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Music Lessons | Saxophone, Clarinet, and Flute Lessons in Mountain View, Cupertino CA

Beginning to advanced private music lessons on Saxophone, Clarinet, and Flute with Ken Moran.  Areas include Mountain View, Atherton, Palo Alto, San Jose, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, South Bay, and Silicon Valley. With an emphasis on fun, students will learn a solid basic foundation of warm-ups, scales, technical studies, and appropriate repertoire on their instrument.

Filtering by Category: saxophone mouthpieces

The 2nd Annual Young Lion Saxophone Challenge

Ken Moran

 

           Competitions can a healthy way to compete with other peers, collaborate, and learn from one another.  In music, this kind of collaboration is important for pushing each other to improve their skills and after all, music is MUCH more fun with other people!  The Young Lion Saxophone Challenge is a Northern California based competition for middle and high school jazz saxophone students.  The competition is directed by myself and sponsored by West Valley Music in Mountain View, CA.  Students can apply by submitting audition recordings by the deadline (April 29th) and wait to hear if they made it to the live audition.  Twenty finalists (ten middle school and ten high school) will be chosen to attend the live audition in front of a panel of judges.  Prizes for first, second, and third place include a Manning Custom saxophone case, a Jody Jazz Mouthpiece, a $200 D'Addario voucher, and much more!

 

           This year we will be featuring Los Angeles's own Bob Sheppard as the guest clinician and performer for the masterclass.  Bob is internationally acclaimed and is one of the top-call (if not THE top-call) saxophonists in Los Angeles.  All six winners will be invited to perform with Bob in the final masterclass.  It will be held at Community School of Music and Arts in Mountain View, CA on May 13th from 6-8pm.  This event is open to the public and is sure to be a great educational night of music.  To buy tickets, visit the West Valley Music website HERE.  Check out the video below of Bob Sheppard and we hope to see you there!

 

Saxophone Lessons, Clarinet Lessons, Flute Lessons, Saxophone Teacher, Flute Teacher, Clarinet Teacher, Mountain View CA, Palo Alto CA, Sunnyvale CA, Santa Clara CA, Cupertino CA, Silicon Valley CA, San Jose CA, Los Gatos CA, Los Altos CA, South Bay CA, Saratoga CA, Atherton CA, Beginning Saxophone

Popular Saxophone Mouthpieces for Beginning to Intermediate Students

Ken Moran

Ah yes...one of the most popular questions I get from students and parents is, "Do I need a better mouthpiece and does it make a difference?"  The short answer, yes.  Most of the sound being produced on saxophone is coming from the mouthpiece and neck area.  This means that the mouthpiece, ligature (the gadget that holds the reed to the mouthpiece), and reed are vital to the saxophone sounding good.  One of the best and most cost effective investments you can make in your or your child's saxophone playing experience is a quality mouthpiece and ligature.  Please CLICK HERE for the blog featuring saxophone ligatures.  

Prices range from around $100-200 for a solid intermediate alto saxophone mouthpiece and $100-250 for a tenor mouthpiece (although you can spend upwards of $500).  Mouthpieces are generally measured by the tip opening. The larger the tip opening (or higher the number), the harder it is to play but the bigger and more open sounding it is.  Let's start with alto saxophone mouthpieces.

Meyer MR-402-5MM Rubber Alto Sax Mouthpiece

Meyer mouthpieces have been around for a long time.  Many professional alto players still play vintage mouthpieces from the 1970s.  In my opinion, a Meyer is the best bang-for-the-buck alto saxophone mouthpiece.  If you are on a budget, go for this.  Although is is mainly a jazz mouthpiece, the sound is versatile enough that it can be used in classical situations as well.  Typical sizes for this mouthpiece are 5M and 6M.  If you are unsure about which size is more appropriate, order both and send back one!  6M is more open and harder to play, but like I mentioned earlier you will get a bigger sound.

Jody Jazz HR* Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece Model #6M

Jody Jazz Mouthpieces are also a good bet and probably my favorite for advancing students.  Though slightly more expensive, many students really enjoy playing this mouthpiece.  The sound is slightly darker and warmer than Meyer MR-502, which may be better for the student that wishes to play Jazz and Classical music.  Once again, the typical sizes here are 5M and 6M.

Otto Link Vintage Series Hard Rubber Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece

Like Meyer mouthpieces for alto, Ottolink mouthpieces have been around since "back in the day."  Old vintage Ottolinks are sought after and are worth quite a bit of money these days.  This is a great mouthpiece for an intermediate tenor saxophone student and can be used both for classical and jazz.  The most common size for tenor mouthpieces like this would be a 7 or 7*.  These sizes are generally comparable to sizes 5M and 6M for alto mouthpieces.  

Otto Link OLM-404-7S Super Tone Master Metal Tenor Saxophone MouthpiecE

For those seeking a brighter and more edgy sound, the Ottolink metal mouthpiece is a good option.  The same sizes of either 7 or 7* should be appropriate for most students.  Keep in mind, this mouthpiece is geared more towards Jazz and Contemporary music and would not be the best fit for classical music. 

My "go to" mouthpiece for advancing students is the same model as the alto mouthpiece, Jody Jazz HR for tenor.  I have found that the 7* (.105 tip) size works best for my students and should work well for you as well.  It's middle of the road as far as openness and many different sizes of reeds work well.  This mouthpiece has a well balanced and warm sound, perfect for all styles of music!  Below is a video about Jody Jazz Mouthpieces.

Be sure to check out my other blog posts on reeds and ligatures, as having the right reed and ligature combination is essential to getting the best sound possible.  Please message me with any questions for comments.  Until next time!

Saxophone Lessons, Clarinet Lessons, Flute Lessons, Saxophone Teacher, Flute Teacher, Clarinet Teacher, Mountain View CA, Palo Alto CA, Sunnyvale CA, Santa Clara CA, Cupertino CA, Silicon Valley CA, San Jose CA, Los Gatos CA, Los Altos CA, South Bay CA, Saratoga CA, Atherton CA, Beginning Saxophone