Buying a new mouthpiece?
19 Oct 16

Buying a new mouthpiece?

Posted by: Tom Gorst // Tags:


The mouthpiece that you use makes a huge difference to the response and tone of your instrument, arguably the mouthpiece has more influence on the overall tone than the instrument itself. Therefore mouthpiece choice is a necessary consideration for any aspiring player.

With so many options available, choosing the right mouthpiece can be a daunting prospect, at headwind music we want to make your experience as easy and stress-free as possible by giving you as much or as little advice as you need. We can guide you through the process helping you make informed decisions and we can give our subjective opinion on tone, we are equally happy to leave you alone to blow as many mouthpieces as you want and come to your own conclusions! Either way, our goal is that you leave us knowing that you have made the correct mouthpiece choice and you can continue to develop your tone in the direction that you want to.

Here’s some basic advice to consider when choosing a new mouthpiece

Always try new mouthpieces on your own instrument
Mouthpieces respond differently from one horn to another. Therefore, we can only advise customers to try mouthpieces on the instrument which they are used to.


Bring your current mouthpiece


Make sure you bring your current mouthpiece with you, not only so that you can warm up in the most familiar conditions, but also so that you can refer back to your current mouthpiece at regular intervals to give the new mouthpieces more context.


Use the right reed

A brand new reed out of the box can take a while to ‘blow in’ and the tone can vary dramatically from reed to reed. Make sure that you have a reed which has been playing well for at least a couple of days on your current set up and are happy with. 

If you’re trying a mouthpiece which has a different size tip opening than what you’re used to, you may want to consider trying a different strength reed to get the best response from the mouthpiece you’re trying. We’re always on hand to help you make this decision, and of course we have a large selection of reeds to cater for every need.


Make sure your horn is working

Before trying out new mouthpieces, make sure your horn is playing as it should, you may find that some tone / response issues may be resolved with a simple service. We’re more than happy to have a look at your instrument (no charge) before you try new mouthpieces and alert you to any potential issues, and of course our in house repairer John can resolve any issues that may arise so that you’re giving each mouthpiece a fair test. Otherwise, who knows what you might be missing out on!


Give yourself enough time


A mouthpiece can be an expensive purchase, so don’t rush it! Make sure you’ve set aside enough time to spend in our trying out rooms, and if you’re mouth is tired and you still aren’t sure.. go home! you can always come back another day when a fresh face might make all the difference.


Don’t be fooled!


It’s easy to be influenced by the price and aesthetics of a mouthpiece, and also by what mouthpieces our peers and idols use, but you should be making your decision purely based on how a mouthpiece responds to you and your instrument alone. The cheapest, ugliest mouthpiece may well be the right choice, as long as it works for YOU! We have a range of blindfolds at your disposal if necessary. 


Embouchure / Technique 


Nothing gives your playing a new lease of life quite like a new mouthpiece! 

Searching for the ‘perfect sound’ can be a lifelong quest. Making sure you have the right mouthpiece and instrument can help you a great deal along your journey, however another key factor which is widely overlooked is embouchure and technique. Taking time to assess, evaluate and adjust your embouchure and technique can sometimes help address tone issues as much as trying out new gear, and the best bit is.…it’s free!


To browse our range of mouthpieces, come and visit our showroom at 19 Zetland Rd, Brisol, BS6 7AH or call us on 0117 907 0493

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