Mouthpiece Advice

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by welshraz, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. welshraz

    welshraz Member

    Hi all,

    Bit of back story.....In February I returned to the brass banding after a five year absence. I was a soprano player for a long time (best part of 15 years!!), and now I am playing cornet for a local band here in Worcester.

    I have been trying my best with a DW 4B mouthpiece since February, but we are just not getting along, and at rehearsal last night I caved and returned to the Schilke 10B4 that was my choice when I played soprano. It was like coming home. It was much more comfortable to play and I had security in the upper register, somethng that I had been severly lacking on the 4B. My problem is that the mouthpiece is not really conducive to that classic cornet sound, nor does it "blend" that well with the rest of the band, but I love the other qualities. As it is unlikely that I will be returning to soprano any time soon :(, I think it's time I sorted this out.

    I have been doing a bit of research on mouthpieces, but the choice is staggering and confusing. What I really want is a mouthpiece that is similar, but can give me a wamer, deeper, "cornet" sound (deeper cup maybe?). Has anyone else made the move from sop to cornet and had a hard time adjusting (No? probably just me!!)? Any advice would be greatly appreciated, or if anyone could point me in the direction of a shop where I could actually go and try out a few mouthpieces that would be fab. I'm located in Worcester, but I am willing to travel if needs be!

  2. GordonH

    GordonH Active Member

    I think you need to identify what it is about the Schilke that makes it easier to play on.
    It may be more to do with the overall resistance - its a much tighter mouthpiece than the Wick.

    If its the rim you like then you could have it taken off and threaded onto another mouthpiece or you could find something of similar size.
    I checked the Schilke rim on the Kanstul mouthpiece comparator and its showing to be close to a Warburton 5. Warburton make proper brass band mouthpieces but they cost a lot of money.
    It is also not far off the Wick 3.
    Would be worth trying some yamaha ones too.

    My advice is to be very careful. Mouthpiece safaris can be expensive and fruitless.
    In my experience it takes at least a month to know if a new mouthpiece will really work for me.
    I recently went smaller in size with a wider rim and it took a lot of work to get the best out of it.
    Now I am there it has helped my consistency.
    On first use it felt terrible and it would not have been my first choice.

    How about going through all the spare mouthpieces in your band room and try them out, or borrow from people?
  3. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    Wise words...

    Sound advice. I play sop and Bb cornet and Bb trumpet all using a Bach #1. This felt like a bucket when I started using it - so tiring! It took many months before I felt at home on it. I chose it because I'd been told if ever I went to music college they'd switch me to a #1, so I thought I'd get a head start. Never went to music college, but I've never regretted switching to the #1 and wouldn't consider playing on anything else.
  4. GordonH

    GordonH Active Member

    I played on a Bach 1 for many years on trumpet and the Wick 2 for cornet. Lack of practice time has taken its toll though.
  5. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    I have a 10B4 on hand - I can't agree with Gordon about the Wick 3 as a comparable match, either on the comparator or on the chops - it's way larger in feel.

    The Warburton 5's on the other hand, are a good match - the 5D is a very close match indeed for the 10B4 rim/cup - the backbore you screw on will have a pretty significant effect though. The 5XD might work for you if you just need to take the edge off the brightness. A quick play-test found, for me, that my 5D with a 7* backbore sounds ever so slightly mellower than the 10B4, my 5XD is mellower again - still a bit brighter than a 4b, but a lot more comfortable to me.
    As Gordon mentions though, they're not cheap - the XD cups are not common to find second hand either (that said, I've been thinking of selling mine).

    For what it's worth, security in the upper range comes with practice (if you've played sop regularly in the past, you already know this), using a mouthpiece to make it a bit easier is going to be a compromise in other ways - as you're finding with sound.
    The discomfort may simply be the rim, or it may be that there's a temptation to use more pressure or maybe both.
  6. welshraz

    welshraz Member

    Thanks all for the responses. I have put a FB post out to my band to ask if anyone has any spare mouthpieces that I can least it's a start!

    I'm going to spend time working out what it is that I like about the 10B4, then work from there.

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