Mouthpieces 101

Mary Galime

Your mouthpiece is a relationship of measurements, joined together to support you. Understanding the terminology and relationship is key to finding the right mouthpiece.

Cup Diameter: The measurement that determines the area of lip allowed to vibrate

Cup Volume The cup volume is the resonating chamber of the mouthpiece. Its volume will affect the sound it translates to the instrument.

Rim: The part of the mouthpiece that comes in contact with the player’s face.

Backbore: Affects the air as it exits the mouthpiece into the instrument and how the sound projects.

Profile: The Profile of the mouthpiece is it's outer shape. Note the differences in profile between the Denis Wick Classic, Heritage, Ultra, and HeavyTop options. Each profile caries its mass in different areas of the mouthpiece, causing the mouthpiece to resonate in the instrument in different ways and create different tonal response.


The Relationship:

There is a consequence to every size negotiation you make in a mouthpiece. In general, as you increase the size of any part of the mouthpiece you create more room for air, vibration, and sound. You may, however, also need more muscle support to accommodate the size. Alternatively, when you decrease the size and space in a mouthpiece, you create more resistance which aids in projection, range, and a brighter sound, though the smaller space may reduce the player’s tonal flexibility. Understanding these negotiations is necessary to finding what will work best for you. 

Find your instrument in the Product Section of your instrument  to discover all the support options Denis Wick offers. Note that as the model numbers increase, the diameter measurements decrease. Study the relationship between the smaller diameters and their corresponding throat sizes.  Once you have determined which diameter is comfortable for you, choose a variety of options within that diameter and you are ready to move on to the trial.