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Thread: Choosing a new mouthpiece - Euphonium

  1. #1

    Choosing a new mouthpiece - Euphonium

    Hi,
    I play the Euphonium for 14 years, since 2005, i am 25 years old.
    A lot of times i saw that players that are less skilled (or worse) can play higher notes then me (even G above the staff is my limit of range most of the time), at last i think it because the mounthpiece i use.
    I used all they year Bach 6.5 AL mounthpiece, and i want to know what mouthpiece i should buy or how can i find what fits me, i exepect the mounth piece to cost at top around 100$ (didn't check prices before but i am a student). I want to know what do you reccomend me.
    Thanks and have a good day.

  2. #2
    Welcome to the forum!

    The first piece of advice is to check with a teacher who plays either trombone or euphonium to make sure your embouchure is set correctly.

    Having said that, if I were to switch from my (larger) Wick 4AL to a 6-1/2 AL my high range would be a lot easier! So the mouthpiece you use is not limiting your high range. For me, the top of my range for a good, solid note is the high F above high Bb on my 4AL. If I put a 6-1/2 in right now I could probably get a good double Bb or C (concert pitch).

    I suspect you can work to improve your range, but don't resort to "tricks" like shifting your embouchure to get higher notes.

    You will need to build BOTH your lip muscles AND your air support to get a really good, dependable high range. You also need to work consistently, just as with any other physical skill. Try using the exercise below for a few weeks and see if you start to see an improvement. What you might expect is for your existing high range to sound better first; then you would try to extend it gradually.

    The exercise is simple but must be done correctly. The crescendo is important, and starting with a good tone and maintaining it to the top of the scale is important.

    http://www.dwerden.com/forum/showthr...and-High-Range
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  3. #3
    I've been doing that exercise that Mr. Werden posted above, and definitely seen improvements.

    Funny thing, I asked the same thing a month or so ago. I too have around 15 years of experience playing (4 years on hiatus in between). I've been using a 6 1/2 AL all those while too on a small shank Euph. More consistent practice & not messing up your embouchure is definitely important. After a few months of practicing to build my high register last year, I've been able to comfortably play the G and A without sounding like a dying duck. Currently working up towards B natural. It took me months,partly because I swapped to a large shank Euph and a new mouthpiece, so I had to start from scratch to get used to it.
    Last edited by ChristianeSparkle; 01-06-2019 at 09:41 PM.
    "Never over complicate things. Accept "bad" days. And always enjoy yourself when playing, love the sound we can make on our instruments (because that's why we all started playing the Euphonium)"

    Euphonium: JP 274 MKII, Yamaha EP100
    Mouthpiece: Denis Wick 5AL,Arnolds & sons 6 1/2 AL-B

  4. #4
    I’m not sure if Doug Elliot posts here, but I recall reading something from him several years ago that was a game changer. If your face fits a larger rim, your high range can be impaired by a smaller mouthpiece. I know that’s the case for me. I can barely squeak out a high Bb with an 11c, but I have an Eb with a Demondrae (1.03” rim)

    Read this thread, then reach out for Doug. He gives lessons over Skype, and could diagnose your issue.

    https://trombonechat.com/viewtopic.php?t=7805

    Don
    Last edited by djwpe; 01-06-2019 at 09:48 PM.

  5. #5
    the horn you play has a lot to do with how easily the high notes can be played. I have always struggled with the high notes with upper B flat being my upper range. As stated above, abdominal tightness and tight embouchure are necessary to get there with any horn. A C-cup mouthpiece will help. I played a Bach 7C for years in a band that played lots of marches with high notes. I found that a shallower cup is more help than a smaller mouthpiece. (ie 7C vs 12C). I just started playing a Wessex Festivo with a Schilke 51D and with a little work, I'm able to get the high notes with a good clean tone. I also have a Bach 12C, and it definitely extends my range but is a far more difficult mouthpiece to dial in.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by AZRuss View Post
    the horn you play has a lot to do with how easily the high notes can be played. I have always struggled with the high notes with upper B flat being my upper range. As stated above, abdominal tightness and tight embouchure are necessary to get there with any horn. A C-cup mouthpiece will help. I played a Bach 7C for years in a band that played lots of marches with high notes. I found that a shallower cup is more help than a smaller mouthpiece. (ie 7C vs 12C). I just started playing a Wessex Festivo with a Schilke 51D and with a little work, I'm able to get the high notes with a good clean tone. I also have a Bach 12C, and it definitely extends my range but is a far more difficult mouthpiece to dial in.
    Actually, Dave did not say anything about tight abs or lips. You need a certain amount of lip strength to keep the lips from blowing apart. But this is a matter of being able to control the lips rather then simply being tight. Tight lips will pinch off the air flow. Likewise he mentioned air support. This means being able to move a lot of air whether you are playing high, low, loud or soft. If you tighten up anything too much, air flow can suffer.

    Mike

  7. #7
    I second talking with Doug. He is extremely knowledgeable about embouchure issues.


    Quote Originally Posted by djwpe View Post
    I’m not sure if Doug Elliot posts here, but I recall reading something from him several years ago that was a game changer. If your face fits a larger rim, your high range can be impaired by a smaller mouthpiece. I know that’s the case for me. I can barely squeak out a high Bb with an 11c, but I have an Eb with a Demondrae (1.03” rim)

    Read this thread, then reach out for Doug. He gives lessons over Skype, and could diagnose your issue.

    https://trombonechat.com/viewtopic.php?t=7805

    Don

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,035
    I was just reminded about a post by Roger Lewis (tuba player) on 'another network' (TubeNet) about ten years ago. He talks about rolling in the bottom lip some so the lip is not as fleshy or firmer. He likens it to a snare drum being struck in the middle of the head vs. the outer edge where it's tighter. The pitch is higher where the head is firmer. Some teachers don't recommend this method but I noticed that I do this when tired and have to play high.

    Here's that thread:

    High Range frustration:
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank


    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    El Cumbanchero (excerpts)
    ; Raphael Hernandez, arr. Iwai from our Swing/Salsa concert 2018
    Video of above: El Cumbanchero:

  9. I recently purchased a Yamaha 321S euphonium that came with a Yamaha 48 mouthpiece. My sound is fine my range is good just developing my low range. My embouchure is fine, etc. I am also a trumpet player switching to euphonium. I noticed that with the Y 48 I have some discomfort with the inner rim. I tried the Bach 6 1/2 AL and the Bach 6 1/2 A. Both seemed more comfortable. Is there a difference? The chart doesn't explain the benefits of either mouthpiece. Do you have an opinion on the difference?

  10. Bach 6 1/2AL and Yamaha 48 are VERY similar in terms of rim diameter and cup depth. I have played both and find them pretty close, but prefer the Bach due to rim shape (as described by you). Note that while I play a Wick 4AL on euphonium, I use a Bach 5G on baritone.
    Sterling Virtuoso 1052HS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HS baritone & Conn 24I/25I euphonium
    New England Brass Band/Metropolitan Wind Symphony
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

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