Alliance for the high notesRichard Marshall signature mouthpiece range
James Fountain, Geneva Artist and Principal Trumpet Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, road tests the Richard Marshall signature Alliance mouthpiece range.
For 11 years now Richard Marshall has held, with great distinction, the Principal Cornet position with Black Dyke Band. I, like so many others, never fail to be amazed by Richard's playing and musicianship, so it was with great anticipation that I received the opportunity to try his new mouthpiece range, Alliance RM.
Adopting a similar, aesthetically pleasing style to the other signature ranges, the mouthpiece is sleek and attractive, with the cup and throat of the mouthpiece joining smoothly. It feels slightly heavier compared to my normal mouthpiece (an original Alliance 3A) and therefore very secure when playing.
However, it's all well and good looking fancy and feeling comfortable, but I was intrigued about what the RM3A could offer me playing-wise. I was immediately impressed; the mouthpiece enabled me to produce a clear, bright tone, yet maintained that full cornet sound that we all strive for in a brass band. Having to predominantly play trumpet these days, when returning to the cornet I often find that I have to sacrifice between what feels responsive, particularly in articulation, and the warm cornet tone that I aim for when playing with a band, or as a cornet soloist. However, not for a long time had I felt as comfortable on a cornet as I did when using the RM3A.
One of the first things I noticed was that the rim seemed slightly narrower than the original Alliance range. Despite this, it was still incredibly comfortable to play, and this design feature enabled my articulation and tonguing work to be much more efficient and precise. The standard Alliance range generally feels much easier in the higher register than other mouthpieces and the RM3A proved no exception, maintaining an even sound quality throughout the range.
I really enjoyed trying the Alliance RM3A and found particularly impressive its assistance in producing a big, warm sound, crisp articulation and efficient high register, and the balance between all three that modern-day cornet players so often need. It may not make you sound like Richard Marshall overnight, but after the past few days of playing on it, I'm struggling to put it down and surely that's only a good thing!
What others say:
"The RM1 is by far the most comfortable mouthpiece I have ever tried. It's deep cup helps me produce a warm tone across all ranges, whilst the mouthpiece's open throat allows for both loud and soft dynamics to be achieved. This mouthpiece is very flexible and I enjoy playing it" Gareth Johnson - solo cornet Cory Band
"For years there wasn't a cornet mouthpiece that could compete with my Denis Wick 4 and I didn't see the need to change, until I was introduced to the RM3 Alliance mouthpiece. From first playing the mouthpiece, I noticed a big difference in my sound, range and flexibility. Many of my friends and teachers noticed this too, and it made the decision a 'no-brainer'." Ryan Broad - solo cornet Leyland Band
"The Alliance RM Cornet mouthpiece is a great mouthpiece with fantastic response – it has a comfortable feel to it and the sound quality is great! The mouthpiece is easy to play in all registers with great intonation. The best thing about it for me is the comfort!" Will Norman - assistant principal cornet Tredegar Band
"I was always looking for a mouthpiece which gives me thechance to create many varieties of sound colours when ever I need them. The Alliance RM2 allows me to produce a warm and full cornet-sound in every register and dynamic and it never seems to break off (bark, or shout) when I need to play something any louder. Because of it’s smooth rim it feels great and comfortable on my lips. The articulation is great, you can really play hard and even ultra soft stuff without loosing the center of the note. As most of brass players emphasise to play with lots of sound, I would recommend it to any soloist and band player who is looking for a bigger and larger sound." Philippe Graf - principal cornet Brassband BernerOberland
RM1: 17mm, deep cup
RM2: 16.75mm, deep cup
RM3: 16.50mm, deep cup
Also available in ‘A’ cup versions with slightly shallower cups and modified back-bores to assist with the higher registers.
RM Alliance Mouthpieces: RRP: £59.74 - £79.19