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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone !
I have 62 alto from Yamaha and a Selmer S80 C* using both rico 3,5 reserve and 3.5 vandoren traditional. When I blow up in my sax I think I have no volume in sound, specially on high D# and higher to F#, G and altissimo are great. Many people told me to choose a more open mouthpiece like a Selmer S80 C** or a A27 from Vandoren and softer reeds like 3 traditional.
What are your advices ??

P.S. sorry for my english :)

Distinguished SOTW Member
14,506 Posts
Pedro: I suspect it just may an undeveloped embouchure. I use a Selmer S-80 C* on my altos (with a synthetic Fibracell Premiere 1 1/2 reed, which for me was the key to success with this mouthpiece) and I get all the volume I want out of it. With cane reeds on that same mouthpiece, not so much.

But everyone is built differently and as a result, each person obtains different results from different equipment and instruments. As far as changing to a C**, that will not result in a significant tip-opening difference, in my opinion. There are mouthpiece charts on the Internet and if you look at one you can tell that the difference between a * and a ** is not that much. I don't know about the Vandoren line, but a place to start is to check it on the tip-opening charts to see how much different it may be from a C*. Of course, there are other factors that make some pieces play better for you than others, but that's up to you to find out - we sure can't tell you that.

Lastly, I am a soft-reed guy; maybe you could benefit from going down in strength - or switching brands and cuts. Reed experiments may be cheaper and easier than getting into the mouthpiece hunt. DAVE

Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2011
795 Posts
Try playing long tones with a tuner in front of you. Start each long tone at a medium soft volume, then crescendo to the point that the note starts to go flat. Work at keeping the pitch in place as you push your limits.

Keep in mind that the Selmer S80 is generally a classical mouthpiece and not designed for loud jazz or rock playing. You might try a Meyer #6 mouthpiece. Most folks can get all the volume they're looking for with this piece (unless you are playing in a loud rock band).

As far as reeds are concerned, I would not recommend going softer than a 3, especially if you've been playing for more than a year. With a reed that's too soft, you'll find it more difficult to keep the pitch stable.

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