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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone,

So I've been playing tenor for about 5 years now and it's awesome! Recently I've began playing more often and in a range of new bands and I've suddenly begun craving thicker reeds and a louder, beefier sound. I've had three different music teachers since I started, but none of them have actually been saxophone players so it was a shock when I recently discovered that mouthpieces are somewhat important!

I currently have the Yamaha 4C mouthpiece, and am playing an intermediate range Jupiter. I've done my Grade 5 AMEB equivalent (ANZCA) and am currently working on my 6.

Mouthpiece inquires aren't exactly uncommon on this forum and I've read through a few, so I guess I'm really after some clarification more than suggestions. From what I've read, a Morgan mouthpiece seems to be a reliable choice, with something along the line of a 5M or 6M for jazz, and a 3C for classical. That and the much repeated cry of play everything in the shop, but with the city a couple of hours away, a good heads up would be nice.

So I guess I'm asking if the Morgan 5M or 6M is the way to go, or if I even need to upgrade the Yamaha 4C? Plus, the amount of classical I'm playing is bare minimum, so could the Morgan or the 4C cover this?


I don't know if this matters, but a mouthpiece with volume would be nice, although I can almost hit the volume I want on the 4C so don't pump it up too much. (I play in the local community swing band with an average volume of FORTISSIMO!)

Erm and influences/aspirations. I'm afraid I really don't listen to enough sax, as my hunt for trombone solos is almost second nature, but recently I've been enjoying the sax player from The JB's, and Dana Colley (Morphine) is an inspiration! Add in the sax from Fat Freddie's Drop as well.

Thanks in advance, and sorry for covering ground that has been explored to the point of lunacy.
 

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Forum Contributor 2010-2016
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1,706 Posts
Welcome to the forum. Good to see another Aussie digger cobber mate. And the tenor is the prince of instruments.

Look, the 4C is a stock mouthpiece that'll give you a sound that was in vogue with society bands in the 1930s - at least that's how they make me sound. Mouthpieces vary a lot and their geometry is incredibly important, much more so, in my view, than the horn itself. The mouthpiece, the reed and your own particular embouchure are exponentially more integral to your sound than most other variables. And this is good because, despite some ridiculous prices, you can change two of these variables pretty cheaply.

The best examples of mouthpieces go up remarkably in price. I don't mind when it reflects a reasonable return on an hourly rate to the craftspeople who hand fashion them, but some are priced for their name rather than their sound.

That said, what you could do, if you're wanting to go down the mouthpiece road to hell, is to study up the types of mouthpiece variables (tips, rails, tables, baffles etc) that appeal to you and find some of the less expensive, mass produced examples. You can get some pieces that will change your sound radically for less than $100. Once you have one or two of these pieces play them a LOT. I don't mean a few hours or a gig or two. This process can take years. In fact it's probably best if it does take at least a year.

Then you'll be in a more informed position to consider outlaying the hundredS of dollars for your dream piece. But beware of the law of diminishing returns. A mouthpiece that costs twice as much or more will probably only make a small difference.

I would offer to send you a few of my spares to try because I'm pretty happy with my current set up but I just sent them to another SOTW member today. So all I can give you is free advice and a warm welcome at this stage.
 

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Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
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A Morgan would be a sensible choice given that you're doing a bit of classical as well and maybe try two or three with different tips. Personally I would be inclined to ditch the 4c and play a Morgan for all your stuff, not because i think the 4c is a bad mp but because switching about is troublesome (intonation, different facings etc). If you have the option try a 5/6/7 Morgan and see what feels best. But also bear in mind that there'll be more of an adjustment period with a larger tip and just because something feels easy immediately it might not be the best 2 weeks down the line (made this mistake myself recently with a clarinet mouthpiece). There's always a bit of guesswork and jumping into the dark in the mouthpiece hunt (IMO).

All the best.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009
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it was a shock when I recently discovered that mouthpieces are somewhat important!
Welcome to Sax-On-The-Web...

From my limited experience, a Morgan would be a good choice. I have only played the Excalibur, but that one was great.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2007
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1,247 Posts
I second the Morgan. Besides being very good mouthpieces the other advantage is that you can be sure they are in order. I will suggest you buy a Jazz 4M. Anything larger will be too big a jump coming from a Yamaha 4C. You can get them from www.junkdude.com but I guess you know that already. They tend to be slim so you'll probably need an alto ligature for it. There are some recommendations included when you buy the mouthpiece, mostly Rovner's. Ask Dave Hoskins at junkdude. He stocks ligatures also.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
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I find the Morgans to play a bit more closed than the tip suggests. I like the 6 opening for the Excalibur. Being that they are expensive, make sure you get it right. Great mouthpieces.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everyone for the advice!
It seems a trip to a music store would be in order, to play mouthpieces with a few different tip openings. I don't really won't to become obsessed with finding the perfect mouthpiece, but of course I don't want to waste money..
Thanks for the warm welcome and prompt replies!

Haha and of course thankyou for not flaming, even with MojoBari's encouragement. =)
 
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