Picc Mouthpiece

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by fnchdrms87, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. Alex Yates

    Alex Yates Forte User

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    As a teacher, I tend to steer my students to the 10 1/2C or 7C rather than something close to what they already play. In my early years, I went through the Bach "3D" thing, and might still use one on a modern piece in an orchestra setting that requires a loud, shrill piccolo part, but other than that, I use the 10 1/2C (equivalent) for everything else. I find that most folks have problems when playing same rim/shallow cup configurations. Shallow cup is not usually the way to go on these creatures....not if you want a pretty sound anyway. Smaller rim with a cup-shaped (not funnel) cup seems to work better in my experiences of observing so many others. Also, keep in mind that the air stream is so different for the piccolos than for our big horns. You have to use your "head voice" type of feeling and airstream, warm and focused, to sound beautiful on the bitsy trumpets. That being said, it really is what YOU, the player, are comfortable using. Leon Rapier played a 1B on his piccolo and sounded great. Different strokes for different folks.
     
  2. GordonH

    GordonH Mezzo Forte User

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    Yes Alex
    That was my position on this issue until a year ago when I got lessons from someone who pointed out that the muscles are used to the mouthpiece rim you play most so changing will affect accuracy and stamina. I was a bit disbelieving but it did work out and my sound is actually quite soft. The mouthpiece is not that shallow so I don't bottom out on it. I think I could do with less bite on it though.

    I think either type of choice is possible and I did play Bach 6 for years and performed a few concertos on that mouthpiece with no problems at all.
     
  3. Alex Yates

    Alex Yates Forte User

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    Gordon, believe it or not, my philosophy sort of lines up with what you are saying. I guess I am coming from the other end of the tunnel. If you pick a mouthpiece far enough away from your original piece, the center of the airstream and the embouchure do not change. The 10 1/2 C fits nicely onto/into an embouchure that is accustomed to a 1C or 3C. Nothing changes for me except the type of air I use. Since my air is warmer and airstream more concentrated, the smaller piece allows for this without manipulating or changing the way I play. The built in resistance of a smaller piece also prevents pressure and allows a balance between the air and horn. Does this make any sense?
     
  4. GordonH

    GordonH Mezzo Forte User

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    Yes Alex it does make sense and its why I used the Bach 6 on pic and the Bach 1 on Bb. The two actually felt compatible although they were different sizes.

    I think I need to look at this again.
    I still have the 6 but I have a 10 1/2c and a 5c.

    The best I ever played on was a Blessing 7c of all things. I had been loaned one of the short model Yamaha pics for a while and that was the only mouthpiece I had that would fit it and it worked perfectly.
     
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Boy, this has turned out pretty fuzzy.
    From a mathematical standpoint, the relationship between a piccolo trumpet and a Bb trumpet is the same as a Bb trumpet and a trombone. You wouldn't use a trombone mouthpiece on your trumpet - would you?
    What mouthpiece you use depends on the piccolo. Many times you have to use a different piece to get the damn thing even close to in tune.
    I use a Monette AP/BP5 for the picc and a B2/B2D on the normal horn
     
  6. GordonH

    GordonH Mezzo Forte User

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    I think the issue is rim size.

    From the Monette web site:

    "Note: We strongly suggest using the same size rim and cup on piccolo you would use when playing Bb , C, or Eb trumpet! Our constant-pitch-center designs offer such an improvement in the upper register that there is usually no longer any need to switch to a smaller cup size than you are otherwise used to when playing piccolo trumpet. "

    I queried this and he assured me it would work and it does,
    When I played a Bach 1 there is no way it would work in Piccolo trumpet but the cup in the AP mouthpiece is a totally different shape from the Bb version and this seems to make it work.
     
  7. robertwhite

    robertwhite Mezzo Piano User

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    With all due respect, I'd point out the proportion is only the same in terms of length, not necessarily bore size, etc. Plenty of great players use the same size rim on big horns and picc.
     
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Robert,
    there is no right or wrong as long as what comes out of the front is acceptable. My comparison does not apply because we do not play a whole octave higher on the picc. The bore and bell size on a picc is much smaller than on a standard trumpet - maybe not to the same degree as compared to a trombone. For the most part, we play notes that we COULD get with a standard trumpet, but want to have a lighter sound, a more graceful approach and of course the security of having the partials miles apart. That is why the big mouthpieces can work for some people. For extreme high register, it is a moot point. The experts there do whatever they need to - without regards for the math!

    My approach to the picc may also be a bit different. I have a lot of chamber music opportunities. With the chamber groups here, it has been often commented (complimented) that I play more softly than the competition and the sound is still stays brilliant. I believe a smaller mouthpiece helps here.

    I do not use the picc for classical/romantic/modern D/Eb trumpet parts, so I almost never need to blow down walls with it. I have tried bigger mouthpieces and find the sound too massive/dense (not loud) and that masks some of the other instruments sounds. I find life easier with the smaller mouthpiece, as do the contractors that have stayed loyal for the last 25 years.

    If someone without picc experience is looking to start, I think starting smaller is not bad. This approach has clear advantages and if after a year of playing one decides that bigger is better - why not? Starting with a big shallow mouthpiece has the disadvantage for many that the lips bottom out after playing a short while. You have to twist too much in the beginning to adjust and that can be detrimental to your big horn playing. I haven't even brought the intonation of the horn into play!

    As every single mouthpiece thread ever started - we end up with no clear picture without knowing the player personally. Every post should be viewed as: this works or worked for me and my horn at my gigs.
     
  9. GordonH

    GordonH Mezzo Forte User

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    I think the answer to this problem depends on what sort of music you use the piccolo trumpet for.

    If you are a soloist and turn up to play a concerto on piccolo trumpet then a smaller mouthpiece makes sense.

    If you are playing it in an orchestral program where you are doing some baroque on piccolo followed by some Greig (as I am doing next month) then its easier to switch trumpets if you are using the same rim.
    Its possible to switch with different rims but I find it affects my stamina more.
     
  10. GordonH

    GordonH Mezzo Forte User

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    I have found a scientific explanation for why I play on the larger sizes:

    It appears I am using the "controlled pressure" method and I have big lips.

    http://www.storkcustom.com/html/Dr mpc 1.28.07.dwt

    " The other thing to keep in mind when going to the larger inner diameter is to control the amount of internal volume that the larger inner diameter brings with it. Again, just because certain lip types require a larger inner diameter doesn't mean that they necessarily benefit from all baggage that usually goes with it. This would be deep cups, large bores and back bores."
     

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