Getting the mouthpiece to do more of the work.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Local 357, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

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    One benefit of utilizing a favorable gear ratio mouthpiece (ie shallow as hell) is that you don't have to constantly worry about crossing the threshold into over training. The other is that you can spend more time online or with your girlfriend. Less need to practice if only to maintain adequate endurance.

    For some reason it still seems popular to train students, both high school and college, on the deepest, sharpest mouthpieces possible. Thankfully this has changed a little since i was coming up. Back in my college days the prof had us all on Bach 1C or bigger. He himself used the Schilke 22. Played it well in fact but the man had thick fleshy lips. Yeah and he played some four hours a day minimum. Practice helps.

    He didn't however have to do any big band lead playing. Plus like we old timers now he had long term skills to fall back upon. Back in college we were all developing. Our embouchures hardly more than weakly programmed jello.

    That said I still keep a nice "bathtub" piece in my collection. It is well rounded though. In flugel horn shank to which a cornet to trumpet adapter works dandy when i want more over tones in the trumpet sound. Or more lower register accuracy/endurance for same.

    But most the time I keep a shallow piece in my ax. By developing a technique where i rely on the metal more than my lip I almost never fall short of on endurance a gig. Plus during those inevitable times when gigs are few and my practice time limited i can still pull off a couple sets of big band lead chair parts. Even if the horn never left the case for the whole week before. True.

    Despite the obvious problems with the idea most classical teachers still push larger pieces on their students. And for sure there are times when these "bathtubs" are needed. However it is easier to switch to a deeper piece when the need occurs than to the shallow end of the pool. Just the way it seems to me.
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I have always used a deep mouthpiece for symphony/wind band/quintet stuff. The shallow mouthpieces (14A4A then Monette BL/B4L) were easy to switch to until I got into my 50s. Now I have an equivalent of a Schilke 14B for lead. Can still scream and my chops don't bottom out.

    My big mouthpiece tone always suffered when I was primarily playing the 14A4A. That was not a liability because I have always had more big mouthpiece gigs.
     
  3. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

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    Have you ever talked to a suzuki trained violinist, its like they don't know the first thing about music. What string harmonics don't need those, just put your fingers there there and there then pretend to be emotional when you aren't in tune. Anyway I think there are some advantages to being a comeback player mainly you don't have to over come some of the more common pedagogical handicaps, now if I just had as much time as when I was a kid :play:
     
  4. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

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    As long as you're playing music other than classical or wind band, a really shallow mouthpiece will usually work, and gives a lot of endurance. For "legit" music, the tone from a shallow mouthpiece leaves a lot to be desired, though. It's silly to try to play lead on a big bucket...as someone said, "There ain't no future in it"...
     
  5. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

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    Interesting post Dale. Matter of fact there are times when a deep piece doesn't fit for the classical either. Not on the higher pitched trumpets anway. Like the time I forgot my medium sized piece and had to do an Easter gig with a 1C-ish on my E Flat trumpet. it worked but the tone was dull and the response was crappy.

    Then once when I pulled out a "bathtub" to demonstrate my piccolo tpt and it sounded TERRIBLE. I believe I can use a large diameter inner rim dimension on the pic but if it isn't fairly shallow it won't blow right.
     
  6. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

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    The season the 1C didn't work for you is because you were not adjusted to it. That's why the tone was dull and the responce was crappy. I've use the same deep very open mpc on Bb, C, D, Eb. But I spend a lot of time with that set up. Plus I can alway tell when a player has picked up a smaller horn like an Eb just for the gig. Their sound just isn't mature on the horn. So while the mputhpiece does make a difference, it's not always the cause of the problem. It depends on what you are used to. Use the right tool for the job but spend time with the setup so it will work.Of course i don't know anybody who would us e a1C on a picc on purpose. On that one I feel you pain.
     
  7. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

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    Yes, I think years ago many teachers tried to move players to as large a mouthpiece as possible. Like most, I started on a 7C, then moved to. 1 1/2. Don't guess working the chops more hurt me, but it probably did limit some of my playing. Now 50 years later, having run the cycle of Al Cse, double cups, 14 1/2s etc., over the years, I use a 3C.
     
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I happen to know quite a few Suzuki players that clean up. I think that your generalization is wrong. A good Suzuki does not ignore musicality. A bad teacher from any background does not make the system itself bad. Suzuki pioneered the methodical use of smaller instruments proportionally fitted to the players hand geometry. It can help develop the extreme fine motor control required to excel with the violin. The system takes the play through all the necessary step. It does not turn rags to riches or the musically ignorant into diamonds.

    We are not all born equal. We do not all have the same opportunities. Playing in tune is not something that every one can learn. Sometimes the issue is brain, sometimes it is dedication, often it is missing technique. A wimpy sound can be interpreted as out of tune - even if the tuner says otherwise.

    Comeback players CAN have an advantage of more advanced (developed) intellectual capacity. They have a big disadvantage that they are in their own way much more often than young children that have a greater degree of spontaneousness. As a teacher, I can say that I get more excuses from older players than from younger. The younger players will practice things even if they don't get it - they show up to lessons with different expectations. Older players will often "wait" until things can be discussed................
     
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    As far as mouthpieces and horns matching, I too use the big mouthpieces with the C, D, Eb and in certain settings G trumpet.

    As far as superlatives like "terrible" or "crappy", those are signs of the player, not the hardware. I certainly would not want to play a Brandenburg Concerto on a picc or a lead gig with a 1C, but for those specialty gigs, I simply do not "forget" the right equipment. For less critical performances, we can have a great measure of flexibility when we do not allow dependencies to develop. I don't like the sound of my Selmer Radial 2° D/Eb with a 14A4A mouthpiece, but can assure you that if I had to play a Bach Cantata or Messiah with that combination, no one in the audience would notice (except my wife who has a very good ear and knows my playing). I would have to be careful about the brightness getting out of hand, which means that I would have to play with even more attention to "style". No desaster though.

    Developing dependencies is the biggest danger when we focus on hardware. It takes a special type of psyche to be a geek that still can perform well under a wide range of situations. Yet more proof that we are not born equal.
     
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    OK here is my logic regarding to the OP’s question: Work is the displacement of force. Resultant force acting on a body if conserved will conserve the total mechanical energy utilized by the body. Resultant force will be conservative if all external forces are conservative. For trumpet players, the most important forces to conserve are elastic collisions and ideal spring. In this case Work = Force x d x cos theta; where d is lip displacement; cos theta the angle of the mouthpiece to the lip. So when cos theta = 90 degrees the cosign theta = 0. So holding the mouthpiece perpendicular to the face gives us: Work = Force x d x 0 = 0. So if you hold the mouthpiece perpendicular to the face your question is moot.

    QED.

    I love natural laws, but come to think of it, I never studied law… Is that natural?
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2012

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