Now for something non-quarantine related!
I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that trumpet and horn players have an (un)healthy obsession with mouthpieces.
I know I certainly fit that stereotype. My French Horn Mouthpiece Chart and Choosing a Horn Mouthpiece pages were done first for my own use. They just happen to be some of the most popular pages on my site.
First-world problem alert:
One difficulty in being a mouthpiece-obsessed horn player, though, is carrying all those mouthpieces around!
/End first-world problems
I love my Wiseman horn case, but it only has spots for three mouthpieces. I use more than three mouthpieces during my warmup! (not really).
In all seriousness, though, I do like having a few different mouthpiece cups and rims on hand in case students are curious about mouthpieces, and being able to keep them in my horn case means they’ll always be close by during lessons.
I was discussing some of these issues over some beers after a gig last year with Erika – a great trumpet player and one of the masterminds behind Messina Covers, a company that makes excellent soft cases for trumpets, basses, and several other instruments (Wagner Tuba!).
A few weeks ago she surprised me with a couple of Messina Covers mouthpiece pouches, and I have been loving them!
Messina Mouthpiece Pouches
Erika gave me two pouches, a small 4-piece pouch and a larger 7-piece pouch. While I started off using the 4-piece, I pretty quickly bumped up to using the 7-piece.
First thing I noticed was how compact these are – I was expecting something much bigger and bulkier. The mouthpieces fit just fine, and the foam fitting is tight. This keeps the mouthpieces in place, even if you forget to zip it up when you put it back in your case!
After having experience with hook-and-loop fasteners wearing out on other mouthpiece pouches, I also really appreciate the zipper closure. It’s fast and easy, and I have no doubt it will be long-lasting. Plus, if it wears out, it can be replaced (I’ve had Messina Covers do zipper replacements on an older, non-Wiseman case, and they did a fantastic job).
And then there’s the customizing.
Since I’m pretty boring, I didn’t get any special customization or embroidery, although I may get another pouch or two that’s a bit more “branded”. But one of the big benefits of getting a handmade pouch (or case) from Messina is that they make everything from scratch – that means you can customize almost anything. They have almost 2 dozen color options, and they can do amazing things with embroidery. Check out some of their samples on the mouthpiece pouch page.
Since they are very much a small business, you actually place your order by using their Contact Form and talking with a real-live human (usually either Erika or Dave) to make sure you get exactly what you want. Their prices are incredibly reasonable – comparable to some of the off-the-shelf mouthpiece pouches you’ll find on Amazon, but handmade in the USA, a great warranty (and customizable!).
I know I sound like a Messina shill, but this is one of those small companies doing great work, and I think they deserve more attention for such a great product!
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a French horn case, they don’t make those (yet?), but if you’ve got a set of Wagner Tuben that need cases, Messina can make them for you!
You can check out the whole Messina Covers website here.