- Mike Herriott
- Nick Drozdoff
- Gabriel Hasselbach
- Art Davis
- Dean McNeill
- Jim Murray
- Kim Beachum
- Terry Townson
- Dr. Michael Guevara
- Howard Engstrom
- Merrie Klazek
- Louis Ranger
- Dennis Esson
- Brandon Ridenour
- Shawn Spicer
- Vince Mai
- Randy Tinnin
- Matt Hilgenberg
- Neal Bennett
- Richard Scholz
- William Hopson
- Jordan McLean
- Andy Plamondon
- Michael Leonhart
- Thomas Fryland
- Jim Hopson
- Andrew Clark
- Marco Pierobon
- Gianluca Scipioni
- Sasha Johnson
- Eric Reed
- Philip Clark
- Thomas McColl
- Emanuele Casieri
- Martin Berinbaum
- David Ritt
- Dan Kocurek
- Chris Coletti
Testimonials for the Wedge
``Dear Dr. Dave,
I ordered and received a Wedge mouthpiece for my F-attachment trombone several months ago. After using it for some practice and a few gigs, I find that the Wedge mouthpiece is the best I've experienced. I found that I was able to produce a sharp, focused sound and extend my high range within minutes! During the gigs, I was able to play for hours. Although my lips were fatigued, I played well past the point where I normally would blow my lip. It was like having a second, third, and fourth wind.
I am well satisfied with this mouthpiece. In fact, I'm saving my pennies to purchase another one for use with my smaller-bore trombones.
Dave Noe, hobbyist-level musician, Boulder, Colorado``
"Dr. Harrison I just purchased a S14A4A wedge mouthpiece from you . I have had four practice sessions on it. I play first trumpet in a local concert band. I am 61 years of age and have played for 49 years. Since I am by default the bands high note specialist I have for about nine years played on G R 62 M S. It was great above the staff but sloppy in the lower ranges and hard to articulate. I was thinking to try a larger cup and suffer the loss in the high range. A fellow player put me on to the Wedge. I thought , hell at my age I need all the help I can get so I ordered one. First time I played it I thought mmmm this thing has possibilities. A short time later I was in love. It gives me a deeper tone , better articulation , solid low range and a much clearer more condensed sound on notes above top C were I only sort of sqeeled before. Thank you for your efforts. It is so nice to get a product that performs as advertized . I will be encouraging my fellow trumpet junkies to try a WEDGE.
Best Regards, Stephen Kemp."
I finally have found the perfect combination that I have looked for all my years of playing trumpet; a mouthpiece and backbore crafted by Dave Harrison of Vancouver, BC and it is attached to a rotary valve trumpet, silver plated and gold plating over that and hand crafted by Peter Baumann of Achau, Germany. I have always wrestled with mouthpieces, all my life; never finding the "right one". Your mouthpiece and Backbore is not only a design of Beauty, but one of playing perfection. It is really hard Dave, to put into words what you have done for me and so many other trumpet players, amateurs, experts, and professionals alike. Your inventiveness comes from your heart and soul.
What I have gained from the Wedge includes ease of playing in all registers. Bottoming out in the low register used to be a problem - no more. Comfort is high on the list, thus two to three hours of lip time are added so far, depending on the type of playing of course. The embouchure is greatly relaxed and well focused, thus more thought can be given to the music itself and not to if I'm going to hit that high Bb clean. The notes just seem to be where you want them to be as the chops can work so much easier, being freer to move with the sloped sides of the mouthpiece. So much more, but again words cannot always tell the story, but my music can.
I have learned a lot from you in my later years, about mouthpieces and how they work, leaving the diagrams and charts to those that can understand them. Most of my trumpet playing friends are not necessarily that knowledgeable about mouthpiece technology. You make it simpler to understand the concepts of how things work and that one mouthpiece and backbore may not work the same on different horns. Players say to me when I talk about the Wedge, that it is too expensive. My answer is simple: "How much is your Trumpet Playing worth?" I have friends try the mouthpieces I own, and have converted one player so far, but I keep trying because I truly believe in your Mouthpiece and Wedge Backbore.
Thank you Dave Harrison for giving so many of us, so much to be thankful for. God Bless."
Westerly, Rhode Island
2 - Peter Baumann Bb Rotary Valve Trpts; Scherzer Bb Rotary Valve Trpt;
Scherzer Bb-A Piccolo Trpt; Jupiter Bb Flugelhorn. Wedge MP-1.5B,1.5BC,
3B,3D, 5D. Wedge 27M BB, Warburton BB #s 7*,*8, 9*
'At first, like most people, I was a bit skeptical about trying a Wedge. After all, mouthpiece have largely stayed in the same style for over a hundred years. And most mouthpieces that deviated greatly from the old standards (Asymmetrical, etc) seem to be gimmicky, and rarely work for everyone. The Wedge is different, though. It takes all of the best things about modern mouthpieces (comfortable rims of varying sizes, a variety of cups depths and shapes, and interchangeable backbores) and improves on them with the "Wedge" design.
On my conventional equipment, I was doing fairly well. I had been playing for 10 years when I decided to try a Wedge. In private lessons, my teacher had brought it to my attention that my corner control was poor, and needed to be worked on for a more efficient embouchure. I found it hard to stray away from the embouchure I had built over ten years of playing on my conventional mouthpieces. However, the sloped edges of the Wedge encouraged a centrally focused embouchure, making me use the muscles of the corners of my mouth, rather than "hooking my chops in" and letting everything outside the cup "go slack" to some degree. I developed, over about a 2 month size trial, a more focused, active, efficient embouchure, that improves almost every facet of my playing.
I will not say that this mouthpiece made the horn play itself, because that would lead people astray. It did, however, promote a very positive change in my playing. Through the switch to the Wedge, diligent practice, and a lot of concentration, it truly made me a better player. My attacks are cleaner, my tone is improved, and my consistent range has increased nearly a 4th. I am pleasantly surprised beyond my wildest expectations at what this mouthpiece has meant for my playing. It won't work any miracles on its own, but if you let it guide you in the right direction, and put in the time and effort required to become a better player, it can certainly feel like a miracle worker.
And speaking of miracle workers, Dr. Dave is, without a doubt, my favorite guy I have ever done business with. He responds to e-mail almost always within a day, and my first e-mail I sent him, which I sent at Midnight on a weeknight, was answered when I awoke at 7 the next morning. You can't get that kind of service anywhere else. Not only that, but after paying for one mouthpiece, I received two complete mouthpiece in the mail, and after experimenting with 5 different tops and 4 different backbores, we finally dialed in on the right mouthpiece for me. Even two months after the initial payment was sent, and the first mouthpieces were shipped to me, Dr. Dave and I still communicated on a regular basis, and he still sent me stuff to try and get everything exactly right for my playing.
So, to anyone who is skeptical about trying a Wedge, I understand. I was there, too. But with a trial program that not only lets you try multiple mouthpieces for the price of one, but will give you a very large chunk of your money back should you choose to not stick with a Wedge, you really have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Dr. Dave will lead you in the right direction for you, even if *gasp* that means something other than a Wedge. That's right, Dr. Dave even freely admits the Wedge is not for everybody, and doesn't give anybody any extra grief about not choosing his option for a mouthpiece. If the Wedge is your thing, though, it's a great feeling."
"My experience with the Wedge Mouthpiece has been unlike anything else I have encountered to date. No change in equipment has ever come close creating the positive impact that the Wedge has for me.
Working with Dr. Dave has been almost as enjoyable as playing the Wedge itself. Never have I been offered such a high level of customer service for any piece of equipment."
Bucks County, PA
Wedge 3C, 10 Backbore
"I switched to a Wedge from my trusty Bach 9D a few months ago. My playing range has gone up a fourth (to high F)without sacrificing tone in the lower register. Quite exciting after 3 decades of believing I could not play above high C! The wedge concept is unique and I am sold on it."
"The Wedge helps me lock my mouthpiece in the right place. I think that as I fatigued, my mouthpiece would have a tendency to shift downwards. I have good flexibility and range with the Wedge. I also have my articulation, including double and triple tonguing improved with the Wedge, with a added tone intensifying weight on my mouthpiece.
Dave's personal attention to customer service cannot be overstated. It was pure pleasure dealing with Dave. I would recommend the Wedge to anyone with an open mind. I would especially recommend it to anyone who has some variability in their embouchure, and wants to lock it in properly."
"If I had a choice of playing a gig on my Wedge mouthpiece and a mediocre trumpet, or a great trumpet with any other mouthpiece, it would be a no-brainer. The Wedge/mediocre trumpet combination.
This design is everything I've been looking for in a mouthpiece for years. I've been playing one on a Warburton 9* backbore for a year with great results, but my new stainless steel version (same size as before) with the Wedge medium large backbore is even better. Everything improved: tonal center, articulation, dynamic range, range, intonation. The most astonishing feature was the ability to jump from extreme high range to extreme low, with solid attack, tone and intonation. The improvement in endurance was shocking, as was the ability to play very softly, in tune, after playing very loud.
Think of all the money you have spent on lessons, horn tweaks, new horns, etc. The single most cost effective improvement you can make in your playing is a Wedge mouthpiece.
I'm not a paid endorser, just a very happy Wedge user. The good doctor Harrison is the greatest benefactor to the trumpet player since whoever invented valves."
"Ok Dr. Dave........
I love this mouthpiece! Working in a major music retail store, I have the opportunity to try just about anything you can think of. The Wedge truly stands out amongst the crowd. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I would have more range and endurance on a 3C than on my 'lead' mouthpieces.
I think part of the trick of these mouthpieces is that it forces you to play with correct technique: i.e.. firm, locked corners and a pucker. The range is nice (I have my high G back, and more than just one!, and I'm hearing whispers of A's, B's, C's and D's, I can only imagine what I'll have when I actually start practicing again), but my sound has also gotten bigger, clearer, and more core.
I love my sound that I'm getting for concert band. I may need to get another Wedge that has a little more edge to the sound for playing lead in jazz. I think your biggest hurdle in your sales game is going to be getting people to try the pieces. I must say that I was very skeptical of them when I first heard of them and also when I walked up to your table and saw them....that all faded away when I put it to my chops and felt how comfortable the piece was. I also wanted to thank you for helping to put back some enthusiasm in my playing again and making me want to actually practice. I look forward to talking to you again soon."
Trade Show Coordinator
Public Relations/ Artist Relations
Woodwind and Brasswind
"I was really amazed how easy it was for me to just play the Wedge from the start. The uniqueness of the design just took the efficiency of my embouchure to a higher level immediately.
In the course of a few decades, I have played, not just tried, Bach, Giardinelli, Benge, Black-Hill, Marcinkeiwicz, Warburton and the CG Personal. Some were stock and some were custom. With the exception of the CG Personal, never did I experience such an immediate positive difference in my playing that was conducive to improvement and brought favorable feedback from listeners. A big part of this, I am sure, is an intelligent choice of Wedge top size and style. Please understand that I am not one to quickly endorse or change mouthpieces having come from a background of many years of study with the late Claude Gordon and completion of his brass teaching certification course. I choose to play on "open" equipment as Claude put it, and there are many variables to be had with the Wedge sizes and backbores to this end (if you wish). To me however, it is the wonderfully unique and physically therapeutic nature of the Wedge-shaped rims that has made all the difference.
I think because of the embouchure efficiency that the Wedge design fosters, the average devotee will improve at a quicker rate due to the ability to practice more from the increased endurance window. I am confident that many, many players will be amazed at the difference once they try the Wedge; and as they get more and more familiar with the Wedge, things will only get better!"
New York Area Freelancer
Certified Claude Gordon Teacher
Author of Fundamental Flexibility Studies
Sound clip of "A Mighty Fortress" recorded on a Wedge
I don't know were to begin. I have never been able to reach up in the higher range like I can do with this mouthpiece. If I go for it I hit it. At practice time I have been hitting a clear high "F" and sometimes a high "G". I don't mean a pinched note, I mean a full sounding note. The intonation is right on in any range. Something that I have been looking for all my career with mouthpieces.
The mouthpiece has a clamping effect on my lips that creates a PURE sounding buzz. (Never a spread or open lip position that creates a problem for buzzing easily.) The tone is always centered and focused. This mouthpiece is by far a great advance in design. I don't get tired as easily and when doing a tough song, I come away ready to do another one. I stay refreshed and strong all night. I still can't believe how clear a sound I get. I am the same player and use the same trumpet, but I have a better sound using with the Wedge. Amazing!
"When I was a kid of about 8 I decided I wanted to learn the trumpet. I took some lessons from an orchestral player but no matter how hard I tried I seemed to have an insurmountable problem with the fundamentals, namely getting a good sound and range. So I switched to clarinet and eventually became a reasonable clarinetist. Later in life, working as an academic, I decided out of curiosity to work out why I had had those problems, since I was not used to failing in those things I had set my mind to. So I tried every conceivable mouthpiece type, shape, depth, rim, etc, and although I did this time progress, at least in some respects, I nevertheless felt I was never really able to overcome some very basic problem of sound production, and despite advice from various sources, players as well as mouthpiece makers, some of which are available on the web, this basic problem seemed intractable.
To say the Wedge solved most of my problems sounds too good to be true, too much like any other mindless ad, except it has been true. As well as many of the benefits claimed by other players in many of Dave's other testimonials, I discovered one additional thing which I have never seen discussed in all of the discussions and postings on the subject of trumpet sound production. My basic problem was one of facial physiognomy, namely a fairly long top lip combined with a high top gum level, which means that any circular mouthpiece rim is going to impinge on the lower area of my top teeth, no matter how high the placement, and as a result hinder the free vibration of the top lip. What the ovular Wedge shape allows is a rim that impinges higher on the top teeth towards the gum line, which in turn frees the top lip to do the work it must in order to allow the very basic things to happen, let alone anything more advanced. This explains why in the past I could only approximate a reasonable sound on the very largest rim sizes which, in turn, were too exhausting for more than a few minutes' playing. Now although I wouldn't say that in appearance I look as pretty as a picture, I would say that no-one would regard my lips in appearance as anything but normal. So my guess is that there are also many other players, or would-be players, out there with some similar sort of problem who will never resolve their problem with a regular shaped mouthpiece rim, and where something like the Wedge (or perhaps some equally seemingly bizarre shape in the future) may well be the only solution."
Ron Shapiro (Ph.D)
Nearly five months ago I received my Wedge 3FLX flugelhorn mouthpiece and I must say that I've put it through its paces!! I've played it every day, used it extensively in the studio, taken it on the road, and have used it with a variety of horns including my Courtois 154R, Taylor Custom, and Besson (Kanstul Prototype) Brevete flugelhorns. After playing a Denis Wick 4FL flugelhorn mouthpiece for more than ten years, I had a sound in mind that I was after. The Wedge matches that sound but, for me, also offers better intonation, better endurance, cleaner articulation with fewer 'air' notes, and improved comfort. It has lived up to all of my expectations. Just to make my point, below is the original letter I sent to Dr. Dave the day after receiving my Wedge. I'm glad to say that long after the new mouthpiece 'honeymoon' period, I'm still as impressed with the Wedge as I was on that first day!!
Here's my original letter:
Dear Dr. Dave,
I received my Wedge flugel mpc last night and decided to wait until my normal practice session this morning to try it for the first time.
I've been playing it non-stop for about an hour and thought I'd better take a rest and not over-do it, since this is my first experience with it!!
First of all, my initial impressions:
- It's a perfect fit!! Your estimation of proper rim size was right on target!
- I just put it in the horn and started blowing. From the first note I KNEW I had something special!! There was absolutely NO adjustment period at all!!
- Excellent intonation, no leakage at the sides, nice deep tone.
- I noticed no additional pressure needed and even looked at my chops in a mirror to see if there was a pronounced mouthpiece 'ring' after playing for a half hour. There was just a slight ring; less than with my regular mouthpiece.
- I noticed that articulation was much easier with fewer 'air' notes and attacks are clean.
- I noticed that the Wedge design forces me to use the proper placement on the lips right from the start and keeps the chops in the mpc.
- I noticed that I could just keep playing with no adverse effects. Endurance seems to be much improved. I guess the 'pucker' I use matches up perfectly with the mouthpiece!
- Now, Dave, here's something you've probably never heard before: I usually produce a LOT of condensation when I play. For some reason I must be playing more efficiently because I'm not producing anywhere near the condensation I normally do. Go figure!!
After about 45 minutes of straight flugel playing, I tried the trumpet backbore on my Bach Strad. Really smooth, mellow tone, good intonation, no loss of range. Another bulls eye!! (I'm looking forward to using it with my Taylor Chicago Heavyweight soon.)
Dave, I'm impressed!! I know that there's usually a honeymoon period with a new mouthpiece, but this is simply amazing!!
I'm dying to start using it in my recording studio!!
Thanks again for your good service and your expertise, Dave. This mouthpiece is a winner!!
My very best regards, as always.
Songs recorded using the Wedge 3FLX mouthpiece at: www.bartsmusic.com/songs
---L'Anno, il Posto, l'Ora
---Io Non So Parlar d'Amore
---You're Only Human
I received my mouthpiece on Thursday. I was on vacation for four days and had not played at all. I took out the mouthpiece and played for about15 minutes...it felt very comfortable. The next day I played on it for about 45 minutes. Great sound, focus, intonation AND comfort. Saturday I worked out on it for about 2 hours. My sound, especially in the upper range was great and I added about 1 step to my upper notes. Sunday I played an Italian feast in Brooklyn, NY for about 2 1/2 - 3 hours. Still felt good and was more relaxed with the mouthpiece. I want anybody reading this to know that I am not a top shelf pro..just a player looking for ways to improve my playing. This mouthpiece is everything that it claims and then some. Don't be concerned by the shape...it felt fine the first time out......besides, you can return it. I will let you know how I progress.....again THANKS.
"I play third cornet in two concert bands. One here in Indiana during the summer, and one in Florida in the winter. I continually sought a mouthpiece that would be the best for me. I never had a resolution of that. I tried Bach 3C, 3CW, 7C, 7CW, 10.5C, 10.5CW, Megatones in a couple of sizes, and a few Denis Wick models.
Then I tried the wedge, and my search is over. I may downsize. The few trumpeters whom I have permitted to try my mouthpieces have all been favorably impressed. I am sure one will obtain one. Another one, the band director here in Indiana, will save up for one."
C. George Brockus
"Fortuitous discovery of the Wedge trumpet mouthpiece has been one of the best things that has happened to me since I decided to take up trumpet playing again three years ago, after a break of nearly forty years. As a teenager I played in a brass band and played traditional jazz, but had very little formal training and had developed all sorts of bad habits which severely limited my abilities. As a comeback player, I resolved to learn to play 'properly', and indeed have greatly exceeded the achievements of my youth. However I had reached a plateau and despite serious practice and good equipment I could not develop the sound I was hoping for. Then along came the Wedge!
The design of the Wedge mouthpiece seems to have improved my embouchure without my really trying to alter it. After a few weeks of playing my lips now seem to fit in to the mouthpiece in such a way as to focus my aperture in a forward position, giving a much cleaner sound, more volume , easier upper register, less fatigue. I think I am getting closer to the puckering monkey embouchure which many believe to be advantageous. In short, I love the change. I am now the proud owner of several Wedge tops for my trumpet, cornet and flugel, and can't wait for the trombone mouthpiece to become available. The modular system enables one to colour the sound to suit a range of instruments, environments and musical styles. Dr Dave has been extremely helpful, and the speed of delivery is remarkable (from Canada to Australia in less than a week). The size trial is a great idea. I have spent less than half the amount of money that I previously had spent on some big name mouthpieces. I would highly recommend that any amateur player like myself who is unhappy with his sound gives the Wedge a try. You could be in for a pleasant surprise."
Dr Malcolm Richards
I hope all this will be useful for someone in the same boat I was in.
My problem was being a 1/4 tone sharp above the staff with most lead type mouthpieces: Monette B6 LS1, GR 64 NB 4*, Curry 60M, Schilke 12A4a. Now my sound was not pinched. I had a full, powerful tone up to a solid D/E and to an occasional G. However, I had to tune differently when I was playing a lead part vs a section part. It was an enormous hassle, especially since most lead playing has stuff in the staff as well as above.
I had noticed that on my old Curry 70M, I didn't have the tuning issue. I even borrowed that MP back from the guy I sold it to and tried it on a gig with disastrous results--I had no endurance, which was my trademark problem with that MP anyway. I also clammed the high notes on the one lead piece I played during that gig. Now I had just learned that I played well in tune in all registers with a Schilke 14, but I had a very hard time playing above D. I tried a Schilke 14A4a and that seemed to work decently. I could get to E or F, tone was right for lead, and endurance was fair but not great.
Then Dave Harrison's Wedge MPs arrived. I started with a med width/shallow top (3E) and small width/shallow top (5E) with med and medium open backbores--didn't work. Next was wide and shallow (1.5E), and med wide and med-shallow (3D) with Qm (tightest) and a KT* (almost as tight) backbores--still sharp above the staff.
I then tried a med width/med depth top (3C) with Qm and KT* backbores. That worked, my upper register was in tune with my lower! The QT backbore gave me a more focused sound and the KT* gave a broader sound. Since I prefer a focused sound I picked the Qm backbore with the 3C top.
Now there is some stuff going on with the Wedge design that makes it more efficient. As soon as I tried the 3C cup with the tight backbores I had all my range back and more. I was able to slot all the way up to A. I hit Double C a couple days later and my F is becoming secure. Maybe this would have eventually happened with the 14A4a. However, the IMMEDIATE ease of my upper range, decent intonation, and better color of sound make the Wedge superior. They also seem to be improving the more I play with the Wedge.
I don't know what Dave did to get the tone color as good as a Monette MP, but I THINK the efficiency comes from the Wedge rim this way. A narrower width helps us focus our buzz better, which aids range and endurance. A larger cup allows a bigger sound. The Wedge side rim gives the lips the needed side support, and I think the larger top and bottom rim allows in effect a bigger cup.
I also think the Wedge shape allows--dare I say it--one to add a REASONABLE amount of additional pressure and gain support from that pressure. The pressure goes mainly to the upper and lower lips, which tends to roll them in a bit more and increases compression. An important caveat here. I am a "low pressure" player. I can rest the horn on my palm and play a D or E. So it may be that what I am describing as "added pressure" may just be getting me up to a normal level of pressure.
I have since tried a 3B top, which is deeper than the 3C and a W-27S backbore. This is a weighted backbore. I messed around with both my 3C and 3B tops on both the 27s and the QT backbores. Interestingly intonation is about the same with the 3B as the 3C with either backbore, though the 3B is less likely to go sharp when playing soft. Here is how the stack up:
3C/QT: My perfect lead mouthpiece. Bright and full tone but not harsh. excellent range, endurance, and response.
3B/27S: My perfect legit sound, big, full, and dark. I can play a classical sounding E on this piece, as well as play low and soft. It takes a lot of volume to get any edge. The tone does thin out above E or F and you have to push HARD to get any sizzle.
The 3C/27S and 3B/QT play so much a like it is really hard to tell them apart, except for one thing. I just finished playing in church. I learned--ie, my wife said I was overpowering--the 27S heavy weighted backbore produces too big a sound for a small church. It gives me that big, full orchestral sound. This means I'll be using the 3B with the QT backbore for section stuff.
Now I still go a little sharp as I tire, and I am more likely to go sharp above the staff or when playing softly. That is a playing/hearing issue with me that I will resolve with practice. However, having the right MP configuration for the horn and my way of playing makes correcting that sharpness very manageable and predictable. If I had not gone on this safari--and to be honest several folks thought I was wasting my time--I would have greatly limited my playing ability. Sometimes you KNOW what is right for you, and you have to do what you know regardless of who may object.
Blaine J. Painter, Maj, USAF, Command Pilot, RETIRED!!
Came back to trumpet in 2001 after a 23 year layoff