Over the last month we conducted a surey of how many different mouthpieces one musician might use. Do you use the same mouthpiece on everything you play, or do you have multiple different mouthpieces to accomplish different styles of playing on the same instrument. Since there is no right or wrong answer to whether you should play one or multiple, we reached out to you to get your thoughts. Here are our finding.
Heritage mouthpieces carry the mass of the mouthpiece in the lower region of the cup which provides the focus of a HeavyTop mouthpiece. To compensate the extra weight in the cup, Denis Wick thinned out the upper walls of the cup and underparts of the rim. This creates one of the most responsive and projecting mouthpieces you will ever try. They share sizing with the American Classic 1.5C & 3C, the Maurice Murphy 2C and 4C, and Classic 4X and 5X. What are those sizes? Find out below.
The Heritage mouthpiece for Trumpet is Denis wick's newest installment to a long list of amazing tone-producing products for trumpet players. Both the HeavyTop and Heritage utilize additional mass to provide focus to the sound, but in much different ways. While the HeavyTop provides extra mass throughout the mouthpiece, the Heritage localizes the mass of the mouthpiece to the base of the cup, and then thins out the upper walls and rim to add sparkling projecting and response to a focused foundation. Check out Denis Wick Artist Victor Haskins in this demo of both mouthpieces to get a better idea of what both can do.
If you haven't checked out Denis Wick Artist Josh Rzepka's "Mute Mondays", this episode is the one you want to start with. Josh will take you through details about the mutes and perform excerpts on them back to you so you can not only learn about, but actually hear the subtle differences between the mutes.
The Classic 4AL has a lot going for it. It's diameter, rim contour, and backbore combine together to provide a full low register with a big, dark sound. It is probably a little big for a beginner but, if you step-up to this model, this very well may be the last mouthpiece you have to buy. It works great for both classical and jazz, and will support you through every other style of music you may encounter. Here are the details:
Try these sound improving tips now! Did you know that quiet practice was only a side benefit, but not the main purpose of the Denis Wick Practice Mute? Denis actually created it to be a practice tool that could be used for opening up a player’s throat for breathing, broadening the tone, and helps fix a host of other playing issues as well. Here are 5 ways you can use the mute to improve your playing this week.
When you search for a mouthpiece, what measurements do you look toward to make sure you will find the perfect fit? Our suggestion is to always start with diameter. From there you might look at cup contour (B cup, C cup… shallow or deep?) or rim width/contour. The sizing you will see on nearly every mouthpiece manufacturer’s website is diameter, rim width, throat, and backbore. Each of these measurements will give you an idea about what level of comfort and support the mouthpiece will offer your individual needs.
The 10CS is renowned as one of the best jazz trombone mouthpieces around today. How did it originate? Amazingly, it started life as a mouthpiece for the alto trombone. Denis Wick recalls “I originally designed it for my old German alto trombone, which was made by Lätzsch. The alto trombone was rarely used in London, and I remember having to make a journey to Dover to collect the new instrument sent from Bremen in order to pay the duty. It had been illegal to import foreign instruments, but the Board of Trade lifted this embargo in 1958 and I bought the Lätzsch shortly afterwards. A few years later Yamaha in Japan borrowed it from me when I was on tour with the LSO and made a copy which was actually much better - they gave me the copy! I had to design a mouthpiece which would make the kind of sound that I wanted. The tone quality with the very small mouthpiece supplied with the instrument was terrible! Designing a mouthpiece for the alto is difficult – the tolerances are…
We have been contacted by some school authorities who have started sterilising trumpet mouthpieces in solutions such as sterilising fluids designed for babies’ bottles. We would never recommend this! These solutions are mostly based on Sodium Hypochlorite - I.e. bleach. Bleach will seriously damage the silver plating of a mouthpiece and should never be used. Sodium Hypochlorite is a strong oxidant and will cause the silver to tarnish very rapidly. In addition, it will generate Sodium Hydroxide which will etch into the silver and cause pitting, thus ruining the mouthpiece. Never use bleach on a mouthpiece!
I recommend this mouthpiece for anyone who currently plays the current Ultra SM3U and looking for more support and power especially in the upper register. In addition anyone who currently plays a mouthpiece with the 4 rim should find the step up to the SM3X beneficial and very easy to manage. Since we launched the Ultra series of mouthpieces for euphonium and baritone, I’m really thrilled to see that these mouthpieces have gone on to become much loved and established amongst leading players as well as amateur musicians. The combination of positive response, rich tone, extended range and the comfortable rim has made it one of the most popular mouthpieces around.
The most interesting studio visit this week came from a gentleman that was referred by one of our dealers. He is in a brass band as part of his church and had recently acquired a used euphonium for a beginner to play on, but was having trouble finding a mouthpiece that fit so we set up an appointment and got to work.
This past week we had a fun studio visit with Dallas Brass trombonist and Denis Wick Artist Ryan Christianson! Ryan needed to get replacements for a couple of his mouthpieces that he dropped on a parade gig, and also wanted to experiment with mouthpiece boosters.
Finding the right diameter is the first step to finding the right mouthpiece. Our band directors and private teachers make this easier by suggesting a common size that is easily found at a music store. Let's observe this size as the Theme. Too many times though, this theme is mistaken as the law. The main difference between a Theme and a Law is a Theme has variations and a law does not. A theme has a variety of options that sit under its umbrella where variations on a law generally breaks it.
Have you ever wondered what it looks like for your Denis Wick Product to be created? On a recent trip to London, I was able to visit the factory and see production in action. My first impression was that this amazing place should not be called a factory! Factories are machines and mass production in my mind. And don't get me wrong, Denis Wick utilizes machines to mass produce, but what inspired me most about my visit was the individual craftsmanship being used to create each product. To me, this building houses a workshop of master artisans creating and producing visually and audibly beautiful artwork, an precision focused design. This is what I tried to capture in the following tour. Stay tuned to our Instagram and Facebook accounts over the summer months for more pictures and stories from my visit to Denis Wick Products, London.
If 2 mouthpieces share the same exact sizing, will they perform the same? If their shape and weight is different, then certainly not! Check out this video from the Denis Wick App, and learn about how weight and mass distribution in your mouthpiece can affect its response and sound.
Often times, we look down at our equipment and wonder, “How in the world do they make this?” It is without a doubt that manufacturers have gotten good at boggling our minds with their ability to produce such state of the art products. My love for mouthpieces and how they’re manufactured caused me to look a bit deeper into what exactly makes them. The force responsible for producing such great mouthpieces would be something called a CNC machine. To learn more about these amazing technological machines I sat down with Journeyman Toolmaker and CNC Machining Specialist Brian Hylkema for an interview on this topic.
Designed with world renowned tuba artist, Aaron Tindall, Denis Wick is proud to introduce the Aaron Tindall signature Tuba Mouthpiece series. As described by Aaron Tindall, the new line is designed to provide an increased sense of improved articulation, intonation, greater endurance, and significantly enhanced power in both the high and low registers. Along with these comes an ease of playing accompanied by a richer, broader, and truer sound that we believe is currently unmatched by many of the other competitors in today’s market.