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Discussion Starter #1
Perhaps you can help give me a mouthpiece primer and help me pick something to try. Thanks in advance for all replies.

First, about me. I'm 53. Played a lot as a kid and was a very good player into college. Stopped playing at 21 and picked it up again 2 years ago.

I play funk, rock, blues, soul in an 11 piece band. Do a fair amount of soloing.

Just had some extra cash and on a splurge bought a new Keilwerth SX90 tenor. It should arrive mid week. Have been playing a '51 Martin Committee. [Will sell one.]

Studied with Wolfe Taninbaum as a youngster and he sold me his metal mouthpiece that I'm still using. It is likely from 1971 (+/-). I have no idea what model it is or what the tip opening is.

?? In fact I'm not sure what "tip opening" means, in real/practical terms; this is my first question. ??

First and foremost I'd want a mouthpiece that's easy to blow. I don't generate as much wind as I used to. I suspect some mouthpieces (like saxophones) require more air than others. In the same vein, I'd like a mouthpiece that makes playing altissimo "easy" as well as hitting low Bb.

Second, I'd want a mouthpiece that's bright enough to project but not overly bright.

I would like to spend $150 or less. Please feel free to recommend.

And while you're at it, if you think it's worthwhile, please also share your thoughts on an appropriate ligature for my use.

Thanks again. Every time I have a sax question this community has been very helpful.
 

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What's the Wolfe Tannenbaum play like. That might be all you need.

Or it may be valuable enough to trade for what you want.

Oh and by the way keep the Keilwerth.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What's the Wolfe Tannenbaum play like. That might be all you need.
I really don't know. It's basically the only mouthpiece that I've ever played. I'd like to A/B it with a mouthpiece recommended by "you experts" that has the easy to play characteristics I'm after.

Oh and by the way keep the Keilwerth.
Thanks. I suspect I will. I like the idea of a new and shiny horn and suspect it will play really nicely.
 

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http://tamingthesaxophone.com/saxophone-mouthpieces.html

If you can, play with your existing mpc for a bit, then take the sax to a shop and play a couple other mpc and record yourself - if possible.
Maybe go down a bit in reed strength until you're back in shape - should not take too long.
Then decide if you want to get a new mpc, and what to get.
 

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"Tip opening" refers to the gap between the reed and the mouthpiece measured at the tip rail. Typically, wider tip openings require more control from the player and often softer reeds. However, the amount of resistance a mouthpiece has is not solely based upon this. The facing curve (how the mouthpiece curves away from the reed) and the amount of baffle (material left behind the tip rail) also play key roles as does the chamber, window, and throat size and shape. Mouthpiece design, as with many things in life, is a series of compromises. Designers try to balance these things to create a piece with certain characteristics.

For R&B, rock, and funk most players will be using a piece with a moderate to large tip (on tenor .105 - .120) and a fair amount of baffle to give their sound a little more cutting power to compete with amplified instuments. However, this is no guarantee that this is what you will want/like.

Instead of suggesting a particular mouthpiece I'd suggest you go here; http://www.neffmusic.com/blog/category/mouthpiece-reviews/tenor-mouthpieces/

to Steve Neff's website and listen to him play some different types of mouthpieces. He's a fine player and typically reviews each piece with pictures and sound clips. This will give you some idea of what's out there and where you might want to start your search. Be forewarned, for many it turns into a neverending quest for the "Holy Grail".

Good luck.
 

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Call Wolfe in Fort Lauderdale FL as he can tell you what it is.
When trying a mouthpiece, have some reeds with you of different strengths as it makes a difference relative to the tip opening. Find a reed that works well on the mouthpiece you like, play down to low B without subtoning. If it is too hard to play low B softly, go to the next size mouthpiece tip until you can play low B softly. Too often we get impressed with more open tips and end up working too hard.
The old Martin with the WT mouthpiece sounds like a winner to me.
 

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Mouthpieces are highly personal - some folks swear by the same ones that others swear at. Some people are sensitive to things that don't matter to others. So you will get a wide range of suggestions. If you can, get yourself to a music store that will let you try a bunch. You will start to see what YOU like and don't like, and that will help inform you, as well as folks on here who are trying to give advice - it can be helpful if you say, "I like mouthpiece X, but want something a little edgier," etc.
 

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Mouthpieces are highly personal - some folks swear by the same ones that others swear at. Some people are sensitive to things that don't matter to others. So you will get a wide range of suggestions. If you can, get yourself to a music store that will let you try a bunch. You will start to see what YOU like and don't like, and that will help inform you, as well as folks on here who are trying to give advice - it can be helpful if you say, "I like mouthpiece X, but want something a little edgier," etc.
what ^he^ said. Could very well be the piece you already have works just fine with your new horn. If not , try some at a store, take your time and narrow the choice down a bit after finding out what you really like and look for in a mouthpiece.
Then there still are a lot of options to discuss, nowadays there's so many good pieces and refacers. (I must be getting old.. I remember a time the only choice for jazz was eihter a Berg or a Link)
 

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Some suggestions for finding a mouthpiece that works for you:
1. Try whatever you can locally. See if any music stores within driving distance stock mouthpieces. Even if they cost more than on-line prices, purchase a mouthpiece that plays well for you that is in your budget. The same MP purchased on-line may not play as well.
2. Ask other players if they have some MPs to try just so you can get a feel for what will work for you. Some may even have spare MPs they are willing to sell.
3. Use WW&BW and other sellers who offer trials with low or no restocking fees. I offer trials for the cost of s/h. But I only have a few MPs.
4. Buy MPs on eBay and SOTW for low $ so you can resell them at the same price if you need to.
5. If a mouthpiece sounds well but does not respond well, a refacer can usually fix that. Refacers can also change the sound by making baffles higher/lower, etc. This service is good if you are really close and just need some fine adjustment to get the rest of the way.
6. Avoid buying new and selling. You typically will only get 60% of new price.
 

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I would also go to the Jody Jazz web site. Jody has his "6 questions" that help him recommend one of his pieces based on your needs. There is also a mouthpiece comparison chart on his site that would allow you to see the various tip openings of his recommended piece with other popular pieces.

By the way, Jody's HR* and Classic are exceptional mouthpieces that go for just over your $150.00 budget - $169, I think. The Classic with its spoiler may be worth a try. I have both the HR* and the Classic and both are very good. I keep trying to replace them, but can't - I have found nothing that plays as well for me.
 

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I would also go to the Jody Jazz web site. Jody has his "6 questions" that help him recommend one of his pieces based on your needs. There is also a mouthpiece comparison chart on his site that would allow you to see the various tip openings of his recommended piece with other popular pieces.

By the way, Jody's HR* and Classic are exceptional mouthpieces that go for just over your $150.00 budget - $169, I think. The Classic with its spoiler may be worth a try. I have both the HR* and the Classic and both are very good. I keep trying to replace them, but can't - I have found nothing that plays as well for me.
Perfect example - both the HR* and Classic are good mouthpieces, but I found others that worked better for me. I still have the HR* as a perennial runner-up/backup, but I sold the Classic. I used the HR* for a little while, but then I switched to Vandoren V16HR, and then to refaced HR Berg Larsens. You just gotta play them for yourself...
 

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