What Mouthpiece for a New Horn Player?

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I have long had a page of suggested horns and mouthpieces in my main site. However, one topic to expand upon is the topic of mouthpieces for beginners, a topic I was asked again about very recently.

The question any band director or horn teacher needs to ponder is what mouthpieces will give a new player the best chance of success? What will help them stick with the horn, to make it easier to play, to not quit?

Some mouthpieces are better than others. Although some may recommend Giardinelli to students, and good examples of older production versions of these mouthpieces are sought out by some players, I personally really don’t like the stock rim and the larger bore models are certainly difficult for younger students to play with focus and good articulations. Do a back-to-back comparison of a new C-8 with say a Yamaha 30C4. The Yamaha is a lot easier mouthpiece to play. It is too small for an advanced student (it is less than #20 bore!) but the quality is good and it will give a new player a much easier start. A C-8 on a single F horn will be really hard for any beginner to manage.

Two of the more popular mouthpieces out there are the Holton MC and MDC. I played both as a student. I would suggest if you are shopping to do a back-to-back comparison of these mouthpieces with the Schilke 30 and 27. When I have done this with students they usually chose the Schilke over Holton.

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The mouthpiece that I would most want to suggest be considered more often for younger students is the Laskey 75G. This works well on basically any type of horn, sounds great, plays great, has a very friendly rim, and is affordable. It has also only been out a few years. Several current ASU students are using this mouthpiece.

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