Monette mouthpieces for lead trumpet

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpeter3197, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. Trumpeter3197

    Trumpeter3197 New Friend

    Jun 30, 2012
    Hi all,

    I play lead trumpet in my high school big band (which has pretty demanding stuff) and currently use a Marcinkiewicz E12.4 Ingram for playing lead, which, for anyone unfamiliar, is extremely shallow. When I first experimented with shallow mouthpieces for lead playing around 8th grade (I'm in 10th now) it worked out great. It's still working out great in terms of lead playing, giving a lot of volume, brightness, range, and power. But now my tone in the middle register on this mouthpiece is starting to fall behind where I want it to be, which is a pretty inherent problem in any shallow mouthpiece, and I can't get a dark enough or clear enough tone in the middle register even if I try.

    So what I was thinking of doing is switching to a mouthpiece that is still fairly shallow and good for playing lead (I can't get ANY range or brightness on a 3C, for example) but deeper than the Ingram to at least make it easier for me to work on tone. I looked right away to Monette mouthpieces, which several amazing lead and jazz players at my high school, now in college, used to use. The only Monette mouthpiece I've tried, however, is a B6LD S1 (the only lead monette mouthpiece that the shop I was at had) and it was WAY too deep for me in terms of lead playing, almost comparable to a 3C. The official Monette website gives this mouthpiece a 4 in relative depth, so I was looking at some ones that it rated a 2.5 and 3, so as to be shallower than the B6LD S1 but still not as shallow as the Marcinkiewicz E12.4. Some of the most popular Monette lead pieces that fell into this category that I saw were the B4LS S1, the MF II/III, and BL2. My question is to anyone who has had experience with these pieces, or with Monette mouthpieces in general (particularly lead ones though), what kind of mouthpiece would you recommend given my needs?
  2. DaTrump

    DaTrump Forte User

    Oct 21, 2011
    Huntsville, Texas
    Call the shop, they'll be able to help you better than any of us can.
  3. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    This is your most logical course of action - they know more than we can.
  4. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    I would suggest you discuss this with your teacher or director. I play pretty shallow mpcs and have no problem with my range and sound. It may be a bad habit a mpc won't solve or could make it worse as you try to compensate. There are tons of posts on this forum about mpc's, including lead types and there will be little consensus. I know "lead" players that use 1, 1 1/4, and 1 1/2C Bach's and it works for them and those aren't considered "lead" pieces. You said,

    If it is just starting to happen, why? Has the mpc been modified? What has changed in your routine/life?

    That's just not true. That's an old wives tale. Again, what has changed. Sounds like it used to work but now doesn't. I would look at my mechanics before I started plunking down hundreds for a mpc that may do nothing for you.
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    If you play a 3c, you might want to try a Curry 3Z.. on a Curry blank with a Monster Sleeve--easy high register, but a darker sound in the middle and lower registers. Way cheaper than Monette.
  6. smokin valves

    smokin valves Pianissimo User

    Sep 11, 2011
    A mouthpiece, as people on here are trying to tell you cannot solve problems in your playing, you have to work them out. A mouthpiece that works for you merely facilitates this. A lot of people spend a lot of money looking for that silver (or gold) bullet, when it just isn't out there. Try going to a shop to try many out, but be aware of a phenomenon that occurs particularly with lead mouthpieces: if you try a Monette in a shop for example, you may find you have great range and tone through all registers, but then once you have purchased the mouthpiece, this dies away and you are left back where you started. How long has the problem with your current mouthpiece been going on? If it has always been there then it might be time for a change, but if its a recent thing, you may want to try persevering. If you decide to switch and want to try Monette, phone the shop for the best advice on which model to get. Also, don't get fixated by the whole Monette thing, they take a lot of acclimatization, and there are other brands out there which manufacture pieces of the same quality. You might want to try Laskey mouthpieces, as they are superb quality and made by a true expert who will advise you of the best route to take. Another brand is GR, though expensive, they are wonderful pieces.
  7. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit

    I play about as shallow as it gets, and have NO problem in the middle, or low register and have a big sound. the Monette shop and tell them your problem.
    tobylou8 likes this.
  8. Brappy McFloppy Chops

    Brappy McFloppy Chops New Friend

    Jul 29, 2012
    I just wanted to share my personal (albeit limited) experience with monette equipment. I played for 7 years in school and a little bit after that in bands, then I put the horn up. I eventually sold my equipment. 12 years later I got back into it and needed a horn + a mouthpiece. Long story short, after researching mouthpieces and patiently watching eBay I got the monette mouthpiece I thought would work for me at about half the price of a new one. (I got a prana B6S1 with a slightly larger throat than normal)

    It turns out that it was a good investment. I started practicing again using the Arban and Schlossberg books. It's been about 6 months and I'm playing as well -- and in some ways better -- than when I laid the horn down. My range is better and my tone is cleaner and more centered in the upper range than it used to be.

    One reason I think I've improved so much is because that mouthpiece is unforgiving. Its tuned for people with a strong embouchure who play with good technique. I had a floppy embouchure and a bit of muscle memory, which was not enough. At first I sounded pretty good on the mouthpiece and instantly noticed that the upper range was more open for me. But after about 30 minutes I noticed my lips were very sore from my bad habit of using too much pressure. The old 3c was more forgiving, but the monette will let you know in a hurry that your technique is bad.

    I stuck with it. I followed the notes about switching to a monette mouthpiece on the monette web site. I mindfully changed my technique and struggled through the drills. And now the mouthpiece and my embouchure feel great. I feel an ease now when playing that I didn't have when I was younger, and the upper range is definitely more open.

    Wow, long story. If you made it this far, thanks for reading.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  9. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    I would say read the other responses here and take them to heart, especially about checking the software before you change the hardware. You are in high school so you are still growing/changing/maturing I imagine, so perhaps that should be taken on board as well.

    But since you ask about Monette lead pieces - I have a B2LS3 Prana which should be a little shallower than the one you tried but I would say would still feel "bigger" than that one (wider inside rim). I also have a B2S3 Prana which is deeper. My teacher/mentor listened to me carefully playing the same exercises on both mouthpieces and recommended I work on breath support, crisper slurs and some other drills which really helped my tone quality on both mouthpieces, and also helped me get all the sounds I need out of the B2S3 - I no longer use the B2LS3 and may sell it one day. I had been neglecting the basics without quite realising how much.

  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I am a Monette (horn and mouthpiece) user. Still, mouthpieces by recommendation or by the numbers is not a good plan. You need to play any mouthpiece for a while before you can make a decision. Monette pieces are considerably different that "standard" mouthpieces. That is good if you get along with the concept. If not, they keep a fair reselling price.

Share This Page