Wondering which is the best trumpet mouthpiece for marching band?
Well, it has to be the Denis Wick 4X Heavytop Mouthpiece. I’ve used this mouthpiece before and having nothing but good things to say about it.
Moreover, reviews by customers on Amazon also support by stance.
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Denis Wick 4X Mouthpiece for Marching Band
There are five main things that make the Denis Wick 4X the best mouthpiece for machine band:
- Easy high notes
Let’s go through these five points
Easy High Notes
The Denis Wick 4X produces high notes, which makes it easy to play. Its cup is shallow enough to produce sizzling high note. Moreover, the way the cup work with the V-shaped backbore makes it a joy to play the high register.
The Denis Wick 4X can be an all-around mouthpiece. However, since its high register is easy to play, most trumpeters prefer to use it as their main high note mouthpiece.
The Denis Wick 4X produces focused notes. This is important as focused notes also help with projection and education. Moreover, it helps you to play in tune better than you would with a mouthpiece that spreads the sound.
When you are playing in a marching band where there are other musical instruments, the focused sound will allow you to hear your pitch. Therefore, it will be easier to know whether or not you are playing in tune.
If you are in a marching band and play a mouthpiece that spreads the sound, it will be difficult to project since you won’t be able to hear yourself among the other players. As a result, your endurance will suffer.
Project is another area where the Denis Wick 4X shines. You want a mouthpiece with good projection when you are playing in a marching band, or any other large group.
The sound shoots through the air, allowing the audience to clearly hear the melody, whether you are playing indoors or outdoors.
The Denis Wick 4X produces energetic notes. The sound is not too bright nor too dark. Rather, it is focused and “majestic”. These are the elements you would want in a good marching band trumpet sound.
The Denis Wick 4X mouthpiece sound has some serious “backbone”. You will love how the mouthpiece produces an energetic sound with a ringing energy.
If you’ve taken part in long marching band sessions, you know how demanding they can be on endurance. During the sessions, you need all the help that you can get.
In the previous article covering the best trumpet mouthpiece for endurance, Denis Wick made it to the list. Trumpeters love his mouthpiece for various reasons:
- Its rim size and cup depth work in sync with the “V-shaped” backbore
- It has a heavy top
- The cup is a little bit shallower
- The mouthpiece has a slightly wider rim than most mouthpieces
The wider rim of the Denis Wick 4X ensures that it doesn’t dig in to the lip tissue and cut off the blood flow. Of course, with better blood flow, you will have a better endurance.
The mouthpiece’s cup is also somewhat shallow. The shallow cup makes it easier to articulate and also helps with compressing the air. As a result, your embouchure muscles will not have to work as hard. This means that you will be able to play for a longer time without getting tired.
The cup is somewhat shallow but not too shallow. Therefore, there is no likelihood of the sound becoming too bright, making you standout from the rest of the band. From my experience, the Denis Wick 4X has the optimal cup for this.
The mouthpiece also has a heavy top, which makes the tone more focused and helps in projecting the sound. More focused notes make the playing more secure and helps with endurance. When playing, you will be able to lean securely into the notes since they are right where they should be.
Finally, the V-shaped backbore of the mouthpiece also helps to improve endurance but doesn’t sacrifice the quality of the tone.
Other Mouthpieces for Marching Bands
The Denis Wick 4X is the best mouthpiece for marching bands. However, there are other good mouthpieces that you can also use. For example, the Bach 3c Megatone is also great for playing in marching bands.
However, I prefer the Denis Wick 4X to the Back 3c because the former is cheaper and does the job just as well as the 3c megatone.
Should You Buy the Denis Wick 4X?
I highly recommend getting the Denis Wick 4X if you play in a marching band. I’ve found the mouthpiece excellent for lead playing (high note stuff), classical music, chamber music, and everything in between.
If you are struggling with endurance, make sure you check out the Warburton P.E.T.E. for endurance article for some pointers that will help you.
FAQs About Mouthpieces
Q: Can I play a mouthpiece made of wood?
Yes, you can. Wooden mouthpieces have a warm sound but can never match the projection, energy, and “brassy sound” produced by brass instruments. If you play in a marching band, I wouldn’t recommend a wooden mouthpiece or a wooden trumpet!
Q: Is the Denis Wick 4X a good mouthpiece for piccolo trumpet?
Yes, the mouthpiece is great for piccolo trumpet. It has good endurance, great sound, easy high notes and great control.
Q: Is the Shilke 14A4A a good mouthpiece for marching band?
No. The mouthpiece cup is too shallow and the sound too frill.
The Shilke 14A4a sound cuts but doesn’t project. If you play in a marching band, you want a mouthpiece that will project and produce more compact sound. A Shilke 14A4a would be better suited for playing lead in a big band.
Remember, when you are playing in a marching band, you are still playing mostly in the middle register or the low register. The 14A4a mouthpiece is specially designed for lead playing. This is a “high note mouthpiece”.
You shouldn’t use the 14A4a as an all-around mouthpiece since it is not suitable for the situation and you’ll hinder your progress doing so.
The 14A4a mouthpiece is suitable for lead trumpet players in a big band. The mouthpiece works well in situations where you have to play a lot of cutting high notes, with a sharp sound and good articulations. However, it does not play great for a marching band or symphony orchestra. You also wouldn’t want to use it for playing Haydn’s trumpet concerto, even though it makes the high “e-flat” easier.
Q: Apart from finding the right mouthpiece for the job, how can I improve my trumpet endurance?
Check the following guides:
Q: Can I use a plastic mouthpiece for marching band?
Yes. However, plastic mouthpieces are only recommended for players that wear braces on their teeth, or when playing outside when it’s very cold. In most cases, the mouthpieces are not suitable for marching bands since they don’t project well. The poor project means you will work much harder than you need, making you suffer when playing.