What is the best euphonium mouthpiece to use?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by brassfanatic, Oct 27, 2007.

  1. brassfanatic

    brassfanatic Member

    I currently have a sovereign euph, with a besson g70 mouthpiece. When I play loudly in the high register for a while, my teeth start to hurt. You would think this is from playing it the wrong way, but I dont think it is. It hurts my front teeth, the same way loudly playing a tenor horn mouthpiece does, that deep cup effect.
    Thus, I want to upgrade the mouthpiece, and of course I'll be getting a denis wick (I'm really not interesting in any more of those American ones). But i'm unsure which one to buy, the new Steven Mead mouthpieces, or the old Denis Wick B & H ones?
  2. Blagger

    Blagger Member

    I've tried the SM4 and 3.5 and have gone back to my trusty Dennis wick 4al.
    The mead mouthpices I found to be less "notchy" i.e I felt my sound was less centered.
    You really need to try both types as its all a matter of taste.
    As for your teeth hurting - I would suggest that indicates that you are using too much pressure on the rim of the mouthpice if anything you should have slighlty more pressure on the bottom set of teeth as you top lip is the only one that vibrates of course. Try searching for posts about "buzzing" or similar.
  3. I think the SM mouthpieces are very good but i'm sure it takes a good while to get used to any mouthpiece. If the science behind the mouthpiece is 'good' that doesn't mean when you try it you'll find those benefits. It took about a month for my ombachure to change and adapt, and then I really noticed the difference.
    These mouthpieces are very popular and developed in the right way I believe, so i'd recommend them to anyone.
  4. Bari2

    Bari2 New Member

    I used to play on a 4AL and switched to the SM4. I wouldn't consider going back to the 4AL now.
  5. Maestro

    Maestro Active Member

    All doqwn to personal preference I suppose. For me, I wouldn't use anything else except a Giardinelli (If I started playing properly again that is)
  6. Just to add to this conversation about mouthpieces, what is the difference between Gold and Silver mouthpiece with regards playing? Except the colour of course... haha...
  7. PaddySears

    PaddySears Member

    I would have to say that the best mouthpiece is whatever suits you - and I know that this is a bit of a cop out but it really is the best advice. I've been well known in my band for having a multitude of mouthpieces.... but it really is a case of what suits - I play for the most part on a JK 5 which I've used for trombone for years but my solo euph player convinced me that I needed something bigger on euph and was playing on a SM3 until I moved back to baritone.... :( now I'm trying to get hold of a medium bore SM4..... I do like the big round sound that you get from the SM's - I do find that the standard wicks are a bit "shallow" both in cup and sound for me....

    go and get yourself into a music shop where you can have a try and two or three which interest you and spend some good amount of time trying them (unless you have someone nearby who has them you can try!)


  8. Anonymous_user

    Anonymous_user New Member

    First Euph player ever to get a band degree at Salford - no really ..................zzzzz

    Amazing achievment with only your top lip vibrating!!!

    May be the case if you've had botox...
  9. Blagger

    Blagger Member

    Hmm... try this - buzz without a mouthpiece - press on your bottom lip with your finger and the buzz continues
    touch your top lip - and it stops

    As for being at salford - what has that got to do with it? its only in my signature and i wasn't adding it to try and sound clever :)
  10. Anonymous_user

    Anonymous_user New Member

    :confused: Hmm... I've tried it and the bottom lip doesn't stop.

    I wasn't being sarcastic about Salford - I really do think it's an amazing achievement if your bottom lip doesn't vibrate. Who taught you there?

    As a player and teacher for over 30 years I have never come across this before. I have built up a large collection of method and study books during this time, therefore, can I refer you to the following books all of which mention lips in the plural when talking about embouchure and buzzing:

    "Trombone Technique" (Denis Wick) page 16 "If the lip surfaces are to vibrate..."

    "The Art of Brass Playing" (Philip Farkas) page 5 - 23 The Embouchure's Function

    "The Art of Trombone Playing" (Edward Kleinhammer) page 23"... since the vibrating lips

    "Prelude to Brass Playing" (Rafael Méndez) Chapter 4 Embouchure Training - Preparing the Lips

    "Also Sprach Arnold Jacobs" page 28 (3.2) "In playing, take attention off of the embouchure and on to the fact that the lips must vibrate. They must vibrate, because the horn picks up vibration and amplifies it as sound waves"
    "trained lips will not resist the air, they're trying to vibrate based on thoughts coming from the brain..."

    "The Good Brass Guides" published by Guildhall also mention letting the lips vibrate.

    These are just a few examples, there are many others...

    Sorry mods. Back on topic - go for the Steve Mead - try various sizes for personal preference.

  11. David Mann

    David Mann Member

    I use Bach 4G for trom / euph, although I believe that once you have a good mouthpiece it's more about practice than the particular brand. Better to keep your existing mouthpiece and spend the fifty quid on a consultative lesson or two, then do what the tutor tells you!
    By the way, I also am a top lip only buzzer, having been retaught that way in my 20s. How it was explained to me was rather than two lips "blowing a raspberry" your top lip vibrates in the airstream rather like a flag in the breeze. It enables you to drop your jaw and allows less interruption to the airflow. In fact I was just buzzing with my bottom lip outside a (small!) mouthpiece.
    Obviously I'm not in the same league as the erudite gentlemen referenced by Rosolino, all I can say is that since I changed my note production method I gained much greater pitch and dynamic range, and others said my sound had improved.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2007
  12. Blagger

    Blagger Member

    no offence taken at all - sorry to sound offended - i didnt mean to.
    All I can say is that its probably a weakness on my part - maybe my airflow isnt centered?? I can honestly say that holding a finger on my bottom lip has no effect whatsover on the amount of "buzzing" going on, whereas if I merely touch my top lip it all stops. Maybe I'm unique :) but i doubt it!
    Nicholas Childs taught me BTW.

    Just to get back on topic and please the mods - have you thought of a booster mouthpiece? I've never tried one but other players swear by them
  13. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    I was considering getting part of my Tuba mouthpeice Gold Plated for the Look of it as I had seen one done on Ebay but was warned off it By many players in my Band and was shown many Gold Mouthpeices that the plating had degraded Badly ( they don't seem to look good for long ) so I think I won't bother with the Gold Platting Might be better to stick with Silver as they appear to stand the test of time better
  14. Blagger

    Blagger Member

    didnt read above post either - sorry
  15. agentorange

    agentorange Member

    I would guess that over 90% of UK based Euph playere use a Denis Wick model of some sort, including most of the top players, so i think you are right to choose DW as a starting point.

    I have played on both the SM and the AL ranges in various sizes in the last 20 years or so and have finally settled on the SM3.5 in gold.

    Both models have their plus and minus points - the trick is to find one which you're most comfortable with.

    I find that the SM models give me a rich, dark, heavy tone and plenty of power for the loud stuff. The AL range gives a lighter, brighter tone and are much easier to control when playing in the p - ppp range of dynamics.

    With regards to the gold or silver option, I really don't think it makes any difference. The gold plating is so thin that it doesn't change the physical properties of the mouthpiece enough to be noticable. I chose gold purely for the cosmetic appearance as it matches the gold of my prestige.

    Hope this all helps

  16. Anonymous_user

    Anonymous_user New Member

    Cheers Blagger! :tup

    As I said I've been playing and teaching for some time and I get a bit suspicious of all the new gadgets that come out from time to time to help us get a better this and/or that. A few of the guys I referred to earlier were members of the Chicago SO brass section and they didn't need to resort to gadgets to produce a magical sound. Arnold Jacobs said brass playing is as simple as breathing. A good instrument, a good mouthpiece, a good teacher and solid basics are what IMHO are what's needed. Live with what nature's given you and try to improve it. Don't throw money around on gadgets looking for perfection.

    I once conducted a band where a trombone "player" told me he couldn't get a good low register because his 'bone was set up for high register -interchangeble leadpipes etc. Wish I'd had those - think on all the practice time I could have saved! :rolleyes: Don't know if the band was supposed to have a five minute break so that he could change back and forward depending on the range of his part.

    On the subject of gold vs. silver mouthpieces. I've always played on a Bach silver. The only experience I've had changing mothpieces is with students when they may have had an allergy to either/or. Like so many other things in brass performance I believe this is a personal thing and you should always try before you buy. The most comfortable mouthpiece I've ever used was a wooden one but the sound wasn't right. No it wasn't too wooden before any of the resident comedians get going...

  17. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    I think I speak the truth in saying that whatever works for you, use it. Unfortunately, everybody is different. They have a different way of playing, different mouth shape, lip thinkness, etc. It's all very well to ask for recommendations on a web forum such as this, but at the end of the day, the choice is up to the individual.

    Also be aware, and I mean this with utmost of respect to all users of this forum, that members of theMouthpiece are from all walks of life and differ in experience and ability, therefore, advice should be taken with a large pinch of salt!

    I would suggest you get in touch with a friendly music shop and spend a good couple of hours trying out lots of different types. Go in with your own mouthpiece and instrument and do a good warm-up before you try anything else out. The main thing is to go in with an open mind and be truthful with yourself.

    Best of luck!
  18. agentorange

    agentorange Member

    With respect, your advice to take our advice with a pinch of salt is not helping in any way. Yes, there are people of differing abilities and experience on this forum but when advice is posted from a solo euph in a championship section band, then it can be assumed that they know what they are talking about!!

    Of course its a good idea to visit a shop and try out as many types as posible but, also remember that the shop assistant may have never played euph in their life so their advice would be less valid than anything posted on this forum!

    Anyone can post "try as many as you can and see what's right for you" - that much is obvious, but when a fellow TMPer asks for advice i feel i should be able to pass on my experience without it being called into question.

    The original poster was just looking for a gentle nudge in the right direction, looking for a comparison between the two Wick styles. Hopefully that is something i've been able to help with. Your 'advice' does nothing but state the obvious.
  19. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    I don't doubt your abilities, Agent Orange, I merely pointed out that what works for one, will not work for another and to keep an open mind. Sorry for any offence caused.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2007
  20. Bari2

    Bari2 New Member

    Have you tried the SM4B? I think It's designed specially for the Baritone.

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