Dialing things in - You and/or the Hardware

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trickg, Feb 28, 2015.

  1. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

    Jul 5, 2010
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    As to Bud Herseth hitting the nail on the head with whatever piece of brass he set lip to, there's a similar story about the late Fred Mills. When he was with the Canadian Brass, somehow his equipment bag got lost or stolen - whatever - and he had to play a full tour of Japan on whatever hooters and mouthpieces he could borrow locally, A diifferent combo every evening... a total nightmare. Yet he came out on top. That's the importance of equipment for you...
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006

    there are a couple of things that you can try if "tightening up" the Schilke is your goal. I have tried all of these.

    1) add weight under the third slide valve cap. It can be a washer, just make it 20 - 50 grams heavier
    2) bell clamp: Absorber Trompete kaufen | Ihr Online Shop| Musik Amrein
    3) heavier mouthpiece (wrap clay around it to test and to insure that the inside is identical)
    4) 14B mouthpiece
    5) tuning slide brace - this is a threaded rod that can be adjusted to any tuning slide.

    If you need more, another horn is a safer bet..............
  3. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I've got or tried a bunch of the stuff you mentioned. I hadn't thought about adding weight to the mouthpiece, but that might help. Years ago (and we're talking 20+ years ago) I had a sound sleeve that I used for a bit, but ultimately didn't wind up sticking with it.

    I've got the removable tuning slide brace - the jury is out on that, and here's another thing that looks interesting - crook weights:

    Mouthpiece Express : Crook Weight [MPCEXWEIGHT] - $24.99

    Last night's gig was interesting - I ended up swapping my normal backbore back in after the first set. While I liked the slotting and blow in the practice room, I felt like I needed a bit more to push against on the gig. Overall I did ok, but I wasn't on fire last night - just an average gig with a solid performance, although I killed it vocally doing Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic" for the first dance. :D

    In terms of accuracy, or security in slotting, I think I was still too new to the new setup - while certain things seemed to be a bit more secure, I chipped some stuff that I don't typically chip. The truth is, some additional woodshed time might be the real way to go here.
  4. Michael T. Doublec

    Michael T. Doublec Pianissimo User

    Nov 20, 2014
    I have used the same horn since 1974. A Schilke B3 beryllium bell. The mouthpiece I used for years was a 6A4a. I changed to a Stomvi Lynnflex. This has different couplers that adjust the annulus gap in the receiver. I wouldn't have believed how much of a difference this makes. Get the gap too small and you feel like a tomato is stuffed in the bell. Get it too large and it's difficult to control your air. I am using a 4.5 coupler, but also have a 4 and a 5 to fiddle with. They say the difference is about the thickness of a sheet of paper but it makes a huge difference. So I think as you age things do change and adjusting equipment may not hurt. I will say there is nothing you can buy that will cover severe weakness', but dialing in equipment is fine.

    Mike Fesi
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    To be honest, I really don't like threads like this as they are very easily twisted out of proportion.

    I offered Patrick based on how I understand his playing to be, some suggestions. Every point that I made was ONLY suitable for someone who has solid dependable chops and no real deficits in the entire playing process. We are creatures of habit and our most stable playing is with the habits that we have developed with hundreds to thousands of repetitions. There is also a not so fine line between what is happening, and what we believe is happening. Many times the tweak only changes how we hear ourselves and not what comes out of the bell.
  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    That's a good point. We see it all the time with people who are looking to throw money at a problem that's best served with additional time in the practice room. Mouthpiece after mouthpiece, trumpet after trumpet - some people literally spend thousands of dollars on equipment, looking for that one thing that's going to make it all better, when they'd be better served by using what they have and really digging into it in the practice room.

    I'm going to put in some renewed focus on some things in the practice room in the coming weeks, so hopefully that, combined with some minor adjustments to my setup, and I can tighten the screws up on some things. Keep in mind, I'm not a sloppy player by any means, but I really dislike missing - overshooting or undershooting a note, or chipping a note - I want to be the cleanest, most accurate player I can be.
  7. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 5, 2011
    I think jiarby said it best when they said "Now".
    If it takes time for you to get the ball rolling for a show, then possibly showing up a little earlier and warming up, getting the ears use to the room, and getting the mind and body use to the temperature could be the answer. Not being able to hit the notes (accuracy) is (depending who's the boss) a firable offense. Do what you need to do and I do wish you well! There are many ways to skin a cat but no one likes shloppy twumpet. I'm gonna cross my fingers and hope for you a great show!
    As for "dialing in" my experience has been that the person (a person that knows how to play) had:
    1. A dirty horn
    2. horn wasn't tuned to itself which resulted in the horn fighting with itself. The sound and feel of the horn just didn't "pop"
    3. 1 & 2
  8. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    Rowuk kinda expanded on my verbose initial response.... tweaks don't help if you aren't on your game in the practice room.
  9. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Unless I'm wrong, pretty much everyone misses here and there, and especially guys playing gigs like mine - again, I need to stress that this isn't about me being ineffective as a player on the bandstand. This is about trying to maximize my performance and be as good as I can be, and working with equipment that is going to help, rather than hinder that process.

    This thread wasn't started as me looking for advice for how to improve my game. It was merely started to see where people stand on that sort of thing philosophically. I know that Rowuk believes in tweaking gear - he owns and plays Monettes that were custom built for him. That's kind of the top of the mountain when it comes to tweaks to our equipment, at least from a money/gear perspective.

    And how many people switch up mouthpieces for whatever reason? Again, I've never been the guy to mess with gear too much - gear will only get a person so far if they aren't already playing well. I've gone though fewer mouthpiece changes than almost anyone I know who has been playing as long as me.

    Again, I'm not looking for advice - just checking the pulse on the subject now that I have delved into it more than I normally do.
  10. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

    Jun 22, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN
    I don't know, Patrick... Do you think we all get a little over-obsessive about this sort of thing at times? I agree with you that gear takes a player only so far, but I am all for a little tweaking that may provide small improvements and greater playing satisfaction.

    I am content with my current stable of horns just as they are, but If I find that a little mouthpiece experimenting makes me a happier player, I do it. And while I respect others opinions on the matter, I will do my own thing.

    Fact of the matter is, we are trumpet players, not brain surgeons or prominent politicians, and in a hundred years no one will give a rat's behind about what we may or may not have done concerning our mouthpieces.

    I suggest that you do what you want to do, play, and be happy! There; that is my pulse check, for what it is worth.


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