The Difference a Mouthpiece can Make

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by lakerjazz, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. Moshe Mizrachi

    Moshe Mizrachi Pianissimo User

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    Look again.

    Rowuk the Moderator said to the person that disagreed with him...

    "if you have this all figured out, why post?"

    That specifically said that if the poster disagreed with Rowuk, then there was no sense in posting here.

    I will not discuss the matter further because I do not want a flame war.
     
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Interesting thread.

    LJ - I heard a difference between the two, but I also heard that while the AC mouthpiece did in fact give you a bit more zip, bite, and apparent stability to your sound, there are other issues at stake that should probably be address in the practice room without messing with your equipment.

    One of the problems that go hand in hand with an inexperienced player switching up equipment is that the player often tries to force the issue in playing before the chops are ready for it. Too much pressure is used, the player tries to play too high and too loud - it just makes for a potential mess of things because if there is one thing I have learned over the years, the chops can't be forced to do something with a hunk of metal that they are not already capable of doing.

    I use a 14A4 for almost all of my playing these days. (Same basic cup that Rowuk can no longer use) But, I get nothing from that mouthpiece other than a change in sound and a bit of an edurance advantage that I don't get from my mouthpiece that I use when I'm not playing rock and roll horn lines. I don't get any added range.

    I'm not saying to abandon the idea of the Al Cass mouthpiece, but what I am suggesting is that you ease into it a bit and not try to force things by playing lines that extend to the top of your available range. Something else that I would personally watch out for is the lack of bite on the mouthpiece. If you don't have a solid chops setting, the lack of bite will allow, and possibly even promote, your chops collapsing into the cup.

    Rowuk, your comment about the 14A4a is an interesting one, but it makes sense - is it that your lips didn't used to swell, or is it that your lips are a different size than they were years ago? I find that my lips change size when I gain or lose weight. I've lost almost 30 pounds over the last 18 months, and my lips are thinner now than they were. Just curious.
     
  3. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

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    Oct 16, 2008

    This thread has definitely taken a turn for the ugly.

    As for the original issue, in my opinion I agree with the band director. There's nothing wrong with getting a mouthpiece for "jazz" or for "lead" work. In high school and college (and beyond) I played on a 14A4A for lead and a 3C for everything else.

    Now to lakerkazz, I appreciate your efforts to contribute to the discussions here, but come on! You're a high school kid who's trying to come here with a mouthpiece endorsement after playing it for one day? At this point in your evolution you have no clue what you're doing or how you do, but after one day you can speak with authority on your magic mouthpiece? Come back in a year (if you're still playing it) and let us know what you think. One day is nothing.

    Regarding the feedback Rowuk provided, not only was he correct, but he was very kind. I didn't post here originally because you're a kid, but the truth is the playing in the audio comparison you posted was crap. How anyone could tell the difference between the versions is beyond me. They all sound like someone trying to squeak out the notes of a popular solo WAY before they have the chops or feel for it.

    You're absolutely free to post things on an open forum, but it doesn't mean that you're correct or that anyone else will agree with you. If you find that you're at odds with people with more expertise than you, then it's possible that you're incorrect, so act accordingly.

    I also have never seen anyone banned for a disagreement, or even arguing. I've definitely seen it for being a jerk...
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Patrick,
    my lips start to swell about 15-20 minutes in to serious playing. A 14A4A is BLISS for that time, then nothing comes out anymore. A fibreoptic camera shows my upper lip bottoming out. It is no issue for my playing, but additional proof that selection of mouthpiece is a process over time and unrelated to most of the stuff that the uninitiated wants to believe.

    Moshe likes to confuse people by mixing facts up. LakerJazz posted 4 playing examples that show the differences between 2 mouthpieces. The problems are identical on all 4. The differences are obvious. My comment if LJ has this figured out, has his breathing and playing down, why the issue with the 3C? That is not an extreme piece by any stretch of the imagination. I never said that disagreeing with me was a reason not to post. I am saying if you ask a question but then deny the resulting answer, why ask?

    Yes, there are many that want only positive feedback, stroking for what they think is good. Constructive criticism is deemed slamming.

    I have a funny feeling Moshe was a member here at TM that may have been banned once.........................
     
  5. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Ok - that's the same problem I used to have with the 14A4a back in HS, but the problem was a bit different than yours - back then my chops would collapse into the cup due to the way I played and the fact that my embouchure wasn't really developed. When I forced the issue to learn to play on a 14A4a in my Latin band days (out of a sense of necessity - I was murdering my chops with my normal deep cup mouthpiece) it brought about a change to my playing an a slight alteration to my embouchure which in my opinion, was a good thing.

    Getting back to the main subject of the thread, I've never been able to switch up mouthpieces quickly - I'm with Rowuk in that it is a process that needs to be approached carefully, and full adaptation to it can take a while - in my case it's never been less than 6 weeks before I could play comfortably on a new mouthpiece, and that process is often a frustrating time where things get worse before they get better, which is probably why I'm not the type to change equipment often. I have found what works, and I stick with it - I've been on the same basic mouthpiece setup (admitedly with a bit of mouthpiece experimentation here and there) since about 1997. I find that hard work in the practice room usually does more for me than any kind of equipment change.
     
  6. lakerjazz

    lakerjazz Mezzo Piano User

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    Oct 10, 2006
    Of course I have things to work on- of course all aspects of my playing aren't optimal. I don't post all of my recordings on here, but sometimes I do to get feedback. I always record myself in a small room intentionally so that I can hear the basic problems. When I say that I have adequate ____, it's within the context of my own playing. I'm not trying to "conquer," the music, I'm attempting to play it. I'm not going to go out and play West End Blues in the school concert. I CAN'T play it up to a high standard, but how am I supposed to show the differences a mouthpiece makes if I play things that I can already play? I don't post takes where I am stuck on Bb trying to go to D and going all over the place and missing notes because I expect you to think it's the best in the world. It's so that you can clearly see a difference. I'm not trying to defend my playing- I'm making points that I feel should be addressed. For example, why is the D more solid on the AC if mouthpiece doesn't affect range or if I'm still using pressure? This still hasn't been addressed.

    trickg, thanks- I will stick with the mouthpiece and work on it more and maybe post something after a longer time playing. It's just that usually nothing makes as big of a difference as this, so I thought it was worth a post.

    gdbeamer- I appreciate your honesty, but what specifically do I need to work on? The range- I know the range is a problem. Are there any stylistic problems? I don't mind constructive criticism, but please be more specific.

    rowuk- once again, I appreciate the honesty, but please be more specific. I'm skeptical about breath support because after reading many of your posts, it seems to be your answer to everything. It's also not something my teacher has addressed with me, and he has helped through a lot of problems. Timing? I will listen and work on it. Telling me that your 15 year old student can play this an octave higher on his 3C is not helpful to me. I don't think I'll ever play a double D. My teacher can't play a double D. I'm not even sure Louis Armstrong could play a double D. I don't have issues with the 3C; I've been using it for a long time with success- certainly it is possible to play well on it. My original post was about it being easier to play with the AC.

    Moshe- I've read your previous posts and arguments. It was these types of threads that made me want to post this to offer some sort of hard evidence on the issue.

    Please, guys I'm not trying to disrespectful, and I don't think I have been, so you guys can relax a bit. The thread won't be ugly unless you say it's ugly.
     
  7. lakerjazz

    lakerjazz Mezzo Piano User

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    double post
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2010
  8. lakerjazz

    lakerjazz Mezzo Piano User

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    Oct 10, 2006
    Also,
    while you guys are critiquing, I would appreciate if you took the time to critique my friend
    also: YouTube - National Anthem

    He has to play the National Anthem for an opening assembly on the 20th, and he asked me to ask for advice on this forum (his teacher recently moved away; we were practicing at my house and he uploaded it). Once again, constructive criticism is okay, but please be specific.

    Thanks for the help guys- no hard feelings and best,
    lakerjazz
     
  9. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    (Typed as I listened) Speed it up a bit? And lose the ornamentation. And work on keeping a steady tempo. Keep pitch in mind. And don't take that one part up an octave. And don't play the one part as 8ths - play it as written. (...banner yet wave...) And lose that crap at the end with the embellishment.

    (the following is my opinion, FWIW)
    The Star Spangled Banner, especially when played or sung at an event of any kind, should be played with the idea that people are going to sing it - playing it slowly turns it into a dirge that drags on and on and on and on and....you get the picture.

    I also don't believe it should be embellished at all. Play it straight, articulate it cleanly, and call it a day. As for embellishments, people are going to sing to it - as soon as you start deviating from the original format, it's going to confuse people - it's not going to impress them.
     
  10. lakerjazz

    lakerjazz Mezzo Piano User

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    Oct 10, 2006
    alright thanks- I'll let him know. I've agree with the "dirge" comment- it was probably too slow. I kind of like the thing at the end though, but okay.
     

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