Mouthpiece teething troubles!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by sunny_jimbob, Jan 5, 2004.

  1. sunny_jimbob

    sunny_jimbob Member

    Help! I've outgrown my old mouthpiece, and have a nice shiny new one that's about twice the size! I started practicing on it as soon as the Christmas jobs were out of the way, and have been using it all through the holidays. Then tonight I went back to band. Argh! I couldn't pitch properly, I couldn't get my former dynamics, and I found it mega frustrating and it got me down a little (only a little!). Does anyone have any tips on something I could do to augment what I'm already doing, or is it simply a case of carrying on with the old 'practice practice practice' routine?

  2. floral_dance

    floral_dance Member

    Is it the same type and size of mpc or are there any changes, even the slightest change can affect your performance.
  3. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    When I switched halfway through a tour from a DW3 to a VB12, I lost at least half my dynamic range. But my sound darkened, which was a nice trade off. As I adjusted to the mouthpiece, I got used to it.

    Sometimes it's just a case of playing it properly. when practising alone, you may not have worked it as hard as when you're with the band.
  4. sunny_jimbob

    sunny_jimbob Member

    It's a much bigger mouthpiece, gone from a normal wide bore trombone one that came with it (even though it's a bass) to a nice flashy Bach jobbo and the cup is way bigger.

    It does sound marvellous on pedals, but mid range notes split and I just can't get the sound with them.

    But yeah, that's what I suspected might be the case. Ah well, Christmas break's over and I'm playing with bands five nights a week so with a bit of luck it'll come good!
  5. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    three months after switiching to the Bach, I had to prepare the Vaughn Williams Tuba concerto for the Open EEb test piece for the State titles. The Bach provided me with a deep, rich sound that was everything I've heard from the big names. However, I kept slipping around during the cadenza.

    Three month's practice in that range on the big mouthpiece fixed that! And I was the only person to attempt it on the day. Wimps!
  6. sunny_jimbob

    sunny_jimbob Member

    So I shall now devote the six or so weeks I've got till the NEMBBA contest to solid practicing. :shock: :!: :D
  7. Dave Euph

    Dave Euph Member

    This keeps reminding me that I could do with getting a bigger mouthpiece ...
  8. sunny_jimbob

    sunny_jimbob Member

    Try not to get one about twice the size of your current one... :wink:
  9. tewkeshorn

    tewkeshorn Account Suspended

    Ive been meaning to 'upgrade' from the DW5 to DW2 on Horn since I started playing and was seriously thinking of switching over Xmas so practiced on the 2 over Xmas to get used to it but then at the first band practice after Xmas I tried both and my sound had improved on my old mouthpiece so might use both mouthpieces, the bigger DW2 to improve my tone then on the night plug in my DW5 to make the most of it whilst not sacrificing top register which is almost effortless on the smaller mouthpiece compared to the DW2!
  10. sunny_jimbob

    sunny_jimbob Member

    That's one of the odd things. Just got back from a practice at another band, and having used the bigger mouthpiece all evening, pedals and high notes are quite reasonable, but it's the mid register that I have trouble hitting, and when I do they split or crackle. Weird!
  11. tewkeshorn

    tewkeshorn Account Suspended

    Probably due to practicing too much at the extremes, or as my old brass teacher would say, rather than a nice soft bread roll with good consistency throughout you've got a crusty shell and gooey dough in the middle :)
    Now what was that advert... (Armadillos!)
    I'll get me coat... :)
  12. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    Mouthpiece trouble - tell me about it!!
    After starting on a DW5 (yes! a 5!) I moved onto a DW4 and then onto a 3L. I played on this for a while and enjoyed it but felt my tone was a little thin.

    Then I moved bands and had to leave the DW3L behind. My new band gave me a choice of mouthpiece;


    mmm, desicions. 1L fitted the wide bore instrument whilst the 4 went into far but was closer to my old 3. As I was going to be playing all the lower splits anyway, I went for the 1L for its richer tone and better bottom end. Unfortunately it made my upper register (from C up) ridiculously out of tune and it was like playing in a bucket!!

    Struggled through the Mineworkers and then decided to cut my losses and went for the 4. Alas, though my lip had begun to get used to the 1L and the 4 is a massive step down in cup size. I still prefer it to the 1L though.

    So, roll on loan cheque day and then hopefully I can actually get a mouthpiece I like. Probably a 2 I think. Not as extreme as the 1 but with a better tone and lower register than the 3.
    It has all been extremely depressing and frustrating and my playing has suffered as a result of all the chopping and changing. This especially bad as I am new to the band and haven't yet been able to play to my full potential. Can't wait to get on a mouthpiece that I can stick with!!
  13. tam-tam

    tam-tam Member


    In school I see children learning the cornet on a 7c mouthpiece, I keep thinking if you go on to be any good you are going to have to get a much bigger mouthpiece and that is going to cause you problems and heartache in a few years. Personally, I have played on a 16e Yamaha cornet mouthpiece for years and began playing (in the time that the MusicMan taught me) on a Denis Wick 4. I think this, although some may disagree(!!) has helped with my cornet playing over the years.

    To get back to the point I was trying to make before becoming rather long winded, if you think the mouthpiece will improve your playing persevere and you will hopefully reap the benefits. All the best with it and I am sure you will start to see it get easier!!

    Just had my first rehearsal back after Christmas, I feels like I have never played the cornet before......conductor made us run through Trittico after 2 hours......which was nice!!
  14. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    When I started on Bass, my first mouthpiece was a dirty, corroded YH64 or something like that. It did the job. Then i switched to a school Imperial prototype, and in the band, a new 777BBb Bass. The Imp had a DW5 while the BBb had a DW1L. Talk about extremes!!! When I bought Bessie, I made sure I got the 3 thinking it would be a fair compromise.

    I now continually find that the Wick in a tuba that I play (might not be for anyone else) has a thinner sound. That's why I went Bach to begin with. There were no 24's or whatever the equivalent in store at the time, and I said to myself "Save $50 bucks in Hong Kong and get a bigger one, or pay more for the same?"

    I still believe the DW3 is a great mouthpiece for an EEb. But waaaaaay too small for a BBb. Even the 2 is something you have to work on. It's a one all the way for me in the big one.
  15. floral_dance

    floral_dance Member

    I recently changed from a DW4 to aSparx 3 mpc. It gives a lovely good sound and the high register is good but find it more difficult in the really low register, but I am going to persevere with it as I really like the sound it gives me, makes me sound half decent :oops:
  16. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Ideal mouthpiece depends largely on the make up of your mouth, lips, dental construction etc. No one can say 'you should really play on this size mouthpiece' because the person that says that will have a totally different oral set up to the person they're telling it too, and embouchure will be different accoringly. Plus, oral set ups change as you get older for whatever reason. I've changed mouthpieces over the years but once I found a size, rim width, cup depth etc, I was happy with, I've only made minor changes from what I discovered suited me a number of years ago.

    However, much as I'm not ideally qualified to say 'you should do this', ( merely relate my own personal experience) I'm not convinced, SJB, what appears to be such a big change in size just like that is the ideal thing - even if you did outgrow the old one, but hey! you may get used to it in the end. Whatever, good luck, I hope you do!

  17. bennem

    bennem Member

    Mouthpieces...........the voodoo of the brass world.

    In contrast to Floral_Dance who said

    I purchased a sparx 4 a while ago and haven't really been getting on with it. Low register is awkward. I normally play on a DW4b (played this for about 4 years) and find the sparx 4 feels a little small in rim size although supposed to be almost equivalent. But interestingly enough I was sent a sparx 3 by mistake but didn't get on with that either. While I didn't play the 3 for any significant period, about half a rehearsal as it was being sent back, it felt a little large.

    I have also spent a significant period playing on a lewington McCann which was fine on back row but a bit of a bucket when playing front row and I find it doesn't let me project my sound over the band. But this mouthpiece has the most comfortable rim. Very flat.
  18. sunny_jimbob

    sunny_jimbob Member

    Having had my third rehearsal (with a band) on it last night, I have decided that it IS too big, at least for the moment. I'm now considering whether I'm brave enough to ask the treasurer if he'll get me a VB4 instead... :wink:


    What kind of mouthpiece are you using at the mo?

    For bass trombone, one of the best to try on first is the Bach 1 1/2G (or equivalent. it is a good all round mpiece for the bass trombone. If you can get you hands on an older version, they are a bit better.

    At the mo, I am trying out a Schilke 58 which is about tha same size, but a slightly deeper cup.

    If you are looking for more advice on trombone mpieces then try the following links (if you haven't already found them.)

    The otj trombone forum at

    or the bass forum at

    Hope that this is of use.
  20. sunny_jimbob

    sunny_jimbob Member

    It is a Bach 1G, but because I've been using quite a small mouthpiece, it's way way way bigger, and I don't think I can make the jump straight away in time for the NEMBBA and regional contests. I'm looking at twisting the treasurer's arm to get me a smaller Bach one, maybe a 4.

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