Even though I know better, I keep trying out things that I hope will instantaneously turn me into the world’s greatest horn player. The two latest gadgets that I am trying out are the Dennis Wick Horn Booster and the AcoustiCoil.
The Denis Wick horn mouthpiece booster is said to, among other things, add more mass to the mouthpiece to help with projection, provide better control at louder dynamics, and better centering of pitch. Oh I wish this was true. I have tried it on and off for the past three months or so. I keep hoping that it will help but I really can’t tell much of a difference other than it makes certain notes buzz. Because of this buzzing I would use it for around a half and hour and then take it off and then try it again later in the day or the next day. I’m not 100% sure that it fits my mouthpiece correctly but I’m using a B12 Moosewood cup and that’s pretty standard.
The AcoustiCoil is supposed to enhance everything – per their website: articulation, endurance, dynamics, intensity, intonation and range – yup, pretty much everything. Rather than my paraphrasing what their website says, please just check it out. If nothing else, it’s an interesting premise to read about. I have had slightly better results with this than with the Denis Wick Horn Booster.
The first time I used it I went straight to band rehearsal. I immediately noticed better articulation. In fact, I probably played the band music as well as I had ever played it at this rehearsal. I practiced with it in my horn for a few days but as the time passed I noticed less and less improvement – in other words, I played the way I always play. I would then take it out of the horn and it would seem that I played better without it but again eventually I would drift back to my typical capability. I’ve had it in my horn for two or three week stretches because I forget that I have it in. During those stretches I’ve had great days and horrible days. So the jury is out with this gadget.
Of course (here comes the disclaimer) the results that I have obtained are exclusively mine. I’m not saying that these gizmos don’t work, they just didn’t work very well for me. It’s entirely possible that both these devices would work better for someone who plays better than I do. Most likely the expected changes are subtle and would more likely be noticed by an experienced player. Although I will always be a sucker for the latest gizmo, the real deal is that I will just have to keep on practicing.