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Thread: SM3U vs BB1

  1. SM3U vs BB1

    Hello everyone!
    I am currently in a rut right now. My embouchure is a mess and it has costed me an audition so far. and I feel that this is the heart of the issue. Right now, I have a Willson 2900 that about 2 decades old, and i have 2 mouthpieces for it, the ones in the title. I am wondering about 2 things: 1) Is there a spec sheet for the BB1 somewhere? and 2) What or who can help me make a good decision on what mouthpiece to use.

    Any info that may help this senario:
    -I like to use a lot of air when i play, so much so that I find myself having to tone back how much air to make runs and skips possible
    -I used to play a 51D for trombone and euph, but my current mouthpiece for trombone is a 5G but ive been looking to go back to the 51D style of mouthpiecces, and the mouthpiece for euph has been a tossup between the two, but mainly the sm3u

    With those 2 bits of info, I hope this is a little clearer. Any comments and advice is helpful.

    Thank you in advance,
    Amaan D.
    Last edited by Baridude; 08-25-2019 at 05:38 PM.
    Horn
    Wilson 2900/Dennis Wick SM3EU

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Leadwood, MO
    Posts
    526
    Dave's website has some info to compare mouthpieces.

    http://www.dwerden.com/Mouthpieces/trombone.cfm

    Best wishes in your search. I would strongly recommend a teacher if you don't already have one. They can help guide you to the right choice.
    John 3:16

    Yamaha YSL-630 Trombone
    Conn 15I Euphonium
    Mack Brass Euphonium
    Conn Victor 5H Trombone
    Yamaha 354 Trombone
    Mack Brass 200S BBb Tuba

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Baridude View Post
    Hello everyone!
    I am currently in a rut right now. My embouchure is a mess and it has costed me an audition so far. and I feel that this is the heart of the issue. Right now, I have a Willson 2900 that about 2 decades old, and i have 2 mouthpieces for it, the ones in the title. I am wondering about 2 things: 1) Is there a spec sheet for the BB1 somewhere? and 2) What or who can help me make a good decision on what mouthpiece to use.

    Any info that may help this senario:
    -I like to use a lot of air when i play, so much so that I find myself having to tone back how much air to make runs and skips possible
    -I used to play a 51D for trombone and euph, but my current mouthpiece for trombone is a 5G but ive been looking to go back to the 51D style of mouthpiecces, and the mouthpiece for euph has been a tossup between the two, but mainly the sm3u

    With those 2 bits of info, I hope this is a little clearer. Any comments and advice is helpful.

    Thank you in advance,
    Amaan D.
    What do you mean by, "I like to use a lot of air when i play, so much so that I find myself having to tone back how much air to make runs and skips possible"? It sounds like you are just blowing as hard as possible. That definitely isn't good. The airflow should be about efficiency. Once you use enough air to get a good sound, over blowing doesn't help anything. Regarding the mouthpieces, the SM3U is a much wider cup and a much large throat and backbore then a BB1. That is probably going to make you air flow issues worse and be harder to play. Even Steven Mead has backed off from using the SM3 size mouthpiece. Jut stick with a BB1 or 51D and work on the air flow issues.

    Mike

  4. These are two radically different mouthpieces. The SM3U is a wide/deep mouthpiece that is significantly larger in rim diameter (26.4mm) than the 51D (25.55mm). The 51D plays smaller though it has a fairly deep cup. Switching back and forth between these two will surely screw up your embouchure.

    The 51D (or Bowman BB1) on a Willson 2900 is the classic University of North Texas/US Military bands equipment which supports the "American" sound. The Wick SM3U is a very large mouthpiece typical for someone who is a practitioner of the "British" sound. With the 2900, you can get pretty much whatever sound you desire using either of these mouthpieces, but the two that you have represent the "extremes" of professional choices for your horn.

    Since you are already having embouchure problems, it is highly possible that neither of these mouthpieces work well for you. My strongest recommendation is to work with a competent tuba or euphonium teacher to figure out what kind of medium shank mouthpiece will work for you. Do NOT start an unaided random walk through a huge possible selection based on well meaning recommendations from those of us here as we cannot see and hear what kind of problems you are having.

    Where are you located? If you let us know, perhaps we can assist you in finding a good professional teacher?

    Doug Ruby
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    California
    Posts
    15
    What's your ideal sound concept? The more clear and specific you make your goal, the easier it is to play consistently and the embouchure magically tends to straighten itself out with patience. The music game is much more mental than physical. Go back to basics. sing, buzz, play some rochuts; do the arbans scales, intervals, and other simple exercises, as perfectly, honestly and consistently as you can.

    I recently went through an equipment downsize. I found it easier to get to the Jukka myllys, mark Jenkins, Hiram Diaz, Roger Behrend, Brian bowman- esque sounds I am going for. Before I was on an sm3 and I sounded good, but it wouldn't be easy to get my current sound on that equipment. The big quest wasn't for me, i found myself playing less efficiently with a cushiony, cloudy type of sound and the dark quest made me sound dull and uninteresting to listen to. The downsize helped me sound bigger with a more compact, centered, and resonant sound, rather than a woofy, inefficient one. Also the music commands the air, not the air commanding the music.
    The right mouthpiece is the one that makes it easier for you to get the sound that you want, it could be the big or small one.

    good luck,
    Alex S

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