Denis Wick Cornet Mouthpieces - 2B vs 4B

davidf

New Member
My son plays 1st cornet in a 4th section band. His band cornet came with a 2B mouthpiece but I was wondering if he might be better suited with something like a 4B. He finds a G 1.5 octaves above middle C is about as high as he can comfortably go, and I wondered if a 4B might make it a bit easier to get slightly higher. I know more practise would be likely to help, but with A levels and Grade 8 piano in progress the cornet is most often played at band rehearsals and a little bit during the week, and I'm interested in seeing if a slightly different mouthpiece might help.
 

Tom-King

Well-Known Member
My son plays 1st cornet in a 4th section band. His band cornet came with a 2B mouthpiece but I was wondering if he might be better suited with something like a 4B. He finds a G 1.5 octaves above middle C is about as high as he can comfortably go, and I wondered if a 4B might make it a bit easier to get slightly higher. I know more practise would be likely to help, but with A levels and Grade 8 piano in progress the cornet is most often played at band rehearsals and a little bit during the week, and I'm interested in seeing if a slightly different mouthpiece might help.

Honestly.... It won't make that much difference.

A bit narrower might help with endurance (unless his lips are huge, it probably will) but it's not going to give him range.

Heck, a so-called screamer mouthpiece doesn't give you range either, it just makes it project more and helps you tire less playing up there for extended periods.

Proper, constructive practice really is the way, as you suspect.
 

2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
What Tom said above if watered down for weaker players like myself.

I can’t speak for Cornets but I’ve played other Brass Instruments for quite a few years and perhaps that experience helpfully overlaps.

Smaller mouthpieces can help you gain a pitch or possibly two but the price for that is reduced tone. At one point I struggled to go beyond G above the stave but now it’s not really an issue to pop out top C’s. What happened? Years of lip building practise happened; occasionally I’d spend ten minutes using a slightly smaller mouthpiece to reach the next note up and then revert to the standard one and then find that it would now reach it too.

The best thing for the OP’s son to do is to just play what he’s comfortable with and let the range extension take care of itself over time - think at least many months, maybe years and slow change. Range extension will happen but in my experience there’s no silver bullet - lots of folk selling wonder cures but it’s pretty much all snake oil.
 
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Tom-King

Well-Known Member
The best thing for the OP’s son to do is to just play what he’s comfortable with and let the range extension take care of itself over time

Indeed - and remember that front row cornet is a team game...
Third and fourth man down is about providing power and giving the top two a break where possible - if it's high, they'll have to cover it (plus possibly/probably sop).

Yes, keep practicing range, but if you're down the line especially, you can contribute plenty before you've built it fully.
 

Tom-King

Well-Known Member
Range extension will happen but in my experience there’s no silver bullet - lots of folk selling wonder cures but it’s pretty much all snake oil.

Up to a point, yes.

There's plenty of people selling methods that don't really work, or that result in range capping out at a certain point (on a really, really good day I've been known to hit double C on sop, not to boast but to make the point that I'm not talking from a position of ignorance on this) - it all comes down to proper chop coordination and air, incorrect gear won't help but if it's sensible it's all about practicing correctly... It absolutely won't come overnight, but for most people it will as long as you're doing it properly.
 

Vegasbound

Active Member
Is your son a high placement or low placement, upstream or downstream player?

studying with a teacher? Well designed practice routine?

without seeing or hearing. All you will get is well intentioned/ biased advice

from your post you have answered the main problem, he needs to practice correctly, I doubt he has achieved grade 8 standard on the piano without weekly lessons with a very good experienced piano teacher, to improve his playing on the cornet to the fullest he must approach brass playing in the same way

so could a mouthpiece change help, yes it could or it could make it worse depending on your son’s natural chop set up, so imho wait until he has passed his grade 8 piano, then arrange a couple of lessons with a good pro player or experienced teacher and get his practice routine established, and to see what bad habits he has developed and go from there!
 

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