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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I'm a late bloomer and have only started to play music and the alto in the past six months. I was wondering if I should invest in a new mouthpiece and ligature now or wait? I'm told by my teacher that I'm making very good progress but the rest of his pupils are children so I'm not sure if it counts :) I have a cheap mouthpiece and I understand that a good mouthpiece will help me produce the sound that I want to (nothing compared to good, old fashioned practice of course).
So, leaving aside the whole question of which mouthpiece to buy should I wait for another year until I'm good enough and settled enough in the sound that I want and put up with the low quality of my current one or go out now and spend hundreds of Euro on a new mouthpiece and ligature and risk making the wrong choice?

Thanks,
Ciarán

PS I've learned a lot on this website; it's a great resource. Thanks to everyone.
 

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I assume you are using the basic mouthpiece that came with the horn. I used one of those for years but that's not necessarily the best way to go about it. Why not speak to your teacher and get a recommendation for something that's well made and the right size for you. You don't need to spend hundreds to get a decent mouthpiece. It may be good for the soul to suffer with a dull, basic mouthpiece but why not forego that pleasure and get something that sounds and plays a bit better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for that. Actually I'm not using the mouthpiece that came with it. The sax has been in my family for a good 50 years and when I got it it was in a bad condition with no mouthpiece. So the one I have doesn't necessarily go with it. See the link below for queries about it's origin.

http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?t=5870

Ciarán
 

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Distinguished SOTW Columnist/Official SOTW Guru
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There seems to be a misconception that "the mouthpiece that comes with the saxophone is a piece of ****, and should be replaced by an expensive one as soon as possible."

My advice to you, is to hold off. The fact that your teacher has many younger students, is irrelevant. You are a child in saxophone terms. If you are progressing well with the current mouthpiece, then it would seem to be "good" enough.

You haven't been playing long enough to know what suits you physically on the horn.

You haven't been playing long enough to have developed your ears to be able to hear all the elements of your sound on the horn.

You haven't been playing long enough to know yourself, know your horn, know where you want to go with your playing and be able to make the decision independant of any fashion advice you read on this forum.

Relax. Wait a while. This is the saxophone equivalent of turning up at your first dance with "the girl next door," as your date. All the other girls look glamorous by comparison. All the other young guys will be telling you all sorts of BS stories about how their own date really "puts out."

They all look the same with the lights off. Some are just a better fit.


Wait till you've been to a few more dances (so to speak). When all the beginners angst has gone and you've had time to mature as a player and listener. When you reach the point where all the advice, reviews and opinions you read here, don't knacker your own, commonsense and your own, ears.

Then, go try a whole bunch of mouthpieces and see if any of them are a better fit for your chops, or your ears. Don't be surprised if you end up marrying the girl next door, (so to speak), though. :)
 

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Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
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Dog Pants said:
There seems to be a misconception that "the mouthpiece that comes with the saxophone is a piece of ****, and should be replaced by an expensive one as soon as possible."
IMHO, this is correct. Look at it this way. Is it in the intersests of the sax manufacturer to provide you with a m/p to play their instrument that is virtually unplayable? Answer: no. Discuss the issue with your teacher and if you've got £60 burning a hole in your pocket you could upgrade. But don't expect the m/p to make all the difference. That is a very dangerous road to start travelling along!
 
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