Euph Mouthpieces

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by mark_euph, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. mark_euph

    mark_euph Member

    Ok Well I have just introduced myself so thought maybe to ask a question to receive some feedback from y'all!

    What mouthpieces do you euph players use and what's your reasoning behind it?

    Currently i'm on an SM4 but want to revert back to the standard Denis Wick 4AL. Was contemplating moving to a 4BS or a similar mouthpiece compatible with both Euph and Baritone. Currently my range is not that good but when i was playing a baritone the other week i could comfortably hit Super F's and was thinking maybe with a smaller cup i could increase my range, of course i'd have to work hard to maintain my sound!

    Answers on a postcard... :)
  2. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Hello Mark! You'll end up getting a lot of conflicting advice, but I think the main thing is to go for what you feel comfortable with. If you're happy with the shape and feel of a Wick, then try a few others out in the same range. The annoying truth is that we can't really tell if we like a new mouthpiece until we've tried it out for a few weeks. Perhaps you could get friendly with a music shop who might let you take a few away and try for a while.

    If it's any help, I don't think there's anything in this current 'macho' trend for euph players to use the biggest one possible. I am a trombone player by trade, but also play orchestral euphonium and I teach euphonium for the RAF. For my work, I find that a smaller set-up is best (medium bore Yamaha instrument, Schilke 51D mouthpiece), but I would not consider using that sort of gear in a band!
  3. adrian90s

    adrian90s Member

    Slow melody

    Having been out of the scene for a few years, what is a brilliant show stopper slow melody? I need something for a new year entertainment contest (?) I have 2 /3 choices but if someone can think of a piece which has a big finish and a great melody I'd be glad to here.

    Adrian Nurney :clap:
  4. euphojim

    euphojim Member

    Hi Mark,

    It really is a case of what suits you. I have tried many mouthpieces over the past 30 years but keep coming back to the Wick 4AL (or 4AM depending on which Euph I am playing). I find it easy blowing, with good range and suits a range of styles and types of articulation. But that is just my opinion. Best of luck.
  5. mark_euph

    mark_euph Member

    Thanks for the advice guys... I find myself continually changing from my SM4 to the 4AL every few months... lol!! I don't which i am more comfortable with, maybe i'm not supposed to have an upper register maybe!! lol

    Adrian, "Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms" Beautiful Irish melody... Ever hear it?
  6. sevenhelz

    sevenhelz Active Member

    Or Midnight Euphonium is pretty good, jazzy n stuffs.
    I play on an SM4 - I still have a Wick, and I play it when my SM's in the shop (because I keep dropping it :$) but it just doesn't have as good a sound for me. It also doesn't feel as comfortable since it's kind of sharper. I <3 my SM4 :)
  7. midnight_euph

    midnight_euph Member

    I'm a sad old git and really like the 3AL (Dennis Wick). I've been playing on it since 1976 and Riddings band bought me a brand new Sovereign euph (large bore.. drool - still my favourite but can't find one to buy anywhere... when I DO have money... sob).

    I like the fact that I can (when in full practise mode) comfortably get the whole range of the euph from pedals and fundamentals to the 'super' notes without really trying - and with a rich sound, but without any loss of clarity on articulation. I'm not one for what seems to be the modern fascination for a consistently really 'bright', almost baritone sound that some euph players/conductors seem to go for at the moment.

    Essentially though, I'd say to a new-ish player.. go with what gives you the range YOU want, the sound YOU want, and the size YOU want that helps you achieve it.

  8. matty1986

    matty1986 Member

    Hi there,

    Just like everyone else, the best bit of advice is to go for what feels comfy for you and your happy with.

    But here's what made my desicion to go with the SM4.

    I find the SM4 is a good median range mouthpiece. The 3 is good for the higher register but i've found the shallower cup makes it harder for the lower register, and can make it sound strangled. Like wise the deeper cup make the lower register sound more, but the higher range can become strangled. The 4 is in the middle, give a good euph sound, and when you get used to it and are in practice the higher and lower registers and perfectly in range.

    For me i dont find there is all that much difference between the SM4 and the Denis Wick 4AL. The range and performance of them both is very similar, but i find the SM4 slightly better for tonality and and slightly more comfy on my chops.

    But like everyone said, it's what feels best for you. And what makes you happy with your sound when you play.
  9. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I do like the sound that a rather wide and deep mouthpiece gives the euphonium, if the player can handle it. For me, the first component in playing a brass instrument well is to get the sound right - if you don't sound good, there's not much point in having oodles of technique or a strong high register - you'll still sound like a second-class player.

    That said, playing a smaller mouthpiece doesn't necessarily equal a small sound - I well recall the euphonium soloist at the tMP Hadleigh day a few years ago (Kevin Short?) making a truly beautiful sound on a Bach 4G, and some players can even make sizes as small as 5s work smoothly without growing brash.

    My personal euphonium mouthpiece journey, as someone who started on the instrument as a child, and considered it their main instrument up until a few years ago, and has played almost exclusively Sovereigns from the age of 12 or so:
    Wick 4.5AL - came with the first large-shank euphonium that the band issued me with
    Wick 3AL - age 12 or so. Made a bigger sound, though I struggled with the top register at this age. Had to be a Wick, because that's what everyone plays.
    Wick 1AL - age 13 or so. A macho teenage mistake! Sounded nice in the mid-to-low register though.
    Wick 3AL - age 14 or so. Thought better of it...
    Bach 2G - age 23 or so. A revelation - euph playing doesn't have to be difficult! This happened after my bass trombone playing became more regular than my euph playing.
    Wick SM3 - age 26 or so. The definitive euphonium sound. Back to hard work, but it's worth it for the richness of sound you can get. Most of the SMx models knock the xALs into a cocked hat for pure euphonium sound.

    Now (age 29), for brass band euph I use the SM3 if I'm not in regular euphonium practise, and the SM2 if I am (the same effect as the SM3 but bigger). For orchestral euph, I tend to use the 3AL, which gives a less mellow sound - the parts often tend to the high, and need more definition than I find easy on the SMs.
  10. Dayv

    Dayv New Member

    So a SM2(M) would be the way to go for playing mainly in the low range? I live in Spain and have no access to mouthpiece assortments in shops. Apart from buying/returning online, which is expensive, slow and tedious...
  11. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Always interesting to reread one's thoughts from most of a decade ago!

    What's your playing situation and current mouthpiece Dayv? The SM2 is a reasonably extreme choice and I think past Moomin was a bit hasty to recommend it so cavalierly.
  12. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Just read your intro post now, and see your situation. SM2M might work well for you. You'll struggle in general to find med shank mouthpieces with wide rim sizes. People like Warburton and Elliott will do mix'n'match pieces to order for higher prices, as will more well-known makers sometimes, but for off-the-shelf options, you might look at Curry (which I haven't tried) or Josef Klier. These are intended for bass trombone, but there's a large mouthpiece region that works for both trombone and euph.
  13. Euphman2

    Euphman2 Active Member

  14. Euphman2

    Euphman2 Active Member

    Sorry, should read a DW4AL with a booster cup
  15. Dayv

    Dayv New Member

    Thanks for the advice!
    I use Warburton for trumpet, 4XD... The only mpiece i find that gives the sound i look for. I suppose i'll keep using the 4AM copy that came with the euph until i can find one that works low and mid register, which is where i want to use the horn.
  16. Dayv

    Dayv New Member

    ( i actually did try it with an old Giardinelli piece, 28mm inside diameter and too-large-for-reciever shank. Probably over the top although great low/pedal register... That's why i thought the SM2M might be the way to go...)
  17. euph-man

    euph-man Member

    All I can recommend is you pick a mouthpiece you feel comfortable with and the rest to be honest is down to lots and lots of home practice
    Dayv likes this.
  18. Dayv

    Dayv New Member

    I've just ordered both 2 and 3 versions. I'll keep the one i best get on with until i can properly try a good range at the same time...

    ROBTHEDOG Member

    Bach 4g

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