When to change your mouthpiece?
There's a world of mouthpieces out there. Why and when should you change?
The key to when you should change your mouthpiece is when your needs change. Sometimes it can be good to think of this in another way; like learning to ride a bike.
Back in the olden days most children started on a bike with stabilisers; this is because they were stable, and as long as your feet were going forward not back, it was easy to set off and get from A-B (no pun intended!). On a mouthpiece this is like having something that is very easy to blow and make a consistent sound out of.
Now you could carry on riding on this setup forever more if you wished; you're relatively independent and can justifiably call yourself a cyclist, or a musician!
But... there are some places you can't ride; terrain that this bike is not designed for. If you went there you'd almost certainly fall off. Your stabilisers are now limiting your potential - which means time for a change!
So, new set-up and you're free and easy with no stabilisers and with this liberating boost you're whizzing along and through more challenging landscapes. You've become more discerning and looking back you can see just how far you've come.
And then you reach a hill... Ooh it'll be great to come down it, you maybe have even seen other people do it and been in awe!, but first you've got to climb in. What you need is a new bike with gears so you can be using your effort effectively and be in complete control of the journey! On an instrument it maybe that now you need quicker more responsive keywork, denser materials like thicker wood, or stronger metals, or you're looking for a mouthpiece that you can play with absolute clarity at pianissimo, and then full throttle forzando without splitting notes - it's time for another change!
So take a step back and consider where are you now. Are you facing a big hill and finding it hard to climb, or have you started well and perhaps feeling like you've begun to plateau?
Of course there are other variables to consider too. Along with mouthpieces, on a woodwind instrument you could be needing to use a different cut or different strength reed. Perhaps a different ligature which holds the reed in place? Or it could be that your instrument has taken you as far as it was designed and that's what needs to change. It is absolutely normal to hit a wall and need to change; you’d be hard placed to find any instrument, reed or mouthpiece that would be suitable for the earliest beginner all the way to the highest level.
It's not easy to know what it is you need to change, so don't struggle on - better to speak to actual players to get the best advice, or visit our showroom where you can try instruments, mouthpieces and ligatures free of charge!
If you need advice about your set up on a brass instrument or a woodwind instrument, you can give our friendly retail team a call. They were beginners one day and would love to help you enjoy your musical journey too! Call 01823 282386.
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