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Discussion Starter #1
I have 8 or 9 years experience on the alto, but I've only recently returned after a decade hiatus. I've never had a problem with mouth leakage, and I still don't on my Selmer C*, Vandoren Optimum AL4 or Jody Jazz HR 5. I'd like to offload some of these mouthpieces in favor of the Rascher, as I mostly play classical and it is pretty free-blowing on my 1931 Pan American.....But I leak air when I play the Rascher mouthpiece. I looked through the fixes for leaking air, and mouth position or fatigue doesn't seem to be my problem as it starts immediately and doesn't change when I take in more or less mpc.

I'm sure I'm the problem, and I'd appreciate any suggestions on what I'm doing wrong.
 

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I played a Rascher for my classical setup for the past two years, and I think you're having trouble because the Rascher piece is a lot more resistant than the others you listed because it has a much smaller tip opening. What reeds are you using?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm playing Vandoren Blue Box 2.0. I do tire quickly on the Rascher, and I don't mind putting in the work, but I don't want to develop any bad habits as I work up my stamina.
 

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Until I switched to a legere I was using V12 3 1/2s and sometimes 4s. I would definitely recommend working up your reed strength, because at around a .40 tip you need a heavier reed. Just focus on long tones without leaking air for a couple weeks and your embochure muscles will strengthen
 

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Do you still leak when you take in lots of mouthpiece and pull your corners in like a drawstring?
 

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Okay, after 10 years off, you have no chops. The embouchure must contain the air pressure needed for playing. When my chops get tired, the symptom is I can no longer contain the pressure, so I basically can't play. An '040" tip on alto? Really? I'm pretty sure that would instantly slam shut on me with anything under a #4 reed. At least put a #2 1/2 on there and develop some chops. It'll be like a miracle.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Changed out the ligature, and that seemed to lessen it somewhat. I'll get some harder reeds tomorrow and try that as well.

Okay, after 10 years off, you have no chops. The embouchure must contain the air pressure needed for playing. When my chops get tired, the symptom is I can no longer contain the pressure, so I basically can't play. An '040" tip on alto? Really? I'm pretty sure that would instantly slam shut on me with anything under a #4 reed. At least put a #2 1/2 on there and develop some chops. It'll be like a miracle.
 
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Why don't you forget the Rascher piece & play on one of the other three MP,s you are happy with. I used to think that if I was suffering a bit then the music would be better, now I know the more I can ignore the process then then the music is better.
 

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Why don't you forget the Rascher piece & play on one of the other three MP,s you are happy with. I used to think that if I was suffering a bit then the music would be better, now I know the more I can ignore the process then then the music is better.
To OP: While I would not go so far as to recommend that you not play the mouthpiece that you believe produces the sound you're looking for (I assume that's why you want to play the Rascher), keep in mind that extreme mouthpieces are generally not good choices for beginners, "re-beginners," or part-time players. Mouthpieces with huge tip openings and large baffles are extreme, but so are pieces with tiny tip openings and large chambers. The other three mouthpieces you have are mainstream, relatively easy-playing choices. The Rascher will be the most challenging.
 

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If it were me, I would play long tones on one of the mouthpieces that is working well for several weeks then move back to the Rascher once my embouchure was built back up.
 

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I'm going to go against the grain a little here and note that if the reed is too soft for the piece, then air leakage happens then too.
 

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My guess is that air support, or lack thereof, is your fundamental issue. As 1saxman said, a 40 tip and a 2 reed should barely even stand up to the velocity of a fully functioning airstream at mf. Don't play the saxophone with your face, or even your lungs, play from your solar plexis. I'm sure there is plenty of decent info you can find on this. Sometimes embouchure sorts itself out when the airstream is supported. Get the air stream working and then see if embouchure issues remain. Otherwise its like trying to fix the gearbox on a car with a broken engine.
 
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