As a beginner player, why should you upgrade your saxophone mouthpiece?
Your saxophone mouthpiece is the most important and cheapest upgrade you can do as a beginner sax player.
In this blog, I’m I’m going to tell you why the Yamaha 4C mouthpiece is the best choice for you as a beginner, both on tenor and on alto sax.
The Right Saxophone Mouthpiece
This is something we talk about a lot in Sax School, where we have thousands of students learning saxophone online. Whether you’re starting out with a brand new Chinese saxophone or a second-hand, used sax, you should think about upgrading your alto sax mouthpiece or jazz mouthpiece to give yourself the best start.
If you want some tips on choosing a saxophone, and get my free buyers guide, click here.
If you’re using a second-hand saxophone, it might not have come with a mouthpiece or a mouthpiece cap. Or, the mouthpiece might not be suitable for you as a beginner. If you’ve bought a new saxophone, the mouthpiece provided may be unbranded, and it could be for other types of saxophones, like alto sax mouthpieces.
Playing on the wrong mouthpiece can make it so much more difficult to get started. Your mouthpiece is the first part of your sax that you blow into, so it has the biggest impact on how easy it is to play jazz, and on the sound quality that comes out.
Why the Yamaha 4C
Firstly, these alto saxophone mouthpieces are really affordable at around £40 or $40 US if you buy it in the US. The price for alto and tenor is about the same.
This is really cheap for a saxophone mouthpiece. My pro mouthpiece from Theo Wanne would cost around ten times more – but it would also be much more difficult for a beginner to play. The Yamaha 4C is a much better choice for a beginner.
This is all to do with the shape and opening of the mouthpiece. The Yamaha 4C is designed to make it really easy to play, even if your embouchure (the muscles around your mouth) are not very developed yet. You can still get a nice controlled smooth and warm sound with this quality mouthpiece. With a soft reed, it will be much easier to play the full range of notes on your sax.
This mouthpiece doesn’t come with a ligature so you’ll need to buy one separately. As a beginner player, the type of ligature doesn’t make much difference, so there’s no need to spend a lot of money on your first ligature. The most important thing is that it holds the reed in place.
How does the Yamaha 4C sound?
Listen to the Yamaha 4C on both alto and tenor. I’m playing “Pocket Rock-It” from Duets for Sax inside the Sax School Members’ Area.
I think the mouthpiece sounds great. It’s a smooth, round sound, so I wouldn’t use it for a pop gig or a full-on funk gig, but it’s perfect for when you’re starting out. It’s easy to control and keep in tune.
Plus, I can get the full range from this mouthpiece that I could get on my pro mouthpiece – so I can get right up into the altissimo. It’s great on both alto and tenor.
I’m using Légère reeds today – I’m a Légère artist and I use them on all my saxophones. As a beginner you could try a Légère synthetic reed but you might want to try a cane reed too. Cane reeds can be a good choice for a beginner because you can try more reeds, more quickly, till you find the size that suits you.
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Check out the Yamaha 4c saxophone mouthpiece on Amazon here:
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