I was introduced to Wedge mouthpieces by my father, William Hopson (Calgary Philharmonic). At my first meeting with Dr. Dave, we spent a hour or so determining if Wedge concept works for me. In A/B tests between wedge modified and unmodified mouthpieces (otherwise identical), the wedge was a clear winner every category: focus, comfort, articulation, flexibility, projection etc. Dave 'wedgified' a couple of rims for me, and I have been using them ever since. My overall feeling is that the wedge design takes pressure/contact off of the mouth corners, and forces those to work at maximum efficiency (focus forward). Because the rim is not pinning the mouth corners in places, corner breathing becomes easier and necessary embouchure motions (pivot and micro-adjustments) happen more naturally. In short, my face feels 'smarter' on a Wedge.
The Wedge is not a gimmick, nor is it a one-dimensional specialist's mouthpiece like many other unconventional designs. My career as a freelance player demands versatility: all possible ranges, dynamics, articulations, and timbres need to be available to me. The Wedge mouthpieces I use are well-rounded and do everything well, and I have used them in a variety of musical situations: chamber music, orchestra, jazz (big band and small band), rock bands, reggae, amplified or acoustic, live or recorded.
As my needs as a player have evolved, I have returned to Dave for re-fittings and consultations. He always spends the time to make sure that we find the right tool for the job, with no pressure to buy. He is interested in finding practical solutions for artists much more than in simply selling mouthpieces; a rare thing, in any business!
Currently using: Wedge 6 3/4C for commercial work, modified Doug Elliott mouthpieces for legit and doubling.
Jim Hopson's Biography
Young trombonist Jim Hopson was born in to a family of professional musicians, beginning his musical training at age three. He moved to Vancouver in 2007, after completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Trombone Performance (with distinction) at the University of Victoria, studying with the great Canadian trombonist Ian McDougall. While at UVic, Jim played principal trombone with the UVic Orchestra, was a featured soloist with both the UVic Wind Symphony and Jazz Orchestra, and was a finalist in the University’s Concerto Competition. He has been awarded cash prizes and scholarships in solo and chamber music competitions.
Jim has since established himself as a first call sideman and arranger in many musical styles, including classical music, folk, pop, jazz, and latin music. As a touring musician, he has performed throughout the world: Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Current local and touring projects include: Ten Souljers, The Bleeding Horse Express, One Tonne Brass.
As an educator, Jim maintains a private teaching studio, as well as presenting masterclasses and clinics to students of all levels throughout British Columbia.
Learn more about Jim Hopson
Performing and recording credits: Chucho Valdes, Muhal Richard Abrams, Hedley, Dan Mangan, Brasstronaut, Jill Townsend Big Band, Orquesta Goma Dura, the Banff Jazz Orchestra, Mackenzie Jones Big Band, The Whiskeydicks, Livin’ in Swing Orchestra, Plastic Acid Ensemble, Mariachi Los Dorados, The Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra, The Kamloops Symphony, The Prince George Symphony, The Okanagan Symphony, Shera Kelly, Marc-Alexandre Poirier, Erin Graves, and many more.