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I think that a good sound is a versatile sound, that means you need supple chops to sound bright or dark or 'mellow'. To me, I think of a 'round' sound as a good centred sound-how you phrase with it is something else.

In terms of mouthpiece, it depends how long you've been playing. Dick Oatts, Charles McPherson and others have all sounded great on Bergs but they all have superb articulation and devastating breath control. I've played a HR Link 7 for 15 years and even now if I'm slightly out of practice, then it becomes hard to control as it's quite wide.

I'm kind of easing back into a Meyer 5 now and really enjoying the control.

I sometimes still try Bergs when I'm feeling obsessed with Dick Oatts' playing-I have a nice 85. I always get a honeymoon period when I change, but the Berg sounds thin after a few weeks playing.

Just make sure you're honest about where your chops are at this point in time. If you're young, then there's no rush-even on Jazz gigs I played a Selmer C*for about 4 years before buying even a Meyer.

Jamie
 

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It's great you want to experiment and trying mouthpieces can help you understand what's you and what's the mouthpiece.

I was lucky to study with someone who was a pro from the 1920's onwards and he always told me to stay with a close facing and he was right to do so. If you get a big sound from a small mouthpiece then it means more. If you play a wide mouthpiece too early it might enable bad habits to set in without you even knowing it. It's a pretty tried and tested method.

Kenny Garrett's sound is mainly in his phrasing-lack of vibrato and ultimately his rhythm. If you transcribe him every day for a year (playing along and getting the notes down on your alto-start with 'Mack the Knife' maybe) then you'll get that sound on any mouthpiece. Rosario Giuliani gets that kind of sound on a meyer 5.

It's up to you of course-this is just what I suggest. The cliches (alto=Meyer Tenor=Link) are often there because they tend to work.

Jamie
 
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