Sop Players Hear my cry:(


Active Member
To all the amazingly amazing sop players that grace this wonderful world,

Does anyone have the answer to a decent mouthpiece, i have trouble with my lip and is currently playing on a shilke MP,
Does anyone else have this problem???
Maybe you can recomend something, anyone???
Just i need something that i can get my higher range on you know:)
Bexy(Ickle Sop)


Staff member
I know a sop player who swore by his Rudy Muck..
Resulting sound was a bit thin, but the notes were there..


New Member
sop mouthpieces

I play on a warburton using a SV mouthpipe with a MD shank I find this to give an all round sound and comfort for high register range. But its always comes down to choice and how your teeth and emboucher are formed
:? :? :?


Active Member
I also use a Warburton (though I might try out the Sparx) but I use a 6D with a 7* shank (still playing around with the shank since I have been given an S9 and S8).

I used to use a Wick trumpet mouthiece with my old Soveriegn :eek: but since aqcuiring a Schilke I needed a cornet mouthpiece and a friend gave me a set of cups and shanks for dirt cheap price.

Best thing to do is take a day down to a shop try a few out and see if you can persuade them to "lend" you one for a couple of rehearsals (or borrow one from freinds). I found a BIG difference between simply practising with a new mouthpiece and using it in anger, you find out how well it suits you when you're lips gone and the top C ppp looms up!



sop mouthpiece

:) i am currently using a Bach 17c. i find it very good for range and very reasonable for tonal quality.


tMP Founder
Staff member

Can I ask you please to reduce the size of your avatar - it's toooo big... :? This has an effect on several things such as layout of the page foe ALL users, time to download the page for ALL users - your avatar file alone is in ecxess of 38KB....

I or Fishsta will be happy to do this for you if you like.... how about I take a copy of your avatar, reduce the size, and put a copy of this in the avatars directory for you eh...? This OK...?


... take it if you like it - upload to your homepage then use it to link to ... let me know :D


EDIT: I have done it for you...
I played sop for 19 years on a Salvation Army "Eesy-lyp"...still have it in fact......I found it terrific whilst I played sop.....don't know if they make them now though :lol:


Re: sop mouthpiece

AJSOP said:
:) i am currently using a Bach 17c. i find it very good for range and very reasonable for tonal quality.

I play a Dennis Wick S, its specially for Soprano. I find it good.


Active Member
You should play on a mouthpiece that you feel comfortable with, and you get a nice sound out of. with regard to high notes, you should try to use your diaphragm as much as possible. try practicing in your pedal notes, making sure you use your diaphragm to push the air through, and then try to play in the same way above the stave etc.


Supporting Member
I also used to play on a dennis wick s and had no probs, in fact i loiked it that much that when i moved back on to Bb i couldnt find anything else i liked to play on!!


Mouthpieces small and big...

SOP players are always having a difficult time finding the right mpc.
Some say play a large diameter / some say small. Many say get a shallow mpc but not at the expense of tone. Here's some more thoughts.. :lol:

Bottoming out...

Basically the resistance in a smaller / shallower mpc is greater than a bigger / deeper mpc, thereby allowing a level of soundwave feedback to the lip, closing the aperture a little, and enabling the higher harmonics to speak. With a mpc that is deeper, the cup is further away from the lip and therefore there is less feedback.

Small mpc players generally use large bore horns to compensate for the initial blow resistance.

Large mpc players use medium bore horns to compensate for the lack of initial blow resistance.

So often your mpc choice dictates what type of SOP you will end up going for.

eg. if you use a deeper mpc than most then you can use the schilke sop without sounding too thin...and vice versa. You get the idea? :wink:

Continually arguing about whether a Besson is better than a Schilke [please insert your favourites here] is pointless and irrelevant, as often style/mpc/delivery of air/breakfast items have'nt been considered or taken into the equation so as to make an 'accurate' comparison!

As that great icon of the trumpet world "7 of 9" once stated: "Resistance is futile!"

I'm afraid I beg to differ - "Resisting resistance is futile!" would be more accurate.

"Resistance" - we all use/need it, it's just where you decide to introduce it into your game.

At the lips / mpc / leadpipe or INST. bore etc..

People often complain of bottoming out on a shallow mpc, this is where a lip curl plays it's part, and, for the high range player who has a suitable lip curl [in conjunction with other aspects] bottoming out happens a lot less and hopefully not at all when the corner muscles become strong enough that they allow the soft lip centre to do it's [their] job of riding the airstream unhindered by mpc pressure. When experimenting with mpc's, make little changes after long periods of time for maximum results!!

You may notice as your range increases through efficient practice [increased lip vibrations] that you feel the need for smaller and smaller mpc diameters. Using smaller diameters also helps in using less corner tension than a bigger mpc, as the smaller diameter provides more support for the corners. People do worry about losing sound quality and of course it is encumbent upon the player NOT to sacrifice tone, however as you become more and more profficient at producing a very focussed airstream plus a really focussed buzz for the upper register the lip vibrating in the mouthpiece needs different mpc requirements.

Some people when making the transition from a big mpc to a smaller one find the notes cutting off as they go higher. The mistake they make is that normally on their big mpc they are used to going higher by making the aperture smaller by degrees as they ascend, of course on a smaller mpc they do the same thing and end up closing to aperture too soon, cutting off the air and shutting down the aperture totally.

In reality the most efficient way to change your pitch is by increased air speed. To play an octave higher our lip vibrations have to double in speed to the starting point of vibration. For our lips to vibrate at double the speed we have to move the air twice as fast. Not the amount or mass though.

This is where the blowing the candle trick comes in...or out as may be applicable : ) -- Hold a candle out in front of you and blow it out, [Jacoby] now move it farther and farther away.

You will need to blow faster air to blow the candle out each time. Not more, but faster.

The airstream becomes more focussed like a laser beam and this should be done by rolling the tongue slightly forward and raising it, making the oral cavity slightly smaller.

This is how you need to project the air for your higher notes. They are not higher up but farther away from the end of the bell of the horn. When on the horn the slight raising of the tongue should be only used as your concealed secret weapon as you reach the topmost part of your range. You need to use the syllable AAAAA [as opposed to the usual EEEEE] for as long [high] in your register as possible. The tongue is only a little boost for the air, kind of like a skateboard going at speed on the level but when it hits that ramp - Woweee!!. Remember the air and your projection of it using the abs is still ALL important. Increase that abdominal strength to enable you to blow out candles miles away! :eek:

REMEMBER - If you are using a shallow mpc for SOP playing make sure that you can also control it in the lower registers too...not all SOP parts just scream out high notes so finding one which will only allow you to play really high is pointless.

You should be able to play ALL of your range, both high and low on ALL of your mpc's. THIS DOES'NT MEAN YOU SHOULD SOUND EXACTLY THE SAME ON ALL YOUR MPC'S! although it is possible to blow a mpc against the style to which it was designed for but what's the point in that?

It's like driving an ecomomy car at full whack up the freeway at 95mph!!! --it'll do it for a while but it was'nt designed for it. It's also like playing screaming high solos on Flugel - stupid!



If your going to make a change either way, proceed with small incremental changes and try to avoid making big changes to equipment which can lead directly to bad habits forming! The correct mpc will help you to gain the right sound for the style in which you are playing, however try to avoid [using as your norm] extreme mpc's. This will help you avoid extreme lip problems! And just in case anyone still wonders about this "old chestnut" - mpc placement, put it where it's most comfortable and sounds good, but always be aware that the more you stray away from 50/50 center the more POSSIBLE problems you MAY encounter.

Did he say to place the mpc 50/50 center? ---NO! .. put it where it's most comfortable and sounds good, but always be aware...

......your physiology may preclude the use of extreme sizes of mpc's as also may the quality [vibratory] of the lip tissue that 'your' God gave 'you'! :lol:


Active Member
Great post Roddy.

Wow, as my wife said "All that over a lump of metal" :D , I usually follow the school of thought that good air and strong lips make range, I've only changed mouthpieces once in my years of playing and it wasn't pleasant!, I use the same mouthpiece for both Bb and Eb work, the range isn't the best in the world but the tone is good. My problem is opening up the throat which has a nasty tendancy to close up. If your happy with the mouthpiece but not the range examine whats not working and why before plunging down the wrong mouthpiece route. Every time I try a new mouthpeice I usually end up back on the old one, it's like wearing the wrong shoes.

Just my personal opinion from experience. Happy hunting.
I agree Steve. You may be seeking a new mouthpiece when in fact you don't need one. I had a bee in my bonnet before the nationals about mouthpieces. Tried a few and settled back on my Schilke 9C4 (?). In my case it was something in my head that was stopping me playing well (mental stuff!).

I went back to basics, i.e how do I approach playing a phrase. Making sure I am not putting too much pressure on my embouchure, instead keep the air flowing and support with the diaphragm.

It is very much a personal thing though. You can maybe get hold of a few mouthpieces ( have a massive range of mouthpieces which also explain what they do). and try them, but make sure you're not getting wound up about your playing because this will have a profound effect on what comes out of your sop.

Good luck.


I've just got a new Schilke 10B4 mpc, and that's fine for me.
I had been using a Bach 1.5C, but I'd continually developed and ended up with it sounding too trumpety when I played loud.

So now I have 2! When I play pieces that are for trumpet and on my Bb, I use the Bach. Other times, I use the Schilke.

The good thing about the Schilke mpc is that they are 'cushoined' and far more comfortable than others I've tried.


I changed my 'gob iron' back in May as I was having difficulty with stamina. As a result I changed from a VB 7C to a Phil Parker 2. Has a lot thicker rim, is of a nice depth and makes an ok sound. But as we all know, each to their own!


Hepworth Band
The right blow.

Treid loads, still can't beat the old S by Denis Wick, one size fits and all that (not always ;o) ...)

If all else fails then next best thing is a 10 1/2 CW by Vincent Bach, completely different I know, but great for range but great if you want volume and tone on pieces like Procession to the Minster...

Still, it all depends on who you take advice from.

Product tMP members are discussing