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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A standing advice here on SOTW when people have problems with the soprano is "push the mpc as far as possible onto the cork". I have even gotten that advice from a mouthpiece maker. I have tried it, and it really works - except that the sax gets very sharp. So - why must the mouthpiece be so far onto the cork? And what can you do to get the sax back in tune?
 

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A standing advice here on SOTW when people have problems with the soprano is "push the mpc as far as possible onto the cork". I have even gotten that advice from a mouthpiece maker. I have tried it, and it really works - except that the sax gets very sharp. So - why must the mouthpiece be so far onto the cork?
I don't think this is normal advice. It is just pain wrong IMO.

How can you say "it works" and yet the instruments is very sharp.

And what can you do to get the sax back in tune?
Pull the mouthpiece off a bit until it is in tune, and make a note to ignore such advice in the future.
 

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+1
That is just weird.

Adjust the piece for tuning.

If the piece doesnt get along with you or the horn it just doesnt get along.

Makes me wonder what was not "Working"

Can you elaborate on what it fixed while destroying your intonation at the same time :)
 

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I am one to advise others suffering from playing flat that they aren't positioning the mouthpiece far enough onto a soprano's neck. It is pretty well accepted that some novice soprano players don't shove on far enough . . . but I have not read anyone saying that they must shove on all the way. It happens sometimes when I'm shoved on pretty far, even to the point where on some of my vintage sopranos, my shortened mouthpieces were almost to the upper octave vent's ribbing (Bueschers) or close to the upper octave vent's pip (Conn), but that's just me, as an example of how I do it.

Of COURSE, proper tuning is the goal here, not where the mouthpiece is sited. That can only be determined by the pitch the player achieves. DAVE
 

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And some horns need it. I think you had me shorten your Sapphire shank didnt you Dave? ...well, someone did if you didnt for that very reason on a vintage horn.
 

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I agree about some horns needing it . . . my Yanagisawa and MKVI's don't, but my Conn and Martin (and previous Bueschers) do.

Phil, no your Sapphire was nicely made and short, and it works fine on all of my sops without further shortening, as does Joe's Missing Link. However, S-80's are often borderline or too long for me. I had a couple of S-80's and two Morgan Vintages shortened several years ago. DAVE
 

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I am one to advise others suffering from playing flat that they aren't positioning the mouthpiece far enough onto a soprano's neck. It is pretty well accepted that some novice soprano players don't shove on far enough . . . but I have not read anyone saying that they must shove on all the way.
https://www.kesslerandsons.com/blog/choosing-a-soprano-sax/ says the following:

General Advice for Playing Soprano…
Here is the best advice that I can give anyone when it comes to modern soprano sax playing. RELAX. The biggest problem is that many players tend to pinch and play too tight on their embouchure. While this is good advice for any sax player, it is of critical importance on modern soprano.

Modern sopranos are DESIGNED to play with the mouthpiece pushed on covering roughly 90% of the cork. That’s basically pushed on until it can’t be pushed on further. Then you play relaxed and play it like a tenor. This will give you that richer, lush soprano sax sound that seems so elusive.

The other issue here is intonation and response. Soprano is a small enough embouchure that if you only push on covering 60-70% of the cork, you will be flat but can get a single tuning note up to pitch with a simple extra pressure on the embouchure. All of a sudden, the tuning note is in tune, but your octaves will be all off and there will be a gurgle in the lower end of the horn – all problems that people will THINK are a problem with the sax, when in reality, it is the player.

So push on till it won’t go on any further and relax. You (and anyone listening) will be glad you did!
 

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It tunes where it tunes. You don't push it on the neck all the way just because. Mine needs it, maybe yours doesn't. I have been playing a very long time and find I need to push most of my mouthpieces quite far in. Except baritone, of course. :) I think you eventually learn to use a looser embouchure which tends to make you a little flatter. I guess you have misunderstood various recommendations to push soprano mouthpieces in especially on Taiwan/Chinese saxes which typically go a little flat. Flat in this case is decidedly better than sharp because there are remedies. With sharp, you need a sax stretcher, and they are hard to find. I tried a soprano one time that was pretty good except the low Bb was very sharp. That was the 'kiss of death' because there's nothing you can do about that - the horn should've been 1/4" longer. :)
 

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The mouthpiece of any sax needs to be where a 'long' b (2nd harmonic, 1st overtone of low b) is in tune with the regular low b. It's especially important on soprano. Stephen Duke explains it well in this article:

http://www.steveduke.net/articles/mouthpiece.shtml
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
From the JodyJazz home page http://jodyjazz.com/dv-soprano/: "Tuning: When you first try the DV Soprano I recommend that you push the mouthpiece on the neck until you see a little bit of the neck peeking through the secondary window. This may or may not be the correct position for you but I want to make sure that you start playing near where the mouthpiece will probably go on the neck."
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
+1
That is just weird.

Adjust the piece for tuning.

If the piece doesnt get along with you or the horn it just doesnt get along.

Makes me wonder what was not "Working"

Can you elaborate on what it fixed while destroying your intonation at the same time :)
The problem with some mouthpieces is that they "warble" when not pushed far enough onto the cork (it sounds somewhat like you blow through water).
 

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On my Martin soprano I have to go up past the end of the cork to play somewhere near in tune. I've got between 1/8 and 1/4 of an inch to the closest post. This is with a metal Selmer which I suspect is a longer piece requiring more pushed in.

But it works getting as close to in tune as a rather novice soprano player can do.

Sent from my Moto X 2015 Pure Edition using Forum Runner
 

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Personally I think all this 'science' of where to place the mouthpiece is total BS. You put the mouthpiece where it is the easiest to play in tune all over the horn. You're naturally going to try to play in tune anyway - that is if you're musically talented - moving the mouthpiece to the best compromise position puts you in that 'pocket'. This position may be different based on the ambient temperature, your reed selection or even how you feel that day, so there's no advantage to marking the cork for your 'tuning position'.
If you try a mouthpiece that will not allow you to play in tune in a reasonable position, you need to try another mouthpiece. By 'reasonable' I mean it has to be far enough on the cork to be a solid fit, not hanging off the end.
 

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Just put it where it is in tune and go in slightly from there. Best to be tuned a little sharp on soprano and play the pitch down a bit. Too many tend to bite on soprano which makes both an intonation problem and takes away the tonal qualities.
 

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I still think the best approach to mouthpiece placement is to put the mouthpiece where B2, fingered normally is in tune with B2, played as an overtone of B1. Slur slowly back and forth from "open" B2 to "long" B2. Change the mouthpiece position until the 2 are in tune with each other. This accomplishes 2 things - 1, you are playing with a loose enough embouchure to get the "long" B2 to sound, and 2, the saxophone is now more-or-less in tune with itself. Then learn to play in tune with the mouthpiece in that position (or close to it).
 

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One concept is to push the mouthpiece in really far and force yourself to lower the pitch while maintaining a focused tone. In some cases, players need to go to extremes to break the habit of over gripping the mouthpiece. One interest side effect is that the tone starts to move in interesting directions. This is what I've heard.
 

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A standing advice here on SOTW when people have problems with the soprano is "push the mpc as far as possible onto the cork". I have even gotten that advice from a mouthpiece maker. I have tried it, and it really works - except that the sax gets very sharp. So - why must the mouthpiece be so far onto the cork? And what can you do to get the sax back in tune?
If the sax "gets very sharp", then how can you say "it really works"?

Personally I had reasonable success following Paul Coat's recommendations:

http://www.saxontheweb.net/Learning/SopranoIntonation.html
 
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