Transitioning to a Jazz Mouthpiece

Posted by on Aug 29, 2013 in Know Your Gear, Your Questions Our Answers | 0 comments

Frequently Asked Questions – “Transitioning to a Jazz Mouthpiece”.

In this series we share Jody’s answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that we receive through our website.



I’m trying to make the transition to a jazz mouthpiece but when I play the jazz mouthpiece it is too hard too blow.  Here are the specifics: My current mouthpiece is a Tenor Selmer C* which I play in Concert band and I also have a Yamaha 4C. My reed is a Blue Box Vandoren 3 1/2. I need a good setup for Jazz Band. The mouthpieces that were recommended to me to try were your JodyJazz HR* 7* and an Otto Link Hard Rubber 7*.  I find your mouthpiece easier to blow and a little brighter than the Otto Link but both mouthpieces seem too hard to blow. Did I pick the right mouthpieces to try?

HR Star Tenor


The 7* mouthpieces may or may not be for you but we won’t know until we get the appropriate reed strength on there.   This is very common in changing from basically a 4* ( C* Equivalent) to a 7*.  The reed has to travel a greater distance when vibrating because of the bigger Tip Opening. ( tip opening is the distance between the tip of the reed and the tip of the mouthpiece measured in thousands of an inch). The first and most important thing to do is to find a reed that is soft enough so that you can get your low notes out easy enough but not too soft that the high notes are not solid. I recommend a 2 1/2 Jazz reed, not the blue box Vandoren. The Blue box is 1/2 strength harder than the Jazz reeds. And please experiment if you can with the reeds. I may be wrong about my reed strength recommendation but I do know you need a much softer reed. Once you have a reed that makes the mouthpieces comfortable to play, you can begin a proper evaluation. Remember the 7*’s are bigger tip openings and you must supply more air! That is a good thing and you can do it – you just have to get used to it. After 5 or six days than you will know if a 7* will work for you.

For more answers to frequently asked questions such as this please click here to visit the FAQ page on the JodyJazz website.

JodyJazz Saxophone mouthpieces are hand-crafted in the USA with the strictest attention to detail using the highest quality materials, and every single mouthpiece is fully gauged and play tested.
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