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Thread: Baritone mouthpiece

  1. #1
    tMP Master Friend Mrs Fruity's Avatar
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    Baritone mouthpiece

    Can anyone tell me (before I buy one) will Vincent Bach 350 22 trombone mouthpiece fit a baritone?
    Digeridoos are fab and have you tried a thunderstick?

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    Do what I did when I started playing again. Buy secondhand ones of eBay and try them. You can put then back on there and get your money back. Although I have kept a few. I've finished up with a VB 350 nr 3 the largest one they make. It's suits my ugly chops

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    tMP Senior Friend pbirch's Avatar
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    I would suggest that you try a mouthpiece specifically designed for the baritone, Denis Wick has 2 designs the Steven Mead and the Ultra ranges, and Alliance have baritone mouthpieces. They all fit modern instruments and are probably preferable to trombone mouthpieces, unless you have a particular reason for wanting a Bach mouthpiece.

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    Good advise to look at the ones aimed at the instrument.
    However, I have two SM and one ultra mouthpiece now gathering dust. The alliance that came with my instrument was sold after about a month of use.
    The SM and the Ultra may work a dream on the chops of Steven Mead and other greats of the Baritone blowing family. (Yes I am aware of certain players who have been given them to 'road test' indefinately). But alas on my chops they dont. The ultra is the closest yet to the VB put makes my bugle play so sharp at C# and Eb. Its always going to be me. So I accept my mediocre playing. However, these notes are in tune (well so, so close) with my VB. So I'll soldier on with it. However, I will always look at the new MP's when they hit the market.
    An ex conductor of a band I occassionaly play with was a baritone player of note and always commented on the use of VB when I turn up even if he did may possibly have had input into the Alliance range.
    So I agree, but try everything around.

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    tMP Friend for Life Accidental's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs Fruity View Post
    Can anyone tell me (before I buy one) will Vincent Bach 350 22 trombone mouthpiece fit a baritone?
    I think so, yes. Any small shank (tenor) trombone mouthpiece should fit a baritone - if I understand the model ranges right (big if?!) then all of the 350 range will fit tenor trom/baritone.

    I'm interested by your choice though - its a very small mouthpiece for a baritone and the VB Manual suggests its suitable for a tenor horn!
    Even if you've used and liked one before in a different instrument, don't assume it will work well for you in a baritone. What do you play on at the moment, and what are you wanting to change/improve by changing mouthpiece?

    There's some good advice from the other posters about trying different pieces out before you buy anything, and fwiw, I've just moved from a bog standard Wick 6BS to a SM5Ultra and I love it.
    Alex
    my posts are my views only, I am not speaking for my band or any other organisation

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    I think all 350 series VB's are small shank and should fit your baritone whether older small bore or the new larger bore (about a mil larger I think)

    I think like, Alex said, most people will play with a MP around the 3 to 6 size. not too sure about the science but generally the larger the number the smaller the Mouthpiece is in bore, cup etc. so I guess a no. 22 maybe like blowing down a Macdonalds Straw?

    Ask some trombone players as they always seem to have drawer loads of MP's at home. Maybe its a trombone hoarding thing?

  7. #7
    tMP Senior Friend pbirch's Avatar
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    A couple of things - the baritone horn in the US is not the same instrument you get in the UK and the VB recommendations may reflect this.
    I think the baritone is a difficult instrument, players come to it from the trombone, the euphonium or the tenor horn ( and would rather be playing them than the baritone). And I think this is the source of the mouthpiece problem, is the instrument a big tenor horn, a small euphonium or an upright trombone?
    A mouthpiece that suits one player will not work for another, a mouthpiece that gives a bright sound on a trombone will not give the same result on a baritone, and the baritone will never have the big sound of a euphonium. This is why I suggested trying a mouthpiece designed for the baritone

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    Your correct! To quote, 'the Baritone, the love child of the british brass band movement'.

    The US bartone is mostly used differently. Mainly pointing forwards (like a cornet on steriods) and used in marching bands which also includes some slick footwork! Forget the mouthpiece you need a totally new body for that and mindset. I recently wondered at four marching baritones in a US marching band in California. So loud as well the cornets in front must have tinitus?

    But here in Blighty its strange that a lot of arrangments the 1st plays along with the the Euphoniums and the 2nd gets to play with the 3rd cornets and/or 2nd trombone! sometimes three horns and two baritones get to make a sonorious sound!

    Look to europe where the Baritone is the standard instrument in the omph pah bands. Not only that but they are made left hand drive and rotary valve. 3 or 4 valve and mostly not even compensated. probably to keep the weight down when stepping out in yer Lederhosen?

    I know few trombone players who have 'converted' to Baritone. But several euphonium players who have.

    As Accidental will confirm you need all your playing experience to play either baritone part to Devil and the Deep blue sea. No hiding place there I'm afraid.

  9. #9
    tMP Friend for Life Accidental's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pbirch View Post
    I think the baritone is a difficult instrument, players come to it from the trombone, the euphonium or the tenor horn (and would rather be playing them than the baritone).
    Generalise much?!!!! I think you might be surprised how many of us actually want to be on baritone rather than anything else.
    And I think this is the source of the mouthpiece problem, is the instrument a big tenor horn, a small euphonium or an upright trombone?
    The clue is in the name - baritone horn. Imho there's nothing worse than baritones (or tenor horns) sounding too much like trombones, and the euphonium is a completely different beast.

    I do agree about baritone vs. trombone mouthpieces though, up to a point - I don't have a problem with the VB and 'classic' Wick ranges being for either/or, but generally I think baritones need bigger/deeper mouthpieces than tenor troms and I do think the two SM ranges for baritone are an improvement.
    Alex
    my posts are my views only, I am not speaking for my band or any other organisation

  10. #10
    tMP Posting Freak!!! MoominDave's Avatar
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    If I were designing a baritone mouthpiece from scratch... Well, I'd firstly differentiate between my ideal 1st baritone and 2nd baritone mouthpiece. For 1st, I'd want a decent cup depth, but quite a narrow diameter - sized like a Wick 6 or a VB 6-1/2 most probably. For 2nd, I'd want to upsize the diameter to something more like a Wick or VB 4 rimsize, with a little more cup depth, but not too much. In Doug Elliott terms, something like an ST100G3 maybe for 1st and LT102H4 maybe for 2nd.
    I don't find when doubling that I agree with the idea that baritone mouthpieces need to be bigger or deeper than tenor trombone mouthpieces - at least large bore tenor trombone mouthpieces, anyway (large bore tenors being all that you will find in most brass bands) - I like a Wick 4AL on large bore tenor, and something similar for 2nd baritone (albeit with a small shank), but prefer a VB 5G for 1st baritone.

    Re the original post, I'd hesitate before using a VB 22 in a baritone in a brass band. It's going to be difficult to create a sound that people expect to hear using such a narrow shallow piece. Is the reason that Mrs Fruity is thinking of transferring down from horn? If it's just a quick fix for a single gig, maybe it's the best solution in such a circumstance, but for a long-term solution, I reckon you'd be better off acclimatising to something bigger.

    pbirch - the VB recommendations don't deal with any specifics of baritonia or euphonia; the terms are only mentioned in the heading to the catalogue. Plenty of good players use VB mouthpieces on baritone with no ill-effects!
    Dave Taylor
    Bass Trombone
    Kidlington

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    tMP Senior Friend pbirch's Avatar
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    OK, I'll own up to the generalisation, I never enjoyed playing the baritone when I had to, and it only goes to increase my appreciation of those who do like it and who also make a really good job of playing it. it was in the days before the Steven Mead mouthpieces and I did play the baritone with a VB mouthpiece (also with no ill effects )

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    Strange that in the states when you go into a brass shop the MP display contains loads of local make sand generally unheard of MP's. The best thing I tried was a Loud LM something or other. All from medical grade stainless steel. Im back there Xmas so might bring one home if it's still that good. All the staff are great and one said if you really what to improve your playing here is a list, about six, of local mp makers who will measure your chops and produce a MP to suit you.
    He knew very few local players who used VB or wicks etc. Is that the larger American Market vs British make do here is an instrument and MP to play it with?
    If you can find it on the net read about the stan Kenton mellophonium sections search for MP that made the things play in tune! Oh to be a pro player

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    tMP Master Friend Mrs Fruity's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the help and advice, everyone. I'm a horn player at present (although I was a very successful baritone player 25 years ago) and am thinking about moving back-I currently have a baritone and can still fill it, but I'm using a 4BS which just isn't comfortable across the range- I'd never have chosen it when I was a baritone player, it's just the one which was with the instrument. Although I know nothing replaces practice, I'd just like an intermediary helping hand with a smaller mouthpiece. I can manage the intonation problems (I think! Always could but getting older!) I hate my Denis Wick horn mouthpiece and thought I'd go back to a Bach. (no pun intended )
    Digeridoos are fab and have you tried a thunderstick?

  14. #14
    tMP Posting Freak!!! MoominDave's Avatar
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    Our former 1st bari used to use a Wick 9BS - quite a nice smaller baritone mouthpiece - the 4BS is wide and not very deep - would make a baritone bark! The VB 6-1/2A or 6-1/2AL are both broadly similar to the Wick 6BS. Confusingly, the L on the end doesn't mean 'large shank', as per the Wick designations, but means it has a bigger throat - both 6-1/2A and 6-1/2AL are available in both small and large shanks. I'd be somewhat surprised if you wanted to go any smaller than a VB 6-1/2A, and very surprised if you wanted to go smaller than a VB 12. I'd avoid the C cup models as too shallow personally.

    [Ignore what VB says about euphoniums in the description of the 6-1/2AL in his manual (linked above in Alex's post) - he was writing in the 1930s, and euphoniums have changed since then!]
    Dave Taylor
    Bass Trombone
    Kidlington

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    tMP Friend in Training debsjg's Avatar
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    I play 1st Bari and been experimenting with mouthpieces (expensive job) I always used SM6, tried the ultra lovely sound but never felt secure in the top register,the vb 61/2 didn't like, now trying a 7 alliance quite like it. Its trial and error but I now have a lot of mouthpieces I don't use!!
    Debs

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