Back Row Cornet Mouthpieces

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by alanbry, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. alanbry

    alanbry Member

    Our second and third cornet players have adopted the plastic mouthpiece to play on. Better not comment on the sound.

    What mouthpiece would you recommend for fourth section 2nd & 3rd cornet players to give them more chance to play in tune - apart from the obvious of practice makes perfect.

    I would have thought a large cup would help in lower range - being a baritone player I prefer a deeper cup in any case.

    Any suggestions out there - and please dont be rude.
  2. backrowbloke

    backrowbloke Member

    Personally I use a DW 3, but do vary it. I have used a DW3b recently when playin 2nd cornet where most of piece was bright an in higher register - but thats prob me just be in lazy :D
  3. Owen S

    Owen S Member

    Well, I played on a DW 4B for years, which included some pretty high stuff while I was at school. It can still stick in the piano low G offbeats if necessary.

    I changed to a DW 4 about three years ago at our MD's (GJG) suggestion, since my tone was getting too bright even on that. I'm more in practice now than I was then though, so it's less of a problem, but I've since got used to it and I now prefer the 4. A 4B will be more flexible for 4th section players to get any high notes all the same.

    One piece of advice of advice I have heard is to try to keep the mouthpiece feeling the same, so that the embouchure is forced to change as little as possible. This means only varying the cup depth from what the player is used to and not the width. Changing an embouchure is not a simple thing to do, and even just changing the depth will have some impact.

    Also, a word of warning: For years I was playing a learner instrument, a B&H Regent, though much of that time I was also playing trumpet. It wasn't till I was leant a band Sovereign at Egham that I realised quite how out of tune the Regent played. This may easily be the problem rather than the mouthpieces, and can be solved by getting different instruments or by regularly spending time during practices tuning each note in turn across the back row so the players are aware of the details of the problem and what to do about it. Neither is an easy solution. Clearly individual practice helps a lot as well, but it's ensemble tuning you're after, and that has to be perfected in ensemble.
  4. Incognito

    Incognito Member

    The fact is that many many trumpet players use several different rims for piccolo, Eb and Bb trumpets, therefore it is clearly possible to change mouthpiece regularly and not be badly affected by it.

    I can put down my trumpet with its 1bc and pick up my pic with a bach 6 in it and play perfectly in tune, then i can pick up my cornet with its Monette 4fl in it and do the same.

    I am not saying its for everyone, but its wrong to suggest that its impossible or necessarily bad practice.

    As to whats the best mouthpiece for the back row, I dont think there is a specific answer as each player will have different needs as they are all physically different shapes and will blow differently.
    It would be equally as silly as suggesting shoe sizes to them.

  5. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    As our mystery poster so rightly says, there can be no perfect mouthpiece for everybody. Something that still makes me cringe is when I hear people say "you should be playing on ..." and I'm afraid it is a phrase heard quite often in the banding world.
    The mouthpiece that is right for you playing 3rd cornet is the mouthpiece that is right for you playing 3rd cornet. If you are able to do exactly what is asked of you, in terms of tone, range, flexibility and everything else, that is probably the mouthpiece for you. If it happens to be one of the plastic ones so be it.

    If you are talking about the Kelly plastic mouthpieces, I have actually been seriously impressed by these, as a stand-by mouthpiece, especially if you are playing outside. I know of a number of players who now own these and have been known to use them in performance (just for the record, I am a professional player and teacher - so are these guys - we won't use things if they don't work). If the players using the plastic mouthpieces are not sounding great, it is probably more likely that either the size is wrong for them (something I have found with these mouthpieces - they only come in certain sizes) or they are in need of more practising?

    For general cornet playing, the Wick 4B (upon which the Kelly plastic mouthpieces are based (I have actually done play testing with these for Dens Wick - the results were very surprising, especially to him!)) is considered a standard and may be worth trying out.

    Basically, the advice I give to my students (and to anyone else who asks advice) is to try out a variety of mouthpieces, under guidance from their tutor (who will know what their chops are like and how they play) and choose the one that works for them.

    I play cornet, soprano, flugel, trumpet, C trumpet, Eb/D trumpet, G trumpet and piccolo trumpet - I carry (usually) about 6 mouthpieces with me - all of which are basically the same rim size (a Warburton #1(with a couple of Wicks - 1X (trumpet) and 1BWTL (cornet) , if anyone is interested) and different depths. I can play any of the instruments on any of the depths, but the sound and intonation is better on certain depths for certain instruments.

    Choose the one that is right for your circumstances, with your chops, your breathing, your technique and your style.
  6. skweeky

    skweeky Member

    a yamaha 16E would be alright, nice deep cup for the low register, better sound than a thin shallow plasticy thing! A lot of solo cornet players play on something similar but it is just as effective for back row playing. You dont want anything shallow for a low part! Look at the bass mouthpieces!
  7. Sellers_Bird

    Sellers_Bird Active Member

    I started on a 4, then went to a 3b for a while and have now resided on a 2 and I love it :D
  8. Keppler

    Keppler Moderator Staff Member

    In my experience, untuneful playing in inexperienced back row players has been as a result of not filling the instrument sufficiently.
    Basically, a cornet is a long tube of brass. It's primary function is to resonate with a vibrating air column in order to produce a pleasing sound. If the air column is not correctly formed, the result is untunefulness and a general thinness of sound.

    Of course, a mouthpiece can have an effect on this, but in my experience it's more usual to find that something as simple as not blowing through the instrument with air that touches the edges is the culprit.
    It's not always down to quality of instrument either.
    As an example, we recently swapped a back row player from a round badge sovereign onto a Besson 600-series student model. Why? The player in question simply was not yet capable of consistently filling the larger bore sovereign with quality air. Once he had the smaller 600 in his grip, there was an immediate improvement in intonation and sound quality, simply because he now had an instrument he was capable of filling. With experience, we'll swap him back to the sovereign, which is an excellent instrument.

    I know everyone wants quick fixes, and to find the magic mouthpiece that makes everything go zing, but my advice is to choose a sensible mouthpiece for the position and individual (i.e. not a jazz screamer etc) and do some work designed to be aware of the air passage into, through , and out of the instrument.

    I realise that I know nothing about your band or individual players level of experience, and my comments above are directed, with respect, more at inexperienced players.
    Hope this helps somewhat.

  9. BurgerBoy

    BurgerBoy Member

    Back Row Mouthpiece

    For me its got to be a Denis Wick 2. Nothing else compares.
  10. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    I personally use a Dennis Wick 3. I have a Dennis Wick 4BW which is easier to get high notes on and I like the wide rim for comfort - but it only increases my comfortable high range by one note and the low register stuff just doesn't sound the same at all.
    Several people have told me that back-row should never use a medium cup (b) mouthpiece as the low range tone is not there. You should go for the largest, deepest mouthpiece you can where you can still comfortably get all the high notes on that you are likely to be called upon to play.
    Talking dennis wick this means a 2,3 or 4. 2 being the largest of them.
    the following link is a very good guide if you are thinking of choosing a mouthpiece.

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