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I was wondering, are metal mouthpieces good for altos? I've heard different opinions, and I want to try one. Right now I'm using a Meyer 5M and I want a better sound...So, any advice? They don't necessarily have to be metal, but I'm just curious to your opinions on them.

I'm playing on a YAS-875EX and using Rico Jazz Select, if that helps.
 

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ab1990 said:
I was wondering, are metal mouthpieces good for altos? I've heard different opinions, and I want to try one. Right now I'm using a Meyer 5M and I want a better sound...So, any advice? They don't necessarily have to be metal, but I'm just curious to your opinions on them.

I'm playing on a YAS-875EX and using Rico Jazz Select, if that helps.
A better sound in which way? I don't see anything wrong with your current setup. Try other mouthpieces by all means but IMO it's a self defeating thing for us novices.

Even the "perfect" mouthpiece, is going to take weeks if not months, to adjust to and evaluate fairly. You've got to "get to know" the mouthpiece. What usually happens, is you try a new mouthpiece and sound different. That mouthpiece becomes the "perfect" mouthpiece, until such point as your ears become used to it and it no longer sounds different. At which point you become dissatisfied with your sound and the cycle repeats itself. You never really learnto play any of the pieces, because you're changing so often and you fall into the trap of believing that there's a mouthpiece out there somewhere, that will solve your problems for you.

Better, IMO, to find a good basic setup, (which you already have), and spend the time working on fundamentals and your ability to shape and control your sound. Then,you'll be in a far better position to evaluate other mouthpieces later, should you wish to. The biggest problem most of us have as novices, is trying to play pro setups way too soon. Being able to get a sound out of a wide open mouthpiece, and being able to play one, are two different things. The biggest improvment in my alto sound, came from going back to a Selmer soloist (fairly small opening), from a Jody Jazz (with quite a wide opening).
 

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Your 5M is a professional level mouthpiece. It's a very popular mouthpiece for alto in all styles: Phil Woods (jazz) to Mark Russo (Rock). You will not get a better sound out of another mouthpiece...only a different sound...and depending on your level, that may not even be the case.
 

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ab1990: I agree with the others and will add that I don't think the mouthpiece's material makes any difference in how you will play it or how your horn will sound. The differences will be because of the design of the mouthpiece, not the material from which it is made.

HOWEVER, I see no harm in trying various mouthpieces, regardless of the material or your playing experience. You may want to increase the Meyer's tip-opening (by buying a 6 or 7 - my favorite is the Meyer 6S-Medium Chamber, but that's me, not you); or change reed brands, cuts, and strengths; play with different ligatures, etc.

Lastly, reeds vary, even within the same brand, cut, and strength, so learn to adjust your reeds. Some little things can help a lot. DAVE
 
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