Mouthpieces

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Crunch, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Chris,
    just one thing to think about: other than the ad on the internet and a couple of testemonials, who says that the physics are in fact better? Do we have any other "dicliplines" (automobile manufacturingor similar)where an asymmetric valve (the lip does not vibrate like a clarinet reed in free space, it works like a valve completely opening and closing) is used to advantage? Just because my two lips are of different "thickness" when in a relaxed state, does not mean that a mouthpiece has to be "asymmetrical". I'll take another look at the geometry and math - last time, I was underwhelmed. No cut on players that have been able to make this work. I suspect the improvement had NOTHING to do with the rim shape, rather the cup volume, throat and backbore: all things that I can optimise in conventional mouthpieces too. I am not sure if we are chasing a paper tiger here.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2007
  2. godchaser

    godchaser Banned

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    I'd bet you'll be pleased with the performance Robin. I'm looking forward to hearing your impressions if you decide to try them. Although when it comes to the sound and tone.. a (better) mouthpiece, despite an asymmetric being of a (more) "efficent" design, doesn't come to mind? I realize i'm talking around your specific questioning and meaning of superior, or better physics optimization in design. But it may well be that questions of what kind of sound are we really talking about, is what's at issue in considering an asymmetric mouthpiece? Regardless of its apparent usage advantages? I dunno- And in tow of adjustments that are needed to use'em?


    'I suspect the improvement had NOTHING to do with the rim shape, rather the cup volume, throat and backbore: all things that I can optimise in conventional mouthpieces too.'

    I was figuring that was so, and was more of my considering what we may, or may not feel is a 'better' mouthpiece. And here's some diagram/explantion to design, for convenience.

    The New Asymmetric Trumpet Mouthpiece

    So it comes to whether a player can in fact, actually 'optimize' their ability with greater "ease of playing, more desirable tone, and easier high register." -with an asymmetric? And's it significantly appreciable, if we can? And to what end? Is the tone we're looking for readily present of an asymmetric design, and if not; can that desired 'tone' be achieved with customization?

    -and this is from the Journal, that's prompted on John's site:

    The New Asymmetric Trumpet Mouthpiece

    But for me, presently, i just want to take advantage of every opportunity to minimize potential for bad habits, in keeping with good development in fundamentals. And obviously there's not a thing wrong with how it's being done otherwise. -Let us know if you decide to try them Robin, i'd be real interested to hear your thinking on teaching beginners with asymmetrics.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2007
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Chris,
    I just took another look at the Asymmetric site. I find the typical "a little truth is everywhere". I also see evidence of what happens when the focus becomes too narrow.............

    They try and define range by the lip power alone. That makes for interesting technobabble, but the reality is a quite bit different. Lip tension is not a good description of what happens. The lip is not stretched like a violin string nor shortened by immobilization (unless the player incorrectly uses too much pressure). Lip compression AND airflow (speed) are a more accurate description of what happens, but do not "read" as well as the advertising text.

    I cannot comment on what that mouthpiece does (and won't comment on what I THINK that it does), but based on a technical description that is unnecessarily incomplete and biased (remember the author is a scientist that should know better), I now definitely will not even consider commenting until I get an opportunity to try it.
    One shouldn't hold their breath though, I won't buy one, it will have to find me.

    The technical description of what really happens does not belong in this thread anyway. I'll try and put some stuff together and start a new thread on how our lips or body works. That will take some time though!
     
  4. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

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    Several of the 'advisors' on this thread have advocated that the novice trumpeter "start" on a Bach 7C. I have no problem with that, but, I do wish to interject that many top pro trumpeters still use that make and model mouthpiece. A classic example is Timofei Dokshitzer who under the direction of Old Vincent Bach, in Bach's New York city plant turned out a new mouthpiece, a 7C which he then used for the long balance of his fantastic career. It is not known what mouthpiece he was using prior to his visit to the Bach plant, while on a buying trip from Russia to The U.S.A.. What is known is that he performed at the very top of all orchestral venues. Even Maurice Andre claimed that Timofei was his better.


    By the way, I still use that same make and model myself for all trumpet work and either a 7C or a 6 no letter Bach when playing cornet charts.


    OLDLOU>>
     
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Excellent point oldlou--the 7C is certainly not a "beginners mouthpiece," and many fine players have, do, and will perform on this model. The reason 7C's are included with so many trumpets is not just because it can be the easiest, but because it can be the best mouthpiece for players!
     
  6. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

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    You make the claim that the Bach 7C is the "best for players" because the horn makers have decided this. I wish to point out that the 'standard' mouthpiece with every new Olds cornet and trumpet,( other than by special order ), was an Olds #3. The Olds 3 is almost exactly the same overall diameter as the Bach 7C, but, the cup is far smaller. I can't play anything below the staff on an Olds 3. The Conn 4 was that makers 'standard' mouthpiece. Not too bad, with the rim diameter almost the same as the Bach 7C, but, because of a much larger bowl cup, the rim was a bit narrow for 'pressure players'.


    Each of the horn designers, or, the marketing specialists chose what to them was the ideal. Most of them were quite close, but, some, like Besson with their #6 mouthpiece surely didn't hit the mark.


    OLDLOU>>
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Great points on standard mouthpieces.
    Let's not forget this thread started with a "cry" for help from a player that does not have a lot of time to invest and does not have enough experience to make a good decision alone.
    When in doubt, it is always safe not to do something extreme. The Bach 7C is a mouthpiece that fits that bill perfectly. Sure, there are other things of interest, but we are on the internet, not one on one with this guy.
     
  8. Ljazztrm

    Ljazztrm Piano User

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    Get a Yamaha 11a4 or 11b4. The b is deeper, but not as deep as a Bach 'C' cup. The 'A' is shallow, but not as shallow as a Schilke 'A' cup. The Yamaha pieces are more user friendly than the Bach...Shallower cup and more comfortable rim and bite...and they're even a little cheaper.

    If you feel like you could go to a smaller diameter, I'd definitely recommend the 7a4GP...I use even smaller diameters than this now, but that piece is very versatile. The GP means it's a heavyweight mouthpiece with a gold plated rim and cup....It will be more expensive than the Bach, but not outrageously priced. All the best, Lex.
     
  9. godchaser

    godchaser Banned

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    _____


    The post seems long here, but it's mostly excerpt quantity in convenience sake. It's in foresight of the thread you'll be putting together Robin. Looking forward to it with much interest. And in sight of good course in keeping things simple, as you've rightly suggested.


    'I cannot comment on what that mouthpiece does (and won't comment on what I THINK that it does), but based on a technical description that is unnecessarily incomplete and biased (remember the author is a scientist that should know better), I now definitely will not even consider commenting until I get an opportunity to try it.'

    That's not an unfair call on the surface- but i think this is what your looking for here-

    at 'PATENT' prompt:
    United States Patent: 5353673

    As well, there's quite'a bit of good descriptive reading on the site, however 'incomplete' it is by comparison? Beyond this, and the explanations Nick drew up; i wouldn't be better served with greater depth of 'technical description'.

    The educational reference in understanding and interpreting the dynamics of the physics at play -in specific context of its applied task... :) That's a tall order. Which doesn't strike me an implication in the usage of an asymmetric, or no? There'd seem to be ample sustenance there to realize a quality sense of rationale and possible interest beyond the legitimacy of contextual physics? I suppose it could all be poor original conception by John, but that doesn't seem reasonable given the design's just mirroring the natural motion of the chops? For lack of a better description, all be it simplistic.

    I'd guess he would be obliging of expert conveyance if you spoke to'm though Robin? He'd probably enjoy that very much? And offer to send you some pieces over to try out, particularly given your status of professional player/teacher?

    Likely, he feels his 'biased' and simplified marketing is good strategy in a very competitive market, that's not very geared to innovative design? Particularly given we're an instant society that's not interested in reading a book to buy'a mouthpiece. Not that that was your meaning. -Although he did write one back in 84, if anyone's interested. -Here's what it covers for sake of a quick look see.

    In any regard, John's obviously been thinking along these lines for a long time. A New Approach to Altissimo Trumpet Playing

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]"Some of the topics considered are:[/FONT]

    • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]PRESSURE - minimization techniques.[/FONT]
    • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]EMBOUCHURE - physics and design.[/FONT]
    • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]AIR FLOW - larynx relaxation and Zen technique.[/FONT]
    • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]LEFT HAND GRIP - designed to minimize pressure.[/FONT]
    • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]HORN ANGLE - effects of pivot.[/FONT]
    • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]PRACTICE AND WARM-UP - and optimized approach.[/FONT]
    • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]EQUIPMENT - mouthpieces, bore size and other equipment effects.[/FONT]
    • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]PSYCHOLOGY OF HIGH PLAYING - effect of attitude.[/FONT]
    • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]PHYSICS OF THE TRUMPET - pressure losses and energy distribution.[/FONT]
    • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]SPECIALLY DESIGNED EXERCISE PROGRAM - includes partial valve techniques and use of external pressure nodes beyond the bell."[/FONT]



    And i'd suggest too Robin, his marketing's 'biased' given he's done the homework, and fully understands his applied theories are correct? ..It just occurred to me, i should say, that i have no affiliation with John Lynch Mouthpieces inc. or represent the interests of his company in any way..

    :lol:



    That's funny- My wanting to realize potential is sounding like salesmanship. Puts me to mind of the enthusiasm John must feel? Or builder/innovator artisans generally? Can't be an easy thing to be savvy marketers, given their expertise?


    'They try and define range by the lip power alone. That makes for interesting technobabble, but the reality is a quite bit different. Lip tension is not a good description of what happens.'

    Some quick reference here too Robin; to bridge context to the new thread. Seems you all are on the same page here?

    "Many trumpet and physics teachers will blithely say that lip tension is the factor that determines the pitch that a trumpeter plays. They will say that as one plays higher, the lips must somehow be stretched tighter. I myself have made that same statement. While the lips do increase in tension for most players as they ascend in pitch, the notion that this is primary determinant of pitch is mistaken. Lynch points this out very nicely in his article, but I want to take a more direct look at it here." -Nick Drozdoff

    That's from the seemingly unbiased essay he did on John's mouthpieces.


    'The lip is not stretched like a violin string nor shortened by immobilization (unless the player incorrectly uses too much pressure). Lip compression AND airflow (speed) are a more accurate description of what happens, but do not "read" as well as the advertising text.'

    I debated whether to post this much of an excerpt from the essay, but it wouldn't widdle down without losing context. Its convenient if nothing else, for those that may be interested. It's from the same paper, and again, it appears your all's thinking's the same, given your above statement? Which stands to reason.

    "As I ascend in pitch I am very aware of doing a couple of things. First, I very deliberately reduce the "aperture" size. I think of myself reducing the "hole" that the air is escaping through between my lips as I play. This will reduce the vibrating mass. Next, I have always, regardless of whom I have been studying with, raised my lower lip towards the upper lip. This assists in my closing up the "aperture". Lynch refers to "immobilizing the upper lip" thereby reducing the vibrating mass.

    This way of thinking is very consistent with what I find myself doing as I play higher notes. In any case, the motion that my lips tend to go through as I play higher is up and down (vertical) not side to side. In other words, I don't stretch my lips tighter with some sort of a smile. This, I'm sure you will find, is consistent with most contemporary trumpet instruction (never stretch the lips thin, but "pucker" more with firm corners, etc.).

    Now with a conventional mouthpiece, as your lower lip comes up, it also bulges slightly into the cup. This forces the lower lip muscles to work harder to keep the general motion upward to reduce the vibrating mass. The asymmetric mouthpiece assists this process in the following manner. As your lower lip comes up, the asymmetric forces it straight up without bulging into the mouthpiece. It can't go anywhere but up! This reduces the need for muscular activity in also keeping the lower lip in.

    Another component here that helps this mouthpiece sound good is the fact that the depth of the upper part is significant. It is not a shallow mouthpiece. There is plenty of room for the upper lip to vibrate. This will ensure a good tone in all registers. Now, we all know that mouthpieces with small volume cups and tight backbores favor the upper partials thus resulting in a very bright sound all the time. Well, the asymmetric can produce a good tone because, while the volume of the cup is smaller by virtue of the thick lower rim, it is still deeper. Also, the throat and backbore are designed to compliment the smaller cup volume." -ND


    'Lip compression AND airflow (speed) are a more accurate description of what happens, but do not read as well as the advertising text.'

    -here again, ya'll are agreed?

    "Lynch goes on to say that the main factor in what drives the pitch up is the mass. Let's explore that a little more here. If we consider the same equation and control everything but the mass density we will end up with the following:" -ND

    I hope you'll consider contacting John Robin. I'd sure enjoy hearing your impressions as a pro player, and particularly as a teacher.



    C
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2007
  10. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    I took an acoustics class in college, so I sort of understood the physics involved in Lynch's mouthpiece; I bought his book and his mouthpiece (both deducted from my taxes). For some strange reason though, his cutting-edge- state-of-the-art mouthpiece sounded just like my MF JetTone with me playing it. That isn't a bad thing, I guess, but I don't want to sound like Maynard all the time. I want to sound like me (and have a tri-tone more range instantly added, greedy Vulgano that I am!) and a good 'ol 7C knock-off comes a bunch closer to that ideal than the mouthpiece designed by a rocket scientist.
     

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