How do I pick a saxophone mouthpiece?

So, I’m in the market for an alto saxophone mouthpiece. I started out on a super old C* that came with my used horn, and I suppose that worked alright, but due to circumstances beyond my control, I no longer have it. (read: I lost it.)

So, I’d like to buy a new one, but don’t know too much about them. Wikipedia tells me that in order to get a dark, rich sound and better pitch control, I should look for a narrow-tipped mouthpiece with a low baffle. How do I gauge that when I look for a mouthpiece? (For the record, I live at least an hour away from the closest real music shop where I might be able to try them out, so I’m looking at eBay here.)

Some background on me: I’ve been playing (mostly bari) for about 8 years off and on (6 years in junior/high school) and am now in a local community band. I usually play on a Vandoren 2 1/2 or 3, or a Rico 3, if that helps at all.

Cool! Thanks!

I e-mailed my brother on this, he plays bari sax and occationally gets paid for it. I’ll post his reply when it comes. (Or I might even be able to lure him onto the Dope :D)

I also sent it to one of my best friends who happens to be an acomplished classical and jazz sax player, i hope he gives you a good reply.

I just stopped in to say…


That’s all.

Thanks? :dubious:

And I just dropped in to say, that you can pick a guitar but you can’t pick a saxophone (mouthpiece or otherwise).

Then again, you can tune a guitar, but you can’t tuna fish.

(Gee I’m glad I remembered all that wry, sophisticated humor from “Weekly Reader”. I’m glad I continue to renew my subscription too. :slight_smile: )

I’ve been out of the saxophone world longer than I would like, but I do have a couple links that might be of use to you. The site Sax on the Web is quite useful for saxophone discussions of all sorts. There’s a rather extensive forum where you can find:

Alto mouthpiece sub-forum

Classical Mouthpiece thread

The C* is still more-or-less standard for classical playing, though there are other options (the thread above mentions Vandoren AL3 or AL4 and Rousseau Classic and New Classic). Your best bet is probably to select a couple that seem to be a good fit from your readings, and order them through a store like Woodwind & Brasswind that has a trial policy and evaluate them from there.

OK, I got a reply. Here:

That’s helpful. I keep hearing that I need to try some, so maybe I’ll hit up the woodwind/brasswind site and try some out. Just need to wait until the beginning of next month when college christmas comes. :stuck_out_tongue: