Chameleon vs. Consistency

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Heavens2kadonka, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

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    What do you think about having a variety of horns and pieces to change up on, to keep you from being too used to just one certain thing? I have met several players who have suggested to me to be a "chameleon," and always work on getting the best sound possible with everything you come across on. On the other hand, I have met players who tell me having a variety of pieces, and always changing your muscle structure, and never developing one area well enough is murder.

    I've met excellent players from both of these schools of thought, and was curious about everyones opinion here.

    Van
     
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Great post!

    In my personal experience, my playing was always at it's best when I was a one horn, one mouthpiece kind of guy, and I have believed for some time that the more you jack your equipment around, your consistency and accuracy take a hit. I believe that the chops muscle will over the span of several weeks, fine tune themselves to the specific setup of one horn, one mouthpiece, and when you change all of that up, they cannot make that fine tuned adjustment - call it finding the correct "feel".

    That being said, I am also of the belief that there are times when you need to try to broaden your horizons to find something that allows you to make that fine tuned adjustment with the least amount of adaptation or work from the player. If you are playing a setup that fundamentally is not efficient for one reason of another, then changing some aspects of your equipment setup is a good thing. When you try a new trumpet or mouthpiece, chances are, once the honeymoon is over, you are going to have some problems at first with consistency and accuracy, but the potential for greater ease of playing is better.

    I recently purchased a new trumpet AND a new mouthpiece and at the moment I'm still fiddling with some things to find the mouthpiece that I think will offer me the best potential for what I want out of it. But, once I find it, chances are I will play the same basic setup for years to come. I have played the same LB Strad with the same two mouthpieces (lead/legit) for about 7 years with a couple of exceptions: (note: if I thought I could get away with playing rock band on my legit mouthpiece and not work myself to death, I would - it's the ONLY reason I use more than one mouthpiece.)

    I have had a mouthpiece made that works very well as an all around piece
    I had some structural modifications made to the trumpet which in my opinion made it better for the kind of playing that I do.

    As tweaked as my former setup was (and it is pretty good) I think that the new setup is going to offer a much greater potential once I get used to it and settle into the one basic setup that I will use for rock band gigging.
     
  3. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    But what about finding a horn/mouthpiece combination that doesn't hinder your efforts at playing?

    At one point, I played everything on a standard ML Strad, 37 bell and a Marcinkiewicz straight #2 mouthpiece. I got to where I could color my sound for the situation simply by thinking it. I could darken it up for for some brass quintet tunes, brighten it for others, and really light it up in the Stage band.

    One horn.
    One mouthpiece.

    Of course I lost the one horn, one mouthpiece attitude when I started working myself to death playing Latin band, so I guess it also depends on the demands of the situation.
     
  4. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

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    When you say variety of horns what do you mean? Many different b flats or having higher horns?As far as mouthpiece I use the same rim on everything and different under parts depending on the horn.

    While there is a certainly pedagogical justification for changing equipment to address some issues, I wouldn’t recommend it as the norm.
     
  5. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

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    Austin Peay University's trumpet department are strong believers that any player should be able to play just as well on any mouthpiece out there.

    There used to be a trumpet player at a local music store, who always told me that the mouthpiece question was completely useless, that you should be able to play as good on a 7C as 14a4a or a Bach 1.

    He was a jerk. :evil:

    Van
     
  6. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

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    Nov 2, 2003
    So what if you should? The next logical inference would be that you will now spend time practicing on 20 different mouthpieces each day. You might be able to use that idea as an indicator of how well things are working for you but I can’t imagine spending time practicing different rims for the heck of it.

    I think there are a few people out there that get a little too wrapped up in theories.
     
  7. cmcdougall

    cmcdougall Piano User

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    Get two pieces, a lead piece and a deep piece with matching rims and learn to play them both well, this is the best thing u can do i beleive.
     
  8. jpellett

    jpellett New Friend

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    Apr 20, 2005
    Atlanta
    I use 5 different mouthpieces on 7 different horns with a completely different rim on each mouthpiece (this does include a trombone). Every rim is completely different, and all of the trumpet mouthpieces are actually different brands. I would love to have a second C and a third Bb. I just think that when possible, you should play with the equipment that works best for the given situation. A big factor in this is how many different playing situations you expect to find yourself in, and how different your sound concepts are in those situations. Another big factor is how you practice all of the different equipment. I have a bizarre pic mouthpiece, and while I have no problem switching seamlessly from my normal mouthpiece to the pic mouthpiece if I am regularly playing on it, if I neglect the pic for more than a few days, it can sometimes be a few days before I really feel comfortable on it again. Because of this, I make sure that I practice on all of my equipment regularly.

    Jason Pellett
    www.atlantabrassalliance.com/trumpetlessons.html
     
  9. robertwhite

    robertwhite Mezzo Piano User

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    Nov 11, 2003
    I think the missing point here is this: You are a college student. You need to get your trumpet fundamentals together and get your basic musicianship skills together. Find a middle-of-the-road, conventional mouthpiece that lets you play with your best sound. Don't worry about other mouthpieces until you've got a REALLY solid handle on the instrument.

    No disrespect, because I've never met you, but I can think of about only 2 or 3 players I've known who, as undergrad students, had enough of a handle on the trumpet to experiment a lot with switching mouthpieces. I know I was NOT one of them.
     

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