A Guide to Tuba Mouthpiece Sizes

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Similar to what happens on other instruments’ mouthpieces, tuba mouthpiece sizes and dimensions can affect the instrument’s sound. And such is related to the distinct forms and sizes of the different parts of a mouthpiece, namely the cup, throat, rim, and backbore.

Tuba mouthpieces come in many different sizes, with the size often denoted by a number.

This article will explain what to consider when choosing tuba mouthpiece sizes.


What Size Tuba Mouthpiece Should I Get?

Many factors determine which size you need such as:

  • the type of music you play
  • where you play it
  • the sound you are willing to achieve
  • what’s most comfortable for you to use.

In any case, and if you are not sure about what to get or what you are willing to achieve in terms of sound, always try different mouthpiece sizes until you can find the right fit.

To find the perfect size for you, try out various instruments at stores or online and see which one suits your needs best. If you don’t have access to a store, it’s usually a good idea to purchase something in the middle range for most tuba players because these sizes are likely to suit many different instruments.

Depending on Its Various Parts and the Sound Your Are Willing to Perform with the Tuba

The different parts of a brass instrument mouthpiece
The different parts of a brass instrument mouthpiece

The sizing of tuba mouthpieces and the different dimensions and forms of their various parts will affect how your instrument sounds:

Cup

The volume of the cup, diameter, profile, and depth, affects the sound intensity; Brighter tones can be achieved with shallower and smaller cups, and on the other extreme, larger cup mouthpieces will provide richer and darker tones.

Rim

Generally, for rims, you should look for strength and flexibility, but primarily on how comfortable it feels

If you are looking for more precise sounds, then you should look for narrow and sharper rims. They tend to lead to a lack of resistance. On contrary, if are willing to play for a longer time, then look for round and wider mouthpieces as they are more comfortable to play with. However, those might lack agility, and could be of insufficient tone production.

Throat

Larger Throats increase the volume and the tone. Also increases the blowing freedom and sharpens the higher register. Smaller Throats increase the brilliance of the sound, the endurance, and the air resistance, flattening high register

Shank

The shank is the lengthy portion of the mouthpiece that fits into the instrument receiver. Unlike the other specs defined just above, which vary based upon player choice, shank size is pre-determined by the instrument (though physical adjustments can be made).

Backbores

Wider backbores produce greater sound volume and make it easier to achieve the lower register and they have less resistance. For tighter backbores, expect brighter sounds, good support for higher resistance, and an increase in airflow resistance.

If you are still unsure of what to get, then a medium-sized tuba mouthpiece might be your best option. It allows you to perform in the middle range in terms of sounds, neither too low nor too high.

A set of different mouthpieces for brass instruments, including Tuba
A set of different mouthpieces for brass instruments, including Tuba ones

Tuba Mouthpieces Sizing for Beginners

Generally, if you’re brand-new to playing the tuba or are purchasing a tuba for your student child, then it’s better suggested, to begin with, a small cupped mouthpiece. Because it’s smaller-sized in nature and less complicated to create sound, it’s a suitable choice for those who don’t have a great deal of experience.

On the contrary, if you have experience playing an additional brass instrument or have actually been playing the tuba for a while, it may be much easier for you to experiment with a larger cup.

There are two different designs of tuba mouthpieces. Students often tend to discover that they play much better on one style or the other.

Student Mouthpiece Models Suggestions

Below are some mouthpieces that could be a good start for beginner tuba players, divided between different sizes:

Larger Sizes Student Mouthpiece Models:

Standard Sizes Student Mouthpiece Models:

  • Yamaha 66
  • Schilke Helleburg
  • Denis Wick 3
  • Conn Helleberg
  • Bach 7 (resource)

The Bach 7 is a mouthpiece style that has a bowl-designed cup as well as is larger around the rim. The Conn Helleburg is a mouthpiece that has a channel-designed cup and is narrower around the rim. Both are great mouthpieces for a tuba beginner player; one fits some learners better than the others. It is a great concept to attempt both as well as see which design is the most effective option for you.

Smaller Sizes Student Mouthpiece Models:

  • Bach 12
  • Yamaha 68B
  • Yamaha 67C4

The Bach 18 and Yamaha 67C4 are popular dimensions, however on the smaller-sized side. They are great dimensions, but students typically do also or better on a Bach 7 or Conn Helleburg. They will certainly often advance that size as they get older unless they relocate to something larger. You would assume the tuba would certainly be less complicated to have fun with a smaller-sized mouthpiece, yet commonly it is not. Nonetheless, if a pupil seems wonderful on another thing, let them play it.

Keep in mind that some are not “student” mouthpieces, but they are great sizes for students. Many professional players utilize these same mouthpieces.

Whatever mouthpiece you select, it is always the produced sound and how comfortable you are playing it, not the dimension, that matters most!


Comparison Chart of Tuba Mouthpiece Sizes

We’ve gathered a list of the sizes of some of the most common tuba brands and manufacturers’ mouthpieces. They might differ a bit from the actual dimensions but are gathered through each brand’s website or literature.

BrandModelRim (mm/inches)Cup DepthRim WidthThroatBackbore
Yamaha6430.45 / 1.199″MediumThick8.35mmStandard
Yamaha6530.95 / 1.219″MediumSemi-thin8.35mmSemi-wide
Yamaha6631.37 / 1.235″DeepStandard8.35mmStandard
Yamaha66B31.37 / 1.235″ShallowStandard8.35mmSemi-wide
Yamaha66D431.49 / 1.240″DeepMedium-Wide8.87mmSemi-wide
Yamaha6731.93 / 1.257″MediumMedium8.35mmSemi-wide
YamahaBobo TT32.04 / 1.261″ShallowMedium7.02mmStandard
Yamaha67C432.06 / 1.262″MediumMedium-Wide8.1mmStandard
Yamaha67B432.06 / 1.262″ShallowMedium-Wide7.02mmStandard
YamahaBobo Solo32.20 / 1.268″7.5mm
YamahaCanadian Brass32.28 / 1.271″8.55mm
Yamaha68B32.72 / 1.288″ShallowMedium-Wide7.5mmStandard
YamahaJim Self32.86 / 1.294″8mm
YamahaBobo Sym32.90 / 1.295″7.5mm
Schilke6631.52 / 1.241″
SchilkeS-H31.84 / 1.254″
Schilke6231.85 / 1.254″
Schilke6732.41 / 1.276″
Schilke69C432.76 / 1.290″
Kelly24AW31.50 / 1.240″9.058.6mm
Kelly1831.80 / 1.252″7.758.6mm
KellyKellyberg31.85 / 1.255″
Joseph KlierT9-C30.00 / 1.181″88mm
Joseph KlierT9-D30.00 / 1.181″87.8mm
Joseph KlierT9-E30.00 / 1.181″87.8mm
Joseph KlierT8-B30.50 / 1.201″8.258.2mm
Joseph KlierT8-C30.50 / 1.201″8.258mm
Joseph KlierT8-D30.50 / 1.201″8.257.8mm
Joseph KlierT8-E30.50 / 1.201″8.257.8mm
Joseph Klier2531.00 / 1.220″7.858.6mm
Joseph KlierT7-A31.00 / 1.220″88.4mm
Joseph KlierT7-B31.00 / 1.220″88.2mm
Joseph KlierT7-C31.00 / 1.220″88mm
Joseph KlierT7-D31.00 / 1.220″87.8mm
Joseph KlierT7-E31.00 / 1.220″87.8mm
Joseph KlierT6-A31.50 / 1.240″8.258.4mm
Joseph KlierT6-AA31.50 / 1.240″8.258.6mm
Joseph KlierT6-B31.50 / 1.240″8.258.2mm
Joseph KlierT6-C31.50 / 1.240″8.258mm
Joseph KlierT6-D31.50 / 1.240″8.257.8mm
Joseph KlierT6-E31.50 / 1.240″8.257.8mm
Joseph Klier24W31.50 / 1.240″9.058.6mm
Joseph KlierT5-A32.00 / 1.260″88.4mm
Joseph KlierT5-AA32.00 / 1.260″88.6mm
Joseph KlierT5-B32.00 / 1.260″88.2mm
Joseph KlierT5-C32.00 / 1.260″88mm
Joseph KlierT5-D32.00 / 1.260″87.8mm
Joseph KlierT5-E32.00 / 1.260″87.8mm
Joseph KlierT4-A32.50 / 1.280″8.258.4mm
Joseph KlierT4-AA32.50 / 1.280″8.258.6mm
Joseph KlierT4-B32.50 / 1.280″8.258.2mm
Joseph KlierT4-C32.50 / 1.280″8.258mm
Joseph KlierT4-D32.50 / 1.280″8.257.8mm
Joseph KlierT4-E32.50 / 1.280″8.257.8mm
Joseph KlierT3-A33.00 / 1.299″88.4mm
Joseph KlierT3-AA33.00 / 1.299″88.6mm
Joseph KlierT3-B33.00 / 1.299″88.2mm
Joseph KlierT3-C33.00 / 1.299″88mm
Joseph KlierT3-D33.00 / 1.299″87.8mm
Joseph KlierT3-E33.00 / 1.299″87.8mm
Joseph KlierT2-A33.50 / 1.319″8.258.4mm
Joseph KlierT2-AA33.50 / 1.319″8.258.6mm
Joseph KlierT2-B33.50 / 1.319″8.258.2mm
Joseph KlierT2-C33.50 / 1.319″8.258mm
Joseph KlierT2-D33.50 / 1.319″8.257.8mm
Joseph KlierT2-E33.50 / 1.319″8.257.8mm
Joseph KlierT1-A34.00 / 1.339″88.4mm
Joseph KlierT1-AA34.00 / 1.339″88.6mm
Joseph KlierT1-B34.00 / 1.339″88.2mm
Joseph KlierT1-C34.00 / 1.339″88mm
Joseph KlierT1-D34.00 / 1.339″87.8mm
Joseph KlierT1-E34.00 / 1.339″87.8mm
Denis Wick530.00 / 1.181″7.147.89mm
Denis Wick5L30.00 / 1.181″7.147.89mm
Denis Wick430.50 / 1.201″6.898.27mm
Denis Wick4L30.50 / 1.201″6.898.27mm
Denis Wick331.25 / 1.230″8.118.78mm
Denis Wick3L31.25 / 1.230″8.118.78mm
Denis Wick3SL31.25 / 1.230″8.117.62mm
Denis Wick3XL31.25 / 1.230″8.118.78mm
Denis Wick232.00 / 1.260″7.738.45mm
Denis Wick2L32.00 / 1.260″7.738.45mm
Denis Wick2SL32.00 / 1.260″7.738.45mm
Denis Wick2XL32.00 / 1.260″7.738.45mm
Denis Wick132.50 / 1.280″7.488.43mm
Denis Wick1L32.50 / 1.280″7.488.43mm
Denis Wick1XL32.50 / 1.280″7.488.43mm
Conn7B Helleberg31.50 / 1.240″Medium8.3mm8.5mm
Conn120S Helleberg32.50 / 1.279″Medium7.3mm8.1mm
Blessing24AW31.25 / 1.230″DeepWide8.84mm810
Blessing1832.10 / 1.264″MediumMedium-Wide8.84mm810
Bach32E29.50 / 1.161″ShallowMedium-Wide8.33mm801
Bach30E30.00 / 1.181″ShallowMedium-Wide8.33mm801
Bach2530.60 / 1.205″MediumMedium-Wide8.33mm801
Bach24W Mega31.25 / 1.230″MediumWide9.00mm810
Bach24AW Mega31.25 / 1.230″DeepWide8.84mm810
Bach24W31.25 / 1.230″MediumWide8.84mm810
Bach24AW31.25 / 1.230″DeepWide8.84mm810
Bach22 Mega31.60 / 1.244″MediumMedium-Wide8.62mm801
Bach2231.60 / 1.244″MediumMedium-Wide8.62mm801
Bach18 Mega32.10 / 1.264″MediumMedium-Wide9.00mm810
Bach1832.10 / 1.264″MediumMedium-Wide8.84mm810
Bach12 Mega32.75 / 1.289″MediumMedium-Wide8.62mm801
Bach1232.75 / 1.289″MediumMedium-Wide8.33mm801
Bach733.25 / 1.309″MediumMedium-Wide8.33mm801
Bach7 Mega33.25 / 1.309″MediumMedium-Wide9.00mm801
A list of different tuba mouthpieces and their sizes from different brands and models
(data gathered from each brand)