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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:11 pm 
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I don't know who to ask. I have been playing my alto sax for years and years. I am now also an occasional tenor sax player. I get wonderful results out of my alto - a Selmer Mark VI, with a metal classical Selmer mouthpiece D.

My tenor is also a Mark VI, which makes the transition from one sax to the other much easier. However, I am baffled when it comes to mouthpiece. I have tried what I could find in my area, but I never got to try a metal classical Selmer mouthpiece on my tenor. My gut feeling is that if I got one, I would finally feel right at home on the tenor.

I am willing to fork out the price of it, but I don't know what to pick. If I like a D on an alto, would I also like a D on a tenor, or is there a rule of thumb that I can use to know what would be the equivalent of my alto D?

-----------------------------our reply - feel free to add yours below, but be nice ----------

Like you, I live where I have no access to a variety of mouthpieces to try out. Also, I don't have lots of extra money to buy five or six $200-$400 mouthpieces to decide which ones I like the best.

I AM glad you have access to two decent horns. At least you know it's not the horns holding you back. :-)

Regarding mouthpieces, all I can really give you is a list of things to think about.

I use C*s on all my saxes because they serve my purpose, give me the intonation I need, and allow me to switch back and forth easily. But I often play in churches and other places where it's important to be able to play quietly and "sweetly." If I was playing R&B or Ska all the time, I'd certainly have a more open mouthpiece on my Tenor (my core instrument).

I can see why if you're used to a metal D on your alto, having the tenor equivalent is appealing. I REALLY wish you had access to one to try out. If you're into big band or R&B or R&R, and the tenor isn't putting you out of breath, I don't think you can go wrong with a metal D. Most of the guys who've been doing it for years have graduated to an F G or H. If you play enough, you'll get used to a D pretty quickly. I can't guarantee it will make going back and forth between your alto and tenor that much easier. You still have a different embouchere, amount of air flow, amount of air pressure, amount of pressure on the reed, etc. But I think it would probably help.

I'm guessing you have a C* on your tenor, since that was the typical stock mouthpiece for those. It's certainly the minimum acceptable mouthpiece for that horn.

Does the Tenor C* feel "stuffy" to you, like it's holding you back or has too much backpressure, or like it's too easy to "overblow"? If so you might prefer a Tenor D anyway. On the other hand, if you're running out of air on the tenor with a C*, a D will make that worse. A Selmer Tenor C** has the same tip opening as a Selmer alto D and might be easier to adjust to.

Either one should give you better volume than the C*.

Hope this helps - please let me know what you wind up trying,


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