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Distinguished SOTW Member
2,640 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have played a large bore tenor for most of my adult life. I just got a smaller bore horn very much in the vein of the legendary mark VI. I have noticed something very interesting about the different bore sizes. The smaller bore is much more sensitive to small changes in embouchure and airstream. I have had to go back to basics a little to get my playing smoothed out on the smaller bore.

The smaller bore has more resistance when you play. I think this resistance and sensitivity make the smaller bore a high performance machine. It can easily go in so many different directions but it keeps you honest. You have to do the work to get the most out of them. It takes more control to sound good but once you have that control you can sound really, really good.

Will a horn like a Mark VI make you sound instantly better? The tone might be amazing on the horn but if you are coming from a larger bore horn I would say you wont sound better right away. You will have that sound but then you have to learn how to refine and control it. In a way you can hide behind flawed technique on a larger bore horn. On a smaller bore there is no where to hide.

I love my new horn and I'm finally getting the sound I have wanted for so long but it has also been a real challenge. I'm coming along nicely on the new horn and my rough spots are getting better. In the last 3 years I went from extremely free blowing set ups to much more resistant set ups. Every new piece of gear that has pulled me to the resistant side of things has required me to focus on my long tones and articulations more. That's ok with me because when you start to hear your favorite players in your sound it is very rewarding and more than worth the hard work.
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