Home Alt Forums Problems With Your Sax? Guardala MBI Mouthpiece

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    I have just purchased the Guardala MBI mouthpiece which is lovely. I have a few squeaks though?? should I go down a size in my Reed? I use a size 3 and usually use Legere Signature Series, but it does sound better with this metal mouth piece using Jazz Wooden Reeds.

    My teacher said it may take upto a year to get use to a new mouthpiece, so i am only using at home and using my carbon fibre for concerts so I don’t squeak!!

    Does anyone have the same problem?
    Can you give me any advice on how to stop the squeaks?

    Mike Potter

    Hi Alexandra! yes the squeaky reed… There are a number of things that can cause this but what I’ve found to be most common and you’re teacher nailed it a bit, is that there is a difference in embouchure placement/control between a metal and a hard rubber mouthpiece (I’m assuming you were playing a hard rubber piece before) and yes the high baffle/small chamber mouthpiece play different and are more “temperamental” than pieces with lower baffles and medium chambers (most likely what you’ve been playing??). Overall, it will take time to get used to playing a high baffle/small chamber metal mouthpiece if you’ve never played on one in the past, but I doubt it will take a year… Typically within a few weeks you should be able to make the necessary embouchure adjustments (long tones and over tones) and get it dialed in pretty well.

    However, reeds mostly squeak because the seal between the reed, the table on the mouthpiece and the rails on the mouthpiece isn’t solid. A few different things can cause the problem. One, the part of the reed that makes contact with the table isn’t flat or has warps in it. Two, the ligature isn’t applying consistent pressure across the reed and the table of the mouthpiece when it’s tightened down (doesn’t have to be super tight just consistent). Three, the table on the mouthpiece isn’t flat and/or the rails are uneven allowing for leaks and causing issues which include squeaking.

    Before playing always make sure you’re reed is good and wet, a lot of people soak them for a few minutes before using them (or use synthetic or plastic covered reeds!). I’m sure you’re doing this but it’s part of the process..

    Once you’ve gotten used to playing the mouthpiece you might want to learn to check your reeds for flatness and learn how to file/scrape the part of the reed that makes contact with the mouthpiece table to ensure there are no warps. I picked up a reedgeek a few years ago and even though it’s not cheap I’ve saved a bunch of reeds using it, they started out unplayable and after a few minutes flattening them they work fine. A single sided razor blade works as well but the reedgeek won’t slice you!.

    Then there’s you’re ligature, I’ve had really poor luck with two screw ligs on metal mouthpieces. Others may love them, just my experience with them and I did experience squeaks on the metal mouthpieces I’ve played which are similar to what you’re now playing. It’s something you can try and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg..

    Questions for you though. Did you buy the mouthpiece new or used? If you bought it new does the store have a return policy? Mouthpieces aren’t perfect, if there’s a defect in the table/rails no amount of practice/reed adjustment will make it better. What type of lig are you using and how do you prep your reeds before using them? And what were you playing on in the past?

    More information will help get you moving in the right direction.



    Hi Alexandra
    I once had a Vandoren Java T-95..high baffle and lots of squeaks and very loud. Competes with trumpets. I moved down to the T-75. Still very loud and less squeaks. Last year or the year before I bought a MBII and a MBII fatboy. I prefer a 7* mouthpiece. The MB’s came in one tip opening. About an 8. I do have a carbon fiber MB fatboy 7*. No squeaks. My reed is a a carbon fiber med. soft reed. https://www.howtoplaysaxophone.org/fiberreed-synthetic-saxophone-reeds/ My go to mouthpiece is a Theo Wanne 7* Slant Sig 2. My ligatures are many. Rovners, The Enlightened light,Winslow

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