Soprano Advice Needed

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by cornetmad, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. cornetmad

    cornetmad New Member

    Hi Everyone

    I would be grateful of any advice you can give me regarding Sop playing. I have been on Bb cornet for 24 years having played every position in our band from 3rd cornet to Principal. I have recently started the swap over to Soprano, I have literally done 4 practices with the band at this stage.

    I would really like some advice regarding mouthpieces. The instrument, a band owned used yamaha, has a Denis Wick S in with it, rather worn and in definate need of replating. Thus far I have actually just continued to use my Bach 7C from my Bb which fits ok.

    I have found that in terms of range I can easily get bottom G to the C above middle C and the D and E, all of which sound fine in terms of tone. The F and G above that are achieveable but sound thinner. The A, B, C ... above that are eluding me. In other words I am getting the 2 octaves G to G but I am concerned that I will need to be getting higher.

    I suppose my question is this: should I be investing in a mouthpiece for the Soprano to help me with my range? or should I be accepting that at this early stage I just need to be practising and developing my range myself????

    Any other tips on swapping over to Sop greatly appreciated (By the way, you don't have to tell me I am mad - I already know!)

  2. sop 1

    sop 1 Member

    dont get the smallest mouthpiece! i play on a warburton 7D with a 12* backbore which i quiet big! but u just need to practise,loads of chas collins are good to extend ur range and plenty of long notes! hope that helps :D
  3. sop 1

    sop 1 Member

    also dont push the sop into ur face,ull end up splitting ur lip!
  4. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    I find a shallower mouthpiece gives much more security in the upper range, however the trade off is a brighter sound. ( BTW I use a warbutron 6M playing sop ).

    Best advice, go to a shop with your instrument and try lots of different mouthpieces. What suits one person may not suit you as we all have slightly different embrochures, lips, mouths etc...

    Good luck. and remember not to forget the air supply! :D ( I do frequently! :D ).
  5. Alyn James

    Alyn James Member

    My son can't use a shallow mouthpiece - he "bottoms out" - even the Warburton Ms are too shallow for him. After much experimentation he settled on Warburton 4MD, D and XD. These three, along with the Wick 3 and 3B ( same inner diameter as Warburton 4 ) give him all the options he needs for Bb and Eb instruments). Do plenty of research and TRY BEFORE YOU BUY! Good luck ;)
  6. Although I think there is not an obvious choice regarding sop mouthpieces and everyone has to try out different ones to find a suitable one, I can honestly say that I don't think that a Bb-mouthpiece is suitable for the sop, coz it's made for a different instrument.
  7. I went onto sop about 3 years ago now and had the same as what your experiencing. I found that using a Dennis Wick S gives a nice sound but is hard work up top. I am now trying to get to grips with a Back 10.5 C which is shallower.

    The main thing is to be patient and practice... After 3 years I'm still rubbish but can get a few more notes now. Even when they are not wanted.

    I wouldn't worry about bottom G so much as I have yet to find many pieces where they are required also that's what the 4 in front of you are for...

    You also have to show it who's boss... don't be shy. Being a quiet/ shy character myself this is what I'm finding hard to over come. I am fine in the practice room but on the stage my a*se falls out my trousers and I'm even more rubbish.

    Although I have found that I drink a lot more after now... so it's not all bad.

    Good Luck.
  8. oldbiker

    oldbiker New Member

    Hi, I played sop from 1978 to 1987 when my range was up to a top c. after a 20 year break I started again last year and now find my limit is G sitting on the stave with the occasional A. This is using my original Dennis Wick 'S' mouthpiece. I don't believe the mouthpiece makes VERY much difference to range but has a big effect on tone and stamina. Keep at it with daily practice (even if it is only 15 mins). Long notes up to E and F will bring your range up. I don't believe in trying to hold long notes above G which only result in rapidly getting tired (and bruised) lips. once you start to find your range improving, your tone will naturally get better as you will not be working as hard.
  9. Heslingtonian

    Heslingtonian New Member

    Hi all,

    I'm looking for a shallower sop mouthpiece as well, anyone know a decent supplier in the Leeds/York area?

  10. I've just got my head round a Bach 1 1/2c which is fairly shallow and easily gets me up to a top b, if I want to go higher I have a Giardinaelli trumpet mouthpiece which just keeps going up, only downside is I can't get in tune with the rest of the band, (or should that be that they can't get in tune with me?) There realy is no substitute for practice and strangely low notes sometimes help more than high ones.
  11. cornetmad

    cornetmad New Member

    Many thanks everyone, you have been really helpful. I think I am going to focus on the regular practice and long notes and then try out a number of mouthpieces when I get the opportunity.
  12. sop@55

    sop@55 Member

    just re-signed up as have new email and instrument! i doubled on sop & Bb last year and read a lot of other sop players comments about the dreaded "mouthpiece" saga. on Bb and flugel i took john hudson's and roger websters advice and played the rw wick 3. the dimensions are the same as the rw3fl (only the outer casing is different because of the size of lead pipe.
    when i moved to principal i had to move onto a rw4 as my stamina was not up to 1st section front row on a 3!
    the point to my story is :-
    a. if one is going to play Eb & Bb to get a head start use the same rim. this is where the warburton comes in. a 5bc (british cornet ) is similar to the rw4 and a 5md then makes a perfect switch for sop.
    b. dump that yamaha unless it is the new xenon. ask any of the top players. it's courtois, shilke, xenon.
    i am considering a 5d but not sure i will have the stamina.
    as you say, practice, practice , practice. chas collins helped me to get up to "c" but not yet for stage or contest ........yet! (i only went full time on sop 2 months ago- at the age of 55!)
    and i find Bb slow melodies very good for tone , stamina & range. (i hear you calling me and swedish hymn transposed are good examples.)
    and i am going to try and start a thread about us sop players selling warburton tops & bottoms to each other cheap.
    good luck. g.
  13. blue juice

    blue juice Member

    I use a Schilke 14A4a. Had to order from america but is great for the high bits and not a bad all rounder either
  14. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

    I started off as a Horn player - then French Horn - but have dabbled in everything from BBb Bass to Piccolo Trumpet.
    The last 20 years I've been playing mainly Trumpet/Cornet and have worked hard at my range and stamina which has improved slowly.
    2 years ago I read and invested in the book and CD - within minutes (I REALLY mean that) I'd added a good four notes to the top of my range. Can now get to double high Cs on a Bb on pretty much any mouthpiece and my range on an Eb is well above high C.
    his method isn't the answer to playing the Sop - I honestly believe Sop players are born not made - but it helped me.
    Knowing that I can get the higher notes has made me so much more confident in the "upper - middle register" and YES playing low notes (Pedal tones) is very much part of the method.
    Regarding mouthpieces - find one that's comfortable and stick with it.... Too much swapping around and you'll blow your mind !!!!
    Good luck...
  15. Jack

    Jack Member

    i use the same mouthpiece for all my instruments... cornet sop and trumpet... i dooo fine...
  16. Foxbummer

    Foxbummer New Member

    everyone's different.. work out what works best for you.

    i have the worst technique, but i seem to do ok with it.

    my sop is held together with elastic bands, and my mouthpiece is a battered old warburton thingy.
  17. daveredhead

    daveredhead Member

    I use same mouthpiece as above which i also bought on line, and find it easier to play top register, lots of sound advice above.!! Some people out there may disagree with me, but i try and avoid all notes below middle G on stave, cos i find the Schilkie goes out of tune in bottom register, i also find my lip goes quicker playing low notes. So my advice stick at it , you will soon get used to the fine instrument, and to use the famous musical expression ""Just Tonk it out ""
  18. jrshimmon

    jrshimmon Member

    I'm new to sop too I've been on it for about 2 months and as I have a limited budget I have begged, borrowed and bargained hard on Ebay for a mouthpieces as I was having no chance on my DW 5B of making a decent fist of it. I have settled (for now) on a Vincent Bach 7E.

    I am finding some of the similar problems as what the 14a4a is presenting to people. I have little flexibility below middle G but this could be I need more practice on the lower register. I do enjoy the 7E, what I find is when you get a note you will spear the thing! Only other major issue is stamina but I think that will come with more practice. I think in quieter stuff where I have to control the volume it can be a bit stuffy so I think I need to find a more appropriate backbore.

    I would really like to try the Schilke 14a4x as I have heard some interesting positive reports. If any one they are willing to part with Please pm me. I think it may have the back bore I am looking for.

    For those of you that read my Rudy Muck Post I gave up on it as the cushioned rim was just too broad for me to have any control at all. I may go back to it though.
  19. sop 1

    sop 1 Member

    as iv said many a time get a Warburton! 7E is far too shallow! 6D12* is wot i ure and its wicked,but everyone is different! :D
  20. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    Mouthpiece Shopping

    I think if you go shopping for mouthpieces you're likely to choose one that feels comfortable, but which will be fairly close to what you already use. I'd suggest that in the long term, you'd be better off buying one that at first may actually feel uncomfortable (i.e. a really large one), and then put in a load of work to be able to use it. When I first bought my Vincent Bach #1 it felt like a bucket and I had poor stamina and range. It feels fine now though, and works really well on the sop.

    I think mouthpieces should not be treated as a short-term solution to a problem, e.g. "Can't play high notes? Get a small mouthpiece." Much better to put in the work. Just my tuppence worth...

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