Too small?

Discussion in 'Mouthpieces / Mutes / Other' started by Dennis78, Jul 11, 2018 at 4:39 PM.

  1. Dennis78

    Dennis78 Fortissimo User

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    Is there a point where the mouthpiece becomes to small?
    What I’m getting at is:
    For the last couple of years I’ve been playing on a Bach 5b and have had no problems but now I’m feeling like it may be a tad small.
    My usable range has greatly increased since I’ve comeback to playing and was made significantly easier since my playing a 5b exclusively (I used to jump around quite a bit because nothing I had felt right)
    Now it seems to be less flexible as far as lip slurs and centering and sometimes I’ll over shoot a partial-shooting for a C in the staff I’ll hit an E, shoot for the E and I’ll hit the G.
    From G above the staff to E above high C everything is solid.
    Most of my efforts go towards the repertoire of solo cornet in brass band which is mostly in a higher register than the 2nd and 3rd parts I play in other bands.
    Can to small of a diameter hinder things like flexibility? I have a Wick 4 that I haven used in quite a while as it takes some work to play well-I can hang but my endurance suffers
    What is your all’s take? Should I work with the Wick or maybe try a Bach 3c/b?
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I do not consider the human state static. That also includes our faces, muscles and lips. It is entirely possible that our needs and demands change with time.

    Now, in the same breath, we are creatures of habit and perform most reliably with things where we have a lot of repetitions. Changes in our playing are a result over time which can include sleep or the lack of it, diet (especially sugar and salt), hydration, allergies, change of work/play pattern during the day.

    I never got along with the Bach 5 rims (or the 1 1/4C rims either). I prefer softer inner rims for modern instruments. The Bach 3 and 1.5C have that softness, as does a Schilke 18 or Monette B2/B2M/B2D. Currently I am playing Monette 1-1 mouthpieces for my Bb, C and D/Eb instruments.
     
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  3. cbtj51

    cbtj51 New Friend

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    Before my layoff of 14 years, decades of playing a relatively shallow Reeves 41S695 setup did everything I needed with the exception of a consistent solid lower register sound. The styles I got paid to play then, Big Band, Latin, and Classic Rock, R&B didn't call for much lower range. Since coming back 4 years ago and in a completely different performance requirement environment, I ventured into a deeper Reeves 41C692. Upper range has had no negative effects, but my lower range has improved greatly fitting my current requirements much better. I now use many bottoms on my Reeves 41 rimmed mouthpiece setup depending on style requirements with no real upper range or flexibility impact. Endurance is the greater component at this point and I find that I have a greater need for mental pitch focus to avoid chipping large interval jumps. With consistent heavy woodshedding up front, and that's the rub, even the deeper bottoms (Reeves 41C2J and Flugel pieces, 41 FE and 41HF) seem to work well. The common denominator rim feel seems to be the "magic" component, at least for me, so I stick with Reeves 41 Rims, I think, minimizing (much emphasis on this word) the overall embouchure adjustments necessary.

    I hope my experience is of some use to you.

    Kindest regards,

    Mike
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018 at 6:05 PM
  4. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    If your mouthpiece doesn't work well and it's "small", then it's too small. If it works well, then it's not too small. Simple to me.

    Realize that bore sizes, rim shapes, and other factors also effect how efficient a mpc is.
     
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  5. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Have you ever tried to play your trumpet without a mouthpiece? So I guess I have yet to find too small!
     
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  6. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

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    I know this is a shot in the dark, but see if you can lay hands on a Bach 3 (no letter) cornet mouthpiece. I started using one on my cornets and it's a really nice mouthpiece for me - comfortable, big enough diameter and depth, good flexibility, nice cornet sound, and good endurance. For more demanding work, the Bach 1-1/2C also works well for me. As always, though, your mileage may vary...
     
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  7. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    My experience has been that when I am in really good shape, the mouthpiece seems small.
     
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  8. Dennis78

    Dennis78 Fortissimo User

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    So do you just keep everything the same? Or do you move to a larger diameter
     
  9. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    I keep everything the same.
     
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  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Dennis, it can. My Jettone Studio B is one example. It is both small and flat. If you overplay on it, you will bottom out. And I find my flexibility WAS* limited with using it on a traditional horn. Then there is my Kanstul 2G (a copy of the vintage Gustat-Heim. It has as small of a diameter as the jettone but the depth of a flugel mouthpiece. It is both comfortable and flexible.

    If you make it to the next Cincinnati Trumpet hang, give them a comparison and see (or better yet feel) what I mean. Very enlightening.

    *For some bazaar reason after 4 hours of playing my Jettone Harrelson copy, I just don't bottom out. I have flexibility with that copy that goes beyond the experience I have with the original Jettone on any other of my horns. So I now believe the ease of playing a horn enhances the ability to control what goes into the mouthpiece, if you will... it's flexibility.
     
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