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

Straight Talk on Bent Necks

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Sound waves behave differently in a straight conic environment than they do in a conic environment that also has a bend or curve in it. That is an acoustical fact. But, what does that mean to a player? Does it affect “playing” at all? The answer is yes. And the … Read More

Intonation on Soprano

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Many players make all kinds of claims about the supposedly “inherent” intonation issues of the soprano sax and pronounce that it is somehow much harder to master than alto, tenor or baritone. They really believe it, but it isn’t true. Why do they believe it? Because their experience with soprano … Read More

Reeds & Mouthpieces Part 1

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It’s an old story- cane reeds are the bane of many saxophone players. They are, by most accounts, “inconsistent”, “unreliable”, “problematic”, and, then, “just right”. That’s the same brand, same grade, same box even! I believe what I’m talking about here applies to all saxophones but I know it applies … Read More

Reeds & Mouthpieces Part 2

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So, how can one “magic” reed work where dozens from the same box have been complete duds? Well, the fact is that the “magic” reed is truly the “inconsistent” one and the rest were quite consistent. The problem, my friends, is not in your reeds but in your mouthpiece. That … Read More

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