I like playing on a 16c4 but my teacher tells me not to

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Advertise, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    I would be asking him why. The Yamaha 16c4 according to Yamaha's mouthpiece chart is equal to a Bach 1 1/2C, and yes that usually is considered a pro mouthpiece. If you have a dark sound on it and it gives you the range to play what you need to play then I would not see anything wrong. I would press him for a more definitive reason as to why. What type of style of trumpet playing does he do and does that type of playing fit with what you want to do? If not, find someone else.
  2. soloft

    soloft New Friend

    Jan 14, 2009
    The bad habits he is talking about are referring to how easy it is to generate a sound, and how forgiving the instrument is. (i think, I can't get in his head, but this is usually what a teacher is talking about). Basically, pro level instruments let you "cheat" a bit, and if you start out or restart on something that let's you cheat, you can develop bad habits. I got a bach strad cornet after playing for a few years, and I am paying for it now. It gave me a great tone, but now that I have to play trumpet on a student horn, my sound is ruined. A mouthpiece isn't going to make too much difference, I don't think, but it is worth thinking over. Consistent with most people's advice, I would just stick with whatever is comfortable.
    I will tell you though, I play on a 3C and it is the easiest mouthpiece I have ever played on.
  3. operagost

    operagost Forte User

    Jan 25, 2009
    Spring City, PA, USA
    I totally disagree. First of all, we're talking about mouthpieces, not trumpets. Second, it is always a benefit to play on the best instrument available. If anything, a pro horn can be a little HARDER to play. Even if they weren't, why would you try to handicap yourself by struggling with a piece of garbage that blows poorly and has sticky valves instead of learning proper technique through repeated practice? Playing isn't like training for a marathon with weights on your ankles.
    Your sound is ruined because you are playing on a substandard trumpet, or out of practice! You may also still be getting used to a shallower trumpet mouthpiece over the deeper one you probably used with your cornet.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2009
  4. soloft

    soloft New Friend

    Jan 14, 2009
    I was just saying that from personal experience, professional instruments are easier to play. I would assume the same goes for mouthpieces.
    As far as why to practice with a poor instrument: you have to practice so hard to get a good sound and make the horn work for you, that all the habits and techniques you formed make you even better on the professional model.
    I do play on my cornet from time to time, and my sound on that has improved dramatically because of how hard I've worked on my trumpet.
    Not trying to be rude, just explaining.
  5. BenH

    BenH Pianissimo User

    Oct 14, 2008
    I swapped to a 16C4 on my teacher's advice, from an 11B4 (roughly a 7D). I instantly found that my sound and articulations improved. My theory is that the smaller diameter of the 11B4 was pinning my lips in place - the 16C4 gave them more space to move and made for a much better playing experience. I still can't play the 11B4 well, but use a Yamaha 14A4a (usually) or a Marcinkiewicz Vizzutti (rarely) for big band music.

    I should also add, I'm an beginner/comeback player, and was moved onto the 16C4 less than a year after starting lessons.
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    if you don't like your teachers advice, why take lessons from them? How do you expect us to take a stand without ever having heard or seen you play?

    I will always believe the local teacher before the internet.

    A 16C4 is a fairly large mouthpiece designed for players that practice enough to make it work. A 3C is shallower and gives a bit more "room" for laziness. I do not believe your claim that the upper register is easier because of the mouthpiece. If your breathing and chops are reasonably together, there is NO DIFFERENCE in range. If not, you are just twisting some other aspect of your playing. This is not good.

    Back to the real issue: if you really know better than your teacher, then you have the wrong teacher. None of the reasons that you mentioned give me the impression that you are right. Had you mentioned some other things, my opinion may have been different.

    Playing the trumpet successfully is very mental. We can often talk ourselves into believing the most ridiculous theories. Many of the embouchure/mouthpiece and "what is the best trumpet" posts here are based on pure fantasy.

    My advice: listen to your teacher!
  7. gtromble

    gtromble Pianissimo User

    Dec 31, 2005
    It seems to me that one problem is that the advice to play the 3C is based on the "16c4 being a professional mouthpiece that could lead to developing bad habits." Frankly, this is just an inane statement. Guaranteed there are a lot more professionals (all genres considered) playing on the Bach 3C than the Yamaha 16c4. It the teacher has a real reason -- perhaps thinking it is too big -- and can explain how that is bad at this stage of the student's development, then the student could accept the rationale.
  8. willbarber

    willbarber Piano User

    Nov 22, 2008
    Medina, NY
    What is your teacher's primary instrument?

    Everyone, even you, Robin, at times, thinks everyone takes private lessons. Not everyone does, including me. Many of the students on here, when referring to a teacher, mean our band director at school who gives us weekly lessons, so we may not have a choice whether or not to take lessons from them.
    I don't mean to insult anyone's intelligence, but not everyone takes private lessons from a pro trumpet player, which is why we come on here, to get advice from people who play the instrument. My director plays trombone. I really don't trust too much of his judgement on trumpet things.
  9. Scooter01

    Scooter01 Pianissimo User

    Mar 31, 2006
    How easy it is to play G's and A's above the staff is in itself a poor reason to choose a mouthpiece. Your teacher hears your sound from the other end of the horn and is in a far better position to make this determination than you. Read any of the "I wanna switch mouthpieces" threads and you'll find one common piece of advice. It is to take someone with you when choosing a mouthpiece. preferably a teacher. Why would that not be sound advice in this case?
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
  10. Brass crusader

    Brass crusader Mezzo Piano User

    The notion of a "pro" level mouthpiece is absolutely ridiculous, in my opinion. The commonly accepted method is for players to play larger and larger mouthpieces as their chops develop. However, this is not necessary, and illogical in many aspects. There are many, many professional players who played on everything from 3Cs to 10-1/2 Cs, and everything in between, above and below, regardless of their genre of playing. It is dependant on the player, and the method of approach to playing. Listen to your teacher, and adapt, however, there is no "pro" mouthpiece, there are mouthpieces often used by professionals, but every player, professionals included is different. If you are playing better on a large mouthpiece like the 16c4 in all areas, than you may be able to continue with it. However, do not abandona mouthpiece simply because it is not comfortable at the moment and another one is. Spend time with each, working with them.

    Good Luck

Share This Page