The Denis Wick DW 6882 4X
I consider the Denis Wick 4x to be one of the absolute best mouthpieces for marching band
Best Trumpet Mouthpiece for Marching Band
What is the best trumpet mouthpiece for marching band?
Well, as you know, what works for one, might not work for another. On top of that there are many very good brands out there, so answering this question with giving just one mouthpiece suggestion is not that easy, but…
Why The Denis Wick 4x Is A Good Mouthpiece For Marching Band
Why do I think the Denis Wick 4x is the best trumpet mouthpiece for marching band?
Well, five points…
- Easy high notes
Let’s take a look at those five points, one by one…
Anyone who has tried it knows that long marching band sessions can be extremely endurance demanding and that we need all the help we can get in this department.
If you read my article best trumpet mouthpiece for endurance, you could see that the Denis Wick is one of the mouthpieces I mention in that article. The reason for this is that the Denis Wick is one of the absolute best mouthpieces for endurance, and this is reported from trumpeters all over the world.
It helps because:
- It has a slightly wider rim than most mouthpieces
- The cup is a bit shallower
- It has a heavy top
- The rim size and cup depth work in synergy with the “V-shaped” backbore
The wider rim helps prevent the mouthpiece from digging too deep into the lip tissue and cutting off the blood flow. Better blood flow will of course benefit endurance.
Then we have the somewhat shallower cup. This makes it easier to articulate and it also helps with compression of the air. This means that your embouchure muscles won’t have to work as hard and thus, you will be able to play for a longer time without getting tired…
…on the other hand, the cup is not too shallow, so there is no risk that the sound becomes too bright, making you stand out from the rest of the band. In my opinion the 4X has the optimal cup for this.
The heavy top makes the tone more focused and it also helps project the sound. More focused notes makes the playing more secure. It helps with endurance, as you will be able to lean securely into the notes, trusting that they are right where they should.
Lastly, the v-shaped backbore also helps the endurance significantly without sacrificing tone quality.
The Denis Wick 4x has a nice ringing sound, producing notes that are filled with energy. It is not dark at all and it is not too bright. The sound is focused and “majestic” and these are all excellent attributes for a good marching band trumept sound.
It’s kind of difficult to describe something as colorful and subjective as sound, but if I could choose only one word, I would probably say, the Denis Wick 4x has got some serious “backbone”. This is perfect for Marching band…
…majestic and energetic with a ringing energy, what more could we ask for when it comes to playing music where a bit of “attitude is needed ?
In addition to that, the projection is outstanding with the Denis Wick 4x. This is important when playing in a big group, like a marching band.
We want the sound of the trumpet to project and shoot through the air, so that the audience can clearly hear the melody and the majestic trumpet sound. This is true for both indoor playing and outdoor playing, but it is especially important when playing outside.
Lastly, we want a mouthpiece that produces notes that are focused. This is because it helps with all the things I just wrote above (endurance, projection etc.) but in addition to that, it will help you to play in tune better than if you used a mouthpiece that spreads the sound.
This is because when having a lot of other musical instruments around you, it is easier to hear your pitch, if you have a focused sound, and thus you will be able to hear if you are playing in tune or not.
If you on the other hand use a mouthpiece that spreads the sound, all this becomes much harder, as you won’t be able to project, you won’t here yourself amongst the other players and your endurance will suffer, and so on.
Easy high notes
I don’t think I need to explain why a mouthpiece that makes the high register easier to play, is nice to have. Pretty much all trumpet players know why 🙂
The Denis Wick 4x have a cup that is shallow enough to produce some sizzling high notes, and the way the cup works with the V-shaped backbore, it really makes the high reister a joy to play.
Even though the Denis Wick 4X can be used as an all-around mouthpiece, the high register is so easy to play, that many trumpeters use it as their main high note mouthpiece.
What About Other Options
So this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I think that the Denis Wick 4x is a very good mouthpiece for marching band.
Now, of course, there are a lot of other good mouthpieces out there, and as I wrote in my endurance article, the Bach 3c megatone is also a phenomenal mouthpiece for playing situations just like the marching band.
The reason I choose the Denis Wick as the best mouthpiece for marching band, is because it is cheaper than the Bach 3c (you can click here to check Bach 3c pricing on Amazon), while at the same time, it does the marching band job just as well as the 3c megatone.
Best Mouthpiece For Marching Band Conclusion
Ok, so there you have it. I highly recommend the Dennis Wick 4x for your marching band playing, and not only that, it’s a phenomenal mouthpiece in general. You can click here to check the Denis Wick 4X pricing over at Amazon.
Many trumpet players use it for lead playing (high note stuff) as well as for chamber music, classical music, and everything in between.
If you feel that you need to work some more on your endurance issues, then take a look at the article Warburton P.E.T.E. for endurance, as I think you might find it very helpful…
…and if you still feel you need more help, then don’t hesitate to contact me personally. You can find my contact info if you go to the page “get my help”, using the menu buttons at the top of the website.
F.A.Q.’s about mouthpieces
Question: Can I use a plastic mouthpiece for marching band?
Answer: Yes you can, but I would only recommend it if you have to play with braces on your teeth OR if you have to play outside when it’s very cold. In normal situations I would not recommend plastic mouthpieces for marching band.
They don’t project nearly as well as the Denis Wick, for example, and that will make you work much harder than you need, making you suffer in the end.
Question: I have a Shilke 14A4a that I can get some good high notes on. Do you think it could be a good mouthpiece for marching band?
Answer: No. The cup is too shallow and the sound is too shrill. The sound will cut, but it doesn’t project. We want projection and a more compact sound here. That mouthpiece is better suited for lead playing in a big band.
Keep in mind that, when you are playing marching band music, you are still playing mostly in the middle register, and even in the low register at times. The 14A4a is a very specialized mouthpiece, designed mostly for lead playing. It is basically a “high note mouthpiece”.
Don’t use it as an all-around mouthpiece, because if you do, you will hinder your own progress, while at the same time, you are playing with a sound that is not suitable for the situation. In other words, you will suffer, the people around you will suffer, and the audience will suffer.
If you play lead trumpet in a big band, and you have to play a lot of cutting high notes, with a sharp sound and good articulations, and you like the 14A4a, then by all means use it for that. But don’t take it to marching band or your symphony orchestra, and don’t use it for playing Haydn’s trumpet concerto either…even if it makes the high “e-flat” easier 😉
Question: Is the Denis Wik 4x a good mouthpiece for piccolo trumpet?
Answer: Yes it is. Great sound and good endurance, easy high notes and the control is good. Go for it!
Question: Have you ever tried a trumpet mouthpiece made out of wood?
Answer: Yes I have. It had a warm sound, but they can never match brass mouthpieces when it comes to energy, projection and giving the brass instruments that characteristic “brassy sound” that we all love. I would not recommend a wooden trumpet mouthpiece for marching band, for those reasons. Not a wooden trumpet either 🙂
Question: How can I improve my trumpet endurance, other than finding the right mouthpiece for the job?
Answer: Read these two articles:
- The pencil exercise for trumpet, are isometrics good or bad?
- How to play trumpet without getting tired
Alright, I think that this have to be it for now. I’ll update the F.A.Q section if I get more emails with questions about mouthpieces for marching band playing, or questions that are related to this subject.
Thanks for reading and keep practicing!