How to choose a saxophone mouthpiece

By | April 5, 2021


Decide if you want a metal or hard rubber nozzle. Metal nozzles will provide a lighter sound that is more suitable for jazz or rock music, while a hard rubber nozzle will produce a darker sound that is ideal for a concert band or a small group setting. According to Dr. Roger McWilliams in his article ‘Does the Saxophone Mouthpiece Material Matter’, the larger exterior of the hard rubber nozzle will force a player to increase the size of his mouth, reducing the ‘edge’ or ‘brightness’ of sounds heard by the listener


Choose a nozzle manufacturer. Notable brands such as Selmer, Yamaha, Otto Link and Berg Larsen are just some of the companies that currently produce saxophone mouthpieces.


Select a model number. Nozzles with higher numbers, for example 7 or 8, have larger tip openings, which is the gap between the ridge and the tip of the nozzle. If you have a saxophone mouthpiece with a larger tip opening, you need to push the air harder to make the root vibrate.


Contact a music store and order as many saxophone mouthpieces as possible. Most music stores understand the process of selecting the nozzles and will credit your account for returned nozzles.


Experiment with each nozzle. Play the selection of music you plan to play with this special mouthpiece. Be sure to note intonation tendencies, as it ultimately affects your effectiveness as a musician.


Invite a trusted friend, preferably a fellow saxophonist, to listen to you. Repeat the same choice you made yourself and ask for his feedback.

The saxophone is a versatile instrument. As a saxophonist, you have the opportunity to play in a variety of ensembles, including concerts, jazz bands and rock bands. Each band has a unique sound quality and you as a player need the equipment needed to match. One of the most important equipment for the saxophonist is the mouthpiece. It is very common for saxophonists to have several mouthpieces, depending on the bands they play in. Choosing the right mouthpiece for you is crucial for you to fully enjoy your instrument.