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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While practicing Alto today, I decided to take in a lot of mouthpiece, to see if it would make a difference. I took in enough mouthpiece to cover up a majority of the Bite Plate with my front teeth, without it being uncomfortable. I do have a (very) slight overbite, but my lower lip still covered up a substantial part of the reed.
On my classical setup, consisting of Blue-Box Vandoren 2 1/2s and a stock mouthpiece (the C* is on the way) I noticed my tone became more stable, but the tone changed in a way that was like a more "buzzy" sound, like it became more like an oboe sound, but stronger in the staff. My low range was much easier to get out (Bb came out strongly everytime), as well as my high/altissimo range (I was much more consistent hitting F# and G, and could even get a G# out with a bit of effort, and i'm in 10th grade, so I consider that to be decent for now).
I was wondering if I could be taking in too much mouthpiece, however, or if the limit was just where it becomes uncomfortable for me. Thank you for reading.
:scratch:
 

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Experimentation is fun isn't it!?!
Since you had 'good' results taking in that much mouthpiece, but found your sound to be a little too 'buzzy' you could try backing off just a little to see if the buzz goes away.
You've gone over the limit when you can no longer control your sound.
Have fun finding your mouthpieces' 'Sweet Spot'!
 

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You're letting the reed have more freedom to vibrate but, as bandmomy says, you need to also have control over it too. So the thing is to play about with getting your embouchure placement where you can get the tone as you like and still be free blowing.

Remember, if you want to mess with note bending you'll get a little more range by putting you bottom lip a little closer to the reed tip.
Let you ears (and other people's too) tell you when the amount of reed taken in is right. It's slightly different for different shapes of mouth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies. I practiced more with this today, and I think I found the "sweet spot" for this mouthpiece. Once I found it, I noticed a huge difference in my tone, control, tonguing, and more ease in hitting low notes. Thanks for the advice so far, it's been very helpful.
On this subhect, can anyone offer some advice on what they do to get out altissimo notes on the first try?
I can get up to E every time when it is the first note I play, and F#--G# will come out, though it is difficult for me to get them out without slurring up to them.
 

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On this subhect, can anyone offer some advice on what they do to get out altissimo notes on the first try?
There are tons of posts on here about altissimo. The three main key points are:

1. Know the good fingering that works for you, your horn, your mouthpiece, etc. There are huge charts available online for many many options for each altissimo note. Try all of them, and find out which is most stable FOR YOU (its very personal).

2. Practice overtones. Can you play a low Bb and, using your throat mostly, get a Bb in the ledger? Can you then, still holding the low Bb, get an F at the top staff? Then a Bb above the staff? You need to be able to voice your overtones consistently before altissimo will pop.

3. Finally, be able to hear the note before you go for it. If you can't hear the altissimo note before you play it, you can't voice it. Sing it in your head. Then they'll start to pop.

Good luck.
 

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Just to add that taking in more mouthpiece means relearning embouchure: it takes a while to tame the tone and gain best use of the advantages in intonation, stability and projection. So today's sweet spot may not be sweetest in the long term, if you persist.
 

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The sweet spot is really in the eye of the beholder. Or in this case..the player. You can get used to anything, and you can make almost anything work if you keep at it long enough, so the question is really:

What sounds the best, and plays the nicest for you? and perhaps also what sounds the best for your audiance ;)!
 
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