Question on mixing monette mouthpieces with non-monettes

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Haste2, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. Haste2

    Haste2 Piano User

    Jun 16, 2010
    Hey, I was's my normal usage of mouthpiece.

    B-flat Yamaha trumpet - B2 Monette
    C Yamaha trumpet - C2D Monette (switched over to Yamaha 16C4 GP)

    Now, I took quite a break from the trumpet until about 3 months ago. Note that I had some experience on my C trumpet, but not very much. So, I picked up the trumpet, and I decided that my C2D mouthpiece was too difficult to control intonation. (I found this out by playing that well-known Pines of Rome solo...yeah, it's part of an audition coming up; I found that I could keep the pitch of the high "G" down easier without the "E" going really flat, and overall was just easier playing, so I could focus on the lyrical playing better). So, I've tentatively switched to my 16C4.

    Now, the question is: is this a good idea or not? Could this cause inconsistencies in my playing since the non-monettes are quite a bit different? I'm just asking because even though I -do- have inconsistencies in my playing, it is very hard for me to find out the REASONS for them. I did have a very bad day of playing yesterday (I was grumpy) and not-so-good day today. I only played a little bit of C trumpet this morning, though.

    I might talk to my teacher about this, as well. Thanks for any tips you could possibly provide. :dontknow:

    Oh, and I know I am probably sacrificing some tone quality on my C-trumpet as a result, so keep that in mind, too.
  2. Haste2

    Haste2 Piano User

    Jun 16, 2010
    Oh, yeah, and also 16C4 is pretty close to the B2 Monette in size, right? Could that be a good thing? I wonder if it's the deepness of the C2D that is causing my intonation issues (or maybe I just stink with the C trumpet right now). I get tired out rather easily, so I'm sometimes skeptical about deep mouthpieces. Nonetheless, I'm still not sure about mixing monettes with non-monettes
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I think switching mouthpieces before an audition is great news - for the other guys trying to get the job.

    The C2D is not causing your intonation problems and never did. Intonation is based on support, hearing and in the case of the Monette, being relaxed. Body use is your problem.

    I am not saying that a Monette mouthpiece is perfect for everyone. I am just saying that mouthpieces are metal, they have a consistency that the human body does not.

    If we practice enough, any mouthpiece switch is possible. When I first got Monette mouthpieces (B2D/C2D) in 1997, I didn't have a lead piece from them, I continued to use my 14A4A and 10 1/2 E until a year later I found the Monette piece that did the job for me.

    C trumpets are a different world than B flats.
  4. Haste2

    Haste2 Piano User

    Jun 16, 2010
    Thanks for you advice. I can always count on Rowuk. Is it a job of yours to be a moderator? You sure post a lot!

    Yeah, I know it's the way I play that's the issue, it's just that the 16C4 seems more forgiving of my shortcomings. =P Then again, Monettes aren't very forgiving in general if you play them wrong. But, I'll agree with your advice to just play with what I was accustomed to playing before. I only used my 16C4 like three times over the past several days.
  5. RichJ

    RichJ Piano User

    Jan 16, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    Pines of Rome is rough if you have intonation issues on C trumpet. The Monette mouthpiece is going to place the pitch center higher on that G than the Yamaha, so if you tend to go sharp then the Yamaha is probably canceling it out with a lower pitch center. If you were playing a Prana mouthpiece it would be even sharper!

    You might want to experiment with thin o-rings on the bottom caps and see how you like the effect. Not the fat ones like you see on most Monette trumpets -- the really thin ones. For me, they help my Yamaha horns to feel more slotted and intonation on the C trumpet with open combinations particularly isn't quite as slippery.

    Practicing 1/2 step note bends on the 5th and 6th partials is also good practice to learn to loosen up in those registers. It's hard to bend the note 1/2 step down without breaking to the next partial if you are relying on tightness to get the note rather than a more efficient style of playing.

    If all else fails, play it on Bb trumpet!
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2010
  6. Haste2

    Haste2 Piano User

    Jun 16, 2010
    Um, what do you mean by o-rings on the bottom caps? Do you mean the three caps that twist off at the bottom of where the valves go?

    Thanks for the advice to you too, Rich.
  7. keehun

    keehun Piano User

    Feb 4, 2010
    Can you expand on that? I recently got a C trumpet and I'm starting to really get familiar with it. And I guess I kind of see what you mean by that, but if you would explain it yourself, that'd be great! Gotta absorb your wisdom.
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I don't know how absorbable anything that I post is. Many times it seems to get stuck after swallowing......

    When comparing different pitched trumpets there are a lot of factors that do not immediately meet the eye.

    The proportion of cylindrical to conical tubing is different. The Bb with its long tuning slide has much more cylindrical tubing. This changes the sound quite dramatically. The C trumpet is essentially a member of the horn family as only the tuning slide is cylindrical. The bell is commonly the same size as a Bb bell. This in conjunction with the lack of cylindrical tubing makes the C trumpet sound very clear, but with less "colors" than a Bb. The intonation on a C is different than on a Bb. Even if it is a very good one, the C in the staff is still a couple of cents higher, the 4rth space E, Eb and D are slightly lower and the G on top of the staff higher than on good Bb instruments. The C trumpets have more clearly defined slots with "bending" notes being more work.

    Still, the C has a very "creamy" sound that works well in orchestras. When you play a Bb in the same setting, you have to be more careful that you do not "bury" the orchestra with a thick, massive sound.

    Many players not used to the higher pitch, don't "attack" the notes straight on, rather from the pitch in their heads which is a whole step lower. This means the sound does not sound centered or stable.
  9. Rainiac

    Rainiac New Friend

    Apr 2, 2009
    Earth. For sure.
    I'm curious about your 1/2 step advice. I don't know very much about music, could you explain what 5th and 6th partials would be? I'd like to try that, it sounds like great advice.'s a half step? Thanks :oops:
  10. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    There are a lot of threads on this forum that address the concept of "partials". Do a forum search on that word and read some of the posts. Also, read the sticky thread about How a Trumpet Works - particularly the videos by Nick D. You will see that the term is related to the number of wavelengths of a standing acoustic wave inside the trumpet. But, all that can be somewhat complicated, so as a starter, here is a quick explanation:
    The term "partial" refers to a note played with open valves.
    The first partial is pedal C (the C that is hard to play - one octave below low C)
    The second partial is low C (below the staff)
    The third partial is 2nd line G
    The fourth partial is 3rd space C
    The fifth partial is 4th space E
    The sixth partial is top-of-staff G
    The seventh partial is the A#/Bb below high C (many do not know about this one)
    The eighth partial is high C (2nd ledger line above the staff); and so on.

    You will notice that the partials become closer together as you go higher. Also, note that the embouchure is set based on the partial that you want to play at any instant.
    Since the valves serve only to make the inside air path longer - and thus lower the pitch - the valves then work in reference to the partial that you have set in your embouchure. So, if you set to play the fourth partial (3rd space C), then the valves will lower the pitch from that note with no change in the embouchure - until you reach the lowest note from that partial and want to go down one more note, which becomes the next lower partial (in this example, the second partial - G).

    Now, this relates to your second question, "What is a half-step". The easiest way to picture this is to think of a piano keyboard where the interval between any two adjacent keys is a half-step, for example F to F# (white key to black key) is a half step. This is also referred to as a "semitone".

    The connection between "partials" and "half-steps" (semitones) is this: If you play an open note ("partial") and then press the 2nd valve, the pitch is lowered a half-step/semitone from the partial. This is due to the added length of the 2nd valve slide in the air path of the trumpet. Pressing the 1st valve (alone) lowers the pitch a whole step (2 semitones) because the 1st valve slide is longer than the 2nd. Pressing the 1st and 2nd valves together lower the pitch 3 semitones. The third valve also lowers the pitch 3 semitones because its length is equal to the lengths of the 1st and 2nd added together. You will find that pressing the 3rd valve alone give the same pitch as pressing 1+2. Finally, when all 3 valves are pressed at the same time, the pitch is lowered 6 semitones and that is the lowest you can go without changing your embouchure to fit the next lower partial.

    So, "bending" the note refers to making slight pitch changes with just subtle adjustments to the embouchure without pressing any valves. Some players can bend the note as much as a half-step/semitone without pressing the 2nd valve. It is hard to bend it that much but that is the reason that RichJ suggests practicing that. It really builds the strength of your chops - sort of like weight lifting for the body muscles.

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