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Hi guys. Hope everyone is staying safe and keeping up their motivation to practice.

I have a questions about how far to put he mouthpiece in on the cork.
On alto, I feel very confident as a developing player. I have one of the best playing Mark VI altos you will ever find 67XXX and a very nice Meyer limited edition NY 6. I can only wait to get a vintage NY or Meyer bros, too. Anyway, I usually like my sound very much and get plenty of compliments. I shove the mouthpiece in as far as it will go and have worked on developing a loose embochure to play in tune.

On tenor I'm not sure if this is the way to go or not. I haver heard some people use the same strategy of pushing the cork in all the way on tenor,too. But is seems to be less prevalent of an idea. I noticed Melissa Aldana has her mouthpiece almost falling off the cork. Does anyone know what is the behind this thinking? Also more generally is there a consensus on mouthpiece placement on tenor. If we can use Selmers as a baseline that would be cool.
 

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I noticed Melissa Aldana has her mouthpiece almost falling off the cork.
So did Joe Henderson, Dexter, Lloyd and many others to a degree. Besides there is no standard for cork length on the neck, so seeing the amount of cork showing outside the mouthpiece is not an indication of the amount that is under it. Everybody is different.

https://images.app.goo.gl/VEiLR4PHGYDiYhqh8
 

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"As far as it will go" can mean different things. When I install saxophone corks I try to make them perfectly cylindrical on the neck sanding more at the back than the front to compensate for the neck's taper. This allows the mouthpiece to go all the way to the end of the cork or beyond (depending upon the inner dimensions of the mouthpiece) if necessary which it rarely is. It makes perfect sense when playing on a lower mouthpiece input pitch to push the mouthpiece farther onto the cork to compensate. What I believe is important though is that the played pitch on the mouthpiece and neck remain the same regardless.

Benade makes the case that in order for the saxophone to play properly the mouthpiece plus neck must be arranged to imitate the acoustical properties of the missing part of the cone. In order to do this it's volume must closely match the calculated volume of the missing part of the cone, and the played frequency of the mouthpiece plus neck must match the calculated natural resonant frequency of a cone with the same length. In the case of an alto sax, regardless of the tightness of the embouchure and the placement of the mouthpiece on the cork the played pitch of the mouthpiece plus neck should be a close match to Ab concert, and on tenor an E concert.
 

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Use the search function - this has been discussed to death.

Or

Put the mouthpiece at the place where your horn plays in tune.
Then, if you want less cork showing, trim the cork. If you want more cork showing, add cork.
 
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If you push the mouthpiece in as far as it will go, what are you going to do when you need to play sharper? This shows a misunderstanding of the function of the sliding neck cork joint and playing in tune.

You need a stable embouchure so if you put the MP on the neck to the same place, you'll play at the same pitch (allowing for temperature vagaries). Then if an ensemble requires you to play sharper, you push in, if flatter you pull out and you use the same stable embouchure. If you try to adjust your general pitch using embouchure you'll be all over the place.

When you see people talking about "adjusting one's input pitch" - a phrase I use - what that means is making a long term permanent alteration to the embouchure so that (for example) six months from now you're pushing the MP on further when playing in tune than you are now. I myself have done this, though not particularly intentionally; on baritone, my primary horn, I'm probably pushing in 1/2" further than I did five years ago. But that in-tune position is the same from day to day (assuming constant temperature).

My personal feeling is that for most people playing with a lower pitch embouchure and voicing is beneficial compared to a higher one. But if you are just starting to play tenor, you need to get a stable embouchure first. I would consider the "mouthpiece-alone" pitch exercises that are often recommended, keeping in mind that the results are somewhat dependent on the physical length of the mouthpiece.
 

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Put the mouthpiece at the place where your horn plays in tune.
+1. End of story! As part of placing the mpc where it plays in tune, you can adjust it in or out slightly if playing in hot weather or cold weather. The horn will go sharp in hot weather (pull out to bring it back in tune) and it will go flat in cold weather (push the mpc in a bit). Once you get the mpc in place, the rest is up to you. That's it.

(I wonder how long this thread will go on; it could have ended right there with Mark's response)
 

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I have a questions about how far to put he mouthpiece in on the cork.
On alto ... I shove the mouthpiece in as far as it will go and have worked on developing a loose embochure to play in tune.

On tenor I'm not sure if this is the way to go or not. I haver heard some people use the same strategy of pushing the cork in all the way on tenor,too.
As the previous replies have indicated, you should not think of mouthpiece placement as a "strategy" at all. Don't choose a location on the cork and then form your embouchure accordingly. Instead, use a correct embouchure (neither too tight nor too loose) and then position the mouthpiece so that the saxophone plays in tune. Where did you get the idea that anything goes?

It is true that some saxophones require the mouthpiece to be pushed virtually all the way in to play in tune and gurgle-free with a normal embouchure, e.g., the Selmer Series III soprano and alto, and some other sopranos. But this position should not become the default for other horns.
 

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+1. End of story! As part of placing the mpc where it plays in tune, you can adjust it in or out slightly if playing in hot weather or cold weather. The horn will go sharp in hot weather (pull out to bring it back in tune) and it will go flat in cold weather (push the mpc in a bit). Once you get the mpc in place, the rest is up to you. That's it.

(I wonder how long this thread will go on; it could have ended right there with Mark's response)
Yep.....
 

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I've discovered, through reading Steve Duke's article on mouthpiece placement, tuning, and tone, a method for finding close to ideal placement of the mouthpiece on the cork.

1. Play low 'b' fingering and overblow to the 2nd harmonic 'b'
2. play xoo|000 'b'
3. tune 1. to 2.
4. check both with tuner.

That procedure makes my horn play the best in tune with itself. It's much further on the cork than I used to be. Also, if the band is tuned to A=440,Hz. I rarely have to change anything.
 

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I've discovered, through reading Steve Duke's article on mouthpiece placement, tuning, and tone, a method for finding close to ideal placement of the mouthpiece on the cork.

1. Play low 'b' fingering and overblow to the 2nd harmonic 'b'
2. play xoo|000 'b'
3. tune 1. to 2.
4. check both with tuner.

That procedure makes my horn play the best in tune with itself. It's much further on the cork than I used to be. Also, if the band is tuned to A=440,Hz. I rarely have to change anything.
That's what I do on tenor as well. On alto I finger low B and overblow to the second harmonic F# and compare that pitch to the regular F# fingering played both with and without the octave key. It seems to work because both tune to A concert.
 

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That's what I do on tenor as well. On alto I finger low B and overblow to the second harmonic F# and compare that pitch to the regular F# fingering played both with and without the octave key. It seems to work because both tune to A concert.
Yes. Except my pedantic self has to say it's the third harmonic, but the second overtone.
 

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Yes. Except my pedantic self has to say it's the third harmonic, but the second overtone.
Duh! I knew that. Must have been a "senior moment"---been having a lot of those lately. :)
 

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I've discovered, through reading Steve Duke's article on mouthpiece placement, tuning, and tone, a method for finding close to ideal placement of the mouthpiece on the cork.

1. Play low 'b' fingering and overblow to the 2nd harmonic 'b'
2. play xoo|000 'b'
3. tune 1. to 2.
4. check both with tuner.

That procedure makes my horn play the best in tune with itself. It's much further on the cork than I used to be. Also, if the band is tuned to A=440,Hz. I rarely have to change anything.
^^^ THIS^^^

Adjust your horn so it plays in tune with itself --or very close-- and everything else will fall into place much more easily.
 

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The mouthpiece goes on the cork where your horn is on best tune - thats all.

Tuning varies by temperature, so it may vary 1/4 inch between 80 and 40 deg.

Some horns like the 10 M tenor, tune towards the tip. some almost off the cork on the in side( many Asian Sopranos).

Tuning is the Only issue.
 

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The Steve Duke article has been grossly abbreviated here and I suggest you print it off the internet. It is easy to find, and I found it the final word on this topic. As far as your practice of shoving the mouthpiece to the end of the cork, that suggests that either you have a preternaturally low natural pitch center or you are tuning sharp and playing flat. That will produce a fatter tone but intonation can be a tightrope walk. Personally, I tune slightly sharp and bring pitch in tune with my throat and not by relaxing my embouchure. I have long suspected that Phil Woods tuned slightly sharp based on hours of listening.
 
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