Mouthpiece Allergy

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Di, Nov 23, 2004.

  1. Di

    Di Active Member

    Does anyone have any advise on an allergy to mouthpieces? We have a keen young lad in the training band who, after only playing for a few minutes is sporting a big red sore ring on his chops. He currently has a DW gold mouthpiece, but has also tried the silver. I've tried again with enquiries to Kelly but they won't be producing a horn mouthpiece for some months to come. Its "on the drawing board".

    So, any suggestions please, we don't want to lose this little lad, he's a bright kid and is gonna be a cracking little player.
  2. zuzanna

    zuzanna New Member

    I have had allergies to various mouthpieces, usually though people are allergic to either gold or silver and swapping to the alternate metal helps. Is the plate starting to come off the mouthpiece? is there is a bit of the underlying metal coming through then that can be what's causing the allergy, the cure for this is to have it replated. Also, my friend told me you can have mouthpieces coated in some kind of plastic but I don't know if this is true? Anyone else know.......
  3. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    This may sound abit silly, but how new are the mouthpieces you've tried? It may be the base metal he's allergic to not the plating - I can't use DW gold plate, but silver is ok as long as the plating is intact - its only a problem when it gets chipped/scratched and exposes the metal underneath.

    If its not that, I've known people get the rims replaced with wood or plastic - I'll try to find out who does it for you.
  4. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    Heat shrink PVA.

    When my brother and I install car hi-fi's you have to shield the electrical connections around the amp. The way we do this is with a bit of heat shrink PVA tubing. You simply slide it on over the cable and then heat it with a hairdryer. It simply shrinks to fit, producing a clean seal. I've often thought that this stuff could be used to provide a coating on the rim of a mouthpiece. Now the problem. The stuff we use is supplied with the components, don't know if you can buy it separate.
  5. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    I had the same thing Di when I used a wick brass plated mouthpiece many years ago. I had that one silver plated and never suffered with that effect again. It is called a nickel-alloy allergy and some information can be found here.

    It is apparantly quite common. I remember when I was 13, receiving for Christmas one of those red LED watches with a metal expandable strap. Within 20 minutes of starting to wear it my wrist was awash with blisters. I still get a reaction on my belly from the back of the button on the waist of jeans when I wear them without a t-shirt.
  6. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    ... paint on clear nail varnish/hardener ??
  7. super_sop

    super_sop Supporting Member

    you can bye it from most electrical wholsalers. farnell online have as do RS and many other online supliers.
    i would have thought it would be two thick to work though.

    Dinie do you have an engineering workshop near you? if you take a moputhpiece down to them they would be able to make you a new mouthpiece out of any type of material(thats how kelly mouthpieces started i believe)
  8. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    It's an obvious question to ask, so apologies but are you sure the ring is from an allergy and not from pressing too hard? Might be the language you use, (after all you Barlstone-ites and us Littlethorpe-ians bearly speak the same languge :p ) but is it a ring of sores or a sore ring on his mouth?

    If the mouthpiece does need replating can I suggest you talk to that nice Noel Sheehan chap at Sheehans Music services? ;) :)

    There was someone who started making wooden mouthpieces a few years ago, but in my usual helpful manner I can't remember who they were, or if they made horn sizes, or even if they're still going! Sorry....:-?
  9. Di

    Di Active Member

    Bowsonites please! :rolleyes:

    Yep, sure its an allergy.

    And thanks to everyone for the helpful replies. I shall print off all this useful information before next Monday's practice and have it sent to the bandroom.
  10. impycornet

    impycornet Member

    These people do perspex mouthpieces. I remember seeing them at the finals a few years ago. There may be UK stockists - But my German is not that good !!
    Go to the MUNDSTÜCKE page and then to
    JK-Mundstücke "KÖLNER FORM"

    and it lists tenor horn perspex mouthpieces for 67Euro (about £50)

    I would do as suggested above first though & check for any sign of plating wear on the current mouthpiece. The allergy may be against the brass base metal & not the plating metal
  11. lewis

    lewis Member


    I have a couple of friends that are fantastic trumpet and they use a plastic rim for their mouthpieces. They found they were illergic to both silver and brass plating and were introduced to plastic rims by their teachers at music college. The mounthpiece is still metal so it doesn't effect the sound (not so important for a begginer I know).

    Anyway, if you try Parkers in London 02074868206 they shpuld be abel tp help you out.
  12. ronnie_the_lizard

    ronnie_the_lizard Active Member

    Even a high school metalwork department [do they still have metalwork departments....I think they are probably CDT or something now] may well be able to do this. I certainly remember in the dim and distant past making a hammer with an aluminium handle and a copper head which were turned and shaped on a lathe and machined to screw together. I stopped doing metalwork at age 13 so it couldn't have been that difficult and I can't see any reason why the same tools wouldn't be able to make e.g. a copper mouthpiece The department might well even take it on as a serious project - there might be quite a market for 'designer' or custom built mouthpieces, especially "heavy-top' versions of standard mouthpieces etc. The main difficulty I can see would be in getting a taper onto the backbore - you would need to have a look at something like

    to try to understand what difference making subtle changes in each part of the mouthpiece might make.

  13. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    Try a Kelly.

    At £15 a throw, it's not too much of a gamble.

  14. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    The Kelly plastic mouthpieces are fantastic for allergy sufferers, but as they play horn (see - I read the whole post!) this will be a problem. Might they consider a switch to euph or bari? Both of these can get Kelly mouthpieces (very cheaply!).

    A good friend of mine puts clear nail varnish on the rim of his mouthpiece and this helps.

    The mouthpiece customisation option is there, but if this is for a young student it could be an expensive solution.
    If the mouthpiece is one of the older Denis Wick gold plated ones there were a lot of problems with the plating back then - it frequently came off, exposing the raw brass underneath. A lot of people are allergic to the raw brass, which caused a number of problems.
    You might find that a replating is in order - depending where you are based I am sure that a decent plater can be recommended - if you are anywhere near Guildford, check out Will Spencer - I have had a couple of mouthpieces plated by Will and they come back beautifully plated.
  15. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    LOL! I really must get out of the habit of looking at tMP in quiet moments at work...
  16. Bob Stevenson

    Bob Stevenson Member

    Dinie,......Kelly don't make a tenor horn mpc but they do make one to fit a mellophone which should at least fit some makes of horn. Get kelly to give you the shank size of their Mellophone model and see if its the same/similar as the little lads mpc for his horn,.....I think you will find it will fit and although probably not ideal it will get him by until you can get something better.
  17. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    A further thought (dangerous habits!) - Kelly do make a very impressive french horn mouthpiece. I have an adaptor for using one of these mouthpieces in a tenor horn. Using one of these could solve a problem?

    I know that you won't get the true sound of the tenor horn this way, but it might be a good place to start from? Definitely a cheaper option than a custom mouthpiece (if you can't get one of these adaptors easily, PM me).
  18. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    .. cheapest option is the clear nail varnish if you include remover as well! There is an acrylic formula I have used on damaged rims before and works a treat without altering the inner dimensions of the cup. Doesn't stick to the lips too!
  19. tim

    tim Member

    Thia may sound a bit odd but someone I know uses a wooden mouthpiece when playing outdoors and they are extremely comfortable and keep a good sound as well.

    If your interested just let me know and i'll find out for you.
  20. six pints

    six pints Active Member

    my granda makes mouthpieces. he has made me a fabulous plastic one before, and has made a canny few for members of our band, from sop player down to bass players! Hes also made a snooker cue to jimmy white! anyway, I know its prob a bit far, but PM me if you want his details anyway!

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