Selecting a Brass Mouthpiece
Renold O. Schilke had a profound influence on the development of brass mouthpiece design and pedagogy in the 20th century. His wisdom and insight have influenced several generations of performers, educators and students while setting the standard for other manufacturers. Today, Schilke Music Products continues to offer the highest level of expertise in assisting musicians when determining what mouthpiece might work best for their playing needs.
It is important to remember that a “quality sound” is a musician’s greatest asset. The instrument acts as an amplifier for the vibration produced within the mouthpiece. The mouthpiece is critical in determining the character of the sound, response, and intonation along with consistency of sound quality in all registers and dynamic levels. A mouthpiece is created of several components or variables that greatly influence a player’s sound. These variables include rim contour or rim shape, inner rim diameter or cup diameter, cup shape or cup volume, the throat, the backbore and shank or stem. All of these components play a major role in the final sound production on a brass instrument. General knowledge of these concepts and how they work can only assist the player in selecting equipment that improves their sound.
In addition to several new mouthpiece models from the Schilke custom mouthpiece division, Schilke Music Products continues to offer a unique mix of classic designs that were a result of custom consultation with many notable professional musicians and colleagues of Renold O. Schilke. A labeling system was later developed to reference each mouthpiece while describing the general resistance variables of each model. The Schilke mouthpiece model nomenclature offers information on the following primary mouthpiece characteristics:
Understanding these variables will help a player make an educated, musical choice in selecting a new mouthpiece. Click here to read more about the Schilke Mouthpiece Labeling System >
The Schilke French Horn mouthpiece line was developed in collaboration with professional players and colleagues of Renold O. Schilke. These models were later determined to fill a specific need in the horn community from student, educator, to professional player. The rims and cups shape provide variety of options for the soloist, chamber, or orchestral hornist.
For over a generation the standard Schilke trombone mouthpiece models have been accepted as the top choice for the serious trombone or euphonium player. These classic models feature comfortable rim profiles and unique cup shapes. Most tenor trombone mouthpieces are available in both small and large shank options.
Schilke tuba mouthpieces are specially designed for BBb, CC, Eb and F Tubas (sousaphones) which require a standard (large) shank tuba mouthpiece. Models 66, 67, and S-H feature the classic Helleberg shaped cup. Please specify if the mouthpiece is intended to fit a European tuba.
An evolution in mouthpiece design utilizing several concepts from the standard Schilke line, the ‘Symphony Series’ models are on the larger side of the mouthpiece spectrum creating a deep, vibrant sound with a well-focused center and conceptually developed to meet the demands of the modern orchestral player. They have comfortable rim shapes that provide a clean, crisp attack. They are offered with a standard cup depth or a deep bowl shape. The mouthpiece affectionately known as the “fluffy” has a flugel style cup and trumpet stem with the same rim contour and feel as the other models in this series. This has been a very popular custom choice for quieter passages where a cornet sound is desired without losing the control and focus of the sound.
Based on our standard trombone mouthpiece models, the Symphony Series models have modified rim contours, cup shapes, throats and backbores creating a responsive balance in resistance and blowing freedom along with attack clarity that will appeal to the contemporary trombonist. Schilke Symphony Series mouthpieces continue a tradition in outstanding Schilke workmanship combining old world craftsmanship with the demands of the modern brass player.
In collaboration with Jazz Trumpet Legend Jon Faddis, this unique mouthpiece features a XL heavyweight blank profile which enhances projection and focus as well a rim profile, cup, and backbore preferred by Mr. Faddis.
Concert Series Tuba Mouthpieces developed within our custom mouthpiece division. Based on original Schilke models, these new models feature larger inside diameters which are preferred by the Orchestral tubist. The Geib model has a different cup shape the funnel shaped Helleberg models providing a more brilliant sound when desired.