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Thread: New Mercer & Barker Euphonium Mouthpiece!

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by BrandonJones View Post
    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the message. I'm more than happy to clarify. First of all, the mouthpiece with Terry and Ivan are phenomenal, and at the time in my playing life were exactly what I was looking for and needed. Mouthpieces in general, just like shoes, are very personal to people. No one mouthpiece will do everything you need for everyone, regardless of how it is marketed. With that said, my primary full-time job now is playing principal in the USAF concert band. I have a variety of responsibilities in that role. Soloist, jack-of-all-trades ensemble player, etc. I also am now on the Shires euphoniums as of about 3 or so years ago, and mouthpieces sound different on different instruments. When I was on the Adams, I wasn't the principal player and was doing more brass band playing. The Adams with Ivan's piece was very accommodating in brass band. They worked extremely well together. I'm also getting older and I don't want to feel like I have to work as hard to play better, if that makes sense. I've long loved the sound that the Schilke 51D and BB1 give for the American wind band euphonium player... but I've heavily disliked various things about each. So, MB was able to get EXACTLY what I wanted. Even on the other pieces, its as in the context of what was already available in terms of rim contours/exact specs/etc. This was made from the ground up with the EXACT specs that I wanted for MY playing and comfort. I have had students test these as well as a few others and the results are truly incredible. There are MANY mouthpieces these days that are truly amazing in terms of consistency and how they are crafted. So, for me, this mouthpiece IS exactly the best mouthpiece I've ever played for ME. No marketing BS. I am not doing this for money, haha! This is genuinely to help my playing become better and easier with my full-time job being what it is. We were able to create what we did and I'm excited for other people to have an alternative to those mouthpieces now. I've already stated what I love about this mouthpiece in particular, so no need to re-hash that. Again, thanks for the opportunity to clarify why this one works the best for me.
    Please clarify why you cannot use a “soloist” mouthpiece for ensemble work, and why it is now impossible to do so, when a lot of truly world class players have managed to do so for a very long time, seemingly without issue. Cheers!
    Adams E2 0.80 Yellow Brass, Satin Lacquer, Blue Abalone Buttons
    AR Resonance M Top / L Backbore Gold Plated Phosphor Bronze

  2. #22
    Seems pretty clear to me that Brandon likes a slightly shallower piece for solo work, and a slightly larger piece for ensemble work. They had to be called something.

    No one is saying you can’t use either one for whatever you darn well please. They are named for the application for which they were designed.

    It “ain’t rocket surgery”.

    Quote Originally Posted by Magikarp View Post
    Please clarify why you cannot use a “soloist” mouthpiece for ensemble work, and why it is now impossible to do so, when a lot of truly world class players have managed to do so for a very long time, seemingly without issue. Cheers!
    Mike Taylor

    Illinois Brass Band

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Dumfries, VA (Potomac Shores)
    Posts
    312
    Hi Magikarp,

    Your message seems a bit “harsh”, but I’ll try to answer as best I can. I don’t recall saying using a “soloist” mouthpiece can’t be done in a band or “impossible” as you say. I’m not quite sure where you read me saying those things. At any rate, as I said in my message, mouthpieces are personal for different players. Even the great Steven Mead has had several iterations of his line as he has moved through his career. He now is playing on a shallower and more rounded cup. Also, one must keep in mind that while I might love playing big and free on a larger mouthpiece, that sound and concept doesn’t fit into the scope of my job as a wind band euphonium player. When I’m in front of a group as a soloist, I find a shallower cup easier to soar over the group (something I don’t want to do sitting IN the band) and easier to play louder without sacrificing endurance. Again, these are what works for me. No one is saying anyone has to play anything. If a “soloist” mouthpiece works for you in a band setting, go for it. The guys at MB decided to call the shallower one the “solo” model. I use them for the exact situations I mentioned.

    Mike, thanks for the response.
    Brandon Jones
    Principal Euphonium - The United States Air Force Band, Washington, D.C.
    Principal/Solo Euphonium - Brass of the Potomac
    S. E. Shires Artist & Clinician
    Mercer & Barker Signature Artist
    bmjones82@gmail.com

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by BrandonJones View Post
    Hi Magikarp,
    Your message seems a bit “harsh”, but I’ll try to answer as best I can.
    Magikarp: I was struck by that myself. Please remember that when we type a message, sometimes the words can seem more pointed than we intend, especially in short messages.

    Having said that, it was nice that Brandon had a chance to offer more perspective.

    Certainly it's true that any of us may not "get along" with a particular mouthpiece that may be widely used. I used a 4AL for a long time (now I'm using a DC4). I tried the popular 51D-style mouthpieces a few times and did not feel they were what I wanted. That is how I usually phrased my opinion, but I suppose I could have said that I could not work with one of those. Then there is Brian Bowman, who liked that mouthpiece, and (I assume) didn't think the 4AL was right for him. For many years, both Brian and I were principal euphonium and soloist with a military band (wind band).

    Our choice of mouthpiece (and horn) is made to support they way each of us wants to sound and the way each combination supports us in that effort.
    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

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by BrandonJones View Post
    Hi Magikarp,

    Your message seems a bit “harsh”, but I’ll try to answer as best I can. I don’t recall saying using a “soloist” mouthpiece can’t be done in a band or “impossible” as you say. I’m not quite sure where you read me saying those things. At any rate, as I said in my message, mouthpieces are personal for different players. Even the great Steven Mead has had several iterations of his line as he has moved through his career. He now is playing on a shallower and more rounded cup. Also, one must keep in mind that while I might love playing big and free on a larger mouthpiece, that sound and concept doesn’t fit into the scope of my job as a wind band euphonium player. When I’m in front of a group as a soloist, I find a shallower cup easier to soar over the group (something I don’t want to do sitting IN the band) and easier to play louder without sacrificing endurance. Again, these are what works for me. No one is saying anyone has to play anything. If a “soloist” mouthpiece works for you in a band setting, go for it. The guys at MB decided to call the shallower one the “solo” model. I use them for the exact situations I mentioned.

    Mike, thanks for the response.
    It's ok to admit that you really do want to soar over the band at all times.

    Mike

  6. Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post

    Certainly it's true that any of us may not "get along" with a particular mouthpiece that may be widely used. I used a 4AL for a long time (now I'm using a DC4). I tried the popular 51D-style mouthpieces a few times and did not feel they were what I wanted. That is how I usually phrased my opinion, but I suppose I could have said that I could not work with one of those. Then there is Brian Bowman, who liked that mouthpiece, and (I assume) didn't think the 4AL was right for him. For many years, both Brian and I were principal euphonium and soloist with a military band (wind band).

    Our choice of mouthpiece (and horn) is made to support they way each of us wants to sound and the way each combination supports us in that effort.
    I love that explanation! I feel as a college student, I’ve rotated through mouthpieces as I’ve learned from different professors. My 2 undergrad professors had 2 different ideas on euphonium sound (albeit they were trombone players). However, now that I’m moving on towards a masters degree in music, I’ve found myself wanting to find something that fits the sound I personally want. Especially taking my former teacher’s recommendations in account for finding the “perfect” mouthpiece.
    Adams E1 Gold Brass Bell and SS Leadpipe
    Undergrad at Angelo State
    Future TA at University of Oklahoma

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Dumfries, VA (Potomac Shores)
    Posts
    312
    Haha! You found the REAL truth…! :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by mbrooke View Post
    It's ok to admit that you really do want to soar over the band at all times.

    Mike
    Brandon Jones
    Principal Euphonium - The United States Air Force Band, Washington, D.C.
    Principal/Solo Euphonium - Brass of the Potomac
    S. E. Shires Artist & Clinician
    Mercer & Barker Signature Artist
    bmjones82@gmail.com

  8. #28
    My apologies, I have misread what you were saying about “one mouthpiece” (example 4AL) being suitable for everyone, rather than one mouthpiece being suitable for all work. I totally agree about one generic type of mouthpiece not being suitable for all gobs - no brass band euphonium player I know would even countenance anything as small as a 51D, although thankfully the willy-waving over who was using a 0AL or 1.5G has died down.
    Last edited by Magikarp; 06-05-2022 at 01:17 AM.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Dumfries, VA (Potomac Shores)
    Posts
    312
    No worries. It happens. I absolutely am not saying one mouthpiece is suitable for everyone, rather to those who currently play a 51D-sized mouthpiece I would absolutely recommend trying this one. Thanks for taking the time to reply, and again, no worries.

    Quote Originally Posted by Magikarp View Post
    My apologies, I have misread what you were saying about “one mouthpiece” (example 4AL) being suitable for everyone, rather than one mouthpiece being suitable for all work. I totally agree about one generic type of mouthpiece not being suitable for all gobs - no brass band euphonium player I know would even countenance anything as small as a 51D, although thankfully the willy-waving over who was using a 0AL or 1.5G has died down.
    Brandon Jones
    Principal Euphonium - The United States Air Force Band, Washington, D.C.
    Principal/Solo Euphonium - Brass of the Potomac
    S. E. Shires Artist & Clinician
    Mercer & Barker Signature Artist
    bmjones82@gmail.com

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by mbrooke View Post
    It's ok to admit that you really do want to soar over the band at all times.

    Mike
    The best piece of advice I was ever given was always plays as loud as you can get away with. We're not tenor horn or baritone horn players, after all.
    Adams E2 0.80 Yellow Brass, Satin Lacquer, Blue Abalone Buttons
    AR Resonance M Top / L Backbore Gold Plated Phosphor Bronze

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