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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys can anyone enlighten me about the size a mouthpiece may has and it's effect on the sound??? I got this link from a previous thread about the subject which helped but just not enough...
Can you explain what exactly "facing" means?
Thanks for the help
 

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Hi Jimi,

The link you've got there is to a mouthpiece facing chart. That shows you all of the sizes that some mouthpieces come in, but doesn't explain what the mouthpiece facing is, why there are differing sizes or how to choose one for yourself. Personally I prefer Jody Jazz's charts as they're more comprehensive: Tenor chart and Alto chart.

This web page by Pete Thomas gives a very good basic explanation of the different parts of a mouthpiece. Pete uses the expression tip opening and this means the same as facing size. (To be precise, the term facing includes the length of the face, its curvature and the size of the tip opening).

Generally speaking, smaller tip openings are easier for beginners to play but give less volume and tonal flexibility, whereas large tip openings are harder to play but give more volume and tonal flexibilty.

I hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey let me ask one more thing
What is your suggestion for a beginner to intermediate player? (that means that i am a beginner but i want to keep that mpc for some time!!)
 

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JimiDS said:
Hey let me ask one more thing
What is your suggestion for a beginner to intermediate player? (that means that i am a beginner but i want to keep that mpc for some time!!)
I'd like to jump in on this.

The perfect beginner thru advanced piece is definately the Selmer S80 C*. And for the more advanced and pro, the S80 still works good in a larger tip size. It's just a great basic high quality mouthpiece.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah i was going about the particular Selmer but what about the I-ve-heard-so-much-about-it Selmer C** and the famous Otto Link 6-6* What you guys think about those models?
 

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Which mouthpiece?

When you choose a mouthpiece I guess you need to consider a number of things:

What is my total budget?
What type of core tone do I want?
How much flexibility of tone do I need?
Does it come with a ligature (or do I already have a ligature that will fit) or do I need to budget for a new ligature as well?

Once you've answered those questions you can do a bit of research to narrow down the choice to say 3 or 4 likely mouthpiece models. Then you need to find out which one you're going to buy and of course the best way is to test drive them - preferably at home over several days if not weeks and keep the one that gives you the most ticks in the above boxes.

Which tip opening?

Take a look at those Jody Jazz charts and you'll see there're colour bands to indicate typical beginner, intermediate and advanced players' tip opening choices but this is a guide only and it is down to your own individual embouchure. (Also note that it varies for the different saxes - alto, tenor, soprano, etc).

So there's no correct answer to your question because there're just too many variables - what pitch sax you have, how much money you want to spend, what type of tone you like and how strong your embouchure is are probably the key questions to ask yourself.

It might well be worth asking the advice of your teacher or an advanced player who knows what level you're at.

If you post a "what mouthpiece should I upgrade to?" thread stating what sax and mouthpiece you currently have, how long you've been playing for and the type of tone you want, type of music you play and budget you have then you'll probably get some great ideas from people a lot more experienced than me! This might help you to narrow down your choices to those 3 or 4 likely candidates to go and try out! :)
 

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The C** is just a little bit bigger tip than the C* in the Selmer size system. The C* is the standard size, but much larger tips are available.

Links are great, but it can be difficult to find a "good" one due to weak manufactoring standards. Links can also be difficult for beginning players. I currently play a metal Link STM Florida from the 1950's that's been refaced by Ed Zentera. The tip size is around a 7* (.105). My son is a great player at fourteen, but he just can't handle my Link yet. But one day when his chops are ready he will be.
 

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Enviroguy said:
I currently play a metal Link STM Florida from the 1950's that's been refaced by Ed Zentera. The tip size is around a 7* (.105)
But enviroguy's been playing since he was a teenager and he has teenagers himself now - this would be way overkill for a beginner (Jim, that's like buying yourself a '54 Les Paul with soap bars and running it through a Mesa Boogie triple rectifier, OK? ;) ). When I started out I made the mistake of shelling out a lot of cash for fancy mouthpieces in large tip openings that I couldn't play! :)
 

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For beginners on Tenor I usually recommend a Selmer D and on Bari a Selmer E.
If the player has a jazz sound specifically in mind and wants to try Links I would suggest a 5* or maybe a 6. (whichever is more comfortable for the student.)
 

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Yep... It took me a long time to become comfortable with Links when I started playing them. And at that point, I had already been playing for many many years.

The Selmer S80 is definately a good way to go. I started my son on one.
 

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FWIW, and just to confuse the issue ;) , the S80 didn't suit me at all, but a Vandoren V5 A25, with about the same tip size, IIRC, was really good for me as a beginner, and has been for its new owner.

I might just have had a duff S80...I'm told they are a bit more variable than Vandorens.
If possible, as always, try before you buy!

And I started on very soft reeds (1.5 to 2).... I am still only able to manage a Jazz Select 2S, but my JJDV 6 has a slightly larger tip opening than the S80/A25.
 

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My first decent mouthpiece was a HR link 5*. My parents purchased it on the recommendation of my tech and he didn't tell me anything about it except that it would improve my sound. I put it on and away I went. Played on it for years. In fact I've been thinking of returning to it. With about a 3-3 1/2 reed it was great and as expressive as anything else. Resist the urge to go too big on the tip. It is not necessary IMO and can be tiring. Moderate setups are the most flexible. Runyon custom would be a good choice also 6-7 tip. I assumed this is for tenor?
 

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If I remember correctly, JimiD has literally only just started on the sax in the last wek or two and is yet to even take any lessons which he's planning to start in a week or so. If this is the case then I think the best advice is to hang on with whatever you got until you see your teacher because he might be able to advise you. In any case, wait six months before buying anything decent because in the first 6 months of playing sax your embouchure will change so much that whatever you buy now you'll need to upgrade anyway. If you really must buy something now then stick to something cheaper and mainstream like a Yamaha or Selmer student piece in definitely no more than a .080 for tenor and preferably even smaller than that and worry about "the right mouthpiece" further down the line once you've worked on your embouchure a little. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well as Rick recalls no I haven't started any lesson YET but I really need a mouthpiece 'cause the one that was in the case (unknown brand but I assume it is an Amati with tip opening size 5) S-U-C-K-S!!! I have also changed the reed (which was in the case too and that's the thinnest thing i've ever seen!) with a Vandoren 1 1/2 and suddenly my whole sound changed (i don't play songs or even scales YET but the sound is complete and solid) so I got the point...

If the sound changes that much on changing the reed
how will it change with a new mouthpiece?

That's the reason I want a new mpc and want your opinion. However I imagine that correcting the embouchure will require sth even better but how will I be able to correct my embouchure with the mpc that was just "dropped" inside the case that i was given when I boought my horn???
 

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Rick Adams said:
If I remember correctly, JimiD has literally only just started on the sax in the last wek or two and is yet to even take any lessons which he's planning to start in a week or so. If this is the case then I think the best advice is to hang on with whatever you got until you see your teacher because he might be able to advise you. In any case, wait six months before buying anything decent because in the first 6 months of playing sax your embouchure will change so much that whatever you buy now you'll need to upgrade anyway. If you really must buy something now then stick to something cheaper and mainstream like a Yamaha or Selmer student piece in definitely no more than a .080 for tenor and preferably even smaller than that and worry about "the right mouthpiece" further down the line once you've worked on your embouchure a little. :)
Didn't realize this. By all means wait until you have settled in with your teacher and established a direction that you are going then let him help you with recommendations.
 

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JimiDS said:
...how will I be able to correct my embouchure with the mpc that was just "dropped" inside the case that i was given when I boought my horn???
I still think Step 1 is get a teacher and Step 2 is get a new mouthpiece, but like I said if you really do need to buy something right this instant because the piece you have is unplayable or because you really, really cannot wait then just get a cheap Yamaha or Selmer student mouthpiece in a beginner size and then take a view in 6 months because at first it won't make much difference because inevitably you'll sound rough on anything in the first couple of months and by 6 months whatever you buy now you'll want something different anyway - guaranteed! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Rick Adams said:
...at first it won't make much difference because inevitably you'll sound rough on anything in the first couple of months and by 6 months whatever you buy now you'll want something different anyway - guaranteed! :)
I believe you on that one :) and what i am going to do is get a suggestion/advice from my tutor and then buy sth "beginnerish" for now (sth like Selmer C*-C**, really which is better for a beginner?) and see it from the, at least, more experienced view when 2008 comes by! I think i know what i want Santa to bring this year:D
 

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JimiDS said:
...Selmer C*-C**, really which is better for a beginner?
Each player needs to choose the right tip opening for their own personal embouchure. Is there any way you can try both and then decide? Some shops are happy to send stuff mail order on a keep-or-return basis so long as you use a mouthpiece patch and take care of it. Otherwise the C* is the safer bet I think, but if you can hang on until you get your first lesson then your teacher can advise you and might even have a mouthpiece or two that you can borrow (that's what happened with me).

Anyway, have fun with your playing, that's the main thing! :)
 
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