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SaxKindle: Seventy-one views (so far as I write this) and no one felt compelled to respond. Interesting.

I'm guessing that 1) this question has been asked over and over again and most readers would ask you to do a search on the site before asking such a question; 2) when you hear a well-played saxophone, notice that they all sound basically the same regardless of the style of music being played. Rock/pop music is a style, not a tone. With a good tone on alto, you can play anything you desire to play - rock, bop, trad-jazz, classical, orchestra, big-band, etc., etc.

First, work on your tone and embouchure. Make sure that you have the best reed you can find. Make sure you have total control over your mouthpiece/reed set-up and that you play to pitch with every note.

Then, push through your horn whatever music you want to play and rest assured, whatever the style, you will sound good.

If you eventually want to change mouthpieces, that is something you have to do by yourself. Everyone is different . . . they have a different embouchure and they have different tonal concepts. Even similar mouthpieces vary piece to piece.

What works for me or some other poster may not work for you. That's something you learn as you progress, although admittedly, many think there is a universal truth to mouthpieces. There isn't. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Dave, thanks for your feedback.

I did search a bit, but my key words I used seems not relevant... (#pop, #rock, #mouthpiece) =(

I am using a mouthpiece with small tip opening. Yesterday, with I played with my friends in a group practice for some pop song, I found my sound significantly lower than others. Thus I'm thinking whether I should have a try for sth with large tip opening mouthpiece, or make for pop/ rock song.

SK
 

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If you're playing with amplified instruments, nothing can compete. The volume level that they're rehearsing will be tenfold more in performance if there is an electric guitar involved.
Buy a microphone and/or amplified monitor.
 

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If you play through a mic/amplification system it won't make much of a difference what mouthpiece you use. The sound system and how it is set up will have a much greater impact. I can't think of a time when playing in pop/rock bands I did not use a mic.
 

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SK: The more details you provide, the more responses you will receive. The ability to "be heard" (aka "play loudly" or "project") involves several factors. Like whaler said, if you are in an all-electric band, you'd best arm yourself with equal equipment.

But one mistake many new players (and a lot of older ones) make is that they have no idea how well they are heard 25 feet in front of the ensemble. True, one must hear oneself, too.

You haven't told us what equipment you are using, how long you've been playing, or how old you are.

New players/young players often don't have the experience to develop volume and projection. A simple reed-change can help you. Also, a mouthpiece change MAY help you; it has been my experience that I can play stronger with better control and more flexibility with larger tip-opening on my mouthpieces. But I can come close to the larger tips by using synthetic reeds (Fibracells, in my case) on smaller tip-openings. This is something that demands experimentation.

Me? I play in acoustic bands and avoid amplification like the plague even though I know how to do it. In MY opinion, amplification ruins the sound of a saxophone and I don't care how talented the sound engineer or the player may be. Others will disagree. However, I recently experienced playing in a trad-jazz band that was SO overwhelmingly amplified that I had to play into a microphone just to barely hear my own horn. Awful!! DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There is no electric make-up, just 20 of us playing sax tgt, and i can hear the diff among us. So wondering whether should I look for a larger tip opening with higher baffle MP.

Thanks everyone! :)
 

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SaxKindle: Of COURSE you should explore different mouthpiece set-ups. Please do so, then report back to us what you tried, what you bought, and how it worked. DAVE
 

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My experience is that yes, a higher baffle mouthpiece will cut through the mix better than a lower baffle mouthpiece when mic'ed at the same volume. I've experimented in live shows with loud bands. A 7* Link STM. (lower baffle, large chamber) blends too easily with bass, drums,and rhythm guitar while a higher baffled, medium chamber mouthpiece cuts through louder and clearer on the same set up. I use a Ponzol M2 110 for loud gigs, and have also used a Dukoff D7, Brilhart Levelaire .100, and a Saxscape Downtown .115 successfully in loud gigs. The opening should be large enough or your reeds hard enough so you can blow alot
of air power into it w/o the reed shutting on you. A super large tip opening never made a difference to me as my Berg 130/2 doesn't cut through as well as a smaller tipped Ponzol, Dukoff, Levelair or Saxscape. Try experimenting with a cheap mouthpiece like a Rico Royal Metallite in a 5 or 7 size. They sell for about $30.00 new.
However, all the other suggestions regarding the basics such as good air control, embouchure development and such are what a beginner should concentrate on to develop good habits and avoid bad ones such as biting too hard on a more open mouthpiece than you are ready for.
 

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There is no electric make-up, just 20 of us playing sax tgt, and i can hear the diff among us. So wondering whether should I look for a larger tip opening with higher baffle MP.
Did you consider asking what the other 19 people are playing?
 

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SK, how long have you been playing? SO many variables in your question, it's almost impossible to answer. I think Dave and Tim/whaler gave you the best "answers", but again, not knowing what you normally play like, how experienced or inexperienced you are, but most importantly, not knowing what you sound like or how you play in person makes it pretty much impossible to give a really good answer. At least that's how I (don't) see it!

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
SK, how long have you been playing? SO many variables in your question, it's almost impossible to answer. I think Dave and Tim/whaler gave you the best "answers", but again, not knowing what you normally play like, how experienced or inexperienced you are, but most importantly, not knowing what you sound like or how you play in person makes it pretty much impossible to give a really good answer. At least that's how I (don't) see it!

John
Thanks everyone's comment! :)

Having playing for almost 3 years. Since still aiming for the abrsm ABRSM exam, my setup is MP with classical music setting (Vanderon AL5 with Yamaha 62)

And during the group practice, I saw my nearby ppl playing with metal MP. Though I searched about materials mattar less on the sound, but I guess the tip opening and baffle are designed for jazz or rock.
 

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SaxKindle, I've been playing about the same time as you, so I don't have a ton of experience to share. But I play other things besides sax and I'll share some viewpoints I didn't see covered so far. Yes, you can use whatever setup you have to play the music. But for my part, I'm trying to find a tonal color that matches the material. Most recent sax work in Rock/Pop has had a thick tone, lots of overtones, on the bright side. I cannot get my 10M to do that with a Link NY STM 7. But with a Rico Metalite 9, I certainly can. So I'm going on a limb and say investigate a mouthpiece with some baffle to get that thick overtone sound. My list to try for this same purpose is Dukoff, Berg Larson, PPT Houligan, 10MFan Boss. I can tell you the Rico Metalite, and 10MFan Robusto, Brilhart LevelAire will all work. The Metalite is difficult for me to use for anything else, very raw sound, but great for rock/blues. The Robusto from 10MFan is more versatile, but still has a nice thick tone. The LevelAire is a challenge for me to play, but the sound is right. Anyway, that's my take on it so far. This thread has piqued my interest in a Jumbo Java tenor and I'm considering the Jody Jazz SuperJet for Alto 6M.
 
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