Mouthpieces- which to choose?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by MattB, Aug 19, 2004.

  1. MattB

    MattB Member

    My assistant principle is struggling with high notes above G, top A, B & C seem out of reach, although not all the time. Can anyone suggest an appropriate mouthpiece for him? At the mo I believe he is on a Wick 4L.

  2. Martin Hall

    Martin Hall Member

    I think your cornet player should have a bash at some lip flexibilities instead (charles colins advanced lip fexies). A small Mouthpeice can ease things a little but generally I dont think they are a solution, and sound quality can be compromised.

    I play on a Sparx 3, which is similar to the denis wick 3, and produces a large tone that can be brightened up in the top with a little effort.

    My assistance principle plays on a DW4 and he knocks the top range out very loud and bright.

    I have always been told that the most important thing when choosing a mouthpeice is the sound you produce from it, and then work on your playing skills to do the rest. ie practice!!

    There you go, my opinion anyway, watch the flood of disagreement!!
  3. floral_dance

    floral_dance Member

    I play on a sparx 3 as wel and find that I get a nice sound, but I have to work at the top end of the range but as you say lip flexibilities and mixed intervals helps with this.
  4. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    If I was a brass teacher, (which I'm not.. ;-)) I'd find this sort of question impossible to answer without actually seeing the player in action. A difference in dental and oral set ups with each player as well as any perceived embouchure weaknesses/strengths dictate what sort of mouthpiece one should play on. It's a case of going somewhere and using trial and error to find which one suits you best. Different types of playing might dicate a different size mouthpiece, but there again, some people are happy sticking with just the one. I reckon it's as much psychological as anything else.

    Either that or if you can, go to a qualified teacher who can see your 'chops' and advise accordingly. The lesson might cost a bit but the satisfaction in either altering mouthpece or embouchure (or both) to your satsifaction will pay for that several times over.
  5. hellraiser

    hellraiser Member

    I say pick a mouthpiece then stick to it. I play on a Dennis Wick 4, which is good enough. Swapping mouthpieces all the time is a load of BS, pick your mouthpiece then learn to play with it. Once you take on a new mouthpiece it may feel easier at the beginning but give it time and the same problems will be there. So pick a mouthpiece and stick to it and like someone has already said you should do proper exercises or consult a teacher to solve problems not think changing a mouthpiece will solve it.
  6. welshmike

    welshmike Member

    I totally aggree with Hellraiser on this one!

    I play (and have done so now for five years) on a DW2 which is considered a back row mouthpiece!

    At first high notes were a bit of a problem but with some hard work and a bit of knowledge sourced from some of the finest in the country it all fell into place. In most instances high notes can be improved straight away with Chas Collins Lip flexibilties (my personal fav).

    Just find a comfortable fitting gob iron, work like crazy and enjoy your playing!
  7. Well Worth It

    Well Worth It Active Member

    Doesn't seem to have done you any harm mate!
  8. welshmike

    welshmike Member

    Cheers mate!
  9. jameshowell

    jameshowell Active Member

    I agree completely. As long as it is a mnouthpiece you feel comfortable with, it doesn't matter, whether it be the boiggest vailable, the smallest available or somewhere in between.

    As for the largest mouthpiece being a "backrow" mouthpiece, well it's a load of rubbish. I play everything, from lead trumpet in stage band to orchestral to anything else on my mouthpiece, which is roughly a Bach 1C.

    People see smaller mouthpieces as the ones they should have when playing high because they "make it easier". Well they may make the range easier, but you lose tone and thickness of sound, and most of all you lose power as you can#'t force as much air through.

    With a little hard work, you can train yourself (thrugh building up your stamina and range) to play just as well on a large mouthpiece, at which point you can then benefit from the better tone, better flexibility and increased power available.

    But, the most important point of all, is at the end of the day GO FOR A MOUTHPIECE THAT YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH.
  10. nickjones

    nickjones Active Member

    My brother Mike has played on a DW2 which is used as a backrow mouthpiece ( as the besson info says "Enormous tone for Low cornet parts sounds like a med bore trombone" ) I would say that would be of use to a backrow player.
    If I am not mistaken this mouthpiece was recomended by Dave King to Mike when he was principal cornet of the Salford Uni Band and the national youth brass band of Wales and also the Repiano Cornet at the YBS Band.
    I agree with Mike and Rhodri get a mouthpiece you feel comfortable with and stick with it..if you find something better change , nothing wrong with that.
    the orginal post was about a assistant principal cornet player , not a pit trumpet player. Mike is quite lucky to have experience of playing in both a pit orchestra and as assistant principal cornet and principal of some of the UK's best bands.
  11. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Personally, I'd like to hear Roddy's (Emb_enh) views on this one based on his experiences 'in the pit' and suchlike. Are you there, Roddy?
  12. Dave Euph

    Dave Euph Member

    Total agreement. When I moved to a larger mouthpiece on my euph ... my high notes dropped out of the sky. The reason I kept with it is because it improved every other area of my playing (mostly my tone). Now my high notes are starting to come together again and it's been worth the effort. It's all about making sure you are doing the right exercises to improve your high register, and that for any player is no where near as easy as you may think some times.
  13. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

  14. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    I play on a JK euphonium mouthpiece and its quite easy to get a big range, as low as you can go and I can play up to super F and from time to time G. The cup is quite big but there is something done with the lead pipe thing that makes it like playing on a small mouthpiece.

    JK do mouthpieces for nearly all instruments I think
  15. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Or is it all psychological? A professional trumpet player said to me yesterday that after practice, within reason, your 'sound' and ability will come through on whichever mouthpiece you choose (note, not ANY mouthpiece - just the one that you choose for your 'chops'). Imagining a scenario, one can pick up a mouthpiece and after a few minutes , think it's the best thing since sliced bread. Two weeks later it all goes t*ts up. Is it the wrong mouthpiece? fault in technique? (more likely the latter as it's probably that that's convinced us that we need to change mouthpieces in the first place, perhaps? ;-)).

    Perhaps, as I said earlier, it's nigh on impossible to deal with written 'agony aunt' style mouthpiece problems as maybe the answer lies in a qualified teacher to 'see' the problem and hopefully the solution.

    For the record, I use three mouthpieces, depending on differing circumstances, a Wick 4B (for sop work) and a Warburton 3BC with an 11 backbore otherwise for cornet/trumpet and a Wick 4FL for flugel. I'm not saying that's right for anyone else, time may tell me that it's wrong for me, who knows, but I feel comfortable with it. I also have an 'off centre' embouchure! ;-)
  16. Red Elvis

    Red Elvis Active Member

    Anyone got any suggestions re a large ( ? largest possible ) bore mouthpiece for a Sov baritone ? Currently using a wick SM9 ( it came with instrument ) and am struggling with tone and tuning.
    Used to use a VB 3G ( Bass Trombone mouthpiece) when on Eupho - high register was hard work but worth the effort in terms of tone and sound projection.
  17. barry toan

    barry toan New Member

    No it didnt, its mine!!!!! :lol:
    Try getting a SM4! (I think this is the largest DW/SM bari mouthpiece available) Cup diameter 26mm, Overall diameter 39.4mm, rim 6.72mm, bore 7.38mm. (PS This is exactly the same dimensions as the old 4AL/4AM DW euph mouthpieces- so if youve got one of them then i guess you could use that instead!)
  18. Dave Euph

    Dave Euph Member

    A jump from an SM9 to an SM4 seems awfully far. Maybe he'd be better off trying a 5BS or an SM6 first?
  19. ScrapingtheBottom

    ScrapingtheBottom Active Member

    5BS is a good mouthpiece I use it on trom when I'm playing orchestral stuff (I have a wierd dual bore instrument). The high register is a bit dull, but I guess that's a bit less of a problem with a bari.

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