bigger tip opening, am I cheating?

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  1. #1

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    Default bigger tip opening, am I cheating?

    Hi,

    let me explain the title : I play a Lebayle LRII #7 for 8 years. Recently (one year ago) I decided to try to get some altissimo notes. I bought the "classic" books (sintra, rascher, rousseau...) and worked hard on overtones and voicing. I am able to hit a G altissimo using the F# key but I don't get any others altissimo (but that's ok, I know it's a long journey). Anyway, today I tried another mpc, an otto link tone edge #7* and altissimo G was way easier to hit, far more louder. I can hit the note with a tongue attack which is impossible with my LRII. I also can produce more overtones from the the low Bb (up to F above staff) and I can hear the G altissimo when I use the classic Fork + Bb side fingering. Should I switch temporally mouthpiece to work on my high notes or is it a bad habit ? The bigger opening changes my sustain as I have to blow more air and my low notes are less interesting. I don't want to ruin my sound just to get some new notes but I wonder if it's easier to get altissimo with a bigger tip opening and should I do use a new mpc or should I try harder with my regular one.

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    Default Re: bigger tip opening, am I cheating?

    I wouldn't call it "cheating," per se... But it would definitely be more beneficial for you in the long run to work on altissimo with a smaller tip. Once you can do it without relying on your embouchure - That is, using your throat to do all of the work - you'll be able to do it on any mouthpiece with ease, and then the benefits of using a big tip - Including easier altissimo - will be much more accessible for you.
    I can't stand the amount of emphasis most people place on the "tradition" of jazz. The history of jazz was written by cats who relentlessly pushed the boundaries. Do you know what I call people who only try to play what Bird or Trane already did? Classical musicians.

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    Default Re: bigger tip opening, am I cheating?

    Not an expert, but I think altissimo note production has more to do with the facing curve and internal dimensions of the mouthpiece than the specific tip opening. Having said that, I know guys that do it well using a variety of mouthpieces and tip openings. As far as the sound difference, it takes me a while to really adjust to a new piece, so you might give the Link a little more time.

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    Default Re: bigger tip opening, am I cheating?

    Quote Originally Posted by spike421 View Post
    As far as the sound difference, it takes me a while to really adjust to a new piece, so you might give the Link a little more time.
    yes I know, that's why I am not happy to change my mouthpiece and in the beginning that was not my purpose I only tried for fun. About the facing/internal dimensions I'm sure that both mpc are different, may be it explains.

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    Default Re: bigger tip opening, am I cheating?

    Didn't you say they were both 7 star? Even if one is a 7 and the other a 7 star, there is not much difference.

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    Default Re: bigger tip opening, am I cheating?

    Sometimes it really is as simple as 'I found a new mouthpiece that plays better for me'. As already stated, assuming both mouthpieces are unmodified, there's not enough difference in them to make the 'bigger tip opening' statement. To get more of a full sound in your low notes you'll have to experiment with reeds, but personally I see no reason not to try it for awhile.
    This won't be possible if you're a student or hobbyist, but many of us will blow a mouthpiece, neck, horn or whatever new on a gig/performance before settling down with it. What happens at home is one thing and what happens when the lights go up and it gets loud is something else.
    One thing; it can take a month to get used to a mouthpiece, and during that time you will automatically make adjustments without consciously knowing it to get the sound you're used to out of the new piece. So you really have to give it a long try before stating what it does or doesn't do.

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    Forum Contributor 2012-2015 Bozman's Avatar
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    Default Re: bigger tip opening, am I cheating?

    Lebayle does not use the Link numbering system. Their 7 is .095 and a Link 7* is .105.

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    Default Re: bigger tip opening, am I cheating?

    For me altissimo notes are much easier on bigger tips, but lower notes can become less easy (especially with a too hard reed).

    You could try your Link 7* with a slightly softer reed and see how the low notes and atissimo goes. It's always a balance between you, mouthpiece and reed.

    T : Selmer SBA serial 50xxx (1953) - Otto Link Florida no USA 10* - Rico Plasticover 2
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    Default Re: bigger tip opening, am I cheating?

    Quote Originally Posted by Geolm View Post
    Hi,

    I don't want to ruin my sound just to get some new notes but I wonder if it's easier to get altissimo with a bigger tip opening and should I do use a new mpc or should I try harder with my regular one.
    Don't worry you will always sound like you, and asking someone on the internet which tip opening you should use. What about using your ears.
    A pic of how to achieve the perfect embouchure.

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    Default Re: bigger tip opening, am I cheating?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ballad state of mind View Post
    Don't worry you will always sound like you, and asking someone on the internet which tip opening you should use. What about using your ears.
    And what mouthpiece.
    You accidentally discovered a Link is a better mouthpiece than the Lebayle.

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    Default Re: bigger tip opening, am I cheating?

    Quote Originally Posted by whaler View Post
    You accidentally discovered a Link is a better mouthpiece than the Lebayle.
    I'd say yes to this, at least the Link the OP is using (Links are not all the same of course).

    But no, you are not 'cheating' when you find a mpc that works better for you, no matter what the design parameters are. And I've never noticed much correlation between tip size (or baffle for that matter) and altissimo response. No doubt the overall design of a mpc can play a part, but aside from an extremely small (or large) tip, I don't think the tip opening has a significant effect on altissimo.

    Finally, it won't hurt anything to stick with the Link for a while. As 1saxman pointed out, it takes time to adjust to a different mpc.

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    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: bigger tip opening, am I cheating?

    Quote Originally Posted by JL View Post

    But no, you are not 'cheating' when you find a mpc that works better for you, no matter what the design parameters are. And I've never noticed much correlation between tip size (or baffle for that matter) and altissimo response.
    Absolutely true. The point is though that if you find a mouthpiece that helps you get better altissimo, you must not get sidetracked by the inevitable euphoria of playing those love high notes and miss the fact that maybe your pianissimo low notes are suffering.

    There is so often a trade-off between high and low notes with some mouthpieces that are specialist as opposed to versatile. Specialist high notes soups are fine, provided you know that is what you want and you have tested the possible detriment to your low notes.
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    Default Re: bigger tip opening, am I cheating?

    Quote Originally Posted by whaler View Post
    And what mouthpiece.
    You accidentally discovered a Link is a better mouthpiece than the Lebayle.
    I'm not quite sure, the Link sounds brighter but better is subjective, I like the dark sound of the LRII. Anyway thank you for all your answer, I will try to adjust to the otto link for some time but I need softer reeds right now I cannot play a pianissimo low note. Then I'll see if it's worth it.

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    Default Re: bigger tip opening, am I cheating?

    I should add that although difficulty with pianissimo low notes is a common feature of reeds that are too hard, mouthpiece tip too wide or facing too short you should always make sure that there are no leaks on your horn before blaming the set up.
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    Default Re: bigger tip opening, am I cheating?

    If you have a mouthpiece that makes altissimo easier, by all means practice with it. Once you are hitting those altissimo notes with ease - switch back to your favorite piece. You will almost assuredly be able to hit them on almost any mouthpieces at that point.

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    Default Re: bigger tip opening, am I cheating?

    some news : I've switched to my otto link, I played one gig since then, it took one week and two to sound properly in the low register but now it's all good. I didn't change my reed strength (still 2.5) and I can still hit overtones/altissimo more easily than my previous mpc. and btw my sound didn't change that much with my new mpc, sound comes from the player I guess!

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    Default Re: bigger tip opening, am I cheating?

    Good news Geolm, congrats.

    T : Selmer SBA serial 50xxx (1953) - Otto Link Florida no USA 10* - Rico Plasticover 2
    A : Klingsor serial 016xx (early 60's) - Otto Link STM 9* - Rico Royal 2.5
    SoundClick | SoundClip Index | YouTube | SOTW Blues (Round 8) | Mouthpiece/Sax Pictures

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