Cheater pieces bad?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Jarrett, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. willbarber

    willbarber Piano User

    Nov 22, 2008
    Medina, NY
    I used to use a 10b4 for normal playing, then a 10a4 for marching. Then I got a solo in field band, which was supposed to be on a flugel, but as we all know flugel+30 degree weather=super flatness. So I switched to a 3C Megatone on the recommendation of my director, and now I can't get a half decent sound out of the smaller pieces.
    I know they're not necessarily "cheater" pieces (the 10a4 is a picc piece, i believe) but I was playing quite well on them, just not as well as I could have been. I think if you achieve a desired tone on the piece and are able to play it well in all aspects, you should use it, whether it's a 1c or a 6a4a. I don't think anyone should be limited by the conventional pieces just because one is considered a "cheater."

    Honestly, if you had two, and the ONLY difference was that one added half an octave to your range, which would you choose?
  2. Jarrett

    Jarrett Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    Richland, MO
    I mean, does a cheater piece really add range for most people? I've got the same range on my 3c as 6a4a, it's just easier to play higher with a smaller piece.. When I played in a big band doing lead stuff for 2-3 hours at a time, I used a smaller mouthpiece, but I practiced it alot too..
    I think you can use the right tool for the job, but if your a young (inexperienced) player, your "job" is learning how to play well with strong fundamentals, and a very small mouthpiece has nothing to do with that... IMHO
  3. Pete

    Pete Piano User

    Nov 17, 2007
    Not eveyone is built for a 3C either. A 3C to me is a big mouthpiece. The Shew 1 and Schilke 6A4a are not cheater mouthpieces. Shallow mouthpieces aid in compression which you need to produce the upper register notes more easily. If you bottom out on them, they are too shallow for you. The above mentioned are too shallow for me, but guys like Brian MacDonald, Adolfo Acosta, etc use this type of mouthpiece and sound great. Yes, the right tool for the job is important, but kids aren't going to carry 3-4 different mouthpieces.

    To some, the mouthpieces I use (Marcinkiewicz Shew 1.75 and Warburton 6SV) are considered shallow, but I play them. Others don't find them shallow enough. The students should not be steered away because they are supposedly "cheaters" but should be encouraged to strive for a clear appropriate sound for the type of playing they are doing. Whatever mouthpiece does it for them.

    If someone had insisted that I played that 3C way back when, I'd be playing drums now. Not that that's a bad thing, but you get the idea I hope.
  4. Jarrett

    Jarrett Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    Richland, MO
    Surely, makes sense to me!
  5. roryhislop

    roryhislop New Friend

    Dec 19, 2008
    Students are often misinformed. I know I was. I was playing some tiny mouthpiece for the longest time and grew to rely on its size. Once I became more interested in playing I became aware that I had the brightest sound and I did not enjoy that. ( I was playing the Marcinkiewicz 3c/3e). So i switched to another extreme...Marcinkiewicz B1 concert hall. Again misinformed. Took more than a year to become fully comfortable with this one, now I love it, but that was a waste of time.
    Students need to be taught about these things by band teachers (I know that may be hard) but it must be done. WE NEED TO LEARN!
  6. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    I really hate the use of the word "cheater" in describing a mouthpiece. Is Bobby Shew "cheating" when he uses his mouthpiece? Am I "cheating" if I use the same mouthpiece that such a monster player is using? How is that cheating? Is it cheating if I play the same trumpet he plays?

    Jeepers -- a far better way to keep things in perspective is simply to say that the trumpet section which started this thread was using mouthpieces too small for the sound they needed to get out.

    Would we say a person is "cheating" when he/she chooses a larger mouthpiece to get a different tone or to make the lower range easier? Why say a person is "cheating" when they use a smaller mouthpiece to try to achieve the opposite?

    The use of a pejorative term such as "cheating" to describe anybody's use of a mouthpiece or instrument is, in my opinion, harmful to the whole world of trumpet playing.

    Are sax players said to be "cheating" when they switch from hard rubber mouthpiece to metal mouthpieces to achieve a certain tone? I've never heard that term thrown around among sax players.

    Why do we use it in the trumpet world?

    Rory -- I'm sorry you were misinformed concerning those mouthpieces. I think many people in the trumpet world are misinformed about such things, even when the advice they receive is well-intentioned and comes from very knowledgeable people. The only valid advice concerning mouthpieces that I've ever heard or read is that everybody needs to go to a music store and try out different mouthpieces and find the one which fits their playing best and then simply stick with it and keep working at it to take it as far as they possibly can and then decide if yet another change might be necessary or not. But in any event, I would never accuse you of trying to "cheat" by following another person's advice about a mouthpiece they think will help some aspect or another of your playing.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
    Al Innella likes this.
  7. YamaMan

    YamaMan Pianissimo User

    Nov 29, 2008
    In my humble opinion, mouthpiece size is basically about player comfort and sound. If you sound good on it, and it's comfortable, then why switch? To make it easier to accomplish certain more difficult tasks such as playing a hard lead gig, a player may consider a different mouthpiece than their usual, but the same rule applies. A professional trumpet player should have their range just about figured out without the pluses or minuses of different mouthpieces.

    I'm probably just paraphrasing the rest of the thread, but I still wanted to give my two cents.
  8. Jarrett

    Jarrett Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    Richland, MO
    keep in mind I'm not saying small mouthpieces are bad, but rather, not appropriate for beginners to learn on :)
  9. ccNochops

    ccNochops Piano User

    Sep 30, 2006
    White Marsh, VA
    I came back after 30 years on a cheater (MarcinkiewiczE12.4 Ingram) stuffed into my Holton Colligiate, I thought it sounded good. Bought a 700S Getzen, used the cheater to struggle through a funk band gig.....sounded like crap. I could take the same mouthpiece, stuff into a Xeno and it would cut this server in half like a laser......BUT, I finally backed into a Bach 3C and WORKED and PRACTICED......ALOT and over all, the Getzen is much happier, people I play with are much happier, and so am I as a trumpet player. As far as the Marcinkiewicz......well, if this server falls in halves......y'all know I finally bought my Xeno :play: Happy New Year to all.....bests, chuck
  10. mattc

    mattc Pianissimo User

    Dec 12, 2009
    Bold is mine. I highlight what I think is the "money quote".

    If they sound bad and a bigger mouthpiece would help the sound, then the pieces are not right.

    I've heard some people say that even 3C is too small and that students should play even larger. I don't agree with that either.

    My impression--and someone can correct me if I am wrong--is that it is likely easier for the 3C student to switch to the small piece when needed than for a kid on a small piece to use a 3C (or other larger piece) when needed.

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