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I currently play/practise almost daily (mostly my alto) and I've playing for almost 20 years. On tenor I never have problems with endurance, my setup is quite modest, a 6* Link with 2.5 - 3 reeds. On soprano I play a metal Selmer E or HR Link 6. On alto I have a large collection of mouthpieces. I switch mouthpieces a lot on alto (a bad habit, I know..) I've been rehearsing for one gig daily now. On my current Meyer 5 or HR Link 6 (paired with #3 reeds) I get a nice alto sound but if I'm playing longer my embouchure gets tired soon (a one long ballad is sometimes enough, meaning I play the head, few choruses + head). Yesterday I used my 7* Link ("0.090) with 2.5 reeds and I could play all night.. What up with that?? I have loads of mouthpieces (quite trad. designs, med and large chamber ones) from "0.065 to "0.075 but only few big ones (a Link 7* and a Link 8). I like the focused sound of those smaller tips but I just can play longer with those big tips.. Confused!

Thanks!
-TH
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member
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2,309 Posts
TH,
First tenor and alto mouthpieces of the same manufacture and tip opening really cannot be compared with or to each other or even with themselves. You have Links for both alto and tenor, you've been playing for 20 some years so you know how they can differ dramatically.

Regardless of the tip opening I'd bet that your mouthpiece that played so easily has a tip, baffle, floor, rails, in whatever combination that makes it simply a very nice free blowing (little resistance) piece.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2011
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790 Posts
As RandyJ suggests, the free blowing mouthpiece may accommodate your embouchure more readily, facilitating your ability to play longer, but the reed could also be a big part of the difference. I know that my endurance, even on the same mouthpiece, is greatly affected by different reeds. A more responsive reed means you don't have to work nearly as hard to get the sound you're looking for.

Randy
www.randyhunterjazz.com
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