Changing mouthpieces between practice/gig

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by iainmcl, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. iainmcl

    iainmcl Pianissimo User

    Nov 4, 2006
    New Zealand
    Hi all.

    I'm just wondering how many of you out there do the majority (if not, all) of their practice on 1 mpc, then switch to something else for the gig?
    To clarify, I currently practice 100% on my medium piece, but the gigs I do are either bigband lead, shows, or pop horn section. All of which require me to have a little more "bite" to my sound to cut through. For these gigs I use a medium-shallow piece.

    Do most of you go for that "one mpc for all" thing, or is it more a "variety is the spice of life" approach?

    Iain >-iii-:cool:
  2. Chuck Cox

    Chuck Cox Forte User

    Oct 3, 2008
    Cary NC
    i warm up and/or rehearse on the mouthpiece that I am going to play the song with. I usually play my Schilke 13a4a, but, I'll use a larger cup if it's a low song. I could do everything on the 13a4a but why not give it my best with a fuller volume when playing hymns for instance.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Why on earth would one want to practice on one and play the gig on another? No respect for the people paying money to hear the performance?

    You get reliable by building habits. That means hundreds to thousands of repetitions. I practice with the piece(s) required for the gig.
  4. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    I do play with more than 1 mpce, depending on the sound required, a particular Solo or if there is a requirement to cut through the section, But I do practice with those changes, and rehearse with the changes, and mark the mucsic with the changes.

    There is no point in practice with a different mpce, as I find I will have mental issues - e.g. will I have time to swap, will it sound OK etc. it just is not smart for me and brings on terrible doubts and nerves.

    I do remember once at a competition de-brief, where a guest conductor conducted the band after the 3 pieces we played. She then asked for a specific sound from the trumpet section, and was surprised to find that I was the only trumpet playing that part (second Trumpet); she wanted more volume and clarity - I was already loud. I had the Lead mpce on me, and played it for that section, and she was pleased with the result it gave the bite she wanted. It is not a mpce I would normally use, as I am not a Lead player at all.

    I have had a similar situations where I needed to match the Lead player for a specific sound, and switched mouthpieces to do this. I carry 2 horns for this reason, that if I do not have time to switch mpce, then I switch trumpets. This is very rare, but I certainly practice with the mpce I will be using. You need to be confident of the result.
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    I use the same rim on all my mouthpieces, practice my routine on a "C" cup on my Bb generally, but know how each of my horns respond with shallower or deeper mouthpieces, and if practicing for a gig, I'll switch, and of course when warming up for a gig I'll do it with the mouthpiece I'll be using.
  6. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Sure, I'd want to play a mpc that I could perform a certain song or part of that song the best I could. Whether or not I have that mpc is an unanswered question, but I never got it stuck in my head that I could not make do with any mpc and I attribute this to playing so many different brass horns. However, getting older now, I am seeking those I find more comfortable which is about like "Jason's quest for the Golden Fleece." The perfect mpc may be out there, but I haven't found it yet ... and I'm not making much effort towards that objective as for the most part would be a waste of what little time I have left.
  7. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    I have two mouthpieces which I use for different purposes -- a deeper one for playing with the orchestra, a shallower one for most everything else. Similar rims but I do notice a difference in using them, so practice with both, and I definitely practice more with the one I'm going to use at the next gig.

  8. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Sticking with practicing on the one mouthpiece you use for overall work should work best. Your embouchure muscles will develop best when provided with consistency. For this reason, I do agree with Rowuk.
  9. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    How about Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Cornet, C Trumpet, Eb Trumpet, D trumpet, Picc, Tenor Horn, Valve Trom, Baritone Horn, French Horn.

    Well I "try" to play them all, and do use them in Combos when necessary to break up the boredom, and lower brass gives the trumpet chops a rest. Swapping mouthpieces is no big deal to me for the chops, it is about the sound for the audience that matters.

    So practice the pieces for the gig with the mpce you'll use is correct, but to stick to one to build the chops I find this idea to be un-applicable in my situation.
    I cannot spend 10 minutes warming up on each instrument it out.
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I agree entirely with your comment. And in addition there are some here that switch between brass horns and sax (and flute). My condolences to those brave individuals. I do have to switch as well between a trumpet and flugelhorn (I have it a bit more simple). It does take me about half of the head to feel more comfortable with the mouthpiece change. Actually, I really find it refreshing changing about every other song or so between my flugel and trumpet as my lips "feel" relieved by altering pressure points. I use a 14A4a for the trumpet and a 3C for the flugel so the cup rests on different placement on my lip alowing blood to flow back into one area while the other is being stressed! But if you don't have to deal with these complexities, keeping it simple is always the best option.

    We do what we have to do, but if we don't have to do it, then it is best not to do it. Do it make sense?

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