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Joe Franco Double Bass Drumming (DVD)

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:: Guide Index » Accessories » Brass Mouthpieces

Brass Mouthpiece Buyer's Guide

Brass Mouthpiece Breakdown

section #1
featuring

Bach Trumpet Mouthpieces in Silver

A good mouthpiece will offer the brass instrument player good tone, flexibility, projection, and comfort; while helping to develop a better embouchure and more precise technique. Since players vary in lip shape or tooth and bite construction, there are an abundance of mouthpiece variations to choose from.


For students, medium-sized mouthpieces offer the most benefit. As embouchure and abilities develop, brass players might find it more comfortable to switch to a larger or smaller mouthpiece to meet their playing needs.



Parts of the Mouthpiece

section #2

Knowing how the components of a mouthpiece affect the overall tone will help you know how to get the level of comfort, ease of play, and solid tone you want. A mouthpiece consists of the rim, cup, throat, and backbore.

The rim and cup are the most vital components of the brass instrument mouthpiece, forming a bridge between the musician and the instrument. The rim is the main point of contact and must be comfortable and seal against the lips. The seal must still allow the lips to move inside the cup in order to produce correct pitch and a good tone. While important to sound, feel, and performance; the throat and backbore are usually matched to the cup and rim by the manufacturer and are of less concern. A skilled repair technician can change the size of the throat and backbore, but once these alterations are made there is no going back. Most players find that a mouthpiece with a medium cup and rim suits them quite well.

 

Rim

section #2

The rim is the round edge of the mouthpiece that you place your lips against to play the horn, and therefore is one of the most crucial parts to consider. A rim with a fairly flat contour allows nice, even lip pressure for a good air seal and feels very comfortable, but does not give much flexibility. Rounded rim mouthpieces give a lot of flexibility, allowing the lips to move back and forth in the cup, but also require more lip pressure and stronger lips. A brass player without the air volume and embouchure needed will end up pressing too hard against their lips, cutting off circulation and limiting the flexibility gained from using a rounded rim. In this case, a medium-wide rim with a semi-rounded contour and a slightly sharp inner edge is preferred. This rim will provide sufficient surface for easy lip pressure and also give the player the lip movement needed to cover a wide range.

Cup

section #2

The cup is the bowl-shaped area the player blows into inside the rim. Generally, the larger and deeper the cup the darker the tone and more volume it produces. Large cups also require more control, which can quickly tire the player. As the cup gets smaller and shallower the tone brightens, control and response is improved, and less effort is required. Going too shallow can kill volume and flexibility. When choosing cup depth, keep two things in mind - the pitch of the instrument and the individualities of the player, such as embouchure, lung power, and the lip/teeth formation. When selecting cup diameter, go for the largest diameter you can comfortably use without tiring yourself too quickly. The benefits of a wider cup diameter are a more uniform response across all registers and easier lip control resulting in more flexibility.

 

Throat

section #2

The throat is the opening leading out of the cup. Do not expect to see wide variations in throat size or length. The throat's job is to let you push air from the cup and concentrate it into a stream without too much, or too little, back pressure. A larger throat will allow you to blow harder and produce more volume, but it will also require more air pressure from your lungs and make playing soft passages very difficult. A throat that is too small will choke your tone and produce more back pressure than is comfortable. Most manufacturers design the throat to complement the cup and backbore design in order to achieve the optimum tone and projection.

 

Backbore

section #2

The backbore is the chamber that transfers your breath to the horn. The backbore must match the overall design of the other components of the brass instrument mouthpiece with slight alterations possible in order to blow comfortably and provide good intonation. Changes in shape and size can produce a brighter or darker tone, raise or lower volume/projection, and raise or lower pitch. The backbore that has emerged as the preferred choice in all-around performance and tone is not very large or small with a smooth, slightly curved taper from throat to well-rounded, even backbore.

Buy Your Brass Mouthpiece with Confidence from The Woodwind & Brasswind

In choosing a brass instrument mouthpiece, you need to consider your musician's age and skill level, and the kind of use (school band, marching band, orchestral, etc.) to which they will put their instrument. If for school, consulting with the band teacher is a good idea.


Whatever brass mouthpiece you select, The Woodwind & Brasswind's 100% Satisfaction Guarantee means you have 45 days to be sure it's right for you. If it's not, just return it for a full refund.* And neither do you need to worry about paying too much. Our 45-Day Lowest Price Guarantee means that if you find the same mouthpiece advertised for less elsewhere, we'll make up the difference. When you buy a mouthpiece from The Woodwind & Brasswind, you can buy with complete confidence.

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:: Guide Index » Accessories » Brass Mouthpieces

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