Mouthpiece trials can be a dangerous sport! While we don’t suggest wearing a helmet, there are some steps you can take that will protect the sensitive area of your lips and muscles from damage. Follow the steps below and you should be able to walk out of your trial session unscathed and hopefully with a new mouthpiece!
Always begin your mouthpiece trial with the question: What is the best sound I have ever heard – the one I want to sound like?
- Determine what diameter works best for you, and chose a selection of 3-4 mouthpieces that use or are very similar to this diameter.
- Using a familiar scale, start in the middle register of the mouthpiece and then explore the range, both high and low, loud and soft. Do you have to adjust anything to get your best sound?
- Using the same scales, tests the articulation in all registers both loud and soft, legato, staccato, etc. Do you have to adjust to get your best sound?
- Use lip intervallic slurs to focus on the tuning of the mouthpiece. Do you have to adjust to maintain your best sound?
The winning option will be the mouthpiece that encourages your best sound without having to physically adjust anything. Your last task is to try the winner against your current mouthpiece and make sure it still passes the test.
If you need a good place to start, check out these mouthpiece suggestions before you study all the options.