The search for the right mouthpiece...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Hardnut, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. Hardnut

    Hardnut Pianissimo User

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    Feb 24, 2006
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    Dear TMers,

    I currently use a 1 1/4 C mouthpiece for all of my playing, but would like to be able to interchange with a mouthpiece with a smaller cup for certain elements of my playing - such as in Big Bands and Jazz Bands for example.

    I believe that the 1 1/4 C has a rim diameter of 17.00mm (correct me if I'm wrong), and I would ideally like a mouthpiece with the same sort of sized rim, just a shallower cup so as to facilitate the higher notes more.

    I realise and understand that nothing can replace practice, and I do not see this as a "shortcut" or "cheating" - simply using the right tools for the job!

    So basically, I would really appreciate any advice you could give me with regard to a new mouthpiece to try. Unfortunately, money is a bit of an issue, so I don't think that at this time a custom made mouthpiece is really an option, but any suggestions at all would be really appreciated.

    Many thanks for your help,

    Chris H.
     
  2. tpetplyr

    tpetplyr Pianissimo User

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    Dec 15, 2003
    Boston
    Take a look at Curry. He makes mouthpieces that all have the same rim size but with different cups. Good mpcs and not too expensive either.

    Stuart
     
  3. Drum Corps Stradivarius

    Drum Corps Stradivarius New Friend

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    Apr 24, 2007
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    I think the best thing to do would be to go to a trusted music store you frequently shop at and try out different mouthpeices and see which one is the right one for you...
     
  4. Hardnut

    Hardnut Pianissimo User

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    Thanks for the advice guys, I certainly would like to try out some Curry mouthpieces: the idea of keeping the same sized rim but varying the cup is exactly what I am looking for!

    Unfortunately, I don't really frequent any music store, and the ones near to me don't stock a large variety of mouthpieces...

    On a side note, what shape cup should I be looking for? Would a shallow be too small for me having spent so much time on the deep 1 1/4C? I am worried that my lips would swell into the cup after a short while - would a medium-shallow be better?

    Thanks, Chris.
     
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    I've found Curry's Z cup works really well -- it's based on the Schilke A cup, but I've never bottomed out on it (unlike the 14A4a), and with the Curry blank and a Megasleeve, it provides a respectable amount of warmth from mf on down.
     
  6. screamingmorris

    screamingmorris Mezzo Forte User

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    Apr 4, 2007
    It takes an amazing amount of lip in the cup to bottom out on a Schilke 14a4a, since the 14a4a is deeper than the 12a4a, and the 12a4a is deeper than the 13a4a.

    Are you an upstream or downstream player?
    Was it your upper lip or lower lip that bottomed out?
    What percentage of your lip in the cup is upper lip versus lower lip?
    I'm not criticizing.
    As an upstream player who plays a Schilke 14a4 I'm just trying to learn from other people's experiences.
    (When I used a different mouthpiece placement 35 years ago I used to bottom out on a 13a4a, but I recently discovered that I can now play the 13a4a if I want because I now play closer to the center of the cup)

    - morris
     
  7. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Vulagnos have an amazing amount of everything! But to answer your questions, downstream, both, 1/3 2/3.
    Check out Mark Curry's comments on lip intrusion at his website. Custom Mouthpieces
    or here, quoted from his website:
    "Lip Intrusion: this occurs when the lips actually intrude into the mouthpiece cup. This is somewhat related to the size and thickness of the individual's lips, but not a direct correlation. I stood next to Cat Anderson (the Great High Note player with Duke Ellington's band) and watched him play back in 1975. Even though his lips were large and thick, there was nearly zero intrusion into the cup, which was incredibly shallow. On the other hand, I've seen small-lipped players stuff half their face into a 1C and sound great from low G to high G and above."

    Hope that helps answer the questions!
     
  8. screamingmorris

    screamingmorris Mezzo Forte User

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    Apr 4, 2007
    If I understood correctly, you are a downstream player but you use 1/3 upper lip and 2/3 lower lip, which is more typical of an upstream player.
    Downstream players would be more likely to use 2/3 upper lip and 1/3 lower lip.
    As an upstream player who used 2/3 lower lip 35 years ago I also had my lower lip bottoming out and blocking the throat with a 13a4a.
    In the last 4 years I had to adopt something closer to half and half in playing my old Denis Wicke 4E so that my embouchure aperture was closer to the maximum cup depth near the throat, and that half and half is what I now use with my Schilke 14a4.
    Anyway, if you are using 2/3 lower lip and most players' lower lips are fleshier and intrude into the mouthpiece farther, bottoming out is easier to understand.
    Thanks for the info.
    I am insatiably curious about all things.

    - morris
     
  9. Rudy

    Rudy New Friend

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    Apr 29, 2007
    NW Florida
    great question; same here. I'm an upstream player; 1/3 top lip, 2/3 bottom lip. Used to play Schilke MP 14a4a back 20 years ago and now really happy with a ggod high register and even better lower/medium range w/ Bob Reeves 43s/692s
     
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Bad Lip intrusion only happens:
    1) when the lips swell and the embouchure is not strong enough to keep them out of the cup
    or more often:
    2) more pressure behind the lips than the back pressure of the horn/mouthpiece, thus blowing the lips into the cup.

    #1 happens when we do not pay our dues and practice too little
    #2 happens when we take a classical music breathing approach with a large oral cavity, tongue low in the mouth and try to play a shallow piece.
    Shallow mouthpieces require velocity not volume of air - and we get that with the tongue arched.

    The lips can be supported solely by muscle strength, equilibrium of pressure in front of and behind the lips, or a combination of both. Shallow mouthpieces require more "equilibrium" and less lip mass in the piece! Bore that mouthpiece out and destroy the equilibrium!

    Deep mouthpieces allow for intrusion to increase the sound producing lip mass in the cup.
     

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