Many players have reported that after as little as one practice session on the Wedge they play better and sound better on their usual mouthpiece. This is true of players who eventually convert to the Wedge, and even in cases where they choose to stay with their regular mouthpiece for most of their playing. It seems that the Wedge design promotes a more forward, corner-controlled set up that translates into better performance on both mouthpieces. In this way the Wedge can be used as a teaching tool to improve the player’s embouchure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Improving the embouchure
Is there a honeymoon period?
The honeymoon period refers to a well recognized phenomenon experienced by many players when changing mouthpieces, especially to one that provides an initial improvement in performance. After a number of days or weeks the initial benefits diminish and the player returns to his or her original baseline range and endurance. It has been suggested that this might result from the chops getting accustomed to the “crutch” provided by the changed characteristic that provided the initial improvement (often a smaller or shallower cup), and becoming weak or “lazy”.
The Wedge does not seem to have much of a honeymoon period.
This is because of the unique way in which the Wedge improves performance. The Wedge works by freeing your chops to respond without being restricted by the unnecessary contact between the mouthpiece and lips at the corners. This is a fundamental difference between the Wedge and some other “range enhancing” mouthpieces. Because of this the improvement seen with the Wedge is sustained and actually increases over a matter of weeks.
How long does it takes to acclimatize?
Many players describe an immediate improvement in performance. Increased flexibility is generally recognized immediately, along with a modest improvement in range, which progresses over time. Players have reported progressive improvements over a period of a few weeks, or even several months.
How long does it take for the Wedge rim to stop feeling “different”?
The Wedge rim usually stops feeling unusual within a few days. For some players it takes a little longer, and some playerd find that a conventional rim is uncomfortable the Wedge feels “normal” before the end of their first practice session.
When do you tire on the Wedge - at the same time as a conventional piece?
Many players report that they have greatly improved endurance on the Wedge. People have also reported one other interesting observation. After playing beyond the point at which they would ordinarily fatigue on a conventional mouthpiece all players will eventually tire. If at this point they switch to a conventional mouthpiece they will regain a few more minutes of playing strength. This should not be confused with the Wedge being more demanding to play than a conventional mouthpiece. This second wind occurs after the player would have ordinarily stopped playing due to fatigue on a conventional mouthpiece. However, the conventional mouthpiece provides enough splinting of the embouchure because of the increased mouthpiece contact to provide a brief second wind.
Is it possible to play a Wedge rim on one mouthpiece and a regular rim on others?
Some players do mix the Wedge rim with others and go back and forth without difficulty. This works well as long as you spend a reasonable amount of time on both rims. However, most players who convert to the Wedge rim eventually change all their mouthpiece because although they can still play on a conventional rim they do not like to because the Wegde rim works so much better for them.