Jay Mason Visiting the Vandoren Studio in Los Angeles

by VandorenTV

Jay Mason Visiting the Vandoren Studio in Los Angeles


Baritone Saxophone Playing

Hi I’m Jay Mason and I’m a saxophonist here in the Los Angeles area. In addition to being a member of Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band saxophone section on this fine instrument, the baritone saxophone, I also play all the other saxophones and woodwinds. I do a variety of projects around town. I do films, I do live things, I do Broadway. Some films that you might know we’ll talk about a little bit later when we start talking about the mouthpiece here. But that is what I do. I also teach at California State University in Long Beach right down the street here and at Concordia University, Irvine.

The mouthpiece I’m using here is a Vandoren V16 Hard Rubber Baritone Mouthpiece it’s a B9 opening and facing and I also have the MO gold-plated ligature on here as well as a Blue Box Vandoren 2.5 Reed, which is what I use on all my baritone mouthpieces. I’ve been playing Vandoren reeds for as long as I can remember, probably since high school. They work so great, and the mouthpieces are just another extension of that, I really like this mouthpiece because it gives me another choice as opposed to maybe some of the metal mouthpieces or hard rubber mouthpieces that other people are playing on. It really has an open tone, it’s easy to play, I recommend them a lot to my students as well. Some projects you might have heard me play this on if you’ve watched the movie Secret Life of Pets or La La Land I had some low baritone stuff that’s pretty easily heard in the mix on this mouthpiece.

Baritone Saxophone Playing

So one thing I often get asked on the baritone saxophone is technique, because it’s such a large instrument. I play lead alto as well and one of the things I’m always thinking of when I play baritone is keep up with the lead alto player, play really tight, in terms of time, with the lead alto player. You especially want to be aware that on the saxophone, between B and C, and F and F# you have this cross-finger problem where the fingers are crossing over. So you want to be sure that your fingers are staying on the pearls not flopping around like that and when you practice your scales and arpeggios it will really improve your technique.

Baritone Saxophone Playing

 Hi this is Jay Mason again and while I was here at the Vandoren Studios the guys asked me to try some of the brand new V16 Baritone Saxophone Reeds. I’ve played the V16 Tenor Saxophone Reeds for a very long time on a bunch of my different mouthpieces and I just tried these on the Baritone Saxophone, the exact same setup you heard on other stuff that we did. They really play great, it’s a little bit different color but it’s going to be a really great addition to the lineup of reeds for Baritone Saxophone for Vandoren and I really recommend that you try them.

The reeds that I normally play on this mouthpiece are a Blue Box 2.5 Vandoren reed, these are the V16 2.5 and they’re straight across, they’re very comparable and they play with the same resistance and ease of playing that the Blue Box does as well.

Baritone Saxophone Playing


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