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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've known Bob for many years but haven't spoken to him since he moved to California a few years ago. So I emailed him and we exchanged some information about what we've been up to. I told him that I was going out of the mouthpiece business and asked him to send me his address so I could send him one, a Super NY, my best work. He replied back with a thanks but that he's not into mouthpieces. A lot of you (I could name names) could learn a valuable lesson from one of the greatest players of our time. Get a good mouthpiece and stick with it and practice. Messing around with gear just messes with you and distracts you from your primary purpose. Messing with gear is a waste of time and that's coming from someone that's trying to sell out his inventory. Sorry, but a lot of you guys are too into the nonsense and not really into your music. Phil Barone
 

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Well spake, knave.

And thanks for sharing that.
 

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I didn’t see anything with trying new mouthpieces. My only problem is they aren’t new, just different old Links.
I guess he realized you sound the same on everything. It’s more about the mouthpiece being comfortable and not too reed picky.
 

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Wise words.

Also applies to horns. Get a good horn and stick with it

I've known Bob for many years but haven't spoken to him since he moved to California a few years ago. So I emailed him and we exchanged some information about what we've been up to. I told him that I was going out of the mouthpiece business and asked him to send me his address so I could send him one, a Super NY, my best work. He replied back with a thanks but that he's not into mouthpieces. A lot of you (I could name names) could learn a valuable lesson from one of the greatest players of our time. Get a good mouthpiece and stick with it and practice. Messing around with gear just messes with you and distracts you from your primary purpose. Messing with gear is a waste of time and that's coming from someone that's trying to sell out his inventory. Sorry, but a lot of you guys are too into the nonsense and not really into your music. Phil Barone
 

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It's good advice for students or developing pros; I'm no longer the former, and will never be the latter. Personally, I tend to stick primarily with one alto and one tenor piece, both by Ted Klum, though I play them on five different horns, each having its own character and quirks. Sometimes I'll use a Metalite on gigs. Does mixing it up hinder my development as a player? Probably.

But developing as a player is secondary to my primary purpose in owning and playing saxes, which is personal enjoyment. Trying out and collecting mouthpieces and horns serves that purpose, along with the research it involves into different producers, refacers, models, their histories, and their players over the years. Nonsense? Perhaps, but no more so than collecting stamps, antiques, Beanie Babies, or other useless items that people acquire for fun. YMMV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's good advice for students or developing pros; I'm no longer the former, and will never be the latter. Personally, I tend to stick primarily with one alto and one tenor piece, both by Ted Klum, though I play them on five different horns, each having its own character and quirks. Sometimes I'll use a Metalite on gigs. Does mixing it up hinder my development as a player? Probably.

But developing as a player is secondary to my primary purpose in owning and playing saxes, which is personal enjoyment. Trying out and collecting mouthpieces and horns serves that purpose, along with the research it involves into different producers, refacers, models, their histories, and their players over the years. Nonsense? Perhaps, but no more so than collecting stamps, antiques, Beanie Babies, or other useless items that people acquire for fun. YMMV.
I guess there's nothing wrong with it if you don't take it too seriously but people, people that still have a lot they can develop use gear as a crutch then it ends up becoming more important than the art. I see it all the time in my business and especially on here. To make matters worse you have people offering terrible advice. I was in the mouthpiece business almost forty years and I'm telling you, gear is highly overrated and most of the guys looking for mouthpieces can't play, or at least not as well as if they focused on bloody practicing and got some good education. Fast food is a big business and I love McDonalds but fast doesn't belong in the sax business. It just doesn't work. Oh, and McDonalds makes you fat and is unhealthy too. Phil Barone
 

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Let me start by saying, I really like SOTW. I gained a great deal of knowledge about the history of saxophone players, the proper techniques of saxophone performance, and about the equipment that we saxophonists use. And, I have come across a good amount of "nonsense" on the forum. Sometimes I feel as though I'm separating the wheat from the chaff while using the search function and browsing over the posts. But also, I feel like much of this "nonsense" is fairly subjective. We have rookies that come to this forum and ask questions that seem dumb to us and many times they receive responses from members who have forgotten that we were all beginners at one point. Maybe that's "nonsense." Perhaps "nonsense" is worrying about which mouthpiece to use (while waisting valuable practice time!), even though we have to advantage to be in touch and in business with some of the world's best mouthpiece makers. Or maybe "nonsense" is spending time on this forum to read about a thread on Bob Mintzer, which actually isn't a thread about Bob Mintzer, but a thread on "nonsense". By the way, Bob might not be a guy who's "not into mouthpieces" even though I can count about 6 different ones I've seen him playing on (live shows and youtube). While we're at it, maybe being a jazz musician is "nonsense" because even the best performing artists struggle to attract an audience. I saw Chris Potter playing 2 sets at club, I stayed for both and though the 1st set was packed, the crowd definitely died down for the 2nd, I know, it's hard to believe, and the same thing happened when I saw Miguel Zenon. If you're a classical guy, then good luck getting a gig unless you're a professor. And the pop guys (who are also struggling in our abysmal music world) then you should be ashamed of yourselves for not being a "artist!" Maybe we shouldn't worry about "nonsense" and let people enjoy playing their "nonsense" saxophones instead of lecturing them. Sorry for the outburst. Kevin Miller
 

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Let me start by saying, I really like SOTW. I gained a great deal of knowledge about the history of saxophone players, the proper techniques of saxophone performance, and about the equipment that we saxophonists use. And, I have come across a good amount of "nonsense" on the forum. Sometimes I feel as though I'm separating the wheat from the chaff while using the search function and browsing over the posts. But also, I feel like much of this "nonsense" is fairly subjective. We have rookies that come to this forum and ask questions that seem dumb to us and many times they receive responses from members who have forgotten that we were all beginners at one point. Maybe that's "nonsense." Perhaps "nonsense" is worrying about which mouthpiece to use (while waisting valuable practice time!), even though we have to advantage to be in touch and in business with some of the world's best mouthpiece makers. Or maybe "nonsense" is spending time on this forum to read about a thread on Bob Mintzer, which actually isn't a thread about Bob Mintzer, but a thread on "nonsense". By the way, Bob might not be a guy who's "not into mouthpieces" even though I can count about 6 different ones I've seen him playing on (live shows and youtube). While we're at it, maybe being a jazz musician is "nonsense" because even the best performing artists struggle to attract an audience. I saw Chris Potter playing 2 sets at club, I stayed for both and though the 1st set was packed, the crowd definitely died down for the 2nd, I know, it's hard to believe, and the same thing happened when I saw Miguel Zenon. If you're a classical guy, then good luck getting a gig unless you're a professor. And the pop guys (who are also struggling in our abysmal music world) then you should be ashamed of yourselves for not being a "artist!" Maybe we shouldn't worry about "nonsense" and let people enjoy playing their "nonsense" saxophones instead of lecturing them. Sorry for the outburst. Kevin Miller
I'm sorry you feel that way but the post was not nonsense, I'm trying to help people avoid a trap that I fell into. Mouthpieces are a means to an end, not the end and I always try to convey that on here but you have people on here saying otherwise and it's BS. Once you get a good mouthpiece you should stick with it and practice. You're right, there's a lot of nonsense on here and there's a few mouthpiece makers just trying to sell their stuff, a lot of it junk to newbies and people that don't know any better. I'd like to see more posts of substance instead of people saying things that they don't know what they're talking about. And Bob has not had six different pieces. I've known Bob 25 years and he's had three in that time, three. But with all due respect you're obviously frustrated about something else, I was just trying to be helpful.
Phil Barone
 

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Thanks Phil. I personally feel like the gear should be the very last on the list of concerns at my point in development. As a matter of fact, if you are looking for an individual "sound" you'd be better off getting intimately connected to a run-of-the-mill plastic student piece and sticking with it than jumping from one holy grail to the next. It's good to limit yourself and sometimes adversity or hurdles expose the best that you have to offer.
 

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I'm sorry you feel that way but the post was not nonsense, I'm trying to help people avoid a trap that I fell into. Mouthpieces are a means to an end, not the end and I always try to convey that on here but you have people on here saying otherwise and it's BS. Once you get a good mouthpiece you should stick with it and practice. You're right, there's a lot of nonsense on here and there's a few mouthpiece makers just trying to sell their stuff, a lot of it junk to newbies and people that don't know any better. I'd like to see more posts of substance instead of people saying things that they don't know what they're talking about. And Bob has not had six different pieces. I've known Bob 25 years and he's had three in that time, three. But with all due respect you're obviously frustrated about something else, I was just trying to be helpful.
Phil Barone
Phil, I don't think you fell into a trap, you make great gear and I'm frankly a little sad that you're giving up your practice. And you're right, we need posts of substance. And you're right, I'm frustrated about many things. But we've heard it time and time again, practice makes permanent. We get it. And you're helpful. But people can only be helped as much as they'll listen. We're beating a dead horse here. And, I apologize for being negative on the whole subject... and Bob Mintzer is the man
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Phil, I don't think you fell into a trap, you make great gear and I'm frankly a little sad that you're giving up your practice. And you're right, we need posts of substance. And you're right, I'm frustrated about many things. But we've heard it time and time again, practice makes permanent. We get it. And you're helpful. But people can only be helped as much as they'll listen. We're beating a dead horse here. And, I apologize for being negative on the whole subject... and Bob Mintzer is the man
You're right, I'm beating a dead horse. I'll give it up. Phil
 

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I’ll give you my feelings, as I have a lot of experience with mouthpieces over the last 35 years.

—Some guys will play one mouthpiece and be happy with that and never have a need or an urge to change mouthpieces. They play what they play on and they are happy with that and they don’t focus any of their time on anything but the music.

—You also have guys who play on a piece for a few years and then switch to something else for whatever reasons.

—There is also the guy that doesn’t mind spending $150-$300 on a mouthpiece and may change mouthpieces several times a year. He figures he can buy them fairly cheap and sell them and not lose too much and maybe he will eventually find something that he really loves and can stick with, from that process.

—Then there are the guys who are never happy with what they have, and need to change mouthpieces all the time.


There are many underlying reasons behind all these options that you and I may not understand, so I always choose to take the path of “it is what it is”.
People do what they do for whatever reasons. My feeling, is do what makes you feel good, no matter what. If that means playing on one piece and never getting away from that, that’s great. If it means buying several pieces a year because you enjoy trying different things out, nothing wrong with that. If you are a guy that is not fully happy with anything out there, maybe do what I did and develop your own designs and maybe you’ll eventually be happy. It sure worked for me.

*** You can’t buy chops in a box...you need to practice, listen, and transcribe. But I can tell you without any reservation, you can buy a better sound INSTANTLY. Mouthpieces make an enormous difference for me, and playing over Cherokee at 300 bpm in all 12 Keys has nothing to do with your mouthpiece. ***

All I can say is enjoy your journeys. None of them are right and none are wrong. They are simply YOUR journeys.
 

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I think the real nonsense is thinking that "messing with gear" is nonsense. It shows such an elitist view of enjoying the making of music. I may be wrong but only someone that doesn't understand the joy of making music would say that. Not every saxophonist is in the music business and jaded about gear. Yes, some get carried away with gear and go broke buying horns and gear and they still can't play half way to decent but part of enjoying the saxophone is knowing many different styles of mouthpieces and gear. It doesn't matter if you've found THE mouthpiece or gear that is best for you. It doesn't matter if you found THE horn of horns. Playing everything out there is part of the joy. It's part of the whole experience. It's part of gaining experience. Everyone plays for a different reason and not all saxophonists take themselves as seriously as others. There are many reasons why Mintzer didn't want to try another mouthpiece.
 

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Thanks Bebop

Nicely said.

There is gray area in this world...though increasingly rare.


I dont know Bob or what he thinks about mouthpieces but he has certainly played a few over the years.

He cares enough about gear to endorse and to have assisted in the design of his current piece.
 
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