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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Correct me if I am wrong but the concert pitch of the soprano sax mouthpiece is a C correct? Because when I play on the mouthpiece respectively I play an F# with embouchure and a D without an embouchure.
Currently using a Rousseau Nc4 mpc with daddario 3.5 reed.
Update:Thanks for the feedback, I resolved the issue.
 

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You might try "playing on the airstream". You sing the note on a "LA" using falsetto, then you blow the pitch of the note on a fast airstream---like an airy sounding whistle. Then play the mouthpiece using the same speed and amount of air and using the same shape inside your oral cavity. The more work you can do with the air, the less you have to do with the embouchure.
 

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I work on mouthpiece exercises extensively with students of all ages and on all size saxophones. It's a valuable technique to illustrate and develop embouchure awareness and voicing. However, the notion that each size mouthpiece has a specific associated pitch is unsupported. Mouthpieces are not designed for a specific pitch, and the pitch that is heard is the result of a number of factors. Trying to adjust to a random pitch that is not a part of the mouthpiece design can lead the student astray in their tonal development.
Paul Cohen
 

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The conclusion I have come to about mouthpiece pitch is that "it should be no higher than" the pitches prescribed by Santy Runyon, Eugene Rousseau, et.al. Playing higher than those pitches results in a pinched tone that adds to the sharpness in the higher register. As one plays lower on the mouthpiece pitch, it increases the volume and adds to the strength of the overtones as shown in Vanessa Hasbrook's Thesis. As one plays lower on the mouthpiece pitch, it becomes necessary to push the mouthpiece further onto the cork in order for the saxophone to play in tune at A = 440. Benade's writings indicate that the saxophone works the best when the body of the instrument "sees" a perfect cone to its apex beyond its truncation. In order for this to happen requires two criteria: 1) The "effective volume" of the mouthpiece must match the volume of the "missing cone", and 2) The played frequency of the mouthpiece + neck must match the "natural resonant frequency" of the "missing cone" to its apex including the length of the neck. For the alto, both calculations and playing experience show this pitch to be Ab Concert, and for the tenor E concert. I have yet to find what pitch that might be on sopranos with a removable neck.
 

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I think it's useful to be able to play a number of different pitches on a mouthpiece. It should be possible to span about an octave on a soprano mouthpiece. But the "correct" pitch for a specific mouthpiece size is probably not worth worrying about too much. I remember a video by Mel Martin (I think it's one of the D'Addario/Rico videos) where he demonstrated playing scales on a soprano mouthpiece.


(RIP Mel)
 

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However, the notion that each size mouthpiece has a specific associated pitch is unsupported.
Much thanks for that. I always dread seeing players here worry about particular pitches coming from a mouthpiece when there are just way too many variables involved for such a thing to be set in stone.
 

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If you are having intonation issues, I think it is useful to try an embouchure firmness that is guided by the mouthpiece pitch target. Then tune using this embouchure and see if the intonation has improved up and down the sax.

Many players play looser than the mouthpiece pitch embouchure. There is a paper somewhere that observed that “jazz” alto players tended to play 2.5 steps looser (IIRC) and pushed in to compensate. I would expect this to be even more prevalent on tenor and maybe soprano too. Playing this way tends to make the palm keys sharp and the low notes flat in relation to the mid range of the sax. So the player needs to loosen up their embouchure even further to bring down the palm keys pitch. Using a small chamber mouthpiece can help compensate for this by allowing you to pull out some when tuning.
 

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There seems to be a common misconception that the length of a mouthpiece should determine it's played pitch. If the shank were very long, this would be true. In such a case the "natural resonant frequency" of the "tube" would then couple with the vibration of the reed causing the reed to vibrate at that frequency as it does when the mouthpiece is connected to the neck and the saxophone. The fact that up to an octave scale can be produced on the mouthpiece alone by the player changing the airstream and "voicing" proves that this is the not the case. The shank of the mouthpiece is too short to produce a strong resonant frequency allowing the player's oral cavity to "take charge" of the reed's vibrations, as it does when playing in the altissimo register.

I believe it is important to note that there is far less variation in classical mouthpieces than is found with jazz mouthpieces, making mouthpiece pitch more significant in this style of playing. In this regard, the mouthpiece pitch can be an excellent means to determine if the embouchure is too firm or too relaxed. This is what Eugene Rousseau teaches on this subject

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jOufZWErNc&feature=youtu.be&t=335
 

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I’m more in the give it a week or two camp.
Where you actually play a piece on the horn (yeah I know, wierd isn’t it) and adjust to suit.
Old fashioned and less than technical but works on occasion.
Some adjustment on the cork may be needed as well.
 
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