Grappling with Choices

Before I get started with this post, let me just say for the record that I’ve been down the mouthpiece rabbit hole before. With each mouthpiece that I played, there was no real change in my tonal concept; however, each one I tried produced slightly different results–some with more effort, others with less. Then I found one that I truly loved, and for many years I played on this particular mouthpiece.

Since that time, the way that I play my saxophone has evolved and changed. The musical situations in which I find myself necessitate deviations from the manner in which I had played for so long. I was finding it difficult to play even simple things without making major changes to my embouchure, reeds, and even my ligature. I had played one way for so long that I believed it to be the only way in which I was supposed to play my instrument. In a way, a felt a sense of disloyalty to the tradition of playing that I follow if I were to change my mouthpiece.

Fast forward to today, and I have been playing on this new mouthpiece for the past several months. I’m very glad that I switched. It’s now possible for me to play with less effort and worry over small details and focus on making music. Isn’t that the goal? To play music with minimal effort? I think so.

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