Let’s Talk Tone

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  Specifically, how much specific control can a player get for creating tonal variation in their soprano sound? The flip side of that question is this: how much of the tone achieved by a player is dependent on his equipment (mouthpiece, reed, horn)? The answer to the first question is … Read More

Soprano Saxophone: Many Ways to Deliver The Air

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Much too little attention is paid to the topic of “how” the air can be delivered when playing soprano saxophone. It is not easy to discuss but it is very easy to experience for yourself. Then , you can draw your own conclusions about just how much you can ‘create” … Read More

ABOUT LARGE CHAMBER SOPRANO PIECES

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So, here’s a picture of 5 vintage large chamber soprano mouthpieces side by side. This picture alone should tell you something right away. Each of these pieces are very good players since I cleaned up the ubiquitous table and facing issues. That said, they are so different, one to the … Read More

THE PROBLEM WITH TABLES

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A lot of mouthpiece problems originate here- on the table. Sometimes it is easy to spot, as with this high-end soprano mouthpiece from one of the well-known makers. Look at the picture. What do you see? Well, you see the area I circled, I hope, and if you do, you … Read More

The Magic Is Real

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Preface:  I was fortunate to have known and to perform with Steve Lacy. I was also fortunate to have played his legendary #12 Otto Link Tone Edge mouthpiece and to have had his horn and mouthpiece in my possession for a year after he passed. Steve’s mouthpiece was a Link model … Read More

Reed Placement & Ligature Placement on Soprano

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I’m writing this because I have noticed how many players, whether beginners or long-time players, do not seem to know about these subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle aspects of getting the sound and response they are seeking. REED PLACEMENT Where you align the tip of the reed on your mouthpiece can … Read More

Understanding Your Mouthpiece

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The amount of misunderstanding and pure nonsense surrounding saxophone mouthpieces is staggering, and it has consequences for students and players. First, there are consequences in performance, but there is also consequences in expense and in satisfaction and joy. In short, your mouthpiece can make your life miserable if it is … Read More

Why Should You Get Your Mouthpiece Checked

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The short answer: most commercially made mouthpieces (I’d say easily 80 % and likely far more) are just a mess in some way or other, and that means they do not play correctly. Practice all you want on them. You’ll learn how to make them play as best as you … Read More

Response on Soprano Saxophone

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We all use the term “response” in speaking about how an instrument plays and particularly about how a mouthpiece performs. So, what exactly do we mean by the term “response”? For me, the best way to approach such a subjective concept is by analogy, and I find automobiles to offer … Read More

HALL OF SHAME

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It ocurred to me that I should start taking some photos of brand new soprano mouthpieces that come my way that clearly show how bad quality control is from major mouthpiece makers. Names have not been changed to protect the innocent; the innocent are the folks who shell out real … Read More

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