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Discussion Starter #1
Need some advice. I’m new to Bari Sax. I’m actually a trombone player. Bought a bari to play bass lines in Street bands. My horn came with a metal Otto Link 6* size, which I’m told is a very nice piece. Was struggling with the amount of air I have to get into the horn so I picked up a Rico Metalite 5, thinking the smaller tip opening would help. I’m not sure if it helped or not but it’s loud as hell. Perfect for play with a loud band. I am still struggling with air, however. Would an even smaller tip opening actually help with air or is it just a matter of practice? I do see that some of the mouthpieces that are recommended for beginners (Yamaha 5c) are smaller. Any thoughts? Thanks
 

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Link 6*-105
Rico Metalite 5-100
Yamaha 5c-80

Good resource for you here
https://jodyjazz.com/facing-page/baritone-saxophone-mouthpiece-facing-chart/

The Yamaha 5c is one of the best mouthpieces for new bari players out there. It's easy to play, sounds good, consistent, and cheap. If you're struggling with air on a 6* though, it is likely too hard of a reed, or the horn is leaking. I play 105-110 tip openings and use a Legere Signature 2.0, 2.25, or 2.5 depending on my mood and the music I'm playing. Usually a 2.25 on the bigger ones, 2.5 on the smaller ones, and 2.0 if I'm tired. The air requirements on smaller tip openings are smaller, but you sacrifice volume and some flexibility. It is far more likely that your horn is leaking, especially if it is new and/or hasn't seen a tech in a while. It may not be the pads either, I was chasing a leak on my horn for about 2 weeks and found out that one of the joints had broken loose up top where it was glued and just broke loose. It won't show on a leak light, but it was a nightmare to try to play through that and required a considerably larger amount of air
 

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My music school's baritone saxophones have Selmer C/D mouthpieces. The first time I played bari and had no mouthpiece of my own, I used one of those and they were comfortable to play. I also used a Legere 2.25 as tbone1004.
 

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Baris take a lot of air. It's the nature of the beast.

If you're struggling with a 5 I think you should:
* Analyze on your breathing technique (get a teacher?)
* Lots of loooong tones
* Start doing exercise (swimming/running)

Sorry... ;-)
 

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If you're a trombonist, you should be able to put enough air into a bari. Other considerations besides the tip opening of a mouthpiece are the baffle height and chamber size. Metal Links are relatively low baffle, large chamber pieces which, at least I find, take more air than a high baffle, small chamber piece. I have not played a Metalite, but I understand they are high baffle pieces; don't know about the chamber size. Yamahas and Selmers generally are small chambered with fairly low baffles. Yamaha student pieces are designed to be easy to play, so if one of those still takes too much air, as already suggested, try a softer reed, have the horn checked for leaks, and, of course practice.
 

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Go try out a whole lot of Selmer S80 mouthpieces around an F-H range. Although they don’t pack all the punch, they are very reliable and responsive.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Baris take a lot of air. It's the nature of the beast.

If you're struggling with a 5 I think you should:
* Analyze on your breathing technique (get a teacher?)
* Lots of loooong tones
* Start doing exercise (swimming/running)

Sorry... ;-)
Just curious, did you notice the response a few replies above yours ?

Because it was noted that the Rico he is currently using (an abhorrent mouthpiece, suitable only for a doorstop or perhaps an emergency end plug, IMHO) has a tip opening of .100.

THAT is NOT a good tip for a beginner on ANY sax, least of all a Baritone. I also agree with a previous poster, a 'Bone player probably already has pretty decent breathing support to deal with a Baritone.

So indeedy, going to a smaller tip opening should noticeably improve the OP's situation....

Need some advice. I’m new to Bari Sax. I’m actually a trombone player. I am still struggling with air, however. Would an even smaller tip opening actually help with air or is it just a matter of practice? I do see that some of the mouthpieces that are recommended for beginners (Yamaha 5c) are smaller. Any thoughts? Thanks
Yamaha 5C, George Bundy Signature 3, Fobes Debut....all more appropriate tip openings. Yes, Selmer S80 is a good suggestion, but honestly....it is overpriced for what you get and I personally wouldn't spend over $125 on a starter bighorn mouthpiece - just because one doesn't need to do that.

Thing is here, you are gonna have to invest more than $30 for one of these mouthpieces. But it is worth it (and you can always sell the Link to fund the purchase).
 

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Go back to the Otto Link 6*, I'd say. I guess we've been over this before, but here we are again - it's all relative to the reed. Get reeds to match the mouthpiece, problem solved. Maybe there are student situations where kids get bad habits from something that can go wrong with a tall mouthpiece opening, but in this case, we're talking to someone who has ears and work it out (and 6* isn't all that big.) He doesn't want to go out and play in a street band with a 5C, but he might make the Link work, if it's a good one.
 

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I love Link STM’s on Baritone but regardless of whether it’s a good one or not, A 6* STM is going to be considerably more difficult to blow than a Yamaha 5c.
And underdeveloped chops aren’t going to get the best out of a 6* STM.
I still dig my old 5c out on Occassion and give it a blow, it always surprises me just how well these things play and there’s no shortage of volume if you put some air through them.
 

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I think there is not a precise rule. I play alto (small tip openings , i.e. 6 OL) ttenor (8 OL) and bari (9 OL). With the bigger sax I really am more comfortable with bigger tips openings, I would suggest to give it a try, not to reject it just because seems too big
 

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I'd mess around with reeds of varying strength until I found one I could handle, rather than buy a bunch of mouthpieces.
 

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I love Link STM’s on Baritone but regardless of whether it’s a good one or not, A 6* STM is going to be considerably more difficult to blow than a Yamaha 5c.
And underdeveloped chops aren’t going to get the best out of a 6* STM.
Precisely. One cannot simply ignore tip opening by saying it can be accommodated by a softer reed. The fact is...indeed, a Yama or Bundy Signature will be easier to blow than that STM. Period.

I think people who have been playing a while often forget where they began from.

Any tip over around .085...regardless of SATB...is gonna be difficult for a newbie to blow. A starting player does themself no favor by trying to make that wide a tip 'work'.
Personally, I'd even say a .085 is too large a tip to start on.

I'd mess around with reeds of varying strength until I found one I could handle, rather than buy a bunch of mouthpieces.
Not a great suggestion when the mouthpiece one happens to have is a .105 - all a beginner would end up doing is struggling to make an inappropriate tip opening work (to some degree)....

(Also....beginner sorta 'pieces are relatively inexpensive, for the most part. Yama = $45, Bundy Sig = $50-70, Fobes = $100)

As far as the STM....I don't even consider a .105 a 'step up'...IOW, if you start on a .075 or .080....jumping to a .105 after a year is still gonna be more challenging for most players than they need make it for themselves...
 

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You can disagree. But I stand by my opinion. Too many people just go out and buy mouthpieces to fit their reeds instead of vice versa.

I was really talking about the metalite. At .100, any adult should be able to handle blowing it with the appropriate reed.

People put too much stock in tip size. Facing length is just as or more important.
 

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I started playing baritone saxophone in January, rotating bari playing with soprano, alto, and tenor.

I started on a vandoren v16 b5, which I thought would be a good starter all around mouthpiece. I was wrong, as I immediately preferred the Yamaha 5C that came with my Yamaha YBS62. I tried vandoren blue 2, 2.5, and 3 reeds with both mouthpieces and preferred the #2 with the 5C. I found this combination made it easiest to play the range of the horn from low A to high F# reliably.

I've since added the Selmer S80d, Vandoren Optimum BL3, Ron Caravan, Geo Bundy Signature 3, Rico Metalite M9, and RPC 115B. Additional reeds included Rico orange box 2.5 and Rigotti Gold 2.5 light.

So that's 8 mouthpieces and five boxes of reeds in 10 months for bari playing in four bands. I still think I'm most comfortable on the smaller tip mouthpieces with the softer reeds.

I agree that the op should focus on the combination of small tip mouthpiece and soft reeds.

For what it's worth, I like the Selmer S80D and RPC mouthpieces best. Yet, I use the Selmer when performing because I can more easily access the lower register on that mouthpiece. I was hoping to get more projection from the Rpc but I can't subtone or whisper the lower register with it at this point.
 

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I consider myself a beginner too, because I came back to sax playing after 30 years of basically not playing at all. I had some serious mouthpieces from my youth, such as Selmer S80-D, Mayer M7 and Otto Link TE slant 5. I also had an Otto Link STM 5, which I never played because of its totally twisted baffle. I recently bought also a Rico Metalite M7 and an Otto Link STM 7. I’ve been rotating these to get to know each one. In my previous life, I used the Link slant, which is a really great mp and plays beautifully. The Selmer has a truly full sound, but even for me, the tip opening feels too small (with Vandoren 3 red box). I actually like the Mayer best with Legere 2.25 or Rico orange 2.5. The Rico, as others have said too, is loud! It plays very effortlessly, but the sound is not exactly what I like. The modern Link STM is a nice piece and I like it, but I’m still looking for the right reed for it.

In summary: I don’t know if the modern Link TM and Mayer M7 are similar to mine from 40 years ago. If they are, you’ll be happy with them!! Absolutely fantastic pieces that I’m more and more attracted to when I go along. If “air supply” is a problem (??) for you, go with the Selmer S80-D. Beautiful sound, but probably requires really stiff reeds to go loud (take that with a grain of salt, because a pro player might say something else). You want something easy to play (especially no resistance) and a loud sound, the Rico is the one. I’m still looking for a closer relationship with the modern Link STM. I’m retired and not a marathon runner. Still, I don’t have air supply problems with any of those pieces with tip opening up to 110. Maybe it is resistance you are looking for. For me, the Link TE and Mayer are best balanced in that.
 

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A good tip is to play a similar size tip opening to what you play on tenor. For example a .095" Link 6* tenor =.095 5* baritone-a sensible way to get started IMO
 

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I agree that the op should focus on the combination of small tip mouthpiece and soft reeds.
Agree with whom? I have been reading A) must get smaller tip, or B) must get softer reeds, but I don't see anyone saying A + B. Playing with street band air, that's going to lock up - the reed will slap up to the mouthpiece and not come back.

RPCs are fine mouthpieces, but for mine anyway, it takes quite some practice to really get the benefit. With a more casual approach, other mouthpieces will sound better.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Wow! This thread suddenly got some attention. Thanks! I haven’t been on here for a while. Busy practicing and playing. An update. After practicing a bunch I actually got a Rico m7 with a .110 opening (bigger) and I’m not struggling at all. The Link has become much easier to play as well and sounds great but I’m used to the Metalite at this point and I don’t want to get to wrapped up in switching mouthpieces to much. Seems more important to improve technique at this point. As some others mentioned above, being a trombone player already I do have an awareness of breath support.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Another update. Turns out my Otto link was a little off. The reeds looked crooked on the mouthpiece. Sent it to Mojo mouthpieces and he straightened it out (and I had him add a baffle) and it plays really easy now and sounds really nice. Way better than the metalite.
 

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I see we missed that possibility, someone should have thought of that. It's all too common, notably with a couple of very popular and relatively costly brands, including Otto Link. Where as far as I know the cheap molded stuff - like your Rico, or my Runyon - is identical from one to the next. I have a Runyon tenor mouthpiece where the interior cavity seems to be misaligned, but I believe it turns out that everyone else's is the same - even the flaws are duplicated.
 
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