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Hi All,

I am a beginner with only a couple of months experience on tenor sax. I recently bought a 1927 Martin Handcraft that came with a mouthpiece. No markings on the MP, but it is very closed and easy to blow to produce a tone. My teacher noted that the tone of the mouthpiece was very thin and tried it himself which proved it was the MP and not me.

So, I went out and bought a Rico Royal M7. I think it was a mistake, way too open for a beginner like me. Any comments about that? I have tried with a #2 and still have to blow my lungs out to get any sound. Difficult to play an exercise all the way through with it.

Also tried my Yamaha 4C which I had bought earlier and it was easier than the Rico Royale but a little more difficult than the 'no name'. I think I can manage the Yamaha, though.

I am thinking, perhaps wrongly, that the old vintage Martin's need a different type of MP than newer saxes. One difference I noticed is that the original MP slides on much farther in order to be in tune than the other two. About .5 inch further, at least.

For any Martin owners, do you have any preferred mouthpieces? Model and size
of MP makes a difference, right. Any help you can give me will be greatly appreciated.

Please also refer to my other post regarding my recent tooth problem:
http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?160888-Face-meet-floor-cracked-tooth-sore-neck-amp-side&p=1673542#post1673542

Cheers,
Larry
 

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Hi Larry,
I am also a beginner and have been learning the tenor for about 15 months now. I play on the Yamaha 4C which is the most recommended beginner mouthpiece. I checked the facing charts and the Rico Royale 7 is 0.104 inches tip opening which would be considered too large for a beginner. The 4C is 0.067 in. and the Meyer 5M is 0.075 in. Now that you have the Yamaha 4C you could continue with it for a few months at least. If you want to try a wider opening, you could go for the Hite Premier which is also a plastic, inexpensive but well-made mouthpiece (tip opening is 0.079 in) or the Yamaha 6C which I believe is 0.075 like the Meyer 5M.

I am sure folks who play Martins will give you a recommendation about the most suitable mouthpiece but, in my opinion, that is not critical in the beginning. If you are a musician and you already know what kind of tone you are looking for then that may be a different matter. If not, then I feel that proficiency in playing the horn should take priority over trying out different mouthpieces. Especially because every time you move to a new mouthpiece, you will have to play it for several weeks or even months to get used to it before you can really decide whether you like it or not.

I started with Rico 2.0 reeds and I am now playing Vandoren 2.5 on the recommendation of my teacher. The Vandorens are about 0.5 units more stiff than the Rico so in fact, I am playing reeds that are between 2.5 and 3.0 for Rico. I do not think you should worry about looking for 1.5. Stay with the 2. You will outgrow it and will have to move up soon anyway.

Good Luck
 

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Hi Larry,
I am also a beginner and have been learning the tenor for about 15 months now. I play on the Yamaha 4C which is the most recommended beginner mouthpiece. I checked the facing charts and the Rico Royale 7 is 0.104 inches tip opening which would be considered too large for a beginner. The 4C is 0.067 in. and the Meyer 5M is 0.075 in. Now that you have the Yamaha 4C you could continue with it for a few months at least. If you want to try a wider opening, you could go for the Hite Premier which is also a plastic, inexpensive but well-made mouthpiece (tip opening is 0.079 in) or the Yamaha 6C which I believe is 0.075 like the Meyer 5M.

I am sure folks who play Martins will give you a recommendation about the most suitable mouthpiece but, in my opinion, that is not critical in the beginning. If you are a musician and you already know what kind of tone you are looking for then that may be a different matter. If not, then I feel that proficiency in playing the horn should take priority over trying out different mouthpieces. Especially because every time you move to a new mouthpiece, you will have to play it for several weeks or even months to get used to it before you can really decide whether you like it or not.

I started with Rico 2.0 reeds and I am now playing Vandoren 2.5 on the recommendation of my teacher. The Vandorens are about 0.5 units more stiff than the Rico so in fact, I am playing reeds that are between 2.5 and 3.0 for Rico. I do not think you should worry about looking for 1.5. Stay with the 2. You will outgrow it and will have to move up soon anyway.

Good Luck
I would disagree. While a beginner has no concept of tone (generally), if you start on a matched mouthpiece for both the sax and the player, it makes learning much more enjoyable! I once taught a student on Alto sax that was struggling with tone and intonation. I turned him on to an S80 C* (a brand a model I don't usually recommend, but in his case, it was a perfect match for him).

The best answer is a private instructor can point you to a better mouthpiece, if he knows the inherent oddities of your sax (every sax has them!), and your playing weaknesses and strengths. Since you have a Private Instructor, have you asked him what he recommends?

It is very difficult to asses on-line, but having played and owned several vintage saxes, many vintage mouthpieces work best on them (as well as new ones designed like the vintage ones).

Some of my favorites for the old dinosaurs:

WC Sumner
Selmer Soloist
Selmer Larry Teal
H. Couf Artist
H. Couf Artist Jazz
E. Rousseau Classic

I started on a plastic no name crapper on Tenor, and I wish I would have had someone steer me in the right direction early on!

And if you stay between a .070 and .090, as long as the reed table is flat, and the tip is straight, starting on a 2 or 2 1/2 reed will work.

And
 

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I stand corrected. I agree with NissanVintageSax that the private teacher is the best judge. I assumed that the Yamaha 4C was what the teacher had recommended.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hello getafix,

Thanks for the reply. Where can I find these 'facing charts' you mentioned? It would be handy to peruse those, for sure.

Regards,
Larry
 

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I am one of those people who leaves these types of decisions (reed strength, mouthpiece tip, etc) to my teacher. Sometimes I wonder if I am not being adventurous enough :)
 

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I am one of those people who leaves these types of decisions (reed strength, mouthpiece tip, etc) to my teacher. Sometimes I wonder if I am not being adventurous enough :)
Now is not the time to be "adventuresome"! You can start doing that in a few years after the basics and fundamentals are learned :) .
 

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gohabsgo, You should also keep in mind that the tip opening is just one of several parameters that affect the tone. Facing length, shape and size of the chamber and presence of a baffle (type of baffle) are some of the other factors that affect the sound from a mouthpiece. Take a look at the Theo Wanne webpage. It will give you some idea about the different mouthpieces.

http://www.theowanne.com/mouthpieces101/Campus.php
 

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Then after your head stops spinning, discuss all this with your instructor, so you can go make some music!
 

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Then after your head stops spinning, discuss all this with your instructor, so you can go make some music!
I was just being extra helpful :):)
I do not think he should discuss it with the teacher. That will only irritate the teacher. But it is fun to read and then to go back to doing C D E F... on the Yamaha 4C.
 
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