Such thing as "too deep/big?"

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by aboomer90, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. aboomer90

    aboomer90 New Friend

    Nov 18, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Here's a new question for you, in that it's not asking if my mouthpiece is too shallow, but too deep! :lol:

    I've been playing on a Schilke 20 (what I've affectionately dubbed the "toilet bowl" ;-)) for roughly 3 and a half years now. I made the switch from a 7C after playing Euphonium for a year and borrowing the same mouthpiece from a friend. It feels pretty comfortable to me.

    However, a few months ago I tried out a friend's Schilke 14 for a few days, and besides the obvious change in tone color I feel like my range improved slightly, and it just felt amazing. However, I don't have anywhere where I'm currently located where I can just go and try out trumpet mouthpieces, unfortunately, (and my friend moved away) so I can't try out other mouthpieces to see if another one fits me better.
    I definitely know that there is such a thing as 'too shallow:" I own a Schilke 13A4a and I can't produce any sort of tone on it; my lips just can't vibrate!
    I also know that I tried out a friend's Bach 3C and it was kind of uncomfortable; it felt too constricting width-wise. I have no idea why, maybe I'm just weird? :thumbsup:

    Anyways, long story short: I completely understand that the matter of mouthpieces is up to personal preference, but (in your personal experience) is there a point where a mouthpiece just becomes too big (width or depth) and it begins to affect tone/range development?
  2. lakerjazz

    lakerjazz Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 10, 2006
    Well, considering that Schilke goes to 24 in their standard, non-custom series, I would say that a 20 is still a trumpet mouthpiece. What you probably felt with the 14 was an increase in endurance; those big mouthpieces take a lot more energy to play. However, I would say that if you're doing fine, just stick with it. If you are playing lead in a jazz band, a Schilke 20 might be considered too deep and dark, but even then, I'm sure there are good players out there who prefer that anyways.

    Best of luck
  3. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    Mouthpiece size is entirely based on your face, and what kind of music you play
    Jens Lindemann mouthpiece

    I would even take that with a grain of salt, for the majority of my playing my face requires something around a schilke 16/bach 2c. The mouthpiece doesn't feel right otherwise
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2010
  4. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    Probably best to take all MP advice with a grain of salt. All generalizations sound like nonsense to me .... The idea that a player needs to begin with a 7C, the idea that nothing bigger than a Bach 3C is really ever necessary, and etc. A beginner could easily have a mouth/lips too big for a 7C and no matter what anyone says, MPs bigger than a Bach 3C sound different than a Bach 3C. Some quite a lot so. I think the magic formula is one that fits, sounds the way you want and lets you do what you need to do. The best players probably ignore the generalizations more than most. Just MHO FWIW.

  5. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    Re-read it - its not saying that no one should use the extreme pieces, its just that probably more people do than need to. Its saying that middle of the road is for most people :shock: weird huh?
  6. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    Hi Bagmangood, yes, I did re-read it and you're right. But still, "extreme" for any symphony player who uses a Bach 1 1/2???? That doesn't make any sense either. Extreme for what? ...... middle of the road music??? Extreme because a person's mouth is bigger than average??? I don't care WHO is saying it, it's still junk advice as far as I can tell.


    "Extreme player" .... note the MPs below ...... they're bigger than a 3C!
  7. Kayin

    Kayin Pianissimo User

    May 30, 2010
    Extreme player? I play a Conn Visible Embouchure BI-420, biggest they made. I find it liberating, and while I don't have big lips, I've always found them more comfortable and easier to play. I have better flexibility as well.

    Every person has to find their own balance.
  8. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    Amen to that! I think that is the very heart of the matter. Somebody once told me that a Bach 3C should handle everything I want to do. I told them I don't like it, it doesn't feel right (like the OP of this thread, too restrictive, and I own a Bach 3C, I just don't play it). He said, "Well, you must be doing something wrong ... You SHOULD like it."


  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    There are a lot of issues concerning mouthpieces. Many of the problems that we have come from the lies or myths that we were told. The sound that we percieve as dark is often MUSH to the audience. What we thing is "too bright", can often be brilliant to people 20-50 feet away. Players with bigger mouthpieces have to be careful that they do not hurt the sound of the ensembles that they play in by having their sound be too "thick". In a well balanced ensemble, each group of instruments has a range of frequencies for themselves, and other ones that are shared. Thickness is often a big problem, in front of and behind the bell.

    Still, not messing with success also has its merits. If you are still in school (college/highschool), this question is most appropriate when school lets out. Right before playing season starts is potentially dangerous as if it is a mistake, the road back can be rocky. DO NOT SWITCH BEFORE PLAYING SEASON!!!!!!!!!!!!
  10. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Usually the depth of the mouthpiece colors the tone, so it depends on what you are trying to do tonewise. I have very,very shallow mpcs and deep. I can play them all. I've messed around with a trombone piece on a trumpet, and trumpet on trombone. This "experiment" got a lot of laughs but would not be appropriate in most traditional settings.:D Before you buy a lot of mpcs, go to John Storks site and do some research on lip/mpc combination AND how the lowly backbore can also affect your tone. Another player (he's a 50+ year pro) and I were discussing our mpc odyssey's yesterday and he started on a Bach 10 1/2 C. Why? The band director knew a guy who sounded good and thats what he played. The same director later changed him to a 7C. Why? He was now a senior in High School. A few years later a guy with a PhD in music told him that all good trumpet players used a 1 1/4 C. Why? He (the PhD) was a symphonic player. This guy played jazz and top 40 for the next 3 plus decades with that 1 1/4 C but never really liked it because it was too dark. In the last 5 yrs he switched to a Giardinelli 6S.Why? It gave him the sound and range he wanted (double pedal c to double high c) and it is comfortable. The answer to your question is tone is affected but range is achieved through practice.

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