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Discussion Starter #1
Kiind of a follow up to the "how do you know you have found your mouthpiece thread".

Any thoughts on what tips the scale against a piece that you have played and liked as your main piece to the point where you are looking for something else? (Barring experimentation coming out of boredom as well...). Is it usually a playability/comfort thing? Or a sound that is lacking?
I have been playing a piece on alto for quite a while and been pretty happy with it, but really in the last while I started hearing things it is lacking, funny it took this long to figure that out. Huh...
 

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as one gains more experience one "hears" more (more color/other complexities), and thus your tonal concepts change. Which leads one to want to change to their new concepts; this could be an ever moving target.

or you simply want to sound differently, such as you want to sound like Coltrane instead of Sanborn.
or you realize that you mpc is a dog :cool:
 

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Sometimes it is after I return to the horn after a break or vacation. This makes me realize that I've been working too hard to do certain things, whether it is response or tone. But I need to make sure it's not simply because my reeds have dried out and gone bad.
 

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When to move on...

For my Jon Van Wie refaced Meyer, it was when the piece landed tip-first on a wooden stage (the alto was still attached to the mouthpiece.) :cry:

For previous pieces, it was usually a matter of I envisioned a quality to my sound that my current piece could either not provide at all, or I could make the sound I wanted, but only with a great deal of effort.

For the time being, I think I am probably going to be a 3 piece player. My Vandoren AL3 for Classical, my metal Yani 7 for contemporary/jazz work where I need to project over amplified instruments, and a yet-to-be-determined piece that will replace my beloved Meyer.

I was all ready to ditch the Yani, but this weekend I played some contemporary music with an electric guitar, keyboard, piano (mic'd), acoustic guitar (mic'd) and drums. Without the Yani, I would have had trouble being heard methinks. This is the reason why I hold on to pieces even after I'm ready to move on. If I don't play it for a year, then it's gone after one "last" play-test.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I was thinking this post over the last couple of days---pertaining to the alto mouthpiece I have been using, I realized I was having to work to play it in tune more than I should have to--and, I must be playing father up on the beak of the mouthpiece and it had become uncomfortable to play. I have disliked other pieces before, but it was more of a long term slower dislike--this was quite sudden... interesting how that works....
 

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i've noticed that i've been going to larger tip openings. And the various mpcs have to keep up .. so I try to keep the openings the same other wise they don't respond the same .. kinda falling out of favor until their openings are the same.
 

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Yeah, the intonation thing... What are your feelings about a mpc being very flexible in pitch vs locked in? It may depend on the situation. Sometimes I'll be playing lead and not be able to hear the ensemble well. In that case it's comfortable to be able to get close to being in tune with muscle memory, as opposed to having setup where slight variations in embouchure cause huge changes in pitch.

Of course the flexible-pitch setups in general tend to aggravate sax problems such as sharp middle D, flat middle C#, sharp palm key notes etc, though there are other mouthpiece/reed factors in this.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah, MM, I know what you mean--thats what I had been doing with this piece; a V16 by the way---I have been playing it for a while, maybe a little under a year--and I hadn't really noticed the nuances of it perhaps. I have used it in pit situations and as a lead piece--and lately as a rock piece also and its always been close enough in all those situations. I had always been a little sceptical of the depth of the piece from the start, as it didn't seem like I could get the body from it I would have liked. I think the change came for me as I have been playing farther up on the beak in an attempt to get more of the body I was lacking and it threw everything out of whack. Anyhow, this weekend was the last of that piece for me...on to better things...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I should add that a good piece for me is comfortable and has a centered resonance where the pitch is within easy reach if I am playing relaxed and with an open airstream. I just couldn't find the center with the A8S....
 

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When I make a new one :)

Stan
 

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mlscnr said:
This post says it all.


Stan - do you have more pictures of your latest creation(s)?
Of course I have :), do you mean the green fluorescent one?
Contact me in pvt and I will send you more pictures :) or check time by time my setup page (link is below in my signature).

All the best,

Stan
 

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Stan, you need to have your own page at the MouthpieceMuseum.com - assuming you don't already. If that is the case, let us know.
 

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stevesklar said:
i've noticed that i've been going to larger tip openings. And the various mpcs have to keep up .. so I try to keep the openings the same other wise they don't respond the same .. kinda falling out of favor until their openings are the same.
Been there, done that, and now my preferences in tenor are going back down in tip opening size. The good news is that I've learned to get as much volume from a smaller tip. Now I can focus on finding the correct balance between response and intonation flexibility without the "volume" variable. :D
 

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Dr G said:
Been there, done that, and now my preferences in tenor are going back down in tip opening size. The good news is that I've learned to get as much volume from a smaller tip. Now I can focus on finding the correct balance between response and intonation flexibility without the "volume" variable. :D
what tip opening did you get up to and what are you currently at ?
 

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I agree with the original reply. When you gain more experience you hear more and become more conscious of intonation and tone color issues on your current mouthpiece. I've been playing the same two mouthpieces as primaries for almost 10 years and they were changes from one primary mouthpiece that I had played for almost 7 years. I think you find that your current mouthpiece is very comfortable, but you begin searching for more (better intonation, better tonal conception, etc.) and you find all kinds of cool new things. Don't get rid of the mouthpiece that gets pushed aside, just hang onto it and come back to after a while, you never know what you'll learn about your playing.
 

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Mouthpieces fall out of favor with me on the job. After I've worked with one for a while if it doesn't do it for me performing, it's gone.
 

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Stan said:
Of course I have :), do you mean the green fluorescent one?
Contact me in pvt and I will send you more pictures :) or check time by time my setup page (link is below in my signature).

All the best,

Stan
Stan -- I'd like to add your mouthpieces to the Mouthpiece Museum and sent you a PM to discuss.
 
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