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:: Guide Index » Accessories » Saxophone Mouthpieces

Saxophone Mouthpieces Buyer's Guide

Saxophone Mouthpiece Buyer's Guide

Saxophone Mouthpiece Breakdown

section #1
anatomy of a saxophone mouthpiece


section #2

Jody Jazz DV Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

When speaking of mouthpiece materials, a general rule of thumb states that the softer the material, the darker and less projecting the sound. The harder the material finds just the opposite.

Usually made into student mouthpieces, plastic mouthpieces are durable and affordable. The tradeoff is the sound can be bright and difficult to focus.

Ebonite (Hard Rubber):
Offers a warmer, better focused sound than plastic. Ebonite is the preferred material for classical players and jazz musicians not needing a great deal of edge and projection.

Characterized as having very good projection and a bright sound, crystal mouthpieces are excellent for jazz and outdoor jobs. Crystal is very fragile and a soft mouthpiece pouch is highly recommended.

Though rarely used, wood is the warmest material used in mouthpiece making. However, it offers the least projection of all mouthpiece materials. Wood also proves less stable than rubber or plastic.

Metal-Plated Brass:
The majority of metal mouthpieces are made from plated brass. These are used for playing jazz, rock and fusion. The most common plating is gold. However, other metals are used for their different sonic properties.

Metal-Stainless Steel:
Stainless steel offers the most projection and brightest sound of all metal mouthpieces.


Facing & Tip:
Where the mouthpiece meets the reed. The length of a facing is directly related to the opening of the tip. As a general rule, the longer the facing, the smaller the tip. The reverse is true for short facings. This relationship dictates many important factors for the clarinetist including reed strength, focus of sound and timbre, projection and the degree of "free-blowing". Below is a quick reference guide:

Facing Resistance Reeds
Open Tip short high soft
Medium Tip medium medium medium
Close Tip long low harder

Recommended Saxophone Mouthpieces


section #4

The baffle is the area exactly opposite of the window and dictates the amount of "edge" or "bite" a mouthpiece displays. In general, the higher the baffle, the brighter and more projecting the sound. The lower the baffle, the more mellow and warm the sound.


Choosing a Mouthpiece

section #5

Choosing the correct mouthpiece plays a major role in the overall success of a player's development. Because mouthpieces are designed for a wide variety of musical styles, it is important to understand the mouthpiece's design and intent.

Concert Band Mouthpieces:
For general concert band playing, choose a mouthpiece with a medium length facing curve and medium to medium close tip opening. This will allow the saxophonist to use a slightly harder reed and thereby create a more focused and controllable sound. Typically, mouthpieces for concert band are made of ebonite. The most popular concert band mouthpieces include the Selmer Paris S80 and S90 Series, E. Rousseau Classic and New Classic Series, and the Vandoren Optimum Series.

Jazz Band Mouthpieces:
Saxophone mouthpieces designed for jazz playing are made from both ebonite and metal. Historically jazz mouthpieces have a big tip opening, high baffle and large chamber. These elements combine to give jazz saxophone players greater flexibility and a larger tone. It is important to remember that this flexibility and volume also require a great deal more control of the sound with the embouchure and air. When a student first begins using a dedicated jazz mouthpiece, it is usually a good idea to select a mouthpiece that will encourage a jazz sound yet remains more consistent in feel to a concert mouthpiece.

Mouthpiece Return Policy

section #5

Orders of up to four mouthpieces may be purchasedwith deferred payment. There is a $4.00 cleaning and sterilization charge on each mouthpiece returned ($8.00 charge on mouthpieces over $300.00 selling price). Mouthpieces must be returned free of blemishes and in the original packaging. Late returns will be subject to a $10.00 late fee per mouthpiece. Call 1-800-348-5003 for complete details.

Buy Your Saxophone Mouthpiece with Confidence from The Woodwind & Brasswind

In choosing a Saxophone, you need to consider your musician's age and skill level, and the kind of use (school band, marching band, orchestra, etc.) to which they will put their instrument. If for school, consulting with the band teacher is a good idea.

Whatever Saxophone you select, The Woodwind & Brasswind's 100% Satisfaction Guarantee means you have 45 days to be sure it's right for you. If it's not, just return it for a full refund.* And you don't need to worry about paying too much. Our 45-Day Lowest Price Guarantee means that if you find the same saxophone mouthpiece advertised for less elsewhere, we'll make up the difference. When you buy a saxophone mouthpiece from The Woodwind & Brasswind, you can buy with complete confidence.

*All returned mouthpieces are assessed a $4.00 sterilization fee.

Product Comparison Charts

section #5
:: Guide Index » Accessories » Saxophone Mouthpieces

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