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Thread: Feeling sluggish articulation on SM4U

  1. #1

    Feeling sluggish articulation on SM4U

    I've been feeling my articulation can be very sluggish on the 4U and I'm wondering if it may be the mouthpiece. 2 Years ago when I was beginning euphonium I was playing on an old tarnished 4AL, and a few months later when I realized that I'm really picking up euphonium quickly, I bought a 4U. I'm wondering if the X or XR has better response? I really love the tone of the U series but I had much better articulation on the AL.

    Thanks!
    Wessex Dolce Euphonium - SM4U
    Jupiter JSL 740 Bass Trombone

    Practice often, Practice well!

    Dom

  2. #2
    Well, THAT is interesting! For a while I switched from a 4AL to an SM4U (I assume that is what you mean). The 4U gave me better articulation! In theory, according to the Bach mouthpiece manual, a sharper inner rim should give you better articulation. I found the 4U did feel sharper - in fact that is what took the most getting used to when I switched to it. Does it feel like a sharper rim to you?
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
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  3. #3
    That's really peculiar! It's been a while, and I was still quite a beginner when I switched so it may just be me misremembering. I'll definitely seek out a 4AL (since it was borrowed from my school) and test it out again.

    I'm actually not sure of the rim feel on the 4AL, again it's been a while, but I noticed (back then) that my double and triple tonguing was immensely better on the 4AL, enough that I was worried I made a mistake buying a new mouthpiece. I found I could just "let my tongue go" more on the 4AL.

    I am actually starting private lessons with a new teacher quite soon and he is a DW artist. I might be able to try out some other DW mouthpieces he may have in his collection!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Dom View Post
    I've been feeling my articulation can be very sluggish on the 4U and I'm wondering if it may be the mouthpiece. 2 Years ago when I was beginning euphonium I was playing on an old tarnished 4AL, and a few months later when I realized that I'm really picking up euphonium quickly, I bought a 4U. I'm wondering if the X or XR has better response? I really love the tone of the U series but I had much better articulation on the AL.

    Thanks!
    I would say that the mouthpiece does not have a response. Rather, you have a response o the mouthpiece. The 4U is quite a bit deeper than the standard Wick 4 and the X series mouthpieces. Perhaps the extra depth is causing you to having more tension that is slowing you down.

    Mike

  5. #5
    Dom,

    I used to use a DW 3AL as it felt right and I really liked the sound I could produce but I found my articulation wasn’t as crisp as I would have liked. On a 4AL I didn’t like the sound as much but my articulation was good. I now use a DW SM3 Ultra which gives the sound of the 3AL and articulation of the 4AL. I’m surprised that you found the Ultra made your articulation sluggish. Everyone is different and it might just be that the SM4 Ultra just isn’t suited to you.
    Wessex EP100 Dolce, Denis Wick SM3 Ultra mouthpiece.

  6. #6
    I know what you mean, the 4U I have feels "duller" than the 4AL when it comes to articulations but the singing sound is amazing. I think the 4X feels a bit better articulation wise but is worse (for me) singing than either the 4AL or 4U.
    Adams E3 0.6 with SS Bell
    K&G 3.5D
    ---------------------------------
    Founder and Solo Euphonium
    San Francisco Brass Band

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