Best Tuba Mouthpiece Review – Top Rated Models in 2019 with Buying Guide
This article will help you find all you need to know to find the best tuba mouthpiece for your instrument. We have taken the time to critically analyze the mouthpieces that are available on the market and we concluded that the Conn-Selmer 120S is the one that stands out the most. It is highly versatile and due to the mid-range rim, it can be used to reach a high range of notes. Players will see an improved intonation when using it. It will help you produce a high sound volume. If you’re unable to find it for sale, have a look at the Conn-Selmer 1207B model.
Highly Recommended Choices – Reviews & Comparison
We didn’t only take into consideration what a loud tuba mouthpiece should look like, but we also emphasized the importance of a quality sound and durability when we conducted our search. After considering all the aspects that make a good tuba mouthpiece, we made our picks on the most recommended models. Here they are.
The brand is based in Indiana and it has specialized in producing quality orchestra and band instruments. This model from them is a standard mouthpiece, with a narrow bell shape. It is a good choice both for beginners and more experienced players.
The rim can be considered a mid-range one, as it is suitable for most players and allows everybody to approach a broad dynamic range.
Despite that, however, players that have larger lips may struggle with using it and should look for a larger diameter piece. Its size makes it light in weight.
Comparing to other mouthpieces, you will notice an improvement in the tuba’s tone when using this one. You don’t want to lose it, being so small, so you should consider getting a pouch to store it.
Users will be able to play a lot louder with more ease, and the quality mouthpiece will enhance the range and quality of the intonation.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($79)
This is another model of standard shape heavy brass. Its quality build makes it easy for anyone to play it and that is why it is suitable for most players.
It is more of a premium version of the 120S model, but it doesn’t fit European tuba models. That is why, before purchasing it, you should make sure to measure your tuba precisely.
On the bright side, it’s made to fit any US tuba and sousaphone. It is made from very durable high-grade brass so it will not dent or scratch if dropped or bumped. For extra protection, it even comes with a pouch. No need to worry about losing or damaging it.
It’s a good choice for hitting low notes, some players being able to reach a low octave C#, but it’s also decent at getting crisp highs. It thus offers the possibility to improve the range for everybody.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($79)
Yamaha is one of the well-known brands in the music industry and that is due to the great quality products that it has been creating for decades.
And if you are uncertain on what mouthpiece to pick, you can rest assured that this model from the company is always a good choice. It’s a mouthpiece suitable for most players, because of its standard cup and thickness.
You can get this model if you are unsure on what style to approach. It will let you test different techniques and it will provide a good platform for you to learn.
You should also know that the rim of this piece is semi-flat and not round, as you might expect. Some players prefer not to use this kind of model.
However, that doesn’t mean the mouthpiece is uncomfortable while in use, as it provides a great grip.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($68.95)
If you are an experienced player or feel that you have played the tuba long enough to become familiar with it, you will surely benefit from this mouthpiece. That is because it provides a deep cup and thus, the possibility to achieve some great sound volume.
But, taking into consideration that you know how to play the instrument, you will also be able to reach low and high notes, darker tones, and, in general, you will have a complex tuba performance. The brand name recommends itself and getting this mouthpiece is worth the investment.
The sound it provides is exquisite, particularly if you are a professional. The inner diameter is 0.65 inches, which is sufficient to provide a good choice for intermediate players too.
The semi-flat rims have a good impact on endurance, letting the player exercise for more, but they don’t impact on flexibility too much.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($68.31)
The Blessing company has a high reputation amongst tuba mouthpiece brands for producing quality parts at an affordable price. This mouthpiece fits right into that description. It’s designed based on input from famous professional players and created both in the US and Germany. So you won’t have to worry if it fits your tuba, no matter where you live.
Based on its description, this mouthpiece has a deep cup depth. A deeper cup will generally produce a darker tone and will make it a lot easier to play low notes.
On the other hand, the player needs to work a lot harder to reach high notes. But that comes with experience. Speaking about experience, you might want to broaden your musical expertise and get yourself one of the most popular clarinets out there.
To compensate that, the rim shape is a wide and flat one, letting the player have an easier time to reach those high tonalities. It also offers some extra space for the lips to rest and the result is more endurance.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($39.99)
Vincent Bach 33524AW
With a deep cup depth and a very wide diameter of 1.23 inches, this mouthpiece is designed for those players that know how to use the tuba and are confident in their skills.
In return, the piece offers the possibility of reaching dark and low notes with a great amount of volume. The wide rim makes it easier for the player to keep a note going and helps with the endurance.
As the manufacturers suggest, all of the details that go into this mouthpiece are present to ensure that the highest possible volume is achieved. It’s a model made for players with a strong embouchure, meaning that it’s not a great choice for beginners.
It is recommended that you use this piece for large-bore instruments. Due to its massive size, it should be used by players with larger lips that want to achieve low notes. Endurance may be sacrificed due to the wide cup.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($89.98)
Cecilio Standard Tuba
This is another good addition to any tuba player’s collection, and that is due to the smooth low tones it can provide. The model is silver plated, something that is a common practice in the business.
It has a deep cone, meaning that the tones coming out of it will be darker, and more suitable for those looking to reach lower notes.
The rim size is quite large and is rounded, making things difficult for beginners, but providing a great alternative for the experienced players.
With a rounded rim, the player is able to better control the notes that come out. However, using it for too long may result in the player getting tired faster.
Looking at the inner details, the mouthpiece offers some great curvatures, that form a U shape. This makes it a bit easier to reach higher sounds.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($17.99)
Best tuba cases and pouches
Mouthpieces can get damaged quite easily, particularly if they are made of a material that isn’t made to last. Most players also don’t want to see any scratches on their beloved mouthpiece. Protection is thus a must, and nothing can offer that more than a carrying pouch or a tuba mouthpiece case. So we picked a few of these for you as well.
Being made of neoprene, a synthetic rubber, this pouch manifests increased flexibility and has some different benefits too. For example, it is a great choice for those looking for resistance against stains. The quality material doesn’t absorb and it will keep the dirty liquids away. Speaking about that, it’s also highly resistant to water.
The interior is heavily padded, for increased protection. You won’t have any issues with your mouthpiece getting damaged or even scratched. That is also due to the soft and non-abrasive interior. The pouch offers a zippered closure, for easy access to the mouthpiece when needed.
You can observe that it also comes with a backside pocket, where you can keep additional accessories. If you decide to carry a saxophone mouthpiece, you can hold the reed in the back pocket. Ease of access is thus ensured. The size of this pouch is large enough and people say that it can fit alto mouthpieces too.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($15.69)
ProTec Model A205
This pouch offers an ergonomic alternative, and the mouthpiece will fit right into it. It’s made of nylon and thus very lightweight, and it can work well against scratches, but if you drop it with the mouthpiece in it, it doesn’t offer much shock resistance.
The interior, however, looks a lot better than expected. It’s padded enough and non-abrasive, so the mouthpiece should stay intact with no marks on it.
The closure system is a simple one, employing a velcro surface. That makes it a lot easier to access the mouthpiece and to put it back in the pouch once the player has finished working with it.
An interesting aspect of this pouch is the conveniently placed belt loop. You can use it to hold your mouthpiece close to you at all times, or, if you need to switch between two mouthpieces, it is ideal to hold one of them while you use the other.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($9.99)
Coming in two different colors, this pouch offers you the possibility to choose between a discreet black, or, if you want your pouch to be more noticeable, you can select the red one. Being made of neoprene, it ensures that it remains flexible enough and that it’s water and stain resistant.
It has a high carrying capacity, being capable of accommodating 3 mouthpieces. Each of them can sit comfortably in a separate padded area. A belt loop is also attached, so you will be able to carry your top 3 pieces with you at all times and you will have the possibility to quickly change between them.
To facilitate a quick access to the mouthpieces, the pouch comes with a zipper style closure. This also makes sure that no dust or grime gets around the mouthpieces. If you need even more space, the backside offers a large pocket where you can fit additional accessories – a piece of cloth, for example.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($21.73)
ProTec Model N203
Being a small pouch, it’s particularly designed to hold more compact mouthpieces and it’s also made to offer as much protection occupying as little space possible. This model is 7.5 inches long, so if you have a mouthpiece that is close to or goes over this dimension, it will most likely not fit in it.
The materials used are of high quality, and the interior is softly padded. The mouthpiece will be well protected. To enhance this, the lining is non-abrasive. The backside pocket can prove useful, particularly when using the pouch to carry a saxophone mouthpiece. You can use the pocket to hold one or more reeds there.
Neoprene was the material of choice for this pouch, and manufacturers use this fabric because it adds more flexibility to the design. Also, it’s a great measure of protection against dust, grime, and maybe most importantly, it’s a good way of keeping the water away.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($10.99)
Reunion Blues Pouch
Being the size of a palm, this model should be able to hold most tuba mouthpieces. This pouch is crafted from full-grain leathers, for ultimate luxury. For quick access, it offers a magnetic closure. Getting your mouthpiece in and out can’t be easier than this. The stitching has been carefully done to ensure longevity and a pleasant look.
The brand’s logo has been elegantly embossed on the covering part. Everything about this product tells you it’s made with cultivated beauty. The interior, however, doesn’t appear to be heavily padded, and the manufacturer doesn’t specify any information on that.
Although durable and great looking, the pouch may come with the disadvantage that it doesn’t entirely cover the mouthpiece. It has small openings where dust can pervade and set on the mouthpiece. On the bright side, this pouch occupies very little space and due to its shape, you can even fit it in your pockets.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($22.74)
Yearly Guide & Report
Picking the right mouthpiece matters. The choice is made taking a number of factors into consideration and is mostly influenced by the style that the player wants to approach, the music direction he or she wants to follow, and the budget. These are the factors that we think have a great influence on how a mouthpiece performs.
Dimensions affect playing style
The shape and size of a tuba mouthpiece have a heavy influence on how the resulting sounds are performed. Each part of the mouthpiece has its specific importance. Usually, when talking about a model number, the inner diameter is a figure most commonly used. The differences between diameters can be very small, but with great significance.
Generally, a small inner diameter makes it easier for the player to reach higher notes. But this comes at the expense of volume. The smaller the opening, the lower the tuba’s sound volume will be.
A large diameter operates as you expect – it offers the possibility to easily reach lower notes. It also offers great volume, but it comes with the disadvantage that it sacrifices endurance. That is because the player is forced to work the muscles around the mouth more with bigger diameter mouthpieces.
Tuba mouthpiece reviews agree that the depth of the cup has its importance too. It works on similar principles – the smaller the depth, the higher the produced notes will be. A shallow cup will provide more support when reaching very high tonalities, but it will make the player struggle to get out a high sound volume.
Switching things around, a mouthpiece with a deep cup will produce a darker tone and thus reaching low notes is made easier. Finding the balance between all these elements can represent the beauty of choosing the right mouthpiece for you.
The dimensions and the shape of the rim influence how the tuba is played. Large rim diameters tend to be used in classical pieces more. Small rims, on the other hand, are useful for Jazz or mainstream music, because the tones required are different between genres. Mistakenly, people believe that larger rims are used by better players, but that is not the case.
Indeed, a larger diameter requires a better embouchure and thus the skills required are high, but at the same time, a Jazz player using a small mouthpiece can be as good as a classical player that doesn’t.
A thin rim should offer more flexibility in what the player wants to achieve, but it decreases endurance and stops blood circulation into the lips. Too thick rims have the tendency to thrust lips strongly – again, something that isn’t desirable.
Why is plating important?
Just in case you never wondered why most mouthpieces have a silver or gold plating, you should know that the industry does that because brass is toxic for humans. Some people can develop harsh allergies when put in contact with brass. Silver is used for covering that and it is known that it has the ability to naturally kill off germs. Mouthpieces coated like this are better at providing low notes.
Keep in mind that silver is not always the best alternative because of how fast it tarnishes and thus requires extended care. If you’re also allergic to silver, you should look to find a gold plated mouthpiece. Gold is more expensive but doesn’t have the silver’s downsides. Additionally, it feels smoother and offers the player the feeling of control, while producing a shiny and abundant sound.
Some players even prefer a plastic tuba mouthpiece. They are particularly useful for those that spend a lot of time outdoors because plastic isn’t affected by weather so much, and it can withstand cold temperatures. Additionally, it’s durable and lightweight, and such models are amongst the cheap tuba mouthpieces. All these factors make plastic ideal for marching bands.
Starters may want to practice on other instruments too and see what they like most. For that purpose, they could try a saxophone for beginners. They can also get things more complicated and buy a clarinet for beginners.
In case you’re looking for other instruments too, you should read our guide and maybe find yourself a Yamaha saxophone. By the way, we have also written an article on Yamaha violins, and if you’re a music enthusiast, you should give that one a read too.