Alliance euphonium mouthpiece

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by ..JB.., Dec 20, 2008.

  1. ..JB..

    ..JB.. New Member

    Hi im thinking of buying the prestige alliance moiuthpiece for euphonium . I am currently using a sm3 . Does anyone know whether the alliance mp is any better than the sm3 .Im finding range + articulation issues . ive tried the sm4 + 5 i get better articulation and range but lose the full tone from the sm3
     
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  3. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    From your post I would suggest that the answer to the range/articulation issues on the larger m/piece is .....PRACTICE !!
     
  4. ..JB..

    ..JB.. New Member

    I try to practice everyday and things just dont seem to be working
     
  5. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    I would suugest that you seek out a Pro player you respect and have a lesson....half the price of a mouthpiece and he/she will look at all aspects of your playing/practice routine and would probably set you on the right path
     
  6. ..JB..

    ..JB.. New Member

    cheers thanks for the advise
     
  7. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    The SM3 is certainly hard work as euphonium mouthpieces go. Definitely a sensible choice only for players with a physically strong embouchure. I believe the Alliance 2 is supposed to be similar, but a little less wearing on the face at the expense of a little breadth of tone.

    But, as said - you can't do better than go to a professional teacher with your concerns.
     
  8. bumper-euph

    bumper-euph Member

    If you can get one to try....a Denis Wick Heritage 4 al may be worth a try.....same as an SM 4 in every way except shape.
     
  9. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    No, that's not quite right - it's the same as an ordinary 4AL in every way except (outside) shape. The SM series are quite different inside.

    Edit: And the variances in Wick's manufacturing are large enough that "the same as" isn't really true - I have a 4AL and a Heritage 4AL that are assuredly not the same size - and I also have a 5BL that is in between the two [all as measured with my calipers...].
     
  10. ..JB..

    ..JB.. New Member

    thanks i think i will try the alliance and see how things go . If things dont improve i might have to seek advise. As for practise goes have any of you used claude gordons systematic approach to daily practise?
     
  11. fireborn

    fireborn Member

    Hi, I moved over to an Alliance a few months ago and love it! I use an Alliance 2 which is exactly the same internally and rim diameter as a Wick 3AL. As someone already posted, this size is hard work. I only use this size as anything smaller is not very comfortable for me. There is an Alliance 2.5 which has the same rim diameter but is a bit shallower so would help on range. Or you could move over to the Wick 4AL or equivalent which is probably the most popular size, and work hard on breathing exercises to improve your sound (and range). A bit of a balancing act, but either way, mouthpiece change or not, you have to work at it.
    As Vegasound said, there is no substitute for practice. Get yourself a copy of the Charles Colin Lip Flexibility book, working with that will seriously help your range. I personally think your money should be spent there first. Hope this helps.
     
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  13. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Not wanting to be an a*se again in this thread - but, really? I was under the impression that the cup, throat, and backbore are fresh designs by Steven Mead, made with the aim of adjusting the SM3 to be a little easier-playing.

    I find it interesting that they've dropped the largest SM size in the Alliance range - obviously the SM2 is just too big to be of general use to many people. Maybe they'll introduce a version later as the Alliance 1 if there's a demand.
     
  14. fireborn

    fireborn Member

    Yes, really!
    I played a 3AL for years, I have a Heritage 3AL, and have moved to the Alliance 2. I find the Alliance much, much easier to blow on. I also find that it has improved my sound, or rather has provided a consistency of timbre throughout the range. (that's the best way I can put it.) The metal distribution is very different, which is what obviously makes the difference.
     
  15. mclaugh

    mclaugh Member

    Hmm ... interesting. How did you determine that? Because I've had my 4AL and Alliance 3 laser-scanned and duplicated in Lexan, and the CAD cross-sections of the cups and backbores are noticeably different.
     
  16. Despot

    Despot Member

    An SM3 (or a 3AL for that matter) is a bit of a bucket! As previously pointed you need a really strong embrochure. If you're putting in a lot of practise and not getting the results you desire, you might need to go for a smaller mouthpiece. And that's not a sin either! We're all different!

    Obviously a bigger mouthpiece will give a broader tone, but is the fractional improvement in tone worth all the extra work? Only you can judge that! It's the choice we all face.
     

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