Eb Tenor Horn Mouthpieces

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by MrsDoyle, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. MrsDoyle

    MrsDoyle Supporting Member

    Which Eb tenor horn mouthpieces currently on the market would you recommend? I'm currently on a DW2 but suffer with problems pitching and reaching high notes. I tried a DW5, which helped a little, but at the expense of tone in the lower registers.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? I've been looking at the Alliance 2a, 3a and 4a range, but cannot arrange to try some.

    Thanks in advance,

    Daniel Jones
    Solo\1st Eb Horn
  2. still learnin

    still learnin Member

    East Sussex
    I'd say that the mouthpiece might contribute 5 to 10% to the problem but pitching and intonation issues are more usually resolved through personal practice and having a good ear! Mouthpiece manufacturers make their money by selling dreams and offering hope to those searching for the holy grail of tone and range. What about changing the sixe of the mouthpiece by trying a different instrument? I've seen people fail on a tenor horn but prosper on baritone (if they have the ear and commitment to personal practice).
  3. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member

    Near portsmouth
    I'm not an expert but i sometimes have problems with pitching and getting high notes and its partly down to practise and thinking 'te' instead of 'ta' is supposed to work with getting high notes......don't know whether that helps......
  4. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    I use the Alliance TH2 and it's the best mouthpiece around for me. And I've tried most. I don't agree with those that say changing mouthpieces isn't needed. We all have different size feet but wouldn't dream of wearing a pair of shoes the wrong size. The same goes for mouthpieces too, in my opinion. With the TH2 I can get to the top C with (resonable) confidence (and higher but with no confidence at all) and down below the stave without a problem.
  5. Cantonian

    Cantonian Active Member

    Practice and perseverance is the key. Many years ago I used a DW3 but felt I wanted to 'expand my sound' so bought a DW2. In spite of there being not a great deal of difeerence in size, it took a few weeks of practice and perseverance to feel comfortable with it. I have used it for probably more than ten years and have no problems with range from the low G flat to super G. I have recently bought a DW 1A and am still in the process of practicing. I feel the middle and lower ranges to have a fuller sound but I am tiring more easily (for the first time in my life).....but then perhaps that could be an age thing!
  6. Iain Fleming

    Iain Fleming Member

    Peebles in the Scottish Borders
    I my experience the DW 3 is the mouthpiece which ticks most boxes. Apart from a couple of years when I tried the DW 2, I have played the same mouthpiece since 1982 - the DW 3 (yes I'm an old fart!). Two pieces of advice though, when you find a mouthpiece that suites don't mess about with any others as it can take months if not years to sort out again. And secondly, take the DW 5 and throw it into nearest scrap heap you can find. As tenor horn mouthpieces go it's next to useless and should be classed for use as a flugel mouthpiece, it's that small. Of course that's only my opinion.

    Good luck,

    Iain Fleming.
    (Principal Horn, The Whitburn Band)
  7. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - doesn't Sheona White use a DW5? What mouthpiece did you use before 1982? I remember playing a Kosicup before I moved on to the DW3 way back then.
  8. DMBabe

    DMBabe Supporting Member

    Oxford nowhere near the sea
    I concur with the honorable Mr Fleming in this matter. When I was punted onto horn I was given a 5 and couldn't pitch anything in the lower register at all, despite it being comaparable in size with my size 2 flugel mouthpiece only with a fatter rim, yet on flugel I had no problems with my bottom register or indeed pedalling. Found that for my needs it had to be 2 just to help open things up. I obviously needed there to be a significant difference in size. But it truly is practice and sticking to a mouthpiece which ticks most of the boxes that will help in the long run. Having gotten used to both I can hop back and forward without too much trauma but it took a long while to develop my bottom range on horn.
  9. T Winch

    T Winch Member

    Really!? How on earth does she get that huge sound on a peashooter?

    I have always used a DW3. I tried to swap to a DW2 last year to improve my sound but my stamina went out the window. After the 1st half page of Spectrum I was goosed!
  10. Iain Fleming

    Iain Fleming Member

    Peebles in the Scottish Borders
    Don't quote me on this but I think Sheona plays on DW 3 also. I 'm happy to stand corrected though. I think the best advice given to me by really old codgers (yes even older than me!) was to play on the biggest mouthpiece you are comfortable on. Just for the record, pre 1982 I played on a mouthpiece that looked similar to a Kosicup but simply had G 40 stamped on it. Haven't a clue what it was but it worked. Strangely enough I tried a Kosicup recently just for old time sake. Na! it goes along with the DW 5 into room 101. Anyway what is they say 'One mans meat is another mans poison'. If it works use it, doesn't matter what it's called but don't chop and change. Here endeth the lesson and I'm just stepping off my soap box to go and change another stinky nappy, oh joy! Hope I didn't rant too much.

    Iain Fleming.
  11. ydna36

    ydna36 Member

    Hey Daniel.

    I would suggest getting an alliance 2a. Very similar to the DW2 that you will have been playing on, but with a slightly shallower cup. It has the same rim size so it should still feel like your DW2 and play with the same full tone. With a bit of practise on it, it should help you out a bit in the high register. However, don't expect miracles... you won't be able to play new notes just because it is a different mouthpiece, it'll simply help them speak a little easier. To extend your range you'll just need to put the hours in.

    I'm going through the exact same thing at the moment. I got an alliance 2a a few weeks ago (for the same reasons as you), and I like it so far.

    Good luck
  12. Dave Euph

    Dave Euph Member

    My partner uses the DW5 and has the most super tone on her horn (yes, I am biased). She also owns a DW3 and finds it very hard going. It exists for a reason as altho yes the DW3 is generally seen as the best, it doesn't suit everyone. But as you said, each to their own.

    I know a very respected horn player who uses a special custom-made mouthpiece that combines the rim of the DW5 with the depth of the DW3.
  13. MrsDoyle

    MrsDoyle Supporting Member

    Alliance do such a thing... the 4\4a
  14. KKKKatie

    KKKKatie Member

    I've recently switched over to Horn... before this I've been a trumpet, cornet and Flugal player. I'm using a DW3, and I swear by it. Give it a go

  15. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    Bergen, Norway
    Think Sheona plays a 2. (sat next to her for 4 years and still can't remember exactly so hope she doesn't read this!!)

    I think that's sound advice too.

    I've had a dw2 ever since I began to play, but am just roadtesting a 1a at the moment, I tried the heritage style ones which make a nice tone but hated the feel of them. Biggest difference for me with the 1a is not having as much 'grip' as I'm used to a mouthpiece with all the plating worn away on it!!!
  16. mdunk

    mdunk New Member

    Chester le Street
    I have used a DW2 for years and found it to be great, I have also used a JK A1A plexiglass for a while, just feels a little small by comparison, currently trying a alliance TH1 and am pleased with results, still able to pitch upper register and find middle and lower a dream
  17. Simon_Horn

    Simon_Horn Member

    I used to play a DW5 from being 12 to about 19 - just because that is what came with the instrument when I first got it from my local brass band. I changed to DW3 to help me produce a bigger sound and it was a good move - i've been happy with it and range is ok too. I do know some players who have got too preoccupied with MP and end up changing ever couple of months because they feel the current MP is not doing them any favours ...I wouldn't recommend this because it's a vicious circle and whilst a MP may feel ok for the first week or so, once the chops start to respond to the difference and your playing goes downhill for a month or so, it's very tempting to change MP again. If you are serious about changing gob-iron then you should be in it for the long haul i.e 2-3 months of serious practice to give your chops the best chance. I think the rule of thumb is go for the deepest cup you can that will still keep a register you are happy with i.e DW2 on 2nd/1st horn is often recommended and even for solo horn if you can still get up high - if not then DW3 may help but for me DW5 or similar thined out the sound a little too much. Recently i've been considering changing to one of the new alliance MP's just to see if they are all what people crack them up to be - but to be honest I can't find the time to give it a fair chance....maybe during next summer!
  18. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

    The Sunny Isle of Wight
    Yes go for the largest mouthpiece that you are comfortable with but remember that it is very personal and what works for one does not work for all.
    Also remember that as part of a band you have a job to do - as a conductor of a non-competing band, of 4th section standard, I would rather sacrifice a little tone for range and stamina.
    A solo horn player who cannot play above the stave makes life very difficult - there is no shame in using a smaller mouhpiece if it helps you play your part.
    At a higher level of course things are different and in a perfect world we'd all play on buckets and soar up to double high Cs.
    I found the techniques here very useful - now I can get those double high Cs on a bucket....
    Good luck.
  19. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    The DW5 is not without its adherents... Our solo horn, Marilyn Elliott (nee Wolff) plays on one, and makes an excellent sound.

    The 'play as big as you can manage' advice sometimes gets a little garbled. I don't think there are any pieces on the market for tenor horn that are ridiculously oversized (the biggest I've seen being several mm smaller than my Eb alto trombone mouthpiece), so it's not such a danger - but on the bigger instruments (and especially on bass trombone), it's not uncommon to find players coping on something huge when they could sound a lot cleaner and more characteristically like their instrument on something a bit smaller.

    Others say 'play as small as you can manage' - both statements mean exactly the same thing: "Play the mouthpiece that suits you, that lets you make both a big fat section sound and a focussed soloistic sound".
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009
  20. HornMaster

    HornMaster Member

    I currently play on a DW2 and have tried out the Alliance that came with my horn but that one didn't suit me really. The top register sounded quite thin for me.

    I'm trying out a couple of the Heritage mouthpieces at the moment (1 & 2a). Only got them last night so just had chance for a quick blow on them so far but I was pretty impressed, particularly with the 2a. I've a rehearsal tonight so I'll have a better feel for them after that.
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