After probably almost a decade of using Bb tenor sax mouthpieces on C-Melody saxes, I’ve decided on a change. As I also play alto as much as I can, and (literally) never play Bb tenor these days, I’m trying out some alto mouthpieces/reeds on the Martin C-Mel. The best (from previous trials) is being tried first, never been too hot on an alto, but used to play very well on Conn ‘alto-neck’ C-Mels when the tenor mouthpiece shanks were too long for the micro-tuners…
The logic is undeniable – a similar embouchure for both alto and C-Mel – and has to be worth a try. Initial findings are that the Martin C-Mel plays slightly less ‘easily’, but then tenor has always been (for me) more free blowing than alto. Sound is also a tad smaller (just a tad…) but quite crisper, probably more due to the smaller size of the reed than anything else – and the harmonics are in a different place so I need to re-educate the embouchure for those. Intonation seems to be all over the place on the tuner 😦 – but by ear is much better 🙂 So I’ll stick with ‘by ear’ for now.
Choice of mouthpiece ?
Berg Larsen 95/1 SMS ebonite – not amazingly vintage, but been kicking around here for a while.
Reed – Rico Plasticover #2 Ligature – Rovner L6 (light)
I know I’m quite cynical about ‘fancy’ ligs, but the Rovner ‘Light’ range are about as unpretentious as they get, and I have a couple kicking around. The reed does seem to respond slightly faster and easier with the fabric L6 than with the original ‘as supplied’ Berg metal lig. And I used to play Plasticover reeds a lot (Rico Royal with a teflon coating) so I had some of those to hand – although a #2 is slightly softer than I normally use – but they work ! Doesn’t look too tiny on the end of the neck, just needed a bit of Lanolin to get it on – and, yes Lewis, I STILL use that pot you gave me all those years ago ! Sound Samples will be available after I’ve settled down with it. As usual – click on any of the images for a better view. Pretty funky – all that black !