For the Teachers: Which mouthpiece for beginner?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by rdt1959, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. rdt1959

    rdt1959 Pianissimo User

    Oct 31, 2003
    A question just out of curiosity. How do the teachers out there determine what mouthpiece is best for a beginning player?

    I played with my nephew on News Years eve (a begginer of about 6 months...and doing VERY well btw!:-)). His teacher has him playing on a Bach 3B. Nothing wrong with that, it just made me wonder about the above topic.
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    My students start on a JK 7C. I have never had to substitute this piece for ANYTHING else due to lip size or sound quality. Once the breath support and adequate practice time have stabilized (2-4 years) we look at musical preference and sometimes a different mouthpiece will be more efficient for the students playing style. We ALWAYS have an agenda and it is NEVER range or endurance. It is more like sound and flexibility.

    A 3B is not very far away from a 7C as far as size or cup depth go, so if it works - GREAT!
  3. Richard Oliver

    Richard Oliver Forte User

    Jul 18, 2006
    Casper, WY
    Beyond what the original poster asked, but I've been reading a couple posts lately and what follows has been nicely finding a place to settle in my head and heart.

    Read something over at Karl Sievers' Bach site. Like TM & TH, there's a ton of mouthpiece and horn questions.

    I like Karl's "good gear is good gear . . . practice and forget what it says on the mouthpiece." Btw, in that case he's talking to someone who's playing an average mouthpiece asking about throat and backbore tweaks.

    This next one, from this hack's point of view (easily discounted due to a zillion reasons) I really like: The Soundboard :: View topic - Mouthpiece size and lips

    "I have a friend who tried to do PhD level research to establish that everyone has his/her "optimum" rim size, and how to find it. It failed.

    While I agree that at least short term going from a 3C to 1 1/2C can be a great idea for SOME people... you are still you, and a few weeks down the road you'll sound a whole lot like you did before the change.

    almost certainly your issues are otherwise.

    almost certainly you need to learn to have your head in the right place, which is relaxed but energized breath combined with a focus on a very very very resonant tone.

    I will bet anything that you do not do the above at a 100% level.

    You can't solve hardware issues until you solve that.

    and finally.. I have great and long term friends who have very large lips.. much larger than mine, who are screaming and great lead players.. accurate, great tone, endurance, the whole package, who play 3C rims or smaller.

    It ain't the hardware...

    Given the gearhead element in my hobby (mea cupla), Karl's normal point of depart when it comes to equipment (and quite a few here at TM too) is a calming influence in storm of voices. Or something like that.
  4. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    Everybody is different!!

    My thought is when starting, go middle of the road. That way you have plenty of room to move either way.
    What if the trumpet came with a 10E and the player really needed a 1C ?

    If I have a chance to pick a MP for a student it's a Bach 7C
  5. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005
    I do the same as others here. It's really impossible to tell what the ultimate 'right' mouthpiece will be. Everybodys different. But, you want to start them on something with reasonable attributes that won't tax them too much as they begin to develop their embochure and playing abilities.

    I start them on a Bach 7c and when appropriate (which is typically at least a couple of years) start thinking about the next mouthpiece. I find that almost no students stay with the 7c for the long term (unless they are more part time, less serious players).

    In most cases, the next move is toward a larger mouthpiece that will help to enrich their sound, typically a Bach 3c, however other brands and attributes might also be considered.

  6. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    First mp was a Bach 5C that came with the Holton MF that I started with.

    I now play a B&S 7C, but not after going as small as 10 1/2D and as big as 1B for my everyday playing!

    Try your best to get a beginner around a 7C or equivalent. If they happened to inherit a mouthpiece that is of strange make, unless you think it is hampering their playing, don't change them.

    I had a beginner who was just not improving. Sound was awful, and endurance was a problem. I checked his equipment: horn was fine. The mouthpiece.... A 3CW. Got him a 3C and he immediately improved.

    Of course every kid may be different, and there may be a beginner out there that may actually NEED to start on a 3CW!

    ....7C is the accepted all-around though. :-)

  7. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    Since it takes a while to develop the embouchure and air control for a beginner. I prefer to start them on a bach 7C or an equivalant. I really like the Stork 5C. I think it sounds better. After 2 to 4 years when the student has developed, I may try some different sizes with them. I can tell a lot by listening to their sound and esp. control to see if they need a different mpc. personally I would not put a beginner on a 3B because it will make him work too hard for the upper notes. In addition to the deep cup it has a Bach #7 backbore which is one of their largest backbores. Both require very well developed embouchure and air control which a begineer usually will not have. In 30 years of teaching private lessons, I've never had a beginning student need a mpc this big. But I could be wrong. there are always exceptions. I do know that Herseth played the same mpc he started on when he joined the Chicago Symphony in 1948. his Bach 7C. He didn't go to his Bach 1 until the late 50s.
  8. Rushtucky

    Rushtucky Pianissimo User

    Sep 15, 2008
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    A beginning student is just developing physically with his instrument. Like many instructors in my area, I start beginners out with a Bach 7C. It is pretty much the mainstay. There is no sense in getting a student confused. I also tell them to not to listen to their friends and stick to what they have and develop with it. As they mature with the instrument then we can start experimenting with another mouthpiece. I have several that I let my students try before they make up their mind. There is no sense in having them go out and purchase a whole draw of mouthpieces.
  9. Meldog

    Meldog Pianissimo User

    Nov 24, 2004
    Blaine, ME
    I start all my kids at school out on 7C and I don't even talk about the mouthpiece aside from just playing it properly. The nice thing is I teach grades 4-12 so I have them from day one until they graduate. When the kids hit 7th grade pep band begins so I use that to introduce them to what the parts of the mouthpiece do and how it can help them get the sound they want in the different styles of music. I don't even talk about changing mouthpieces and only approach it when I determine that it might be time to look for one. I don't mess with what works and overall a 7C has done just fine though I do have a couple of students on a 5C and one on a 3C.

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