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Thread: Festivo mouthpiece

  1. #1

    Festivo mouthpiece

    I've had mine a couple of weeks and the more I play it the more I like it. I'm using a king 5G mouthpiece and as a long time tuba player, it's like playing into a thimble. I find myself yearning for more mouthpiece...

    How large do you think can I go?

    I've considered trying a 4G but I'm not sure a 4Gs are alike.... I looked hard at one and was almost ready to pull the trigger when I hit on some comments that it was different than the usual version.

  2. #2
    Glad it's going well! A 4G is fine, but you might try the more common Wick 4AL. It's used quite a bit by euphonium players (including me) and it has a little larger feel than the 4G.

    Here is a very decent buy on a 4AL with gold rim:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Denis-Wick-...h/272526960530
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  3. #3
    thank you Dave... i looked at the 4AL's... what's the model described as heavy. is that like the megatone? is there really any benefit in those?

  4. #4
    Santa is bringing one. Thank you for the information.

  5. #5
    i've not played much since the Christmas programs finished and we're getting started again. i am noticing that i play sharp with the 4AL. the 5G is right on the dot. i imagine it's the increase in size, i've seen students do that when they're moved to larger instruments, for a while.

    for rehearsals, to save my ears (and everyone else's) i switch back to the 5G, but i like the sound i get with the 4AL in the low register... if it want, i can make the bass trombones jealous now :-)

    i doubt there's a silver bullet, but do you recommend anything that might speed the process? i've switched tuba mouthpieces often and i have noticed differences for a while, but not like this.

  6. #6
    I think the 4AL's openness makes it easier to blow sharp, especially when you are "enthused." But I have not noticed it being inherently sharper than a 5G.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    I think the 4AL's openness makes it easier to blow sharp, especially when you are "enthused." But I have not noticed it being inherently sharper than a 5G.
    "ENTHUSED" ;-) i like that...i use the word excited... i tell my conductors, oh sorry, i got excited... i'll have to remember that one.

    tha's probably it, i do have a tendency to get "enthused" being primarily a tuba person. i have to consciously hold myself back. soooo, i'll keep working on it and eventually it will come down.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by mbrown View Post
    "ENTHUSED" ;-) i like that...i use the word excited... i tell my conductors, oh sorry, i got excited... i'll have to remember that one.

    tha's probably it, i do have a tendency to get "enthused" being primarily a tuba person. i have to consciously hold myself back. soooo, i'll keep working on it and eventually it will come down.
    Someday I'll write a blog post or article about using a tuner. Part of that will be musical-context tuning. For example, my first go at assessing intonation is with steady notes. Usually I start by pushing them sharp and flat repeatedly, and the focusing in on the place where I feel the horn is most resonant. I do that with my eyes closed and then check the tuner. That's where I start when I development my tuning charts.

    But that is not how we play! We play music, and sustained notes are approached directly, from above, and from below. They can be found in soft, medium, and loud passages.

    So in euphonium literature, let's look at the upper F concert. It is traditionally sharp. Watch videos of David Childs or Steven Mead and you'll see them trigger-out for a sustained F. (But not all horns have triggers.)

    Some horn/mouthpiece combinations are easier to push up/down than others. Suppose you have a note that is 12 cents sharp. On a typical horn, you can learn to lip that down or use an alternate fingering to help (or a trigger, of course). You learn to let your chops pull the note down by X amount of effort, or use a finger of X, or push your trigger out by X mm. On a high F, for me at least, context can affect the X-factor. Warning: But some horns may really lock in on certain pitches, and you may find a 12-cent sharpness that simply does not want to move.

    Consider the wonderful solo in the first movement of the Holst Second Suite. There are a few sustained F's. In that solo, X was about what I had to do for success, and it was pretty easy to accomplish because of the volume and context.

    I remember being comfortable with X several years ago, but then I played a new piece. It had a lot of playing in the upper and mid-upper range with very little rest. The last note, during a diminuendo, is that same F. Despite increasing my X factor, I simply could not bring it down in that context. My chops were just too tight by then. So I wimped out and used 4th valve on that note, which is virtually the only time I did so on the horn I was using then. (When fresh I could play the F at the same dynamic with the normal X factor.)

    For reasons such as I described, it's handy to run a tuner while you practice and take a look at random times to see where you are sitting.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

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