Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, while I'm not precisely a beginner, I've never had the cash or time to do more than keep my tenor in reasonable playing condition. However, a trombonist just sat on my ligature, and my bandmates' horror at an entirely functional rubber-band replacement (Them: "You'll tarnish the silver plate!" Me: "... the what now?") convinced me to do some research. I've always had the same set up: a hand-me-down Jupiter 787 & a metal mouthpiece with "Dukoff L 5" marked on it. Despite only being 30 I've got bad teeth & the start of some arthritis in my jaw, so I've gone from harder reeds to 2 1/2 (usually Rico Royal).

I have no idea what this means relative to other horns/mouthpieces in terms of sound, ease of playing, anything. I've mostly played solo jazz standards on street corners, and it's always seemed to work well enough for that. Lately, though, I've had the chance for a lot more fun stuff: a bossa/Latin combo, some big band, pit orchestra for musical theater, and I'm even starting to think about my dream funk outfit (I caught Tower of Power a week ago & I'm still coming down). So, someone help me out here:

- Would a different mouthpiece be worth trying for one or more of these types of music? Anything I should know about mine?
- Recommendations for replacing my squashed lig?
- I'm not in the market for a new horn right now, but should I be thinking about it?
- Anything else equipment-wise I ought to know as a formerly down-and-out busker starting to play with people who went to school for this stuff?
Thanks!
 

·
Moderator
Grafton + TH & C alto || Naked Lady 10M || TT soprano || Martin Comm III
Joined
·
30,100 Posts
A rubber band can work very well as a lig, but yes - would probably cause tarnish in the silver plate sooner that something non-rubber, but you can always polish silver plate. Except if it's on there for years it will eventually possibly cause the silver plate to lose its integrity.

A Rovner will be fine, or any ligature that fits well. (I don't believe specific ligatures have any kind of sound difference, as long as they are a good fit. No need to pay for fancy stuff at all. Your rubber band or a piece off string is just as good)

I don't see any problem with trying different mouthpieces, but if you need to ask, then there is an implication you don't (yet) have the confidence to make your own decisions. The problem with that is you'll get loads of different subjective opinions that work for other people, but still no definitive answer as to what will be best for you.

So lots of blokes giving opinions on the internet can be confusing. (Including mine)

Best to (a) have a good teacher help you as they can see/hear you play in context and (b) try stuff out yourself. It's really the only way to go, ignore "reviews."
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
14,432 Posts
I'd think that rubber "O" rings from a hardware supply shop would be better than rubber bands, mainly because you probably have to wrap rubber bands many times to achieve some tightness whereas O-rings can be purchased that fit the reed/mouthpiece circumference tightly enough to work but not so they are a pain to remove and re-apply, as necessary.

I agree with Pete - try away with mouthpieces and horns . . . we've all done it (well, MOST of us) and there is no harm in spending money as long as you can afford it. That is really the only way you will ever satisfy your curiosity about such things.

I'm not one to spend a lot of money on ligatures - they all are ABOUT the same, assuming the fit your set-up. You can find a Rovner to fit most anything. Vandoren's Optimum ligature is decent as are the many one and two-screww metal ligatures.

I think that once you find a mouthpiece that gives you good control, response, and tone, you can use it for any kind of music you want to play. I don't think there is such a thing as a "jazz" mouthpiece or whatever type of music one pushes through his horn. Good tone and control is desirable in all styles of music. DAVE
 

·
Registered
Tenor, alto, Bb Clarinet, Flute
Joined
·
2,470 Posts
Why not go the simple route and pick up a plain vanilla 2 screw metal ligature at your local music shop? I looked around and you can get one for about $3.68. Gold or silver color, your choice. I'll guarantee you it'll last a lot longer than string or rubber bands. And while you're at the music store play a few saxes and different mouthpieces and see what you think.

As for getting a new horn and/or mouthpiece only you can answer that. It seems like your music starting to pay off maybe it's time to reward yourself for all your hard work.

Wood Beige Adhesive Jewellery Pet supply
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,575 Posts
You're facing a bit of a Catch-22: It's difficult to make good choices about equipment changes without personal experience using different gear, but it's hard to obtain personal experience using different gear without making a choice to change your equipment. But as others here have suggested, some modest experimentation won't hurt, and could be fun. Try to buy used items to keep costs under control. If you buy new, look for sellers that will allow returns after a short trial period. Resell anything you try that doesn't work for you.

I'd start by exploring some different mouthpieces, both hard rubber and metal. I don't think you should simultaneously experiment with mouthpieces and saxophones. Keep your Jupiter for the time being.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,913 Posts
So, while I'm not precisely a beginner, I've never had the cash or time to do more than keep my tenor in reasonable playing condition. However, a trombonist just sat on my ligature, and my bandmates' horror at an entirely functional rubber-band replacement (Them: "You'll tarnish the silver plate!" Me: "... the what now?") convinced me to do some research. I've always had the same set up: a hand-me-down Jupiter 787 & a metal mouthpiece with "Dukoff L 5" marked on it. Despite only being 30 I've got bad teeth & the start of some arthritis in my jaw, so I've gone from harder reeds to 2 1/2 (usually Rico Royal).

I have no idea what this means relative to other horns/mouthpieces in terms of sound, ease of playing, anything. I've mostly played solo jazz standards on street corners, and it's always seemed to work well enough for that. Lately, though, I've had the chance for a lot more fun stuff: a bossa/Latin combo, some big band, pit orchestra for musical theater, and I'm even starting to think about my dream funk outfit (I caught Tower of Power a week ago & I'm still coming down). So, someone help me out here:

- Would a different mouthpiece be worth trying for one or more of these types of music? Anything I should know about mine?
- Recommendations for replacing my squashed lig?
- I'm not in the market for a new horn right now, but should I be thinking about it?
- Anything else equipment-wise I ought to know as a formerly down-and-out busker starting to play with people who went to school for this stuff?
Thanks!
You can probably fix the bent ligature by manipulating it with your hands until it's big enough to force over the mouthpiece and reshape it. Put it on the tip end sideways and at the same time turn it while pushing it onto the wider part of the mouthpiece. Then put a reed on it with the screws all the way open and tighten it down until you can't tighten it anymore. I don't think you're going to find a ligature for that mouthpiece in a store, lookup Dukoff on the net and get one from them.

A Dukoff mouthpiece is pretty extreme and is usually only used for pop, R & B, smooth jazz and rock settings and is not a very versatile mouthpiece. However, that doesn't mean that you can't make it sound appropriate for other types of music. The sax is a very flexible instrument and there's a lot of room for compensation and by manipulating your body and by changing your air stream you can compensate for the mouthpiece. I'm at the point that I can play just about any mouthpiece and sound the same with very minor differences, it boils down to preference and what's comfortable. Good luck! Phil Barone
 

·
Forum Contributor 2012-2015
Joined
·
1,325 Posts
You can probably fix the bent ligature by manipulating it with your hands until it's big enough to force over the mouthpiece and reshape it. Put it on the tip end sideways and at the same time turn it while pushing it onto the wider part of the mouthpiece. Then put a reed on it with the screws all the way open and tighten it down until you can't tighten it anymore. I don't think you're going to find a ligature for that mouthpiece in a store, lookup Dukoff on the net and get one from them.

A Dukoff mouthpiece is pretty extreme and is usually only used for pop, R & B, smooth jazz and rock settings and is not a very versatile mouthpiece. However, that doesn't mean that you can't make it sound appropriate for other types of music. The sax is a very flexible instrument and there's a lot of room for compensation and by manipulating your body and by changing your air stream you can compensate for the mouthpiece. I'm at the point that I can play just about any mouthpiece and sound the same with very minor differences, it boils down to preference and what's comfortable. Good luck! Phil Barone
He does say that his Dukoff is an L5. Would that not be a large chamber, lowish baffle and much more versatile than the 'D' model?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Why not go the simple route and pick up a plain vanilla 2 screw metal ligature at your local music shop? I looked around and you can get one for about $3.68. Gold or silver color, your choice. I'll guarantee you it'll last a lot longer than string or rubber bands. And while you're at the music store play a few saxes and different mouthpieces and see what you think.
View attachment 215654
Tried this first, but they don't fit my mouthpiece at all, unfortunately - I think they're meant for the much bulkier plastic Yamaha mouthpieces that are all my local store carries. I'm going to have to either make something, buy online, or wait until I can get to a city with a woodwind-focused store.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You can probably fix the bent ligature by manipulating it with your hands until it's big enough to force over the mouthpiece and reshape it. Put it on the tip end sideways and at the same time turn it while pushing it onto the wider part of the mouthpiece. Then put a reed on it with the screws all the way open and tighten it down until you can't tighten it anymore. I don't think you're going to find a ligature for that mouthpiece in a store, lookup Dukoff on the net and get one from them.

A Dukoff mouthpiece is pretty extreme and is usually only used for pop, R & B, smooth jazz and rock settings and is not a very versatile mouthpiece. However, that doesn't mean that you can't make it sound appropriate for other types of music. The sax is a very flexible instrument and there's a lot of room for compensation and by manipulating your body and by changing your air stream you can compensate for the mouthpiece. I'm at the point that I can play just about any mouthpiece and sound the same with very minor differences, it boils down to preference and what's comfortable. Good luck! Phil Barone
Thanks! This is exactly the info I was looking for - I had the vague sense it wasn't considered a real generalist/versatile mouthpiece; both it and my horn were originally a loan for a specific gig (classic rock) & ended up being a gift. I've definitely been able to play a wide range of music with it on my own, but one thing I'm wondering is if a different mouthpiece might make fitting into the dynamics of, say, a big band horn section easier.

The reason I even asked about the ligature is that, as someone suggested above, I initially grabbed a standard cheapo one out of a bin at the music store, and it was both too big and the wrong shape (circular cross section rather than kind of an elongated D), and the guy at the woodwind counter was a little mystified ("I just know about the Yamaha products we sell, sorry" :-( ). It's beyond bending back, unfortunately - I got it more-or-less back on but was having some ungodly squeaks & figured out that it wasn't able to create equal pressure on either edge of the reed, and the metal just gave out as soon as I touched it with jeweler's pliers. Dukoff's website doesn't list the metal kind I have, but I'll do a little more digging. Thanks again!
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top