Cheater pieces bad?

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

  1. B15M

    B15M Forte User

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    When learning, try to stay away from extremes. Really small or really big.
    I try to keep students middle of the road on everything.
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I do not agree that "if it works" gives anyone carte blanche. We have no definition for "works".

    If a section is using small mouthpieces, somebody had an agenda. A master class will introduce a new concept, as soon as the master is gone, the concept could very well be tossed out of the window.

    It is "possible" to get a "strong" sound out of a small mouthpiece if there is any synergy between it and the player. As Jarrett said the sound was "suboptimal", the question is why. If the players were hoping for an additional octave, they probably wasted their money.
    The biggest question is how to deal with the situation? I probably would not address the mouthpiece size unless they wanted lessons from me. For a short session, I would concentrate on getting the appropriate results by working on body use, breathing and musical issues. If I got a block of sessions, we would talk about what sound is appropriate and if they were reaching their goals. They could all listen to their section mates and comment. I would then play for them with various mouthpieces and let them draw conclusions. My first step is NEVER hardware.

    Cheater is a very good term for small mouthpieces. That hope of higher louder and faster sells. That provides jobs. It also keeps my competition where they belong...........
     
  3. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

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    Your right, cheater is a very good term for any mouthpiece that is an extreme size , such as using a 1 1/2 with the hope that bigger is better to get a "decent " sound . This kind of thinking helps eliminate almost all of my competition. Cheater is such a biased term , it implies that anyone not using a Bach 3 or larger didn't work to get where they are . So if someone didn't use a large mouthpiece it would be safe assume that they cheated and took a shortcut ? I guess that list should include ,Maynard , Brisbois, Chase, Mendez, Gozzo, etc..
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I stand corrected. Cheater is a good term for any "extreme" mouthpiece.

    The point has nothing to do with the size, rather the "false hope" that one puts in using hardware to solve a software problem. Al, you are surely aware of how many gullible players buy something solely based on "hope". You will also agree that the players that you mention did not purchase hardware to "cheat" - that in contrast to MANY school kids who post here.

    My experience shows that there is more often a sacrifice when going smaller than when going larger simply because the sound concept was not present before the switch. A 6A4A is simply not a good choice for a school concert band or 2nd, 3rd, 4th trumpet in a high school stage band unless a truly exceptional player is behind the horn. Extreme pieces fit extreme situations best.
     
  5. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

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    I agree there are too many school kids who believe everything they read about a certain mouthpiece, what I don't like is the term CHEATER, and that bigger is better, I have had too many high school kids using a 1 1/4C come to me for help, so that they could play lead in the jazz band . If a mouthpiece is too small say it's too small, don't call it a cheater.
    I've always felt most high school players sound best not going smaller than a 7C or larger than a 3C , of course there are always exceptions in either direction. College is when a student should know the type of performance he wants to specialize in, and then work toward that goal,not in high school where a student has orchestra, concert, jazz, marching , pep bands, shows etc. , they have to be able to sound good in all situations.
     
  6. B15M

    B15M Forte User

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    And after college, we have to play again in orchestra, concert, jazz, marching , pep bands, shows etc.

    Truthfully, I don't play in pep band anymore.
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I find the semantics very interesting. We have people getting excited over an established term coined a very long time ago. The argumentation completely ignores the heritage. Although I have never found the original source, the term "cheater" seems to stem from the 30s or 40s when the aggressive tone and range associated with todays lead playing was not common or perhaps even desirable. It was considered to be a trade off when tone is sacrificed for range, hence the term "cheater".

    Even today, many of these mouthpieces in fact go to players trading off allround qualities for "specialty" playing. Many more go to players hoping for a piece of the action without having earned it. The term "cheater" is this respect is 100% correct. It is not the term that is problematic, it is the small mind that gives it the negative connotation. We have many terms in the english language that suffer because of "small minds". Carrying this argument to the logical extreme: Adam and Eve were thrown out of the garden of Eden because they realized that they were naked. Before that point, they were in fact naked, but that was cool. I guess we never learn.

    All of you REAL high note aces should proudly claim to use cheaters. Let the uninitiated try to cheat with your equipment. I guarantee smiles..........................
     
  8. Bixel

    Bixel Pianissimo User

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    The interesting thing to me is that a lot of players making contemtuous remarks about "cheaters" seldom have spent enough time with those to really be able to judge.
    They maybe tried one (occasionally), bottomed out, produced a poor sound and gave up and from then on spread the (bad) news.

    It takes a lot of time and practice to make a small and shallow mouthpiece sound really good and "make it do what the player wants".
    "Cheaters" are not a short cut, but the opposite.

    The benefit of chosing a "cheater" on the other hand: better range and better endurance once the embouchure has developed to suit the small mouthpiece.

    There are enough examples in trumpet history proving that "cheaters" don't necessarily must sound poor.

    I disagree that there is one individually ideal mouthpiece for every player for her/his given personal anatomy and sound idea.

    My experience is: any player can get accustomed to any mouthpiece if she/he spends enough time working with it to make friends with it.

    Downsizing (mouthpiece-wise) is a good thing to do - as long as you are patient enough and don't consider it to be a shortcut.

    I consider big mouthpieces as "cheaters" in a sense because they are very forgiving and deliver a wonderful sound without having to work for that wonderful sound - shortcut?
    That's why beginners feel much more comfortable on big mouthpieces.

    Every serious player of a peashooter can play on a 1C-like mouthpiece without much loss of range and/or sound.
    Very few regular players of a 1C-like mouthpiece can play on a peashooter at all.
    Because more often than not there is a difference in their "micromotoric" systems.

    My two cents.

    ;-)
    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010
  9. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    My experience with the term "cheater" mouthpieces has always come from other people. When I was in high school and would smoke some trumpet playing band director or when the marching band would be on the field and I would be playing G's above high C, I would hear later that the reason I could do this was because I used a "cheater" mouthpiece. My experience has been that "cheater mouthpiece" is a term used by people who can't do something that someone else can. I think covet, envy, and cheater mouthpiece have a close relationship. Of course this is my experience and I don't disagree with rowuk when he talks about how the term may have come about in the 30's and 40's. I think "cheater mouthpiece" may have more than one meaning.
     
  10. Veldkamp

    Veldkamp Piano User

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    Do the same people also call a Eb trumpet or a piccolo trumpet a "cheater" trumpet?
     

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