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I played alto for 4 years in high school marching band and I thought for college I would play tenor for marching band. I've played tenor before. Not excessively but I definitely know my way around a tenor and sounded pretty good. I read up on the mouthpiece I got (Rico Metalite MKM 9) and I thought it was a good choice for the money. I can barely make a sound out of it unless I'm blasting and then I can't usually go below like an E or Eflat. I don't think it's my horn that's the problem either. I don't want my section to think I'm incompetent. Should I try another mouthpiece? If so, which one? Thanks!
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
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If you've played alto for 4 years, do you have a sense of whether you have the correct strength reed?

A trip to a horn tech is always a good idea. A leak light will give a quick indication of any leaks and an estimate of repairs is usually free.
 

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Ditch the Rico! Others will say otherwise, but considering you're getting the same thing from it I did on the short time I played a Tenor Metalite, I say ditch it! Don't know what your budget is, but anything from Aaron Drake is a great piece!

Also try Berg Larson and Jody Jazz.
 

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If you've played alto for 4 years, do you have a sense of whether you have the correct strength reed?

A trip to a horn tech is always a good idea. A leak light will give a quick indication of any leaks and an estimate of repairs is usually free.
Also great advice :)
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2007
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Get a M5. A M9 is a .115 tip opening. That's quite large when you are starting on tenor. M5 is .095 and corresponds to Otto Link 6*.
Jody Jazz is a good suggestion, as is Runyon Custom for less money. #8 is .094".
I am surpised at Nissan's recommendation of Berg Larsen. The general opinion here on SOTW is that the new ones suck.
 

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I have played tenor for over 50 years and the M5 is almost too open for me. First try a really sof reed, maybe even a 1 and a half and if that doesn't work, get another mouthpiece. I also have a B5 which is also a .095" tip. This should be good for Marching Band. Your M9 should be about a .115" tip as I recall and that is really open and will be hard to play softly or get a good response down low.
 

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Get a M5. A M9 is a .115 tip opening. That's quite large when you are starting on tenor. M5 is .095 and corresponds to Otto Link 6*.
Jody Jazz is a good suggestion, as is Runyon Custom for less money. #8 is .094".
I am surpised at Nissan's recommendation of Berg Larsen. The general opinion here on SOTW is that the new ones suck.
I have seen the bad Bergs (both Vintage and New), but in a general sense, they are no worse than a Link, and give the projection and edgier tone a Link can't offer (in it's stock form). The best Berg to purchase though, would from a refacer, such as Doc Tenney. Tenney Bergs are the Best Bergs I have ever played on, and since already worked over, no refacing needed (that goes for the Stainless vintage Bergs he used to do, as well as the Brass and Hard Rubber Bergs he still does).
 

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I have played tenor for over 50 years and the M5 is almost too open for me. First try a really sof reed, maybe even a 1 and a half and if that doesn't work, get another mouthpiece. I also have a B5 which is also a .095" tip. This should be good for Marching Band. Your M9 should be about a .115" tip as I recall and that is really open and will be hard to play softly or get a good response down low.
It has to stem from the way those Ricos are designed (their tables are fairly consistently flat &level). The one I played was an M7. It played easier than the RIA 6* metal I had (turns out that had a wonky table, that was hard to see with the naked eye!), but sounded thin and harsh, so i stuck with the RIA until recently switching to Drakes.

Now a Drake Studio is what I play on Tenor. It is a .110 Tip, and plays effortlessly at any volume, top to bottom! I also played (but didn't buy, cause I won't spend $850 on a mouthpiece!) a refaced Hollywood Dukoff (.127) that played just as easily! The reed used in both cases is a BARI Med.
 

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vintage bergs are a very good value ,compared to other vintage major names... a 95/1/M HR berg helped me very much with tone production when i was starting out
 

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Incompetent, no. Misinformed, YES.
Take the 9 back and trade it for a 6 or 7.
Better yet, take the horn and a tuner with you when you take the mouthpiece back. Have the tech run a light through it and then test play a few different pieces.
Get the one that plays the best for you AND the horn.
 
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