OUR ADVICE ON BUYING A MOUTHPIECE
Here at Corry Bros we know that buying a mouthpiece is an important decision
for any musician.
In a world full of products, marketing strategies, hard sell and various product
claims, we realise that it is harder than ever before for musicians to decide
what, or what not to believe in.
Through our experience and combined years as professional Saxophonists
at the highest level, we would like to offer some simple and honest advice
regarding Saxophone mouthpieces to help you add a little clarity to the
vast and often jargon-laden world of mouthpieces.
1) There is no "best" mouthpiece in the world. They do not exist.
As the old saying goes, "One man's pleasure is another man's poison".
We all have different teeth, jaws, jaw muscles, and most importantly,
perception of sound.
A mouthpiece that works for you, and that you love, may not work for
other players that you know, and vice versa.
We as Saxophonists must accept this fact, and come to terms with the
knowledge that a mouthpiece ALONE cannot transform us into a great player.
We are all different, as are mouthpieces.
This individuality is good for us, and good for both music and its creation.
2) A particular tip opening is not the only thing to consider.
Many Saxophonists are unaware that the reason they love how their
mouthpiece plays is the combination of both tip opening and facing length (the point where the reed is allowed to start vibrating, where the mouthpiece curves away from the reed ) combined with the relationship of the baffle design.
The facing length will give you the 'feel' of your piece i.e. free blowing, resistant etc.
We have seen for instance, that a '7' tip of one brand may not match a '7' of another, but when you start to realise that when we combine where the facing starts with a particular tip opening, this is when things start to get interesting.
3) When trying a new mouthpiece, use a new reed. Find a 'good' new one.
If you use a 'good' reed that you have already been using on another mouthpiece, mechanically speaking, this reed will have been used to 'bending' according to the facing length of the previous mouthpiece. The facing length of the mouthpiece you are trying may not, and in all probability, will not be the same.
You may even want to consider trying a different reed strength or indeed brand. It is often surprising how mouthpieces respond in this way. Many players experiment like this and if you keep an open mind you may be surprised at the results.
4) Spend time with a new mouthpiece. If you like the 'core' sound it gives you, that is the best possible start to developing your sound. Try playing the full range of dynamics, from pianissimo through to ff , this is where you will find whether or not you 'connect' with the piece.
There is no 'magic bullet', no instant solution to the problems we woodwind players face, despite what we are often led to believe.