Progress & Equipment

I think I am the only one familiar with this blog’s content. So, I guess I’m just writing to journal my musical progress. I AM making progress. I believe I am playing better jazz than I ever have in the past. I am better at analyzing chord progressions. I am steadily adding new tunes to my repertoire. I am not necessarily a master of those tunes, but I think I could manage a live performance for the most part.

Equipment

There is somewhat of a craze happening about a woodwind mouthpiece company; SYOS (shape your own sound). The company is based in France and its mouthpieces are produced by designing the inner geometry on a computer and are then 3D printed for the final product. They can achieve a wide variety of designs and specs, and the company will even work with you to create a custom mouthpiece. As a bonus, the mouthpieces come in a wide array of colors.

I bought one on a whim almost a month ago. I quickly recorded a demo in which I did not do the mouthpiece justice. I immediately thought the mouthpiece produced a great sound. In the video, you can hear me struggling with a reed that was a little too stiff. Also, the song, Night And Day was a little unfamiliar at the time. I have a much better handle on it now (I think). Also, after nearly a month with the SYOS mouthpiece, I have a much better handle on that as well. I will post another demo soon.

Mouthpiece demo

Night And Day/Syos mouthpiece demo

The company offers some signature mouthpieces which were collaborated with different artists. I didn’t know which of these I would want to try, so I went with one of their Original series mouthpieces, the Steady. There are 3 in the series, the Smoky, the Steady, and the Spark. The Steady is supposed to have a medium brightness of the 3 Original models. With a little embouchure manipulation, the Steady can be made to sound darker. The more I work with this mouthpiece, the more I grow to like it. Out of all of the mouthpiece I have acquired to this point, I am most consistent at producing a sound that I like and enjoy hearing come out my horn with this one.

The Steady could probably be used in a rock or R&B setting. It can certainly be used in a small jazz group setup. I don’t think I have been more satisfied with a mouthpiece since the first time I played on a Guardala back in 1996. I am tempted to try one other SYOS mouthpiece for my tenor, the Smoky. It is supposed to offer a darker tone than the Steady or the Spark mouthpieces. I am not playing much rock music these days. I am into the more darker tones that the tenor sax can produce. Especially in small jazz groups.

Artists Using SYOS

And I am still discovering new players on the scene these days, and many of them play on SYOS mouthpieces. A few artists have worked with SYOS to produce signature mouthpieces; Gladney, Eden Bereket, Tivon Pinnecott, Max Ionata, and many others.

If you are a woodwind player, Syos make mouthpieces for tenor, alto, soprano and baritone saxes, bass clarinet, Bb clarinet, reeds, and other accessories. You should check them out.

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