The Wedge Story

Wait!! Before you go anywhere take a minute to watch this VERY important video.
Dr. Dave explains how and why the Wedge was invented, and how it could help you to improve your playing. If you are going to look at anything on this page, watch this.

Beginnings - A File, a Dremel, and a Dozen Ruined Mouthpieces

The truth is, I invented the Wedge mouthpiece in a desperate attempt to avoid public humiliation. I was an advanced amateur, playing principal trumpet in an orchestra performing selections from the musical West Side Story. I knew that no amount of practicing over the next few months was going to provide the range and endurance I would need to play such challenging repertoire at the end of a 2 hour pops concert. So - armed with my medical knowledge of human anatomy and physiology, articles about how dental structure influences range on a brass instrument, and unencumbered by much knowledge about how a brass mouthpiece SHOULD be made - I went to my workshop with some metal files, a Dremel tool, and a bunch of mouthpieces. I then succeeded in ruining dozens of them while trying to make them better.
Finally, after weeks of experimentation (and many more ruined mouthpieces) I found a completely new and unexpected rim shape that provided better sound, comfort, flexibility, and responsiveness. It shifted my reliable range when fatigued from high C to an E without any sacrifice in sound quality. I needed a D for the concert, so that was good enough for me.

Dr. Dave with his beloved CNC mill.
I Guess You Could Say I’m Stubborn

It could have ended there. I certainly didn’t need a new job. I was already a husband and father of two young girls, a physician and Department Head at a major teaching hospital, a medical researcher, an active member of my church, and a self defence instructor. My accountant advised me that I should give up this foolish mouthpiece invention idea and focus on practicing medicine. 
So I changed accountants, acquired a patent, studied computer assisted design, learned how to operate a lathe and CNC mill, and set out to offer something truly unique in the field of brass mouthpieces, all the while continuing to practice medicine and raise my daughters. As you can imagine, I have a very understanding family, and I guess you could say I’m stubborn.

The Wedge Today

I knew nothing about running a manufacturing and retail business, and physicians are generally terrible businessmen. With this in mind, I decided to simply build a business that treated people the way I would want to be treated. That was the start of the Wedge, and Harrison Mouthpieces, Inc as we now know it.
The Wedge design evolved through roughly sixty initial prototypes in the first year, and has since undergone two major design advancements since the original concept. In 2020 we are still a small company of only five employees (three of which are Harrisons!), now located in a rural setting on Gabriola Island, BC. Each month we ship out about 200 mouthpieces to players all over the world!

A Labour of Love

So why did I do it? 

Many years as an ER physician and martial artist taught me that the world can be divided into two kinds of people: those who have enough pain, and those who need more.
Thirty-five years as a trumpet player taught me, without a doubt, which group brass players belong to: we already have enough pain. Playing any brass instrument is hard enough, and most people do not need more of a challenge than it already presents. If there was a way to make brass playing less painful, I simply had to share it.
The short answer is I did all of this not only as a labour of love, but also because of my absolute conviction that for most brass players the Wedge mouthpiece really is ‘a better mouse trap’. 
Now, over twelve years later, I am thrilled to have that conviction affirmed by the experience of thousands of brass players all across the globe. So, thankyou to every Wedge player out there for believing in the possibility of something better. 

Dr. Dave and Riley - one of the Wedge mascots.