Posted by barry guerrero on October 24, 1999 at 13:02:07:
In Reply to: 6/4 sound on a 4/4 posted by John Hreha on October 18, 1999 at 16:45:00:
A couple of fellows have implied that if you play loud on a mirafone, your tone and intonation will go to pot. Let's more objective. The mouthpiece you use will make a difference. You should get a very smooth, melodic sound with a Helleberg type m.p.- deep but only medium width. In most cases, the sound should be big enough with the Helleberg for most everything. If you need more sound, you basically have two options. First, you could try a big, wide, deep mouthpiece for maximum tone and volume. The problem here is that your octaves make become too small. In other words, if you tune so that the low and mid range are correct, your upper octaves will go flat. As long as you're playing works that don't often stretch up high, that may not be a problem - depends on the piece, and your ability too "fudge" tuning problems. The other m.p. option is to use something wide but shallow in the cup. This is basically the solution used in L.A. for many years - where mirafones once ruled the land. This will give you a somewhat brighter but more "cutting" kind of sound. The advantage is that your open ctaves and fifths will be better in tune. I believe that this is still the type of mouthpiece that Bobo, Jim Self, and Tommy Johnson still use, even if they've abandoned mirafones. The beauty of your mirafone is that it's a very flexible instrument. With a not too big mouthpiece, it can be very agile for chamber and solo work. As I said, I once heard a young player do the V.W. perfectly on a 186.