By Roger Moisan
To boost or not to boost; that is the question. The mouthpiece booster has been around now for about 25 years and was originally developed by Denis Wick in response to the Bach Heavytop Mouthpiece Range. “What does it actually do?” I hear many brass players ask. Well, to start with, it doesn’t boost anything. What it does do is add mass to the mouthpiece, thereby reducing vibration loss at the busy end of the instrument. This enhances the sonority and weight of sound creating a richer, darker timbre with more overtones. No, it doesn’t make playing easier but fortissimo dynamics hold together better.
I have used mine for many years now but am selective in which genres it is appropriate for. Always orchestral as conductors love the sound but not for jazz and big band playing.
There are now many versions of the booster available which fit different mouthpieces with alternative weights, but the most versatile and simplest is still the Denis Wick model. There are boosters to fit every brass instrument from cornet to tuba and they provide an extra option for the versatile brass player.
Check out the ‘With and without’ video and see if you can tell the difference.