Posted by Brian Frederiksen on May 21, 1999 at 18:34:48:
In Reply to: queston for Eb tuba players posted by Paul on May 20, 1999 at 12:57:31:
It really depends on the sound you want for whatever music you are playing at the time. I play a Besson E flat (Fletcher model) and in a brass band have used a Conn Helleberg, Shilke 62, a Canadian Brass Jacobs and an adjustable cup mouthpiece. The last two need a bit of explanation.
The CB Jacobs was used in a brass band where we wanted a big sound. Two of us used these and played the pedal notes from the B flat parts on melodic stuff. There is less resistance with the E flat than a B flat - also more privliged notes! This, of course is a very specialized use. The place was shaking!
The adjustable cup works great. For solos, I find a position where I like the sound (screwing it out gives more fundemental), balancing the fundement vs. the overtones. This also comes in handy to adjust for a particular hall. I played a few NABBA competions with this mouthpiece and would actually adjust it to whatever phrase was coming up. For example, for a double tounging pianissimo the cup would be all the way in giving as little fundemental as possible. For the loud chords, it would be all the way out. Of course when these changes are made you must adjust the sound characteristic in your mind as you are literally changing the horn every time you move the mouthpice. Needless to say, this is not something a beginner sould do.
To answer questions about this, as far as I know, there are no adjustable cup mouthpieces available commercially. These are custom and cost big bucks. Mine was from a tuba player in Chicago who had a trumpet maker in Chicago make it for him years ago!