Cornet Mouthpiece experience K&G, Wick, Yamaha

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by kurme82, Oct 23, 2017.

  1. kurme82

    kurme82 New Member

    Hello together

    I’m stuck at the moment on finding the right mouthpiece. I would like to share my experience until now, in order somebody had a similar experience or can give me a tip.

    So, I started my journey with a Denis Wick (DW) 4b. I realized soon, that this mouthpiece is not very comfortable. And also the sound I produce with it is very tight (especially high tones, from a’’ on)

    Then I tried an Yamaha 14E. Much more comfortable. It sounds better (the sound I produce). But when playing high parts for some time, the sound becomes more airy and the airblow is getting worse. It feels as the air can’t get trough)

    Next I tried a K&G 2C. That thing has a really great sound. It’s what I want. Airblow also great and also Intonation. It has everything I want. Negative; For playing high parts it’s very tiring to play, it needs enormous endurance.

    So then I tried the 2B with not such a deep cup. That solves my problem about endurance.

    Conclusion until know; it seems like my lips need a big cup diameter, since I can’t handle smaller ones. My lips seems to swell when playing high tones for some time, hence I need more place.

    The only problem I have with the K&G 2b is, that when playing fast parts with my tongue (for example sixteenth-notes), the sound gets airy, the playing dry and hence also uncomfortable, which is not with the 2c. So I’m stuck know. It seems like the cup should be only a little bit deeper, since that is what differs from the K&G 2C. But since I can’t find in the internet any Data Sheets for K&G mouthpieces, I don’t know what trying next?

    I’m tending to try the DW 3B or the DW 2BW

    What do you think?
  2. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    I used to think I needed bigger and bigger mouthpieces to combat swelling.... couldn't have been more wrong.

    The truth of the matter is that swelling to the point that it affects your playing is not something you should be working around by picking bigger mouthpieces (to give you more space to swell into).
    There are no easy solutions, but the long and short of it is that you need to improve your technique and thus endurance so that you don't get to that point in the first place - if you're playing regularly to the point that things break down and you start actually losing range, you're pushing yourself way, way too hard.... in short: don't play so many high notes!

    Telling you to back off and just put the instrument down when you start getting tired is all well and good when you're practicing at home, but in the bandroom it's unebelievably easy to push yourself far beyond your limits - the only solutions are:
    1) Pace yourself - don't play louder than you need to in any register (especially high), don't play unnecessary lines (if it's high and sop has it, consider whether it makes any real difference for you to play it too or if the backrow has the tune with you consider whether you could just leave them to it - etc)
    2) Play on whatever gets you through the night in one piece - nothing sounds worse than a player who's totally spent (bad intonation, cutting off midway through melodic lines, etc) and besides it's terrible for your playing to regularly get into that state

    Guess what kind of mouthpieces tend towards better endurance? Generally speaking, it's not bigger diameters and it's not massive cups and throats.... sure, you can sometimes stumble on a bit longer once you get tired (you shouldn't, though) but you'll get tired sooner, so it's a lose-lose.

    As you've found so far - every mouthpiece is a compromise in some way or another... ultimately, you're going to have to work at everything in your playing in one way or another at some points in time - if you pick a mouthpiece that gives you better endurance then (in many cases) it's going to require some hard work to hone your technique, if you pick a mouthpiece that sacrifices endurance for that margin of error then you're going to have to work very hard to build your endurance up (which is going to be made all the more difficult if you're doing damage by over-working on them).

    How long have you been playing the K&G 2B?
    How much practice have you done on improving the areas that you're finding problems with it? Do you have a teacher working with you on these?

    My initial thought is to stick with the one that works well for you in endurance terms and work on fixing the problems with your technique - you simply can't expect to find a mouthpiece that magically makes you a superstar player, you have to pick one that helps with the important problems (endurance, intonation) and work on the rest.

    I realise this is a long post - I hope something here is helpful to you.
    All the best!
    4th Cornet and Jack E like this.
  3. kurme82

    kurme82 New Member


    First of all, thank you for your effort for taking the time and replying such a long post.

    Regarding the swelling; That point was new for me. Because I used to play 10 years Euphonium. There it was never an issue. After pausing 3 years, I started to play cornet. Maybe that is also the reason (beside the swelling), why I prefer bigger mouthpieces or they feel more comfortable. But I didn’t’ realize yet, that the swelling will be getting less with the time. Thanks for that hint. I will pay attention on it. Also with not going on the limit when I do my rehearsals.

    The thing is also, by taking a small mouthpiece, I can’t simple reach the high notes (also before the swelling). It feels like the lips are blocking the airflow. And if I reach that note, it comes only in piano, it sounds very tight and is much to high (from intonation). If I switch to a bigger mouthpiece, and try to reach that note, I can reach it. Also loud, good sound and intonation ok. But then the problem with the endurance comes. I can’t play long passages with it.

    But that shows me, that it is not a problem of reaching high notes, because I can (with bigger mouthpieces).

    Or maybe it’s that I have to use another technique or another “lip position” for smaller mouthpieces which I haven’t figured out yet. That’s why the K&G 2b works best at the moment. It has a big diameter, the rim is not to small and since the cup is not that deep I have much more endurance. The only thing is the issue about the sound getting airy and the playing very uncomfortable when playing fast tongue parts. But I will take your consideration, and try to get that solved. It’s better than spend hours in getting more endurance.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
  4. 4th Cornet

    4th Cornet Well-Known Member

    I'd second Tom-King's comments; it sounds more like finding the technique that works for you is key here.

    Also, something that may be worth considering is whether you're suited to the cornet. Whilst some people seem capable of adapting to any size of instrument, many physically struggle and are potentially anatomically incompatible with certain sizes. You said you had 10 years of (assume successful) playing on the euphonium, maybe you are more suited to larger instruments. Not always an easy message to hear if one's heart is set on something, but I've seen people 'magically' transform when changing instrument.

    Of course this may not apply to you, but something to keep in mind...

    I wish you well and hope you find the right thing for you. :)
    Jack E likes this.
  5. TrumpetNick

    TrumpetNick Member

    Antalya, Turkey
    Without reading all the comments, I can say that the fix is very simple but not necessarily easy - one need to learn to play with the minimum required pressure to achieve a proper seal with the mp, regardless of the size of the most used. Palm exercise and all its variation are a good place to start.

    You need to rely more on breathing and embouchure compression than on pressure of the metal on your face.
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