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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
Ive been playing sax about a year now (off and on kinda...), anyways im playing a Kessler Custom Tenor, with the mouthpiece it came with (the OL7 one). No matter what I do, I cant get the kind of sound I like. Id describe what im getting as soft and low, no buzz whatsoever. What I do like, is the edgey buzzy "ripping" sound, the "Boots Randolph" sound. Im buying a Dukoff D8 to see if that helps at all (I read thats what he used), but I dont know if it takes just the mouthpiece to get the "buzziness". Am I doing something wrong embouchure wise to get this rather depressing low sound?
 

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well, a visit or two to see a good sax educator will give you some better and more conclusive clues to what you are doing wrong.....if you do.

Ok, here it goes. Probably you take to little of the mouthpiece in your mouth, in other words you are using just a little bit of the tip of the reed only instead of the whole thing to vibrate. Volume is low and sound is muffled. The Cure is..... take more mouthpiece in. It is possible that you won't be able to play all that much this way because in the meantime you have developed a tight but weak enbouchure. If that is so, try a thinner reed.
Do not be afraid of playing a smaller mouthpiece! It is not about size but what you do with it! :twisted: , serioulsy going down with the size of the mouthpiece helps a more relaxed embouchure which allows you to take more mouthpiece in and play better and louder, in case you notice that the reed tends to close the piece while you play harder, go up a notch with the reed size.

An edgy and bright mouthpiece can help, but it is not everything.

Depending on what you consider to be the " buzz" you look for (Boots Randolph is not my thing..... ) You could try a Lakey mouthpiece for that.
 

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Quite afraid the Dukoff D8 will be not a right choice for the moment. The tips Milandro gave are very important, so I repeat again :
- take in more mouthpiece
- keep a relaxed embouchure (exercise in front of a mirror if necessary)
- wait with buying a bigger mouthpiece (OK, I admit, I didn't, but I know how painful it actually is and how many bad habits you have to unlearn afterwards)
- if possible, go for a teacher and ask him to help

And I add one more : practice, practice, practice. Did I mention "practice" already? :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hmm, ive had about 7 lessons before and the teacher never said anything, but heres a pic of my mouthpiece and where the toothmarks are, perhaps they could tell if im using too little... (white line of course is where tooth marks are)
 

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Cerot, with the reed on, hold the mpc up to the light so you can look at it sideways. See where the reed makes contact with the mpc? That's where the point of pressure/contact with your lower lip should be. This is just a reference but start there and then take a little more or less mpc (although I agree with the above comments - your problem is probably taking less than more mpc in).

You didn't mention what reeds you're using; some have more buzz than others so you might want to experiment with that, as well. Regarding reed strength, I think that for that mpc a #3 reed is about right but don't use it if it feels to strong or forced.

And forget the Dukoff. With just a year's playing I think the OL7 is fine for you. It has body to the sound with a little edge and is very well made, making your articulation, control and intonation reliable. I think the Dukoff would be an unnecessary jump at this stage in your development. Anyway, you don't really know what mpcs will give you what you want so wait until you do. Ie, if I personally wanted a Boots Randolph sound, I wouldn't get a Dukoff, I'd personally use a Berg, see what I mean?

Good luck. You'll get the sound you want it just takes patience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just using the ones it came with, Vandoren V16's, 2 1/2. Thanks for the tips guys, in a few hours ill try it out (love to try it now, but ill let you use your imaginations as to what the neighbours would say at 8:00 in the morning...)
Oh, ive ordered the Dukoff anyways, if anything it will be a learning experience. As I told the seller, if I cant use it ill put it in a cabinet, forget about it for a few years, and maybe ill get a nice surprise somewhere down the line :)
 

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I have the Kessler Custom Deluxe tenor and 50OL7 mpc. I'm told that the mpc was modeled after the old vintage Florida Otto Links and am quite satisfied with it's flexibility at this time. Had the set up for about 10 months now. Played alto for much longer. This is just my first tenor.

I'm a big Boots fan. Using 2-2 1/2 strength reeds I am more mellow sounding than Boots when I'm doodling around trying to follow him on his CDs. The Dukoff is a much brighter piece. He sounds a bit sharp or I sound a bit flat when we're playing along but I think we make beautiful music together! :) (Well the tuner at least says I'm in tune. If anything I'd go sharp as I play because I still have a tendency to bite a bit too hard for the tenor emboucher. Working on it though and it's getting better. Just got to remember to relax!)

I'm not necessarily after his tone. I really like his musical articulations and interpretations.

Using a Fibracell reed, med/soft (I think) I can push the Kessler mpc and make it "buzz" or growl at least acceptably for my purposes so dittos for experimenting around with the reed and taking in more mpc. Check out the Phil Barone mpc practice thread if you haven't already. You've received outstanding advice from much more experience than I have so run with it.

At any rate, have fun with the Dukoff when it comes in. Remember, your OL7 has a 0.100" tip opening. Can't remember of the top of my head what the D9 will be exactly, 0.125?, so it will be much more open and harder to control given your experience with the OL7.

Get back to us and let us know how it goes.
 

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Ok! We'll wait for your findings..... and maybe your neighbours will tell us if you sound any louder!:D
Based on the picture you are posting I would say you can take a little more mouthpiece in but remember to also angle the piece a little bit so that you relax the lower Jaw.
 

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Ok there is a trick I learn somewhere before, you can use this method to determine how much you should put yr mpc in.
Set up yr mpc with yr reed. Use a piece of paper, and slide in between the reed and the mpc. Thru the opening that is. The paper will eventually get stuck coz the reed and the table of the mpc 'closes' in. Then draw a line on yr reed where the paper stops. That should be the position of yr upper jaws for it. Ideally it should work, if not move inward or outward slightly.
 
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