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Discussion Starter #1
I have been playing saxophone for about a week and a half now. I was stuck with the plastic mouthpiece my sax came with until now. I ordered both a Yanigasiwa metal mouthpiece(cost a pretty penny) and a meyer hard rubber. My metal mouthpiece came today I opened it up all excited, put it on my sax ,blew, and out came nothing. Not a sound. I was confused because I was using the exact same embouchure I used on my cheap plastic mouthpiece(which didn't produce an awful sound, it was quite bearable). I found if I put alot of effort I could get it to poroduce a sound, but in doing so my teeth bite down into my lip. Any suggestions? I know it's propbably my embouchure, so please tell me what I need to do.
 

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Sounds like you might be using too hard a reed...Yani might just be a bit more open than your other mouthpiece which would require a softer reed.

Edit : Over looked that you've only been playing for a short time! I'd definitely stick with the Meyer for quiet a while but you will probably need a softer reed...and psst...hope you have a teacher :D
 

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Yeah, sounds to me like too open a mpc.

SmokerBoy - exactly what model and size mpc is the Vandoren? It can make a big difference.
And what size Meyer did you order?

Anyway, if you've only been playing a week-and-a-half how do you know the stock mpc you've got is not good enough for you until you get your embouchure under control? Why did you go right out and buy two mouthpieces?
 

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Do you care if I state the obvious? The most likely reason it wont play is because you have only been playing for a week and a half. It takes more time than that to develop a decent embouchure. Your best bet is wait for a meyer and go with that for awhile.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm using size 2 vandoren reeds. The metal mouthpiece is a size 7 and the meyer i bought is a size 4. Will I be able to blow through the size 4? I don't what size the plastic mouthpiece is. I bought a size 4 meyer becauze it was the only one available on the online websites. It seems people don't like size 4 mouthpieces(since it was the only ones available) and now that is starting to scare me too. Thanks for your help.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I checked the size of the plastic and it is a size 4c. So I feel more comfortable now with the new meyer that will be coming in. I'm guessing a size 7 mouthpiece is extremely thin?
 

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The Meyer 4 or the 4c (Yamaha?) are definitely best for you at the moment. Put the metal 7 to one side or sell it (IMHO). Even on the ebonite m/ps you should be using a fairly soft reed at the moment - 2, 1.5 even. Like others, I'm intrigued as to why you went out and bought yourself two new (and fairly expensive !) m/ps after a week and a half. Did someone suggest this to you or was it internet reading/advice?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I am replacing the 7 metal mouthpiece with a 5. I called the site I ordered it from and they are doing an exchange. I ordered new mouthpieces because I overheard how poor the plastic mouthpieces are. Also I know that if I had a good mouthpiece then any bad sound will be my fault. With the plastic mouthpiece I didn't know how much was me and how much was the mouthpiece. So basically I ordered the new mouthpieces so it can be easier to know when tone production is my fault.
 

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Stop the Insanity

Smokerboy-
If your mouthpiece is a Yamaha 4c, that is probably the best "beginner" mouthpiece out there. At your current state, a "pro" mouthpiece is probably not going to help, or may hurt your development.

Also, Vandoren 2's may be too hard. If I recall correctly, a Vand 2 would be equivalent to say a Rico 2 1/2, and I think most beginners start on Rico 2's. Maybe someone else can comment on that.

I suggest going trying Rico 2 and 2 1/2's. And get a Yamaha 4c if that's not what you already have, they cost approximately $25. This should get you the standard beginner set up. And, no, you don't need a better ligature....
 

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The Yamaha 4C is definently one of the best beginner mouthpieces on the market.

I dont see why you'd go ahead and purchase a metal mouthpiece or a rubber..I made my first mouthpiece investment 1-2 years after I started playing, when I knew that I was just looking for a different sound. There's no point in switching to a "pro" mouthpiece, as, like the previous posters have stated, might actually hinder your developement, while the Yamaha 4C is more then enough for you to work with for at least the next year or so.

When i started playing, I started out on a Rico 2.5, because that's what my band director gave me. Now that I think about it..maybe that's why I kept on squeaking so much - the hardness of the reed hindered my growth. Plus, I also went out to purchase a box of Vandoren 2.5s, because I thought they were the same thing and didnt know about reed strength equivalents. This was quite a setback - I had to struggle to develop a strong embouchere in order to play these reeds.

Honestly, don't get stuck into that item hype. A new mouthpiece, or a new ligature, isnt going to make you sound any better. I'm quite happy with a generic ligature that you can get for 5 bucks.
 

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Smokerboy, only playing for two weeks and already developing GAS? boy boy boy... :D

put that metal away. I started on my BergLarsen after more than a year of playing, only to find out I was at least a year too early for that. It slows you down and gives you a lot of bad embouchure habits that are difficult to get rid off.

(and in my opinion, a yanagisawa metal piece isn't exactly the best buy for your money, but your mile may vary)
 

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There's nothing wrong with a Yamaha 4C; it's a fine mouthpiece to learn on. Earlier this summer, while playing in a concert band, I came across a passage that required pianissimo in the low register, starting with a long low "D". I couldn't get it on my 9 Link, I couldn't get it on my 8 Morgan and I wouldn't even think of trying it on the Babbitt. I dug around and found my old stock 4C and hit it the first time. Since then I've used the 4C in other situations where edge and volume are unnecessary or unwelcome.
 

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I concur with the advice already given- stick to the 4c, get your money back on the other two pieces and learn to play the sax first before going shopping again.
Try softer vandorens as the 'blue box' reeds come up fairly hard. Only buy a few softer reeds as you'll progress past them fairly quickly and then probably stabilise at about 2-21/2 for a bit- when you can buy a box or more.
 

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I have to agree it is too early to think about mouthpieces. Sell the others or get your money back. On September the 4th of 08 start looking at moutphieces again.

~Carbs
 

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I agree with the others, stick with the 4C that came with your sax. Move to a slightly softer reed (Vandoren blue box 1.5 or Rico 2), and practice like crazy. In about 6 months, you can move to the Meyer 5 (and move back to the Vandoren #2) which should last you quite a while. I wouldn't recommend a metal mouthpiece for a beginner.

Out of curiosity, what kind of sax (and brand/model) did you get? Depending on whether it's an alto or tenor, that could change the recommendations slightly.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I am just going to put the new mouthpieces off to the side. My saxophone is a Jupiter 869SG Alto Saxophone. I was originally going to buy an E.M. Winston becaause of it's low price. I heard horrible things about the E.M. Winston and great things about these Jupiter models. I've heard stories of professionals and teachers buying a Jupiter after they heard it's sound. It cost me 1000$ more for the Jupiter 1600$ total actually. The mouthpiece is not a Yamaha but rather a Jupiter brand 4c mouthpiece. The tone that I get out of it isn't bad at all(until after about 20 minutes), and since I can actually play through this mouthpiece I am going to stick with it. Thanks for your opinions and your advice I greatly appreciate it.
 

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SmokerBoy said:
I am just going to put the new mouthpieces off to the side. My saxophone is a Jupiter 869SG Alto Saxophone. I was originally going to buy an E.M. Winston becaause of it's low price. I heard horrible things about the E.M. Winston and great things about these Jupiter models. I've heard stories of professionals and teachers buying a Jupiter after they heard it's sound. It cost me 1000$ more for the Jupiter 1600$ total actually. The mouthpiece is not a Yamaha but rather a Jupiter brand 4c mouthpiece. The tone that I get out of it isn't bad at all(until after about 20 minutes), and since I can actually play through this mouthpiece I am going to stick with it. Thanks for your opinions and your advice I greatly appreciate it.
Smokerboy,

From reading your posts here, it seems as if you are giving a lot of credence to hearsay and things you read on this forum. That's not always a bad thing but it does need to be kept in perspective.

The large majority of opinions, advice and equipment reviews expressed here, are posted (in good faith and with good intentions) by folks with often not much more experience than yourself. That doesn't make those opinions wrong by default, but it does put them in perspective. This includes my own opinions and advice. :D

Do you have a teacher?

What are your long and short term goals as far as playing goes?

Do you have a methodical plan for progressing towards those goals?

If you can get those sorts of questions cleared up, you can get on with moving forward and avoid the whole "blind leading the blind" thing.

Any beginner reading this forum could be forgiven for thinking that the equipment makes the player. We've all been there and wasted serious amounts of money on various bits of gear. If the saxophone is just a fun hobby for you, (as it is for 95% of the folks here) then buy any and all the gear you like.

If you want to someday play Jazz, Blues, Rock, Funk etc, then spend the money instead on an hour or two sitting down with an experienced teacher. I wouldn't even worry about having a lesson as such. At this beginning stage, I'd just spend an hour or two getting to the bottom of where you want to go with your sax playing, why you want to do it and what's going to motivate you, where you're currently at as a player and listener, and so on. Then begins the process of mapping out a comprehensive plan for attaining those goals.

Unless you are clear in your goals and directions. Unless you have a quiet confidence that you are moving forward towards your goals, however slowly that may be, :D you'll be waylaid by every distraction, dead end, and swing in equipment fashion that comes along.

Save your money and invest it in a good and sympathetic teacher.
 

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SmokerBoy said:
I'm using size 2 vandoren reeds. The metal mouthpiece is a size 7 and the meyer i bought is a size 4. Will I be able to blow through the size 4? I don't what size the plastic mouthpiece is. I bought a size 4 meyer becauze it was the only one available on the online websites. It seems people don't like size 4 mouthpieces(since it was the only ones available) and now that is starting to scare me too. Thanks for your help.

a 7!?!?

Well, there you go.
That 4 should work better.
5's are the popular size.
 
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