Summary: This Cecilio standard French horn mouthpiece review will help you evaluate the pros and cons of the Cecilio brand and help you see whether or not this French horn mouthpiece is a good fit for you.
If you or someone in your family is playing the French horn, you probably put a lot of time and effort into finding a good instrument. Maybe you picked a Cecilio brand and didn’t look through a lot of others.
No matter what brand of French horn you have, you can change your mouthpiece to something else. The mouse piece should be comfortable, good quality, and help you create a better tone.
Bottomline Up Front
I recommend the Cecilio standard french horn mouthpiece for beginners and younger students. It is one of the cheapest ones on the market for a reason, so don’t expect to get the best quality with this mouthpiece.
French Horn Mouthpiece Parts
It’s worth knowing the different parts and proportions for a mouthpiece. This will help you evaluate Cecilio and other models on your own time.
When you play a brass instrument, there is a lot of variety when it comes to mouthpiece dimensions, and things like the shape of your lips, your jaw, and your breathing technique will determine which size and shape for a mouthpiece are best.
Here is a video on how to choose the right size:
The rim is the outside opening where your mouth goes. When you evaluate different horn mouthpieces, you will see rims available in three designs:
- Flat rim: This has a slightly chamfered edge
- Arched rim: This has edges that are rounded off
- Round rim: This has a round face
Note: There is no right or wrong answer here. When my students come to me, they always ask me which one is best what they absolutely need to buy. But there is no standard design perfect for everyone. You need to consider many different things, like what type of music you play, how strong the musician you are, and what level of music training you have.
A lot of the more nuanced differences in things like rim shape are not things I discuss with my beginner students because it goes over their heads, but they are things I start to evaluate with intermediate students.
The right rim shape for you is determined by the position of your jaw and your lips. As a general rule, if you have strong lips, you can deal with a narrow rim that has chamfered edges. As a beginner with very weak lips, you need a round rim.
A wide rim gives better endurance, but it doesn’t have a lot of sensitivity, so the sound comes off as a little hollow.
By comparison, a narrow rim gives much more sensitivity in greater precision, but it requires a lot of endurance. So if you have a player in your family who hasn’t practiced a lot of high-pressure blowing yet, this won’t be a good match.
Good rounding for the interior makes it easier to do softer sounds and slurs, but it can make it difficult to produce sharp attacks or staccatos. On the other end, a sharper interior edge makes it easier to produce staccatos and attacks but makes it difficult to soften abrupt slurs.
The Cecilio mouthpiece has a round rim.
The bore is the beginning of the funnel right after the rim. A mouthpiece with a large bore makes it possible to produce a lot of volume, but your notes will start to thin out if it’s too big.
A mouthpiece with a small bore has a concentrated sound but a weaker tone. The smaller the tunnel for your air, the more resistance there is, and the shorter your register will be.
This means with a smaller bore, you will be limited in how many notes you can produce, especially C sharp and D, but with a larger bore, you can produce a wider range of notes.
Mouthpieces that have cylindrical bores will maintain pitch and steadiness much more effectively than mouthpieces with a taper.
The Cecilio mouthpiece has a medium-sized bore that is cylindrical.
When it comes to your cup size, whether you are a beginner, an intermediate player, part of a band, or a soloist, I recommend the biggest cup diameter possible. When you have a bigger cup diameter, you don’t have to work as hard to get high notes and have the right tone.
A good mouthpiece will be much more comfortable to play with if you have a large, deep-diameter cup. With a big diameter, you are in a position to produce uniform, compact high notes, low notes, and medium notes.
- A shallow cup is between 11 mm and 12 mm deep.
- A medium-depth cup is between 13 mm and 14 mm deep.
- A deep cup is between 15 and 16 mm deep.
- A narrow cup is between 15 mm and 16 mm wide.
- A medium-width cup is between 16 mm and 17 mm wide.
- A wide cup is 17.5mm and larger.
Mouthpieces with a larger cup diameter increase the volume, and a deeper cup gives a darker quality to the tone. Your instrument might be best served with a larger, deeper cup for your mouthpiece.
The Cecilio mouthpiece has a wide cup diameter, the widest there is.
The shank has to be shaped so that it makes a seal, but it also has to be a good distance away from your instrument. The shank back bore should be a medium size. If it’s too small, your higher registers won’t play correctly, and if it’s too big, your mouthpiece won’t have enough backpressure, which will hurt your endurance.
The Cecilio mouthpiece has a medium-sized shank.
Normally the mouthpieces for the French horn are silver-plated, but you can find gold plated. I don’t recommend gold plating unless you have an allergy to silver.
Some horn players like to stick with what they have, even if it negatively affects their endurance or their sound, just because they don’t like change. Most of us don’t. But when it comes to your mouthpiece, change can be good.
I recommend people never settle for the mouthpiece that comes standard on their instrument, especially after one or two years of playing. Getting a new horn mouthpiece can change the responsiveness, the sound, and the range.
Because so many small aspects of mouthpiece size and shape have different impacts on tone, high notes, back pressure, and all of the other things I mentioned above, you should change at least once or twice in your career.
- If a student is no longer a beginner and now moving on to solo work, they might need a new mouthpiece.
- If a student or beginner is an intermediate now, it might be time to switch with better technique and lip strength.
- If you are not just practicing but performing, consider making a change.
The way you play or blow shouldn’t change when you change mouthpieces. You might make subtle changes to adjust to the new mouthpiece, but realistically, everything else should remain the same; the mouthpiece should be what makes a change.
Cecilio Standard French Horn Mouthpiece Review
This Cecilio standard French horn mouthpiece review will start with some specifications, reviews from other customers, and pros and cons. As the name suggests, the Cecilio standard French horn mouthpiece is meant to be just that: standard.
That means it should fit all standard models, so if you don’t have anything that is particularly big or small or otherwise custom and its size, this mouthpiece should fit your French horn easily.
This is a silver-plated mouthpiece. It is a size 11 mouthpiece. The overall length is 64.50 mm. The cup diameter is 17.50 mm with a rim diameter of 25 mm. The shank diameter is 7.40 mm, and the shank length is 33.00 mm.
In terms of customer reviews, most people said that it was great. 77% of people gave this mouthpiece five stars, and another 11% gave it four stars. The majority of customers said that it fits their needs exactly and worked well for their situation.
Many buyers were parents purchasing for their children, beginning Elementary School players through high school band players. They said it was well worth the money because it fits their instrument and makes it easy to play.
Who Should Use the Cecilio Standard French Horn Mouthpiece
This particular French horn mouthpiece is a European Shank. This means it’s slightly larger than an American shank, and it won’t necessarily sit in your receiver if you need a morse taper. This doesn’t mean it won’t work with your instrument; it just means you might have some pitch-centering issues or attacks.
This is not an issue I would even talk about with my beginner students or anyone in the band. It’s not a problem that someone in a high school band is going to need to overcome.
The rim on this standard French horn mouthpiece is very thin. The thinner the mouthpiece rim, the harder it is to use but the more accurate the tone and pitch. So you have to decide what’s most important to you. Cecilio actually makes a somewhat flat contour specifically to help with endurance.
It has a very large V shape and a deep cup. Again, a deep cup is not something that is necessarily good or bad. A mouthpiece that has a larger diameter like the Cecilio mouthpiece increases the volume, and the deeper cup gives that tone a darker quality.
The deeper cup makes it easier for players to produce high notes. For many beginners and students this is just fine.
Yamaha makes a very similar French horn mouthpiece, but it is slightly more expensive. Geesatis makes gold-plated standard mouthpieces with a deeper cup, but these are not things that matter for beginners or students.
Answer: The cost is based on the type of mouthpiece you get. Intermediate players might spend between $50 and $150 on a mouthpiece, but beginners really don’t have to spend that much.
Most beginner models like Cecilio are intended to be affordable and help students start off. You can spend under $20 easily on a beginner mouthpiece.
Answer: Horn mouthpieces have different sizes and structures. The mouthpiece for a French horn is smaller than the mouthpiece for a trumpet. The cup shape and the funnel will also differ. You don’t want to just grab a mouthpiece from one brass instrument and try to shove it into another.
Answer: A French horn mouthpiece has a slightly different cup shape and depth. The bore, throat, and cup are some of the most important components because they influence how hard it is to play and what sound you get. The throat is the opening of the bore, so it is usually categorized as part of the bore.
Answer: French horn mouthpieces are typically made of brass, and they have silver plating on the outside. That thin extra layer of silver adds more warmth and durability to your phone.
This is also the cheapest option. If you want to spend more money, you can find a gold-plated mouthpiece. This is a softer metal, but it doesn’t add anything to the warmth of your tone.
The bottom line of this Cecilia standard French horn mouthpiece review is that students and players in a high school band can get away with using Cecilio. It’s one of the cheapest on the market, but for a reason.
If you have a child who has any type of musical proclivity and already shows talent as a soloist, then invest in something else. Still, if your child is just beginning or they are in school music classes or groups, the Cecilio standard French horn mouthpiece works fine.
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