Saxophone Mouthpieces: How To Choose

There is a large variety of saxophone mouthpieces on the market, and choosing one can often be quite a time consuming task. From beginner to professional, having the right mouthpiece is essential if you want your saxophone music to come out right.

There are four main types: soprano, alto, tenor and baritone. Each different playing style requires you to adapt a suitable mouthpiece to the saxophone. Although the differences between soprano and, let’s say, baritone sax mouthpieces might not be very visible, they are obvious when attached to the saxophone. Higher notes can be achieved by using a soprano mouthpiece and lower, graver notes by using a baritone.

saxophone mouthpiece

Choosing saxophone mouthpieces should be based on your personal experience with saxophone music. There is no perfect choice that will be true for all sax players. Some favor a certain type of mouthpiece, different thickness, manufacturing material or even age. Try a diversity and see which one of them feels most comfortable with you.

Your chosen mouthpiece should allow you to achieve the best possible sound with the least amount of effort. You might notice that, in time, a few of your mouthpieces become your favorite. It’s hard to match the perfect choice to your style from the very beginning – this is where the finer details of the art of saxophone music lay hidden.

I've found that it can take as much as 2 weeks to really know what mouthpiece is right for you. It is not always a good idea to make your choice in a shop. A better idea may be (providing that the shop gives you that option) to take it home and try it out. In such a case you are usually required to use a mouthpiece patch.

One useful strategy is to try out a number of mouthpieces in a shop, narrow them down to a few, and then take them home to try out. In that case, ensure that you have several different reeds to try them with.

Related reading:

The Parts of the Saxophone

Alto Saxophone Mouthpieces

Return to Saxophone Accessories page.

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