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Selmer MarkVII Tenor
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Hi all :
I received my new Otto link Super tone master 5* for my new tenor Sax and I would like to know wich strenght (2, 2 1/2, 3, 3 1/2, 4 ) is best suited for this mouthpiece.. I am starting again after many years out and need advice from more experienced players.
Thanks in advance
 

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I think there's no real answer to what strength of reed is best for that mouthpiece. You need to find out what strength of reed is best for your particular embouchure, level of air support, style of playing, and tone you are after on that particular mouthpiece. I would suggest starting with a 2-1/2 or 3, and then either going up or down from there if you feel it's necessary or desired. You'll find out what's best for you with a little bit of trial and error.
 

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Start with a really soft reed, then go up till you get to the right strength for that particular piece.
i recommend this to everyone thats gets a piece from me.

You may be surprised what strength you end up on.
I have a slant sig tenor #4 here that i use a 2 1/2 reed on, and it kills!!! It doesnt squeak, and i can blow my brains out with it. It never shuts down on me. It measures .071!!!!!!!

Most people would tell you small tip mpc/heavy reed, big tip mpc/softer reed--------thats absolute stupidity!!!

Trust me, i've had a few mpcs through here.

Treat each piece individually, and the mpc will tell you what reed it needs.
 

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depends more on how you play it/ how you want to sound than anything.
Personally I play on a 3 1/2. I usually recommend thats the strength my students work up to and play on for a while before experimenting with softer/harder.

Most people would tell you small tip mpc/heavy reed, big tip mpc/softer reed--------thats absolute stupidity!!!
It's not stupidity, though chamber size plays a factor as well. Big tip small chamber mouthpieces often respond better to a slightly softer reed, while bigger chambers and medium tips seem to require something thicker to get a full tone.

I've owned about 10 mouthpieces over the years before settling on the one i have, without going heavier than a 4 or lighter than a 3. Might be different for you, but as I tell my students work your embrouchure up to play the heavier reeds before deciding the lighter ones are better.
 

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Start with a really soft reed, then go up till you get to the right strength for that particular piece.
i recommend this to everyone thats gets a piece from me.

You may be surprised what strength you end up on.
I have a slant sig tenor #4 here that i use a 2 1/2 reed on, and it kills!!! It doesnt squeak, and i can blow my brains out with it. It never shuts down on me. It measures .071!!!!!!!

Most people would tell you small tip mpc/heavy reed, big tip mpc/softer reed--------thats absolute stupidity!!!


Trust me, i've had a few mpcs through here.

Treat each piece individually, and the mpc will tell you what reed it needs.
+1 What he said.
 

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Chamber size, facing curve, and reed brand all make a difference----


but the reed size you pick should only matter based on what works best with that particular piece.

Dont go into it with any predisposed ideas as to what will work or what wont work, or what reeds you think you can forget about trying because you think they wont work---etc...
 

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I have 4 great alto pieces here...

One measures .071

another .077

another .082

another .088


i use the exact same reed brand and size on all of these.


HOW OR WHY????

BECAUSE THATS WHAT WORKS WITH THESE PIECES.
 

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depends more on how you play it/ how you want to sound than anything.
Personally i play on a 3 1/2. I usually recommend thats the strength my students work up to and play on for a while before experimenting with softer/harder.



It's not stupidity, though chamber size plays a factor as well. Big tip small chamber mouthpieces often respond better to a slightly softer reed, while bigger chambers and medium tips seem to require something thicker to get a full tone.

I've owned about 10 mouthpieces over the years before settling on the one i have, without going heavier than a 4 or lighter than a 3. Might be different for you, but as i tell my students work your embrouchure up to play the heavier reeds before deciding the lighter ones are better.






John,
i taught for over 20 years, and i have no understanding why any teacher would recommend a student to "work up to" a certain reed size (in your case a #3 1/2).

What logic is behind this?

Working up to a reed size number when that particular reed size may not be the right size for their particular mpc, is very discomforting for me to hear.


Each individual mouthpiece will tell you whats right for your own needs.




On my slant 4 tenor i use a 2 1/2 reed on and its perfect for me. You may blow this piece and need a 5 reed. I use the 2 1/2 because its the right size reed for this mpc for me.
You may use the #5 for you, for the same reason.

To have a reed size in mind going into it, is illogical to me. The mouthpiece will tell all of us what works best for us individually.
 

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John,
i taught for over 20 years, and i have no understanding why any teacher would recommend a student to "work up to" a certain reed size (in your case a #3 1/2).

What logic is behind this?

Working up to a reed size number when that particular reed size may not be the right size for their particular mpc, is very discomforting for me to hear.


each individual mouthpiece will tell you whats right for your own needs.




on my slant 4 tenor i use a 2 1/2 reed on and its perfect for me. You may blow this piece and need a 5 reed. I use the 2 1/2 because its the right size reed for this mpc for me.
You may use the #5 for you, for the same reason.

To have a reed size in mind going into it, is illogical to me. The mouthpiece will tell all of us what works best for us individually.
I have never had a beginner student who has been able to produce a good tone on anything heavier than a 2 1/2. As their embrouchure strengthens I recommend increasing the strength. Once they have put in about a month on the heavier strength it is very rare that they sound better on a 2 1/2 again. If you are an experienced player then you'll likely have an idea what you want to play on various pieces. But for beginners, or even intermediate players making equipment changes, you have to experiment to find what works. Starting soft and moving heavier has seemed to work in my experience. As for the 3 1/2 number, its a rule I break when appropriate, but once you're embrouchure is strong enough to make a sound on a 3 1/2 then you need to do more embrouchure work (long tones, bends etc). There are obvious exceptions, like when I get a student with a large opening or with a chamber or facing that would make playing heavier reeds difficult. But generally this isn't the case, and often when it is I've found that the student hadn't put in enough time with a "student piece" to have adequate control of what the were playing.

Obviously there are different schools of thought on this, but I've found this to work. In regards to the OP, a 5star is a pretty moderate tip opening. Personally I would go through routine and try working up as heavy as you can without making the thing unplayable before deciding which works best. You can't know what works best for you if you don't try different things. Ive often tried one reed strength and thought the sound was great only to move to a higher strength and find that I could produce the same sound with more control. Only to move up again and find that it wasn't as free blowing. Different things happen with different reed and mouthpiece combos. And you should use what gives you what you want.
 

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I have never had a beginner student who has been able to produce a good tone on anything heavier than a 2 1/2. As their embrouchure strengthens I recommend increasing the strength. Once they have put in about a month on the heavier strength it is very rare that they sound better on a 2 1/2 again. If you are an experienced player then you'll likely have an idea what you want to play on various pieces. But for beginners, or even intermediate players making equipment changes, you have to experiment to find what works. Starting soft and moving heavier has seemed to work in my experience. As for the 3 1/2 number, its a rule I break when appropriate, but once you're embrouchure is strong enough to make a sound on a 3 1/2 then you need to do more embrouchure work (long tones, bends etc). There are obvious exceptions, like when I get a student with a large opening or with a chamber or facing that would make playing heavier reeds difficult. But generally this isn't the case, and often when it is I've found that the student hadn't put in enough time with a "student piece" to have adequate control of what the were playing.

Obviously there are different schools of thought on this, but I've found this to work. In regards to the OP, a 5star is a pretty moderate tip opening. Personally I would go through routine and try working up as heavy as you can without making the thing unplayable before deciding which works best. You can't know what works best for you if you don't try different things. Ive often tried one reed strength and thought the sound was great only to move to a higher strength and find that I could produce the same sound with more control. Only to move up again and find that it wasn't as free blowing. Different things happen with different reed and mouthpiece combos. And you should use what gives you what you want.
Since you are a teacher, I think you should learn that it's "embouchure", not "embrouchure". It would be good if your students learned the right technical term.
 
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