Mouthpiece question from comeback player

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Mambo King, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. Mambo King

    Mambo King Pianissimo User

    Aug 20, 2009
    Hi all.

    After not playing for 26 years I'm now back playing and have a mouthpiece question.

    I used to play on a Bach 7CW (fleshy chops, poor stamina) and when I came back to the instrument four months ago that was my starting point. I felt that it was too small and moved to a 1CW which is working very well for me. This morning I was playing away and switched to the 7CW after a decent warm up on the 1CW to see how it affected my range and again found the size of mouthpiece too small.My question is this: although I totally agree with the concept of "'s the player not the instrument", would there be reasonable logic and success in trying a 1E or 1EW if they make such a thing for prolonged high playing ? I know it's too early really for me to be pushing too high yet and I am concentrating on re-establishing the basics but I am curious to receive wiser, more informed information and opinion.


    PS:my favoured horn from my collection is my Mendez, if this has any bearing. This surprised me, as my teacher all those years ago played a Recording and I thought that his influence would've moved me in that direction sound wise.
  2. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    You hit the nail on the head when you said "it's the player and not the instrument" -- you can find shallow mouthpieces, which seem to help the upper range, but the cost for most people is in the tone quality. On the other hand, if you like the tone quality you'll get with a shallow mouthpiece, you'll be all set.

    And I'd suggest that you look at other mouthpieces than just Bachs -- check out Curry and Laskey and Warburton and Greg Black for starters.

    If you really love the 1CW and simply want a shallower version of it but Bach doesn't make one, you can send the 1CW to Peter Pickett at Pickett Brass and he's got a machine which will take exact measurements of your mouthpiece (non-invasively so your mouthpiece isn't damaged at all) and then he can make any sort of mouthpiece you wish based on that original design. So he could make you a mouthpiece that is very shallow but with the same 1C cup.
  3. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    Some people have a tendency to "bottom out" on wide, shallow cups when they become tired. A 1E would certainly fit that description. A 1D might be a less drastic change that would still give more endurance up high. I don't think Bach makes either of those in a W rim, though. As you said, practice will help more than equipment, but matching the equipment to what you're trying to accomplish sure doesn't hurt.
  4. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
  5. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Try a Schilke 14A4A, the rim is comfortable , diameter is close but a bit smaller than Bach 1, and has a type of double cup which helps support the high register, plus gives a little more cup room than a traditional shallow Bach E or D cup, plus their prices are close.
  6. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    Try a Kelly mouthpiece in whatever size you feel like trying. Very comfy and they play well in a wide variety of horns.

  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Don't mess with a mouthpiece at all. Habits are built through hundreds or thousands of repetitions.

    A couple of months into learning basketball, new sneakers do not improve your free throw accuracy.

    If you found the mouthpiece "too small", the problem could be you. The 13 thousandths difference in a 7 (.652") and 1 (.665") rim is very, very small. I suspect the issue has more to do with your embouchure, playing and body habits. This would not require you to change the basic geometry, but do more pianissimo lipslurs to "tighten" things up a bit.

    The idea of big mouthpieces for big lips is a myth that does not seem to go away. It just aint true. We play with the lips more or less compressed and even the biggest lipped players that I know get along with smaller mouthpieces, even if they prefer something else.

    Prolonged high playing (whatever that means) requires superior breath support, a solid mental concept as well as well trained and synchronized playing habits.

    I played a symphony concert last night with the lead book. We played opera, operetta and musicals (the original compositions - no watered down arrangements). I had a handful of high Cs and B naturals, the rest was all in the staff. If I take the 25 concerts that I have until Christmas, only the baroque stuff has any serious range demands - but only for the picc or natural trumpet where that range is "more comfortable" and big and loud are not needed.

    I'd really like to know where all of you have a playing REQUIREMENT for a lot of above the staff stuff. I have more than 100 concerts per year and except for the baroque solo stuff spend 95% in the staff. Only the gigs I play with a big band have a fair amount of above the staff stuff. I have trouble imagining players not ready getting offered these books where desaster is practically guaranteed!

    Common sense tells me to tell you all to get your playing act together before wasting the face. Range is primarily brain, air and body use not raw face power and mouthpiece.
  8. jdostie

    jdostie Piano User

    Feb 20, 2008
    A couple things - first, not related to Rowuk's post: Did you notice that everyone had an idea about mouthpiece, and all were different? I've changed mouthpieces a few times over the years - when I was a kid, and was essentially told by the horn instructor in a drum corps - we prefer a schilke 14 for soprano players. A few years later when on my own I decided to get a 14A4a just because some of the "better" players that I knew had them, and finally recently to a mouthpiece recommended by my teacher - not because it would do anything special - more the opposite, do get me away from the 14A4A (it was the only mouthpiece I had from the old days) to something more well rounded (my own take on "the why), because I made the comment that I "didn't want to be depending on the mouthpiece for anything," but wanted to develop properly.

    Second, for Rowuk: In a general case I am sure that you are right. In a drum corps environment - even an alumni drum corps environment, there are lots of parts written pretty high. It's the culture of drum corps to push that particular envelope. I don't have that challenge for the parts I am playing, but it is a factor if you want to play lead parts. I'm not saying it's good or bad . . .
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    a new comeback player is not going to get those parts. If you read many posts here literally we have 15 year olds with heavier playing requirements than the pros. I teach trumpet and know what less experienced players of all ages have for opportunities. That reality and the context of the posts show an incredible discrepancy.

    If nothing else, the reality check of having recognized the exaggeration should help at least some of the misguided find the path back to improvement instead of self deceit.
  10. jdostie

    jdostie Piano User

    Feb 20, 2008
    Fair enough. Your point "a new comeback player is not going to get those parts" applies to me directly. I, in fact don't get those parts. In point of fact, the parts I play in that environment don't even come close to testing my range - though they do test my poor site reading ability . . .

    No offense intended if that's the way it came across. I was applying your many years of experience - and the relatively few challenges to your range and drawing a parallel, not applying it to the new comeback player.

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