Big Mouthpiece or Small Mouthpiece? That Is The Question. Part 3

What advantage is there for the use of two mouthpieces?

This is a question which comes up often for many times we are faced with contrasting performance styles, i.e. Classical music and Jazz compositions. Generally the Classical music requires a darker, more “legit” timbre and the Jazz music requires a more commercial or brighter tone quality. It seems logical that two different mouthpieces would fit the needs of the performer and this is what we will be covering in this posting.

What should I consider when switching between two different mouthpieces?

• Two mouthpieces with the same cup diameter cause the least problems.
• Mouthpieces with the same size and contour of rim are best.
• Deep and shallower cup depth will give you the effect you are after.
• Change in throat diameter and length will also affect the contrast.
• Backbore works also to change the timbre between the two mouthpieces.

Should I purchase two complete mouthpieces of different dimensions or should I buy one mouthpiece with changeable components?

• Many professionals purchase two different mouthpieces.
• Just as many purchase one mouthpiece with changeable parts.
Here is my suggestion- “When considering cost, you will be better off finding two different mouthpieces with the same cup diameter and different cup depth”.

Schilke 15
An excellent all-around mouthpiece which offers a free blowing, clear sound.

Cost $44.99

Schilke 15B
With the same diameter as the #15, this mouthpiece includes “B” style cup which produces a more brilliant sound than the standard #15 mouthpiece.

Cost $44.99

I am not suggesting that you should buy a Schilke 15 or a 15B. I am not even suggesting that you purchase a Schilke mouthpiece for I am only using these two as examples. When considering the cost of the components needed to construct two contrasting mouthpieces, the difference in price would be close to twice that of two standard mouthpieces and for that reason; I suggest buying two complete mouthpieces.

Bruce was a member of the faculty at the University of Northern Iowa, School of Music in Cedar Falls from 1969 until his retirement in 1999. He has performed with many well-known entertainers such as Bob Hope, Jim Nabors, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Anita Bryant, Carman Cavalara, Victor Borgie, the Four Freshman, Blackstone the Magician, Bobby Vinton and John Davidson.