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JOHNNY GRIFFIN LEGEND SERIES TENOR MOUTHPIECE - LJG

One of the all-time great tenor saxophonists, Johnny Griffin will go down in jazz history as a performer easily able to negotiate the tricky harmonic changes and swift tempos of modern music. Know as the '€œLittle Giant'€�, Griffin is also remembered as a player who could masterfully interpret tender ballads.

The Johnny Griffin Legend Series Mouthpiece is an exact reproduction of his original gold plated mouthpiece. Drake Mouthpieces has created this model through an innovative one piece casting method that is completely hand finished. This is unlike most production metal mouthpieces, which are CNC produced (made by machines). Although a very labor-intensive process, this was the only way to get the exact internal dimensions of Griffins original piece, and thus preserve the authentic experience for the performing artist. Each mouthpiece is finished in a deep rich 24 karat gold plating. As part of this unique process, pieces may have very subtle '€œinclusions'€�. This term refers to very small surface fluctuations that are sometimes visible but do not in any way affect the playability of the mouthpiece. These inclusions further contribute to the individuality of each piece.

The Johnny Griffin Legend Series Mouthpiece is the first metal tenor saxophone mouthpiece added to the series. Available tip openings include Griffin's original 6*(.100''), 7*(.105'') and 8*(.110'').
This sounds similar to the "lost-wax" castings like the old Norberto blanks or the recent Sakshama replicas. You gotta love the fact they're advertised as "exact replicas", but offered in different tip openings and with "inclusions" (whatever that is, I'm thinking it's a nice word for "imperfection") "contributing to the individuality of each piece".
 

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No, he played on several mpcs during his career. He also worked on his own mpcs, opening them up & opening up the chambers using DIY "Home Depot"-type, Black & Decker power tools.
 

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..... He also worked on his own mpcs, opening them up & opening up the chambers using DIY "Home Depot"-type, Black & Decker power tools.
Yeah, I remember reading that in a Saxophone Journal interview...:shock:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The guy from Drake's told me they got Griffin's mouthpieces: a Link 6* and 10*. I just find that strange, going such drastic differences in tip openings.
 

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If you will notice, none of the Drake mouthpiece ads says exactly what type of mouthpiece Johnnie Griffin played on...strange, very strange. But, I bet if I got one of those Drake Mouthpieces, I could play exactly like the Grif. Wrong. What are we a bunch of guitarists?, too lazy to practice? More money than brains? Instead of working on the instrument (studying), we just run out and buy new gear. If that doesn't work, hey, run out and buy the new Dexter Gordon mouthpiece.(there is no Gordon mpc).
Hey, here is an idea. Bird practiced 14 hours a day for years. Try that, and you won't need some copy of somebody's mouthpiece. Find your own voice...your own thing. Study all the masters, but don't copy them. There are plenty of cats in Los Angeles who can rattle off Parker stuff, and they ain't working. Art is not about copying the Mona Lisa.
 

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I have never played a Drake mouthpiece but everything I am reading here on SOTW says they are quality products. If a consumer chooses to pay a bit extra for one of these replica pieces that is not such a bad thing that the families of these deceased heroes get to share from the proceeds especially considering the sacrifices made by those close relatives in the past.
 

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I have read A LOT of advertisements about how great a mouthpiece plays. However the hype never lives up. The first 15 hard rubber mouthpieces I bought "ONLINE" ended up in the trash. Honestly. IN THE TRASH. There only a few metal mouthpieces that actually work up and down the horn. The rest you are just throwing your money away. If you think a copy of Grif's mpc. is somehow going to transform your playing...you are dreaming. Once the newness wears off,...i.e. "I just dropped $5 Bills on this this." once that wears off, and reality sets in, you will realize your money could of been spent somewhere else. Want to transform your playing...go buy 2 or 3 Grif CDs, and transcribe some solos.
It is not the LINK on your horn, but rather the LINK between your brain and your fingers. Think about it.
 

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I have read A LOT of advertisements about how great a mouthpiece plays. However the hype never lives up. The first 15 hard rubber mouthpieces I bought "ONLINE" ended up in the trash. Honestly. IN THE TRASH. There only a few metal mouthpieces that actually work up and down the horn. The rest you are just throwing your money away. If you think a copy of Grif's mpc. is somehow going to transform your playing...you are dreaming. Once the newness wears off,...i.e. "I just dropped $5 Bills on this this." once that wears off, and reality sets in, you will realize your money could of been spent somewhere else. Want to transform your playing...go buy 2 or 3 Grif CDs, and transcribe some solos.
It is not the LINK on your horn, but rather the LINK between your brain and your fingers. Think about it.
I think a lot of people on here actually know that but it's just fun talking about horns and mouthpieces. It's a distraction from the work of becoming a good player and even when I go to hear a top player, if I know him, we end up talking about horns and mouthpieces. Think about it.
 

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I have read A LOT of advertisements about how great a mouthpiece plays. However the hype never lives up. The first 15 hard rubber mouthpieces I bought "ONLINE" ended up in the trash. Honestly. IN THE TRASH. There only a few metal mouthpieces that actually work up and down the horn. The rest you are just throwing your money away. If you think a copy of Grif's mpc. is somehow going to transform your playing...you are dreaming. Once the newness wears off,...i.e. "I just dropped $5 Bills on this this." once that wears off, and reality sets in, you will realize your money could of been spent somewhere else. Want to transform your playing...go buy 2 or 3 Grif CDs, and transcribe some solos.
It is not the LINK on your horn, but rather the LINK between your brain and your fingers. Think about it.
Really? What metal mouthpieces are you playing that don't work up and down the horn?
 

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Having good equipment in the general ballpark of your desired tone does help.
+1. Absolutely agree. I (and most of us here, I assume) are pretty damn guilty of buying horns and 'pieces that our idols played, but in reality, that's about 10%.....if that......of the journey.

John
 

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+1. Absolutely agree. I (and most of us here, I assume) are pretty damn guilty of buying horns and 'pieces that our idols played, but in reality, that's about 10%.....if that......of the journey.

John
Most of us have our idols and want to sound like them. I myself was guilty too of trying to sound like Pres and needed to have the same kind
of Conn and Brilhart piece. And guess what. It worked. I agree for a great deal it is all in the head but if the set up is right and you
like your tone it seems a lot easier to come close to your goal. Maybe it is a vibe thing, I don't know. It is also a matter of trying to
think (not trying to drink like Pres) like the player you are aiming for.
For instance if I play a Link on my Buescher there is no way I get even close to that particular tone and resulting almost instantly in
a different playing style.
 

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Huh??? Griffin's Original 6*?????? So the 10* opening of lore is a figment of somebody's imagination?
Johnny Griffin played in his early years (40's and 50's) an Otto Link Tone Master and those didn't come in the bigger tips that became available in the 50's. A 6* tip was already very big for a Tone Master, normal sizes didn't exceed 5*. From the Florida Links onwards you could get up to 10* tips, or bigger via special orders (I own an original Florida USA 11*). Griff probably used a modified Tone Master with a bended or openend tip, just like more 'loud' players did in those old days (like Illinois Jacquet, check this). Around the early 60's he changed to a Florida Link size 10* (he got some of those pieces from Lockjaw), and later to a current STM size 10* (or bigger). Lots of stories can be found on internet, but as we all know it's difficult to prove what is correct and what not. So in that sence it's nice that the 'original' (some of the original, because Griff owned and played several mouthpieces during his long career) are found and can be measured by the specialists.

The guy from Drake's told me they got Griffin's mouthpieces: a Link 6* and 10*. I just find that strange, going such drastic differences in tip openings.
I think it's not that strange. Most of the old players made that change after bigger tip pieces became available in the 50's. The older Links had longer facings and smaller tips, but when played with a harder reed they can have about the same resistance as the more modern big tip pieces with a softer reed. I've read somewhere that Griff liked to play softer reeds on his big tip Links and it seems logical that he used harder reeds on his old Tone Master (on which he also sounded great and full). I recently compared (here) the sound of some old Links in small tips (4*, 5* and 6) using a hard reed against bigger tip Links (8* and 10*) using a medium reed and didn't found too much differences in sound and resistance.
 

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I have read A LOT of advertisements about how great a mouthpiece plays. However the hype never lives up. The first 15 hard rubber mouthpieces I bought "ONLINE" ended up in the trash. Honestly. IN THE TRASH. There only a few metal mouthpieces that actually work up and down the horn. The rest you are just throwing your money away. If you think a copy of Grif's mpc. is somehow going to transform your playing...you are dreaming. Once the newness wears off,...i.e. "I just dropped $5 Bills on this this." once that wears off, and reality sets in, you will realize your money could of been spent somewhere else. Want to transform your playing...go buy 2 or 3 Grif CDs, and transcribe some solos.
It is not the LINK on your horn, but rather the LINK between your brain and your fingers. Think about it.
Where is your trash bin!?!?
 

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Griff probably used a modified Tone Master with a bended or openend tip, just like more 'loud' players did in those old days
Loud has more to do with pushing air than tip openings. Reeds have a lot more to do with this than big tip openings. You can have the "best" 13* vintage Link in the world and if you have a crappy reed you are in trouble. I don't think players messed with their mouthpieces as much as we are led to believe by some on here.
 

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Loud has more to do with pushing air than tip openings. Reeds have a lot more to do with this than big tip openings. You can have the "best" 13* vintage Link in the world and if you have a crappy reed you are in trouble. I don't think players messed with their mouthpieces as much as we are led to believe by some on here.
Indeed air-stream and the quality of a reed have a very big impact on how loud you can become (like baffle shape and chamber size). In my experience (I have pieces ranging from tip 3* to 12) most (but not all!) of my big tip pieces are louder then the smaller ones when using the same air-stream and reed. When a reed performs bad on f.i. an 8* I can still get a better sound with it on a 10*.

Would be nice to know exactly what the old players did or did not with their pieces, but I'm afraid it will stay a mystery in most cases. But the picture of Illinois Jacquet I posted before proves at least that he was not blowing on a standard Tone Master. His old Tone Master 4 (which he swapped against a TM 6 with Dexter Gordon in the early 40's) seems to have an opened (bended) tip:

Human body Drinkware Jaw Gesture Finger
 
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