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I'm looking for tenor sax mouthpieces that tend to play flat! Help me out boys, I'm running out of cork here...
 

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If you are pulling your mouthpiece too much there may be better explanation and cures than finding a mouthpiece “ which tends to play flat” (if such things even exist, why would anyone produce a mouthpiece which would play flat or sharp and even then, on which tenor, what plays flat on one tenor might have nothing to do with yours!?).

which horn are you playing on?

which mouthpiece are you currently using?

are you sure that no-one has purposely changed the length of the neck?

how experienced are you on tenor? This is not the first time that people come up with things like that and almost invariably is player error an option that is way more likely that mouthpiece or horn are at fault (but it is not impossible).

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?146980-Out-of-Tune-tenor
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?214464-Mouthpiece-plays-too-sharp-what-to-do
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?88081-Playing-too-sharp-help!!


are you using old reeds?

are you biting too much on old and soft reeds?

And last, but by NO means the least...

Are you absolutely sure this is not a HP high pitch horn by any chance?

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?54367-A-Comedy-of-Errors-Dolnet-HP-tenor
 

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Look for a mouthpiece that has a 'larger' chamber...has more internal volume. I had a similar pitch problem with a Balanced Action Tenor Sax which finally was solved by switching to a Morgan 'EL' (Excalibur - Large Chamber) mouthpiece. Otto Links also seemed to work...long shank Selmer Soloists also worked...probably others that I did not try. Medium to small chamber mouthpieces were dangling on the end of the neck cork as you described.
 

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I'm looking for tenor sax mouthpieces that tend to play flat! Help me out boys, I'm running out of cork here...

Be sure to let us know what you come up with on this.

Extending the neck?
Longer mpc shank?
Larger mpc volume?
Got an HP horn?
Reed change?

Very interesting problem altogether.
 

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Extending the neck doesn't help with the basic issue; in fact, because the neck extension sticks into the mouthpiece, it doesn't help as much as you would think.

Extending the MP solves the mechanical problem but not the acoustical problem.

I have definitely found that different MPs with larger internal volume can make a difference.

Don't forget the effect of the embouchure. Even in the last few years I have found that my MP position on baritone has moved in a good half inch just due to focusing on air stream and voicing while practicing long tones and interval exercises; and I would have thought my embouchure was pretty stable at this point in life.

Playing a softer reed MAY help if you are tending to bite down on a too-hard reed. With good attention to air stream, you can get as much projection out of a half size or so softer and with much better flexibility, especially to play low notes softly.
 

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You will have to loosen up your embouchure. When you extend the lower lip out under the reed, this automatically loosens it while it gives you a fatter tone. Soon you will be pushing the mouthpiece back on. I've always played radical metal mouthpieces with high baffles and I am way into them on every horn. I just got a new baritone piece that I really liked and it tuned well onto the neck, but on the first gig the other night I found I had to go even farther in but after that the relative intonation was fine and I enjoyed playing bari more than ever before.
Of course there is the possibility that something is mechanically wrong and causing the problem, and it could very well be a mixture of you and the horn/mouthpiece, all contributing.
 

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I'm looking for tenor sax mouthpieces that tend to play flat! Help me out boys, I'm running out of cork here...
Are you playing the same Holton that you posted about in 9-10-2011?

Mine says 8108... G# and high D trill, no fork F, palms keys up to F, no keyed f#. This is a Bb tenor and the sound is beautiful and clear, it has a certain tinge to it that I love. I got the action tuned up(as much as is possible on such an old horn), and it plays great. Having trouble with altissimos with no fork key, though. How old is it, then?
 

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Yeah, this is a weird thread, asking for a mouthpiece that "plays flat"... if you're playing a super-old horn, then you'll probably need to get a huge chamber/small-tip piece as a good place to start. And make sure your embouchure isn't crazy-tight, etc.
 

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When you extend the lower lip out under the reed, this automatically loosens it while it gives you a fatter tone.
You don't have to go to the "rolled out lower lip" to change your embouchure and voicing to achieve a lower pitch. I described above how in the last few years my mouthpiece position on baritone has moved in close to a half inch (no change in the mouthpiece, horn, or type of reed) just due to my re-engaging with tone building exercises. I have not changed my basic embouchure; I still use the standard "lower lip roughly bisected by the plane of the lower teeth" embouchure.

Whether or not you decide on the fairly radical change to your basic embouchure of the "rolled out lower lip", putting in time on the tone and air stream building will show benefits and one of them will probably be a lowering of your "basic pitch" such that you can push the MP in and play better in tune.

And it's more complex than just "loosening" the embouchure; that's just kind of a shorthand. Part of what happens is that the embouchure muscles get stronger so you don't have to bite in with the jaw. Even with the standard embouchure, the jaw basically sits there and provides a reference point and lateral support for the lower lip, but the muscles all round the mouth are doing the work. When you get these muscles in good order, then you can start adjusting the position of your tongue and soft palate, and that's when you will start to find voicing that gives the most open tone. And the basic pitch will probably drop.
 

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if the horn in question is a very old one and OP is attempting to play with any modern long shanked mouthpiece (even the ubiquitous Selmer S80) these have a shank too long.

A stumpy like an old French mouthpiece od a Conn Eagle will bring back things in proportion.
 

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if the horn in question is a very old one and OP is attempting to play with any modern long shanked mouthpiece (even the ubiquitous Selmer S80) these have a shank too long.

A stumpy like an old French mouthpiece od a Conn Eagle will bring back things in proportion.
No, the problem is that the MP is too far out, thus not mechanically stable, not that the long shank interferes with things.

For an old Holton, but with a more modern sound, I would start off with Otto Link or Meyer hard rubber; the chambers are large enough to tune well on old tenors.
 

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exactly if the shank of a mouthpiece is too long it will hang too far out or, if pushed far enough not to hang, it will be too sharp
 

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exactly if the shank of a mouthpiece is too long it will hang too far out or, if pushed far enough not to hang, it will be too sharp
I think we have a miscommunication here.

The OP is indicating he has the typical problem of playing a MP with smaller chamber on an older horn; you have to pull it out to get it more or less in tune. If you use a MP with a larger chamber, then the distance from the tip of the MP to (whatever point you want to pick; let's say the upper octave vent) is less for the same tuning, than it is for an MP of a smaller chamber.

The length of the shank has nothing whatever to do with the distance, when in tune, from the tip of the MP to whatever reference point you want to use. The shank is purely mechanical. I can easily add two inches to the shank length of any mouthpiece you give me. The distance from the tip of the MP to your reference point will be unaffected by adding two inches to the length of the shank - although it may become impossible to actually get it onto the sax.
 

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If it is Holton no. 8108, that would make it a horn cir. 1921.

It would be nice to know the horn and mpc(s) that are being used.

Could be of help to the next person with this problem.

Help us out, OP!
 

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I don’t think it is a miscommunication problem but one of a difference of vision.

I might be wrong, but I see it in a different way.
 

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Seems to me as mentioned we have a case of mouthpiece in "normal" cork positon (e.g. about 1/2 to 2/3 on) is resulting in sharpness, as turf3 says this is copmmon with modern mouthpieces on older horns. What we term a mismatch.

The answer to this is ideally a mouthpiece that plays in tune with this horn, NOT a mouthpiece that plays flat (even if there was such a thing generically)

I've know this issue with Conn baritones and have known people get the neck lengthened, or get the mouthpiece shank lengthned, but also known them to just try a different mouthpiece.
 

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Yes, it's an old old story, especially for the 12M

My personal story on this:

I've been playing the same 12M since 1984 and for much of that time as primarily a baritone player. For the first 20 years or so of that period I used an old Vandoren MP with a fairly small round chamber. To tune as correctly as possible, it had to be pulled out very far. At one point I added 3/4" or so of tube to the shank to make it mechanically more stable on the neck (this DID NOT magically make it play either sharper or flatter).

So, about 10 years ago or so I decided I wanted to go mouthpiece hunting. Of course I was looking for tone quality, response, etc. But I was also looking for a mouthpiece that was acoustically better matched to my horn. So, I measured the distance from the tip of each mouthpiece to a reference point (probably the upper octave vent on the neck), after tuning it the best I could to some tuning note (probably my G/concert Bb). There was at least an inch of difference among mouthpieces in this measurement. In the end the MP best suited to my needs was a Meyer which when properly assembled is about an inch shorter in the measurement I described, than was my old Vandoren.

After some practicing with the new MP, I found that not only was tuning generally better, but also the altissimo response was dramatically improved, and a couple of notes that had always been out of tune were suddenly much better. Also an intermittent problem of squeaking up high when pushing it went away.

So, getting a mouthpiece whose internal volume is suited to the acoustical design of your instrument can make a big difference.

The shank itself, of course, is nothing but a piece of pipe whose length only affects its mechanical attachment to the neck. Most of us who have played old soprano saxes have had the experience of having to cut the end of a mouthpiece because it interferes with a keywork post, in order to be able to put it far enough onto the neck.
 

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Maybe he’s got a high pitch Horn?
 
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