The Tenor Saxophone is a large member of the woodwind family that has gained acclaim as one of the most famously recognized instruments in the world.
Invented by Adolphe Sax during the 1840s, it is one of the most commonly used saxophones alongside the alto saxophone. Those who play the tenor saxophone are likely to understand the importance of a good mouthpiece.
There are many tenor saxophone mouthpieces available on the market with a selection available from popularly known brands.
If you are unsure of the best options available, we have got you covered. Below we have selected and reviewed our top 5 picks of the best mouthpieces available.
For those who are uncertain of the characteristics that contribute to a mouthpiece that is worthy of your purchase, we have included a handy buyer's guide where we have identified our top tips for selecting the best option for your needs.
If you are in a hurry, we have selected our top pick below.
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
Yamaha is a brand that is recognized for producing excellent quality musical instruments and accessories.
In fact, their mouthpieces are regarded as an excellent choice for players who are focussing on producing a decent tone. The Yamaha Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece compliments the needs of players by focussing on performance and comfort.
This mouthpiece has a horseshoe shape chamber with a 20.00mm face length and 1.70mm tip opening. As such, it is considered to be an excellent choice for players of an intermediate level.
However, this isn’t to say that it can’t be used by those who are novices to playing the saxophone.
Made using plastic, this mouthpiece boasts a high-quality construction with enhanced durability that is likely to see you through many future performances.
It is also relatively lightweight weighing a minimal 1.6 ounces and for this reason, it is going to be easy to handle without adding a lot of excess weight to your instrument.
As a 4C mouthpiece, it has a thicker reed with a particular focus on producing consistent and smooth sound and is sure to cater to the performance requirements of most players.
- This mouthpiece retails at a very affordable price and is a great choice for musicians who are on a budget.
- This mouthpiece focuses on the performance and comfort needs of the player.
- Easy to play this mouthpiece is ideal for beginners and advanced players alike.
- Thanks to the small tip opening you don’t need to exert as much energy when playing your instrument.
- This mouthpiece produces high-quality sound.
- This mouthpiece doesn’t come with a ligature which may be inconvenient for some.
The Rico Graftonite Tenor Sax Mouthpiece has been specifically designed to cater to the needs of student players. Retailing at an affordable price, it provides a budget-friendly option that doesn’t compromise on the performance and quality of the tone.
Whether you're a beginner or seasoned professional, this mouthpiece is more than likely to compliment your playing requirements. The composition of materials focuses upon tone production making it easier to achieve a smoother tone.
Constructed from polycarbonate material, this mouthpiece boasts a high-quality construction that is going to withstand frequent use with ease. This robust construction will ensure that the mouthpiece refrains from becoming chipped or cracked for enhanced durability.
We particularly like that this mouthpiece is available in three tip openings and three chambers. This is great for catering to the needs of different players.
The B5 model in particular features a .095” tip opening with a 23mm facing length. The size of the tip opening means that this mouthpiece is easier to blow through and play.
- Weighing 1.5 ounces it is lightweight and easy to handle.
- Retailing within an affordable price range this is an excellent budget option.
- It is available in different tip opening and chamber sizes.
- It is a great choice for students and educational purposes.
- It is easy to play making it an excellent choice for beginners in particular.
- The sound produced is a little dull which may not cater to the needs of all players.
The Vandoren T7 V16 Ebonite Tenor Sax Mouthpiece delivers an effective compromise between sound projection and timbre.
An excellent choice for jazz performers, in particular, this mouthpiece focuses on a blend of jazz sounds from the past and present.
It has a long facing length and a 270 tip opening. This model is recommended to be paired with the Vandoren 2.5 to 3.5 reeds. Aside from the SM823E model, there are many other options available that are great for catering to the needs of different performers.
We particularly like the versatility of this mouthpiece as it focuses on powerful and round sound output. Along with the warm and rich sound, this mouthpiece also helps to deliver a fast response for easy playing and consistency.
The design of this mouthpiece allows you to maintain control of the instrument so you can execute sounds with higher volume and greater flexibility.
- There are multiple sizes available which are great for catering to the needs of different players.
- It is lightweight at only 1.6 ounces and so it is easy to handle.
- It has a wider tip and is free blowing which makes it easier to play.
- It is a flexible mouthpiece that allows players to experiment with their tones and volume.
- Thanks to its construction it is comfortable to play.
- Some players may not appreciate the wider tip opening as it requires more air for a response.
Specifically intended for beginners and soloists, the Yamaha 5C Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece is easy to play and offers excellent flexibility and response. For those looking for a mouthpiece with a rich tone, this offering from Yamaha provides a viable option.
As for construction, this mouthpiece has been made from high-quality phenol resin plastic which boasts excellent durability for long-lasting use. It is also likely to resist chipping or cracking so you needn’t be concerned about any deteriorations in the quality.
The tip opening measures 1.8mm and as such this allows you to play your saxophone with comfort and ease. It is also easy to handle weighing a minimal 1.6 ounces.
When fixed to your saxophone it isn’t going to add a lot of excess weight that can provide challenges when it comes to playing the instrument.
Impressively the design of this mouthpiece is based upon the top grade Custom series and entitles the player to greater consistency and performance.
As the face of this mouthpiece is a little shorter, it is praised for being a great choice for beginners because it is easier to play.
- It is great value for money as it retails within an affordable price range.
- Constructed from phenol resin plastic, this is a high-quality mouthpiece.
- It is comfortable to play which is likely to be appreciated during lengthy performances.
- It produces clear sound with effective flexibility.
- It is a great choice for beginnings and soloists in particular.
- Some customers have reported inconsistencies in the quality of the sound that is produced by this mouthpiece.
For those looking for a mouthpiece that is suitable for jazz, look no further than the D’Addario Tenor Saxophone Mouthpiece. Using this mouthpiece will allow you to explore the sound and feel of jazz music.
As a vintage inspired jazz mouthpiece, it is 100% precision milled boasting a solid rod rubber construction. Even when used regularly, you can be sure that this mouthpiece is going to resist wear and tear particularly well.
Additionally, the construction of this mouthpiece focuses on precision incorporating computer controlled mouthpiece making technology.
With a focus on producing vintage sound, this mouthpiece accommodates the needs of demanding and advanced players helping to deliver unique, robust, and consistent sound for excellent performance.
A great thing about this mouthpiece is that it is available in many sizes with multiple tip openings to choose from. This includes 6,7,8 and 9 and is great for catering to the needs of different musicians and their performance preferences.
- This mouthpiece produces classic sound with even intonation.
- A good quality mouthpiece that retails at a relatively affordable price.
- It is a powerful mouthpiece that produces a smooth sound.
- It is available in a variety of different sizes which is great for catering to the needs of different players.
- It is solidly constructed and easy to blow through with great response.
- It doesn’t have the greatest amount of resistance and may require more effort on your behalf.
Best Tenor Sax Mouthpiece Buying Guide
There are many factors to consider before investing in your tenor sax mouthpiece.
If this is your first time purchasing a product of this kind, of course, you want to ensure that it is suitable for your performance requirements, otherwise, it may prevent you from reaching your full potential.
Below, we have identified some important characteristics that contribute to a high-quality mouthpiece, along with our top tips for selecting the best product for your needs.
Saxophone mouthpieces are typically made from one of the following materials; hard rubber, metal, glass, plastic, or wood.
The type that you choose is likely to depend on your personal preferences when it comes to playing your saxophone as you may find one type to be more comfortable and complementary to your performance than another.
Of course, if you are a regular player, your mouthpiece must be constructed to withstand this regular use, you don't want to be midway through playing your favorite tune only to find that the mouthpiece has begun to deteriorate.
The weight of the mouthpiece can differ depending on the brand with some being heavier than others.
While this factor may not serve particular importance to some, for others, it can be important in determining how light the piece is and how easy it is to attach to your saxophone.
You may find that a heavier mouthpiece adds too much weight to your instrument and for some, this may make it a little more difficult to handle.
Particular brands are recognized in the music industry for producing high-quality products that have become staples in the music collections of many players.
They are often praised for the quality of the products that they produce which encourages customers to return to the brand to make future purchases.
While this may encourage you to shop with these particular brands, there are offerings from less known brands that are just as good and worthy of your purchase.
When contemplating which mouthpiece is best for you, it is important to consider your own experience in playing the saxophone. You will find some mouthpieces that are marketed towards beginners and others that are intended for more advanced players.
Others are marketed towards students. Your experience is going to be influential in determining which mouthpiece is suitable for your needs because some may be easier to play than others.
If you are new to playing the saxophone and you're still in the process of familiarizing yourself with playing the saxophone you don’t want to be battling against a mouthpiece that is too complex to use.
Likewise, advanced players may find a basic mouthpiece to be a little too restrictive in allowing them to develop their skills further.
The Tip Opening
The tip opening of the mouthpiece is going to affect how easy the saxophone is to play.
The opening of a tenor mouthpiece typically falls in the range of 1.60 to 3.80mm. An opening that is too small or too wide is going to provide you with difficulties when attempting to play your instrument.
For this reason, you must ensure that your chosen mouthpiece has a tip opening that is compatible with your needs, otherwise, you may find yourself exerting a lot of energy when playing your instrument.
The Quality of Sound
The quality of the sound that is produced by your mouthpiece is super important and is also going to depend on your performance requirements.
Some mouthpieces produce a richer tone while others produce a more subtle and duller tone. Of course, the tone that you require is going to depend on the environment that you find yourself playing your instrument. Other mouthpieces are also great for creating a jazz tone too.
To gain a clearer understanding regarding the quality of the sound produced by the mouthpiece it is worth paying attention to existing customer reviews regarding this factor.
The price of the mouthpiece can vary significantly depending on the model and the brand.
Before browsing the market it is worth having a budget in mind so you can cater your purchase towards this. While many options retail below $100, there are also options available that retail within a higher price range.
The amount that you spend on your mouthpiece is likely to be influenced by a range of factors, the most prominent being your experience of playing the saxophone.
If you are a beginner and you're still familiarizing yourself with this instrument you may wish to invest in a cheaper option, to begin with before advancing onto a more expensive option.
For those who are professional and advanced players, you are likely going to want to spend a little more on your mouthpiece to ensure that it boasts the quality that you require.
Best Tenor Sax Mouthpiece - FAQ's
Do saxophones mouthpieces make a difference?
There are debates surrounding the impact that the mouthpiece has upon performance with some suggesting that the difference is apparent with others suggesting that it is less so.
While those that are more advanced players may opt to invest in a better quality mouthpiece, others may choose to keep the mouthpiece that was supplied with their saxophone upon purchase.
What do saxophone mouthpiece numbers mean?
The numbers displayed in the description of saxophone mouthpieces represent the relationship between the mouthpiece itself and the reed selection.
The range typically tends to be between 2 and 5 and as you may expect, a thinner reed has a lower number while a thicker reed has a higher number. The thickness of the reed can influence the tone of the instrument and how easy it is to play.
How long will a saxophone mouthpiece last?
Over time, it is necessary to expect your mouthpiece to begin to deteriorate in quality. There are many factors that can contribute to this deterioration of quality, of course, frequent use is going to affect the quality as well as regular exposure to saliva.
On the whole, you will often find that most players replace their mouthpiece within a 2-3 year time frame.
While this time frame isn't set in stone some factors may cause the mouthpiece to deteriorate sooner or you may find that your mouthpiece lasts for longer than this.