Congratulations on your Engagement!!!

Posted December 19th, 2019 by Christan Griego in General, Tips | 2 Comments »

If you’ve watched my masterclass you know what I’m about to talk about.  How deep your mouthpiece goes into your leadpipe.  It is all the rage to diminish the gap between the end of your mouthpiece and your leadpipe’s venturi.


“It’s so free blowing” sells instruments.  Why?  Because it’s easy to fall in love with one aspect of an instrument.  Being free blowing will allow you to play loud, this is absolutely true….  in the middle register.  The problem comes in the upper register when you need to have some (correct amount) of  compression to lean against to play loud.  Without any compression in the instrument (or if your mouthpiece goes in too far) this can cause an issue.  You may have to provide the compression yourself, with your aperture, which can cause tension to come into the sound and the size of the sound to diminish or even backup into your body.    Does this make any sense?


This doesn’t mean that you should choose a mouthpiece that sticks way out of the leadpipe.  It does mean that it’s part of the overall equation that needs to be assessed carefully.  If you’ve chosen a large mouthpiece and it plays smaller (tighter) than your previous “smaller” mouthpiece it is quite possible the you should make sure the engagement is the same, or check to see how it varies….


We once checked a manufacturer’s mouthpieces engagement.  Four different mouthpieces from different time periods all the same brand.  They all had quite different engagement which caused them to play quite different.  When we design a mouthpiece we find the optimal engagement and then make sure all the mouthpieces we make are the same.  It’s not rocket science, but if you were aware of all the variances out there you’d think it was…



2 Responses to “Congratulations on your Engagement!!!”

  1. Harry says:

    Christan, is there a video recording of any of your masterclasses available? That would be great to watch!

  2. Not yet, but I’m planning on trying to record this year…

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