Alto and Small Tenor Mouthpiece(s?)

Post Reply
trombonanza
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:51 pm

Alto and Small Tenor Mouthpiece(s?)

Post by trombonanza » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:21 am

For those of you who consistently play both alto and small tenor, do you have separate mouthpieces for each horn or do you find that a single "smaller mouthpiece" works well all around? I've just recently settled on my large bore equipment so now it's time to dial in what I want on the smaller stuff.
User avatar
heinzgries
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:52 pm
Location: Heidelberg/germany

Re: Alto and Small Tenor Mouthpiece(s?)

Post by heinzgries » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:47 am

i think the same mouthpiece for both works fine. I prefer a not to shallow mouthpiece for alto.
Not a C cup. Perhabs a Bach 7,9, 12, works for both.
User avatar
Matt K
Posts: 901
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:34 pm

Re: Alto and Small Tenor Mouthpiece(s?)

Post by Matt K » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:21 am

I've been using an XT104N/XTC/C Alto for quite some time. It's actually deeper than the cup I use for small bore tenor, which is an XT104N/XTA/A3. Getting something with a shank for alto does make a good difference. When I played a Conn 36H, the difference between the stock leadpipe and Doug's Alto "S" (meant for leadpipes with that particular receiver) was huge. I later replaced the leadpipe with a Shires and switched to the "Alto" shank taper. It makes more of a difference than any of the numbers on tenor, I've found. (In other words, the difference from say, a 2 to a 3 on a 500 bore horn isn't nearly as big as the difference from an "Alto" to a 2). Just makes the overtone series line up much more nicely, at least on all the altos I've tried it on.
Doug Elliott
Posts: 298
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:12 pm

Re: Alto and Small Tenor Mouthpiece(s?)

Post by Doug Elliott » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:22 am

Tenor mouthpieces tend to feel stuffy and play flat in the high range on alto. That's why I make a separate alto backbore. Also a slightly smaller shank size as Matt mentioned above.
AndrewMeronek
Posts: 126
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:09 pm
Location: Detroit area
Contact:

Re: Alto and Small Tenor Mouthpiece(s?)

Post by AndrewMeronek » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:47 am

Different mouthpieces for me. As others noted already, intonation is a big issue. Altos and small tenors also do not have the same range, nor the same "sweet" range. Choosing a mouthpiece for a horn, to me, includes balancing this, and there's no reason why they would end up with the same mouthpiece in this sense.

That said, I don't really have any particular problem with changing rim sizes between horns. Some people do, and the rim size can be the same if need be, IMHO.
“All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians.”

- Thelonious Monk
imsevimse
Posts: 242
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:43 am
Location: Sweden

Re: Alto and Small Tenor Mouthpiece(s?)

Post by imsevimse » Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:01 am

Doug Elliott wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:22 am
Tenor mouthpieces tend to feel stuffy and play flat in the high range on alto. That's why I make a separate alto backbore. Also a slightly smaller shank size as Matt mentioned above.
I have a Bach 39 alto and this is a rather small alto. I play with a Bach 12E mouthpiece. It came with a Bach 15E that is a bit uncomfortable. I can't play that mouthpiece very well. There are larger altos with dual bore. I haven't tried such an alto but my guess is they might accept larger mouthpieces than my Bach 39? With a normal tenor mouthpiece on my Bach 39 I get the problems Doug mentioned.

/Tom
"Do your best and then do better" ttf_watermailonman
User avatar
Matt K
Posts: 901
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:34 pm

Re: Alto and Small Tenor Mouthpiece(s?)

Post by Matt K » Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:15 am

imsevimse wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:01 am
Doug Elliott wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:22 am
Tenor mouthpieces tend to feel stuffy and play flat in the high range on alto. That's why I make a separate alto backbore. Also a slightly smaller shank size as Matt mentioned above.
I have a Bach 39 alto and this is a rather small alto. I play with a Bach 12E mouthpiece. It came with a Bach 15E that is a bit uncomfortable. I can't play that mouthpiece very well. There are larger altos with dual bore. I haven't tried such an alto but my guess is they might accept larger mouthpieces than my Bach 39? With a normal tenor mouthpiece on my Bach 39 I get the problems Doug mentioned.

/Tom
I actually originally purchased my C alto shank for a Bach 39 that I was borrowing from my undergraduate. I later played it on a JinBao (like 479 or something?) and a Conn 36... I'm currently using it on the Wessex 525/547 horn. A/B compared it to a couple other shank I have and it was the clear winner, although it did make a little less difference than on the Conn 36H I had. In other words, its possible that your assessment is generally applicable (particularly for players who can/want to switch rims) but the shank taper seems to be pretty consistent in my personal experience.
Basbasun
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:03 am

Re: Alto and Small Tenor Mouthpiece(s?)

Post by Basbasun » Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:16 am

Sometimes, not very often I hear an alto sounding glorious. Pretty often I do not like alto trombones. I do believe that could be because the player use a to large mouthpiece. Many years ago I heard a very nice alto in Mozart Requiem. That was you Tom. What mpc did you use?
Doug Elliott
Posts: 298
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:12 pm

Re: Alto and Small Tenor Mouthpiece(s?)

Post by Doug Elliott » Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:51 am

People think it's the mouthpiece that makes it sound wrong but I think it's 95% how you play it - same with sackbut in my opinion. If you try to play any smaller instrument the way you play a larger instrument, it will sound wrong and bad. Play it as what it is and it will be fine.
And the alto intonation issue is in the shank, not the rim size, or the cup either. A deeper cup can work on alto, it doesn't have to be shallow.
imsevimse
Posts: 242
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:43 am
Location: Sweden

Re: Alto and Small Tenor Mouthpiece(s?)

Post by imsevimse » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:47 am

Basbasun wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:16 am
Sometimes, not very often I hear an alto sounding glorious. Pretty often I do not like alto trombones. I do believe that could be because the player use a to large mouthpiece. Many years ago I heard a very nice alto in Mozart Requiem. That was you Tom. What mpc did you use?
Thank you, Sven! :hi: It was long ago, more than 20 years? I used the Bach 12E. My main mouthpiece back then was a Bach 12C.

/Tom
"Do your best and then do better" ttf_watermailonman
User avatar
dukesboneman
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:40 pm
Location: Sarasota, Florida
Contact:

Re: Alto and Small Tenor Mouthpiece(s?)

Post by dukesboneman » Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:19 pm

Has anyone tried the Schilke Elliott Chasanov alto mouthpieces?
https://www.schilkemusic.com/products/m ... om-series/
User avatar
LeTromboniste
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:22 am
Location: Basel, Switzerland

Re: Alto and Small Tenor Mouthpiece(s?)

Post by LeTromboniste » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:26 am

Doug Elliott wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:51 am
People think it's the mouthpiece that makes it sound wrong but I think it's 95% how you play it - same with sackbut in my opinion. If you try to play any smaller instrument the way you play a larger instrument, it will sound wrong and bad. Play it as what it is and it will be fine.
And the alto intonation issue is in the shank, not the rim size, or the cup either. A deeper cup can work on alto, it doesn't have to be shallow.
+1000000000[...]00000

Absolutely. There are so many trombone players who take up a sackbut and just play it like a modern large bore trombone, and it sounds horrible but they figure that's just how it's supposed to sound, and then claim they play sackbut. And the same with alto trombone - I have certainly been guilty of that. It takes a bit of humility to recognize that because we can play great on one trombone doesn't mean as soon as we pick up a different type of trombone, the sound we get is the sound we should be getting. And then it takes more humility to put in the work to develop a different sound concept and playing approach. Which approach to the rim size helps you do that is entirely personal and individual.
Maximilien Brisson
fsgazda
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:35 am
Contact:

Re: Alto and Small Tenor Mouthpiece(s?)

Post by fsgazda » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:31 pm

dukesboneman wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:19 pm
Has anyone tried the Schilke Elliott Chasanov alto mouthpieces?
https://www.schilkemusic.com/products/m ... om-series/
I picked up a used one and tried it for a while. Things that I liked about it, things that I didn't. For me it was very light sounding and soloistic. I'm not enough of an alto player to really make it work, and I'm juggling so many horns right now that I went with one of Doug's and it's working nicely.

I am selling the Schilke E.C. 4.7 if anyone is interested, just haven't posted an ad yet.
Frank S. Gazda
Professor of Music, Delaware State University
Freelance Low Brass, Mid-Atlantic
www.firststatebrass.com
User avatar
heinzgries
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:52 pm
Location: Heidelberg/germany

Re: Alto and Small Tenor Mouthpiece(s?)

Post by heinzgries » Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:52 pm

Matt K wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:21 am
I later replaced the leadpipe with a Shires and switched to the "Alto" shank taper. It makes more of a difference than any of the numbers on tenor, I've found. (In other words, the difference from say, a 2 to a 3 on a 500 bore horn isn't nearly as big as the difference from an "Alto" to a 2). Just makes the overtone series line up much more nicely, at least on all the altos I've tried it on.
i have read your post about the Shires leadpipe in your Conn alto.
Does the Conn fit this leadpipe? Cause the bore of the Conn is a little bit
bigger than the Shires one.
Thanks
User avatar
Matt K
Posts: 901
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:34 pm

Re: Alto and Small Tenor Mouthpiece(s?)

Post by Matt K » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:30 pm

heinzgries wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:52 pm
Matt K wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:21 am
I later replaced the leadpipe with a Shires and switched to the "Alto" shank taper. It makes more of a difference than any of the numbers on tenor, I've found. (In other words, the difference from say, a 2 to a 3 on a 500 bore horn isn't nearly as big as the difference from an "Alto" to a 2). Just makes the overtone series line up much more nicely, at least on all the altos I've tried it on.
i have read your post about the Shires leadpipe in your Conn alto.
Does the Conn fit this leadpipe? Cause the bore of the Conn is a little bit
bigger than the Shires one.
Thanks
Hi Heinz, I have your PM sitting up on one of my browser tabs and I completely forgot about it. My apologies! I'll give the full story here for those who it might benefit as well.

Basically I purchased Conrad Herwig's Conn 36H around the time he became a Rath artist (maybe 2014?). He had used it on this Eddit Palmieri Album (Ritmo Caliente), perhaps exclusively for the track "Gigue (Bach Goes Bata)" but I never inquired from him about what else he may have used it on. Apparently it sat in his basement for about 10 years unused otherwise. So I inherited quite a good playing specimen. He had (possibly at the factory, probably in NYC) had someone reverse the rotor so that it was an ascending valve to Eb. (Eb/Bb). However, being the tweaker that I am, I made a few changes. I had all the burrs taken out (positive improvement). I had the water key replaced with a saturn (also positive!).

Then I had the leadpipe yanked. I looked all over the place for a replacement but I couldn't find anything that was the right bore size. Fortunately, I was working ITF that year as a student so I was able to look around. This was when ITF was in Rochester, NY; somehow, out of all of the vendors that were there, only one had a pipe that would fit, and it was too small! It was Newell Sheridan who had a lonely T85 #2. Well, I brought it all the way up to Rochester, may as well give it a try! So I popped it in and, lo and behold, it played really well. Forunately Doug was there so I was able to A/B compare both the stock pipe with a CaltoS shank as well as the Shires pipe with both a Calto and a C2. By far, the clearest winner was the #2 w/ the Calto shank.

So I'm talking with Newell about ordering the pipe through him since he very graciously listened to me for probably the better part of half an hour swapping out this pipe for mine... and I ask him, "Well, so the bore size difference... I'm still not sure if it'll work if I get one at 491 --- if that's even possible ---" To which he cuts me off, yanks the pipe from my hand and exclaims --- "Only one way to find out!"

At this point, he grabs a Shires 11C - memory serving - from his display case and starts ramming it in the end of the lower end of the leadpipe. After doing that for a couple seconds, he asks for my alto. He puts the leadpipe in, remarks "Not yet!" and then proceeds to repeat this process a few times until it fits perfectly in the slide.

He hands it back to me with a thoroughly modified leadpipe that fit perfectly and I'll be darned if it didn't play great. I was actually able to try some others out in the next two years that I had it, but none of them better than that one so I really lucked out. So did he, I suppose, since I hadn't bought it before he went to town on it! :wink:

So if I were to do it again would I do it? Absolutely, if for no other reason than it was a hilarious experience that will never leave me!
User avatar
heinzgries
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:52 pm
Location: Heidelberg/germany

Re: Alto and Small Tenor Mouthpiece(s?)

Post by heinzgries » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:44 am

Hello Mad,
thanks for your great response. What a nice story. My english is not perfect. Did I understand you correctly? He widened the lower end of a T85 leadpipe with a 11C shank until it fitted?
User avatar
Matt K
Posts: 901
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:34 pm

Re: Alto and Small Tenor Mouthpiece(s?)

Post by Matt K » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:07 pm

heinzgries wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:44 am
Hello Mad,
thanks for your great response. What a nice story. My english is not perfect. Did I understand you correctly? He widened the lower end of a T85 leadpipe with a 11C shank until it fitted?
That's correct! I don't know if he'd done it before - you can tear the pipe doing it so take it to someone who knows what's up if you go that route!!
Post Reply

Return to “Mouthpieces”