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Hello Fellow Saxophonists,

This is Aaron Drake, getting back to the forum after a pretty long hiatus...

I wanted to make this post to let you all know about the various projects I have going on and to put a bit of my story out there. I remain dedicated to my craft of designing and handcrafting mouthpieces, now going on 29 years! Hard to believe! Making mouthpieces is my life and a passion. I truly love what I do, and I am grateful to all of you who have tried and / or purchased one of my mouthpieces!

From the beginning of this journey, starting with my ceramic mouthpieces in 1990, I was focused on exploring new resonant qualities. My goal has always been to design and produce the best playing, most responsive mouthpieces possible. This is my goal on a daily basis.
I have saxophone performance degrees from the Eastman School of Music (Bachelor and Masters) and, like many of you, I have been fortunate to travel the world as a professional musician.

I have added a number of new mouthpieces to my line and will be updating threads here with video clips as I have new ones. I would love to hear from any of you who are playing on Drake Mouthpieces.

Please let me know if you guys have videos / recordings playing on my pieces - I would love to hear you! email: [email protected]

Soon I will be launching a series of videos where I talk about each of my mouthpiece designs and play a little too. I am open to your suggestions if you have specific things you would like to hear about

New Projects / Models: “Stubbie” , NYJT M, NYJT H, Studio Jazz Alto, David Sanborn, Phil Woods, and Brass Resonance Chamber Mouthpieces

About my new Metal Mouthpieces:

I have reintroduced several models - these mouthpieces are milled from brass, hand finished (tabled, faced, hand shaped tip and side rails), and plated with sterling silver and 24K Gold. I have addressed the previous issues we had with plating - the original metal pieces I made were one piece castings and plating was a problem on a few. I didn’t make a lot of these and I have a replacement program for these mouthpieces - please contact me for details. [email protected]

The “Stubbie” Tenor is available through our website: https://www.drakemouthpieces.com/-Stubbie__Tenor_24K_2.html

I also have the NY Jazz “M” and the NY Jazz “H” tenor model available - not on our site yet. If you are interested - let me know.

In the interest of not being to long winded here, I will be following up with posts about the David Sanborn and Phil Woods mouthpieces. Both of these projects are really special to me, and I am looking forward to sharing the details with you all.

My goal here is to be available for your questions. Please understand that I am in my shop all day, everyday - I plan to check in to the forum every 2 to 3 days. I can also be reached by email at [email protected].

Chow for now! Aaron
 

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Glad to see you come on and post. I played your Stubbie recently and it was a lot of fun to play.
You’ve been a great asset to the saxophone community for a long time. I wish you nothing but continued success!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Glad to see you come on and post. I played your Stubbie recently and it was a lot of fun to play.
You’ve been a great asset to the saxophone community for a long time. I wish you nothing but continued success!
Hey, Thanks Mark! Great to hear you liked the Stubbie! Continued success to you as well!
 

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Quick question ... Why don't you offer 6 and 6* sizes on your Stubbie? I find, and a lot of guys agree, that smaller tips are growing in popularity and designs like that play great in that tip range!

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

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+1 For jazz at least I'm that tip size range.

Quick question ... Why don't you offer 6 and 6* sizes on your Stubbie? I find, and a lot of guys agree, that smaller tips are growing in popularity and designs like that play great in that tip range!

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

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I’ve had both your older NYJT M and Johnny Griffin metal pieces in the past and loved both of them.
Unfortunately though I sold them on as I really prefer more open tips and they were both in a 6* and 7 facings.
I currently have one of your Reso Chamber models in an 8* which is closer to my preferred opening and it is a fantastic player.
Will you be offering the NYJT M pieces In larger tip openings (9-9*?)
And also is there any chance of a return to the Griffin metal pieces?
Thanks
 

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Quick question ... Why don't you offer 6 and 6* sizes on your Stubbie? I find, and a lot of guys agree, that smaller tips are growing in popularity and designs like that play great in that tip range!

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
The best Short Shank Dukoff I’ve had was a 4*. All vintage stuff plays better in smaller tips.
Someday others will come around.
As much as I’d like to try one your mouthpieces, I’m hesitant to pay that much for something in resin.
 

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Do you plan on making mouthpieces in pure hard rubber? I've played your resin pieces in the past and have really enjoyed them. But unfortunately I can't play them as I get a reaction from them, the same reaction that I get from playing metal mouthpieces, so I suspect you use a metal filler in your resin.
 

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I play a Drake Christlieb 110. This is by far the best piece I ever had. Very responsive, freeblowing, loud, complex, fat low end, bright palm keys, reed friendly, just as made for me. I like it much more than any other piece I have purchased on my GAS trip. Thanks a lot Mr. Drake!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Quick question ... Why don't you offer 6 and 6* sizes on your Stubbie? I find, and a lot of guys agree, that smaller tips are growing in popularity and designs like that play great in that tip range!

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
Thanks, yes I can do the smaller tip openings - I am adding to the site today.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
If you think about the various materials used to make mouthpieces - brass, hard rubber, resin, wood, etc… - it is not the material that determines the cost. What you are paying for is the craftsmanship, experience, time and the care that goes into producing each mouthpiece. Or - in the case of a machine made mouthpiece - you are paying primarily for the machine time, buffing (and plating - in the case of metal).

Our vintage resin mouthpieces take approximately 5 -7 days to complete each one. The vintage resin has a shore hardness very similar to aged hard rubber - which I believe is the reason so many saxophonist like my pieces. The process is labor intensive, and requires a lot of experience and precision hand craftsmanship to do right. I make all of our mouthpieces to order, so I do not have an “inventory” sitting around. Based my experience working with many of the great masters of the saxophone, the finish quality, acoustic design and precision / continuity of the facing are of primary importance, material properties are secondary. There is also an added nuance in my handfinishing process that facilitates greater responsiveness and overall resonance.
I am always happy to work with players who want to explore new resonant qualities. This is all just a matter of preference for each individual player. I think it is best to try for yourself before determining that the material makes the primary difference.

Having said all that, I am aware that for some players material is an insurmountable obstacle, so I am currently offering our Jerry Bergonzi "Power Resonance" model made from a German Marbled hard rubber - hand finished tip and side rails and hand faced to Jerry’s specifications. This mouthpiece is an original design of mine which Jerry uses extensively on his tours. I will be adding this to my site soon. Please contact me if you would like to try one.
I am going to offer a 15% discount to SOTW members for a limited time. Email me at: [email protected] and mention this post.

I have always had a trial / refund policy - which should also help eliminate hesitation. My goal is to make sure you get a mouthpiece from me that you will love and play!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you! Yes, I am offering the NYJT M in 9 and 9*. I have plans to offer a Double Ring like the Griffin soon.

I’ve had both your older NYJT M and Johnny Griffin metal pieces in the past and loved both of them.
Unfortunately though I sold them on as I really prefer more open tips and they were both in a 6* and 7 facings.
I currently have one of your Reso Chamber models in an 8* which is closer to my preferred opening and it is a fantastic player.
Will you be offering the NYJT M pieces In larger tip openings (9-9*?)
And also is there any chance of a return to the Griffin metal pieces?
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I play a Drake Christlieb 110. This is by far the best piece I ever had. Very responsive, freeblowing, loud, complex, fat low end, bright palm keys, reed friendly, just as made for me. I like it much more than any other piece I have purchased on my GAS trip. Thanks a lot Mr. Drake!

Thank you! Great to hear you are enjoying the piece! I would love to get the word around more about the Christlieb piece - it is really unique in this ocean :)
 

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Hello, Mr. Drake! I didn't realize you're in Georgetown, I just moved back to Austin after a nice long stay in New York. I'd love to come up and try some of your pieces sometime, and let me know if you're playing anywhere around town. Cheers!
Thanks! We moved from NJ to Georgetown about 6 years ago now, love it here. I wish I had a way to have musicians over, hopefully in the future! I will keep you posted about playing in the area.
 

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Aaron,

Great to read about all the great and innovative mouthpiece your coming out with and see your passion gracing the community further.

I haven't talked to you in quite some time, so wanted to reach out with a hearty welcome:) Sincerely, Theo
 

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Also glad to see Aaron back in the forums, and I wanted to take a moment to support/promote Drake Mouthpieces...

I have been a fan of Drake mouthpieces for many years! My vintage resin contemporary alto mouthpieces have served me well over the past 7-8yrs, and I usually have to answer the question “so, what mouthpiece are you playing on?” at least a few times a month. I have personally converted at least 4 people into Drake players.

I just got my Sanborn model last week. Holy crap! I LOVE this thing! The Drake Sanborn piece is the only metal alto piece I’ve ever enjoyed. It plays effortlessly, gets the tone that I’m after, and power to spare! My wife even told me how much she likes it (and she is very critical). She says it’s very rich and resonant, and not “whiny” like some other metal pieces. I’m itching to get this Sanborn piece on a gig!

Thanks for making such great mouthpieces and making it so easy for me to get the sound I’m after! 🙂
 

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Thanks! We moved from NJ to Georgetown about 6 years ago now, love it here. I wish I had a way to have musicians over, hopefully in the future! I will keep you posted about playing in the area.
Awesome! My wife and I just moved back to Austin from NYC a few months ago as well. She (a New York native) loves it and I'm glad to be back, although I DO miss the occasional bacon-egg-and-cheese on an everything bagel. :) Cheers!
 

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I've been playing the CCII on bari for 6-7 years now - love it, thanks a lot ! :)
 
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