CHOOSING YOUR MOUTHPIECE

According to the repertoire, the level and style sought

The choice of a mouthpiece is very important and quite delicate. You can improve your playing skills and abilities, your sound and your attacks by choosing a good mouthpiece combination: rim, cup shape, backbore, blank and plating.

Any musician necessarily asks the question one day. A large mouthpiece gives you a round sound, warm and full, with beautiful deep harmonics. A small mouthpiece, on the other hand, makes the high stuff easier to play and changes the shape of the sound.

Large : Increases volume and suppleness

Small : delays fatigue

Deep : darkens the tone

Shallow : brightens the tone

Large : makes for freer blowing and more volume, increases the tonality of the high register*
(too large a throat will also affect the lower register).

Small : increases resistance and endurance, brightens the tone, reduces the tonality of the higher register
(the throat influences by its diameter but also in its length; if it is too long it will produce a pale sound)

Wide : increases endurance.

Narrow : improves flexibility

Flat : recommended for a musician who plays “on stream”

Round : for those who have a tendency to stress notes

The backbore can vary in shape, so here we will refer to an average conicity.

  • A narrow backbore increases resistance and projects sound (Big Band).
  • A wide backbore produces a sound that fills an auditorium but increases tonality (here it is compensated for by a deep cup which lowers it).

This is the angle between the axis of the mouthpiece and the wall of the cup, measured at the tipping point of the cup’s curve.

Our standard cups are designed to have an Alpha angle of around 15°.

A large Alpha angle will limit the vibration surface of the lips; if it is too small the lips will receive less support so a robust embouchure is required.

Classic to blend with the overall sound.

Massive for projection, endurance and high register.

Light for for a very rich sound in harmonics

Did you know

The numbering system

The number indicates the diameter of the cup, measured 1mm from the rim.

The letter indicates the depth of the cup, “A” being the deepest.

Example
170C is a slightly smaller mouthpiece than the Bach1-1/2C*
Its cup is rounded at the bottom and it has a wide rim.
It has a flared backbore similar to a Bach #24.

*The cup diameter of a Bach 1-1/2C is given as roughly 17.05mm

MOUTHPIECES

4 families of instruments