Lead mouthpiece?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by jazzmetalrocknroll, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. DaTrump

    DaTrump Forte User

    Oct 21, 2011
    Huntsville, Texas
    Just imagine if he had a JET-TONE!! ;-)
  2. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011

    OK here's goes what I very modestly believe is the best advice so far;

    YES you want to experiment with a lead piece! The thing to do is:

    1. Find two pieces similar in rim contour, and inner rim dimension.

    A. One which is a tad shallower than what you use now.

    B. One that is a little shallower than that.

    2. Play on each mouthpiece for only five minutes per day in the middle and lower registers EVERY other day for the first week. The second week extend the practice time on the piece you feel most COMFORTABLE with. You can start using this piece in rehearsal every now and then. Do NOT play tons of scream work just because you can. Kids that do this typically "bottom out" from swollen lips and declare the mouthpiece unplayable.

    "Love at first sight" is rare for mouthpieces. I have a beautiful Al Cass 3x6 (extremely shallow) and after six years I'm still working into it! TAKE YOUR TIME!!!

    3. After six months or so and IF you want more endurance, power to maintain on a gig? Consider going to a mouthpiece with a smaller inner rim dimension and perhaps the same cup depth or shallower still. Simply repeat the above steps.

    If for some reason you "fit" this piece magnificently? OK fine use as much as you want.

    The piece that gives you the most comfort in the upper register is the piece which will allow the most progress. Just simple physical law. No brainer huh?

    Someone mentioned that Arturo plays a 3C and yes this true. He is however a GIFTED trumpet player (SURPRISE!) and the rules that work well for him do not apply to the great majority of us mere mortals.

    Wish i still had that old computer of mine that had the video of a modified trombone mouthpiece and put on a trumpet shank. I made the cup depth shallower than a standard t-bone piece but otherwise it was the full sized inner rim dimension. Know what?...

    On that video i sustained a TRIPLE C for eight seconds and a Double C for 27. But so what? Sure it is possible to rig one's chops to blow extreme register high notes with comparative ease. Just like the gifted ones do. However the natural setting that the GREAT MAJORITY of us play precludes the possibility of blowing easy Double C's etc.

    Arturo plays a 3C clone because that piece is his natural fit.

    Maynard played something similar to the very small and shallow Schilke 6a4a but with a #15 - 16 throat and convex cup w/funnel shaped bottom. Despite the size difference between the two Maynard had the bigger sound I might add. His chops were a better fit for the smaller piece.

    The piece you can support will ALWAYS provide the biggest sound. For most of this (doing and/or learning upper register work) it is something within the realm of the 11a by Schilke. Just on average that is. Always plenty of notable exceptions.

    i heard tell that some cat on the old Woody Herman band blew Double C's all night on a Bach 1C. Fine and dandy for him. Like I said I can, if prompted I can use a trombone piece and get decent volume on a Triple C via an alternative "wigged" embouchure. But no way in hell I could use it on a gig. My natural abilities preclude those kind of notes.

    So are most the rest of us. i find it uncomfortable that the majority of stock trumpet mouthpieces were designed for the great professional players. I suppose that it's only a natural decision for manufacturers to make this call. However what would make more sense would be for them to collect data on beginners and amateur trumpet players to see what pieces work best for them. Which ones promote development.

    My estimate is that if they ever did approach the matter using scientific data collection they would come up with something similar to the ancient and long since discontinued Al Cass collection.

    or maybe even Dr. Dave's Wedge pieces.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012
  3. ultratrumpet

    ultratrumpet Piano User

    Jul 10, 2009
    Old Lyme, Connecticut
    In my opinion:
    Being a high school sophomore, it's too early for you to move to a more restrictive mouthpiece which a move away from your 3C would be. A 3C is a great mouthpiece and will allow the embouchure to develop correctly provided you practice correctly. Open the throat of your 3C to a #24 drill, it will open up the upper register.

    Dave Mickley,
    Arturo Sandoval uses a Bach Mount Vernon 3C w/ a #24. A exact copy is available by connecting Jim New at (888) KANSTUL.
    Also, Mr. Sandoval while in Cuba, practice out of a smuggled in copy of Claude Gordon's " Systematic Approach To Daily Practice For Trumpet." Follow his example.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012
  4. D.C. Al fine

    D.C. Al fine Banned

    May 8, 2012
    Well, maybe not the smuggling part.
  5. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    You mean JET-TONE!! right? :roll: BTW, mine is a Ratzenberger!
  6. ultratrumpet

    ultratrumpet Piano User

    Jul 10, 2009
    Old Lyme, Connecticut
    Arturo Sandoval was one of the attendants at Claude Gordon's Honorary Doctorate Awards Presentations at La Sierra University in the early 1990's. At the Reception after the Award Presentation, Mr. Sandoval told a group present and my friend who was in attendance that while in Cuba he used a smuggled-in copy of " Systematic Approach to Daily Practice for Trumpet " and it was that book and it's materials that helped him develop his range, sound, and endurance.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012
  7. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    There are a few things for you to remember before you possibly go running off on a dangerous and often ruinous mouthpiece adventure.
    You've have been given the best advice by others telling you to practice more. Many forget the most difficult things to get on a trumpet are endurance and upper register. In comeback players, these were the first abilities to disappear and are the hardest to get back. These two aspects can take considerable time in a practice room and your approach to obtaining them must be the right one. A qualified teacher is the best way.
    What other players use - especially ones like Arturo Sandoval and Harry James - is of little benefit to you personally except as a nice bit of knowledge. Arturo came to play a 3C because that was all that was available in his native Cuba. He had no choice but to use it. Fortunately, it works extremely well for him as it does for many others as well. Legend has it that the original 3C was somewhat of a happy accident. It sits in the size many players can handle, it has a somewhat shallower (less volumed) cup which does make the upper register easier and yet it can produce a very, very nice sound suitable for all-around use in orchestras to big bands. The recent 3C seems to have shrunk in diameter a bit.
    Here is advice from a very qualified expert, Scott Laskey, on the effects of drilling out a throat on a mouthpiece.
    Mouthpiece throat size
    If you do not have a qualified teacher, try to get one. If not, contact one of the many superb mouthpiece manufactures out there such as GR, Laskey, Hammond, Schilke, Curry, Stork, and the many others often mentioned here. These manufacturer/designers make their living making trumpet players equipment that matches their needs.
    You have been given some good advice here, but there is some stuff here that has no bearing on your question. I believe staying with your 3C and diligent practice will work for you. If you do choose to go something different for easier upper register, please remember that what gives you something often takes away something else and that extreme mouthpieces should be avoided. There is a sticky from Jens Lindemann on mouthpiece selection here. Read it. Jens mouthpiece is a GR in the vicinity of 16.43mm.
    Good luck.
    Rich T.
    ultratrumpet likes this.
  8. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    What about a Bach Mercury trumpet? :-)

    Back to the OP. It's a judgement call. Like the OP, I play on a Bach 3C. I also have a Bach 3D, which for me, I feel is a bit more responsive, and supports my high range a bit more than the 3C. The rims aren't exactly the same (3C and 3D), but close enough to easily switch back and forth. Alternatively, sticking with the 3C and continuing to work on things isn't a bad idea either.

    D.C. Al fine likes this.
  9. graysono

    graysono Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 22, 2007
    Hyde Park, Utah
    In sum?
    1. Stick with your current mpc.
    2. Practice smarter, not necessarily more.
    3. If they come at all, owning the high ones will take beaucoup time.
    4. You are young: you have all the time in the world.
    ultratrumpet likes this.
  10. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011

    Whoa Betsy. Whoa whoa WHOA!!! Let's analyze this post to see if it is rational, OK. (hint: it isn't)

    Does the practice of softball ruin your tennis game? How about billiards? Now that's sure to fool with your backhand. (major sarcasm intended).

    I'll tell ya what will screw with your tennis game: Playing the match with a racket as heavy as an anvil. AND YES most trumpet players are using "a racket as heavy as an anvil" when choosing mouthpieces.

    Much of the advice we've seen on this topic is the outdated, useless type from the 18th century. Before the creation of the jazz big band and before the development of the big band lead sound. In the late 1800's and early 1900's the professional cornet player (and the cornet was all they played back then) was not required to blow anything above a High C. And the tessitura he uses NEVER had him sustain long phrases above the staff.

    Yet the great majority of mouthpiece equipment and trumpet study materials used today was developed from this period and is STILL in use today (in 2012 no less!). The hardware and mindset of that period haunts us still. RUINING careers and stifling development of young players for no good purpose.

    Let's review some of the less insightful posts seen so far:

    Twice at least it has been suggested that "The 3C works great for Arturo" Yeah sure and something similar worked well for Claude Gordon. Both GIFTED players.

    Then we've seen the completely false fear that "mouthpiece safaris will ruin your chops"

    Oh my chops! My poor precious SENSITIVE chops! Talk about being overly "lip conscious"...

    In short and to repeat myself a well thought out prescribed plan of experimentation and utilization of mouthpiece is probably going to help the kid. Or possibly not but if followed as I've suggested it can not hurt. If he has decent chops for his age and struggles? The overwhelming likelihood is that he's using too large and too deep of a mouthpiece to support.

    Sticking to the mouthpiece that has failed him will continue to fail him. Common sense.

    "If you keep doing what you're doing? You'll keep getting what you're getting"

    To quote myself here is what I believe is the most rational approach to mouthpiece experimentation. I challenge Richtom or anyone above to explain why this procedure would harm someone's chops.


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