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The E. Rousseau New Classic Mouthpieces
Best for Band

Band Director Studies and Reviews

Contents:

          About E. Rousseau New Classic Mouthpieces

          Study #1: Embedded in Band - Results

          Study #2: Director Reviews

                    Better Overall Performance

                    Excellent Choice for Young Players

                    Best for Concert Band

                    Worth Three Times the Price

          Marywood University, Dr. David Romines and the Pour Four Saxophone Quartet

Additional Resources:

Teaching the Saxophone Section by Eugene Rousseau

                    Tone Production

                    Air Column and Embouchure

                    Saxophone Equipment and the Saxophone Section

                    Notes on “The Other Saxophones”

                    Tuning the Concert Band Saxophone Section

We’ve asked a number of band directors about the saxophone mouthpieces they recommend for their students. One of their favorites was the E. Rousseau New Classic Series for Alto, Tenor and Baritone.

Here is some information that band directors will find useful as you consider how to upgrade your saxophone section performance level.


What is the “New Classic” NC4 Saxophone mouthpiece?

The “New Classic” (NC) is one of six mouthpiece designs in the E. Rousseau line. This design provides for superior tone, responsiveness and projection for most advancing student players. It promotes a full range of tonal colors and excellent tonal center. The New Classic is designed for natural reed fit and easier tuning. The “4” indicates Medium facing (distance between reed and mouthpiece tip). The NC4 is the preferred model and facing for advancing concert band saxophonists.

 


What makes the NC4 better for concert band?

It was designed by Eugene Rousseau, one of the most significant players and teachers of saxophone for the past fifty years. Rousseau is not only one of the world’s finest classical players and a most prominent teacher; he also learned about woodwind acoustics and design from Charles Houvenaghel, regarded at that time as the greatest acoustician since Adolph Sax.

This NC4 provides for superior tone, responsiveness and projection. It promotes a full range of tonal colors and excellent tonal center. The New Classic is designed for natural reed fit and easier tuning.

The NC4 is made from traditional hard rubber, widely known to be the preferred material for woodwind mouthpieces. All E. Rousseau mouthpieces are made in the U.S.A.

The NC4 is available for all saxophone models (S/A/T/B) and can provide a consistent tonal base for the entire saxophone section and small ensembles.

E. Rousseau mouthpieces are designed for saxophonists at every level, and continue to be priced to be affordable for students.

What Do These Band Directors Think?

Study #1 Embedded in Band

In 2015, we asked several band directors to provide E. Rousseau NC4 mouthpieces to their saxophone sections and comment on the results. The sections included saxophone models from Jupiter, Selmer, Yanigasawa and Yamaha. Here’s what they had to say.

• The scale of the instruments is more in tune with the Rousseau mouthpieces.

• The E. Rousseau mouthpieces provided excellent tone quality throughout the section.

• The NC4 facing provides a good, characteristic saxophone sound, as well as excellent cohesiveness in the section

• These mouthpieces, when combined with practice and specific instruction will improve the sound of a saxophone section by providing a warm centered tone, positive response, and powerful projection.

• Available in three (soprano and alto) or four (tenor and baritone) facings, most players settle in on medium or medium open selection. The New Classic offers a wide palate of opportunity for advanced players.

• Our thanks to all the band directors who participated, including:

            Matt Muraski (band director), Cashton High School, Cashton, WI

            Josh Kaufman (band director), Goshen, High School, Goshen, IN

            John Hilmer and Matthew Verplaets (saxophone teacher), Warren Central High School,                         Indianapolis, IN



Study #2 – Director Review

In a larger 2017 study, 40 Band Directors reviewed E. Rousseau New Classic saxophone mouthpieces. These directors’’ comments overwhelmingly focused on four very practical topics:

• Better Overall Performance

• Excellent Choice for Young Players

• Best for Concert Band

• Worth three times the price



Better Performance Overall

• I have used Rousseau mouthpieces since I first put a horn to my lips! They are fantastic!

• I love the NC4! It's become my favorite mouthpiece on alto.

• The projection is such a great improvement over most classical mouthpieces, giving the           players more sound in ensembles.

• The incorporation of traditional the U-shaped chamber with the facing length makes                  more reeds playable and provides an even response in all registers

• I have personally been using Rousseau mouthpieces since high school, and have played           one on every instrument I own all through college and into my teaching career of 10 years.

• I have played on the NC4 Mouthpiece for many years. It provides a controlled, warm,              and even tone in all registers.

• It plays with a rich, full sound. It has a fantastic response and plays well in all registers.

• I have been playing on Rousseau for many years. They are free blowing and allow for a           wide range of dynamic playing. With the different options you can really create your own             sound.

• I love the Rousseau NC4. I personally play on an NC4.

• I loved the openness of the mouthpiece and how easy the notes respond in all registers.

• Amazing! I have always played on a C-star and this mouthpiece is great!

• They had a nice full sound with a little of room for clean air flow (low resistance) into the           instrument.

 • Nice even tone in all registers and nice response.It's very versatile.

• Consistent response through all registers and focused warm sound.

• I like the warmth and beauty they provide as well as the ease of playing.

• Good response and nice tuning. I found it to have just the right amount of resistance.




Excellent Choice for Young Players

• Our lead alto, and three year All-State student, has used the Rousseau NC4 since her 6th           grade year. She has tried many other mouthpieces and they have not fit her embouchure           or helped her musically.

 • I was happy with the overall tone my students were able to get.

• Great! Very projected sound and very easy to switch registers.

• I found it to be a free-blowing, easy to use mouthpiece that was suitable for most all of           my students.

• Great tenor mouthpiece particularly for students.

• It works wonders for all of my intermediate to advanced students as a professional                     mouthpiece, and it is incredibly affordable in today's market.

• Not being a saxophonist, I found it very easy to play

• I use them in my class and recommend them to all my students that want an upgrade

• I love it. They are my go to mouthpiece for any sax. If students ask which one they                     should try first I always tell them Rousseau.




Best for Concert Band

 • I require all of my saxophone students in my 100-member marching band to play on               Rousseau mouthpieces, as well as all the students in my symphonic programs and                        personal studio, typically the NC4 or 4R.

• The mouthpieces play with rich tone and excellent intonation. I have purchased several           of them over the years for students in my ensemble who cannot afford their own and it              has changed my sections' playing drastically!

• All of my saxophonists utilize this mouthpiece due to its flexibility, quality of sound, and           intonation. Almost every one our saxophonists (20 students) play on the NC4.

• Our students sound fantastic on these mouthpieces, and they love playing them!

• Great mouthpiece for concert band players.

• I have many Students playing The Rousseau New Classic NC4 and for Jazz our Bari Sax            Players are playing the JDX 6. I’m a big fan of these mouthpieces!!!




Worth 3X the Price!

• It is a good mouthpiece and a good value.

• It is close to the C*, without the prohibitive price point.

• It works wonders for all of my intermediate to advanced students as a professional                   mouthpiece, and it is incredibly affordable in today's market.

• It plays just as good as the Selmer S80 at half the price. It's responsive and very reed               friendly.

• I think the NC mouthpieces outplay mouthpieces 3x as expensive.




Marywood University “Pour Four” Saxophone Quartet

Dr. David Romines, Director of Bands

Marywood University has a saxophone quartet that performs several times each semester at university social events, area public venues, and regional schools. The quartet carries the name “Pour Four” and was inspired by a visit from Conn-Selmer artists "The Moanin' Frogs".


In addition to the activities mentioned above, the group sponsors a regional saxophone event called "Super Saxophone Saturday". This instructional gathering is for school saxophonist of all ages. The clinic focuses on classical saxophone tone production and related factors including embouchure, reeds, mouthpieces, and aural concepts. In addition, technique, alternate fingerings, and worthy saxophone accessories are addressed. "Super Saxophone Saturday" boasts over 40 attendees from throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania.

“I provide this background to let you know that the Marywood saxophone studio and attached headlining quartet are serious about classical saxophone performance and instruction and are influential throughout the region. Provided below are unified opinions as expressed by individual members.”

1. The exterior construction of the mouthpiece is attractive and exudes a feeling of quality.

2. The wide tip rails were immediately noticed and the added flexibility was noted by the members.

3. The mouthpiece elicits a quick response from the horn.

4. There is an evenness of sound throughout the registers that is very appealing.

5. Although the response is very quick, the feeling of having an appropriate amount of resistance (something to blow against) is still there.

6. There was a universal improvement in the low end intonation. Low tones were not as flat. This was especially true for the vintage Selmer saxophones that are often utilized by the group.

7. Notes in the altissimo sang out with more confidence and accuracy for more than one member.

8. Medium strength reeds seem to work best with this line of mouthpieces.

9. The high register is very clear and responsive with these mouthpieces.

Our thanks to Dr. Romines and the “Pour Four” quartet for their review.

Additional Resources:

Teaching the Saxophone Section by Eugene Rousseau

                    Tone Production

                    Air Column and Embouchure

                    Saxophone Equipment and the Saxophone Section

                    Notes on “The Other Saxophones”

                    Tuning the Concert Band Saxophone Section


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