Today, I am reviewing a garden hose. Ok, not really but I might as well be. Every week, I get emails saying:
- The mouthpiece doesn’t matter, you will sound like you no matter what mouthpiece you play……
- Charlie Parker could play anything……..
- You sound the same on every mouthpiece. It’s you not the mouthpiece…..
- You would sound killer on a Yamaha 4C, why are you wasting time trying all these….
- It’s the player not the equipment……
- A mouthpiece change won’t change your sound…….
I received this email from a visitor to my site the other day.
“Steve, I’ve listened to all of your mouthpiece reviews over the years and the truth is that you would sound good on a garden hose! I don’t think it matters which mouthpiece you play, your sound is your sound. That being said, which tenor mouthpiece would you say is the best of all the ones you’ve tried?”
(I thought the last sentence was a bit of a contradiction if you think about the question but let’s move on……)
I can sound great on even a garden hose! Really?
After hearing these comments so much over the years and receiving this email, I had the thought to post this demonstration of me trying to play a mouthpiece that just will not work for me. I will not reveal the brand so don’t bother asking. As painful as this mouthpiece is to play, for the sake of this demonstration, I have decided to bear with the pain for a couple of minutes for your sake. (Although you can hear my patience growing thin during the clip…….)
I am playing a brand new Rigotti Gold 2 1/2 Light reed on the mouthpiece that I chose as the best out of four. I attempted to warm up for 10 minutes before recording but honestly, I couldn’t make it. I think I played for about 3 minutes and then decided I needed to get this horror show over ASAP or I would stab my ears with the sharp end of a pencil!
For those of you that might think it sounds great and what’s the problem:
- Notes wouldn’t respond consistently
- It sounded really nasally and anemic
- The intonation was a bit off
- It wasn’t even up and down the horn
- Middle D was all muffled and tubby sounding
- It was so hard to play and I hated the sound…….ALOT!!
Discuss amonst yourselves in the comment section below. Does the mouthpiece really not matter? Because if I had to play this mouthpiece every day of my life I would be an accountant right now………..
Mystery Garden Hose Mouthpiece