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Selecting Brass Mouthpieces


Selecting Brass Mouthpieces

In my time as a musician, I have heard the question, "What mouthpiece will let me hit the high notes?".  The short answer to this is any of them as long as you are practicing. Mouthpiece selection can be tricky and having a knowledgeable person to assist a young player through this process is very important.

First, not every player is the same. As humans, we all have the same anatomy, but we have different shapes. Teeth, lips and tongues are all shaped differently. So the mouthpiece that may be great for one person may not work at all for the next.

First, the rim of the mouthpiece should be comfortable on the players face. The rim shape, width and diameter are very important and if these items are not comfortable, then endurance is affected.

The second item to look at is cup depth. This is a big factor in determining the sound that is produced through the horn. If the cup is too shallow, the play player will have a very bright and sometimes harsh sound. It my be difficult for a player to blend with the section. If the cup is too deep, the player may find it difficult to project his or her sound and endourance may suffer. A deep cup will produce a darker sound though.

The last thing to think about is, how does the mouthpiece respond with the horn? This is probably the most difficult area for a player to feel. Does the horn feel right? How is the sound? If the mouthpiece "balances" with the instrument, then usually the sound is much better.

After selecting the right mouthpiece, practice is the key. A player will not develop a good sound without it.

If you need help with selecting a new mouthpiece, visit our experts and let us assist you in improving your sound.