31 Best Tuba Mouthpieces (2022): For All Situations

best tuba mouthpieces

One of the things most people don’t think about is how critical mouthpieces are for instruments. 

Whether you’re playing trumpet or tuba, mouthpieces make almost as much of a difference as the horn itself!

Tuba mouthpieces are so large that they impact your playing even more than most. 

It’s sort of a rite of passage that you try out several brass mouthpieces until you find the one that speaks to you. 

It’s like a “Wand chooses the wizard” moment. 

With this in mind (and so many options), I wanted to help with my picks for the best tuba mouthpieces for every situation. 

The best tuba mouthpiece for any situation is the Conn Helleberg. It does well with the low notes, especially, but it sounds great through the whole range of the tuba. The sharper-edged rim and deep cup are its biggest draws. 

In the next section, you’ll see my top picks, but I’ll put other good options in their detailed section. 

Disclosure: Links in this article may be affiliate in nature, but each one has been tested and played by me. Thanks for supporting the content! 

Best Tuba Mouthpiece Reviews: Top Picks For Each Situation

MouthpieceBest For:
Conn Helleberg Standard 120SOverall Best (And Low Notes)
Yamaha Jim Self Replica MouthpieceHigh Notes
Kelly Plastic MouthpieceMarching Band / Sousaphone
Blessing Tuba MouthpieceBeginners
Vincent Bach Tuba MouthpieceBBb Tuba / CC Tuba
Perantucci PT-50Eb Tuba / F Tuba

Best Tuba Mouthpiece For Low Notes

For a tuba mouthpiece for the lower register, there are a couple of things to look for. 

All the different mouthpieces can play low; let’s be clear. 

But a deeper cup and sharper edge on the rim of the mouthpiece may be the best choice to help you along.

This won’t really impact high playing either (but it may not help as much as some). 

Here are my picks for the top mouthpiece for low tuba playing. 

Conn Helleberg Standard 120S

Pros: 

  • Clean edge for better low playing
  • Deep cup for a richer, darker tone
  • Great size for slow buzzing
  • Works well across all ranges

Cons: 

  • A little pricier than some, but not by much

I’ll admit; I’m a little biased here. 

I love the Conn Helleberg, and it’s actually the mouthpiece I recommend as the best overall pick too! 

The deep cup and funnel allow for great tuba sound, and the sharper than average edge gives it an edge (see what I did there?) for low playing. 

But the overall design works great for all players. 

It just fits great and sounds awesome over the entirety of the brass instrument. 

Is it pricier than other options? 

Maybe a little, but not by much. 

And to be honest, you’ll probably save money because it’s so versatile. 

Complete beginners may do a little better with a smaller cup, but it won’t be long before they can handle the Helleberg. 

I played on a Helleberg through high school and my first year in college. 

Then, my tuba friends and I found a guy in Ohio that made custom mouthpieces (stainless steel, too!). 

He had a model made on the design of the Helleberg with an even sharper edge and more gradual funnel. 

I’ve been using it ever since. 

Other Good Mouthpieces For Low Tuba Notes: 

Here are some other options to take a look at for low tuba mouthpieces. 

These will all do a good job, too (and you may notice some of these repeated). 

  • Perantucci PT-88
  • Yamaha Tuba Mouthpiece Roger Bobo Replica
  • Vincent Bach Tuba Mouthpiece
  • JK Exclusive 3AA P 

Best Tuba Mouthpiece For High Notes

For high register tuba mouthpieces, we need to look more at the width and size of the rim. 

The narrower it is, the better you’ll be able to adjust your embouchure to get those higher registers out. 

A lot of tuba players also say a more gentle edge helps too, but I didn’t notice a huge difference. 

Too narrow of a mouthpiece, and you’ll end up losing some depth of tone and maybe even make your low register tougher to play. 

You’ll also want to consider more of a funnel shape to the mouthpiece over a true “cup.”

Yamaha Jim Self Replica Mouthpiece

Pros: 

  • Modeled after a pro solo tuba playing style
  • Thick rim for support during high notes
  • Medium cup for good all-around sound and feedback
  • Smaller opening for more focus and articulation

Cons: 

  • Really low players may feel limited to a certain extent

Jim Self is a tuba player, teacher, and one of the earliest solo artists on the instrument. 

Yamaha worked with him to design a custom mouthpiece for his demanding playing. 

After a time, they started to sell this replica of his custom mouthpiece. 

All the important elements of a good all-around mouthpiece are there, plus you get what you need for higher playing too. 

It features a thick, rounded rim to help support your lips as they tighten to play higher and a slightly more narrow rim.

The cup depth is appropriate for both high and low playing too. 

The reaction you get with your articulation and tonguing from this is great and pairs well with high tuba playing and solos. 

Other High Playing Mouthpieces For Tuba

Here are some other options to take a look at for high tuba mouthpieces. 

These will all do a good job, too (and you may notice some of these repeated). 

  • Perantucci PT-50
  • Yamaha BB64
  • Blessing
  • Helleberg 7B

Best Tuba Mouthpiece For Marching Band (Sousaphone)

When it comes to marching mouthpieces or the best sousaphone mouthpieces, the name of the game is functionality. 

You’re playing outside, so the important thing is it needs to be durable. 

I can’t tell you how many mouthpieces I’ve dropped or banged onto something while marching. 

So it needs to work, and it needs to be affordable. 

Metal works just fine, but it does get cold real fast. 

It’s never happened to me, but I do know people whose lips got stuck on the mouthpiece in really cold weather. 

Plastic mouthpieces are a good option here, and they don’t really dent either, so that’s perfect for rough playing like you do while marching. 

Kelly Plastic Tuba Mouthpiece

Pros: 

  • Very affordable
  • The plastic helps a lot when marching in the cold
  • Durable for outdoor playing
  • Still sounds pretty good

Cons: 

  • Won’t sound as great as a metal mouthpiece
  • May come with manufacturing defects (but replacements are easy) 

The Kelly mouthpieces are some of the best out there

They’re colorful and sound surprisingly great. 

They are not as good as a real metal mouthpiece, but they’re about as good as they can get. 

As far as design goes, the Kellyberg mouthpiece is based on the Conn Helleberg design, so you’ll get the sharper edge with a medium cup designed for great playing across the whole range of the horn. 

The 24AW (linked above) is based on the Vincent Bach line of mouthpieces, which is also featured later on. 

On top of this, it’s quite cheap (though not cheaply made), so if it does break, you won’t be upset. 

Yamaha BB64

Pros: 

  • Full sound of tuba mouthpiece
  • Affordable price, so you’re not afraid if it’s damaged outside
  • Small throat helps the sound speak easier

Cons: 

  • Limited in the depth of tone

I put the Yamaha BB64 also on this list because if you don’t want to sacrifice any power in your outdoor playing and you’re not worried about the cold, you’ll want a metal one to use. 

This mouthpiece works well and helps get the sound out. 

It isn’t as rich in tone quality as many others on the list with its combo of the medium cup and small inner throat diameter. 

However, this makes it better for beginners.

Still, the price is right too. 

If it gets damaged, you won’t care as much. 

Basically, it’s the best metal mouthpiece for marching band and one of the best sellers in terms of tuba mouthpieces.

Other Sousaphone/Outdoor Mouthpieces

Here are some other options to take a look at for marching tuba mouthpieces. 

These will all do a good job, too (and you may notice some of these repeated). 

  • Blessing
  • Eastrock Standard Tuba Mouthpiece
  • Eujgoov Plastic Mouthpiece

Best Tuba Mouthpiece For Beginners

When students are first starting on the tuba, some of them may have a harder time reaching the low notes. 

The breath required for tuba is a lot, and the mouthpiece can help (or hinder) a lot. 

In general, the two main areas to look at for beginner tuba mouthpieces are the cup size and inner throat diameter. 

The shallow cups and the smaller the throat size, the more back pressure there is when playing. 

The more backpressure there is, the easier it is to get your lips buzzing for the lower notes. 

However, these smaller dimensions sacrifice the amount of air you can put through. 

This limits your dynamic range and tone quality. 

All in all, it’s a balancing act. 

I’d try a student on this one if they’re struggling and then move them to a new mouthpiece after a year or two. 

Price also makes a difference with beginners as well. 

Blessing Tuba Mouthpiece

Pros: 

  • Small-bore and medium cup make it easier to sound on the tuba
  • Affordable and durable
  • Soft-edged rim good for newer players

Cons: 

  • Limited in potential (they’ll grow out of it)

The Blessing tuba mouthpiece is a great mouthpiece for the beginner tuba player. 

It has a generous sound for a smaller cup and throat diameter, so your beginner won’t have to sacrifice much in terms of potential tone. 

This won’t be the mouthpiece they should play on through high school, but for the first couple of years, it’ll do the job. 

It’s also quite affordable, especially compared to some of the premium models. 

The construction is consistent, and it’s pretty durable too. 

That’s great for those beginners and middle schoolers who always drop their mouthpieces. 

Other Beginner Tuba Mouthpieces

Here are some other options to take a look at for beginner tuba mouthpieces. 

These will all do a good job, too (and you may notice some of these repeated).

  • Yamaha BB64
  • Conn Helleberg 7B
  • Conn Hellerberg 120S
  • Perantucci PT-65

Best Mouthpiece For Bb Tuba / CC Tuba

BBb tubas (sometimes called Bb tubas) and CC tubas are the most common types, and they’re also called the contrabass tubas. 

These are the instruments you see in a concert band.

Check out our full list of 19 types of tubas in the article at the link.

As such, they need to be able to play low. 

A good mouthpiece for this needs a deeper cup, a sharper rim, and a wider design.

A large throat is also ideal.

Vincent Bach Tuba Mouthpiece

Pros: 

  • Heavy mouthpiece for strong sound
  • Bigger cup and wide rim make for a deep sound
  • Quality power and tone across the whole range

Cons: 

  • Pricier

This mouthpiece is a premium option, and a great choice, and the price reflects that. 

But so does the quality. 

It features a larger cup for good playing low and high, and the medium-wide rim is great for a full sound. 

It also features a semi-flat rim edge for good all-around action.

This mouthpiece is heavy, and it seems to help with adding to the power of these low brass instruments. 

Peratucci PT-88

Pros: 

  • Great for professional players
  • Rich, deep sound
  • Plays low extremely well

Cons: 

  • Harder for inexperienced players

The Perantucci PT-88 is one of the better all-around mouthpieces, especially for large tubas. 

It features a large cup and an even wider rim. 

New players and even intermediate players will have a harder time on this mouthpiece. 

There’s not a lot of backpressure with this mouthpiece; your air goes right through. 

This is awesome for people who want as dense an air column as possible (this results in a rich, powerful tone). 

But it takes it out of you to play with this much air all the time. 

Conn Helleberg 120S

I know this one is here again, but I tried not just pick this mouthpiece every time. 

It’s seriously awesome. 

I just love Conn Helleberg designs.

Did you know it’s often misspelled as “Conn Helleburg?”

If I had to recommend one for every situation, it’d be this one. 

Read more at the top if you want the details again. 

Other Tuba Mouthpieces For BBb/CC Tuba

  • Conn Helleberg 7B
  • Yamaha Roger Bobo Tuba Replica
  • PT-84

Best Mouthpiece For Eb Tuba / F Tuba

F and Eb tubas are more of the solo tuba. 

They need to be able to play high, and they need to be able to play cleanly, often with brighter sounds.

They’re called bass tubas as opposed to the lower contrabass tubas. 

As such, a deep cup, large funnel, wide rim, and wide throat may not be exactly what you want. 

Still, if you’re playing on these tubas, you’ll be more of a pro anyway, so you won’t want to sacrifice too much size. 

Check out my picks for the best F tubas

Note: All tuba mouthpieces can play on any tuba type, but they don’t all fit the purpose of the instrument as easily. 

Perantucci PT-50

Pros: 

  • Deep funnel allows for a strong tone
  • Thinner rim lets the high notes speak easier
  • Sharp edge to the rim helps with low notes too
  • Solid, heavy design to help with articulation response

Cons: 

  • Requires advanced skills to make work

The PT-50 is a lot like the PT-88, but this time we feature a mostly smaller everything. 

The thinner rim and funnel shape help with focusing sound for a cleaner high register. 

Its deep funnel makes up for the less cup space, but it doesn’t sound like it because they compensated by adding more space to the funnel itself. 

The rim is flat and sharp to help with low notes too. 

All in all, this is the same excellent quality mouthpiece, just designed more for solo playing. 

Other F and Eb Tuba Mouthpieces

  • Yamaha Jim Self Replica
  • Yamaha BB64
  • PT-65
  • Arnold And Sons 24AW

Zach VanderGraaff

Zach VanderGraaff is a K-5 music teacher in Michigan with 12 years of experience. He's the President of the Michigan Kodaly Educators and founder of the Dynamic Music Room.

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