The term compensating is one that is often referred to but not always fully understood. It is normally used with reference to lower brass instruments (eg. Euphoniums & Tubas) which are either 'compensating' or 'non-compensating' models. There is a common misconception that if an instrument has a 4th valve* it is compensating, but that is not necessarily the case. I'll try to explain exactly what it means as clearly and concisely as possible, although that's easier said than done!

When looking for a mouthpiece, there are many variables that you will need to consider. This can often get confusing. The dimensions and shape of a mouthpiece have a direct impact on its feel, play-ability and sound. We hope to give you a brief overview of the various parts and Jargon used when talking about mouthpieces and their effects on the mouthpiece characteristics.