What starts a mouthpiece safari?

Discussion in 'Mouthpieces / Mutes / Other' started by MUSICandCHARACTER, Aug 24, 2004.


    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    I have always wondered what causes someone to go on a mouthpiece safari? We all have done it -- sometimes ending up back where we started. I know my last safari started when I got a new horn (which can be pretty often when you own a brass store).

    What has triggered you last safari?
    How many mouthpieces did you try?

    Just some curious questions.

  2. DrunkIQ

    DrunkIQ Pianissimo User

    Nov 21, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    What has triggered you last safari?

    I had more money than sense!!!

    Nah, not totally. My last one came up because there was such a difference in my lead and legit mouthpiece. I wanted to combine the worlds and try to get something as comfortable as the lead piece but have the presence of the legit setup.

    How many mouthpieces did you try?

    I kept my lead mouthpiece setup but moved to a opened up version of it for a legit setting. It took two tries to get the custom mouthpiece to where I liked it. However, I will be the first one to admit that I have thought of sending it back and having the bowl made deeper.


    Looking into my youth, things were very different. I luckily never tried a bunch of pee shooters thinking my range would increase as my brother taught me better. Unfortunantly I was told by my conductor that I had a bright sound. She did not seem to like it (not sure if she liked the sound of trumpet in general).

    Back then I played on a 3C. I ended up on a much bigger mouthpiece. It was a rather large Warburton with a 10* backbore - yeah I had some lungs or I thought I did. It caught up with me as I was playing the lead in jazz band. I later went back to the 3C and stayed there for years. Somewhere along the line I started playing piccolo trumpet. It was then that I got use to a pee shooter and decided to use it to help cut through in a jazz setting.


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  3. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

    Nov 2, 2003
    Well I have been looking around lately so I will chime in.

    I normally play on a Laskey 80 C, but I find the sound to be edgy at the louder dynamics and I don’t hear enough of the lows in the sound. With that said, I do like the brilliance I hear and the core of the sound of the 80c, not to mention the rims can’t be beat. So in search of the sound I want I began my most recent search.

    I tried the Laskey 80D ,80MC, 80C with a 23 throat and a 84MD.

    I also tried the Parke Merkelo 650 and 655 with 270, 275, 280 cups and a 24 backbore but didn’t care for the rims of that series.

    I am currently trying out a Merkelo 270 cup with a 24 throat and a 24 back bore with a laskey 80c screw rim( done by parke) and so far it gets the thumbs up.
  4. hose

    hose Pianissimo User

    Oct 31, 2003
    Orlando FL
    I think many of us are on a constant safari. It can lie dormant for awhile, but like any addiction, it is never that far from a full blown rage. Once you have participated in this habit, it will haunt you the rest of your trpt playing days. As mentioned, before, a little extra $ to waste, too much time between gigs too brood, or a friend who says the wrong thing to you about your equipment can bring this addiction to a boil. In America, trpt players have a wealth of temptations that are affordable and we fall for that promise of "better, easier" much of the time. It's a sad state of affairs. :cry:

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    I have the cure! Go to my website's mouthpiece store and get the Safari blood boiling. Then maybe I can afford to go on one myself :wink:

    I'm Kidding .....

    Don't you think though, some people rarely move? They'll say things like "I have played a 3C since HS and it has always worked well for me." An excellent trombone player in our community band has a Conn 6H (a highly revered jazz trombone no longer made) and plays it with the Conn 3 mouthpiece which came with it. He played the same mouthpiece for 40 years. I helped him get a new one, simply because his old one was shot. He still gets the Conn 3 out once-in-a-while.

    I'll demo a horn and bring a dozen mouthpieces sometimes. Some people like the idea of trying different mouthpieces. Others don't even look.

    Not me .... I have been on my fair share of safaris. I will do so again I am sure.

  6. hose

    hose Pianissimo User

    Oct 31, 2003
    Orlando FL
    I agree. Some lucky souls have not been bitten by the bug. But in your business, your job is to entice these people into the web! :wink: In fact, every once in awhile I come across an adult player who is playing on their HS equipment and is completely unaware of all the exotic stuff in the trpt world. They have never heard of Monette or Lawler or GR. They are unencumbered with the hows or whys of playing. They just do it very well. :roll:
  7. Daff

    Daff Pianissimo User

    Jul 10, 2004
    "What starts a mouthpiece safari?", you ask?

    I think it's the excitement of donning the pith helmet, setting out into the jungle in the jeep, then bringing the trophies home, mounting them over the fireplace in the den and telling big lies to your friends about the wild adventure.
  8. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    "What starts a mouthpiece safari?"

    Just one little step.............
  9. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    What starts a mouthpiece safari? Performance, or lack thereof, and in some cases denial.

    For starters, if you had a mouthpiece that blew exactly like you wanted it to blow, and you performed on it exactly as you wanted to perform (i.e. sound, range, endurance, flexibility, etc) you would never embark on a Safari.

    The second aspect in some cases is denial. Because you aren't performing the way you should, it has to be the mouthpiece, right? :roll: In some cases, what is really needed is certainly not another mouthpiece, but some regular, structured practice time in the woodshed might ease those mouthpiece woes.

    For me, I embarked upon my last safari because I wanted a mouthpiece that gave me the sound that I was looking for, but also played and performed well. I have a Bach 5C that has a wonderful sound. My biggest problem with it is that I just wasn't accurate with it, and I really didn't feel like I could invest the kind of time necessary to get myself to where I wasn't splattering crap all over the place. If I was on, I was on, but if I wasn't, the results were potentially disastrous. That particular mouthpiece was very unforgiving with my horn and my chops, and I was looking for something to duplicate that sound, yet be a little easier to play.

    I ended up trying 16 mouthpieces. Why 16? Because that was the number of mouthpieces that Phillis Stork put in the box when she sent me a sizing kit. In that kit was a variety of sizes and types, both Vachianno series and Studio Master series.

    I ended up going with the Stork 3C. The way that I went about it was that I would pull out two mouthpieces and play both of them. I would keep the better of the two out, and put the other away. Some of them, I didn't even have to compare. I knew from the first blow that it just wasn't going to work. It came down to about 3 different mouthpieces that were pretty close, and I staged a playoff with them on another day. The 3C came out on top overall for both sound and playability, and oddly enough, I think that the sound (or at least the perceived sound that I get) is that this 3C is superior in sound to the Bach 5C.

    This is a great way to go about it. You may be able to get a mouthpiece from a distributor for a little less than what Stork would charge you, but their tryout policy is fantastic. They get your credit info, but only charge you for postage, and whatever you don't send back. Then you have two weeks to fiddle and try, and find what works best for you, and they send you more than enough mouthpieces to select from.
  10. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    Oh man, mouthpiece hunts huh? Well, I've been through about 30 some odd pieces. I'm a lead player and it's all about the "What'll get me even higher?" with no regard to sound, etc. LOL. Man, have I grown up a lot. To tell you the truth, I've started with my good old Bach 3C and I always find myself coming back to it no matter where I am or what I'm playing... I think wanting something more in your music starts the hunt. We (trumpet players) are equipment geeks. We always want to blame stuff on our equipment instead of our lack of chops, concentration, preparedness, etc... Just my two cents. Peace all.


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