Help with bone mouthpiece

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Hman1, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. Hman1

    Hman1 Member

    Calling all experienced bone players ...... I realise that I will probably get as many different answers as I do responses but I would be grateful for your help. My son (aged 8) has just switched to trombone from cornet (because it's cooler !!) but I have no idea what size mouthpiece I should give him. He is playing an old straight Bb Getzen trombone, which I would guess is a good 20/30 years old but is in fantastic condition and plays beautifully. Low register sounds great but he is strugling a bit as he goes up the scale.

    What size / make of mouthpiece would you recommend ?
  2. 08cbinns

    08cbinns Member

    5 (dennis wick) if its a smal bore trombone
  3. basebonetone

    basebonetone Member

    Mouthpiece Query

    This is an area that is very personal to each player unfortunately and there is no right or wrong answer.

    Basically the main considerations are;

    What kind of playing your son is doing and hopes to do - brass band/orhestral/school band etc

    what kind of range he is covering - if he is doing mainly middle range then most mouthpieces will work but if he is doing lots of higher stuff possibly consider a shallower mouthpiece

    Is he playing medium bore/large bore instrument?

    My suggestion would be to speak to a trade stand or music shops and see if he can try a few different mouthpieces out - some will, some may not but no harm in asking!

    Generally speaking the popular middle of the road mouthpieces include : Dennis Wick 5AL/6BS, Bach 5G Shilke 51D and a whole host of others - basically if it feels comfortable and covers a decent range then its down to the player to get the higher/lower range through practise - no way round it unfortunately.
  4. Hman1

    Hman1 Member

    Thank you basebonetone, this is a very helpful answer from such aan experienced player.

    I appreciate that it is all down to persoal taste and what feels right - and lots of practice !. I play a Meinl Weston rotary tuba myself and most people would probably tell me I have the wrong mouthpiece - but it works well for me. But I just wanted to make sure I wasn't 'handycapping' my son by giving him completely the wrong size. Actually he has a DW 6BS, whihc is one that you suggested.

    His teacher (a pro Bass Bone player) can make any changes necessary from there - if he has his way I think he'll be exchanging his pea shooter for something a bt bigger before long. He's a strong lad with a big pair of lungs and I think he'll make an excellent bass bone player before long - then we can get rid of the bloke we have sitting in that seat at the moment !!!

    Many thanks for your reply
  5. Hman1

    Hman1 Member

    Hi Chris
    Thank you for your reply. He has a 6BS at the moment - what is the difference between that and a 5 (does the S mean shallow cup ?)
  6. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member


    The A refers to cup depth. The S is for bore.

    I would stick with the 6 for now as he is 8. You don't want to go too big too soon.

    Did you say he wants to be a bass bonist?
  7. Hman1

    Hman1 Member

    Thanks for clearing that up !

    Bass bone is a definate possibility - I think he likes to play the pedals like his daddy !
  8. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    That might change in time though.

    I did become a bass bonist for a short while. Brilliant time I had too.

    He might decide he likes the high stuff when he's older.
  9. Despot

    Despot Member

    Sounds like a good start - bog standard trombone mouthpiece! Wouldn't go bigger for now.
  10. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    As your son is having lessons IMHO you shouldn't change anything without consulting his teacher.

    also for info Ian Bousfield regularly plays a 6BL the large fitting version of your sons m/piece and it seems to work!!!!
  11. 08cbinns

    08cbinns Member

    Another possibility, is to find a load of spare mouthpieces around that size, and get your lad to play on a few and ask him which he is most comfertable with. Nothing worse than playing on a gob iron that feels awful (Y)
  12. Despot

    Despot Member

    At 8 years old, he'll go for the shiniest one! Or the brightest plastic Kelly mouthpiece available! :)

    A child that age won't be able to pick one. As Vegasbound said, let the teacher decide!
  13. Hman1

    Hman1 Member

    Thank you everyone for your comments. which I have taken on board.

    His teacher is coming to give him his lesson tomorrow - and bringing a sack full of gob irons with him around about that size - and not a plastic one anywhere in site !!! (I dpeped for a band a few weeks ago (band name witheld to protect the innocent) and one of the other tuba players actually uses one ! Oh dear oh dear , what is the world coming to ?
  14. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    Kelly plastic mouthpieces aren't that bad when used intelligently (i.e. outside)

    The problem is that because they have come out with all these wierd and wonderful colours all the kids (and some adults) want one.

    I've got a black one that I use for some march jobs. I don't use it all that often though.
  15. Hman1

    Hman1 Member

    I,m sure you're right. I guess I've just never realy seen the advantage. As a SA bandsman I've been doing more outside jobs than I care to remember for the last thirty odd years and never really found a problem with a metal one Just warm up properly and keep your hand over it or keep it in your pocket when you're not playing. Or do the plastic ones have other advantages ?
  16. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    No, they just don't get freezing cold.

    Most of the time, if you keep blowing air through the instrument it's not a problem but sometimes if you're outside and the weather is cold and/or raining it can be hell with a metal mouthpiece.

    A plastic mouthpiece is better in that respect but in my personal opinion, it detracts from the tone of the instrument.

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