And on changing mouthpieces

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Jack E, Aug 18, 2017.

  1. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    Though I'm sure experienced players know this, but I thought this might be worth passing on to other beginners like myself.

    Just this week (for reasons posted elsewhere) I changed from using a Wick size 3 tenor horn mouthpiece to a Yamaha 38D4 - which Yamaha say is equivalent to a Wick size 2.

    I went along to the junior band practise last night, where we were rehearsing a piece calling for f or ff in places, and I found myself sometimes kicking up in pitch; for example, I was supposed to play a low E, and played the A above it - so I got the valves right, but the embouchure was wrong.

    I asked the conductor for advice on this, and he said, "Oh, you're pressing too hard on the mouthpiece, and it's tightening your lips too much, so pushing up the pitch that you're playing."

    Easy as that, eh? :)

    That also explains something else I've noticed when playing thirds exercises or chromatic scales. When I'm descending, I've been fluffing the lowest notes - particularly the low B in the thirds exercise. Once I concentrated on not pressing too hard, my lips were freed up to vibrate at the correct frequency, and out came a nice clear B.

    So an additional benefit of the size 2 mouthpiece is that it will show up immediately if I'm pressing too hard, so making sure that I learn to make a habit of using light pressure - and that, in turn, will make it easier for me to play for longer without my lip muscles getting worn out.

    Good stuff, eh? :)

    Best regards,

  2. Mello

    Mello Active Member

    Just this week (for reasons posted elsewhere) I changed from using a Wick size 3 tenor horn mouthpiece to a Yamaha 38D4 - which Yamaha say is equivalent to a Wick size 2

    Having read the above statement. You may be interested to know that the 38D4 was actually designed to help players who struggled with high notes on the Wick 2. The request coming from comments by some well established solo Horn Players. However there is a very slight difference in the two , just as there are slight differences in individual embouchure's. Trying for a spell before buying is therefore a good idea ( if your dealer has the stock to allow this of course ),
    Jack E and 2nd tenor like this.
  3. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    I didn't know that about the 38D4, Mello, so thank you for the extra info.

    As to the differences between them, I'm sure that 'equivalents' as described by various manufacturers are never, in reality, exact equivalents - but more like near equivalents, with subtle but significant differences between them. I used to work as a design draughtsman in a company which built instruments for measuring gas flow to within very fine limits - and I know from that experience how even a tiny difference in one aspect of a port contour can have a dramatic effect on gas flow volumes, speeds and pressures. Fluid dynamics is unbelievably complex! :confused:

    Fortunately for me, the 38D4 was in the case when my band loaned me the tenor horn, so I can try it for as long as I wish with no problems.

    With best regards,

  4. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    If anyone knows about Horn playing, an expert as one might say, then your name is well and truely in the frame. It's a real pleasure to me to see you posting here again and I hope that you will continue to do so.
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