Fuzz in Sound, Prana Mouthpiece, Monette

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trombonus Rex, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. Trombonus Rex

    Trombonus Rex New Friend

    Oct 12, 2006
    HELP ME OBI-MANNY - you're my only hope!

    Hi Manny-

    Long time fan here- LOVE your work and you're as sweet a cat as you are a player!

    Yes. . . I'm a. . .. (ducking) trombonist . . . . . . .and I REALLY need your help.

    I recently switched to a Prana TT5 mouthpiece. I have tried several of Dave's bone mouthpieces but didn't have a lot of luck, as I always had a high degree of Fuzz in the sound.

    1) I love the feel.
    2) love the intonation & response
    3) It's much easier to play soft, particualy with a section.
    4) it sounds GLORIOUS in the context of the section, but solo, I still hear the fuzz. I've been playing for 25 years, and to hear this fuzz is kind of like wetting my pants. Neither a very attractive solution.

    I tried a regular 5, a TT5L, a Prana 5, and then had them make me a Prana with what should have been a standard size throat. Due to a manufacturing error, I ended up with a Prana with their standard throat.

    Here's the skinnny- Monette makes great bone mouthpieces, but for some reason, the Prana has a throat bigger than many TUBA mouthpieces!!?!!

    Here's my ? for you sensei:

    1) I suspect a large portion of the issue is with me. I have had much luck with this mouthpiece- just got runner up on a national audition and found out tonight it was due to a little "fuzz" in the sound. UGH. I really need to fix this. I have found that if I focus on my corners and keeping the bottom lip tucked in, it is better, but not gone entirely.
    -----HOW CAN I FIX THIS?
    2) Is it possible that the mouthpiece is just plain unbalanced due to the hideously big throat. . . seriously man, it's nuts.

    Thanks in advance for any advice!


    Trombonus Rex
    Valvedly Impared Trumpetist at Heart.
  2. Dave

    Dave Guest

    Congratulations, Rex! The first step is admitting you have a problem. :lol:

    (btw, I think there is a typo on your post! You wrote "ducking" with a d) j/k hehehehe
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 12, 2006
  3. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    Dear TR,

    The fuzz in the sound is likely being caused by the fact that you do someting inherently correct. That is to say you're playing on the low side of the pitch on equipment where you don't need to as much. I'm not advocating you play sharp, don't misundertand but if you realaize you're likely sagging a bit and lift the breath upwards and get more vitality in the breath, the problem will go away. I say this only because you mentioned that the throat size was too open, more so than you riginally wanted, if I understood you correctly. Normally, playing on the "low" side of things is the way to go with Dave's equipment.

  4. Ruli

    Ruli New Friend

    Mar 13, 2006
    The Netherlands
    Hello Manny,
    Do you also have a tip how to play my high notes in tune on a PRANA (trumpet)mouthpiece? Because at the time they are too sharp, that's why Dave sended me a Standard mpc(B1-5M) and it works!! But I want to get back on the PRANA B1-5M as soon as possible. My sharp high notes starts at the A above the staff and higher. What can I do about it?

    greetings from Amsterdam
  5. Trombonus Rex

    Trombonus Rex New Friend

    Oct 12, 2006
    Update: Prana-Trombone Fuzz

    Hi Manny, et all,

    Thanks for your thoughts- That does definately have some impact.

    To clarify: The fuzz for static pitches is little or none at all, and is most apparent during articulation and in the mid/low register (2nd partial of the instrument).

    Most apparnet in that 2nd partial legato playing, but still a little bit when doing rapid articulated passages. Mid & upper register is glorius and unaffected.

    Any additional thoughts?- I'm perpelxed.

    Thanks in advance & congratulations on a great forum!

    Bass Trumpeter in Training. :):dontknow:
  6. krossum

    krossum Piano User

    Aug 23, 2005
    New York, NY, USA
    does this same problem happen when playing on just the mouthpiece? what's your ratio of buzz to fuzz? hmmm...

    interesting situation.
  7. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    Right, it's when you move around not when you're holding notes. Think about it. When is the embouchure less stable? When your moving from note to note or when you're holding? The answer is clearly when you're moving. So, you must work on locking in each pitch as you go from note to note. Slow process but very helpful.

  8. beppe

    beppe New Friend

    Feb 9, 2006
    Hi Manny!! Can you give me some advice to understand this:

    "Normally, playing on the "low" side of things is the way to go with Dave's equipment."

  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    here are some excellent pictures and descriptions:

    Many if not most trumpet players do not play on the resonant center of each tone on their instrument. This is due to the fact that the instrument/mouthpiece combination is not perfectly in tune. To compensate for this, alternate fingerings, pivot system and many other "work-arounds" are used to get a musical product to the audience.
    Dave Monette has changed some of the parameters of mouthpiece design to correct these deficiencies. They require you not to "lip-up" notes, rather to play more relaxed. In the beginning, this is like "lipping-down"(you have trained the additional tension into your normal playing). After a while, relaxed becomes natural and better.
    There have been other examples in the past of companies making a dedicated effort to correct these problems. Schilke used to highlight in their brochures the superior intonation of Schilke mouthpieces with Schilke instruments. Bach for instance, has pretty much ignored the problem entirely. New Bach C trumpets with Bach mouthpieces still have the same intonation problems that their predecessors 20 years ago had.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2006
  10. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.

    Manny didn't answer yet and he did post again after, so I'm going to try.

    The Prana is a very open mouthpiece. Problems tend to get amplified and so does the good stuff. It goes both ways good and bad depending on what you put in.

    Even on the regular mouthpiece you are probably choking off a little when you go up. This causes you to play high on the pitch. With the regular mouthpiece it still happens but it not as noticeable. Now put in the Prana and the problem is amplified and along with that the mouthpiece is more open so you choke a little more to get the note.
    The reason I think this is, I had this problem and now when I get tired I have the problem

    The key is to relax, that note isn't as high as you think, just another note.
    When you go up high lean down into the pitch. After a while it will come naturally.

    I get nervous giving advise on this kind of stuff because I don't want to be responsible for you practicing the wrong thing so if Manny can say ya or na.

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