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 Mouthpiece question
Author: hautboy 
Date:   2014-06-30 17:25

I'm an oboe player who doubles on sax. I was playing my alto and couldn't get the high notes. (palm keys - E's and F's). They squeaked, and if they did come out, they barely came out at all and I really had to focus the air far more than usual. I checked the usual things: Leaky pads, screw adjustment, octave key and other keys working properly, making sure the reed wasn't warped (I tried an entire box of reeds and prepped them properly before playing.) Anyhow, I finally switched to the stock mouthpiece and what do you know, the high notes came out with minimal effort, leading me to believe that my Meyer mouthpiece had warped. Surprisingly, when I search the web, more people seem to blame a warped reed for this type of problem than a warped mouthpiece. Many people said it's hard for a mouthpiece to warp, but I'm not so sure, especially if it's an older mouthpiece. Anyhow, not sure what to do about it. I guess I could get it refaced or order a better mouthpiece. One thing I do know though, if my students have this type of problem, I won't necessarily blame the reed. Could be a bad mouthpiece. Anyone familiar with Phil Tone mouthpieces? Supposed to be good from what I hear. I'm not so sure about the new Meyer mouthpieces, I heard they are not as consistent as the older ones.

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 Re: Mouthpiece question
Author: concertmaster3 
Date:   2014-07-03 07:00

As an oboist first, and saxophonist second...it sounds like you're using too much embouchure pressure. What mouthpiece pitch do you get if you play with just the mouthpiece and reed? Aim for A 880. If you're getting much higher than this, you're bitting.

As far as mouthpieces, what mouthpiece facing are you using, and what reed and strength?

Ron Ford
Woodwind Specialist

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