Music: Practice & Theory Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for musicians, students, and enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

With regard to the clarinet and saxophone, what are the advantages and disadvantages of a more open mouthpiece? I seem to get a very good sound playing with a fairly closed mouthpiece, and the volume is fine.

share|improve this question
Maybe you should change your title to something less-generic, since you're asking for instruments with mouthpiece. – Shevliaskovic Jan 18 '14 at 8:39

I can speak more about saxophone that clarinet since that is what I play. I wouldn't say one is better than the other; just a matter of what sound you are looking for. I play a fairly large chamber Tenor mouthpiece (Otto Link 7) since it gets me a huge sound which is what I want for tenor. Being able to put more air in the horn as a result makes the sound fuller and rounder. In regard to clarinet, I heard Eddie Daniels say that when he was recording his album "The Five Seasons" he needed to switch to a mouthpiece with a closer facing which didn't make as much sound in order to conquer Vivaldi's Four Seasons. See here for more detail.

share|improve this answer

There is a lot of difference and preference player to player. I've found on saxophone, a more open mouthpiece facing allows me great control over my tone, pitch and volume than more closed facing mouthpieces. I used to use a great metal selmer soloist faced to a D* for classical (one might consider quite open in the classical world). I had a friend who could barely make a sound on it, but when they played their selmer ss soloist c it would bring you to tears. I never got more than a whistly squeak out of it.

The general rule for mouthpieces is find the piece that works for you and NEVER LET IT GO.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.