What's the difference between mouthpiece sizes?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trmpt_plyr, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. trmpt_plyr

    trmpt_plyr Pianissimo User

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    I have been playing on a one piece mouthpiece for some time now, and I decided to switch to a 5c. What exactly is the difference between different sized mouthpieces?
     
  2. Sofus

    Sofus Forte User

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  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    for the first couple of weeks, the deeper mouthpiece generally sounds fuller. After that everything goes back to the way it was before. The only difference after a couple of months is how hard you have to work to play. If you have a bright sound in your head, and pick a deep mouthpiece, you are going to work VERY hard. If you have a big dark sound in your head and pick a small shallow mouthpiece, you will never be happy.

    Most trumpet players THINK that they know what they want, but have no idea what is really natural for them. That is how mouthpiece safaris start.

    If you make a decision for a new mouthpiece, you should have a REAL reason. We are creatures of habit and interfering with functional habits is stupid.
     
  4. CHAMP

    CHAMP Piano User

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    why in the world would you switch to a different mouthpiece if you don't even know what the numbers mean???
     
  5. johnande

    johnande Pianissimo User

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    Mouthpiece sizes are determined by the physical characteristics of the mp: external diameter and internal diameter of the cup, cup depth, rim width, and in some cases backbore. There are several ways that manufacturers use to describe these characteristics. The mp that you are interested in is described using a system originally set up by the Bach company and several other manufacturers also now use it. In this system the number describes the internal diameter and the letter describes the depth of the cup. The lower the number, the greater the diameter of the mp. Conversely, the higher the number, the narrower the mp. The letters describe the depth of the cup: A is deepest, through E or F, the more shallow cups. A "W" is used to describe a mp with a wide "cushion" rim. A different system is used by Schilke and Yamaha and involves two letters and two numbers. Different combinations of these physical mp characteristics affect the sound characteristics of the horn (tone, range?, etc.) Mp selection depends on the structure of your mouth, lips, jaw and muscles , and secondly on whether you want a bright, cutting sound or a dark sound. Historically most trumpets have been sold with a size 7C mp. A 1A mp would have a large rim diameter and a deep cup. A 10E mp would have a narrow diameter and a shallow cup. A complete treatment of Bach mp sizes may be found at the Bach Mouthpiece Manual on the internet. Search Bach Manual.
     
  6. chetlives

    chetlives Pianissimo User

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    Educate yourself with the Bach Mouthpiece Manual and the Schilke specifications booklet if you can find one. These are two divergent systems which I believe all other makers base theirs on. The main things you want to consider are inner diameter, choice of cushion or "bite" and cup depth. The Schilke system shows an "A" cup as a shallow cup whereas the Bach "A" cup is deep. Another interesting system is the Bob Reeves system which is all explained on his website. I use a 43 Reeves set up which is 43/65"". With matric conversion turns out to be approximately 17.066 mm which compares to a 1 1/2c or 1c (17.00mm) in the Bach Manual. I am also now interested in the Kanstul website.
     
  7. chetlives

    chetlives Pianissimo User

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    I checked out the Kanstul Mouthpiece Comparator. It's visual, but doesn't show comparisons to other makers. Follow my advise and be prepared to use a scientific calculator and the metric conversion available on Google. A Bach 5c is a good mouthpiece to start out with. In one Chet Baker album I think I can make out his playing a 5c with his Getzen trumpet.
     
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    The Kanstul comparator has a bunch of "other" manufacturers. B is Bach, Gi is Giardinelli, M is Monette, P is Parduba, S is Schilke, W is Warburton. This tool tells the real story on rims and cup comparisons.

    You can forget any real measurements though. The "feel" of a rim is more based on its high spot and shape rather than the published diameter. A flat rim feels smaller than a rounded one with identical inside and outside diameter. Gold plating makes the mouthpiece slicker (not because it is smoother, rather because gold is soft, scratches easily and those scratches hold water). That means most players could use a flatter rim that is gold plated. The flat rim can (not will) give one somewhat more clarity in tone.

    I consider the 5C to be way too big to start out with. It is bigger than a 1 1/2C! It also has a more "rounded" rim than the standard 7c. For many beginners, the somewhat sharper rim may be less comfortable, but will get e cleaner sound sooner
     
  9. chetlives

    chetlives Pianissimo User

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    Dear trpt plyr; Rowuck's advice is sound with regard to his coments on "feel". But the inner diameter of a 5c is "smaller" than a 1 1/2c. The 5c is 16.25mm. The 1 1/2c is 17.00mm. I did the conversion for you. A 5c is .64 inches and compares to a Reeves 42/65" which is .6462 inches. Reeves Mouthpiece Advisor says that his 43.5 rim is functionally similar to a Bach 1, 1 1/2c, 2, 3b, an Elkhart 5c and the Schilke 15 and 16 rims. These are "large" mouthpieces. I would say compare your 5c with a Reeves 41.5 (,6385 inches) or Reeves 42/65 (.6462 inches). But you really have to sit down with a good teacher who might tell you to go as wide as you can handle. The thickness of your lips may or may not factor into your choice. If you play with a puckered embouchure you could go into a smaller mouthpiece like Clifford Brown or Herb Alpert. Google Mouthpiece/Player combinations. I like "large" mouthpieces with a "softer" attack for jazz. A 5c is a good "medium" mouthpiece. What was the mouthpiece you switched from?
     
  10. trmpt_plyr

    trmpt_plyr Pianissimo User

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    I switched from a gold bach 1c to a silver bach 5c.
     

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