Saxophone Forum


by grandpacrotchrocket
(10 posts)
5 years ago

Which mouthpiece and reed setup for marching band

Ok bear with me. I'm just a proud dad that wants nothing but the best for my little girl. She has been playing alto and tennor sax for about four years. This is her first year in high school marching band. The band is much smaller than we are use to. About 27 students or is that exact? My problem of the week is this: She is going thru reed like candy this school year. About one every day and a half. That's six hours playing time. The current setup is a old King 660 alto with mouthpiece unknown and Vandore 2.5 reeds. I would realy like to change her setup to give her more power. ( only two alto saxs in the band) All the students in this band are blowing their brains out to try and sound like the other band on the field of 150 or more. I was thinking of bumping her up to a #3 reed. I think that would last longer but I don't think it will change the volume. And I don't have a clue on how the mouthpiece sizes work. ( I'm a guitar player of almost forty years) Please help. Would like to clear up this problem before Daddy gets hitup for the new $4000 sax. She has already started testing new sax's out for christmas she thinks. New sax will NOT be marching band sax. (SA-80 or Cannonball raven)

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  1. by Charlie_Leo
    (2 posts)

    4 years ago

    Re: Which mouthpiece and reed setup for marching band

    Try her on Fibercell reeds. They last about 5 times longer that cane reeds. WWBW sells them for about $12, witch is cheaper thaqn a box on cane reeds - one Fibercell will probably outlast a full box of cane reeds. Charlie

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  2. by chalazon
    (547 posts)

    5 years ago

    Re: Which mouthpiece and reed setup for marching band

    cannonballs are nice..I'd suggest the Lady Godiva..you should really have her try one if you can..also, the Mad Max has a great sound, even if it is as ugly as sin. As for mouth pieces, that's a tricky one..there are so many variables..I'd stay away from anything too radical..you might have her try a Meyer 5 or 6..these will project well, if the player has a functioning emboucher, and are a quality product. I'd stay away from metal pieces , or anything too extreme..anyway..good luck. Also, the Cannonballs won't set you back 4k.

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    1. by grandpacrotchrocket
      (10 posts)

      5 years ago

      Re: Which mouthpiece and reed setup for marching band

      The new sax will not be for marching band. And the $4K was for a selmer not the cannonball. Right now I'm just trying to get more volume from her marching band sax. Not knowing, but I think the right reed/ mouthpiece combo will help.

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      1. by cuber
        (653 posts)

        5 years ago

        Re: Which mouthpiece and reed setup for marching band

        marching for saxes is like.... a trailer hitch on a porche. but new-saxes wise, dont overlook yamahas. mouthpiece wise, try otto links, about the same tip opening at chalazon suggested for the Meyers. (cant remember numbers)

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        1. by grandpacrotchrocket
          (10 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Which mouthpiece and reed setup for marching band

          She tried a Yamaha 62 and a custom. She did not care for the key layout on them. She said something about having to change her hand position. Right now she is down to the Selmer SA80 or a Cannonball Raven. She like the color of the Cannonball but likes the way the Selmer plays. Unless I can find the Cannonball real cheap I'm going to try to push her into the Selmer. It's dear old dads money. I believe any Asia made horn or any other instrument is not work the price tag of $2500. The Selmer SA80 is only $3200 and I'm sure I will be able to get my money out of it, if she don't keep it for life. I think the Cannonball might bring $500 after a year if I'm lucky. If the Selmer is available in black for the same price will be my answer. But right now I'm just trying to come up with a mouthpiece and reed combo that will give her horn more volume on the field.

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        2. by jdcsax
          (14 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Which mouthpiece and reed setup for marching band

          Sounds like you're looking for a type of mouthpiece that will project. I suggest something with a wider tip opening and and high baffle. I suggest Meyer because you can get them in a number of different tip opening and baffle combination's Beechler also makes mouthpiece's that project well and also have a few different combination's. And when it comes to reeds , it depends. Vandoren makes a good reed, I would recommend the Traditional or JAVA. Rico also makes really good reeds. I exclusively play on them now. I play on the Rico Reserve and Rico Jazz Select. I would recommend the Jazz select because they have more than just 3,3.5 or 4, etc. They have 3soft, 3medium, 3Hard, 4soft, etc. Another thing that would effect the over all dynamic and projection is the ligature. If she's playing with a cloth ligature, it tends to dampen the dynamics and make a darker sound. The metal ligature that comes with the mouthpiece is good. There are other ligatures out there that would help a little, but not that noticeable in a marching band setting. Good luck! -JD

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        3. by grandpacrotchrocket
          (10 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Which mouthpiece and reed setup for marching band

          This week I have put her on a Jody Jazz HR #6 with a Vandoren V-16 #3 reed and a metal ligature. This seems to be working for her othe than not being able to hit one of her high notes. She tryed the meyer and the Otto links HR and liked this Jody Jazz HR. What the heck it's only daddy money.

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        4. by saxandbassplayer
          (42 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Which mouthpiece and reed setup for marching band

          Jodys are really good mouthpieces, and you can't go wrong there. Great jazz pieces, the #6 opening is a good and versatile size. As far as reeds go, don't be afraid to have her try out a bunch of different kinds. All sorts of reeds can give all sorts of results. I used to play on Vandoren ZZ 3's, and after a while I decided they were too hard, and tried cutting them down, tried blue box reeds, but ultimately settled on Java's. On the other hand, on tenor I really prefer Rico Jazz selects. It's all about comfort and results. But again, you can't go wrong with Jody. They're friendly, do good work... I can't argue with that. As far as the high notes go, new mouthpieces will do that. Last night messing around on a friends soprano setup I couldn't get much past a high D, but the sound was nice. As long as she sounds good, it's all good!

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      2. by arcec
        (9 posts)

        5 years ago

        Re: Which mouthpiece and reed setup for marching band

        WOWZER. A lot of great advice. Picking a sax, mouth piece, and reed is like finding the love of your life (a journey). My brother (the guitar guy) and I have been playing together for more than twenty five years. He has never understood the complex mouthpiece/reed concept. If you just want something loud, I have about ten mouth pieces (I purchased new and played only once) that your daughter is welcome to play test and keep the one she likes. OR You can go to WWBW and order a handful of pieces to try out (restocking fee is very cheap). As far as horns, the SA80 and Cannon are both kick ass horns.

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        1. by arcec
          (9 posts)

          5 years ago

          Re: Which mouthpiece and reed setup for marching band

          don't forget that your daughter's "being" and her mouthpiece make the biggest impact on her tone/sound. (not the Sax)

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          1. by grandpacrotchrocket
            (10 posts)

            5 years ago

            Re: Which mouthpiece and reed setup for marching band

            Thanks guys for all your great input and offers of mouthpieces for her. I think the new Jody Jazz is starting to work out. She is only having a problem getting the high "G" now. The othe day she could not get the high "D". I think she just has to get use to it. After she is back to normal with the new mouthpiece then I will let her try out new horns again. With her cheap mouthpiece her choices are the SA-80 and the cannonball. thanks again for all the help. Dear Old Dad

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            1. by Mobile Band
              (27 posts)

              4 years ago

              Re: Which mouthpiece and reed setup for marching band

              For a Marching Band, when you need the power to blow over drums, trumpets etc, I would recommand a Claude Lakey, a very flexibel and highs / treble giving mpc.

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