Different sized mouthpieces

Discussion in 'Mouthpieces / Mutes / Other' started by butxifxnot, Jul 29, 2005.

  1. butxifxnot

    butxifxnot Pianissimo User

    Jul 10, 2004
    Something my director told me a while ago hit me with an idea:

    He was talking about a tuba mouthpiece, and how a tuba player can hit a trumpet register (so to speak) by accustoming himself to a trumpet mouthpiece (a trumpet embouchure) and using this trumpet embouchure in the tuba mouthpiece. (We were talking about pedal tones) He then said that to do the reverse (take the tuba embouchure to the trumpet mouthpiece) is harder, for the trumpet mouthpiece has no extra space to place that embouchure.

    My idea is about different sized mouthpieces to develop the different ranges more (I am young, and I'm sure many of you have noticed that I talk about developing things). I use a Bach 1C mouthpiece regularly, and it is fabulous. I just stuck a 12 C mouthpiece in the trumpet (like a wall with a hole in it :roll: ) and my embouchure fit itself to that mouthpiece, where the higher register came much more effortlessly (and was wider, as you can imagine).

    How would it be if I were to help out my register by getting a tighter embouchure with the 12 C (or something less drastic, like a 5C (or even the 3C has a difference)) while still dutifully relying on the 1 C for the final product (and everyday playing, of course)? Asking especially those who have experience experimenting with different mouthpiece sizes.
  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004

    This is likely a thought that was developed by Arnold Jacobs many years ago. It's also likely that your instructor came up with it on his own. Nevertheless, it was based on an experiment where they had four members of the Chicago symphony play a low C (our low concert C). They had them outfitted with a variety of measuring gizmos and noticed that even though the trumpet was in his low register, the horn in his mid, the trombone in the moderate high, and the tuba in the very high register, they all were experiencing the same amount of intra-oral pressure and the same aperture. Of course, these were world-class players but the results were clear. If you can get someone to think of their high register as someone else's low register, the psychological effect was helpful enough to get them to play better.

    I had an experience with a trombonist who couldn't hit the altissimo Eb in the Rhenish symphony so I grabbed a C trumpet and made him hit our 4th space Eb. When he went to his trombone, he played the lick flawlessly!

  3. butxifxnot

    butxifxnot Pianissimo User

    Jul 10, 2004
    :-) Thank you. Something definately worth experimenting with, though too much, I've found a while ago, can really begin tearing at the lips...
  4. kanstulmeha440

    kanstulmeha440 New Friend

    Feb 6, 2005
    I'd say keep a VERY close eye on your tone, range, yadda yadda; the second you notice any retrogression of any sort stop doing it and stay on your primary piece a few days until it goes back to normal.
    Be very cautious when trying this, you can reeeeeally eff up your chops if you're not careful.

    You're probably well aware of this, but I'd figure I'd voice my thought to prevent any loss in the trumpet player world. I've found myself in a little bit of trouble when I was experimenting before.
  5. butxifxnot

    butxifxnot Pianissimo User

    Jul 10, 2004
    Another thing...

    Compare with working out.

    If you have a 50 lbs weight and use it to curl (say you are focussing on the biceps), you will get tired, eventually, no matter how in shape you are. If you do it enough, you will be worn out. However, you can continue to work out with a lesser weight after you are tired out from the 50.

    I had just been to a camp, and today we had played about two hours (more or less) and then my lips were tired. I then thought, "You know, it is easier to play with a higher C (Bach) mouthpiece when your embouchure is weak(ened)", so I played through our show with a 3C (I used my regular 1C all before) and it was surprisingly easy to hit the higher notes, I lasted through both times that we played each movement and even had the lips to hit a decent (not fabulous; I'm still working out the power of my notes above a high D, but it was pretty good for me) double F at the very end of the last movement (both times). Of course, after this, I switched back to the 1, but, as I expected, I was more tired than that 3C led me to believe.

    Do you see? I was tired from the rigorous work-out, but I could switch to a MP that is easier on the lips to hit what I need to (the accuracy went down a little, but that can be worked out). What are your thoughts?

    PS I got the idea that higher C mouthpieces are easier for people with weak embouchures to play from a list of the different Bach mouthpiece sizes available. The descriptions were there for each C (ie the dimentions and usefulness of each), and the one for a really high C, the 14C (and up), said that it was useful for players with (I think these were the words) "exceptionally weak embouchures".
  6. butxifxnot

    butxifxnot Pianissimo User

    Jul 10, 2004
    And another. :-? Sorry. :oops: :D

    It's marching season. For those who have been there, how would it be if I switched to a 3C from my 1C? It seems easier, though I'll find out soon enough. :-)
  7. rjzeller

    rjzeller Forte User

    Mar 7, 2005
    Rochester, MN
    I side with Manny here. Whenever I practice on my C trumpet for a while, the Bb seems to open right up. When I do octave slurs starting low I can go incredibly high so long as I'm not too focused on the note NAME and instead focus on the sound. When it feels lower, it's infinitely more easy for me to play.

    For my French Horn students, I'll play their upper register parts on my Bb and then they're able to play it back much easier.

    This is one of my biggest drawback with the extreem range. I never hear the high E quite right, and always have trouble spotting it. But the F is as strong in my mind as the C below it, so I can usually hit that note even cold. (I think for me it's because I use relative pitch -- I know what high C sounds like, and the perfect 4th interval is no trouble for me to hear, so the F is easy...but the third is tougher, and the 2nd -- going to a G -- is daunting for me as well).

    I've been doing this kinda the other way around lately...I've gradually gone bigger and bigger over the summer (glad I haven't shelled out that $$$ for Monette yet, now I'm not so sure if a B4 is right or not anymore...). The more I start thinking lower, as it were, on the upper register, the better luck I've been having. But I think it just really boils down to I'm hearing it better up there. I still go sharp on the higher notes, but not as badly.

    my 2 pennies...as always, I defer to the master...
  8. cmcdougall

    cmcdougall Piano User

    Feb 3, 2005
    Today we were running through our show of course like 20,000 times and we are playing the stan kenton Malaguena, well i play the lead trumpet part and i had been using my PRANA LTB6L, well i started "bottoming out" and just feeling like my lips were going through the bottom of the mouthpiece into my horn so i switched actually to my much deeper PRANA B1-5M, the sound was dramatically different but the 2nd A's above the staff were right there again, i even kicked up to a double c at one point (which is rare for me my normal range is 2nd g above staff), and just layed back on it and held it for like a measure it was cool, so in the contrary i have found it gets easier for me when i am tired to switch to a deeper more open mouthpiece and REALLY FOCUS on my breath and breath control and justy lay back and play, just my observations.

  9. pmkt16

    pmkt16 New Friend

    Oct 24, 2004
    Wouldn't that make sense though? If you are bottoming out on a shallow mouthpiece it means that your lips have essentially swollen to much to play on it because you're hitting the bottom of the cup? Therefore playing on a deeper cup would give you similar results to playing on a shallow cup because there would then be similar amount of room to lip? I have no idea if this is correct or not just me working through my logic.
  10. R.A.S.

    R.A.S. Pianissimo User

    Oct 13, 2004
    Woodbury, Minnesota
    You can play a strong double C on a B1-5M?

Share This Page