Drake Contemporary Tenor Mouthpiece

This is a tenor mouthpiece by Aaron Drake at Drake Ceramic Mouthpieces.  Aaron has been generous enough to send two tenor mouthpieces for me to try.   This one is called the “Contemporary” .  It has an 8 (.110) tip. These mouthpiece are very unique in that they are made of ceramic.  I was a bit skeptical when I first heard of these pieces but I have to say that Aaron has done a great job with these mouthpieces. This is a great mouthpiece.   It has a brighter and louder sound than the “double ring” model and at first I didn’t like it.  I thought it was too bright and loud……… After I recorded and listened to the recording,  I found that I really liked the recording of this piece.

Drake Contemporary Tenor Mouthpiece

It doesn’t sound as bright as I thought it did when I was playing it.  If this was done in a studio with a little bit of reverb this piece would be killer.   It has a nice focused sound that really seems to cut through and although it is on the brighter side of things for me it still has a nice solid fat tone to it.  I really enjoyed this piece.  Let me know what you think of the clip. Listen………

Steve About Steve

Steve Neff has been playing and teaching saxophone and jazz improvisation around the New England area for the last 30 years. He is the author of many effective jazz improvisation methods as well as founding the popular jazz video lesson site Neffmusic.com.


  1. Avatar Daniel C says

    I found this post entitled “Drake Contemporary Tenor Mouthpiece” while researching the Vintage Resin Tenor Contemporary mouthpiece from Drake’s shop. the VRTC1 is commonly referred to as the “Contemporary” Tenor and there’s also the “Contemporary II”. Both of these tricks are hard rubber.
    Your post is really about the “Custom Ceramic Contemporary”‘ model.
    I’m going to check now and see if you’ve play-tested and reviewed the mouthpiece I was snooping originally.
    I find your site to be very helpful, and your play-test sound clips are an excellent way of helping amateur players formulate or reinforce their mouthpiece selections.
    Thanks for your service to the saxophone community!
    All the best.
    -Danny C

  2. Avatar Daniel C says

    I still don’t understand if the “Vintage Resin” models also incorporate some amount of ceramic material. I see the term “hybrid” being thrown around, but perhaps that’s yet ANOTHER great product from Aaron Drake!

    • I have to be honest. I was a bit confused also with all the Drake models and what they are made of. Your best bet would be to email Aaron Drake and ask him personally I think.

  3. Hey Steve Neff, what reed & what strength did you use to demo this mouthpiece?

    • John,
      No idea. I think this was before I started describing the ligature and reed in the sound clips and in this case I forgot to write it down also. If I had to guess I would say a Vandoren Java 2 1/2 or a Rigotti Gold 2/12 as that was mostly what I was playing back then. Steve

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