Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Thread: Darker Tone Schilke 51D VS. Brighter Tone Bach 6 AL Request for Guidance.

  1. #1

    Post Darker Tone Schilke 51D VS. Brighter Tone Bach 6 AL Request for Guidance.

    I am trying to understand why I have to struggle with my Schilke 51D to hit and hold a center pitch above a concert G. The Bach 6 AL works fine.

    Really like the darker mellow tone of the Schilke however, I have a solo coming up in January and the Bach provides me with that range that is required for the performance.

    My former brass instructor advised me that the back bore on the Schilke might be the issue. It is larger hence the darker tone.
    Vaguely recall reading on the Schilke web site (I think) that the 51D takes a strong player.

    I am doing range building exercises using slow chromatic two octave scales. Then starting the next scale a step up. I do understand that this exercise is not quick fix and it takes time to see results.
    IMHO my ability to use the Schilke in January solo (offertory) is not going to be there.
    I consider myself most fortunate to have an organ / piano accompanist that also plays Tuba and understand about brass instruments.

    Any suggestions are appreciated.

    2009 picked up trupemt after not playing since 1970.
    2015 switched to low brass.
    Many unsolicted comments from band director to choir members and family you should have started with low brass

    Currently play with Energy City New Horizons on the west side of Houston TX.
    Play Euphonium in my home church on occasion.
    Play a five string electric bass just about every Sunday in church.
    Majority of the music is straight out of the church hymnal. Needed the low B string to play in a lot of the hymns.

  2. #2
    Welcome to the forum!

    You may be inferring correctly that with a short time until you need to perform, it could be that you need to switch back to the 6-1/2.

    However, you might give this exercise a try. It is a good long-term exercise, but you may already have much of the foundation you need to make the 51 work. I'd say try this for a week or 10 days using your Schilke. If it doesn't get you comfortable in the high range, then switch back to your 6-1/2.

    It's important to note the core logic of this exercise. A good high range take not just muscle strength, but also a strong and vibrant air supply. The reason you start in the lower range is to get a good tone, which you need to keep striving for as you go up the 2 octaves. You will find that your air support has to increase dramatically in the upper half of these scales. Work to go higher than you can now play comfortably. You MAY find that the range required by your solo starts to work much better.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  3. What Dave said. In addition, if you like the way the 6 1/2 AL plays, but want a darker tone, I use a Wick Ultra SM6U. I find in addition to the slightly deeper cup helping the low range avoid graininess, that it doesn't take any more air, and middle range is good and fluid and the upper range stays secure.

  4. #4
    Thank you both for the prompt response.
    I will put into practice what Dave Werden has suggested.

    Switching back to the 61/2 AL should not be difficult for me.

    It got me through our Cantata "The Glory of Christmas" arranged by Lloyd Larson last Sunday. I was playing the second trombone part. Not high range and very comfortable to play.

    The alternative mouthpiece suggestion is apricated as well. A mouthpiece collection is never complete (humor intended).
    I will take a look at the Wick Ultra SM6U after my solo performance.

    I sincerely appreciate the suggestions gentlemen and will post the results after I play my solo. (mid January 2019)

    Best Regards,

    Art M.

  5. #5
    Update January 8, 2018.
    After trying the exercise using the 51D for the minimum ten days as suggested I have decided to stay with the Bach 6 1/2 AL.
    I continued do my practice sessions with the 51D and the tone was great but my range and pitch centering was simply not there.
    For the record my daily practice sessions typically last for an hour to an hour and a half.
    Since I am playing my church's offertory music in a couple of weeks I opted to go with the 6 1/2 AL.
    I do have solid tone with the 6 1/2 AL albeit brighter sounding.

    Playing "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" arranged by Brant Adams. He like to change keys. It does keep the piece musically interesting.

    Bio on Dr. Brant Adams:

    Thanks for the feed back.

  6. #6
    Update 2/2/19. Played my solo for the offertory on the Bach 6 1/2 AL. Had an un-expected first valve sticking for the first two measures accompanist covered as best as she could. By the time I came back in the valve was working some better. I had two measures before playing again and recalled my brass instructors word " Play with your fingertip not your fingerprints" that worked. Sticky first valve was a worn valve guide. I have since replaced it.

    To prove a point about the Schilke I have been using it as much as possible and after a lot of practice I can hit the higher notes much more consistently. Still not quite ready to make the 51D my full time mouthpiece. The point made by Dave W. to practice with the Schilke was spot on. I simply was not confident enough to use it on my last performance.

    High fives to you guys for the good advice!!

  7. #7
    Hi, I'm new to this fourm posting. I play Kalison compensating Euph. I'm 71 y/o and play in church and community orchestras. I have Schilke 51D and 46D. I use 46 for brighter tone songs, like "Stars & Stripes Forever (which we are playing next month. I do this to sound a bit more "Trombone-like". I find it very "airy" before and during note. I don't have that issue with 51D (my usual mouthpiece. Is it just an embouchure issue, or are there other brighter MP's to try? My horn is large bore.
    Last edited by garyhaakenson; 05-13-2019 at 09:40 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Farmington Hills, MI

    It's rare for euphonium players to switch mouthpieces like this. We tend to stick with one for all pieces as this gives us the euphonium sound we prefer. A 46 would be a small mouthpiece for a euphonium which would certainly give a brighter tone and make it easier to play in the upper octaves. But we play euphonium not trombone and Sousa wrote our parts for euphonium and not trombone for a reason. The conical bore of our horns give us the characteristic euphonium sound.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Hidden Valley, AZ
    Again, I'll say the player concern should be pitch and controllability. Arrange to do the following simple test:

    Have several musically-oriented people listen to you in your playing environment and critique your 'sound'. You'll be surprised what comes of that as to what MP produces the best tamber. We all think ourselves the best judge of how it sounds, and that is not always the case.

    After all, we are playing for their ears, not ours.

    1966 Besson 181 highly modified New Standard
    1918 Hawkes & Son euph 3&1 original
    1915 York Bb tenorhorn original
    2019 Wessex Tornister

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelSchott View Post

    ...A 46 would be a small mouthpiece for a euphonium which would certainly give a brighter tone and make it easier to play in the upper octaves. But we play euphonium not trombone and Sousa wrote our parts for euphonium and not trombone for a reason. The conical bore of our horns give us the characteristic euphonium sound.
    I agree that we should strive for a characteristic euphonium sound, but I think that it is better to be able to hit the high notes and compromise a little on sound than to have a traditional sound but miss a lot of notes! Some folks can't develop the embouchure necessary to support a large mpc, whether it be limited practice time, age, etc. I had transitioned from a 5 to a 4 cup recently, but have some demanding high range performances coming up. I'm going back to the 5 series for those performances for the reason I stated.


Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts