Help with a mouthpiece problem

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by BrotherBACH, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. BrotherBACH

    BrotherBACH Piano User

    Oct 5, 2010
    Hi. I am a 50 year old comeback player after a 30 year layoff. I have been back about a year and a half and lurking TM for about that much time. I wanted to wait until I had a difficult question.

    My progress goes well. I have developed to the point where my Bach 7C feels too small. A couple of months ago a salesman at my local music store suggested that I purchase a Bach 5C and a Bach 3C and play both extensive so I could make detailed comparisons. Here is where I am at.

    I love the Bach 5C in the lower register; it is great with pedals. I can get a solid full sound with nice attacks on low notes below the stave. However, it seems to start closing up and constrict vibration for notes above the G on the stave. I am conscious not to be using pressure but the higher notes start pinching off. High C is a huge struggle. It is the exact opposite for the 3C. I find it very hard to get nice solid attacks below the stave; it is like the cup it too big, But, high notes above G on the stave are effortless by comparison. The cup depth allows my lip to continue to vibrate well to high C and above. What to do think might be going on? Which mouthpiece do you think I should continue with? I like them both for different for different reasons.

    Thank you,

  2. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight Pianissimo User

    Apr 7, 2010

    I sort have just been there. My teacher told me to stay with the 5C. She likes my tone better with the 5C and winces every time I even talk about trying the 3C. What does your teacher think? Do you have one?

  3. fraserhutch

    fraserhutch Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 23, 2004
    Novato, CA, USA
    It may be that the feeling you're having when you say the 7C feels too small is just a feeling relative to the big feeling you'll have when just coming back to the horn.

    The following are my observations, being a comeback player like you who went through the whole mp safari thing.

    Unless you are having sound issues or actual tone production issues, or comfort issues, my inclination would be to stay on the 7C. If it's the latter, then I would look at other pieces before I changed rim size.

    I recall when I came back the exact same feeling, and it only went away once my lips became used to daily practice again. You WANT that feeling. It's a good feeling, and it'll be replaced with your comfort zone feeling in due time. Your shops are trying to get acclimated to a mouthpiece.

    My personal feeling is that anyone should be able to play a 7C. Is it going to be the optimal piece for them? Not likely. BUT - my belief is that if you're getting the feeling, it's not the piece, its you.
  4. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    BrotherBach sez:
    Hi. I am a 50 year old comeback player after a 30 year layoff. I have been back about a year and a half.
    You play a Bach 7c and feel its too small and want to change to a Bach 5c.
    What do you mean it "feels" too small?
    My basic inclination is to stay with the 7c but please describe what you mean by "it feels small"
  5. BrotherBACH

    BrotherBACH Piano User

    Oct 5, 2010
    Hi. I do not have a teacher but will soon as I am looking for one now that this problem has cropped-up and I guess need more help than I thought. The feeling I have with the 7C is that it does not rest well on the lips whereas the 5c and 3C do. The 3C rest better than the 5C but the 5C is much better than the 7C.

    I am almost tempted to stiick with the 5C just because my lip flexibility is so much better. The 3C feel too big until I get to middle C and beyond. Then, it is simple fantastic. To be honest, we are trumpet players and attracted by high notes. They are just so much easier with a 3C. I just don`t know why the higher notes are so much harder with the 5C and I do not know if I can somehow learn to push pass that barrier that starts pinching off above G on the stave. Maybe it is just finding a better set that works, or just more air. Either way, I am trying my best,

    I will wait and keep reading the responses.

  6. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Hi BrotherBach,
    Try this:
    1)Blow air as if you are blowing out a candle.
    2)While doing this, put the mouthpiece up to your lips.
    3)That's your embrochure.
  7. BrotherBACH

    BrotherBACH Piano User

    Oct 5, 2010
    Hi Marki,

    What mean by too small. I use a slight lip curl (upper and lower lip). The 5C and 3C seem to rest or lock on to my lips better than the 7C. It seems more of a struggle to fit my set into the 7C whereas it is progressively easir from the 5C to the 3C. The price with the 3C is less control below the stave, perhaos due to a bigger cup. I somehow think that the 3C may be more forgiving of pressure and that is why I can do so well with it above the stave. The narrower rim of the 5C may cut off any vibration with the slightest pressure.

    I am going to do the candle thing now right before I practice and see what happens with my air. Thank you.

  8. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    I had a similar reaction. I played a 6C when I was younger. I started my comeback 2 years ago on a 7C (essentially the same as a 6C, except for a slight difference in the rim). I switched to a 3C about 18 months ago. After the switch, I also found the low register a bit challenging. This was understandable, given the more shallow cup on the 3C. But, I really liked the sound I got from the 3C. With patience, my low range slowly came in, and is a strong as it was before the switch.

    My initial reaction is to suggest you stick with the 7C until you find a teacher (which you said you are in the process of doing).

    However, if you decide to stick with the 3C, make sure you give it enough time.

  9. study888

    study888 Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 22, 2005
    Darlington S.C.
    Hello brotherbach. Go to the Stork Mouthpiece internet site. On there is a lip size/to Mouthpiece rim size, picture charts.

    Study them carefully, see if you are in the right rim size for the type shaped lips you have. This is a good tool to use. It appears you like a lot of bite or high alpha angle on your rim. Which the Bach 5C has plenty of. Around 19 degrees of inner edge rim bite. That is on the high side.

    The only mouthpiece that comes to my mind, would be the Kanstul CG3 Trumpet M.P. It has a Bach 3C rim/cup size set up. But with a High Alpha Angle that feels closer to a Bach 5C rim size on the lips. It also has a #20 or #22 bore throat,that will let the mouthpiece and Horn play more open.

    Reason the low notes and pedals respond better on the Bach 5C and even the Bach 7C is that they both have the deepest C cups,right on the border line of being a B cup. More work to play high,as the cups deepens.

    Reason you find yourself, being able to play higher, and easier on the Bach 3C. Is it has one of the shallowest C cups or what some call a medium deep C cup. Less cup depth,easier up high,less sound volume down low. With proper practice that can be corrected.

    If you prefer a Bach blank. The Kanstul 3C has the same rim design/cup depth as the Kanstul CG3. Throat bore and shank bore are the same on both. But check the stats to be sure. Do not know what brand Trumpet you are playing. If the Bach mouthpieces wiggle and or loose in your mouthpiece receiver. Go with the Kanstul CG3/CGPersonel M.P.'s. They should fit better.

    If you can go back to the smaller Bach 7C size. The Kanstul CG Personel is around that rim size with a very comfortable rim/deep Effecient V cup/open #20 throat. Has the same amount of rim bite of the Bach 3C. But much more comfortable,and keeps a good seal on the lips.

    The Storks are very fine mouthpieces also. But since you seem to like a higher bite. The Storks rims may be a tad to thin and not enough lip support to your liking. Good luck
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2010
  10. BrotherBACH

    BrotherBACH Piano User

    Oct 5, 2010

    Wow! That was a fantastic explanation of things. At least I understand my difficulty now. It pairs well with what TrumptMD was saying. There is a lot to to sleep on tonight. Thanks.


    (I play a Bach Strad ML 37. It seems to very popular around here.)

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