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Mouthpiece Extension from the Leadpipe

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
One aspect of choosing a mouthpiece is often overlooked - the distance it extends out of the end of the leadpipe's receiver. On the euphoniums I have used for example, a Denis Wick or a Bach mouthpiece seems to extend about the correct distance. That is, it seems like what the manufacturer had in mind and compares well to whichever mouthpiece came with the horn.

However, some brands seem designed to stick out further. I believe this is partly because they are made for a trombone receiver. The difference is not great - usually about a quarter inch or so. But it makes a difference in the playing and intonation of the horn. I have noticed this with some Schilke and Doug Elliot mouthpieces, but I believe either brand can be ordered with the correct taper of the mouthpiece shank. It's just that most people don't do so.

In a conversation with Brian Bowman many years ago, he showed me that he had actually shaved his mouthpiece shank down slightly so it would fit in a little further. He said it improved the responsiveness of the Besson he played at the time.

A trombone shank and a euphonium shank may not be the same. If your mouthpiece fits out too far, you can probably get a good repair shop to turn it down a bit on a lathe so it fits better.

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