Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: SMUltraX cup depth: Baritone use?

  1. SMUltraX cup depth: Baritone use?

    Hi, I’m a euph player who has a cheap JP 4 valve (non compensating) euph but with a gold SM4U mouthpiece that I like playing, especially because I feel my tone is okay on it.

    Have changed seats in the brass band to first baritone and am playing on an old Sterling model (like a Besson Soverign). I’ve been using an SM6 as a “starter baritone mouthpiece” but find the tone is far less pleasant, obviously some of this is me getting used to the instrument, but in the 1st Bari parts there’s a lot of above-stave playing and I just don’t think I can make such a nice sound even though the baritone horn is a better quality compensating one. I want to sound better and do intend to practice, this isn’t just a quick fix!

    I’m thinking about getting a larger cup, and was looking at the Baritone SM4UX.... but if it has a shallower cup, will that make the tone less full? the lower number is larger cup diameter, right?

    does anyone have experience of whether the tone richness is compromised in the baritone SM4uX?
    I really like the gold euph SM4U (no issues with the rim) and could just buy an identical smaller SM4U for the bari, but am
    intrigued by whether the X model would give me a better play time while still letting me build up my tone. is deeper always better?

    thanks!

  2. #2
    'Is deeper always better?' Flat-out answer: No. A mouthpiece needs to compliment both the player and the horn. It has to be deep and wide enough to give comfort and a nice sound, but go too deep (and wide) and the sound will get tubby or out of character for a specific type of instrument, and it will be much more tiring to play. It can also cause tuning issues.

    I would suggest to go to a shop to try out different types of mouthpieces from different brands as well, like Bach and Yamaha to see what works for you and the horn.
    Personally I don't have any experience with the SM baritone mouthpieces so I can't help you there, sadly.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    California
    Posts
    11
    I concur. With a switch to baritone, you've got to get that sound in your head. Going for euph equipment and trying to sound like Steven Mead or even yourself playing euph, but with a baritone is going to be a challenge and a waste of a lovely instrument. The baritone should have a less full, but more direct tone. I would find out what most really good players use and try that out, or the size 4 rim but in the more shallow cup. I personally like rim size changes to signal to my face that I'm playing different instruments and have to change sound concepts, A lot of players don't and use the same rim size with varying depths. Trying to play with a euphonium level of fullness and depth to the sound on a baritone is 1 challenging and 2 voids the reason for them to be two separate instruments with separate parts and purposes in orchestration. If you get a great baritone sound in your head things will work themselves out.
    Good luck,
    Alex S.

  4. #4
    Get the right size rim to fit your face, but baritone mouthpieces shouldn't be too deep. In my opinion, the SM-series baritone mouthpieces are deeper than they should be and lead to a sound that's dark but too broad. I believe they are intended for euphonium players who play baritone. Of course, we all respond to different equipment in different ways and it might work for some...

    With baritone, it's all in the technique. Warm, slow air flow. No pressure, very relaxed embouchure. It's a whole different approach than euphonium or trombone. I recently had a conversation with Katrina Marzella Wheeler, who I believe is one of the finest players ever of the instrument, on the baritone sound. She thinks of the baritone as just as dark as euphonium, but more woody or reedy and certainly lighter.

    I really like AlexS's sugestions!
    --
    Barry

  5. #5
    Katrina Marzella is certainly (one of) the go-to example(s) for a great baritone sound concept.

    And thanks Barry for the description of the technique needed for a baritone; I myself have been wondering how to go about it since switching to baritone myself a couple of months ago. I've been finding myself struggling with the technique a lot trying to get a decent sound, so this should definitely help!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    California
    Posts
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by bbocaner View Post
    With baritone, it's all in the technique. Warm, slow air flow. No pressure, very relaxed embouchure. It's a whole different approach than euphonium or trombone. I recently had a conversation with Katrina Marzella Wheeler, who I believe is one of the finest players ever of the instrument, on the baritone sound. She thinks of the baritone as just as dark as euphonium, but more woody or reedy and certainly lighter.
    If that's the way you view the baritone technique, how view the euphonium embouchure and technique? It's very similar to how I would describe Euph; at least embouchure, pressure, and (sometimes) airflow. Also, Holy cow is her sound lovely.

    Alex S.

  7. #7
    Isn't it? Yes, you have a really good point - I would just say that baritone has to be more of all that than euphonium. Compared to baritone, euphonium is very forgiving. Baritone takes a lot of care to sound good.
    --
    Barry

  8. ooh, thank you for the advice, that’s given me lots of things to work with (and not necessarily rushing onto a new mouthpiece, from what you’ve all said!) I shall definitely check out some online info and look at performances by Katrina Marzella Wheeler to try to “get” the type of sound to aim for.

    I think you’re all very astute to point out that what I think may sound “nice” may not be what
    others want to be hearing. I’m relatively inexperienced in brass banding but what’s already clear is that there are a million ways to progress things. I reckon I’m going to give the existing SM6 a few months to see if I can get “into” it, and then go somewhere to demo a few different brands/depths/sizes, and go from there. If I feel the need to empty my pockets sooner I may try an SM4UX, but I’m not as keen to do that after all your advice! thank you for saving me an impulse purchase

    out of interest, Barry, how can you tell what the “right” size for your face is? I’m sure there is variability between adults, just like shoe size, in facial bone structure, but I’ve played at basic-band-entry-level over the years everything from pocket trumpet to Eb bass, so being “able” to play the notes can be done with a variety of mouthpiece/ up sizes.... but how do you define “right”, is it a question of comfort? there only seems to be fractions of a millimetre between various rim and cup diameters, is the difference psychological, or is there some way to scientifically tell.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by bbocaner View Post
    Isn't it? Yes, you have a really good point - I would just say that baritone has to be more of all that than euphonium. Compared to baritone, euphonium is very forgiving. Baritone takes a lot of care to sound good.
    Agreed. I have to pay much more attention to my airflow, air support, breathing, aperture, embouchure etc when playing baritone compared to when playing euph. When one of those things is not done well you hear it immediately on a baritone. Too much air? You'll overblow the instrument. Embouchure too tight? Sound is noticably worse. Even slurs can sound atrocious on a baritone when I don't pay attention.
    On the other hand, after playing baritone for a couple of days, playing euph goes so much smoother because I'm more conscious of all of those things.
    Willson 2960TA Celebration
    1979 Boosey & Hawkes Sovereign (Globe Stamp)
    Mouthpiece: Denis Wick 5AL

  10. As you can see from my signature I play the same (deep) Giddings Kadja on Euph and Baritone. I often switch between both instruments without thinking about differences. My embochoure/airflow adjusts automatically in a second. I really love the sound I get with the rather big MP on the baritone and I love the sound with the same now on the smaller side MP on Euphonium. Within a week of practice many of us can get adjusted to any MP-diameter and cup size. I´d say, try to find out what rim-shape and -diameter feels comfortable and suitable for your lips. Then choose a cup-depth/shape that gives you the desired sound and then stick to it. The rest is practice. Embouchure- and range are very similar on Baritone and Euphonium. And the change from a Miraphone 5050 to e.g. a Yamaha 321 feels on my face to be a bigger step than the change between Yamaha 642 Euph to 831 Bar. But thats probably because I am used to it.
    **********************************
    Sterling Virtuoso / Giddings Kadja
    Yamaha 642 II / Giddings Kadja
    Yamaha YBH 831S / Giddings Kadja S
    Yamaha Flügelhorn 631GS / DW2FL

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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