Changing Mouthpiece

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Thom, Sep 17, 2016.

  1. Thom

    Thom Member

    Does anyone go into a gig/concert with more than one mouthpiece and swap between them depending on the particular demands of the piece?
  2. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    why ?

    should we ?

  3. Thom

    Thom Member

    Don't know, Ive never known anyone to do it. It just occured to me as I play bass and find the higher range more accessable with a smaller mouthpiece but tone better with a bigger one so I just wondered...
    honestoil likes this.
  4. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member


    I mostly play on a 1.5c, I occasionally use a shallower mouthpiece for jazz arrangements (more appropriate sound when sop has lead trumpet lines, plus a little easier stamina-wise), but I practice with both and am familiar enough with switching.
    It's worth pointing out that you don't gain any range by switching, you just change the tone and make it a little less taxing.

    I don't know many players that do it.
  5. ari01

    ari01 Active Member

    I've never changed. I find that practicing more makes the higher ranges easier ;)
  6. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    In my early days on bass trom I was advised to try a larger mouthpiece for the pedal F's in Paganini Variations, eventually I changed to the larger one all the time, on bass trom who really cares about the upper (above the stave bass clef) register anyway?
  7. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    I stick with one mouthpiece for everything, but do what works for you now and change to something else when you find that it suits you better. Personnaly I aim first for the biggest mouthpiece that my chops are strong enough to manage and then the smallest one that supports the pitch range and tone quality required (hoping that that will be a reduction in cup diameter).

    In one band that I played in the Euphonium player selected his preferred mouthpiece for particular pieces; he was an old guy with loads of experience and played really well so I guess that he had found what helped him to produce the particular sound he was after in particular pieces. I don't think his selection process had anything to do with making high notes easier to play but rather it was something to do with timbre (the character or quality of musical sound) - change of cup depth effects timbre.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2016
  8. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member


    [And, by the way, I believe that it was quite common for Maurice Murphy to do exactly the same thing ... ]

    [Not that I'm comparing myself to Maurice, God forbid ... ]

    But, more seriously, I would think that it would be more common for cornet/soprano/flugel(possibly?) players to do that, rather than larger instruments.
  9. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    There are loads of famous players who swapped around a lot - William Vacchiano was particularly famous for it.

    Many swap between instruments (one player with Bb trumpet, C trumpet, Eb/D trumpet, picc all with different favoured mouthpieces is commonplace), but plenty swap just on one instrument.

    I quite agree it's more common with sop/cornet players than lower brass - particularly with sop. Can't say I've seen or heard of flugel players doing it, but it's not beyond the realms if possibly (especially for higher register parts like a couple of the solo's in Cambridge variations for example).
  10. Thom

    Thom Member

    Thanks that's helpful. Always nice to learn new things and to help others to learn new things i.e. "roll eyes" Ianroberts.
  11. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    Roll away honey, but im a happily married man so forget it !
  12. Thom

    Thom Member

    Wrong end of the stick. It's you that were rolling your eyes in the second post on this thread - I wouldn't be so rude :)
  13. Thom

    Thom Member

    I do wonder if any bass players do it.
  14. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

  15. Euphman2

    Euphman2 Active Member

    I have switched mouthpieces in a concert from my usual DW4AL or SM4 to a 4B if a piece late on in a concert heads into the stratosphere. If needed, I have also used a 3AL for deeper resonance when required.
  16. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    I doubt that many in Brass Bands do. Bass mouthpieces are comparatively expensive, so that's a discouragement, and Basses rarely hold the melody line (in the way that instruments of pitches higher than theirs do) so aren't asked to be either bright or mellow, hence there is no obvious need. IMHO Basses provide the foundation of sound and rhythm on which a Band's music is built, one well sized mouthpiece seems all that most bass players (that I know) need to do that well.
  17. pedaller

    pedaller Member

    Brian Evans used to swap mouthpieces and play an octave higher than written on a regular basis. I think that is quid pro quo !
  18. Pauli Walnuts

    Pauli Walnuts Moderator Staff Member

    I use different ones in different instruments - depends on the gig. Also know players who make full use of the options a Warburton can give them.
    It's as much about the sound and blending in with the rest of the band/section as anything else. (and extends to choice of instrument too - the program will often determine which ones I take with me on an Orchestral gig for example).
  19. GordonH

    GordonH Active Member

    When I play the trumpet I have four mouthpieces with identical rims but different backbores and cup shapes. This allows me to play in different styles. One is a C type cup, one is a very deep orchestral cup, one is a shallow lead mouthpiece and the other is a modified flugel cup on a special backbore. This kind of arrangement is not uncommon when you have to play in all the different styles.