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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I'm not new to the forum, but very rarely visit. What has caused me to visit is my mouthpiece delima which has caused me much grief and money!

My Setup:
I've been playing my Yamaha Custom Z82 for a few years now with a Jody Jazz HR 6 (with spoiler) and have had really zero issues, other than some scale issues. I have pretty much stuck with Rico Plasticover line playing anywhere from a 2 - 3 strength reed.

The Problem:
The reason decided to switch was due to some pretty minor issues I was experiencing with the JJ HR mpc. I having issues seamlessly transitioning to the lower octave, and hitting higher notes which I would have to do with great effort. For some reason this mouthpiece worked great in the midsection, but suffered in these two areas. So I decided to switch to the JJ ESP 7 after reading several very good reviews. Before selling the JJ HR mpc I played around with the both of them to compare, and was pleased (at the time) with the ESP enough to drop a couple of hundred on it. After awhile, I noticed I was squeaking and squealing quite a bit. I've never had this problem, I've always had good ambrosure and played pretty confidently, but now I'm struggling not to squeak. At first I thought it was the spoiler that came with the ESP, but then I noticed it happened with or without the spoiler. Then I tried switching up my reeds and trying some plain Rico reeds, but that didn't seem to help. Adjusted my Lig, nothing...So really, I'm stumped. I'm thinking about going back to a HR mpc, but I was something that will give me good control overall...

Any suggestions???
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
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Table, facing, baffle...

I'd send it to a good mouthpiece tech for evaluation and possible touchup.
 

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If I might tactfully offer an alternative - in my experience with JJ mpcs, the problem is likely not with the mpcs if you got them new and not 2nd or 3rd hand where someone might've been messing with them..

Your old setup sounds pretty bright to me. The ESP, without the spoiler, is a fuller sounding mpc and not quite as cutting as the HR. Also, a size #7 just might also be making your sound a bit less bright. Now - if that's the case, you are likely trying to compensate for that somehow with your chops to recapture that bright sound you got with your old setup. My first guess would be pinching or somehow tightening or adding tension to your embouchure, throat or a combination of physical factors.

My suggestion is to get back to some basics. Do scales in thirds and fourths in half notes covering the range shifting where you're having problems, beginning with ascending scales and then, when you can do them very smoothly with no problems, do it from high to low. When that's no problem, do octave slurs, ascending, then octave slurs descending, all the while keeping your embouchure fairly relaxed.

In the meantime, I'd have a tech check out your horn for leaks.
 

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What you wrote would lead me to believe the problem most probably is coming from you. Transition between octaves takes a lot of hard work as do playing high notes.
 

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Have no idea how long or well you play, but the Jody Jazz pieces I've tried out seemed to play flawlessly out of the box.

Also to consider that different saxes, mouthpieces have different characteristics. My sax takes more finese between upper and lower octave than some others I've played, but it's a great horn. With the HR, sounds like you'd just need to work through the issues. ESP might be table/baffle/facing, but it could also be that it requires readjusting from playing an HR.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Tech/Forum Contributor 2007
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have you had your horn checked for leaks? that could cause some of your issues. i've seen some pretty good players playing some pretty effed up horns. if you have not had it looked at for a while, i would get it checked and then you know the issue is not the horn.
 
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