Tone is progressively getting worse

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by daniel117, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Hi daniel117,

    I see you bought a Schilke 13A4A. I hope it does all you want it to do. I do you hope you tried one first before buying,or at least whom ever you ordered it from has a liberal return policy. You should always try before you buy.Don't buy because someone on the internet said that's exactly the one you should use. I've seen a lot of players who were used to using deeper cups bottom out on extremely shallow cups like on the 13A4A. They wound up owning a $50.00 paperweight.
  2. lmf

    lmf Forte User

    May 16, 2007
    Indiana USA

    Even though you are changing to a different mouthpiece which may or may not help, you should consider asking your band director to let you play in the 2nd, 3rd or 4th section until your lips are properly rested as others have suggested. It is clear that your lips and embrochure needs a rest and you shouldn't let pride or peer pressure force you into playing that may cause further damage and/or problems for you later. Those who have encouraged you to rest and/or play lower register parts (or a combination of both) are giving you good advice. If your band director gives you a difficult time, you may have to stand your ground and insist on a change of parts to prevent further damage that may come back to haunt you later. I don't believe changing the mouthpiece alone will prevent the damage you have sustained and it might make matters worse. You don't want to fall into the trap of assuming you have to continue for the sake of the band while ignoring damage done already as well as causing future damage.

    Best wishes,

    Last edited: Aug 12, 2012
  3. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011

    All well and good. I mean so what? Who among us has made a mere single mouthpiece switch or experimentation and never tried another m/piece ever again???

    If he finds the 13a4a too shallow? Which is a possibility. Well then he tries the Schilke 13B. Still too shallow for the time being? He uses the regular "C" cup 13.

    Any one of these choices is at least superior to the overly deep "hockey skate sharp" Bach 3B he is using right now. If only because the O/P can not actually DAMAGE himself using these newer pieces.

    OK so perhaps he collects a few "paperweights"? Big deal. If we to take Al Innella at his word being gospel he would have us believe that its more expensive for the O/P to buy a $50 mouthpiece than continuing to shred his lips and go into a lengthy depression related to the current downturn of his trumpet playing career...

    These are the stakes! I'm not going hard on Al. No in fact REALITY is working him over. We know for a FACT that the O/P is using a very deep overly sharp mouthpiece. i have described this piece humorously as having the inner edge rim of Bobby Hull's hockey skate here: Hull_1.jpg

    And yet Al Innella completely disregards the significance of this.

    Al is aware of the very deep overly sharp mouthpiece the O/P is using.

    He is aware that I accurately predicted that the O/P was using such a horrendous piece from the start.

    He is aware that my prediction was 100% ACCURATELY CONFIRMED by the O/P


    Let's make this contrast between viewpoints more starkly contrasted. Here is an analogous representation of the O/P's post:

    "Hi. I wrote because my playing is deteriorating at band camp. By the way, I'm using a trombone mouthpiece attached to a trumpet shank on my trumpet. I had the local craftsman sharpen the inner edge rim of my mouthpiece down to the sharpness of Bobby Hull's hockey skate".

    Compared to what he's written earlier in this topic Al's reply might be:

    "You should work on your breathing".

    OK I sort of took this description to the point of absurdity but the analogy is still accurate. Surely an overly deep mouthpiece honed down to the sharpness of a hockey skate would cut a man's lips apart almost immediately. Yet the Vincent Bach 3B, if given enough time (like during summer band camp on a young, less experienced trumpet player) would accomplish the same effect over time.

    Lets always put logic and critical thinking FIRST.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2012
    DaTrump likes this.
  4. Scatmanblues

    Scatmanblues Pianissimo User

    Jul 19, 2010
    West Texas
    I'm going to try one more time. Then I'm going to respect the OP's wishes to end this "discussion."

    3 years he's already been on the piece Local 357. 3 years.

    He's done at least one other marching season on it, if not 2. If the mouthpiece were as dangerous as you predicted, he should have lost the ability to produce a sound about 2 years and 11 months ago.

    I very sincerely want to know how you account for the last 2 years, 11 months, and 3 weeks of success on the 2B before his chops got sore last week. Why did it take so long for the rim and deep cup to have such a drastic effect? How was he able to successfully audition for and earn a lead spot in marching band playing on the mouthpiece if its use is so dangerous and the consequences so dire?

    He's been playing the 2B for THREE YEARS. How does that jive with your interpretation of events?

    I'm also confused by your recommendations. Your proposed solution is NOT a quick fix. It's NOT an immediate answer. To follow your instructions to the letter, he would need to keep playing on that nasty 2B all but 5-10 minutes at a time a couple of times a day for several weeks, and then he'd have to KEEP playing on it less and less over time until he's fully transitioned onto the screamer piece you advocate. If the first new piece doesn't work, he'll need to try another, and that too will take a few weeks. You can't have it both ways. You can't scream at us and tell the world that the mouthpiece is DESTROYING this kid's chops, motivation, and even will to live because of a mouthpiece that is doing IMMEDIATE damage to his face and then tell him to spend months making a gradual transition.

    If the mouthpiece is that dangerous, why should he keep using it throughout the transition? How did he use it for THREE YEARS before all this bad stuff happened?

    How is the advice the rest of us have given in ANY way incompatible with your assertions? Why, for example, can't he also rest more, play more softly, improve his marching fundamentals, and breathe better while he tries out a new mouthpiece?

    Do you agree those things are important?

    Do you acknowledge that those things also play a role in building endurance and avoiding fatigue?

    Do you disagree with the effectiveness of the other recommendations made? If so, I didn't see it, and I apologize. I did see a lot of venom. I did see a lot of anger. I did see a number of very personal attacks.

    I am, frankly, confused what you are so worked up about.

    I really am interested in hearing your reply.

  5. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

    Jan 9, 2010
    East Yorkshire
    Slightly off the way this thread has gone but what worries me more is the Dan feels he is "Forced to play above the stave" I think Band Camp is the problem not Dan's playing and no matter how much well intentioned and sage advice he gets on here until things change at Band Camp and directors begin to understand that players cannot scream for God know's how many hours a day we will have a thread like this every summer. Dan is a decent player, Aaronwolley is busting his cracking set of chops (Most of us will have heard his Atuntunian is that the right spelling? on here) I'm sorry to criticise somehting I know only a little about but as a perspective from across the pond something doesn't seem right when we get these threads so often.
  6. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011

    There ae no personal attacks at all. I have pointed out the fallacy of certain arguments is all.

    If indeed the O/P did well the first couple of years on the 2B but only now has lost tone, endurance and developed the double buzz (Surest sign of over training there is) then it seems more than logical that his chops are breaking down from PROLONGED usage of a sharp edged, overly deep mouthpiece. Same as a set of tires wears down. Or in an attempt to introduce levity in this somewhat heated debate:

    Those Michelin's worked great the first 80 thousand miles. I wonder what went wrong with them?

    And like I said earlier it has been established that the Bach 3B or 2B is a very deep mouthpiece with a significantly sharpened inner rim edge aka: "bite"

    Lets take another element of your discussion

    Sure! Why not? Again my first comment was that his condition was a clearly obvious case of over training. Rest, avoidance of loud playing, taking a few days off, breathing exercises are all good at curing over training.

    However with a "user friendly" mouthpiece ie one w/ a well rounded inner rim edge that is not overly deep he would find (after taking a wisely slow transition phase to adapt) that his need to rest, avoid excessive loud playing and such would be lessened.

    Indeed a sharp edged mouthpiece lowers the threshold at which over training takes its toll. Is just simple logic/physical law. Vice versa a shallower mouthpiece RAISES the threshold at which over training occurs.

    Lets say the kid could play one set of a marching band practice including a few High C's, some loud "dogfight" sections and lots of melodies on his very large Bach 3B mouthpiece without punishing his chops much. But somewhere between the second and third set he finds himself straining excessive ie using lots of mouthpiece pressure.

    OK now after perhaps a four to six week conditioning period where he switches to say the Schilke 134B (or 13A whichever he is able to use) it is likely that he could finish ALL three sets on the newer piece without pushing the envelope and reaching the current state of over training he has found himself in.

    Plus you have to consider the LONG TERM aspects of band camp. It isn't just the long grueling day but the week after week efforts that will push him over the over training threshold.

    I have pointed out that a mouthpiece switch has some concerns in the days/weeks following the change. One shouldn't make a radical change and then expect to maintain playing ability and composure as if nothing had changed. That's foolishness. Nor should he immediately jump into another piece 100%. Well not unless he feels comfortable doing that.

    I'm told that Al Hirt switched to his Jet Tone in one night and never looked back (of course Hirt was a seasoned professional) My point being that it is a little unpredictable how long it will take to transition to another mouthpiece.

    The more radical a mouthpiece size change is? Presumably in most applications the longer the transition phase could last. Again: Just common sense.

    So yes the O/P could "borrow" advice here. Since he's obviously got burnt out chops today he could simply take stuff down the octave, play softer and cherry pick only those parts he must cover in order to make the section sound strong. Without changing mouthpieces at all. Heck I'll even do this on a long gig in my big band or rock band. Just look for the tutti sections well covered by the second trumpet player and let him shine.

    The thing is that we don't know how much hell the kid will get from his band director. Hopefully the director is an understanding person but he could be a Vince Lombardi type too.

    The next alligator I'll throw into the mix is that if the kid's chops REALLY are BURNT? Well this surely could be a bad time to screw around with mouthpiece experimentation. Not until he gets a week slow enough for his chops to recover. The shallower pieces do not work well on swollen chops. "Bottoming out" is the standard complaint but this is largely just due to inadequate training on the shallower pieces. Shouldn't blame the mouthpiece. So many times I've heard trumpet players denounce a shallow piece saying

    "I can't play these shallow mouthpieces"

    Well what did he expect the first day out? In fact a shallow mouthpiece may actually require MORE embouchure control and technique than the larger pieces. The advantage of course is that his endurance will increase perhaps 300%. And his upper register endurance will increase 300% or so.

    When we switch mouthpieces we are essentially DOUBLING on another instrument.

    We have to consider what the Bach 3B is really designed for. In fact it is a mouthpiece usually chosen for the classically inclined. Blends well in an orchestral section. Also allows fantastic articulation and flexibility.

    However on the football field these pleasing lower overtones do not project well. This makes the trumpet player work even harder yet at getting his sound out into the stands. So you've got:

    1. A mouthpiece not well suited for extended play of loud notes played at or near the top end of the kid's register.

    2. A piece that doesn't send the sound much past the flute section.

    Its a double or triple negative whammy.

    Granted a seasoned pro might do well on a 3B. I used the not quite as deep Bach 3C on the road some 35 years ago and I played four sets a night, five nights a week in a very demanding professional dance road band for several years. Yet it took me over two years to build up to that kind of endurance. And at that time I was probably a more seasoned player than the O/P. All said and done though I might have been wiser to use something a little less sharp and deep but the gig only required a High D or so.

    My suggestions are meant to help the kid out DOWN THE ROAD. At present he's definitely got a stymie in his playing. In other words is at a point where he can not improve nor even maintain his performances due to the excessive physical demands on himself. This shouldn't have to happen at all. Had he SLOWLY made a transition to a mouthpiece well designed for the heavy output he's doing now? Well shucks he could EASILY have met the demands of his playing with plenty of energy left in RESERVE. Likely that he could have played much more strongly than he's been doing as well.

    And he would have sounded far better on the field.

    Lastly: I have spent many years looking into the helpful aspects of shallow and small mouthpieces. In addition I still keep some really DEEP pieces in my bag. My main classical piece isn't even a trumpet mouthpiece. Its a flugel horn piece put into a cornet to trumpet adapter.

    Take about HUGE mouthpiece.

    It however does not have a sharp inner rim edge though. I take this piece out for solos in orchestra and concert band. Or whenever I feel like it. But i don't use it for commercial lead, R & B, rock or show bands. Isn't designed for that. Sure i could blow a set or two of lead on that but afterwards I'd be screwed for a week.

    And if I as a nearly 49 year trumpet playing veteran would use a HUGE piece like the Bach 3B?

    Then why for the love of God would a young trumpet player be expected to sustain himself on such a piece that is wholly unfit for the demands placed upon him???
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
  7. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010

    Nothing brings out the CRAZIES like a good mouthpiece debate. :woop::woop::woop:ROFLROFLROFL (3 woops with a KT finish)

    At this point, the OP is SWITCHING TO CLARINET. Can't blame him. :dontknow:

    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
  8. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Now he just has to worry about a ligature and reed. That's all! :stars::stars::stars:ROFLROFLROFL:laughwave::laughwave:
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Not really, I think the clarinet is adaptable to the Schilke 14a4a... so his worrys are over. Who on a clarinet blog will debate him on this... unless of course they reed between the lines...
  10. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

    Jan 9, 2010
    East Yorkshire
    Cor what a good joke Hmmm

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