Need some help deciding whether or not to devote my time to learning how to play a lead mouthpiece. Background Info about me(optional reading): I started playing on a 1 Megatone back in 95 when I was a junior in high school. I fell into the bigger is better syndrome and went over board. I joined the army in 96. I played that piece until 98 when I was convinced to drill it out by a teacher I had. I had a great sound but no endurance and no consistent range. I managed to squeak out high f#. Later on in 2001 when I was required to play lead in a big band and rock band. I began experimenting with tons of shallower mouthpieces. (Check out HUGE MOUTHPIECE SALE!!! In the marketplace.) I forced myself to learn how to play medium shallow mouthpieces. I then played a GR67M for a number of years and later switched to a Curry 1M based off of my current teachers recommendation. I currently play on a Curry 1M for just about everything. As an Army Bandsman I am required to play a variety of styles. Unfortunately, while everyone tells me I get a good sound on my Curry and my intonation is good, I am still not happy with the piece. It is not dark enough for me for the legit auditions I am required to take and it is not efficient enough to play lead all night with or get that real sizzling sound I am looking for. I have finally decided to start practicing for the gigs that I want to play and not necessarily what the Army wants. I want to lean more toward the commercial side of the house. I want to play lead in big bands and Salsa bands. I am also very interested in Jazz. This led me to another mouthpiece safari which introduced me to the Marcinkiewicz Bob Findley mouthpiece. While the rim was too small for me, I loved how efficient the mouthpiece was. My range seemed closer together. I eventually got a Chuck Findley because the rim is bigger and it feels more comfortable. I do wish the cup was a little deeper like the Bob Findley. The sound is very bright but if I really focus it is not as bright and a really focused sound. The notes seem to slot pretty well if I play very lightly. I believe the mouthpiece has a lot of potential. Unfortunately, sometimes when I play at softer volumes I get air in my tone and the piece sounds thin.(Please let me know if you have any suggestion on getting the air out of my sound. I still bottom out every once in a while when I pull it out to try it, but I have not used it as my mine practice piece. The C. Findley is the only shallow mouthpiece I can play on without bottoming out in the first couple of minutes. I bottom out on the Warburton 2s and 2SV cups and I bottom out and just did not like the Bob Reeves Chuck Findley. As for my range I can play notes up to high G and yes I can hit high G just by itself. I can sometimes squeak out double high Cs. However, I am not a lead player yet. I can not play high Gs all night and I still struggle with endurance. QUESTIONS: After I finish my legit audition in about 2 weeks, I want to start practicing and focusing on the C. Findley mouthpiece and maybe pull out a legit mouthpiece when an audition comes up. Can I just force myself to learn how to play a shallower and tighter mouthpiece? Will it affect my ability to switch to a legit mouthpiece like a Marcinkiewicz Proline B3 or a Curry 1B? Has anyone done this before? What was your experience like? Are there any tips you may have that will make the transition easier? Were you able to darken up the sound a little bit once you were adjusted to the mouthpiece? Chuck Findley users: What do you use this mouthpiece for? Just lead or have you been able to use it as an all-around piece? Has anybody opened up the throat on this mouthpiece and what were the results(I was thinking about opening up the throat in order to give me a slightly bigger sound and more room for error when playing the piece.)? Advice I have received: I called up the Marcinkiewicz Company and asked Bob some of the same questions. My hat is off to the Marcinkiewcz Company because Bob was very patient with all of my questions. He encouraged me to just practice on the stock Chuck Findley mouthpiece for at least 6 weeks before trying to tweak it or getting a recommendation as to what other mouthpieces I should try or alter. He was not just trying to sell me a mouthpiece. I also called up Rich Wetzel (Groovinhigher) and sought his advice as to what I should do. I have called Rich Wetzel on a number of occasions about advice in the past and he has freely shared his knowledge with me despite not knowing me at all. He is the man! He also recommended sticking with the Findley for a good little while and believed opening the throat would not give me the results I was looking for as far as a bigger sound. Sorry for the lengthy message, I thought that it was important to put in as much detail as I could. I would appreciate any input and advice you guys can give to me.