You’re nobody if you don’t bulk up and grab a 10* and use 5H tongue depressors 💪😂
Seriously though, What you’re using is great and will allow you to make all the sounds saxophone players make if you put the work in. I don’t know what the gaia is in terms of mouthpiece style, but considering all the possible differences in internal geometry the change in tip opening might be good, bad, or negligible.
there’s a reason the standard advice from all but the gear obsessed tone in a box chasers is to play the crap out of something middle of the road (which you have on hand) until you know exactly what it is you want to find in a replacement. What is it you’re looking for in the HR* that you can’t find?
Thanks for the detailed feedback!
I've never been much of a gear head, but I've been playing the yani for 6 months and the jody jazz for 3 years! I feel like I've reached the best sound I can make on the mouthpeice. I love it but I think I'm ready for a major upgrade. I would like a mouthpeice more open with a slightly brighter sound. The Gaia is appealing to me because of its traditional sound. I play lead alto in a big band and I'm not looking for something too "out there"
again, I don’t know the gaia, but what you described in why you want it is literally exactly what the JJ HR* pieces are 🤷♂️
We all blow and sound differently, but I use a 5M and can get peeling paint bright when I want to but otherwise it’s a moderately bright middle of the road piece that blends easily with other players/ in a section. Like Brian said, in the end you just have to play what you like. Maybe trying some different reeds would help you bring out some of those higher overtones you’re looking for.
Welcome to SotW where an incessant quest for the next mouthpiece has become an addiction for many.
You’ve got a good setup, but if you are compelled to change - especially at that price point, I suggest you find a place that will offer a trial. If you wait 6 months and accumulate 50 posts in the meantime, you will have access to the Classifieds where many pieces are sold and traded - it’s a great way to try many different mouthpieces without losing a lot of money along the way. Playing a piece in the context of your band is going to be the best test of what works for you - just because a piece works for someone else, or sounds good in the practice room, doesn’t guarantee that it’ll carry for you in your band.
There are a great many more options - check out some of the threads on mouthpiece setups for altos for ideas.
Well, fwiw I find the Wanne mpcs to blow more efficiently for me than the jj hr* and I could see the Gaia 3 being better suited to playing over a section. Whenever I have to play lead, I feel like I’m blowing super hard most of the time so if my mpc has a bit more oomph I appreciate it! I’d also check into a Phil tone Rift, I think that’s another option that’s great for lead. I would feel like the jj wouldn’t have enough power for me to blow how I prefer.
What are you practicing? Who are you listening to? What are you transcribing? What is your long tone practice protocol? These are far more important identifiers of your sound than what you are holding in your hand.
So...you want a more traditional big band lead alto sound and Kenny Garret is your model. Nice contradiction.
To each their own, but the altissimo is super easy on my HR* 5M, which as far as I know is pretty much a copy of a Meyer...perhaps one of/ the most traditional of lead alto pieces. Seems to me you’re just looking for GAS justification. Happy hunting, play whatever tickles you, and someday you’ll probably figure out that 90% of the mouthpieces on the market—including the one you already play—are up to the task of what you describe and the missing link has been you the whole time.
I like to try lots of stuff mainly because it's fun. I try not to buy anything new without a trial period or get hosed on anything used so I can sell it if I don't like it and not lose too much $$. I also try not to spend more time trying new stuff than practicing what I already have...
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