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Denis Wick Mouthpieces have been individually designed and continually modified under Mr. Wick's personal...
Alto horn mouthpieces in silver plate.
Your alto horn, like any instrument, is a complex series of components that work together to create beautiful sounds. Arguably, the most important component is the alto horn mouthpiece. Without it, you simply won’t be able to produce the sounds that are expected from your alto horn. That’s not to say all you have to do is pick up a mouthpiece and you’re ready to go. Different alto horn mouthpieces help produce different sounds, so it is important to pick the one that is right for you. A good mouthpiece will help you produce excellent volume and intonation throughout the register, as well as uniform timbre. The shape of your mouthpiece can also have a large effect on the sound your alto horn produces. For example, a mouthpiece with a semi-deep cup such as the AH38D4 Alto Horn Mouthpiece from Yamaha will produce a dark, round sound that is very popular amongst British brass bands. Conversely, a mouthpiece with a shallower cup depth will assist in playing in higher ranges. There is no right or wrong depth, rather it comes down to personal preference and what sounds best to you. It is also important to note what kind of rim you want on your mouthpiece, as different designs provide different results. A flat rim will allow you to have even lip pressure, but less flexibility than a rounded rim. That said, a rounded rim requires greater lip strength and may not be ideal for a novice player. It’s important to strike a balance between your skill level and the style of mouthpiece you are using. When you find the alto horn mouthpiece that is best for you, you’ll definitely hear its quality reflected in your playing. Having the right mouthpiece for you will make your instrument sound better, which will help your confidence grow as you continue to advance as a musician.
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