Antigua Winds
Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Advice on an easier blowing mouthpiece!

    Hi all

    I have been using a Berg 100/1 sms since I began but I do tend to find it a bit hard,I can blow it ok,but I really get jaw ache and then my bottom lip falls apart hehe-or not so! Please excuse my ignorance but which way do I go for an easier blowing mouthpiece? up or down the scale? I like the bergs though have not tried much else though one was a Brilhart no 5 was very open and it took me all my breath to get one note out! btw.I play Tenor.

    I am grateful for any advice from you Guru's!

  2. #2


    You might try a softer reed or even a different brand of reed first, to save yourself the trouble of trying other pieces. What brand and strength do you use currently?
    UNT Jazz Grad Student/Freelance Saxophonist - DFW Private Lesson Instructor
    Selmer Series II alto / Morgan Jazz 7M - Java 3
    Yamaha 82Z tenor / Vandoren Java T55 - Java 3 / Guardala MB II - Java 3

  3. #3
    Distinguished Member
    Forum Contributor 2014
    jlima's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Default Re: Advice on an easier blowing mouthpiece!

    Yes, definitely, going down in reed strength would be my first option too.
    Selmer Mark VI, Ted Klum Focustone Solid Silver Handcrafted 0.108" mpc, Rigotti Gold 3M reeds, Marc Jean ligature

  4. #4
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sunny Southampton, UK

    Default Re: Advice on an easier blowing mouthpiece!

    I agree about the softer reeds, but you may also do well to get it refaced.

  5. #5
    Forum Contributor 2014 MoonMind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default Re: Advice on an easier blowing mouthpiece!

    Saxmel: What you said about the Meyer 5 leaves me a little baffled - be it a metal or rubber Meyer, it's way *less* open than a 100/* Berg! That's why I suspect that your troubles are caused by biting rather than actual setup (tip/reed ratio). Your jaw and lip aches point in that direction, too. A .100 tip is really middle of the road for tenor - having *more* troubles with a Meyer 5 means that you probably bit it shut (or almost so), making it very hard to get the reed to vibrate at all. Key is not to bite harder but to ease up the pressure! I think you should concentrate on learning to relax your jaw - I bet it's mostly an embouchure thing. Going down in reed strength as has been suggested may help with correcting that - but when you keep biting it won't help. At any rate switching to softer reeds will give you important clues.

    ss: King (H. N. White, curved); Bauhaus Walstein Bronze AI (straight).
    as: King Super 20 SilverSonic; Yanagisawa A-6; Selmer SuperAction 80 II; Lyrist "Briard"; Yamaha YAS-25; Jupiter JAS-769-767.
    ts: Yanagisawa T-500; Cannonball T5; Conn 10M.
    bs: Conn 12M; Yanagisawa B-6; Keilwerth The New King.
    => Support Free Software! <=

  6. #6
    Distinguished SOTW Member artstove's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    SF Bay Area

    Default Re: Advice on an easier blowing mouthpiece!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post
    I agree about the softer reeds, but you may also do well to get it refaced.
    I would agree with this. Some Bergs have pretty funky facing curves - I had one that sounded nice, but was almost impossible to blow. I got it refaced and it made a huge difference - it is now as easy as just about any other good mouthpiece I have tried.

  7. #7
    Mouthpiece Refacer Extraordinaire and Forum Contributor 2007-2010 EZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004

    Default Re: Advice on an easier blowing mouthpiece!

    The facing curves on Berg Larsen mouthpieces can, in some circumstances, be challenging to play due to the shortness of the curve (not the tip opening). The SMS facing is generally shorter than the M facing which potentially compounds the issue.

    When trying softer reeds, note whether your intonation at the top range of the horn is staying in tune or if it goes flat - going soft can flatten your pitch up top.

    If trying different reeds doesn't give satisfactory results, then you may want to consider trying a different mouthpiece (or having yours refaced to something less challenging).

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Site Meter