Testing mouthpieces

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Jack, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. Jack

    Jack Member

    I'm wondering if there is a shop preferrably in the North west that will let me try mouthpieces and have a decent number in stock. I'm looking for a trumpet/cornet/soprano mouthpiece. The one im looking at is either a vincent bach 3E/3F for use on soprano cornet, im current playing on a vincent bach 2 1/2 c (like on my trumpet, i play on a DW 4b on my cornet) and looking to try something a bit shallower to aid my range and endurance. These in theory should do the job but i want to try one before I buy just incase it completely ruins my sound.

    So is there any shops that I can try mouthpieces at preferrably in the North West?
  2. Blagger

    Blagger Member

    Try messaging John North at Music Cellar (preston)
    He's "euphonium_john" on here
  3. cockaigne

    cockaigne Member

    Try-before-you-buy is sensible, but it takes many hours of practise to become fully familiar with a new mouthpiece; it may improve things only temporarily.

    I don't know how long you've been looking to change your playing, and how you have gone about this so far, so forgive me if I'm speaking out of turn. However I do find it hard not to be a little concerned at the number of players who appear to believe that a change of mouthpiece should be their first resort in seeking to improve their sound/range etc. Breathing first, chops second, then see if the kit you're blowing down needs any changes - just a general thought...
  4. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Good post Cockaigne above ^^

    You could always end up with my problem; I use a Vincent Bach 5GS. Or rather, that's what it says on the side! The problem is that it must have been a Friday afternoon one as it's neither a 5G or a 5GS in comparison to lot of others. I've never seen or played on one that's the same as this one, which makes it very difficult to replace!
  5. cockaigne

    cockaigne Member

    Thanks Duncan.

    Whether a mouthpiece is unique or not (intentionally or otherwise!) what it says on the side is ultimately for those who make and sell them - what actually works depends very much on the player and their individual set-up (as above).

    I once did a gig alongside another player who happened to be using the exact same mouthpiece and instrument as me, save for a few years between manufacture and consequently a different brass mix in the bell. He said his only complaint with the mouthpiece was the rasping tone it gave him in the low register - I didn't say anything...
  6. Jack

    Jack Member

    i have tried all of these things, all of which have helped improve my sound to what it is now which i am happy with and also got my range useable in all registers, and i have also used several different methods to help my endurance, ive tried every single method i have heard about and my trumpet and cornet playing range and endurance is fine but the sop struggles and i suspect this is simply because im trying to use the same mouthpiece for trumpet and sop which means its not specific enough to aid the upper register as it has to work in the lower register as well for trumpet. Also every soprano player i have talked to all play on much smaller mouthpieces than me so i think im just trying to play on a mouthpiece which is much too large for for the soprano cornet so i want to try a few different mouthpieces to see if they work for me
  7. cockaigne

    cockaigne Member

    Sounds sensible - it'd good that you've got some recommendations in mind to try out, though as you're carrying on doubling I'd suggest you start by trying those mouthpieces which are most similar to your normal set-up, rather than making a big step-change.

    All best,

  8. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    And that's a problem how? :)
  9. sop 1

    sop 1 Member

    What are u using on sop?
    The Bach 3E/3F are VERY VERY shallow!!!,and the sound out of them are not that nice tbh,yea ul get the high notes but quiet playing on them are useless.
    I know everyone is different but these mouthpieces are more suited for piccolo.
  10. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    As demonstrated by my tinnitus......;)
  11. Jack

    Jack Member

    i currently play on a 2 1/2 c and as the c is the only cup size for 2 1/2 i thought i would try a 3 as its very similar. I have no idea how shallow the e/f are other than that they are shallower than the c
  12. sop 1

    sop 1 Member

    MMmmmmm tricky one :confused:
    U just need to find a shop that will let u try one like u said.
    Mouthpieces are a very personal thing,i did have a 1E knocking around here for some reason, and they are VERY shallow,alot shallower than a C cup.
    i play on a Warburton 6XD12* which is the deepest u can get,but it works fine for me LOL :biggrin:
  13. cockaigne

    cockaigne Member

    I don't think it was the mouthpiece's fault! ;)
  14. GordonH

    GordonH Member

    Soprano is not easy to find a mouthpiece for because most corent mouthpieces are not designed with that in mind. I played soprano many years ago in 1st section and briefly and rather terrifyingly in championship. I spent ages trying to get a mouthpiece that would work well and there was very little choice back then.

    However if you want some basic advice forget using range as a determining factor. Concentrate on intonation and "pitch centre" throughtout the range. By this I mean find a mouthpiece that sounds like a soprano cornet and does not go wildly flat or wildly sharp as you play into the upper register. This effect will vary from player to player so a mothpiece that might work for someone else might not work for you. If you find one that stays well in tune and sounds good then the range should come with practice provided its not something silly like a Wick 2 ;).

    My usual advice about getting the resistance right also counts here.

    Oh and something off the wall you might want to try is a Bach 5MV. Its one of the few V shaped cornet mouthpieces they make and you hardly see them in music shops. I have one with a Monette 4 rim on it that I use if I ever have to play soprano. Of course it might not suit you, but its worth a blow if you can find one without having to pay. Its a medium V shaped cup but quite a tight throat. Also worth rooting through some old cornet mouthpieces from the old days as they can often be shallower V shapes than modern ones.
  15. Bryan_sop

    Bryan_sop Active Member

    Am I the only person that thinks that it takes more than a try to figure out if you like a mouthpiece? I spent ages figuring out that a VB 1.5c was the best for me. I tried slightly smaller and slightly bigger, but it was the one for me.

    For playing sop, contrary to popular belief, smaller isn't better. I spent years on a Wick 's' and then my teacher at uni made me play a much bigger VB 1.5. I had the same range but much bigger. I've ventured bigger and smaller but I use the same for all of my playing, be it sop, big band, picc, sop or Bb cornet. You should always go as big as you can manage.
  16. GordonH

    GordonH Member

    This will depend on the size of aperture your embouchure has. If you play with a very small aperture then a larger mouthpiece is unlikely to give a particularly good tone or be the most efficient set up. I used to play with a big aperture and was a Bach 1 or 1.5 and Wick 2 player but after I changed my set up I was more suited to smaller mouthpieces (in the 3c to 7c or Wick 3/4 area).

    Large mouthpieces can encourage spreading of the embouchure if you are not very disciplined about keeping the aperture small. This happened to me when I went through a few years of not doing as much playing.
  17. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    It must be said though that the sop sounds that I have most admired live (and had a chance to check the mouthpiece choices used with!) have come from what are thought of as big mouthpieces - respectively a Bach 1 and a bored-out Bach 1. Both players were extremely reliable and if necessary powerful in the far upper register.

    The soft machine is more flexible than the hard machine - one can adjust to a bigger mouthpiece if one puts in the practise time...
  18. GordonH

    GordonH Member

    It depends on your physiology. That may be true for a player with a very open aperture, but its a bit like recommending the same size of shoes for all runners. There are a lot of factor involved and everyones set up is not the same. Whatever choice is made, the best choice will always be one that favour efficiency.
  19. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    My point was that putting in the practise time will allow you to adjust your aperture... It's not like you're saying that your bone structure (i.e. teeth/jaw) force a certain choice, it's only about musculature and habit.
  20. GordonH

    GordonH Member

    Possibly, but having gone through a change of set up myself its not something that can be done without a break from playing. I spent three months sounding like I did when I was a beginner, and that was with the guidance of a very good teacher. It was six months before I could perform again.

    There are physiological issues like thickness of lips and overbite (which can mean you are blowing into the bottom of the cup rather than through the middle).

    Big mouthpieces can work in an orchestral situation where you are playing less, but in a band there is a risk of developing an "inflamation embouchure" that only allows the lips to vibrate properly when they are inflamed. This is quite a common problem, the symptoms of which are inability to play throughout the range without a very prolonged warm up and lack of control at low dynamics.

    There is no right or wrong answer to this but I would warn against large mouthpieces as the norm and by large I mean anything bigger than a Bach 3C type rim (which is still pretty big by anyones measurement).

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