can send you a few that she thinks is appropriate for your horn and let you play around with them for a while to decide which you like. Finally, a mp is not something that you want to skimp on. It makes a much bigger difference in your sound than the horn does. Once you start playing on some decent mouthpieces you'll know what I mean. Hope this helps, here's a link to a mp facing chart that compares different brands: www.saxophone.org/facings.html

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    1. by Saxyboy
      (52 posts)

      7 years ago

      Re: Need suggestions on new mouthpiece

      Gums - Thanks for the info here. Just wanted to bump this discussion up so I can find it better.

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  3. by Donnie The B
    (282 posts)

    7 years ago

    Re: Need suggestions on new mouthpiece

    There are a lot of discussions here about mouthpieces. You can learn from reading these. You can read about facings and baffles and more at : www.mouthpieceheaven.com - The link that Gums provided is good too. Go to www.springermpc.com - excellent hand finished pieces here for maybe $100 - plus Patrick Springer will recommend the proper mouthpiece for you - if you don't lie. There's a link to contact him on this. Others will tell you about Otto Link, Bobby Dukoff, Berg Larsen and etc. metal pieces. But for your first adventure, go with a quality hard rubber one. - - - -Good Luck.

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  4. by MarkLavelle
    (300 posts)

    7 years ago

    Re: Need suggestions on new mouthpiece

    To get useful advice here you really want to be more specific about what you're playing now, but... My own experience (only a couple of years on sax, but 40 as a musician) has been with Yamaha saxes (YTS-23 and YTS-82Z) and Yamaha 4C, 5C and 4CM 'Custom' mouthpieces. Any of those mouthpieces are fine for straight/classical playing, but I'm more interested in rock/pop/jazz (and I've got a reasonable amount of disposable income) so I've already tried several alternatives. If I had to pick just one all-purpose piece I would reach for my Vandoren Java T45. It's not too huge a difference in opening from the Yamaha pieces (so it's pretty easy to adapt to) and it lets me get a wider range of tones. It's just under $100 at SaxPlus, but that's without the Vandoren Optimum ligature (which I really like, even if it's mostly for the convenience of having only one screw). I've also got a Jumbo Java T55 and an Otto Link NY (metal) 6*. The Jumbo Java is really too edgy (for me!) and both it and the Otto Link require a much bigger adjustment from the stock pieces than the plain Java. Hope that helps...

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    1. by yotengotenor
      (29 posts)

      7 years ago

      Re: Need suggestions on new mouthpiece

      Thank you everyone for the tips! Sorry I wasn't more specific about my sax. I just know that it's a Jupiter, but I unfortunately don't know any more than that. I also use Vandoren V-16 reeds size 3 1/2. I also have trouble actually trying out mouthpieces, because there are no good music stores nearby that sell a variety. All they have are the cheap plastic ones. Are there any good retailers/websites that will actually send mouthpieces to test on a trial basis? Thanks again for all the helpful responses!

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      1. by yotengotenor
        (29 posts)

        7 years ago

        Re: Need suggestions on new mouthpiece

        nevermind about the testing out mouthpieces bit- thank you bleeding gums and donnie the b for that info. somehow i overlooked it. but i'm still curious if whatever slightly more specific info i gave about my tenor was helpful.

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    2. by swingstreet
      (315 posts)

      7 years ago

      Re: Need suggestions on new mouthpiece

      No offense, but these kind of posts belong either in General Discussions or the Sax Equipment sections. This section is about jazz music as played on the sax and musicians who play the sax. Questions about mouthpieces are more technical. Anyway, to answer the question, the Meyer 5M is one of the most popular jazz mouthpieces. Lots of players use it.

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