|Two mouthpieces for tenor saxophone: the one on the left is rubber; the one on the right is metal. |
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The saxophone mouthpiece is attached to the instrument and is useful in shaping and producing the sound coming from the instrument. The saxophone player blows into the mouthpiece to create vibrations that can produce the sound. It is also helpful in holding the reed in its proper place so it won't flutter while creating a chamber to allow for sound modification which, in turn, makes it possible to create the right tone.
What's it made of?
In a saxophone mouthpiece guide, you will see that this component can be classified according to the tone and pitch that it can produce: baritone, soprano, tenor, and alto. Higher notes and pitches are basically produced by sopranos while lower and graver tones are produced with baritones. You can also classify saxophone mouthpieces according to the material from which it is made of:
Hard rubber: Molded with heat, it is known as the best type of mouthpiece since it dampens lighter sounds with its dense properties. This mouthpiece is ideal for classical music.
Plastic: Although inexpensive, it can warp with over-usage, giving way to tone imbalance and squeaks. It also contracts and expands according to temperature, giving way to intonation problems.
Metal: Less dense than rubber, it enhances higher tones so it is ideal for playing solo jazz tunes. It is also more durable but requires high maintenance.
Check the quality and the tip opening
Ending this saxophone mouthpiece guide are buying tips you can use to check the quality. Make sure it is easy to blow while being able to produce a good sound. Check the tip opening, too. Beginners are better off with narrow tips for a clearer tone and easy response while professionals with a good control of the saxophone can use wider tips for greater projection and volume.