Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So i'm a 3rd year sax player and I just recently starting experimenting with jazz mouthpieces as opposed to classical ones.
For some reason, however, I can hardly produce a good sound on any of the ones i've tried. I get lots of squeaks and/or weak notes, especially in the upper register, and altissimo is just impossible (i'm usually able to get up to an F4). These problems are twice as bad when using a metal mouthpiece, which is what I want to use.
So far i've tried a D'addario Jazz Select, an Otto Link, and a Durga 3 Metal, all supplied by my private lessons teacher. I've also tried using different reeds an all of them, including Plastic reeds, Java reds, Java greens, Jazz selects, and D'addario Reserves from strengths 2 1/2 all the way to 4. The mouthpieces all have the smallest possible tip openings available.
If anyone has any advice to give on getting used to jazz mouthpieces, especially metal ones, please let me know. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Are you sure that the horn isn't leaking and that the mouthpieces are sealing well on the neck cork? If the answer is yes, then you may just be applying a classical concept because that's what you're used to. I would go with the Jazz select. Go into a music store that will let you try some different tip openings. Go up to like a 7* or so with different reed strengths - obviously softer reeds as the tip size increases. Find out what feels comfortable to you. Everyone's different, but I don't like closed tips and hard reeds. I feel most comfortable on an 8 or 8* (in Otto Link measurements) with 2.5 reed. When you find a comfortable set up that you like the sound of, stick with it for a year at least before making any further changes - and focus on imitating the sound of your favorite Jazz players - that will develop your concept of sound. I hope that helps.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013-
Joined
·
5,431 Posts
1. Since you have a "private lessons teacher" make sure you staying together on this jazz sound and mpc move. Consulting your tutor should be the answer, rather than folks from on line who do not know your situation.

2. But, ignoring the tutor situation, these thoughts occur:

Perhaps you could try a Brilhart Ebolin, or a Meyer.

What mpc are you using now?

Are you unable to shape the sound you want with it?

Could you make that your jazz mpc by changing the way you play it?

If you can make jazz sounds out of it, then it would be a jazz mpc.

If not, perhaps you could work on a "jazz" hard rubber mpc before moving to a metal one.

The shape of the metal mpcs make a big difference.

Maybe metal mpcs are not for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
392 Posts
I don’t think you are going to be able to make a good assessment on a Jazz mouthpiece until you play it for a month. “Experimenting “ isn’t going to work. Start with the D’Addario (only because I know this one). Assuming you are on a tenor, Load it with a 2 or 2.5 reed and play it for 45 minutes per day. Your mouth is going to be sore for at least a week, but within a month, you should be able to know if you need the 2 or the 2.5 is better.

It is very difficult to learn a Jazz mouthpiece if you are switching between it and a narrow tip opening Classical, in my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,458 Posts
So i'm a 3rd year sax player and I just recently starting experimenting with jazz mouthpieces as opposed to classical ones.
For some reason, however, I can hardly produce a good sound on any of the ones i've tried. I get lots of squeaks and/or weak notes, especially in the upper register, and altissimo is just impossible (i'm usually able to get up to an F4). These problems are twice as bad when using a metal mouthpiece, which is what I want to use.
So far i've tried a D'addario Jazz Select, an Otto Link, and a Durga 3 Metal, all supplied by my private lessons teacher. I've also tried using different reeds an all of them, including Plastic reeds, Java reds, Java greens, Jazz selects, and D'addario Reserves from strengths 2 1/2 all the way to 4. The mouthpieces all have the smallest possible tip openings available.
If anyone has any advice to give on getting used to jazz mouthpieces, especially metal ones, please let me know. Thanks.
Well, you don't mention alto or tenor, but it hardly matters.

Go back to basics. You need to blow THROUGH the thing, not at it. Use normal reeds. I like the traditional Vandorens, or Rico Royal, or La Voz.

I would go to a Meyer 5 on alto or Meyer 6 on tenor, with Vandoren #2.5 reeds. Don't do a bunch of switching around. Play your basic long tones, interval exercises, etc.

If you can't get a good vibrant sound out of that setup, you need to work on you, not change the setup.

Personally I don't see the big difference between my "classical" (Selmer Soloist C* on alto and tenor) and "jazz" (Meyer 7 on alto, Meyer 8 on tenor and baritone) that people are alluding to here. You blow through them the same way, there are just minor adjustments. I use the same reeds on everything.

Don't get into high baffle grass cutter mouthpieces till you have developed a proper air stream, support, and a good vibrant flexible sound on middle of the road equipment.

Honestly, if you have only been playing three years and you are routinely playing up to a high F altissimo, you're probably playing with way way too tight an embouchure.

********************

For that matter, someone up above alluded to this, but it bears examination: unless you are playing on something like a Rascher mouthpiece, your "classical" piece is probably just fine for jazz, unless you need high volumes. It's true I usually play a Meyer 7 on alto for jazz, but I often use the C* in low-volume situations. I sound about the same. If you are playing a typical "classical" setup of the 2000s, i.e., medium chamber bright-toned French school, a little adjustment of articulation and voicing will have you playing with a "jazzier" sound in no time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
I went to a Meyer 5 on alto and could hardly get a sound out of the thing. My C star was great though. After a lot of frustration and due diligence, I discovered that reed placement was critical on this Meyer. Much more so than the C star.
Try using your normal reed, pull it back some from the end of the mpc. Or the other way around. Made all the difference in the world.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013-
Joined
·
5,431 Posts
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?6860-Reed-alignment

https://www.saxontheweb.net/Learning/SantyReeds2.html

part 4

Santy Runyon

"Getting back to putting the reed on the mouthpiece in the right way--I had mentioned that the larger the facing the farther over the tip of the mouthpiece the reed should be placed to compensate for the shortening of the reed that occurs as the reed follows the curve of the mouthpiece facing. If the reed (when you press it down) covers the entire tip rail, you will observe that the tone becomes clearer and more solid--even a little darker. In turning the mouthpiece around (looking at the top of the mouthpiece), and pressing the reed down with the finger, you should see a miniscule hairline of the reed sticking out. It also tells you if the tip of the mouthpiece has been shaped to fit the contour of the reed properly. However, the tips of the reeds are not all the same, so it really doesn’t matter as long as the reed covers the entire tip rail. If it only covers a tiny amount of the tip rail--result--squeaks, no doubt."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,807 Posts
Couple of misconceptions in the original post. First of all, as turf3 mentions, there really isn't much difference between a so-called "jazz" mouthpiece and a so-called "classical" one. Especially if you are keeping the tip openings small. In particular, the D'Addario and Link pieces have a lot in common with so-called standard classical pieces, namely the older Selmer Soloists (like what Joe Henderson used and Kenny Garrett uses). Roll-over baffle, curved sidewalls, small or non-existent squeeze throat. (Note - the newer Selmer S80s with the square chamber are not suitable for anything as far as I am concerned - except maybe as a doorstop...)

What is different is the attitude - that is to say, YOUR attitude. How you blow, the style of the music, articulation, dynamics, etc. are all exaggerated somewhat with a jazz style.

If you are having trouble with squeaks, then a couple possibilities spring to mind - are you using the exact same reeds on the new mouthpiece(s)? Use brand new reeds, as ones that have been played on your current mouthpiece will probably not seal correctly. Also you may be using reeds that are too hard.

Weak notes also suggest reeds that are too hard.

Finally, there is one possible difference between your current "classical" piece and the pieces you mention (I'm assuming a Selmer piece for your current one) - the facing may be shorter. On a dry mouthpiece with a dry reed, slide a piece of thin paper between the reed and the mouthpiece (make sure the reed is on tight). Note where the paper stops. It's likely that the newer "jazz" pieces have a longer facing curve. This just means you should take in more mouthpiece. Place your teeth on the top of the piece where the paper stops, or maybe a little (like 1 mm) behind. That puts your lower lip at or just before the break point. This position will give you the clearest sound, and the most control.

Good luck, please let us know how you get on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
517 Posts
Don't get confused or discouraged. You are simply going through what many of us have gone through. We stuck with it through all the doubt and moments of needing more practice. Now most of us can play just about any mouthpiece. We sometimes play mouthpieces that look good on our horn or are popular choices. For many players good reed choices that match the mouthpiece makes for good saxophone playing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,166 Posts
First thing I would check is that the horn is in good maintenance. At this point when people ask me questions like this, my immediate response is, "let me try your sax real quick." It seems like the problem is a leaky horn more often than not, and my answer is of course, "take your sax to a tech, annually."

If the horn is good though, then just pick a quality mouthpiece (maybe something a player whose tone you like uses), break in some fresh reeds on it, and stick with it until you sound good.
For many players good reed choices that match the mouthpiece makes for good saxophone playing.
Then try other reeds to find what feels right, and then once you're used to that, practice your butt off for at least several months more before you try any other pieces.

When I was learning tenor, I started on an S80 E. A couple months later I picked up a Rovner Deep V 6 - for the few days it killed my chops to play for even 45 minutes, so I skipped a day. After that it took two more weeks to be able to control the intonation, then another three to get my tone decent, all with daily practice.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top