Pads or cushions are a go-to saxophone accessory essential for every mouthpiece. But why are they so important? Syos are here to tell you everything you need to know about this mysterious accessory!
What is the use of saxophone cushions?
The sax pads (or cushions) play an important role: they are the point of contact between your mouth and your instrument. This is a key zone when it comes to your play, and therefore it should not be neglected! So, what is the actual use of these pads?
1. Protect your mouthpiece
First of all, these pads prevent your teeth from marking your favourite mouthpiece. Saxophonists tend to get pretty intense when it comes to practice, or at least very enthusiastic (which is great!), but the frequent and lengthly use of your mouthpiece without any protection could damage your mouthpiece. Therefore, to protect its physical integrity and prevent premature wear, it is better to use cushions (and not to bite into your mouthpiece, your Syos is not edible, even in Chocolate Brown!).
2. Reduce the impact of vibrations
Beyond preserving your mouthpiece, the pads are also the point where your body and instrument meet. When you blow into your sax, it starts vibrating, which produces a sound wave (and your beautiful sound). But your teeth and your jaw are in the first row: without anything to protect them from the vibrations, you would feel it in your skull. It goes without saying, it would be very uncomfortable. The pads are therefore not only protecting your mouthpiece, but also you from any discomfort.
So, if you have a lingering headache after a rehearsal, it is not because of the sax vibrations: either your room echoes too much or your drummer is playing too loud again!
3. Ensure a stable embouchure
Another advantage to having a pad on your mouthpiece is that it will help you maintain a stable embouchure. Indeed, materials used to make saxophone mouthpieces are very smooth (ebonite, metal, plastic…). They do not offer the optimal grip needed for a stable position of the teeth on the mouthpiece. By using a pad, you will obtain the same result as when applying wax on a surfboard: improved stability.
As such, the pad presents the same upside as those non-slip socks your aunt got you for christmas!
How to chose my saxophone pads?
Several shapes and materials exist when it comes to saxophone mouthpiece pads: thin or thick materials, translucent or black... they will always do same job. Thin pads will be more discreet in your mouth and on your mouthpiece, but they might be less protective. Thicker pads will have a greater presence esthetically and physically, but they may be more effective to protect your jaw and your mouthpiece.
You get to choose, it's all about personal preference!
At Syos, we offer translucent pads: they are light and discreet yet still effective, get them here. This essential accessory will perfectly protect your mouthpiece from your teeth and yourself from the uncomfortable vibrations!