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Well I posted a little while back about me adding Tenor sax to my arsenal. I originally started on Alto and have been playing that for 20 years, and starting to appreciate my sound, even though I am trying to find the mouthpiece that I will finally settle on (different story altogether). Right now I have a Jean Baptiste Tenor Sax with a Vandoren V16 Metal T75 mouthpiece with LaVoz Med Hard reeds, but it seems like my sound is bad. From what I heard, my tenor sound is boring (this came from my family). I just don't know why my sound be very close to my alto sax sound. Looking for advice on this. One of the artists I aspire to sound similar to is Kirk Whalum.
 

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P.S. I also notice my sound tends to be on the flatter side on the Tenor sax.
 

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Well, in my personal experience, I naturally sound darker on tenor than on alto. If you do too, maybe this translates to your family as boring. What do YOU think of your sound? If you want a change then just keep on shedding… it'll come.
 

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I had some issues moving to tenor with a broad un-centered sound, needed a mouthpiece that allowed a similar embouchure, tough to do as I play a brilhardt level air metal on alto, the level air tenor sounded too thin, use a wanne data and have a more centered sound now.
 

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I use the hard rubber version of the same mouthpiece on a Selmer Mark VII (modern horn). Couple of notes:

1). This mouthpiece has a medium-large chamber. It is going to make your horn sound flat if you don’t push it in way far. I need to push mine in 3/4 of the way to get a centered sound on the Selmer. Modern horns are not normally designed for medium-large chambers, so if you have a modern horn, you are going to be on the flat side. (On the other hand, if you do a lot of ensemble work in warm rooms, you will want your mouthpiece to play slightly flat during practice at home so that you won’t be way-sharp half way through the concert).

2). I believe that mpc is designed for a 2.0 to 2.5 reed. If you are using a medium hard reed, you are probably playing a reed that it too hard for the mouthpiece. The mismatch won’t sound good...and you will be killing your chops. You will be able to do a lot more intonation with a softer reed.

3). I think that if you are playing a vintage horn, you have the wrong mouthpiece. My opinion is that the T75 is designed to make a modern horn sound jazzy. (70s and later). It is a mismatch for vintage horns. My T75 does wonders for my Selmer from the 70s, and is completely boring on my Conn Shooting Star from the 50s. I played it on my 1953 Selmer SBA once - it was wretched.

4). Why are you playing LaVoz reeds on a $400 mouthpiece? Consider some V16 reeds. I use a Legere Signature 2.5 on my T75 for my tenor because bamboo puts too much complexity in my life.

Good Luck
 

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If you just changed what makes you think everything is transferable and that you will immediately sound good? It's a different instrument even though the fundamentals are the same? Patience and time are needed just like when you learned alto.

Also, perhaps you have not developed a good aesthetic yet. You need to listen to various players and get in your mind a very clear idea of what you want to sound like. Play long tones and listen to, and develop, that tone. Some people want to have their two horns an extension of each other, sounding like one corn covering a huge range. Others see them as two completely different instruments and qualities, expressing different aspects. I eventually choose the latter after first going with the former but it doesn't matter. The point I want to make is that you should decide what you want and strive for that.
 

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Overtones , Overtones, overtones.
If you just changed what makes you think everything is transferable and that you will immediately sound good? It's a different instrument even though the fundamentals are the same? Patience and time are needed just like when you learned alto.

Also, perhaps you have not developed a good aesthetic yet. You need to listen to various players and get in your mind a very clear idea of what you want to sound like. Play long tones and listen to, and develop, that tone. Some people want to have their two horns an extension of each other, sounding like one corn covering a huge range. Others see them as two completely different instruments and qualities, expressing different aspects. I eventually choose the latter after first going with the former but it doesn't matter. The point I want to make is that you should decide what you want and strive for that.
 

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Well I posted a little while back about me adding Tenor sax to my arsenal. I originally started on Alto and have been playing that for 20 years, and starting to appreciate my sound, even though I am trying to find the mouthpiece that I will finally settle on (different story altogether). Right now I have a Jean Baptiste Tenor Sax with a Vandoren V16 Metal T75 mouthpiece with LaVoz Med Hard reeds, but it seems like my sound is bad. From what I heard, my tenor sound is boring (this came from my family). I just don't know why my sound be very close to my alto sax sound. Looking for advice on this. One of the artists I aspire to sound similar to is Kirk Whalum.
Tenor will reveal any weaknesses in your airstream and support. If you’ve been playing for 20 years, and can’t get a solid sound, it’s (past) time to get some private instruction to concentrate on developing your sound.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the advice.!
 

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Tenor will reveal any weaknesses in your airstream and support. If you’ve been playing for 20 years, and can’t get a solid sound, it’s (past) time to get some private instruction to concentrate on developing your sound.
Breath support was my first thought as well.
 

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Tenor will reveal any weaknesses in your airstream and support.
I have to quote and agree with G on this. Tenor will very quickly tell you if you do not have a solid airstream and support.

I came to tenor along the same lines as you Iceman. I had always been an alto player only since I started playing in 1991. I did not really start playing tenor until 2009. When I started, I noticed that I had to develop better air support. Also, my tone was always very dark and flat.

I played open and high baffle pieces (Guardala MBII LT and Vandoren Jumbo Java T95) for a number of years to compensate, until I finally made myself get back to basics. I have worked the last few years with only roll-over baffle pieces with medium to large chambers, and forced myself to loosen my embouchure by playing softer reeds. It has paid off, as now I play an early '80's Link STM 6* and can pull plenty of brightness and clarity out of it, but the tone is much more rich and unique. I also do not sound like an alto player playing tenor anymore.

Basically, I would work on better and stronger breath support while also learning to loosen your embouchure. It will take time but the payoff after all the work feels good.
 
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