At Mike Vaccaro Sax and Clarinet Mouthpieces, I find that the dilemma with saxophone mouthpieces is that there are as many styles of playing a mouthpiece as there are musicians playing them. With the exception of the college-trained classical saxophonist or a saxophonist who has studied privately for many years, each player has his or her own individual approach. Most saxophonists are very unique in their needs.
Sax mouthpieces are made of metal, rubber, ebonite and many other substances. Some players prefer wedges put in a variety of places, for a variety of reasons. Some musicians with a classical approach would never consider a wedge even if the mouthpiece required it. This is the dilemma facing the sax mouthpiece maker.
In addition, there are many styles the sax player might be required to play: rock, smooth jazz, pop, country, grunge/modern rock, classical, pit saxophone, studio saxophone, small group jazz of all styles, big band, rap, and the list goes on. To add to this, there are many sax mouthpiece makers and concepts of what the mouthpiece does and should do.
There are musicians who have studied and worked all of their lives, there are community band and big band musicians, there are garage band saxophone players, and there are the novice sax players looking for a good mouthpiece to play on. Each of these musicians deserves a good saxophone mouthpiece.
Sax Mouthpieces - Design Vs Material
The design of the mouthpiece is the most important factor in sound production. I make sax mouthpieces using blanks (sometimes called shells) of the highest quality, from several different suppliers.
I use rubber, ebonite and some metals. A rubber sax mouthpiece, through its design and material, can create any desired sound with less effort.
There are those sax players, however, who like to work a little harder, because it fits their style, which I respect. Thus I make saxophone mouthpieces out of metal also.
Those players who like to work a little harder usually like to really push the air against the mouthpiece and like a little back pressure. Metal saxophone mouthpieces facilitate this to some degree, and it does affect the sound to some degree. Through design, the metal mouthpiece can also be made to play easily.
Thus you see the many variables in saxophone mouthpiece making.
What I will do for you at Mike Vaccaro Sax and Clarinet Mouthpieces is select a blank or a saxophone mouthpiece from another manufacturer and customize it for your particular needs.
Or, I will work on your mouthpiece or one of the sax mouthpieces in your shoebox full of mouthpieces that "used to be great". Of course, it's best not to work on your favorite mouthpiece unless it is really not playing well or meeting your needs.
If your saxophone mouthpiece is close to what you want it's best that we buy (or you bring) one of the same brand, and hopefully of the same vintage, and customize it to do what your current favorite sax mouthpiece does not do and what you want it to do.
So the best thing to do is for you to contact me and let’s discuss your needs, your playing situation, your equipment: including mouthpiece, reed, ligature, and saxophone, and figure out how to solve your unique problem.
Sax Mouthpiece Prices
Professional Hard Rubber Soprano Mouthpiece $235
Advantage Hard Rubber Alto Mouthpiece $265
Professional Hard Rubber Alto Mouthpiece $300
Advantage Hard Rubber Tenor Mouthpiece $265
Professional Rubber Tenor Mouthpiece $300
Professional Bari Mouthpiece $325
Shop Time $75/hour