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Looking for a mouth piece upgrade. I have been playing Yamaha YTS-23 (Tenor) with Yamaha 4C for last couple of months. I use Vandoren Classic Reeds Strength 3.

My teacher suggested I should look for a better mouth piece for now and upgrade the saxophone few months down the line when I can differentiate between the sounds of saxophone better.

The instructor recommendation was Selmer s80 series c* but reading some of the review online it seems to be more inclined for classical players. My instructor is also primarily classical player. Although I like Jazz music more and plan to move towards Jazz music once I have built sufficient foundation. The Selmer is approx $200 and I am wondering if it a wise investment or should I look for something else.


Researched a little online and there are so many options and so much discussion that I am a little lost. One option will be try few at local store but I am not sure if I will be able to differentiate and pick a good one. I am planning to do an online trial program by ordering 3-4 mouthpieces.

Any recommendation/options will be appreciated. Even a list of few selective option will help trying out.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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My teacher suggested I should look for a better mouth piece for now and upgrade the saxophone few months down the line when I can differentiate between the sounds of saxophone better.
Good advice about the saxophone, I know a few pros who really like the YTS23, its needn't need upgrading. Ever. But especially not if you can't tell what you don't like about it.


One option will be try few at local store but I am not sure if I will be able to differentiate and pick a good one.
Again, this is a great reason to not buy a new mouthpiece. a 4C is very good. Having said that as it's tenor not alto it might be worth trying a 5C which any shop should have in stock.

Don't go chasing mouthpieces until you really can tell what is better and ideally why. But still there is no actual harm in trying some out, all good education - but don't buy before trying and take any reviews with a pinch of salt.
 

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You've been playing a few months and your teacher wants you to get out of the 4C already? A few questions I would have are:

How old are you?

Are you absolutely killing every assignment your teacher gives you and growing at a mad pace?

I ask because I've had beginning students on 4C mouthpieces for 2-3 years before we even talk about gear. It's so much more important to get a solid foundation on a simple setup before attempting to move up.
 

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I dont want to second guess your teacher, but make sure you play test a Selmer SA80 C* before buying one if you do go down that path. Its a common step up piece for Alto and sounds OK in a variety of musical environments on Alto (although not a jazz piece at all), but its less commonly seen on tenor, and c* is a pretty small tip opening compared to the 5 and 6 facings that seem to be the norm now (not that tip opening or reed strength on its own is any indicator of anything other than personal preference).

Based on my learning experience on Alto I had one briefly when I first got into tenor, but very quickly ditched it because I didnt want my tenor to sound like a bassoon and much prefered playing on a larger tip opening with a softer reed.

YMMV of course, but I would say that for the money there are lots of better tenor pieces out there (especially if you are leaning towards Jazz), and you can explore those once you have the basics down and know what you are looking for. There isnt anything intrinsically wrong with a 4C or 5C in any case, but if I had $200 to spend it wouldnt be on an SA80 C*, not for Tenor anyway.
 

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Not sure whether OP has been playing for a few months, or whether he has been playing in a 4C for a few months.

If the former, then my reaction is similar to Buddy's....why change from a 4C now ?

If the latter, I can understand more.

Some inexpensive options which are good, solid mouthpieces:

Yamaha 5C (as Pete mentions)

Brilhart Ebolin 3 or 4

George Bundy Signature 3

Bari Esprit

All of these are less than $50, except the Bundy which is around there...all are increasing the tip opening in the vicinity of .010...which is a manageable step but not too much of a leap for a young player...and all will produce a fuller tone than the 4C.
 

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I played on a Selmer S-80 C* when I started on tenor, and I personally preferred it to a Yamaha 4C. I tried other mouthpieces and kept coming back to the Selmer.
But it is a "classical-sounding" mouthpiece, and they are expensive when bought new.

I now have an old (1950's) Brilhart Ebolin which was cheaper than the Selmer and is a lot more versatile.
Another possibility would be a Rousseau NC4.

But you need to be happy with the mouthpiece, so you need to try before you buy. And if you like a mouthpiece from a shop, then make sure you come out with the one you have tried, not another that is already packed in a box, because it may not be the same - two supposedly identical mouthpieces from the same maker can be different.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Good advice about the saxophone, I know a few pros who really like the YTS23, its needn't need upgrading. Ever. But especially not if you can't tell what you don't like about it.




Again, this is a great reason to not buy a new mouthpiece. a 4C is very good. Having said that as it's tenor not alto it might be worth trying a 5C which any shop should have in stock.

Don't go chasing mouthpieces until you really can tell what is better and ideally why. But still there is no actual harm in trying some out, all good education - but don't buy before trying and take any reviews with a pinch of salt.

Makes a lot of sense.
I am 30 years old adult who just started learning saxophone.
My teacher said that 4C is not using all the air I am blowing. I also feel more comfortable going to 5C if that is the case and then later spending money on this when I know better.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You've been playing a few months and your teacher wants you to get out of the 4C already? A few questions I would have are:

How old are you?

Are you absolutely killing every assignment your teacher gives you and growing at a mad pace?

I ask because I've had beginning students on 4C mouthpieces for 2-3 years before we even talk about gear. It's so much more important to get a solid foundation on a simple setup before attempting to move up.
I am 30. I have been playing for last 3 months approx.
Saxophone is my first musical instrument.

I am not sure if i am blowing through all work. I am still on page 4 of Rubank Elementary Method.
The only chord which I am doing is C Major and lot of long tone practice.
 

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Like a few others suggested, try a 5C first.

And then, if you have unlimited funds, you can start experimenting with other mouthpieces but keep in mind, they replicate faster than hamsters once you get started.

Another thing is that it usually takes a bit of time to really appreciate any mouthpiece, so just going to a store and trying half a dozen for 3 minutes a pop may lead you down the wrong path.

Now, the big question is why your teacher even suggested to move on? Is it because you have exhausted the limitation of the 4C or simply because it was so chewed up that you need a new MPC anyway? Or maybe it is just dirty and he made a joke?
 

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Like a few others suggested, try a 5C first.

And then, if you have unlimited funds, you can start experimenting with other mouthpieces but keep in mind, they replicate faster than hamsters once you get started.

Another thing is that it usually takes a bit of time to really appreciate any mouthpiece, so just going to a store and trying half a dozen for 3 minutes a pop may lead you down the wrong path.

Now, the big question is why your teacher even suggested to move on? Is it because you have exhausted the limitation of the 4C or simply because it was so chewed up that you need a new MPC anyway? Or maybe it is just dirty and he made a joke?
According to my teacher since I am a 30 year old adult who is blowing lot of air (even though i cant blow it for a longer time. Doing the long tone practice) the 4C is not using all the air and I might sound better on other mouthpiece.
 

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According to my teacher since I am a 30 year old adult who is blowing lot of air (even though i cant blow it for a longer time. Doing the long tone practice) the 4C is not using all the air and I might sound better on other mouthpiece.
True, the 4C has a smaller tip opening and does not get as much air through it as a higher number. Here is a little bit of info you might find useful, just to see what it is all about and how the different manufacturers compare to each other - at least on paper: https://jodyjazz.com/facing-page/tenor-saxophone-mouthpiece-facing-chart/

But from your last post, it does sound that you might be best off with a 5C
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Like a few others suggested, try a 5C first.

And then, if you have unlimited funds, you can start experimenting with other mouthpieces but keep in mind, they replicate faster than hamsters once you get started.

Another thing is that it usually takes a bit of time to really appreciate any mouthpiece, so just going to a store and trying half a dozen for 3 minutes a pop may lead you down the wrong path.

Now, the big question is why your teacher even suggested to move on? Is it because you have exhausted the limitation of the 4C or simply because it was so chewed up that you need a new MPC anyway? Or maybe it is just dirty and he made a joke?
Thanks. I will try 5C first. My teacher mentioned I should look into rubber mouthpiece. Any economical beginner recommendations there?
 

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Rubber, plastic, metal, none of it makes a difference in how the mouthpiece plays. It's the dimensions of the mouthpiece that determine its sound, playability and response. Players often feel that hard rubber mouthpieces are better than plastic ones, because better mouthpieces are often made of that material - it's easier for a mouthpiece maker to work with rubber, except if the piece is completely made by machine. But for inexpensive mouthpieces, it really means nothing.

I recommend the Bari Esprit over the Yamaha 5c because it's more like a "standard" mouthpiece - round chamber, curved side walls - and will sound a little less "student-like", once you get used to it.

Also, it will be difficult for you to find a decent hard rubber mouthpiece for less than $150 or so, unless you buy a used piece.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Thanks. I will try 5C first. My teacher mentioned I should look into rubber mouthpiece.
Well the Yamaha 5CM is hard rubber, but I don't find them any different to the 5C, just more expensive. There are many many many (hard) rubber mouthpieces, so saying to look into them is not very precise advice.
 
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