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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys this is my first post so if I mess up please do understand I am just in need of some sort of guidance. :)


Okay so recently I received my D'addario Select Jazz LE Sandstone Marble mouthpiece with a tip-opening of d6m (Medium Chamber, tip-opening of 1.98 mm). It is a brilliant mouthpiece, however, I am not really used to this tip-opening and am having to blow quite a bit harder to produce some sound. The reason why I couldn't get a tip opening size lower was because the d5m (1.91mm) was not in stock anywhere I looked, plus guitar center had this piece 30 bucks off at the time. I currently play on D'addario Select Jazz 3s (filed) reeds and am wondering if lowering the reed strength to a 2.5 hard (filed) would make it easier to play.

I had previously been playing on a vintage hard rubber link (tone-edge) and it was great but it didn't have that great intonation and would sometimes let me down on tone (killer piece for its price though).

If any of you guys have suggestions on whether I should lower the reed strength or something please let me know!

Thanks
 

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I would try 2.5 medium instead of hard. There is only a miniscule difference between 3-soft and 2.5 hard. Filed or unfiled doesn't make much of a difference with these reeds, so go for unfiled if you can't find filed.

The other thing is to make sure that your reeds are balanced. Try doing the side-to-side tilt-the-mouthpiece test, and sand the side of the reed that is harder. You can just use the mouthpiece and neck for the test, tilt the mouthpiece about 30 degrees to one side (this jams one side of the reed into your lower lip, thus dampening it). Then play a nice mf note, maybe doing a slow diminuendo over 5-6 seconds. This just takes a few minutes to test and sand a reed, the result is a much better reed.
 

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Hey guys this is my first post so if I mess up please do understand I am just in need of some sort of guidance. :)


Okay so recently I received my D'addario Select Jazz LE Sandstone Marble mouthpiece with a tip-opening of d6m (Medium Chamber, tip-opening of 1.98 mm). It is a brilliant mouthpiece, however, I am not really used to this tip-opening and am having to blow quite a bit harder to produce some sound. The reason why I couldn't get a tip opening size lower was because the d5m (1.91mm) was not in stock anywhere I looked, plus guitar center had this piece 30 bucks off at the time. I currently play on D'addario Select Jazz 3s (filed) reeds and am wondering if lowering the reed strength to a 2.5 hard (filed) would make it easier to play.

I had previously been playing on a vintage hard rubber link (tone-edge) and it was great but it didn't have that great intonation and would sometimes let me down on tone (killer piece for its price though).

If any of you guys have suggestions on whether I should lower the reed strength or something please let me know!

Thanks
There's no reason why you shouldn't be able to play that piece. However, I don't think 1.91mm is the tip opening, I think that's the facing length although I may be wrong. I'm not that familiar with metric. Definitly get a softer reed. Phil Barone
 

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There's no reason why you shouldn't be able to play that piece. However, I don't think 1.91mm is the tip opening, I think that's the facing length although I may be wrong. I'm not that familiar with metric. Definitly get a softer reed. Phil Barone
According to D'Addario, 1.98mm (0.078") is the tip opening of the D6M, and 1.86mm (0.073"), not 1.91mm, is the tip opening of the D5M.

So, OP, the D5M actually has a smaller tip opening than you thought. Perhaps that's why the D6M seems even harder to blow than you expected by comparison?

Anyway, as you've already been advised, going down in reed strength should help. But if you really wanted the D5M, and expected that to be the best size for you, it would have been to your benefit to wait a little longer. You'll lose a lot more than $30 if you have to sell a used mouthpiece because it turned out to be the wrong size.
 

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I assume that this is an alto piece? The 1.98 mm tip converts to .078 inches. The 1.91 mm tip you mentioned converts to 0.075 inches. You do not mention the tip size of the tone edge you were playing, but since you mentioned 1.91 mm I will guess that this was the tone edge tip. The difference in tip openings you cite will not make a significant difference in how hard you have to blow. It seems like something else is going on here. You should try a softer reed for sure, but maybe you have an embouchure issue (especially if you could not get a good tone from the tone edge).
 

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According to D'Addario, 1.98mm (0.078") is the tip opening of the D6M, and 1.86mm (0.073"), not 1.91mm, is the tip opening of the D5M.

So, OP, the D5M actually has a smaller tip opening than you thought. Perhaps that's why the D6M seems even harder to blow than you expected by comparison?

Anyway, as you've already been advised, going down in reed strength should help. But if you really wanted the D5M, and expected that to be the best size for you, it would have been to your benefit to wait a little longer. You'll lose a lot more than $30 if you have to sell a used mouthpiece because it turned out to be the wrong size.
Okay, I stand corrected. There's no reason why anyone can't play a .078, it's not that open. Do you realize how small a difference there is between a .073 and a .078? .005 is nothing. People don't understand that reeds eclipse that tiny amount. If I showed you on my caliper what five thousandths looked like you'd wonder why they make mouthpieces in such small increments. It's just something mouthpiece makers started doing a long time ago and it comes from making clarinet mouthpieces where .005 does matter since the reeds are smaller. .005 would make a difference on soprano too. Just put a softer reed on it and take a little more mouthpiece in your mouth and do the exercises on my blog and you'll be fine. But I got to tell you, you could get a better mouthpiece, they're not that good. Phil Barone
 

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Welcome to SOTW. . . . and, you may want to try more than one reed. I've had mouthpieces seem unplayable, only to select another reed and suddenly the piece plays - and well. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you, everyone, for your input!
It has been quite a while since I had posted this and I have actually started playing the D'addario Select Jazz 2h from the 3s and they play very well with this mouthpiece to achieve the bright and edgey tone I have been looking for!
Once again thanks for helping me out!
 
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