I love my HR*. And the Custom Dark. But sometimes I just want something that’s in between those two.
The perfect sax mouthpiece – that’s not too bright and not too dark.
And then Jody sent me his new DV HR. I want to show you why I think this is a brilliant mouthpiece.
This mouthpiece has been glued to my saxophone for the last couple of weeks, and I love it.
I love it on all of my alto saxophones. But to show you why it’s a great combination of all the features that I’ve been looking for in a mouthpiece, I think we need to start our journey with theJody Jazz HR*.
So let’s listen to the HR* first.
Then I want to show you the Jody Jazz Custom Dark.
And then I’m going to show you the DV HR and tell you why I think this is the perfect sax mouthpiece.
So I’m going to play all of these on my zebra sax. You can check out the video about that here.
Listen as I demo the Jody Jazz HR*.
Okay, so that’s the HR*. Doesn’t it sound amazing?
And, you know, for less than £200, like $219 US, that’s a stonking value mouthpiece. I’ve talked about this a lot on my channel. I think if you’re stepping up from Yamaha 4C, that is a brilliant first upgrade mouthpiece. And I do like it because it is nice and bright.
But sometimes it’s a little bit too bright for me, which is why the next mouthpiece I’m gonna show you is a Custom Dark.
The Custom Dark
This is a mouthpiece I’ve played a lot actually over the last few years because it is so dark and mellow.
Have a listen.
When I listen back to that, it’s really nice! I do like the sound of the Custom Dark.
It’s a lovely mouthpiece. It’s rich and it’s round. But sometimes I feel, even though it’s got such a lovely sound, sometimes I feel like I want something just a bit more “bitey,”particularly when I’m playing something commercial.
And that’s why I was interested in having a look at this DV HR.
Now, this is the DV New York. I have got a standard DV, but it’s such a popular mouthpiece amongst our tutors, I’ve given it to Chris from the Sax School tutor team. He’s using it at the moment and digging it too.
Now, I don’t know all the details about mouthpieces. But I can tell you there’s a cool thing on the facing of the DV mouthpieces. Jody has created these extra cutouts that make a difference to the body of the sound. And what’s interesting is with this new DV HR, Jody has managed to recreate that cutout in a hard rubber mouthpiece.
Now I’ve got to say, it’s not the material that the mouthpiece is made from that makes the most difference to the sound.
So just because it’s metal won’t mean it’s bright. And just because it’s hard rubber doesn’t mean it will be dark.
It’s got to do with the internal shape of the mouthpiece. That’s where all the magic happens.
So you can have a dark metal mouthpiece, and you can have a bright hard rubber mouthpiece.
However, some of us prefer the shape and feel of a metal mouthpiece. And others prefer the shape and feel of a hard rubber.
The DV HR
Now, I’ll be honest with you. For about 20 years, I was playing on this Yanigasawa metal mouthpiece on my alto. And at the same time, I was using a Guardala mouthpiece on my tenor.
So these two felt similar to me when I was swapping between the two of them.
But these days I’m playing on a hard rubber mouthpiece on my tenor. So guess what? I feel more comfortable on a hard rubber mouthpiece on my alto. That’s just what suits me.
So that’s why I’m curious to see this if DV HR is the perfect sax mouthpiece for me. I want to see if it combines the sound of the DV with all the comfort things that I like about a hard rubber mouthpiece.
Okay, enough waiting around. Let’s listen to what it sounds like.
Man, that’s such a lovely mouthpiece. I just want to keep playing it all the time.
So what I like about the DV HR is that it’s got a brightness to it, like the HR.
But it’s also got a lot more body to it, like the Custom Dark. So, it fits between those two.
The perfect sax mouthpiece?
Why is that important? Well, if you’re the sort of player that does a variety of playing situations, then you need something versatile.
And for me, this is the most versatile Jody Jazz mouthpiece that I’ve come across.
I could imagine you could play this comfortably in a concert band setting or a big band. But you could also go into a pop gig with it, or play in a funk group, and still cut through. But it’s not going to be too bright.
So I love the HR* as the step-up mouthpiece. And if that’s your first upgrade from something like a Yamaha 4C, then that’s a great choice.
But if you’ve got the budget to stretch to something like this, you’re going get a much more versatile mouthpiece. It just gives you a lot more options than you’re playing. That’s why I think it could be the perfect sax mouthpiece.
I hope you find that useful.
I’d love to know, though, if you are playing a Jody Jazz mouthpiece at the moment. I’ll be honest with you, I’m not a Jody Jazz artist. I just love his pieces, and more importantly, I love the way that he is helping our students inside Sax School to make really good mouthpiece choices. And a lot of our members are now playing Jody’s pieces.
So I’d love to know what Jody Jazz mouthpiece you are playing.
And if you’d like to know more about what we are doing with our members in Sax school, then there’s a 14-day trial running at the moment too. You can find a link for that below. Whatever you’re doing there, keep practicing hard and I’ll catch you next time with some more saxophone tips to help you play even better.