Trombone mouthpiece

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by brassfanatic, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. brassfanatic

    brassfanatic Member

    I want to switch between euphonium and trombone occasionally, and am looking for a trombone mouthpiece similar to the Wick 4al - this way I won't be flexing the embouchure too much.
    The Wick 4al won't fit the trombone (shank is too wide, plus its a bass trombone mouthpiece) - is there a similar alternative?

  2. cockaigne

    cockaigne Member

    A Wick 4AL should fit a large-bore trombone (it's not a bass trombone mouthpiece, if you've seen some of the buckets they use!) so it sounds like you've a medium or medium-large bore instrument, which will take mouthpieces with a small shank.

    A 6 1/2 AL would be smaller, but of similar playing characteristics and 'feel' on the chops, without being so big as to swamp the instrument on the other end.

    As with all mouthpiece questions, a bit of experimentation is often the best way to find out what works for you. It may be worth hunting around to see if your band has a spare large-bore trombone, which would take your normal mouthpiece - problem solved (and it won't take any more filling than a euph does).

  3. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    What he said.
  4. euphojim

    euphojim Member

    Have you tried a Wick 4AM?
  5. cockaigne

    cockaigne Member

    Ah, now that'd make sense - I didn't know they did one... ;)
  6. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    The Steve Mead Wick euphonium mouthpieces fit into a trombones, my girlfriend used to use her mouthpiece on both instruments while at uni. She plays on a SM 3.5 i think.
  7. BoomtownRath

    BoomtownRath Member

    Wick 4BS (small shank), better still play on a large bore trombone and use your 4AL. Many 1st trombone players use that combo, job sorted!

  8. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Bit of confusion creeping in here! Hopefully this should clear up some points that are looking a little unclear...

    1) Tenor trombones come in differing shank sizes - only ever 'small' (same as a baritone) or 'large' (same as a modern Sovereign euph). Never 'medium', as on an older euph (e.g. Imperial) - a 4AM will not fit any tenor trombone I've ever seen; it'll go in a little, but hang out a mile and spoil intonation. The 4AY goes in a bit further, but still spoils intonation through having too large a shank for the instrument and hence not going in far enough.

    2) A 4AL and an SM3.5 have the same shank size (large). If the 4AL doesn't fit the trombone, then it must have a small shank and so none of the SM euph series (which all have large shanks) will fit this particular instrument either. A 4AS would fit (i.e. a 4AL with a small shank) - except that Wick doesn't make these. I've seen one, made many years back - but neither the owner or the maker had any idea when or how it came to exist! You could ask Wick if they would make one as a special order - I bet they would if you paid them enough.

    3) The designation 6-1/2AL is confusing... To be clear to the OP, this is not a Wick mouthpiece - it's a Vincent Bach sizing - and the L does not mean 'large shank' as it does in Wick designations! (And neither does the A quite imply a deep cup and big backbore, come to that...) You can buy 6-1/2AL VB mouthpieces in both large and small shank versions - and you can also buy its original companion design, the 6-1/2A (which is shallower, a particularly bright mouthpiece) in both large and small shank versions.

    4) I would not consider the VB 6-1/2AL a similar design to the DW 4AL - they're completely different - rim size, cup shape and depth, throat backbore - all from rather different places. I don't find the two designs very comparable at all.

    5) The 4AL is not a suitable bass trombone mouthpiece. It's neither wide enough nor deep enough. The 3AL is also too small for almost everybody as a bass trombone piece. The 2AL is a nice small bass trombone piece, but most people play bigger pieces than both this and the 1AL. The 4AL was designed by Denis Wick to complement the Conn 8H that he played - a large bore tenor trombone.

    I think that addresses all the misconceptions on this thread so far... The choice the OP has is to find either a mouthpiece that matches his instrument, or (as Jack suggested) an instrument that matches his mouthpiece. As a euphonium player, he'll probably find a large bore trombone more to his taste (and also well suited to a Wick 4AL mouthpiece if he has strong chops) than what he has, which is probably a rather small instrument, but if he prefers to look for a mouthpiece that's similar to his euph mouthpiece, the closest available is probably the Wick 4BS - it's a slightly different cup and backbore (more focussed), but has the same rim size and design, so will feel familiar on the face. There are not that many other mouthpiece designs out there that combine a 4 size rim with a small shank and decent cup volume - I know Warburton offer some, for example, but historically it's been an under-represented area.

    Or an alternative (more expensive than a regular mouthpiece, but less expensive than a new trombone):
    These are modular, in 3 pieces - rim, cup, and shank. You could get something like an XT103I or H with both large and small shanks.
  9. BoomtownRath

    BoomtownRath Member

    Well said Dave :clap:

  10. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Hello! <waves>

    Enjoying the new venue?
  11. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    What Dave said!
  12. wagger-g

    wagger-g Member

    Yeah, I'd be inclined to keep the mouthpiece and ditch the trombone in favour of a large bore tenor. The 4AL should work fine for most work but if you need a little more projection the 5AL is a very good tool. Go for the 6AL if you want to strip wallpaper!:)

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