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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, and thank you for taking the time to read this. I usually play concert alto, and I tend to use my Vandoren Optimum AL5 along with some V12’s and I’ve never had a problem. Up until recently, I haven’t had the need to get a jazz mouthpiece. Does anyone have any inexpensive recommendations for a jazz mouthpiece? If so, would my V12’s work well with it?
 

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Yes - welcome to SOTW. You probably STILL don't need a "jazz" mouthpiece. There is no such thing. Just change the way you play notes, and VOILA! - jazz.

If you want a new mouthpiece, well - that's your choice, but you will have to go out and find one (any one that you like, not us). DAVE
 

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Start playing jazz, and then determine if there's something you want (tone, projection, something else) that your current piece isn't letting you achieve.

I often play alto in a smaller group jazz setting using a Selmer Soloist C* mouthpiece, in other words, pretty much what almost everyone thinks of when they think "classical mouthpiece". I also use a Selmer S-80 mouthpiece to play jazz on bass saxophone. I also use a Selmer S80 C* mouthpiece to play jazz on soprano sax. I doubt very much whether, listening to a recording of what I do, you would confuse me with a "classical saxophone" player.
 

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Start playing jazz, and then determine if there's something you want (tone, projection, something else) that your current piece isn't letting you achieve.

I often play alto in a smaller group jazz setting using a Selmer Soloist C* mouthpiece, in other words, pretty much what almost everyone thinks of when they think "classical mouthpiece". I also use a Selmer S-80 mouthpiece to play jazz on bass saxophone. I also use a Selmer S80 C* mouthpiece to play jazz on soprano sax. I doubt very much whether, listening to a recording of what I do, you would confuse me with a "classical saxophone" player.
Yeah I’ve been playing jazz a lot lately, for about the past month or so. I find myself not being able to project, especially when I sit near the brass. Also, I’m looking for a warmer tone, but that’s just me nitpicking.
 

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Yes - welcome to SOTW. You probably STILL don't need a "jazz" mouthpiece. There is no such thing. Just change the way you play notes, and VOILA! - jazz.

If you want a new mouthpiece, well - that's your choice, but you will have to go out and find one (any one that you like, not us). DAVE
Although that is true, there’s things like a brighter tone and more projection that I can’t get out of my mouthpiece, and even trying a variety of reeds that I haven’t gotten.
 

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Although that is true, there’s things like a brighter tone and more projection that I can’t get out of my mouthpiece, and even trying a variety of reeds that I haven’t gotten.
Have you tried a different lig? Had a friend come over a few weeks ago to try some jazz pieces, same issues you mentioned....after trying about 8 pieces, he tried one of my ligs (1/4 in cable tie) on his piece and the tone brightened and projected....
 

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Although that is true, there’s things like a brighter tone and more projection that I can’t get out of my mouthpiece, and even trying a variety of reeds that I haven’t gotten.
actually it is not at all sure that a “ Jazz” mouthpiece would be necessarily projecting more or being brighter than an non “ jazz” mouthpiece. Many, in fact, try to play Jazz by playing "warm tone” (whatever that may mean for you or anyone else, we are all different) mouthpieces.

The same thing is true the saxophones. The Selmer saxophones were created for classical music by classical players and became famous to be the favorites of Jazz players, equally the Soloist mouthpieces which came with them, which were equally created to be classical pieces, became famous with Jazz players.


Anyway, ask 100 players and you will probably get 150 different suggestions for brands and types.

I have a great experience with Brancher mouthpieces, I use a J27 (obviously J stands for Jazz) but they have brighter variants too.

http://www.brancher-france.com/mouthpieces.html

The proof of this and many other puddings is in the eating.

Good Luck!

Thus is Joe Henderson playing Jazz on saxophone and mouthpoece which were developed for classical music by classical musicians.

 

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Discussion Starter #12
Although that is true, there’s things like a brighter tone and more projection that I can’t get out of my mouthpiece, and even trying a variety of reeds that I haven’t gotten.
Have you tried a different lig? Had a friend come over a few weeks ago to try some jazz pieces, same issues you mentioned....after trying about 8 pieces, he tried one of my ligs (1/4 in cable tie) on his piece and the tone brightened and projected....
I haven’t, not recently anyways. I find that a lot of the good ligatures are very expensive and probably the last thing I think about when it comes to my setup.
 

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Although that is true, there’s things like a brighter tone and more projection that I can’t get out of my mouthpiece, and even trying a variety of reeds that I haven’t gotten.
actually it is not at all sure that a “ Jazz” mouthpiece would be necessarily projecting more or being brighter than an non “ jazz” mouthpiece. Many, in fact, try to play Jazz by playing "warm tone” (whatever that may mean for you or anyone else, we are all different) mouthpieces.

The same thing is true the saxophones. The Selmer saxophones were created for classical music by classical players and became famous to be the favorites of Jazz players, equally the Soloist mouthpieces which came with them, which were equally created to be classical pieces, became famous with Jazz players.


Anyway, ask 100 players and you will probably get 150 different suggestions for brands and types.

I have a great experience with Brancher mouthpieces, I use a J27 (obviously J stands for Jazz) but they have brighter variants too.

http://www.brancher-france.com/mouthpieces.html

The proof of this and many other puddings is in the eating.

Good Luck!

Thus is Joe Henderson playing Jazz on saxophone and mouthpoece which were developed for classical music by classical musicians.

Thank you! I know that what I’m saying may not make much sense, especially since I can’t provide a description of what I think is a warmer tone, but this also helps making a decision regarding chamber size, tip opening and what differences it makes. I’m still new to the specifications of a mouthpiece.
 

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I seriously encourage to go to the best shop around and start trying mouthpieces.

You will discover that mouthpieces are only facilitators, they don’t make the sound, you do.


 

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I haven’t, not recently anyways. I find that a lot of the good ligatures are very expensive and probably the last thing I think about when it comes to my setup.
You can get a good ligature for $3, less if you make your own from a cable tie. What makes a ligature good is the way that it is a good fit for the mouthpiece, not what it comes.

It's worth trying different ones in case the problem is a bad fitting ligature, or a ligature that is wrong for your specific mouthpiece. However good or expensive, if it's not a perfect fit then it won't give you the optimal sound.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I seriously encourage to go to the best shop around and start trying mouthpieces.

You will discover that mouthpieces are only facilitators, they don';t make the sound, you do.


That is true, more often than not if you can get a good sound out of your horn with one mouthpiece you can with most of if not all mouthpieces.

And I’ll see what I can do about trying different mouthpieces at my local shop.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I haven’t, not recently anyways. I find that a lot of the good ligatures are very expensive and probably the last thing I think about when it comes to my setup.
You can get a good ligature for $3, less if you make your own from a cable tie. What makes a ligature good is the way that it is a good fit for the mouthpiece, not what it comes.

It's worth trying different ones in case the problem is a bad fitting ligature, or a ligature that is wrong for your specific mouthpiece. However good or expensive, if it's not a perfect fit then it won't give you the optimal sound.
If I’m not mistaken I’m using an Andoer artificial leather ligature, it isn’t the best but it gets the job done.
 

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Well, I would submit that a month "playing jazz" is barely a drop in the bucket and you need to spend more time developing the style, etc., before jumping into the equipment merry-go-round.

From textual evidence I am guessing you are a student, high school probably, and you're probably sitting in the high school big band for the first time. One salient feature of kid bands is that the brass and rhythm section will almost certainly be way too loud. Also, if you're sitting in a sax section you'll need to get a good handle on the role of your particular chair.

Just as one point of reference, I started out playing saxophone in the high school big band, on tenor. The tenor I bought had two MPs in the case: a Selmer C* and a Meyer 8. I stilll use those two today, 40 years later. As to ligatures, on tenor I still use the Rovner ligature I bought in 1978. So you do not need to get into a big search for "the most perfect" mouthpiece and ligature when you have been playing in the style and ensemble for a month.

Again, if you're playing 3rd sax (nowadays called "2nd alto") your job is to blend anyway. If you're playing lead, then you may want to get a piece with easier projection (I'd start with Meyer #6), but more important than that is to take the lead alto role and LEAD which is very different than the concert band "blend at all costs" mentality.

And finally, if you've been sitting in a concert band for a while, being told to play quieter for several years, you probably need most of all to free your airstream from concert band constraints and teach yourself how to blow through the thing, not at it.

I wish I could sit in the same room with you and show you how much sound and projection can be elicited from your current setup. (I bet you're playing a lot harder reeds than you need to, as well.)
 

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Hello, and thank you for taking the time to read this. I usually play concert alto, and I tend to use my Vandoren Optimum AL5 along with some V12’s and I’ve never had a problem. Up until recently, I haven’t had the need to get a jazz mouthpiece. Does anyone have any inexpensive recommendations for a jazz mouthpiece? If so, would my V12’s work well with it?
I would recommend trying the Vandoren V16 A5 .

It's more open than your AL5 Optimum, but it's the smallest tip opening of that model. You should be able to manage it.
Get some Vandoren V16 or ZZ reeds and that would be a good place to start. Not too expensive at all.
 

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... And finally, if you've been sitting in a concert band for a while, being told to play quieter for several years, you probably need most of all to free your airstream from concert band constraints and teach yourself how to blow through the thing, not at it.

I wish I could sit in the same room with you and show you how much sound and projection can be elicited from your current setup. (I bet you're playing a lot harder reeds than you need to, as well.)
Amen.
 
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