Cheater pieces bad?

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

  1. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.

    Some do, I have heard that before
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    In fact, it is the same issue - between the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries the orchestral trumpet players that were using the deep F trumpets had problems with the cheaters who used the "high Bb trumpet" (our normal Bb instrument today).

    There are many performances of Ravel Bolero, Mussorgsky/Ravel Pictures, Bernstein Symphonic Dances from West Side Story that use the picc. I do not think the sound is appropriate and that the instruments are not used for musical reasons, rather only for safety. I personally consider the higher pitched trumpets to have less variety of "color" than larger instruments. Baroque music on the nat is a much different experience than with the picc.

    If someone started playing lead trumpet in some big band with a picc to "nail" the high notes more easily, I am sure that the screams would be VERY loud.
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Check out Jon Faddis on his solo album (Good & Plenty [which includes the Promenade from Pictures]) for some wicked piccolo playing (like he needs to "cheat!") high notes.

  4. ztrumpet1

    ztrumpet1 New Friend

    Sep 4, 2009
    Chattanooga TN
    I agree with most of you that there are no so called "cheaters" but mouthpieces that aid in high register facility. These specialty mp's in my opinion are better left to those who know exactly what to do with them. Student players need to play on mouthpieces that can achieve a balanced sound, and one that promotes proper air use and muscle development. Someone talked about high compression, but that is a difficult thing to achieve if there is not a well developed embouchure to compress. I am not an expert on drum corps or their practices, but I know many soprano sections use the same mp for everyone in the section except maybe 3 highly advanced high note players that usually get to play on what works for them. In marching band the biggest thing is to play in tune and with efficiency. This means choosing something that can be played on for the most amount of time without sacrificing sound and proper technique. Tight in tune sections are always more impressive and more beneficial to the ensemble, than are a bunch of players blasting and trying to play up and outside the group. The truth is anyone could probably learn to play on any mp, but use common sense and help your students do the same. This is my first post, hello TM peeps!
  5. Xenojoe

    Xenojoe New Friend

    Jan 5, 2010
    I dont think beginners should play on those tiny mouthpieces yet I myself enjoy playing them
  6. Hoghorn

    Hoghorn Pianissimo User

    Dec 30, 2008
    Manitowoc Wi.
    I’m another one that isn’t too keen of the term “Cheater Mouthpiece”. If someone normally uses a 1C for instance and needed a brighter sound for the performance then a shallower mp would be what he / she would use. It’s more about what sound you need for the job. I use 4 different mp’s depending on the gig. This allows me to give the director the sound he is looking for, and no matter what MP is in my horn, it still looks like a trumpet !!! Personally I have pretty thin lips, so a 5C feels like a trombone mouthpiece to me. So what may be a Cheater mouthpiece to some feels normal to others. I agree that a shallow mp can give you a shallow sound, IF you set up on it wrong !!! Each piece takes a lot of wood chopping to find the correct set to utilize the mp to it’s potential. If you can find the “Set” you have a winner !!!

  7. Hoosier303

    Hoosier303 Pianissimo User

    Nov 2, 2008
    so we're talking about MP's made for a trumpet and that's cheating? How? It's not like your pretending to play while using a recording, now that's cheating.
  8. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    Hello yourself - Welcome to TM. As you can see, this is a great site for discussion, debate, controversy, innuendo, and outright fantasy. The problem is that many people won't see your post buried here at the end of a lengthy thread. So, you might want to go to the "Introductions and Greetings" section and post some background info on yourself there. We always like to get to know our new members better.

    Thanks for your comments here.
  9. StoporIlltoot!

    StoporIlltoot! New Friend

    Jan 7, 2010
    Cincinnati, OH
    I remember the mouthpiece display at the music store I grew up shopping at. It had the Vincent Bach and "standard" mouthpieces out in the open, while the "specialty" brands/models like Schilke and Jet-Tone were kept behind the counter...just like top-shelf liquors and cigarettes. Just as always, young people tend to want the things in life that their elders tell them they can't have - verboten, taboo, dangerous! They hear rumors floating amongst their section that "Brand X Mouthpiece" adds an octave, they immediately recall that the old fart who teaches them lessons cautioned them against it, and they've lustily gazed at those little black & silver boxes behind the counter for years and years. Times have changed, though. They don't have to appproach the counter and meekly ask for the "cheater piece," only to be shot down by the clerk with a "here, this 7C is what you should be using." They jump online, have their pick of dozens upon dozens of "cheater pieces," place the order, and have it in their hot little hands in 3 business days.

    At least *part* of the reason young players want these mouthpieces is because the taboo that so many teachers place on them. If the band teacher says on the first day of class to the trumpet section "I don't want to see any Schilkes in your horns," that's processed the same way in a teenage mind as that famous movie line "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!" It's just another adult killjoy keeping them from having fun, and they will then want one more than ever before.

    The problem with "cheater pieces" and young players is the inherit challenge of growing and developing musicianship while resisting the urge to play high & become a "one-trick pony." So many of them don't touch the horn all summer, and get out the 6A4A for marching band. They play it all season and get used to it, then football season ends and they find themselves sitting in concert band. Out comes the 3/5/7C, and they spend the next few weeks/months getting used to that. All of this indecision leads down a path of miserable frustration at a crucial point in their development. I went through this phase myself, but once I figured out how it was keeping me from realizing my potential and being competitive, the specialty stuff went into a box in the closet. It was 3C for marching and 3B for concert from that point on. Life became much easier.

    Later on in college, I did march on a 6A4A. I made some changes from being an upstream to downstream player, and my embouchure was substantially more developed from hours and hours of lip slurs. I owned the notes on a 3C, but the rim on the 6A4A gripped better and felt more comfortable on game days that began with a 5AM reherseal, pep band performances all day, and the last fight song at 10 or 11pm. I wasn't enrolled in concert or symphonic band - marching was my primary gig. Now that those days are over, I'm back on a 3C equivalent.

    Young players: if you don't own the range on a 3/5/7C, you probably aren't going to own it on a 6A4A. Focus on developing good musicianship and tone quality right now, and experiment with specialty mouthpieces once you have the proper foundation in which to utilize them and realize the trade-offs.

    I personally feel that the inverse of the tiny cheater pieces - the large-diameter "toilet bowls," are equally absued by young players. I suspect alot of this stems from the descriptions of the mouthpieces in the Vincent Bach mouthpiece catalog, which ascribe a bit more machismo to the lower numbers... "Bach 1: for the player who shaves with a machette, eats homeless people, and plays Reville for Chuck Norris every morning" versus "Bach 18: for the player that enjoys wine coolers on the weekend, carries a "murse," and identifies most with Carrie from "Sex in the City." So, for every kid that goes out and buy the Jet-Tone MF, there is a kid that buys the VB1 or Denis Wick 1 and flies under the radar with teachers because these sizes enjoy greater acceptance among classically-trained players.

    I wonder sometimes if I had never been told constantly by music teachers how bad "cheater pieces" were or read the misleading descriptions in the mouthpiece catalogs, would I have avoided getting tangled up in the mouthpiece web to begin with?
  10. Rushtucky

    Rushtucky Pianissimo User

    Sep 15, 2008
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    StoporI - very well put and written. Luckily when I to HS, which was a military academy, the band director had his own band (unfortunately he was a sax player) and his philosophy was, 'whatever works for you, great, but you have to live with it.' Before any of us changed our setup though, he would sit down with us and ask us 'why we wanted to change' and 'did we think it would make us a better musician'? He even made suggestions. I even was able to talk to the trumpet players in his band who were a wealth of information (both good and bad).

    I pretty much take the same philosophy with my students. However I try to keep them on the Bach 3 - 5 - 7C range. I have one student that has real small lips and I put him on a 10 1/2C and it works great for him. I have a case with most of the popular size Bach mouthpieces and let the student try them before buying. Most usually settle for a 3C or 5C.

    I, like you, use the 3C as my standard mouthpiece. I will use a 3 or 3B and sometime go to a 1 1/4C for concert and will use a 3D for jazz. All fit nicely in my 4 slot protec mouthpiece case.

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