Mouthpiece Gap ... seems important but seldomed discussed

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by coolerdave, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. Dupac

    Dupac Fortissimo User

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    [​IMG]

    :shock:
     
  2. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    :shock:

    Seems important but seldom discussed .... I wouldn't need a brass technician to measure that gap.:D

    Turtle
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
  3. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

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    Gap 101

    Gap makes a difference, more on some horns than on others. Some cornets don't have a gap. A good rule of thumb is to shoot for about 1/8"-3/16" gap on most horns. Schilke mouthpieces leave little to no gap in many horns. More gap adds resistance and slotting, less does the opposite.
     
  4. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

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    I like that gap :-P
     
  5. JNINWI

    JNINWI Piano User

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    Trumpetnick that seems like a rather large gap. Personally I prefer a smaller gap than that as it lends to better playing ! :-)
     
  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    I've told this story many times, but I feel it's worth repeating so here it goes.

    Years ago, (around 1997) I was at my friend Scotty Holbert's house. Among other things Scotty makes custom mouthpieces, but he's also a Reinhardt method teacher and he's retired from the US Army Field band and is a fine player. I was over there looking into the possibility of having a custom mouthpiece made, and after we did some play testing on his fitting kit, he asked to check the gap with my mouthpiece. Finding it to be what he deemed "too big" he asked if it would mind if he turned the mouthpiece shank down for a better fit, but with the warning that he couldn't put metal back on once he took it off. Since I figured he was the expert, I told him to go ahead and do it.

    The change was immediate, and it was vastly improved. Prior to the change it was like I had to practice all the time to maintain focus of my chops, and my accuracy was hit or miss at times. After the gap was adjusted things were dialed right in - everything focused right away, my intonation was improved, my accuracy was greatly improved, my upper register became easier, and since I no longer had to work so hard to make the mouthpiece work, I also gained the benefit of greatly increased endurance - all because of a minute amount of adjustment in the gap in the receiver between the end of my mouthpiece and the opening of the leadpipe.

    The only thing I had to adjust for is that for the first few days I would overshoot at times when playing things in my upper register - I was used to working harder for everything, and once things were focused, I had to account for that. That side effect only lasted a few days though.

    Ever since then I've been a big believer in it. I've thought about having mouthpieces cut for sleeves at Bob Reeves, but I just haven't ponied up the cash for it yet. For the moment, I put clear packing tape on my Schilke mouthpiece - it's simple, repeatable, and it's not permanent - if I decide I don't want it there, I can just take it off. I've often found it interesting that a Schilke mouthpiece doesn't really have the correct gap in a Schilke trumpet, but for me it doesn't seem to, so by bumping out the gap slightly with the packing tape, it helps to bring that setup into focus - probably not as good as it would be with a Reeves setup with sleeves though.
     
  7. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

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    This thread makes me wonder again... Does anybody have experience with the gap and their Monette Prana m/p? Referring to my previous post, my Prana is like a cookie-cutter, quite sharp, so would lie flush against the leadpipe with hardly a ridge. Does gap count any more then?

    --bumblebee
     
  8. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    I doubt if it would lie flush against the leadpipe - it depends on how tight the receiver is and how far into it the mouthpiece seats.
     
  9. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

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    Sorry, I meant the receiver wall, before the leadpipe itself. I'm being guided by the insertion marks on the mouthpiece - they seem even the length of the shank, right to the bottom. I wonder how I can check that?

    --bumblebee
     
  10. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

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    Take something with a flat end (like a small wooden dowel) and slide it into your receiver until it hits the lip. Either mark or put your thumb on it at the outside entrance of the receiver, and then compare it to your mouthpiece, doing the same with it when it's seated in the receiver.
     

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