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Advice on F tuba mouthpiece

Postby ren » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:58 am

I play a helleberg variant on my C tuba, is there any prevailing wisdom as to how to switch between CC and F horns daily and not wreck your face?
Should I use the same MP, use a smaller helleberg style MP, or use a cup style MP?

While I would like it to be either the same or as similar as possible MP, the sound is really more important to me just wondering what people generally do.
To be clear, Im not interested in massive orchestral F B&S style sound, just a warm, present, solo-ish tuba tone.

Thanks! :tuba:
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Re: Advice on F tuba mouthpiece

Postby Casca Grossa » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:39 am

Contact Bloke (Joe) on this board. His mouthpieces are amazing and he can get you a combination of rim, cup, and shank that will match your needs. I have been using one of his mouthpieces for a couple of years now and recently purchased a small Eb tuba to go along with my CC. I have decided to use the same rim on both but go with a slightly smaller cup for the Eb. I think a setup like that might work in your case.
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Re: Advice on F tuba mouthpiece

Postby TheTuba » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:50 am

my teacher uses a RT-44 on his F tuba and CC tuba.
I think that similar mouthpieces on different tubas will not impact your playing as much,lets say, a Bach and a Conn 7B.
so, when picking a F-tuba mouthpiece, choose ones that you LIKE, than narrow it down to ones that are LIKE your current one.
BUT, sound always come first, so if I sound amazing on one mouthpiece, I will gladly trade that for switching between different styles and killing my face, lol.
Also, the RT-64/PT-64 has been a staple among German F soloists.
Finally, if you've ever heard a German polka band (highly encouraged to watch), you know how amazing the players sound.
Incase you switch your mind to a different sound profile, the RT-40 is
"revolution for Large-Bore rotary F's...........Make the German Orchestral F-TUBA sound part of your life!"
just putting the last one out there.
Hope you find one!
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Re: Advice on F tuba mouthpiece

Postby smitwill1 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:12 pm

I think that you can make inferences on how other players approach the contrabass/bass tuba mouthpiece question by looking at some of the various manufacturer's "signature" series. For example, Gidding's "Baer" and "Fossi" series seem like they're presented as a matched pair. You can also see the (implied) differences between "F" and "C" (air quotes, 'cause it's up to the player to make the choice) mouthpieces if you read the Potenza Mr P or Robert Tucci's mouthpiece descriptions. Then, choose the gear that lets you get your intended sound.

For example, I play a relatively large bass and small contrabass so I try to emphasize the difference between these tubas by using a rather small bass mouthpiece (Mirafone TU-13--very similar to the old PT-9/new RT-64) and a large contrabass mouthpiece (Josef Klier 2A--similar to a TU-33 or maybe an RT-88).

Once you find out what you like based on what you feel and hear under the bell, I'd suggest taking someone with an opinion you trust (a teacher, someone in your section, or in your quintet...) out to a performance-like venue (recital hall, band room, or church) and have them provide you feedback. Sometimes our perceptions don't match our intentions.
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Good sounding mouthpiece

Postby E. Green » Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:31 am

Ren,

The remarks posted should help you determine what works best for you. Tucci's new mouthpieces (RT) are obviously very good. I have an RT-64 - really gets the job done. You might try the Canadian Brass MB-64, similar in some ways and different in others. Mike Jipson at the Canadian Brass Store has both. The instrument for which a new mouthpiece is required would be interesting....

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Re: Good sounding mouthpiece

Postby ren » Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:55 am

E. Green wrote:Ren,

The remarks posted should help you determine what works best for you. Tucci's new mouthpieces (RT) are obviously very good. I have an RT-64 - really gets the job done. You might try the Canadian Brass MB-64, similar in some ways and different in others. Mike Jipson at the Canadian Brass Store has both. The instrument for which a new mouthpiece is required would be interesting....

Eugene


Agreed, Ive never been into the mouthpiece "thing", but having not played for 20 years I like to at least have a "well this is what people generally do", vs the mouthpiece that came with the horn, vs what I play on the C tuba which I am happy with soundwise. Since the F is going to have for me anyway a different sound concept, I thought it would be good to have a few available. I tend to test and dismiss mouthpieces within a span of 5 minutes and then reconsider after 5 years if feedback is negative. Ill keep the throwaways around for a rainy day.
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Re: Advice on F tuba mouthpiece

Postby ren » Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:18 am

TheTuba wrote:my teacher uses a RT-44 on his F tuba and CC tuba.
I think that similar mouthpieces on different tubas will not impact your playing as much,lets say, a Bach and a Conn 7B.
so, when picking a F-tuba mouthpiece, choose ones that you LIKE, than narrow it down to ones that are LIKE your current one.
BUT, sound always come first, so if I sound amazing on one mouthpiece, I will gladly trade that for switching between different styles and killing my face, lol.
Also, the RT-64/PT-64 has been a staple among German F soloists.
Finally, if you've ever heard a German polka band (highly encouraged to watch), you know how amazing the players sound.
Incase you switch your mind to a different sound profile, the RT-40 is
"revolution for Large-Bore rotary F's...........Make the German Orchestral F-TUBA sound part of your life!"
just putting the last one out there.
Hope you find one!


Thanks for quoting Bob Tuccis website.
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Re: Advice on F tuba mouthpiece

Postby thevillagetuba » Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:20 am

I have mouthpieces of various opening diameters and sizes I use for both horns. For my main pieces, I keep the rims the same (I have two of bloke's so it is really easy to match rims), but I will switch to other mouthpieces if the situation requires a particular color or timbre.

Most importantly, find mouthpieces that are comfortable, learn the horns, and then switch to a different comfortable mouthpiece if you don't like the timbre/color. Once you learn two different horns (even if in the same key), you will play them the way they require and not try to play them like they are the same horn. This will keep you from "wrecking your face."

A specific recommendation, which is more in line with your request, contact bloke and see what he recommends. His solo is a good fit with the berg (which it looks like you have from your signature), but there are also threads on the forum here where people discuss what they like best with this horn. I'd read those and pick whichever mouthpiece seems to be most like what you have to start with.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Advice on F tuba mouthpiece

Postby pauvog1 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:08 am

I'd look into a Sellmansberger Solo. Joe offers several options with this mp. Give him a call.

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Re: Advice on F tuba mouthpiece

Postby ren » Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:59 am

Thanks for the info pauvog1, I should have or was trying to ask for opinions on a type of mouthpiece for the situation. And the responses have definitely identified some brands and numbers.

I have a few mouthpieces ordered and hopefully when I get some concept of myself playing an F tuba one of them will make sense to my ear.

While bloke is certainly a genius in this respect I’m not personally doing the stainless thing yet.
I’ve never played a pt or rt or Doug Elliot in my life, just fishing for opinions on what kinds of MPs work well with an F (besides orchestra sound)

I have ordered some of these so I’ll see if a light goes on in my dim tuba brain when I try them.
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Re: Advice on F tuba mouthpiece

Postby TheTuba » Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:10 am

ren wrote:Thanks for the info pauvog1, I should have or was trying to ask for opinions on a type of mouthpiece for the situation. And the responses have definitely identified some brands and numbers.

I have a few mouthpieces ordered and hopefully when I get some concept of myself playing an F tuba one of them will make sense to my ear.

While bloke is certainly a genius in this respect I’m not personally doing the stainless thing yet.
I’ve never played a pt or rt or Doug Elliot in my life, just fishing for opinions on what kinds of MPs work well with an F (besides orchestra sound)

I have ordered some of these so I’ll see if a light goes on in my dim tuba brain when I try them.


hope you find one, no matter the brand or type!
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I mean if you want to, you can buy me the tuba in my name :P
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Re: Advice on F tuba mouthpiece

Postby Donn » Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:03 pm

ren wrote:Should I use the same MP, use a smaller helleberg style MP, or use a cup style MP?

While I would like it to be either the same or as similar as possible MP, the sound is really more important to me just wondering what people generally do.


Just based on what I think is out there, does it not seem that most modern bass tuba mouthpieces lean towards more of a bowl shape? I'm no F tuba player, and don't know every mouthpiece either, so that's really just a question. But I should add, it's my impression that mouthpiece makers sometimes describe a mouthpiece as helleberg style or funnel shaped if it's anything but the most overt bowl shape, and that amounts to the exception that proves the rule.

Another way to look at it might be: a more conical interior profile reduces cup volume, all other things being equal, and so naturally some mouthpieces may serve for either contrabass or bass tuba, some players finding satisfactory physical depth for contrabass, others finding that the lesser volume suits the bass. The Conn 7B for example, which some people hold to be a bass tuba mouthpiece, though it's apparently the standard Helleberg size historically speaking. So the market for specific bass tuba mouthpieces may lean more towards bowl shapes, not because the conical alternative is less popular, but because it's more versatile and hence not officially a bass tuba mouthpiece.
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Re: Advice on F tuba mouthpiece

Postby ren » Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:08 pm

Donn wrote:
ren wrote:Should I use the same MP, use a smaller helleberg style MP, or use a cup style MP?

While I would like it to be either the same or as similar as possible MP, the sound is really more important to me just wondering what people generally do.


Just based on what I think is out there, does it not seem that most modern bass tuba mouthpieces lean towards more of a bowl shape? I'm no F tuba player, and don't know every mouthpiece either, so that's really just a question. But I should add, it's my impression that mouthpiece makers sometimes describe a mouthpiece as helleberg style or funnel shaped if it's anything but the most overt bowl shape, and that amounts to the exception that proves the rule.

Another way to look at it might be: a more conical interior profile reduces cup volume, all other things being equal, and so naturally some mouthpieces may serve for either contrabass or bass tuba, some players finding satisfactory physical depth for contrabass, others finding that the lesser volume suits the bass. The Conn 7B for example, which some people hold to be a bass tuba mouthpiece, though it's apparently the standard Helleberg size historically speaking. So the market for specific bass tuba mouthpieces may lean more towards bowl shapes, not because the conical alternative is less popular, but because it's more versatile and hence not officially a bass tuba mouthpiece.


I agree totally with what youre getting at.
I played for 15 years and never played a helleberg, but with the york copy its a F***ing big sound - bigger than the CB arnold jacobs model by alot, I was always playing deep cup mouthpieces with the miraphones and the brunners. I dont want a spread sound on an F and I guess Ill find out playing with these whether I can bounce between a helleberg style mouthpiece and a mouthpiece on the order of a "rose solo" model or some such thing that I used to play many years ago.

I should add that I have no idea beyond the parameters you described of what goes into making a great mouthpiece for a suitable purpose. It either sounds great or it doesnt.
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Re: Advice on F tuba mouthpiece

Postby Donn » Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:39 pm

ren wrote:It either sounds great or it doesnt.


Ain't it the truth. Though it may eventually sound greater, or I suppose not so great, at a later time, as playing and ears change.
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Re: Advice on F tuba mouthpiece

Postby ren » Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:00 am

just as a follow up,

Out of the mouthpieces i tried (On the Wessex Berg) my helleberg (actually Wessex Nickles), the CB Arnold Jacobs model and a rt64 hands down the sound was fuller on the helleberg.

if something required a lot of very high loud work i could see experimenting again on mouthpieces but for your average dose of high playing Im probably be fine.
i keep buying mouthpieces just in case i need them someday but i just never do.
i think my chops don't like bowl shaped mouthpieces anymore.

Shout out to Wessex and Chuck Nickles on the "Wessex Nickles" mouthpiece that was included with the Chicago York.
It seems to be a very nice sounding and playing Helleberg inspired mouthpiece.
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