Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some discussion of another thread has lead me to post this thread, rather then hijack it.

When I was playing alto in ninth grade, I switched from my S80 C* mouthpiece to a Meyer 6M, Small Chamber (wonderful mouthpiece). I used this mouthpiece in both concert band and the jazz ensemble.

My question is this: Was that a good choice?

The Meyer was an excellent piece, but in order to control it in a concert band setting, I developed some bad habits, like poor breath support and biting (I would chew through a mouthpiece patch in about a week). I remember my embouchure becoming fatigued extremely quickly, and my chin was often sore.

On the other hand, I had the biting problem when I was playing the C* as well, but was it exaggerated by the switch to the Meyer? Probably. Same goes for the lack of breath support.

The Meyer was my favorite piece for a very long time, and I eventually developed a sound I was quite proud of on it (for jazz). Playing it in the concert band setting certainly made me learn a lot about it, which I believe was quite beneficial. On the other hand, since then, I've had to drastically change and relearn my embouchure and breathing. I'm guessing that I would've had to anyway, no matter what mouthpiece I used in concert band, but would it have been more drastic?

So, in addition to my earlier question, I'd like to pose another: Is it beneficial or detrimental to play the same mouthpiece in different settings, like concert band and jazz ensemble?

I have my own answer to both these questions; suffice to say, if I'm ever called upon to play sax in symphonic band, I will certainly use my C* rather then the SR Tech Legend that I use for other styles because of the effort that will be spared to my chops.

Your thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,508 Posts
For what it's worth, I think it won't hurt things, depending on the piece. For example, I have a Selmer Super Session D I play in some jazz settings. But I play an AL3 in Concert settings. But, before I got the AL3, I did my audition on my Super Session. With the close facing, most people couldn't tell that I wasn't playing a "Classical" piece. Though, on tenor I use the same piece in both settings, I just blow different. :)

-Bubba-
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,875 Posts
It's very common to have separate mouthpieces for classical and jazz. The vast majority of advanced players do. Relative beginners can get away with using one for both because they're really not going to sound good on either. Even intermediate players and average high school players probably won't really be able to take advantage of a jazz mouthpiece though they'll notice more of a difference than a beginner would. And for those player, using one mouthpiece for everything, it'll most likely be a classical mouthpiece rather than a jazz one.

I think using multiple mouthpieces is the way to go, provided the player can handle the jazz mouthpiece.

I think there can be benefits to both using a single mouthpiece and using multiple mouthpieces. Using a single mouthpiece can teach you how to be versatile and how to shape a sound. Figuring out how to get an acceptable tone for jazz or rock or funk on a classical mouthpiece or how to get an acceptable classical tone on a jazz mouthpiece will expand the range of tone colors at your disposal. That said, mouthpieces have their limits and some mouthpieces are more ideal for certain styles (and sounds) than others. While I can get a decent classical sound out of a jazz mouthpiece (and vice versa), they're not ideal and I get better results if I use mouthpieces that are geared towards those genres.

Some players use more two. I used to use 3 on tenor. One for classical, one for jazz, and one for rock/funk/etc. But I found a mouthpiece that was dark enough for the type of jazz sound I like but can be blown bright enough for use on rock gigs and I dropped back to 2 (really 1 since I never play classical tenor but would use a different mouthpiece if I did).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
761 Posts
Using a jazz mouthpiece in a classical setting is never a good idea. It will be quite hard to blend with the other saxophones and woodwinds. It's quite difficult to get a classical tone quality on a jazz mouhpiece.

I would say it's detrimental to use the same mouthpiece for all styles. Different types of music require a different timbre, and you need a different mouthpiece for each if you want to have the appropriate tone quality.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
21,148 Posts
For a long time I used a Selmer S-80 D and a Meyer 6M, both with about the same tip (.075") but now I pretty much use a Super Session D. Your C* would be .067" and the Meyer about a .076". I prefer to keep the tip opening about the same.. I would think the biting problem may be the first place to look as it may something as simple as adjusting the neckstrap to have a better position of the mouthpiece.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,966 Posts
...But I found a mouthpiece that was dark enough for the type of jazz sound I like but can be blown bright enough for use on rock gigs and I dropped back to 2 (really 1 since I never play classical tenor but would use a different mouthpiece if I did).
Cool. Do you mind saying which piece?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician
Joined
·
26,707 Posts
I used to switch mouthpieces depending upon the application, but now match my mouthpiece of choice to each particular horn... and switch horns depending upon the application.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013
Joined
·
631 Posts
I am alternating between few mouthpieces for different genres.
For Classical, big band (2nd Alto) and jazz stuff, I am playing on my vintage SELMER soloist C*.
For my rock/funk/blues setup, it is currently between the MEYER HR 5M + Jody Jazz DV NY. I am hoping to squeeze in the TED KLUM acoustimer but I could not get the sound.
honestly, I do not spend enough time with the later 3 mouthpieces to do them justice.
the gear does not excuse us from practice.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,875 Posts
Cool. Do you mind saying which piece?
A Drake Son of Slant with a medium chamber. I was listening to guys like Joshua Redman with his Elastic band, Chris Potter with his Underground band, and Bob Reynolds with John Mayer. Those guys were all using Links in pop/funk formats and sounded great and it broke me out of the mindset that I needed a high baffle mouthpiece to get a sound that would be appropriate in that setting. Of course, then I started thinking of all the rock, R&B, and blues guys from the 50s and 60s who were using Links and thought, "duh".

When I was younger, I played some high baffle mouthpieces (Guardala LT Super King, Berg 130/0, Runyon Quantum) but I wasn't as mature musically as I am now so the sound wasn't THAT bright and was darker than what I can achieve now on a piece with a low rollover baffle and MUCH darker than what I can achieve now on a high baffle piece. After I was satisfied I could use the Drake for rock gigs, I sold my Jody Jazz DV to a high school student and when he tried it out, he reminded me of myself as a younger player. While I was pretty bright on that mouthpiece, he was still fairly dark. So I think a lot of it has to do with where you are as a player. More advanced and experienced players will be able to blow a Link type mouthpiece bright enough to use for rock while younger and less experience players probably won't be able to. Even as a college junior music major, I really couldn't get the type of sound on a Link that I can now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This is a great conversation, and I thank you all for your input, but perhaps I should re-word the question. It seems my original post was a tadd unclear and meandering.

Is it beneficial or detrimental to use the same mouthpiece in different settings?

(A lot of you have answered it, so thanks, I'm just not quite so interested in discussing specific gear, although I'm sure it will come up in examples).

Bruce, thanks for the input on biting, but just to be clear, I solved that quite a while back ;-).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,202 Posts
It seems this point will get some different responces. There are those that proudly claim one mouthpiece does everything for them. Some like to use different mouthpieces for different musical styles or ensembles and some like to change mouthpieces to match a particular model of sax. As to the question of this being detrimental or beneficial, I'm not sure. I would say it would be best for a beginner to really stick with one piece that works for them for a few years. In this way, they can develop their sound and learn to control the air stream effectively. Having only one mouthpiece could be the better way to go in the early stage of development of good a embouchure and breath control as it provides a consistent base upon which to develop your skills. Personally, I use one piece for rock, one for jazz and another for concert band. However, I did play a Soloist D on alto for about 10 years before using anything else with any regularlity. Perhaps my answer is it would be beneficial to stick with one good piece you like until your sound concept is developed to a point where you are happy with it (and so are others...). Then, you may wish to try some mouthpieces that are designed for different tone colours. It could then be beneficial to try some others provided the dreaded "GAS" does not get you. Wanna buy a mouthpiece...
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top