Horn Mouthpieces.


Get a Denis Wick no.2 straight away. Don't start on a smaller one with the intention of moving up later. Start the way you mean to go on with a DW2. I've been playing on one for 23 years and wouldn't even consider anything else.


Well-Known Member
Something I find a little odd - my Alto Trombone (i.e. at same pitch as Horn) mouthpiece is about twice the size of a DW2, and is comfortable to play over the whole range (top Ds can be absolutely ripping... :wink: ). I've tried Horn mouthpieces, and found all of them highly constricting. My suspicion is that the whole DW Horn mouthpiece range is far too small for the job. Compare for example with Baritone mouthpieces - Horn ones are almost Cornet-sized...

I personally think that a Dennis Wick 2 is by far the best mouthpiece, although as many people have already said a lot of it is down to personal preference.

I think that using a Dennis Wick 2 with give you the best sound ( which is a lot being a horn player ) but using a 3 will optimise your flexibility and make leaps between registers that little bit easier (but this might compromise your sound) I say might because I know a few horn players who can get a wonderful sound off a 3....I certainly wouldnt use a 5 in the long term but with the switch from cornet it might be an ideal mouthpiece to ease you into the intrument!

Is there anything I've said there that hasn't been said already?! :?


Thanks ComeBlowMyHorn, the big change will be after 2night, (im helping ashton band out on cornet). I've got a DW number 3 to start with, i'll see how it goes.
Thanks everybody! :)


Active Member
It is an indictment of the industry and perhaps the attitude to the tenor horn that the only real choice of mouthpiece is Denis Wick 2,3, or 5.
Have anyone heard "Evergreen" on the Grimethorpe CD: "Grimethorpe in Concert?" Sandy Smith just got the deepest sound ever, it almost sounds like a euph.! He must be playing on a DW2 or?


New Member
I'm interested to hear how you do with a #3 cornydevil. I went from Cornet to horn (however I never did practice on the cornet so it wasn't a big change) and I went to a 5 right away. I actually asked for a 3 for Christmas, long story short I got a DW 5.

Anyway, my range was awful so the 5 really helped that. My sound wasn't great to start but I worked on it and eventually got range and sound. At one point I was forced to change to a 3 for the deeper sound, however sneakily continued with the 5. A couple months later I was complimented on how great my sound was coming along with the 3.

Moral of the story; I've used a DW 5 for 10 years and I think my sound is the best part of my playing, so if you work on it, I don't think it matters what mp you use.

Come on, an ignorant comment like "mouthpiece doesn't matter" has got to spark a debate. :wink:


Supporting Member
Accidental said:
I'm on a DW2 as well - its flipping hard work to get the upper register, but worth it in the end!
Well, having said all that, played a no.2 for ever and read everyone else's comments on the subject, I've just bought myself a no.3!! :oops: I was starting to panic about Tristan and feel that shifting down a size may do the trick - even if it is 90% psychological.

I noticed an article about changing mouthpieces for Tristan in the BB (AFTER I'd ordered mine, I hasten to add!). What does everyone else think?


Active Member
Tenor-Steffen-DK said:
Have anyone heard "Evergreen" on the Grimethorpe CD: "Grimethorpe in Concert?" Sandy Smith just got the deepest sound ever, it almost sounds like a euph.! He must be playing on a DW2 or?
yes he uses a 2. He has a fantastic sound


Well-Known Member
Cantonian said:
It is an indictment of the industry and perhaps the attitude to the tenor horn that the only real choice of mouthpiece is Denis Wick 2,3, or 5.

For what it's worth, it may be of some interest to learn that Schilke Music Products do in fact make a standard horn mouthpiece. Although it is described in their catalogue as an "alto horn" mouthpiece, #38D (only one size, apparently) I believe it is in reality what we would call a "tenor" horn piece. The catalogue describes it as "Fairly large in size, the choice of one of the country's greatest alto horn soloists, Brig. Chesham (retired) of the Salvation Army (Chicago)." (more than likely it was actually custom-designed for him). Anyone actually heard of Brig. Chesham BTW?

Of course, this information may well be of only academic interest; being a trumpet player, I know nothing about the relative merits of tenor horn mouthpieces, and I've never seen a Schilke 38D anyway! Additionally, since, with the possible exception of Phil Parker in London, no music shop in the UK is likely to have one, (and instrument dealers are not normally keen on giving out mouthpieces "on approval" in any case), your chances of trying one out are fairly slim, unless you happen to be in the Chicago area!

That said, Schilke have a reputation for producing instruments and mouthpieces of the highest quality; if the horn piece is consistent with the design specs of their trumpet range, it is likely to be a very good mouthpiece in terms of intonation, response and ease of playing, but may well produce a sound which is a little too bright for a traditional brass band. They are also more expensive than DW's, but any horn players with the time, money, and inclination to experiment might be interested.

For everyone else, I apologise for having bored you :)




New Member
A few years ago I had some dental work done, which basically left my lips a bit loose! So, had some air escaping, even when using a number 2 DW, as it just wasnt big enough!
I ordered a Schilke 38 via an American website, and used it for a bit. Yeah, the diameter etc is bigger than the DW2, but the actual aperture/bore is a lot smaller. This meant i could soar away above top c for hours on end, but the sound was basically very very harsh and 'american' throughout the entire register. Sounded similar to the VB alto horn mouthpieces. Great when your lips knackered from marching along for hours on end, and you fancy a go at out blowing the rest of the band...... but I'll be sticking with my good old british DW2, it cant be beaten for sound! All you chaps/chappesses on 3s and 5s, you HAVE to move up on to it! NOTHING ELSE WILL DO! And it means you're a big girls blouse if you dont use one! :lol:


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