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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I have been playing alto for three years, a 1938 FX Huller. Been coming along ok doing some altissimo and playing at church and with a jazz quartet. I bought a Reference 54 tenor one month ago. I am playing an Otto Link 6* mouthpiece and using Vandoren 2 to 2.5 reeds. Sometimes using their red box jazz reeds strength 2.5. I love the new saxophone but I am having persistent problems with discomfort at the inner aspect of my lower lip. Admittedly, I did sign up for a solo at church with a young lady singing in a key that puts me right at the top of the instrument's register quite a bit, even using the cool F# key several times. I am just starting to wonder, am I pushing things a little too hard? Getting the notes is no problem but after about 40min the embrochure starts to go and I have to lay off. Thoughts?

Thanks,
Tim Henshaw
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Ok so I probably should have searched further. From checking up on several other posts, it looks like I am maybe just pushing the envelope with a new instrument too fast. The switch to tenor is taking longer than I expected but I picked the alto back up today and it seems that it will be pretty difficult to go back....
 

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Quick pointer! The alto embouchure is NOT the same as a tenor embouchure. You did not need to clamp down on the tenor mouthpiece as hard as on the alto. The tenor takes more air but it is much easier to "bite" on the mouthpiece too hard. Doing so will tire the lips and/or cause you pain on the lower lip as you "bite" on the reed. So, as you've discovered, it will be okay to slow down a tad. Play with a "loose" embouchure!

I use an Otto Link 6* STM with Rico Jazz Selects 2M or 2H or Rico Royals 2.5 or 3 reeds so the reeds you're using are probably not too hard for you given you already have the experience on alto!
 
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