Does a mouthpiece affect tuning?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Despot, Oct 13, 2004.

  1. Despot

    Despot Member

    How does a mouthpiece affect tuning?

    Just something someone asked me, a flugel player (Arturo Sandoval Flugel and Denis Wick 2FL), who felt her mouthpiece was a bit big and thought it might be affecting her tuning.

    Surely it must, but to what degree?

  2. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    In our band a few weeks ago one of our solo cornet players was out of tune badly.Our conductor asked what mouthpiece they were using and they showed the conductor it was a shallow one.The person then swapped it for a deeper one and it brought the cornet into tune.
  3. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    I used to have a Christian Lindberg mouthpiece (it looked pretty, I was very shallow...) which made me sharp as anything! Had my tuning slides pulled right out for a few weeks, and then I gave up...
  4. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    A couple years ago I bought a deeper mouthpiece 'cos my bottom end wasn't too brilliant. (Don't even think of going down that road HBB!) Unfortunately, it didn't just lower the bottom end, it de-tuned everything else as well :cool:

    Of course, the rest of the band were out of tune with me...

    We basses are never out of tune. :D

    So I discreetly went back to my old one and the problem was solved.
  5. Despot

    Despot Member


    So is there a formula to it, perhaps a shallower mouthpiece makes shaper, deep the reverse? Does width have an effect?

    Any more thoughts much appreciated! :)
  6. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    This may seem obvious, butt sometimes the shank can be a problem. Some mouthpieces won't go far enough into the leadpipe thus causing the instrument to be a bit flat.
  7. RonBarnes

    RonBarnes Member

    I tried the Lindburg mouthpieces on my tenor trom and it played so sharp that the tuning slide was nearly out of the instrument. Same trom played with a Wick 5BS (small shank) and the tuning slide is back to its normal position.

    Likewise on my bass trom, I have used a Bach 1½G for years, but then I tried changing to a 1G, and found that the tuning slide had to be pushed right in, giving no leeway at all for adjusting for temperature or anything.

    So yes, the mouthpiece has a very significant effect on the tuning of your instrument.
  8. Highams

    Highams Member

    The mouthpiece is critical to your intonation. Deep cups, shallow, V cups etc will all alter your intonation from top to bottom.

    The fitting of the shank of the mouthpiece into the instrument receiver will affect not only the intonation but the response as well.

    I have no less than 4 different (screw fitting) shanks to fit various old euphoniums where tapers are varied. It determines how well they sound and how in tune they are.
  9. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    You also have to remember that it will take time to get accustomed to the characteristics a new mouthpiece. If you move from shallow to deep or vice versa it is going to have a big impact on intonation until you are used to it.
  10. stephen2001

    stephen2001 Member

    Just thinking about it quickly with an aerodynamicists' head on, the shape of the mouthpiece will make a slight difference to the tuning of the instrument.

    Due to something known as the Venturi Effect, the narrowing of the mouthpiece makes the air move quicker, relative to the speed it comes out of your mouth.

    The narrower the narrowest part of the mouthpiece is, the harder you need to work to push air through. This naturally makes the lips vibrate quicker, making the instrument seem sharper.

    When the narrowest part of the mouthpiece is relitavely large, it feels as if you are having to push a lot more air through the instrument, but it is easier to play. This means less air leaves the mouth, meaning the lips vibrate less, which in turn slightly makes the instrument's tuning flatter.

    I hope it kind of makes sense, and I could be wrong in what I have said!

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