I've been playing saxophone for about 5 years. I'm in 11th grade now, but a couple things are bothering me to an extreme extent... The first problem is that my sound, itself, isn't where I feel it should be. It isn't full or big. Altissimo is also extremely hard for me to hit dispite my 5 years of playing (only notes I can hit are B-D). The second problem is that I recently have recieved the role of lead sax in Jazz band, but a common complaint from the director and the section is that I am hard to hear. My setup right now is a standard, school issued Andrean Eastman; a slemer s80 mouthpiece; and a Legere 2.5 reed. I've been trying to figure out what the problem is and I have concluded that it is probably my mouthpiece.I have played it for about 3 years now and I believe that I need to get a larger tip opening. In light of this I went to my local music store and tried a couple different mouthpieces with larger tip openings. However, when I tried (what I believed to be the jazz standard for tip openings) the 8 metal meyer, I almost couldn't get out a SINGLE NOTE. Then I tried a 6 and that was a LITTLE better. Then I tried different reed stregnths (2.5,2.25, and 3) and that just confused me more. Am I doing something wrong or do I need an upgrade? Can someone explain the correlation between reed stregnth and tip openings? Any recomendations?