Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: SM4 Mouthpiece

  1. #1

    Unhappy SM4 Mouthpiece

    I have a SM4 mouthpiece that I'm using with my Besson euphonium. I really love the sound I get and it's easy to work with... except. High notes.

    I've been struggling to get used to the mouthpiece and find support for my upper register (not terribly high either, well-used notes like F and G above the staff)

    I threw in my old 6-1/2 AL just to see the difference and the high notes are pretty easily reached, but I hate the narrow/thin sound of the 6-1/2 overall, it lacks depth, not to mention the diameter of the rim just doesn't suit me.

    I'm trying to figure out, what does the 6-1/2 have that the SM4 doesn't regarding high notes? I tried to compare them on the mouthpiece chart but I feel like it really isn't helping me to narrow down the EXACT problem I'm having with the SM4.

    Can anyone help me out?

    I'm so weary of this mouthpiece safari, and don't even get me started on try-before-you-buy mouthpieces because this is Canada and we don't have that luxury. Instead, we have "buy-and-hope-you-can-return-it-without-significant-shipping-fees".
    "Thig crioch air an saoghal, ach mairidh gaol is cel."
    "The end (of the world) will come, but love and music live forever."

    Besson New Standard (3v-comp 1978) w/SM4

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by ametropia View Post
    I have a SM4 mouthpiece that I'm using with my Besson euphonium. I really love the sound I get and it's easy to work with... except. High notes.

    I've been struggling to get used to the mouthpiece and find support for my upper register (not terribly high either, well-used notes like F and G above the staff)

    I threw in my old 6-1/2 AL just to see the difference and the high notes are pretty easily reached, but I hate the narrow/thin sound of the 6-1/2 overall, it lacks depth, not to mention the diameter of the rim just doesn't suit me.

    I'm trying to figure out, what does the 6-1/2 have that the SM4 doesn't regarding high notes? I tried to compare them on the mouthpiece chart but I feel like it really isn't helping me to narrow down the EXACT problem I'm having with the SM4.

    Can anyone help me out?

    I'm so weary of this mouthpiece safari, and don't even get me started on try-before-you-buy mouthpieces because this is Canada and we don't have that luxury. Instead, we have "buy-and-hope-you-can-return-it-without-significant-shipping-fees".
    The rim diameter, cup depth, throat and backbore of the 6 1/2 AL are all significantly smaller than those of the SM4. That means that it way take awhile before you adjust. Take things slow and work in a range where you can produce a nice full sound and slowly build up from there.

    Mike

  3. #3
    The 6-1/2 will give you an easier high range. I played one many years ago, but was not happy with the sound. There is no magic answer here. A larger mouthpiece will give you a better sound, but it will make the high range more difficult. My own quest took me to a Bach 5G for a few years - better sound, OK high range. Then I went to a Wick 4BL ("B" indicates a more shallow cup, which helps high range, but brightens the sound a bit). Finally I got comfortable with a 4AL.

    An SM4 can give you a solid high range, but you have to build the chops to get there. Try the exercises in the post below. Give it a month and see if your high notes start to get easier & more dependable:

    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

  4. #4
    Thank you
    "Thig crioch air an saoghal, ach mairidh gaol is cel."
    "The end (of the world) will come, but love and music live forever."

    Besson New Standard (3v-comp 1978) w/SM4

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    NYC metro area
    Posts
    315
    Quote Originally Posted by ametropia View Post
    I have a SM4 mouthpiece that I'm using with my Besson euphonium. I really love the sound I get and it's easy to work with... except. High notes.

    I've been struggling to get used to the mouthpiece and find support for my upper register (not terribly high either, well-used notes like F and G above the staff)

    I threw in my old 6-1/2 AL just to see the difference and the high notes are pretty easily reached, but I hate the narrow/thin sound of the 6-1/2 overall, it lacks depth, not to mention the diameter of the rim just doesn't suit me.[snip].
    Consider the Schilke 51D or the Bowman BB1 - slightly larger rim than the 6.5AL and significantly deeper cup.
    Dean L. Surkin
    Mack Brass MACK-EU1150S, BB1, Kadja, and DE 101XTG9 mouthpieces
    Bach 36B trombone; pBone; Vincent Bach (from 1971) 6.5AL mouthpiece
    Steinway 1902 Model A, restored by AC Pianocraft in 1988; Kawai MP8, Yamaha KX-76
    See my avatar: Jazz (the black cockapoo) and Delilah (the cavapoo puppy) keep me company while practicing

  6. #6
    Since the second half of July I've slowly been changing from my 5AL and 4AL to an SM4 as well, and I have to say... so far, I really like it. It has a similar cup depth to my 5AL, so it's not like I'm blowing into a soup bowl like I had with the SM4U I tried, I like the rim because of the combination of width and profile (not quite as sharp as either the Classics or the Ultra, and the same width as a 4AL which is good for me), along with the 'thickness' (as in, the distance before the ledge starts from which the cup starts tapering down) which is much thinner compared to the rim of the Classic mouthpieces, which means it's slightly more responsive in a certain way.

    Overall I really like the feel of it, both physically on my face and how it plays - backpressure feels good in all registers while it also slightly opens the lower register, high register is still comparable to when I play with a Classic mpc, with the difference being that the notes center a little bit easier and are a bit easier to hold on to.

    I can't REALLY compare the sound yet because I've only practised with it in my bedroom which is... not the biggest xD. In a couple of weeks band rehearsals will start again so I can compare the sound of the SM4 to my 5AL. I've also only been able to practise like one to one and a half hour every week because work has been long and kicking my ass so stamina will come eventually, but so far I'm positive about it.
    Willson 2960TA Celebration
    1979 Boosey & Hawkes Sovereign (Globe Stamp)
    Mouthpiece: Denis Wick 5AL

  7. Hi ametropia, I sent you a private message.

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
  •