tenor mouthpiece on bass!
While in search of a mouthpiece that suits me on bass, I decided to try my tenor mouthpiece on bass....
Now, as you might suspect, a tenor mouthpiece would be sharp on bari, and it would be _really_ sharp on bass. So, I had my local repair guy construct a BASS SAX BIT!
Just as a sousaphone bit, the bass sax bit extends the length of the neck. Now, I can play my tenor piece on bass!
Why bother? Well, I *really* like my tenor piece --- and, being in search of a bass mouthpiece option, a bit was a cheap alternative to another mouthpiece.
How did it play? Great! Of course, there are a few caveats...
My tenor piece is a Lakey Aluminum #9. Wide open, allowing more reed flapping than most tenor pieces. Even so, the facing was still much shorter than a bass piece, so I had to use a 1.5 Rico tenor reed to get reasonable response on the low end.
Upper range was incredible. No surprise there.
Lower range, even with the soft reed, was hard to control and speak clearly.
Intonation required some player adjustment --- but it wasn't so bad that it couldn't be handled. Tune for G, relax the jaw below that, lip up for the higher register.
Best part, though, was the volume and projection I could achieve. If only it had better low register response (so I could just lay on, say, a low C), I would probably keep this setup and work with it.
A few factors to consider.... I am very comfortable with the Lakey piece, so it was not hard to adjust to using it on the bass. Also, the projection and volume (and clarity) are likely due to the design of the mouthpiece, moreso than the fact that it was a tenor mouthpiece. (This, of course, makes me wish Nick and the good folks at CL would make a bass aluminum piece, or at least make available the bari piece they once had in prototype stage.)
[If there's anyone out there that would like to entertain a custom mouthpiece job to make a "Lakey-stencil" metal bass mouthpiece, let me know.... I'm still in search, as many of us are, for the right piece.]
Hmmm..... just now the wheels in my head have started to turn..... What if some tubing was added to the end of the Lakey piece (to eliminate the need for the bit and make it fit on the bass neck) and the facing was lengthened to about 30mm (to improve the low end response)??? Might still have some intonation problems due to the size of the chamber, but maybe that could somehow be compensated in the extended neck of the mouthpiece..... Too bad I don't have a spare $200 to chance on an experiment......