Changing Mouthpieces...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Hardnut, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. Hardnut

    Hardnut Pianissimo User

    Feb 24, 2006
    South England
    I have always been told that adjusting the mouthpiece you use constantly; ie. interchanging two very different mouthpieces for different styles would have a negative effect on your embouchure. The question I am asking here is whether that statement is in fact true, or whether it might sometimes be necessary to play with a different mouthpiece in Swing Band than in an Orchestra for example?


  2. John P

    John P Piano User

    Jun 16, 2006
    Camp Hill, PA
    I'd say use the best tool for the job. But it depends on what you mean by "very different". If you're playing a Bach 1 for legit and a Schilke 6a4a for blowing lead you might run into some problems. With only a couple exceptions, I've always been told to keep the rim pretty much the same and change cup depths depending on what the playing demands are. I play on a Bach 1C for legit and a Curry 1 1/2 Z (essentially a shallow Bach 1 1/2 C) for lead and have no problem switching back and forth between the two of them (not that I would switch them mid-gig). Sure, I could probably get away with using one of the two mouthpieces for everything, but it's unnecessary work. I wouldn't say it's so much about getting high notes, but the SOUND that I try to achieve with lead playing is much different that the sound I go for with legit, and the shallower cup helps me to get the "lead" sound.

    There are some other posts on this topic, poke around a bit.
  3. MahlerBrass

    MahlerBrass Piano User

    Oct 1, 2004
    Houston, TX
    I don't think that's a true statement, I can't imagine too many pro orchestral players to play a 1C mp on their C trumpets, and turn around and use a 1 size rim to play Magnificat on their picc. If you're smart and efficient, you shouldn't have any problems switching back and forth, best of luck!
  4. TrentAustin

    TrentAustin Fortissimo User

    Oct 28, 2003
    Boston, MA
    For my own personal playing I make it a point to play on all my "major" mouthpieces daily. I use 3-4 depending on tone color and resistance for different performances.

    Smart practicing on each (slurs, scales, flow studies, arpeggios, etc) really help to find the "sweet spot" on every mouthpiece. Only a few minutes daily is needed for my own playing. It REALLY helps my sound when I jump to my "laser beam" or my "toilet bowl" models.

    I was never one to think you could do anything on one piece. You could compete in a marathon with Timberland Boots on but why would ya!
  5. Foxytrpt

    Foxytrpt Pianissimo User

    Sep 11, 2006
    Totally agree, BUT! I have seen good players who change mouthpieces too drastic! And then again there are guys who have been playing on the same mpc for everything.
  6. mike ansberry

    mike ansberry Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Clarksville, Tennessee, U
    Some guys use one mouthpiece for everything. I believe Rick Steffen uses the same mouthpiece for all his playing. Many switch for the style of playing. I have heard Bobby Shew say you don't drive a nail with a screwdriver. Use the right tool for the job. Really it comes down to what ever works for you. For years I couldn't play a shallow mouthpiece. I bottomed out in it. So I played my 3B for everything. It was a lot of work playing lead in an R & B band for 4 hours on it. A few years ago I discovered that I could play on the Allen Vizzutti model Marcinkiewicz. That made the R&B gig a lot easier.
  7. joey

    joey Pianissimo User

    Nov 19, 2003
    mouthpiece switching

    The rule is simple:

    If you want to play on more than one mouthpiece, you must practice on more than one mouthpiece.

    With smart, consistent practice, there should be no problems in switching mouthpieces, as both will feel like home.

    Remember, this practice is "in addition to" not "instead of", meaning the more you want to do, the more practice it takes.

  8. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    I think that psychologically it's good to be able to grab any mouthpiece and sound good on it. For fun, I'll grab a mouthpiece that's totally inappropriate for a given style of playing and do my utmost to sound good on it. It's like music vitamins for your brain.

    Yes, deeper mouthpieces sound best for orchestral work and shallower mouthpieces improve pitch on piccolos. Then there's the rest of the musical world in between somewhere.

  9. Hardnut

    Hardnut Pianissimo User

    Feb 24, 2006
    South England
    Thanks very much for the help guys! This has been really really useful!
  10. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    I've never been a big fan of switching mouthpieces for different styles or effects. When playing my main trumpet, I generally use the same mouthpiece (3C) for just about everything. I have, however, used a smaller mouthpiece when a lot of high-register stuff was required. That said, when playing cornet, flugelhorn, higher-pitched trumpets, and even other Bb trumpets, I feel you must match the mouthpiece to the horn. I regularly practice on my other horn/mouthpiece combos to maintain a playing familiarity with them. I don't think doing this has any negative long-term effect.

Share This Page