Getting Your Sound
If you’re around players in person or online, you’ll come across folks who claim that all mouthpieces sound alike, all reeds sound alike, all setups sound alike. They’ll tell you that “there is no difference whatsoever between Setup A and Setup B ( or D, E, F through Z) in terms of sound. They’ll tell you “you’ll always sound like you”, end of discussion. They really believe it, too. The questions is: why?
The simple answer is this: they can’t hear the difference, so they are sure there is none. Wrong. Their “listening” equipment isn’t very sensitive and they can’t distinguish subtle and not so subtle differences. So, it’s logical, to them, to declare there is no difference. Think of it as “the earth is flat” approach to reality.
There is no discussing this with many of these folks. They are really committed to denying anything they themselves don’t know or believe. They may be great players, too, but most often they are good, journeymen players who have staked out certain positions on the topics of the day. Smile, and move on.
Be Open, Be Ready
If you know something, you know it. If you don’t know something, it’s there to explore. If you “think” something, it isn’t necessarily true but you’re invested in it in some way or other. Keep clarifying your thoughts about it until you “know it” for what is really is.
How you navigate these things says a lot about how open you are, how aware you are and those things have a lot to do with whether you are prepared to see or hear something when it presents itself to you. If you’re ready, you get it; if you’re not ready, it never happened. Either way, it was there, but in one case you saw it and in the other case, you never saw it at all.