Should we always take the easy option?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Sethoflagos, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    By and large, I find a 3C mouthpiece (specifically, Denis Wick 3C) gives me best endurance for general practice.

    But I get a significantly better tone on bigger mouthpieces and often play either a DW 2W or DW 1CW on the basis that they're giving a better workout for my embouchure.

    Is this false reasoning?

    As a heads up, the follow-up question will be whether an 'advanced' trumpet is a better learning tool than a 'standard' production pro model.

    In my day gig, I often find myself being 'thrown in the deep end', and invariably this has been to the benefit of my capabilities as an engineer. Does the same hold true in the musical sphere?
  2. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    Can you give an example of an "advanced" trumpet? (Monette or Harrelson perhaps?) And a "standard production pro" model too? (Wild Thing, or Strad, maybe?)

    My teacher took me off my shallower mouthpiece in favour of a deeper one I had which I had previously found more tiring to play. He also gave me a heap of exercises to do at the start of each session to strengthen me (lip slurs, Schlossberg routines, long tone routines etc) which I had been paying less attention to before then. I think I really benefited from that.

  3. ConnDirectorFan

    ConnDirectorFan Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2010
    United States
    What exactly do you mean by "advanced" trumpet - an intermediate or a "better than pro" horn? I honestly think that production pro models can be fine - it took some time, but I got used to the quirks [i.e. stuffiness] of my Yamaha 6310Z, and it is the best-playing horn I have, and one of the best I have ever played - no Bobby Shew tweak needed.
    Sethoflagos likes this.
  4. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    I've been corresponding for some time with Thomas Inderbinen, and providing I land a decent contract soon, I intend to place an order for an Alpha C. I do not expect it to be an easy instrument to get to grips with.

    My current flock (Yammie, Getzen and Wild Thing) are all 'standard production' I think. (apologies, afp, but that's how I see it)
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I think that most opinions about musical hardware are not made with "engineering" precision, rather with little if any objective goals. sure, bigger mouthpieces can sound bigger, but is that what the audience hears when you switch?

    I often think that the practice room bias destroys common sense. In a little room, we have a lot of high frequency reflection, our subjective opinion may be a balanced tone. In a big room, that balance changes. Many times the big mouthpiece just makes everything muddier. A similar effect occurs with a really "open" horn. In a small room easily pressurized, we have a great open feeling. in the concert hall, if we are honest, it is like our air just disappears.

    Heavy horns are another case and point. Players without excellent command of their chops AND not playing primarily in really great sounding rooms have a distinct disadvantage: they can't hear themselves as well and never quite balance with the rest of the group/section.

    Thomas builds some interesting horns for the soloist. It is tough to integrate those artistic designs in a section.
  6. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Quite the laundry list, Seth!

    Here in the States it was in vogue for runners to wear ankle weights. Turned out the only real benefit was to be able to run with ankle weights. Baseball players will swing to or three bats before facing the pitcher. Yeah, the 3C might be easier to play after the 1CW, but your training on three different mouthpieces is a great way to confuse our chops. I would suggest sticking to your 3C.

    I have no idea what the difference is between an 'advanced' and 'standard' trumpet.
    Having been "thrown in the deep end" quite a few times I believe that with the trumpet it is not so much our capabilities but our confidence that benefits.
  7. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    Perhaps the 'better tone' aspect is a red herring. A #1 rim feels more comfortable for me. I've just measured the height of my embouchure, vermilion line to vermilion line, and it's around 18mm (~0.71", or 45/64). Not quite sure how significant this is, but even a #1 must be partly sat on the vermilion, and I definitely feel a little cramped on a #3. 12 months down the line, I fully expect to be back on the larger rim, but just now with fragile chops, I get double the practice time on the 3C before I tire.

    All good points but what can we do? I practise in a reasonably sized room with a tiled floor and few soft furnishings. Best I can manage.

    I've plenty of section horns. Besides, I'd rather support the likes of Thomas than some faceless corporation.
  8. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    Or forget the 3C and accept the (temporarily?) reduced endurance on the more comfortable larger piece?

    One Roy Hargrove can make sing like a nightingale, and I can make quack like a duck.

    Very often, these become effectively the same thing, nicht wahr?
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  9. Rapier

    Rapier Forte User

    Jul 18, 2011
    Surely just use the mouthpiece for the best sound and endurance will come.

    So, stop being such a softy and toughen up. You big girl's blouse. ;-)
  10. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    The point of my OP. The 2W gives the Yam some real body, but it's like climbing sand dunes in big wellies.

    I've got a Wild Thing nah-nah-nee-ah-nah :bleah:

Share This Page