Sax on the Web Forum banner
21 - 39 of 39 Posts

·
Registered
Tenor: 1942 Conn 10M "Naked Lady", Alto: P. Mauriat PMXA-67R CL
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Cyber - Do you know what the rest of the sax section is using for mouthpieces?
Tenor 2: Vandoren V16 T6 (Hard Rubber)
Alto 1: Vandoren V16 S+ A5
Alto 2: JodyJazz Jet (I don't know what tip??)
Me: Vandoren V16 T6 Metal (Large)
Bari: We don't have one :(
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
34,678 Posts
Have you considered a more incremental approach to changing your sound?

I just watched the Tom Walsh video comparing these various chambers, and read the Vandoren website. Bottom line: I wouldn't pair the Large chamber V16 with a Conn 10M, and hope for a brighter sound if you don't already know how to play to the bright side of a mouthpiece by manipulating your airflow.


I would, however, press you to consider a medium chamber V16, or similar, to brighten your tone, while preserving intonation characteristics on your 10M. Rigotti Jazz reeds, or a similar cut, will add brightness and buzz. I still cannot get behind the notion of playing a Berg "0" chamber in a big band, and expect to blend in a section such as yours.

Hey SOTW,

For the past 3 years or so I have been playing on a Metal Vandoren V16 T6 Large Chamber for a smaller jazz band in high school, and now for a big band in college. I've come to find as a player though that the T6 just isn't really doing it for me in cutting through the Trumpets...

1942 Conn 10 Naked Lady (Horn)
Metal Vandoren V16 T6 Large Chamber (MP)
Vandoren Optimum (Lig)
La Voz Medium (Reed)

Thank you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,733 Posts
Yeah, I stand by my earlier statement that you don't need a super grass cutter duck call piece to blend properly in that section. If you can't pop up your individual volume a bit for solos (when the rest of the band needs to play quieter!!!!) then you need to work on airstream and support.

Are y'all playing from standard 5-sax big band charts?

Frankly if I were that band director I'd move 3rd ("2nd") alto or 4th ("2nd") tenor over to baritone, it's more important in establishing a section sound. Maybe you could have a talk with one of those and convince them of the benefits of playing baritone.

Just a note on my terminology: Old guys like me call the saxes 1st alto (lead), 2nd tenor (jazz tenor), 3rd alto, 4th tenor, baritone. Without getting into the historical reasons for this, I like it better than the current pedagogical terminology of 1st alto 2nd alto 1st tenor 2nd tenor. The old way implies (at least to me) the fact that each sax has a specific role in standard big band playing; and that lead alto is the lead player of the whole section. I have seen too many young players who think that "1st tenor" means "lead tenor" and they try to drive the section from their seat with a bunch of harmony notes instead of following the lead alto player and keeping volume and blend down below the lead alto and baritone. The current pedagogical terminology is also in my opinion more prone to the "1st player is the best, 2nd less good, the weakest player in the band gets assigned the baritone part" which is antithetical to the way a big band sax section actually works.

Actually the two technically hardest chairs in the standard 5 piece sax section are 3rd alto and 4th tenor, because they're playing parts that rarely lay easily under the fingers, don't make sense by themselves, and yet they've got to play everything at least as crisp as the lead player, and low on the horn, and softly. If they can't do that then the whole section just sounds like mud. Also in professsional bands those are often the chairs that have the most doubling. So while your lead alto needs to have a strong sound, crisp well defined phrasing, and be able to read well, the 3rd alto and/or 4th tenor often needs to be the one that can pick up clarinet or piccolo with 2 bars notice and play technical tweedly bits up in the stratosphere with excellent accuracy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,733 Posts
And to reiterate, the job of jazz tenor when playing in section (as opposed to a solo) is to blend, which means playing under the lead alto.

If there are balance problems between the saxophones and brass (and I described earlier why it may not actually the case out front despite what it sounds like from your chair), it's the bandleader's job to fix those. It's not up to the individual members of the saxophone section to decide they need to outblow the trumpets. What if you and the 3rd alto decide to play everything "molto testissimo" and the lead alto and other tenor don't? Now you've got a section that sounds like poop.

Sometimes it comes down to the taste of the bandleader. Kenton - a lot of times the saxophones could have just gone to the bar and gotten drunk for all the difference they made, what with seven trumpets and eight trombones and nine mellophoniums and ten tubas and eleven partridges in a pear tree all blasting away at fffff; but Basie and Ellington had the saxophones front and center in their bands' sound. The charts that came out of those groups reflect these tastes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,733 Posts
Have you considered a more incremental approach to changing your sound?

I just watched the Tom Walsh video comparing these various chambers, and read the Vandoren website. Bottom line: I wouldn't pair the Large chamber V16 with a Conn 10M, and hope for a brighter sound if you don't already know how to play to the bright side of a mouthpiece by manipulating your airflow.


I would, however, press you to consider a medium chamber V16, or similar, to brighten your tone, while preserving intonation characteristics on your 10M. Rigotti Jazz reeds, or a similar cut, will add brightness and buzz. I still cannot get behind the notion of playing a Berg "0" chamber in a big band, and expect to blend in a section such as yours.
Meyer hard rubber has a slightly smaller chamber and brighter sound than a Link (and I'm guess the Vandoren "large chamber") but can still blend and play soft as needed. I use a #8 Meyer or a #6 hard rubber Link on tenor ( a 10M, as it happens) in big bands and never ever have any trouble being heard when I need to be, but I can blend and play soft.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Cyber - Do you know what the rest of the sax section is using for mouthpieces?
Tenor 2: Vandoren V16 T6 (Hard Rubber)
Alto 1: Vandoren V16 S+ A5
Alto 2: JodyJazz Jet (I don't know what tip??)
Me: Vandoren V16 T6 Metal (Large)
Bari: We don't have one
Somebody get that 2nd(!) Alto player a Meyer type piece! Everything else looks pretty balanced.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,513 Posts
My 2 cents as a Berg player (including 115/0) for the better part of 40 years, the beauty of a Berg is it's got edge when you push it, but can be played as mellow as you need when you have to blend with the section. So, in my experience, it's a good, flexible mouthpiece that's fine for big band solo and section playing, once you learn how to control it.

However, I have to question why you are the only one in the section compelled to out play the trumpet section. That completely ruins the blend. The trumpets shouldn't even be playing over sax solis anyway, so what are you competing with, lead alto? In any case, when all the horns are playing, the lead trumpet is supposed to be on top, not 1st tenor sax, and everybody else blends underneath him so you all sound like one instrument. Remember, you are the 3rd harmony part in solis, and usually doubling the 2nd trombone in tuttis. You're not supposed to be the loudest voice unless you're playing a solo. Hopefully your teacher will be teaching you this in the near future.
 

·
Registered
Tenor: 1942 Conn 10M "Naked Lady", Alto: P. Mauriat PMXA-67R CL
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #28 ·
My 2 cents as a Berg player (including 115/0) for the better part of 40 years, the beauty of a Berg is it's got edge when you push it, but can be played as mellow as you need when you have to blend with the section. So, in my experience, it's a good, flexible mouthpiece that's fine for big band solo and section playing, once you learn how to control it.

However, I have to question why you are the only one in the section compelled to out play the trumpet section. That completely ruins the blend. The trumpets shouldn't even be playing over sax solis anyway, so what are you competing with, lead alto? In any case, when all the horns are playing, the lead trumpet is supposed to be on top, not 1st tenor sax, and everybody else blends underneath him so you all sound like one instrument. Remember, you are the 3rd harmony part in solis, and usually doubling the 2nd trombone in tuttis. You're not supposed to be the loudest voice unless you're playing a solo. Hopefully your teacher will be teaching you this in the near future.
That was mainly in reference to my high school days of the past. That isn't my goal, and I know the importance of balance and blend. I'm not exactly trying to play the loudest out of everyone else.
 

·
Registered
Tenor: 1942 Conn 10M "Naked Lady", Alto: P. Mauriat PMXA-67R CL
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Everyone, I very much appreciate your feedback for me and I will do some more work as a player. However, the conversation has shifted more from the mouthpiece to myself as a player, so I will work and adapt. I'm by no means a new player, and have been playing for 10 years in a multitude of band settings. I will just have to do some more research and try some new things out for a good balance and blend but good power during solo sections.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,733 Posts
Trevor, you may be a player who naturally gets a darker sound; in that case you may want to consider a setup that's "incrementally" brighter as someone noted up above; for example going to something like a Meyer or one of the other mouthpieces with slightly smaller chambers and slightly higher rollover baffles. A little edge added will go a long way.
 

·
Registered
Tenor: 1942 Conn 10M "Naked Lady", Alto: P. Mauriat PMXA-67R CL
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Trevor, you may be a player who naturally gets a darker sound; in that case you may want to consider a setup that's "incrementally" brighter as someone noted up above; for example going to something like a Meyer or one of the other mouthpieces with slightly smaller chambers and slightly higher rollover baffles. A little edge added will go a long way.
I will have to check them out! And turf3, I appreciate your previous posts, they have been thought-provoking.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013-
Joined
·
5,443 Posts
Will you have a chance to check out your new setup before the band starts meeting again?
 

·
Registered
Tenor: 1942 Conn 10M "Naked Lady", Alto: P. Mauriat PMXA-67R CL
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Will you have a chance to check out your new setup before the band starts meeting again?
I will. Because of COVID we probably won't be able to meet until August (maybe later).
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013-
Joined
·
5,443 Posts
I will. Because of COVID we probably won't be able to meet until August (maybe later).
Well, that is a pretty lame bright side, but I guess we will have to take what we can get.

I cannot imagine what it would have been like for me to loose a chunk of band like that in my school days.

Best wishes in coping, and maybe turning this to your advantage in the long run somehow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,386 Posts
I never think that an open tip will be bright.
I have a Guardala Crescent that I’ve always felt would be a lot brighter if it was less open. I’ve never had much luck with high baffle mouthpieces and my concept.
I can play pretty bright on a Link 6 and a Rigotti 21/2M. Brightness come from pushing air.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
alto: 82Zii/Medusa/Supreme, tenor: Medusa, bari: b-901, sop, sc-990
Joined
·
7,542 Posts
There’s a lot of good advice here. I’ll just say that I am Berg fan but I would never play 0 facing in a big band. They’re just too thin and not necessarily any louder than a size 1 or 2. As far as sheer volume, I’ve never played a louder piece than the RPC (and they sound pretty good).
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
34,678 Posts
There's a lot of good advice here. I'll just say that I am Berg fan but I would never play 0 facing in a big band. They're just too thin and not necessarily any louder than a size 1 or 2. As far as sheer volume, I've never played a louder piece than the RPC (and they sound pretty good).
For sheer LOUD, the Ted Klum "London" takes the prize, in my experience. Of the dozens of mouthpieces that I've owned and played over the last several decades, the Klum "London" was the first that made me think "This is too easy to get really loud, I don't have the will power to play it at anything less than LOUD." So I sold it.

The design, btw, is a highly efficient Berg with a baffle size of about 1.5. I played it in my big band on my King Super 20, and although it placed well against the trumpet section, it did not play well with the other saxophones. :twisted:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,076 Posts
I agree with Dr. G on his recommendation of a V16 medium chamber(and I might add, use Vandoren reeds like ZZ or Red box JAVA and also try the HR V16). I have a feeling that a Berg is not going to work on a 10M intonation wise.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
2,102 Posts
Depends on the model of berg on a Conn. A bullet (0 or 1) baffle has a very small chamber and can be quirky for sure intonation wise. The step/ramp (2 or 3) baffle has a much bigger chamber and are a lot more even intonation wise as a result.
 
21 - 39 of 39 Posts
Top