How do I know which mouthpiece is right for me?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Seedhouse, Sep 6, 2003.

  1. Seedhouse

    Seedhouse Active Member

    Hello tmp-ers,
    I was just playing my Euph, and I thought to myself "why not try your other mouthpieces." So I did! I've got the SM 3.5,4 and 5.

    So with the SM3.5= I had a broader sound, articulation was a tad harder to get clear, lower register was easier, upper register was a tad harder to get.

    SM4= kind of middle of the road, sound average, articulation reasonable to achieve, lower and upper register average.

    SM5= sound a tad worse, articulation easier, lower register harder, upper register just a little bit easier.

    I was just wondering how on earth do I know which mouthpiece is suitable for me!? Which is the one I should use!? Which is best!? :? Argh!
    Help me tmp-ers!
     
  2. Mike Saville

    Mike Saville Member

    A few things you might need to think about:

    1. Make sure the mouthpece is well matched to your instrument - is it large/small bore therefore is your mouthpece smaller or larger (in diameter and depth)
    2. Get some advice on which are generally accepted as the best sizes/models for your instrument (I would say a 4 is a good size for Euph)
    3. Choose one that feels comfortable - I play Wicks because I like the flat rim but I know other peope who prefer Bach bacause the rims are more rounded.
    4. Stick with your choice. Take some time finding a mouthpiece, but once you have decided stick with it. I don't believe that you can do your playing any good by constantly changing moutpieces. I also think that thoe who are constantly looking at thier equipment are looking for excuses, when instead they shoud be practicing with what they've got.
     
  3. Seedhouse

    Seedhouse Active Member

    Thanks for the reply Mike.
    I have a Prestige which I love to bits although i've heard a lot of complaints about them. It's a large bore, so what did you mean my your first point- "is it large/small bore therefore is your mouthpece smaller or larger (in diameter and depth) "
    I feel comfortable with each of the SM mouthpieces, as the rim is flat. I just don't know which mouthpiece would be suited to me. That's why I decided to try out each of them today, and spot some differences. I seem to have some trouble with upper register mostly, so should I go for the SM5. BUT the sound is worse so should I stick on then SM4. I think i'm basically just a tad confused! :shock: :?
     
  4. Highams

    Highams Member

    The most important thing is 'sound', then work on what ever is required to obtain the results you need, I don't know many players who do not have to work in the high register, so give it time and practice.

    You will not find any results quickly either, take your time.

    www.euph9.freeserve.co.uk
     
  5. Di B

    Di B Member

    I believe I was told to get a Dennis Wich 4AL when I started playing and have used it ever since! Unless there is a specific ideal you want to achieve then changing your mouthpiece won't help much! (I have heard of people changing mouthpieces for a particularly high solo or similar though). I would suggest sticking with one mouthpiece. You will get the upper and lower registers through eventually... as previously said, it does take time, and use of the diaphragm rather than the neck also helps to achieve high notes! :wink:

    One thing though... you are going to Dundee and messing with your mouthpiece when you are this close to going??!! My andvice is... DON'T MESS until AFTER! :shock:

    An additional thing about mouthpieces that people could assist me with.... as a euph player my knowledge on other instruments is a big dodgy at times.... can people give me and idea of good horn/cornet/bass mouthpieces for a beginner and which to avoid? Both Wick and Bach sizes would be appreciated.

    Cheers
     
  6. Big Fella

    Big Fella Member

    I play Bass, and every teacher, i have ever had, as always told me the same thing, You Will Never Find A Mouthpiece That IS Perfect For You, So Find One You Like, And Stick With It.
    I know of quite a few players, who have caused themselves lots of problems by changing mouthpieces, and ombruchure's..

    Good alround mouthpiece for any Bass, is a Bach 24AW..
     
  7. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    I use a RW3 with my cornet...
    Nice open space and no dips along the necky bit so max air can travel through the mouthpiece and into the instrument...
    Lovely :)
     
  8. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    I don't know if this will be of any use, but I play on a JK5 and I find it very helpful in getting quite a full tone out of the instrument. I also find it quite helpful in all areas of the range as I can play quite comfortably in the "upper" register and pedal notes with some degree of ease with a fuller sound then when using my DW4. The rim, i think, feels like your playing on a DW4 but the cup is quite deep like a DW2, so as I have said you can get a decent tone without it feeling like your playing a bucket.

    I dunno, personally I feel that the JK is a good mouthpiece for ME, as it helps me fill the instrument, but this may be completely different for other players. :?
     
  9. euphemism

    euphemism Member

    Most importantly Alex - DON'T CHANGE YOUR MOUTHPIECE IN THE NEXT 2 WEEKS !!!!!

    Stay on the 4

    Carl
     
  10. JohnnyEuph

    JohnnyEuph Member

    The two most important things with mouthpieces are (in my opinion) A:Comfort, and B: The quality and 'richness' of sound. As has been said before, the other aspects are generally down to practice. People generally notice a nice sound before they notice anything technical about your playing. I use a JK Exclusive 4AL as i find a rounder rim more comfortable, and it also helps produce a great sound!
     
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  12. satchmo shaz

    satchmo shaz Active Member

    hi I agree with Carl and Di, .......... and I am the MD :wink:
     
  13. Seedhouse

    Seedhouse Active Member

    Don't worry Shaz (or Carl) (or any tmp-ers for that matter!) I'm DEFINATELY not changing before Dundee! Anywho I think i've got the diaphragm thing sorted now, so i'm sticking on the SM4. I'm not that stupid to be changing to a different mouthpiece 2 weeks before the Nationals! :twisted:
     
  14. satchmo shaz

    satchmo shaz Active Member

    thank goodness! :wink: you played very well tonight and hunky steve too 8)
     
  15. Emb_Enh

    Emb_Enh Member

    Mouthpiece Dependancy....

    [ the act of using the mpc rim as a crutch so as to produce the lip vibrations more easily as opposed to being able to buzz freely the same way on and off the horn, ]

    ...is partially why some people find the 'momentary plus' of a new mpc rim exciting, only to find that later on, that momentary 'plus point' has retreated into the mists of time as their playing settles down again into a normal playing pattern.

    If your TOO mpc dependant this will have a significant effect on your perception of ANY mpc at ANY given point in your development.

    So what's the answer?...you have to realise that either....

    a) YOU are either making the sound on the trumpet by buzzing efficiently ....or...

    b) YOU are using the mpc too much to aid you in buzzing and therefore, you will succumb to the parameters that the characteristics of the mpc you are trying will have on your personal physiology / trumpet sound.

    In other words, if you're a very mpc dependant player and you do change mpc's then you are going to HAVE to change your old practice routine to cope with the negatives of the new mpc [every mpc has positives and negatives]. Also the more 'mouthpiece dependant' you are in producing your sound the more difficult it is to make a change.


    How do you know whether you are mpc dependant or not?


    Can you "free lip buzz" well without the mpc?

    When you find a mpc you feel you can work and improve with, the next question of course is,

    How well is it suited to the INST you are using?

    Find a comfortable MPC, one you like pretty much ALL the characteristics of, to an average degree, and concentrate in the practice room to improve those characteristics which are at fault.

    Imagine for a moment a player who adopts different playing techniques over a period of years in an effort to improve. If you're a type 'A' player in 2002 and a type 'B' player in 2004, then the sets of 'rules' you have learnt for your chop set up in 2002 [in terms of understanding the mpc and it's affects] MAY NOT be applicable to you in 2004!

    It is up to the individual to correctly analyse these effects at ANY given point and in making the choice of mpc "weigh up" the lesser of the evils to be targeted for extra practice, because, they 'will' be there.

    THE MPC SHOULD NOT BE USED AS A 'CRUTCH' AGAINST ANY PLAYING PROBLEM!!!

    You should have the same range on all the mouthpieces you try or use. The reason for trying different mpc's is a tonal / timbral change or comfort.

    Yes it's possible to change your tone / timbre by adjusting your blow but that is inefficient way to play over a long period of time. Using the wrong style mpc for your physiology [teeth/lips], cuts down on your endurance as [if your a good musician] you will be trying to force the mpc to play opposite to the designers original intention.


    My other favorite when this subject crops up is the guy who says: "yeh well 'so and so' uses a *****C to play"

    Well it does'nt matter to anyone realy, we should all want to develop our own sound. Also, maybe I don't wanna sound like 'so and so' no matter how famous he is, I want to develop my own sound / style. If you did get the same mpc and copy a famous guy and ended up sounding just like him, it'll do you no good as he was there first and he's got all the gigs!!! :wink:

    Highly unlikely anyhow with physiology differences!

    Using an excessively BIG mouthpiece to get a BIG tone in an orchestra at the expense of endurance or range......

    ....Or....

    Using an excessively small mpc to play high parts in band at the expense of tone is ALL a question of personal acceptability.

    What is acceptable for one player's view of tone/personal sound concept or range, might be unacceptable for another.

    Try NOT to impose your personal values on any given aspect upon someone else who is also learning. For we are ALL still learning.

    Sometimes it is WORTH going to mpc extremes to convince oneself of a theory, but beware the dangers in doing so, you may lose your point / term of reference to enable you to make the journey back to your starting point.

    Find the right equipment balance for YOU! - and let everyone else find their OWN!

    When you think you have a good understanding of mpc's and their characteristics and effects on YOU...start all over again and add in the variable of how different mpc designs/sizes correspond directly and indirectly with different horns in terms of bore size, bell shape, bell materials, horn weights, conical and cylindrical bores, leadpipe design, mpc gap adjustments, valve alignments etc.

    Teachers who don't take into consideration the style to which the pupil [if indeed he/she is at a stage of development where this has started to become a factor] maybe are'nt being as helpful as they could be. It is paramount to the development of the pupil to NOT imbue one's own set of rules in any doctrinal way so as to leave them with YOUR emotional mpc baggage from any particular year. Set them up to ENABLE their OWN correct analysis of the mpc situation when they need to do so.

    NO ONE CAN FIGURE ALL OF THE ABOVE FOR YOU - ENJOY THE HUNT,
    BUT UNDERSTAND WHY YOU ARE LOOKING IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!


    1."DO YOUR OWN THING"
    2."SIZE DOES'NT MATTER, WE ALL HAVE DIFFERENT PHYSIOLOGY "
    3. "FIND A MPC THAT SUITS YOU, YOU WOULD'NT WEAR SOMEONE ELSES SHOES!" :lol:
     
  16. drummerboy

    drummerboy Member

    I swop mouthpieces on trombone (I use a Wick 6 for symphonic work, and a Bach 12C for jazz and everything else). The only reason i swop to the Wick is so i can get a more symphonic sound, and you generally don't need the higher register quite so consistantly in orchestras that you do in jazz bands etc. But getting back to your question, whenever I've played Euph/baritone, ive stuck to a larger mouthpiece (usually a wick 4 or 5). But of the euph players i know, they generally use a wick 4, as it gives you the sound and you can always work on the range etc.
     

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