Best Alto Sax Mouthpieces for Beginners In 2020

Best Alto Sax Mouthpiece for Beginners

The type of alto sax mouthpiece you will need for your instrument entirely depends on your level of expertise.

And even so, it isn’t a simple endeavor as some instruments are difficult to “please”.

Whatever the case it’s important to select the perfect mouthpiece if you want to produce a high-quality sound.

That’s why, we have made it our business to ensure you, our loyal reader, is well informed of the best alto sax mouthpieces to make your selection easier.

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Best Alto Sax Mouthpiece for Beginners Reviewed

1. Yamaha Alto Sax Mouthpiece 4C

Yamaha musical instruments are one of the best that there is in the current market.

So, it isn’t surprising when this brand produces some of the most preferred saxophone mouthpieces in the world.

This Alto Sax Mouthpiece 4C has been praised for being highly consistent, making it reliable among beginners and even intermediate sax performers.

All you need to do is follow the maintenance instructions that usually come with the package.

If you do so, then you can be sure to produce a well-articulated tone right from your beginner days to the pro level.

It also offers great balance, which means you don’t have to struggle to produce the intended sounds.

And to guarantee you durability, this instrument is made up of sturdy materials, the best that has been associated with the Yamaha, brand over the years.

I also love the price tag, which is pretty affordable considering the incredible features this mouthpiece presents.

And as such, it’s ideal for .beginners and professionals who aren’t working on a stretched budget.

Pros
  • Top-notch consistency
  • Very affordable for all performers
  • Crispy clear tone
  • Sturdy construction
  • Ease of use
Cons
  • Not easily compatible with non-Yamaha saxophones.

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2. Selmer S-80 C* Mouthpiece for Alto Saxophone (S402C1)

When it comes to an excellent combination of craftsmanship and playability, the Selmer S-80 C* takes the trophy.

This gorgeous smooth sax mouthpiece comes with a square cross-section, which works best to ensure you receive improved sax response.

And if you love exploring with your vocals, then you will love this mouthpiece as it can basically suit in any genre of music.

So, so long as you identify a song that can do with a little bit of alto, then you’re good to go!

This sax mouthpiece features a tip opening of 1.70mm, with a facing length of 22mm.

And although it doesn’t come cheap, you will love its impressive clear loud sound even when doing solos.

It comes out smooth glossy to offer you the durability you need to grow professionally.

So, be sure to purchase the perfect ligature for it and you will enjoy the attention its eye-catching finishing draws together with the high-quality sound.

Pros
  • Easy to play with different octaves
  • High-quality sound
  • Offers great response
  • Note separation
Cons
  • You will have to purchase the ligature, separately.
  • No reed

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3. Vandoren SM711 AL3 Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

This SM711 AL3 mouthpiece is among the optimum series manufactured by the Vandoren brand, specifically for classical music performers.

As such, it comes with round-shaped with a tip of 1.52mm and a long facing to offer its users the flexibility they require to produce the best sounds.

This smooth beautiful mouthpiece can comfortably accommodate various reeds, but it is primarily meant for the Vandoren #2.5-#4 reeds.

And although this piece is cheaper than others within the same range, it doesn’t compromise sound quality, thus the reason as to why it’s enjoying much popularity among beginners.

It, however, isn’t very popular among professionals due to its smaller size. So, you might have to upgrade once you learn those pro breathing techniques.

Pros
  • Attractive design
  • Reliable and durable
  • Compatible with other instruments and ligatures
  • Smooth sound
Cons
  • Doesn’t play in the altissimo register

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4. Meyer MR-402-5MM Rubber Alto Sax Mouthpiece

This rubber alto sax mouthpiece is great for both beginners and intermediates interested in playing jazz music.

The mouthpiece can comfortably accommodate #5mm reeds.

Its tip opening is 0.071 and thus can perfectly produce excellent and clear response low notes as far as altissimo.

And because of this, it shouldn’t be surprising if you find professionals using it.

It gives you value for money as it will serve you for a long time. And if you maintain it well, it will be a while before you even think of upgrading it.

The mouthpiece is easy to blow, although some beginners say that they find it a little demanding. But once you master it, there’s nothing that can stop you.

Also, the package comes with a mouthpiece cap and a ligature, which is a plus and saves you some bucks.

Pros
  • Comes with a mouthpiece cap and ligature
  • Crispy clear low notes to altissimo
  • Quality construction
  • Can be used by wide range saxophonists. From beginners to pros.
Cons
  • Some beginners find it a bit complex to use in the beginning.

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5. Cecilio 4C Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

The Cecilio 4C mouthpiece is the perfect piece for beginners.

It comes with a touch of gold and black, to suit your classy instrument so that you can proudly display it among your peers as you practice.

This mouthpiece comes with a reed, plastic cap, and a ligature, which means you get to save some cash.

Also, at 4C, it will allow you to produce a decent sound, which should be good enough for a beginner.

And it’s durable enough to last you for long until you learn the ropes and hopefully upgrade.

Generally, we can say that at its affordable price, it works pretty great, hence value for money.

Pros
  • Easy to blow
  • Plastic cap, reeds, and ligature
  • Two-color options
  • Beautiful and durable design
Cons
  • Limited instrument compatibility

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6. Clark W Fobes Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

If sleek is what defines you best, then you will love this Clark W Fobes Alto saxophone mouthpiece.

It comes with a stylish tip, which showcases the finest work of craftsmanship.

The mouthpiece guarantees consistency to its users.

Because of the impressive sounds it produces, it has attracted the interest of not only sax beginners but also professionals.

And unlike other mouthpieces within its range, this Clark W Fobes piece comes fully designed to allow you to explore in both low and high registries.

That means you get value for your money as this mouthpiece can comfortably serve you right from your first sax lessons to your promising professional gig.

So, if you’ve to dispose it, it won’t be because it let you down, but because you want to upgrade to something way better.

And that won’t be any time soon!

Pros
  • Assured consistency with the hand-finished tactic
  • Newly improved tip
  • Favorable for both beginners and professionals
  • Durable and reliable
  • Value for money
Cons
  • Doesn’t fit all sax models
  • Doesn’t come with a ligature.

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7. D'Addario Select Saxophone Mouthpiece, D6M

When you aren’t short of money and would like to buy a top-notch alto sax mouthpiece that will give you value, then the D’Addario D6M is what you need.

This mouthpiece is part of the D’Addario Jazz series, and it happens to be the most famous and loved by sax players.

So, in other words, it’s milled and not molded. What else could you ask for?

And because the mouthpiece guarantees you an error-free package, you can be sure to use it to achieve an impressive balanced response.

And the benefits don’t stop there, most customers praise it for the perfect intonation it’s able to achieve across all registers.

Also, this design gives you an option to pick between various tip openings, which include 5,6 or 7.

And because of this, the mouthpiece is well-known to produce rich and louder sounds, which are a perfect fit for jazz sax players.

Pros
  • Wide tip
  • Sturdy construction
  • Impressively rich sound
  • Great craftsmanship
Cons
  • Lacks genre versatility

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8. E. Rousseau ER20024N Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

If classical jazz is your kind of music, then you will love the E. Rousseau ER20024N.

We are not saying this just for the sake of it, but the various positive reviews about this beautiful mouthpiece speak for themselves.

The mouthpiece proudly displays a new chamber design, which goes a long way into ensuring you achieve a centered tone.

Its shape is also longer to give you ample time as you tune it to your various saxophones models.

And once you invest in this mouthpiece, you can be sure to have it serve you for the longest as it can comfortably fulfill both your beginner and professional needs.

Pros
  • Excellent new chamber
  • Easy to tune
  • Meets both beginner and professional sax players’ needs
Cons
  • Easy to break
  • Could do with better construction

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9. Rico Metalite Alto Sax Mouthpiece, D'Addario

This Rico Metalite Alto Sax Mouthpiece is a product of the D’Addario brand. And like all their musical instruments, this model of high-quality.

And thanks to its durable construction, it guarantees its users durability and reliability even after long jamming hours.

The mouthpiece is also crack-resistant, which is a plus to you as a beginner since you won’t have to spend extra cash on unnecessary repairs/maintenance.

And that’s not all, this model comes with a two tip option for its users, so you get to choose the one that works best for you.

This particular model has a tip opening of 0,080mm and a facing length of 20mm.

Pros
  • High-quality construction
  • Crack-resistant body
  • 2-tip options
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Difficulties achieving lower registry notes

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10. Yinama Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece for Alto Sax 4C

Yinama brand has never failed when it comes to delivering quality musical instruments.

And their alto Sax 4C mouthpiece is no exception.

This piece is a true definition of a great balance between excellent features and considerable pricing.

It can easily fit into any saxophone, which makes it a better option among other mouthpiece models within its pricing range.

This means it can be used by both beginner sax players and professionals.

Also, this design offers a clear response and it’s therefore easy to blow, which is a plus for learners.

Pros
  • Compatible with all octaves
  • Perfect match for beginners and professionals
  • Classy look
  • Great finishing and sturdy construction
Cons
  • Intermediate players might not find it favorable.

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11. Glory Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

This Glory Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece has been presented at an affordable price, which is beginner-friendly.

It’s also easy to use, so you don’t have to worry about getting an expert to help you out.

Also, it’s pretty durable at its pricing and guarantees you reliability, at least for some years.

The mouthpiece is very light and offers a quick response, which ensures you deliver powerful sounds whenever you take the stage.

And as such, it makes an ideal pick for both beginner and intermediate alto sax players.

Pros
  • Includes a ligature and reed
  • Quality sounds
  • Great for beginners and intermediates
  • Protective plastic cover
Cons
  • Some mouthpiece defects reports.

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12. J&D Hite H117 Premiere Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece

Closing our list is the J&D Hite H117 mouthpiece, which oozes of excellent craftsmanship from the word go.

This mouthpiece, like many others from J&D, is manufactured with your needs in mind, hence the reason as to why it comes in a hard plastic construction to assure you durability and affordability.

Its tone is also decent and within the students’ range and it can easily fit on all octaves.

So, with it, you gain the flexibility to try out various music genres before settling for your most favorite.

Pros
  • Durable plastic construction
  • Solid crispy sound
  • Compatible with all octaves.
Cons
  • Could do better with a ligature in the package.

Check today's price on Amazon

Things to Consider when Buying Alto Sax Mouthpiece

For you to get the best out of your sax mouthpiece, you have to look beyond brand names and settle for one which perfectly suits your playing needs.

Just to be clear, this’s not to say that brands are insignificant.  And yes, some brands have a reputation for manufacturing better quality sax instruments and accessories than others.

But, your needs come first. Always. And that also means understanding the basics that truly matter. And they include;

  • The facing curve
  • The Baffle
  • The Reeds
  • The Tip Opening
  • Chamber and Sidewall
  • Material
  • Beginner or advanced
  • And lastly, the Beak and Bite Plate.

Let’s now dig deeper into each of them;

The Facing Curve

This is also popularly referred to as the lay. And it’s that section of the mouthpiece that usually comes in contact with the reed (one-on-one).

Therefore, the facing curve is one of the most important aspects you must consider when selecting the best mouthpiece for your alto sax.

Your mouthpiece is as good as its curve.

Also, the facing curve provides a landing plane for the reed. It’s where the reed meets the mouthpiece. And if it doesn’t allow a perfect fit, then this could greatly impact the sound projection.

For instance, if the curve is full of imperfections, then you can expect to hear squeaky low-quality sounds, which will scream “mechanical hitches”.

On the other hand, a well-crafted curve gives the reed ample time for easy vibration.

Also, there shouldn’t be any room for unnecessary reed movements. And that’s where the mouthpiece table comes in.

The “table” refers to the area within the mouthpiece, where the reed rests is held in place by the ligature. By all means, it should be leveled and smooth.

Pay close attention to all these aspects as you go about your alto sax mouthpiece selection process.

Baffle

Like the facing curve, you should understand the shape of the baffle to choose the best mouthpiece for your sax.

The baffle usually comes in 3 shapes; flat, rollover, and step.

When it comes to the Flat Baffle, it’s usually straight in nature, meaning the flow of air coming out of the mouthpiece will be slow. And because of that, you will experience projection difficulties.

However, this baffle allows you to release one of the best dark-soft mellow sounds, which could serve you well when you want to play a little tenor.

Also, this baffle is a great option of alto jazz players. But if you prefer heavy blows, then you might not like it.

Rollover Baffle; if you love transitioning from short-high sounds to flat soft tones, then the rollover baffle is for you.

Unlike the flat baffle, this one gives your tones a little edge. So, it gives your soft sounds a little “glamour” touch, which comes in handy for creative alto sax jazz players, who love improvising,

Lastly, the Step Baffle comes with a “step” right in the mouthpiece.

And because of this, it allows you to produce a crispy loud sound as the air can freely and quickly flow with ease.

It’s also pretty easy to project using the step baffle, making it ideal for beginners and both solo& band performers looking forward to wow their audiences with their sound projection skills.

Reeds

You will need reeds to combine with your mouthpiece to play.  Most manufacturers include them in their packages, but you might have to purchase separately if it isn’t included in yours.

The type of reed you select will largely depend on its hardness, size, and the material used for construction.

Natural cane reeds are the most famous of the reed construction as they have been tested and proved over the years.

They are strong enough to give you quality sounds, the reason as to why they’re preferred by dynamic and chromatic alto sax performers.

However, it’s also possible to come across synthetically made reeds. They’re cheaper than the cane reeds and work best with middle-range mouthpieces.

Also, if you’re a beginner, then you will find softer reeds easy to blow as compared to stiff ones.

Tip Opening

The kind of tip opening you select largely depends on the type of music you intend to play.

For example for classical alto saxophone mouthpieces, narrow openings make a perfect choice. While, for advanced creative players, a wide opening offers flexibility to sound manipulation.

Also, if, you want to achieve a richer sound, then you will want to match a narrow tip opening with a stiff reed. And for a softer sound, the vice versa is true (wide opening with soft reed.)

Additionally, experienced players perform well with narrow tips since they already process a great embouchure strength.

So, that automatically means, beginners will find it easy to blow wider tip openings.

Chamber and Sidewall

When selecting your mouthpiece, you should pay close attention to the chamber and sidewall as it determines the tone produced and the quality presented.

The larger the chamber’s volume, the richer tone produced. This also applies to the various chamber shapes as some offer more flexibility than others.

As for the sidewalls, they will usually display various shapes such as concave, straight, or even convex. And this impacts the nature of airflow presented

Beak and Bite Plate

Most individuals overlook the Beak and Bite Plate when choosing the best mouthpieces for their alto sax. Let this not be you!

You see, they should perfectly fit into the characteristics of the embouchure you want to achieve.

If you have overbites, then a bite plate with minimal contouring will serve you best.

Performers with underbites, on the other hand, will do better with thick beaks.

Material

When it comes to alto sax mouthpieces, the materials of construction largely contribute to the kind of sounds produced.

For example, mouthpieces made from softer materials release darker sounds because of the less projection. And those made-up of harder materials release brighter sounds but with more projection.

          1). Plastic Mouthpieces

These are commonly used among students, as they serve the purpose well and offer extreme durability at an affordable cost.

          2). Hard Rubber Mouthpieces

These are the real deal for jazz and classical performers. They produce warmer focused sounds favorable for large audiences.

          3). Crystal Mouthpieces

These are a great option for outdoor performers thanks to their strong projection and bright tone.

Jazz musicians also prefer them. But you will have to take extra caution when using them as they’re quite fragile.

          4). Stainless Steel Metal Mouthpieces

These are known for their brightest sounds.

          5). Metal-Plated Brass Mouthpieces

These are commonly made of plated brass and come in a variety of styles to suit your preference. The most popular ones are gold-plated mouthpieces.

          6). Wooden Mouthpieces

They might be rare to find, but if you find one, you will be pleased with the warm tones they produce. They are, however, less stable than both plastic and rubber.

Beginner vs. Advanced

As already indicated earlier, if you’re a beginner, it’s advisable to go for softer-reed mouthpieces fitted on wider tip openings. They allow you to blow with ease to produce a decent sound.

For advanced players, however, a harder-reed fitted into a narrow tip opening will do. It offers you the flexibility of play and allows you to be as creative as possible.

What Is the Best Jazz Mouthpiece for Alto Sax?

For jazz players, we know there are a lot of mouthpiece options out there in the market.

But if you can’t settle for anything but the best and don’t want to overstretch your budget, then Yamaha Alto Sax Mounthpiece 4C.

It offers well-articulated tones for both beginners and pro players, which means it can serve you for as long as you want. Until you decide that you deserve another upgrade.

Best Alto Sax Mouthpiece for Classical Music?

Various alto sax mouthpieces can give you a decent classical sound. But if you want the best, then we highly recommend the Vandoren SM711 AL3 Alto Saxophone Mouthpiece.

It doesn’t compromise on quality and comes at a cheaper price compared to other mouthpieces within its quality range.

It’s also compatible with other instruments and ligatures.

FAQs About Best Alto Sax Mouthpiece for Beginners

Does Mouthpiece Quality Affect Saxophone?

Yes, it does.

This is because they all have different dimensions, which affects how the player opens their oral cavity.

For instance, plastic mouthpieces increase the oral cavity opening, which leads to the release of less edgy sounds. On the other hand, metal mouthpieces open less oral cavity thus a brighter tone.

Best Alto Sax Mouthpiece for Rock Bands?

For rock bands, we suggest the Rico Metalite Alto Sax MouthpieceD’Addario.

Its tip opening is large enough to allow you to blow in a large amount of air and its pricing is fair.

How Do I Make My Saxophone Sound Clear?

Here’s a YouTube video for better understanding;

How Do You Get Rid of Spit in Alto Sax?

Check out this video;

Conclusion

After reading the above reviews on the best alto sax mouthpieces, it’s clear that a good mouthpiece is an important part of your overall sax performance.

However, there are various types for different level players, such as beginners and professionals. This also applies to your various musical interests.

So, don’t go picking a mouthpiece blindly, access your needs, and choose one that will serve you best.

Also, don’t forget to consider things like the material constructions, tip opening size, and reeds, among others.

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