Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by NYCO10, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. NYCO10

    NYCO10 Pianissimo User

    Feb 20, 2010
    United Kingdom
    This might cause a lot of different opinions from you guys but i will ask it anyway!

    Why are we (as players) encouraged to play big mouthpieces? there are obvious answers like volume, bigger tone etc but when it comes down to the main point of making music why do we make things hard for ourselves? isn't it better to just master everything on a norma/ smaller size mp and then to concentrate on making music instead of thinking about the fundamentals?

    this is my opinion and it does reflect what my friends and I have talked about and we have all come to the same conclusion. so i thought i would post the question here and see what responses we/I get!

  2. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    I guess it all depends on ones definition of "making music." The definition of many includes tone, volume, depth of sound, etc. Otherwise, why even make music on a trumpet? Find something easier.

    Most pros are going to find a mouthpiece that is "right for them" and by that, I mean, one that can help them have a good tone, range, endurance, etc. It may not be the absolute best for any one area, but helps them address all areas. Of course, some folks use different mouthpieces, depending on what is called for in the music.

    Of course, I am talking about pros. Depending on where you are in your music career, there is also the need to develop the chops. Most people start with a Bach 7C. THen, they progress according to their needs.

    Maybe I am not completely understanding your question, or the reason behind it. If one is a relatively new player and trying to gain range, the easy thing to do is to go to a shallow, small, mouthpiece. But by doing so one going to hamper ones advancement.
  3. DaveH

    DaveH Piano User

    Nov 27, 2003
    The mouthpiece, like the horn, is a tool used by a musician to make music. It is equipment. Whether or not it facilitates making music depends on whether or not it is the right piece of equipment for the particular player to be using - and that isn't necessarily the same thing for every person.

    These pieces of equipment do nothing until a skilled musician uses them for the very purpose of making music.

    Whether using a larger size mouthpiece "makes things hard" is a very situational and/or personal issue. For example, I play a Bach 3C most of the time. And for me, anything smaller than than that makes things harder for me. A 7C makes things harder - for me. And a 10 1/2 C would be harder still - again for me. I find a 1 1/4C to be "easier" overall than a 7C. I am using these words "hard" and "easy" in a very general sense here.

    Does your question mostly imply a concern about range? That is where a lot of the discussion about big and small mouthpieces takes place. If so, a mouthpiece does not create range. The player develops range through practice and skill development. Here, you need the "correct" mouthpiece - that is not necessarily mean bigger or smaller.

    My opinion is that a player in the formative process of developing the skills and abilities to become able to make his/her own intelligent and correct choices about what pieces of equipment will be best should be under the supervision of a good trumpet teacher - someone who does have the knowledge and experience necessary to provide guidance in equipment choices that are best for the individual in question.

    It is not necessarily true that larger equipment "makes things hard". My view is that improperly chosen equipment is what makes things hard. And, equipment is often improperly chosen unless the person doing the choosing has the knowledge and experience necessary to make the right choices for the right reasons.

    That's the best I can do with this question...
  4. trumpetup

    trumpetup Piano User

    Jan 12, 2009
    Godley, Texas
    I think we feel a need to improve and get beyond what is termed "Basic Starter". I remember feeling the need to go bigger for a bigger sound and smaller for a brighter high note sound. I still feel that erg. I have found I like a deep cup. A Bach size 3 to 5 works well. Although I like my Bach 7A as well and often go to it for church playing. I don't play screamer trumpet music so my mouthpieces work good for me.
  5. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    While I'd like to think it's all about sound, I think tradition, peer pressure, and snobbery are the primary drivers for young players.

    In high school and college there were few teachers/professors who demanded mouthpiece changes, but other players were very forceful in their (usually unfounded) recommendations for change.

    "You wouldn't crack so much if you played on a 1 1/4 C"
    "You wouldn't sound so harsh if you played on a 1 1/2 C"
    "You still use a 7C? I switched to a 1 C when I was in middle-school"

    Thankfully I never got rid of the 3C I started playing in 10th grade. I used it on the majority of my paying gigs over the subsequent 15 years...
  6. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    To me, it's all about sound. If I find that I really like my sound on a certain mouthpiece, but my range suffers, I'll work to better my range on it. If it works, it works...if I can't make it work in a reasonable time, I'll try something else. That's what I've done with the search for a good BBB cornet mouthpiece. On trumpet, I've played the stew out of an old 3C forever, but have really never been satisfied with the sound I got on it. I tried a 1-1/2C a couple years ago, knowing it would be too big, and....surprise! I could play it fine, with a much richer, resonate sound. The 3C is now my big band piece...

    Some people sound great on smaller pieces, so I'm not saying everyone needs a big mouthpiece. It should really be a matter of individual need, without any outside pressure to play big. From my experience, trying a larger piece could be a revelation, though.
  7. Hillbilly Joe

    Hillbilly Joe New Friend

    Jan 15, 2010
    upstate, NY
    Reading this thread, you would think the only mouthpieces in production are Bach models. I recently sold my Bach trumpet, and the high school kid I sold it to was required by his teacher to get a Bach Trumpet. He is also required to play a Bach 3C megatone. My question is just like the subject - Why? Could it be the best for him? Sure, it could be. Is it? - maybe not. My Bach was fine for the year I played it, but there is no doubt that my Raptor 2 is a superior horn for the music I play. I would never have figured that out if I was stuck in the "gotta play a Bach" paradigm. It seems today's teachers are doing the young players a disservice by not knowing enough about the trumpet world to recommend anything other than a Bach strad with a 7C or 3C mouthpiece. Just my two cents.
  8. DaveH

    DaveH Piano User

    Nov 27, 2003
    Well, this is one of the reasons why equipment is a never ending topic of discussion. Many players spend their entire lives on equipment "safaris" looking for something, anything, everything...

    No, the Bach mouthpiece is certainly not the only mouthpiece brand in existence. But, for many years, it was probably the most common and widely used brand used by both students and professionals - and it continues to be very widely and successfully used by many players in all situations.

    However, with the proliferation of other brands in recent years, many players are, in fact, using other brands. And, there are other brands that many people seem to prefer. I think it should be remembered that there is no absolute right and wrong answer for everyone to follow, but there can certainly be poor choices from the vast range of products available today - even if those products are appropriate for someone. There are many competing products, and choosing wisely is critical.

    I think the key lies in finding the proper equipment for the particular player. The same thing does not work for everyone. This does not, in my opinion, negate some basic generalizations that can be found in the annals of long term trumpet history, such as those of Vincent Bach, Renold Schilke, and others in regard to equipment. But, the player's own physical make-up, style of music, nature of training, and such variables must be considered when selecting the best equipment.

    Read the Jens Lindemann mouthpiece article sticky post at the head of the mouthpiece forum. It is probably the best article ever written on this subject, IMO...your question is well addressed in that article by a top professional.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010
  9. crazyandy88

    crazyandy88 Pianissimo User

    Nov 3, 2007
    Fayetteville, AR
    Agreed Hillbilly Joe. Bachs are good horns. However, their technology is based on Vincent Bach's early 1900 work. There have been some great discoveries since then. I believe the Bach design is antiquated much like a Model T or Chevy Series C. Still works, but there are more efficient products on the market. Now for mouthpieces...just because Herseth used a gigantic mouthpiece doesn't mean we all have to. As mentioned, Jens Lindeman started a thread on this very topic. It turns out that Herseth played the mp he did due to an injury...why should we copy that?! It's a silly trend that makes young players feel that they have to play huge mouthpieces regardless of their own physiology. Play what works for you and don't worry about what the guy next to you is playing.
  10. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    The reason most teachers have their students switch to bigger mouthpieces is because that's what was done to them at that age. I know one kid that was in the high school band with my son.When he switched from a 7C to a 3C,I asked his parents why he switched. They said his private teacher told them now that their son was 16,it was time to go bigger.
    So it's bad advice handed down from teacher to student over and over again.If this kid continues playing trumpet through college and gets students of his own,I would be very surprised if he doesn't tell them the same thing. There's a right and wrong reason for changing mouthpieces,unfortunately for most of the high school players I see on this site using 1 1/4C's, I think it's the wrong reason.These are the ones posting that they're having trouble in marching band and jazz band,and they or their teachers don't see the reason is because they're using a mouthpiece made for symphonic or concert band,not jazz and marching bands. I agree 100% with the Jens Lindemann post .

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