Jeremy Trezona - Aug 11 2022

Interview with Jody Espina

Are you still playing on the mouthpiece that came with your saxophone? If you are - that's nothing to be ashamed of. The first step in enriching your tone is always to develop your embouchure and airstream - equipment plays a secondary role.

However - there comes a time when there's only so much juice you can get out of a humble Yamaha 4C, or whatever mouthpiece came bundled with your first sax. Equipment still has an important role to play in shaping your sound, and none more so than the mouthpiece (yes - even more so than the saxophone itself)!

So, who better to ask about upgrading your mouthpiece than one man who has been at the forefront of mouthpiece design for the last 30 years ?

Of course, I'm talking about the one and only Jody Espina from JodyJazz.

For those who don't know, Jody has made mouthpieces for the titans of our industry - Kirk Whalum, George Garzone, Jeff Coffin, JD Allen - just to name a few.

A few days ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Jody and asking him the questions I know a lot of beginner-intermediate players have when it comes to upgrading their sax mouthpiece for the first time.

The interview is only short, but it's packed full of practical tips to get you going on your saxophone journey!

Check it out at the top of this page!

Jody's tips:

Tip #1: If possible, have a professional play every part of your setup - reed included!

Tip #2: Play your beginner setup for 3-6 months, and no more. After that, you can try experimenting with some different mouthpieces.

Tip #3: If you want a warm and dark tone, you'll want a large mouthpiece chamber.

Tip #4: If you want a loud and bright tone, you'll want a small mouthpiece chamber.

Tip #5: "Free-blowing" in the saxophone world means you can get a tonal response quickly, and mouthpiece is "easy to play".

Tip #6: When selecting a mouthpiece, tone and feel are equally important.

Tip #7: The only way to know if a saxophone mouthpiece feels right is by trying it out alongside several others!