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Discussion Starter #1
Maybe I should have posted this in the « tenor mouthpiece » section ... anyways ! I am currently playin a stock otto link hard rubber 7 ( original condition, not modified ) with 3 med rico jazz select filed reeds. I used to play 4 soft, but switched a month ago. After reading some thread posted about tone production and Phil Barone's exercisses ( but mostly after following my teachers recommandations ), I think I have to change my embouchure to acheive altissimo and overtones and nice tone :D !

I have to uncurl a little bit my lower lip and relax my muscles around my lips. But doing so makes things awful : I can't start long tones at really soft volumes, higher register becomes flat, I can't produce any altissimo notes and sound is really loud and terribly irritating. But i can do the « octave jump » exercisse of phil barone without a problemm just as i did with my old embouchure ( ok ... maybe low Bb is still a little bit hard ). If i add a little pressure ( if I « bite » a little bit more ) it becomes easier to do all of that and my tone get sweeter ! Then I fall on some thread talking that when you bite, you actyually reduce the tip opening of the mouthpiece. Could that be the solution ? Maybe I should try a closer tip. Maybe a 6 ? What do you think ? Or just continue doing long tone ? and even more long tone ? and even more long tone ? and even more long tone ? And even more long tone ? :sleepy2::sleepy2:

Or is it just a question of time before i will be able to sound good with a new, more relaxed embouchure ? Also, fatigue comes very fast for me ... after an hour of play, my embouchure changes because I can't keep it !!!

I am now confuse.

By the way, I've only been playing tenor for one year. I started last summer and now switched almost completly to it, after discovering Dexter. Before, I have been playing alto for something like 5 years. I rehearshal for about 4 hours a day. Would do more if chops wouldn't fall and if I had more time. ( I am currently at university, major in music, jazz )
 

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I would suggest either a softer reed or a more closed mouthpiece, since it sounds like you might be biting. What does your instructor think?
 

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What kind of things are you practicing? I started spending around 60 minutes during my practice on just long tones and overtones...and my tone and control went through the roof.

And over the last week and a half I've really stepped up the amount of time i spend playing along with recordings. I've done several Prez solos and several Warne Marsh solos. Just playing along with them and trying to keep up has also really improved my tone and control.

I'd say just really dig in a do long tones and lots LOTS LOTS of overtones. They work wonders. Its how all these guys get amazing sounds, long tones and overtones. When your embouchure starts getting tired from these things, push it for another 15 or 20 minutes... and then move onto something else. If you stop when you start getting tired, you won't work the muscles enough to get stronger.
 

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Hi Saxolleap,

I think you may enjoy Mouthpiece Placement, Tuning & Tone (article) by Stephen Duke.

I personally found the article very interesting. I tried it's suggestions, and now I tune my horns using the lowest notes. In doing so, I end up placing my mouthpiece onto the cork further than I did in the past. On my alto, I push the pieces on about 1/4" further than I used to. This allows me to play across the entire range of my horns with fewer adjustments to my embouchure. It also forces me to play with a more relaxed embouchure, since any biting takes me sharp. When I made this change, I also switched to softer reeds and worked with a tuner to make it easier to develop control with my more relaxed embouchure.

So if you are like I was in the past, and say about 1/2 of your cork shows after you put your mouthpiece on your horn and have tuned to a typical band tuning note, you might want to try experimenting with pushing your mouthpiece on further, such as 2/3 to 3/4 of the way, by tuning your horn to low B with a relaxed embouchure.
 

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Do you have the same problems on alto?

I'm guessing that you wanted a dense tone on tenor, like your alto, and your setup is too hard to acheive that right away.

If you do want to play on a hard reed, try a 5* opening and work from there. By biting you are shorting the facing so you can play. To see how much you are biting curl your lips on your bottem AND top teeth and play. If it ispainfull on your top lip you are biting too much biting to begin with.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What kind of things are you practicing ?
I'm doing long tones for about 20 minutes and overtone for the same amount of time. I play my long tones this way : I start without tonging and with the lower volume possible ( something like pppp ) and then going in a crescendo up to my max volume and coming back to the lower volume in maybe 20 seconds. And for overtone, well I just try to play them ... from Bb and B. I also do Phil's Barone first exercise for tone producing ( Octave jump of the first overtone ). Like I said doing all of this is harder when i remove pressure form the bottom lip ? Is it just a question of time before I get use to it ?


I'll continue long tone for some time before trying a new mouthpiece.

To see how much you are biting curl your lips on your bottem AND top teeth and play. If it ispainfull on your top lip you are biting too much biting to begin with.
I'll try that !
 

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Easiest mouthpieces to play on have a meduim close tip(around 70-80 on tenor)w/ a in around a 3 strength reed. Some examples are Selmer C*,Yanagisawa 4,Yamaha 4c,Rousseau 3 etc. Once you get a good tone out of a meduim close mouthpiece then move on to more open tips
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I tryed the double lip things and it is not painfull for me ... It is really hard to control the horn though ! The high register becomes flatt ( !!! ) and I was totally killed after something like 30 seconds !

I cheked what was my concert pitch on my mouthpiece. It is something in between F and F#. Is that correct for tenor ?
 

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Most people say mouthpiece pitch on tenor should be a G but others have told me that F is fine for jazz. You are close enough so I wouldn't worry about it. I would try softer reeds for now and just stick with the exercises. Overtones, long tones, all that. Just try to stay as relaxed as possible and make sure the air is moving through the instrument fast enough.

Good luck.
 

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Thanks for pursuing this line of questions, Olivier

I'm interested in a lot of this, too. And your English is excellent.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
About reeds, I realized the impact they cand have on sound. When i switched to 3MED (R.J.S.), my teacher told me my sound was not as full as usual. I was easier to play at low volumes, but the advantage stop there !

I have restart using 4SOFT, and it works fine so... maybe i'm a hard reed guy ? And concert pitch is sill F/F# with those !
 

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I think an Otto Link ebonite 7 and 3.5 or 4 reeds is a knackering setup ,a lot of those Otto Ebonites are so stuffy anyway,I could,nt play it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I think an Otto Link ebonite 7 and 3.5 or 4 reeds is a knackering setup


What does a « knackering setup » means ???:?
 

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Saxolleap said:
What does a « knackering setup » means ???:?

Forgive him, he is English:D


I am guessing it means "difficult to play".
 

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Knackering

Saxolleap said:
What does a « knackering setup » means ???:?
To translate from English to American/Canadian... Knackering means that it will make you tire very quickly....

I will try into French but my french is very bad....

Il vous fatiguera rapidement
 

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"Knackered" = tres tres fatigue (with the accent that i don't know how to create on a keyboard ;) ). I wonder what the true French equivalent would be? "Fatigue comme un.."?

In the uk, a tired old horse is said to be "ready for the knackers yard".
 
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