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I was never very interested in classical saxophone, but I started really working on it on alto the last year or so and it's really transforming my playing- and I'm having a blast! (I used to HATE playing classical on saxophone and only played classical flute). I'd like to start working on classical on tenor- should I get a comparable classical MP as I use on alto (Vandoren Optimum AL3)? As far as jazz MPs, I use a completely different one on alto than tenor. But for classical I don't even know where to start. Any recommendations appreciated-
 

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I would say no. I played mostly classical over the years and use a Selmer D on alto. On Tenor, I find the same facing number does not translate to tenor well. I find a Meyer in about a 7M to be a good starting point on tenor as the Selmers and some of the Vandorens tend to be a bit stuffy. Maybe OK for quartets in a classical setting but in a Wind Band, not enough projection.I played Tenor in a very good wind ensemble in college and used a HR Link 5* on tenor (.085").
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I would say no. I played mostly classical over the years and use a Selmer D on alto. On Tenor, I find the same facing number does not translate to tenor well. I find a Meyer in about a 7M to be a good starting point on tenor as the Selmers and some of the Vandorens tend to be a bit stuffy. Maybe OK for quartets in a classical setting but in a Wind Band, not enough projection.I played Tenor in a very good wind ensemble in college and used a HR Link 5* on tenor (.085").
Thank you for the recommendation. And yes, I want to stay away from too stuffy as both my jazz MPs are on the bright side and it just wouldn't feel comfortable at all. I use a Legere Signature for classical on alto (Legere doesn't work on my D'Addario or on my Robusto for some reason), so I'm wondering about reeds (type and size ) would be best for the Meyer?
 

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Jeeze, I do not want this thread to get sparse.

All I got is contact with classical players, but no experience myself.

[except for classical pieces that show up in concert bands]

The last ones on tenor I saw were using AL3 on alto and TL3 on tenor.

Perhaps this meager info can prove useful as a bump.

Will no one let you borrow a mpc?

I will send you a Ron Caravan to try if you wish.
 

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The Morgan “C” pieces are excellent on tenor.
 

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I really like the Vandoren TL5 for tenor. They play evenly through the range and are a bit more open than the TL3. They are also consistent off the shelf and are an excellent value in a professional classical mouthpiece.
 

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Try a Rascher mouthpiece. They're designed after Adolphe Sax's original patent descriptions. Very different from any jazz piece but I've never played anything better for classical music. I've played one a couple of month ago in a classical saxophone orchestra and since that experience I know a lot more about my horn than before.
 

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Classical Tenor is...an odd one.

I would say do not think you need to get the same, especially if you're rocking different pieces for jazz. I have found that, for both jazz and classical, each horn has needed different pieces (sometimes similar, sometimes different). On alto I play the Selmer Concept, but on Bari I play the S80 D. Tenor is...well, a C*, but I'm not happy with that.

I'd say pick one of the wonderful suggestions and go for it. Don't tie yourself to your alto choice!
 

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If you like the Vandoren Optimum on alto, then try out that series on tenor as well. You have to start somewhere. However, I second the recommendation to focus on the TL5 rather than the TL3.

I've experimented with the AL3, AL4, AL5, TL3, TL4, and TL5 (as well as the SL3 and SL5). I used the AL3 as my primary alto mouthpiece for a while, before switching to the AL5 for better projection. (I've since moved to the D'Addario Reserve). The AL4 was the odd one out -- shorter facing, too bright. The TL3 has a facing comparable to that of the AL4, not the AL3/AL5. In addition, the small tip opening seemed too constricted. You need to be able to move more air on tenor than on alto, even with a classical piece. The TL4 was better, but the TL5 was the winner for me.

Another good choice is the Vandoren V5 T20, which is quite similar to the TL5.

There are lots of threads here about classical tenor mouthpieces, especially the Vandoren models. You'll find much to browse through.
 

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I don't know much about classical music playing on sax. But I do know every player is different and the player needs to try things to see what works for them. Asking other players for recommendations other than "try stuff and see what works" is like asking a stranger what kind of car you should buy.
Also, what pieces you play on different horns (SATB) do not necessarily have to be all similar to one another.
I have a Selmer S80 C* tenor piece lying around here that I will put in The Marketplace forum if you want to buy it to try out. I know those are one of the more popular pieces for that kind of playing.
I also have a Babbitt HR piece that is big and round inside and looks fairly close at the tip. I've been planning to sell that as well.
Both of these have very good-looking facings that are original as far as I can tell. I wouldn't be looking for much $ for either of these.
But pieces like these are all over ebay as well as craigslist, SOTW Marketplace, etc. for pretty cheap.
Your best bet is to get to a dealer with a good selection, with a whole lot of good new reeds in various cuts/strengths, and spend time playing pieces.
 

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I don't know much about classical music playing on sax. But I do know every player is different and the player needs to try things to see what works for them. Asking other players for recommendations other than "try stuff and see what works" is like asking a stranger what kind of car you should buy.
Mouthpiece recommendations are not about where a newcomer to a genre should end a search. They're about where she/he should start one. Of course, an open mind, etc., is essential, but the fact is that eventually an actual mp needs to be obtained and played. But which one? Which is first? Mouthpieces that have been found satisfactory by multiple people in SOTW who do play classical tenor are clearly the best candidates for beginning a testing program.
 

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And they’re quite excellent for alto too. I’m looking to get a 5C for tenor to alternate between the way the Morgan plays and the Larry Teal which I currently have. It’s a 3C and a scroll shank Teal on alto for me currently when it comes to classical and maybe some traditional jazz.

The Morgan “C” pieces are excellent on tenor.
 

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I was never very interested in classical saxophone, but I started really working on it on alto the last year or so and it's really transforming my playing- and I'm having a blast! (I used to HATE playing classical on saxophone and only played classical flute). I'd like to start working on classical on tenor- should I get a comparable classical MP as I use on alto (Vandoren Optimum AL3)? As far as jazz MPs, I use a completely different one on alto than tenor. But for classical I don't even know where to start. Any recommendations appreciated-
Well, if you START by trying the similar type (like the same model of the same manufacturer) then at least you have a starting point. Then you will be able to decide whether you prefer the tenor MP to respond like, or differently than, the alto piece. I would certainly plan to go more open. Every manufacturer is different, but if you play a #3 in the Vandoren scheme on alto, about #5 sounds about right for tenor.

Personally, my preferred pieces on alto tenor and baritone are all the same model and manufacturer, though the number goes up a bit, from #7 on alto to #8 on tenor and bari (of course a #8 baritone is more open in actual measurement than a #8 tenor). In my case this is all jazz, not classical, but the basics of embouchure and response still hold. (I also carry a screaming rock and roll tenor piece in case I need to do that, but it's not my main piece.)
 

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I've been following a similar path the past year or two, always played classical on flute, jazz on sax, but John Harle's book has pushed me to work on different approaches to my playing. I'm learning a lot and having fun with it, finding some new colors to add. My experience with classical saxophone is certainly limited, but I've been very happy so far with the Vandoren V5 T20 on a late Mark VI tenor and V5 S27 on a Yani Elimona soprano as starting points. I'm happy enough to work with both for now, and neither seems stuffy to me.
 

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I've played a lot of classical saxophone in professional circumstances during my career, and although it's certainly not the only thing I do, working out how to approach the tenor in quartets and orchestras has always seemed more demanding than on any other sax.

My personal conclusion has been that I don't really like classical tenor mouthpieces. I'll happily play an SL4 and AL4 (or Selmer C* and C**) on soprano and alto, but I just don't like the tone quality of the Selmer or Vandoren pieces for tenor, and I generally prefer something more open than is offered. The difficulty is in finding a more open piece that can give a gentler, warmer sound but remain focused and clean in the way that is necessary in classical playing. I did use a Wanne Gaia 7* for a time, but I had to be very careful with reed choice. My personal feeling is that classical reeds (Vandoren Blue Box e.g.) don't really sound right on more open pieces. The one exception to this was an S80 G which played like a dream with Vandoren reeds ( I tried to find another G but they were all completely different and didn't play as well). I have never played a Rascher type tenor piece, maybe I should, although I understand they are quite closed at the tip.

Of course it rather depends what your idea of a good tenor sound is, and I have to admit that I find a lot of classical tenor playing unpalatable.
 

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I've played a lot of classical saxophone in professional circumstances during my career, and although it's certainly not the only thing I do, working out how to approach the tenor in quartets and orchestras has always seemed more demanding than on any other sax.

My personal conclusion has been that I don't really like classical tenor mouthpieces. I'll happily play an SL4 and AL4 (or Selmer C* and C**) on soprano and alto, but I just don't like the tone quality of the Selmer or Vandoren pieces for tenor, and I generally prefer something more open than is offered. The difficulty is in finding a more open piece that can give a gentler, warmer sound but remain focused and clean in the way that is necessary in classical playing. I did use a Wanne Gaia 7* for a time, but I had to be very careful with reed choice. My personal feeling is that classical reeds (Vandoren Blue Box e.g.) don't really sound right on more open pieces. The one exception to this was an S80 G which played like a dream with Vandoren reeds ( I tried to find another G but they were all completely different and didn't play as well). I have never played a Rascher type tenor piece, maybe I should, although I understand they are quite closed at the tip.

Of course it rather depends what your idea of a good tenor sound is, and I have to admit that I find a lot of classical tenor playing unpalatable.
If you said what mpc you use for classical tenor, I missed it.
 

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If you said what mpc you use for classical tenor, I missed it.
I stated that I used a Selmer S80 G and a Wanne Gaia 7*, and I thought it was clear that I used those pieces for classical: they were certainly the most recent and probably personally successful pieces, but I don't play any classical tenor now to speak of since I find it unrewarding.
 

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I stated that I used a Selmer S80 G and a Wanne Gaia 7*, and I thought it was clear that I used those pieces for classical: they were certainly the most recent and probably personally successful pieces, but I don't play any classical tenor now to speak of since I find it unrewarding.
Thanks. Sorry for being thick.
 

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I don't think it's necessary to play a similar MP. I find that alto and tenor are both very different beasts. The instrument itself, and your personal embouchure will affect the tone as well. For the record, I play on a TL5 on tenor and an AL5 on alto and swear by both.
 
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