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Hi all

I have been using a Berg 100/1 sms since I began but I do tend to find it a bit hard,I can blow it ok,but I really get jaw ache and then my bottom lip falls apart hehe-or not so! Please excuse my ignorance but which way do I go for an easier blowing mouthpiece? up or down the scale? I like the bergs though have not tried much else though one was a Brilhart no 5 was very open and it took me all my breath to get one note out! btw.I play Tenor.

I am grateful for any advice from you Guru's!
 

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You might try a softer reed or even a different brand of reed first, to save yourself the trouble of trying other pieces. What brand and strength do you use currently?
 

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Yes, definitely, going down in reed strength would be my first option too.
 

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Saxmel: What you said about the Meyer 5 leaves me a little baffled - be it a metal or rubber Meyer, it's way *less* open than a 100/* Berg! That's why I suspect that your troubles are caused by biting rather than actual setup (tip/reed ratio). Your jaw and lip aches point in that direction, too. A .100 tip is really middle of the road for tenor - having *more* troubles with a Meyer 5 means that you probably bit it shut (or almost so), making it very hard to get the reed to vibrate at all. Key is not to bite harder but to ease up the pressure! I think you should concentrate on learning to relax your jaw - I bet it's mostly an embouchure thing. Going down in reed strength as has been suggested may help with correcting that - but when you keep biting it won't help. At any rate switching to softer reeds will give you important clues.

M.
 

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I agree about the softer reeds, but you may also do well to get it refaced.
I would agree with this. Some Bergs have pretty funky facing curves - I had one that sounded nice, but was almost impossible to blow. I got it refaced and it made a huge difference - it is now as easy as just about any other good mouthpiece I have tried.
 

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The facing curves on Berg Larsen mouthpieces can, in some circumstances, be challenging to play due to the shortness of the curve (not the tip opening). The SMS facing is generally shorter than the M facing which potentially compounds the issue.

When trying softer reeds, note whether your intonation at the top range of the horn is staying in tune or if it goes flat - going soft can flatten your pitch up top.

If trying different reeds doesn't give satisfactory results, then you may want to consider trying a different mouthpiece (or having yours refaced to something less challenging).
 
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