When in doubt, bend it!?

Discussion in 'Mouthpieces / Mutes / Other' started by W Scott, Jan 11, 2004.

  1. W Scott

    W Scott Piano User

    Dec 8, 2003
    Carson City, NV.
    I sat in with the local community band this last Thursday for the first time since moving to the area. The fellow that has a lot of the solo parts is an interesting guy. He's in his 60's, very hard of hearing, plays a Bach Strad with a mouthpiece bent up at about a 10 or 15% angle.

    I asked him what happened to the mouthpiece and he claims a long ago trumpet teacher got him to doing this. He claims it gives him better projection and sound. I don't hear anything special---although he does play quite well for being almost deaf.

    Anybody else heard or seen a mouthpiece bent like this? 8)

  2. DrunkIQ

    DrunkIQ Pianissimo User

    Nov 21, 2003
    Austin, Texas
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous Forte User

    Oct 21, 2003
    That is classic! :lol:

  4. musicalmason

    musicalmason Forte User

    Dec 14, 2003
    In my many expirinces with "editing" mouthpieces, I did attempt to do this once. I however have no training whatsoever in metal work, nor do I have the correct tools, so I just ended up cracking the shank, but I was doing it because I heard it aligns the air colum better.
  5. imjazd1

    imjazd1 New Friend

    Nov 15, 2003
    I play with a guy sometimes that has a bent mouthpiece and when I asked him why he said that he knew a guy in college that had one for orthodontic purposes, but he uses it because he thinks it looks cool and allows better projection. I've never tried it, but most often what's coming out of his horn ought not be projected!
  6. MPM

    MPM Pianissimo User

    Nov 10, 2003
    Bending Your Mpc

    I have mine bent 12 degrees.

    For me, it helps get the bell up & out of the music stand as my natural angle is down a bit.

    Two things started me doing this.

    1) I'd seen a video of Chuck Findley playing. Reading a chart with his bell up and out of the stand.

    2) That same night I'd gone out to see some frineds play in a big band. During the break I was asked how things sound out in the house ... well ... I told them I could hear them fine, when their bells were up & out of the stand.

    So .... the 6.5 watt light bulb went on over my head " :shock: " and I sent my mpc to Bob Reeves and had him bend it. They (@ Reeves) heat the mpc with a torch to soften it up a little, makes the bending a little easier. I've had all my mpc's bent now.
  7. bent trumpet

    bent trumpet New Friend

    Dec 6, 2003
    I have a Bach 3C that is bent about 10 degrees. It helped me as I have an overbite, similar to Herb Alpert. I found that I put more pressure on the bottom lip when I used it.
  8. W Scott

    W Scott Piano User

    Dec 8, 2003
    Carson City, NV.
    Thanks for all of the replies! Yep, that is the bend that my band member has. I can see doing it for an overbite----but to get the bell out of the stand? Why don't you just put the stand down?

    The band conductors that I had in high school wouldn't let us play with the stands way up. You had to have the stand down and know your music cold beause they loved to do small, last minute changes. If you weren't watching them, you'd wind up embarassed and lost!

  9. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Bill, I suffer from the same problem (stand too high or bell too low) but for a different reason. I have a small overbite but not excessive. My "real" problem is that I have to wear bifocals. I've been using progressive focus lenses for several years but have to tilt my head "down" to get the music where I can read it. This, of course, puts the bell down too.

    I recently got a second pair of glasses which are regular "bifocals" having the bottom section ground to focus at 3'. Seems to work but the line between "distance" and "3'" is too low so now I have to exagerate a "head up" to use the bottom of the glasses. The next hassle this has generated is that it puts the bell, my hands, or the horn (or all three!) right square between my eyes and the music. I would be willing to try contact lenses (I used to wear them for outdoor sports) but my astigmatism is on the excessive side for contacts these days. And I'm not willing to "roll the dice" on laser shaping of my own lenses.

    I tried peeking through the curl in my right hand....nope, that doesn't work. I tried "cheating" the bell down a bit...but now the split in the glasses gets in the way. So I've kind of adopted a "bell to the right" position...which isn't bad but I have to rotate further right to read the second or third page. (Maybe I should just memorize everything?....)
  10. W Scott

    W Scott Piano User

    Dec 8, 2003
    Carson City, NV.
    Hey Tootsall!
    Congrats on the second place win in the Eclipse contest! :lol:

    Yeah, I can sympathize with the bifocal problem as I'll be 43 this next month. I wore glasses for many years and sure enough, once I got over forty I started having focusing problems. The problem was that I only have one bad eye--very nearsighted in the left eye. The doc said that a clear lens in the right and bifocals in the left would really screw things up. So, I now have a contact in the left eye and reading glasses for up close.

    As for the problem of the horn being in the way---have you tried a Dizzy bell horn? I've always thought those would be the way to go for folks that have problems seeing the music on a stand. What I do is what you are doing now---swing right, but when I need to see the second page I swing back to the left.

    I also pretty much have the music memorized----take the music home and make your own book. I've done this for years and it works!


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