first Monette tuba mouthpieces were inspired by and made for Chester Schmitz of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. After the trumpet section of the Boston Symphony began using Monette equipment, Mr. Schmitz approached Monette for a mouthpiece that would provide the same depth of sound and evenness of response throughout the registers as the trumpet section was experiencing. The resulting mouthpiece, first made in 1991, is now being used by orchestral tuba players the world over.
By popular demand, all Monette low-brass mouthpieces are built with Prana technology, at a special low price.
How to Select a Monette Mouthpiece
Because of the inconsistent playing qualities found in conventional mouthpiece designs, players have become accustomed to accepting compromises in mouthpiece size in order to maintain a given range and endurance in their playing. Monette mouthpieces are designed to eliminate these frustrating compromises and to promote an easier and more consistent approach to equipment selection.
Monette constant pitch center mouthpiece designs negate the old rules of choosing equipment, including how to pick the best size mouthpiece for a given musical task. One of Monette's primary goals in working with clients is to help them let go of old ideas about how they listen to themselves as they play, how they choose instruments, and how they choose mouthpiece sizes.
If brass players only had to play in the middle register and for no more than an octave in range, most players would be using a larger mouthpiece than they currently use. When choosing your first Monette mouthpiece, we generally suggest trying a size that is at least a little bit larger than you may be accustomed to. A slightly larger size in Monette equipment will actually enhance one’s upper register and fill out one’s sound because it encourages the player to play down into the center of the equipment in a way that is not possible on conventional equipment.
Not only do players find that using larger sizes is advantageous when using Monette mouthpieces, but they also find they can more easily change mouthpiece sizes for different styles of playing without suffering the usual acclimation problems.
All Monette mouthpieces come with larger throat sizes than most players of conventional mouthpieces have been accustomed to. The throat sizes for each model are optimized for each individual mouthpiece design. When larger throats are used in conventional mouthpieces, the upper register goes even flatter than it already does with traditional, mass-produced designs; with Monette constant-pitch-center designs, this is no longer an issue.
When playing Monette low-brass mouthpieces, it is essential to play without the physical adjustments we have learned to make for the inconsistent pitch center of conventional equipment. For more information, please refer to Monette's essay on Pitch Center, Body Use, and Resonance, and the Acclimation Guide. Please also click here, and scroll to the bottom of the page, to view acclimation tips written specifically for tuba players.
Click here to read Norlan Bewley's excellent review of Monette mouthpieces.
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