Mouthpiece Auditions

Mary Galime


If you are a beginner musician, your job is easy. Just use our Mouthpiece Suggestions  to find an appropriate beginner mouthpiece. If you have advanced from beginner, you have a few more steps to choose the mouthpiece that supports you best.

Before you start: Determine your optimal diameter and find 2-3 mouthpieces within that diameter to compare. Choose a double octave scale that is comfortable for you to play, and a small section (8-16 bars) of music which will be used for testing each mouthpiece. Also, get your metronome ready, you’ll need it!

 *Always begin your mouthpiece trial with the question: What is the best sound I have ever heard – the one I want to sound like? Utilize the back of this pamphlet to record notes on each mouthpiece you try. (Make sure you read our article on sound concept on page 2!)

Set your metronome to 85 and keep it running Steps 1-3
1. Test for tone: Using your tuning note, play a whole note on each mouthpiece. Which had a better sound?

2. Test Articulation: Staying on your tuning note, play 4 quarter notes followed by 4 8th notes. Play this exercise 2 times: legato and staccato. Which mouthpiece provided better sound response and clarity?

3. Range: Play your double octave scale 3 times: Staccato, legato, and slur. Listen for which mouthpiece maintained the best sound and response from the bottom to top of the scale.

4. Musicality: Use your 8-16 bar section of an etude or song you like, and play this section on each mouthpiece. Set your metronome to an appropriate temp for this section so that you make sure each trial is played in the same tempo. Which mouthpiece sounded the best with the least effort?

The winning option will be the mouthpiece that naturally produces 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 


Here is an example of what you trial will sound like. Which mouthpiece sounded best for Denis Wick Artist Sheona Wade?