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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Lead mouthpiece acclimation........ in the General forums; Just wondering if anyone out there can help me. For most of my trumpet life I have been playing relatively ...
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    Lead mouthpiece acclimation........

    Just wondering if anyone out there can help me. For most of my trumpet life I have been playing relatively large mouthpieces and over the past couple of years I have moved slowly to shallower cups. My problem is, I have tried several lead moutpieces recently and I cannot play them at all. My tone is thin, shrill and most of the time my lip will cover the throat and block the air completely. Is there some sort of break in period to be comfortable with these small cups?? I was looking for something to help with range and endourance but after trying some of these I may be out of luck. Also, I am not looking for a mouthpiece replacement for what I play, just something to use for the more strenous situations....Thanks for your time....

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    Contact Brian Scriver from GR Mouthpieces (www.grmouthpieces.com) and have a chat with him - he will want to know lots about your playing and will be able to help you pick out a piece that will work well for you.
    Dave M.
    Richmond Hill (Toronto), Ontario, CANADA

    Kanstul WB1600
    1952 L.A. Olds Recording, 1975 L.A. Benge 3x, Yamaha 631 Flugel, Olds Flugel

    GR 65.6 Mouthpieces

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    I agree with Dave. Contact Brian(or Gary or Bruce) and they'll get you set up. Although, if you went through through the fitting process I'd be surprised if you didn't find a replacement for your current piece(instead of just a companion piece). I think you'll like it too much.

    You might be like me(and Brian for that matter) where you can't play many shallow cupped mouthpieces because you put too much chop in the cup.

    If you don't want to go the GR route you might want to try narrow mouthpieces that aren't particularly shallow(10 1/2C, etc).

  4. #4
    Utimate User trickg's Avatar
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    I can't really help you with the shrill sound, but in my experience, you usually don't get as good of a sound from a shallower mouthpiece with a tighter backbore.

    As for acclimating to it, let me relate to you a quick story about when I was playing in a Latin Band.

    When I started playing in Latin Band, I was playing EVERYTHING on a Marcinkiewicz mouthpiece that was about the equivalent of a 2C. The actual size was a #2 - a straight #2 prior to it's designation as a 2/7B, that I purchased back in 1990. (Note: The Marcinkiewicz website compares this mouthpiece to a Bach 7B, but I can assure you that it actually feels much closer to a 2C)

    Anyway, after a few weeks of killing myself trying to play high, hard and loud on what was arguably a legit mouthpiece, I pulled out a Schilke 14A4a that was given to me by a friend when I bought a pic, to try to use as a pic mouthpiece. Unfortunately, I was trying to do the ol' switcharoo thing on the gig (putting in the Schilke for the high stuff) and it got to the point where I wasn't playing for beans on either mouthpiece - I was having the same problems you are. My chops were "falling in" to the cup and all of a sudden my lip would cover the throat and just stop all vibration with a thhhhhhwwwppp!

    As fate would have it, I showed up to a gig one night with ONLY the 14A4a in the case. The Marcinkiewicz had been forgotten in my Army bugle case so I had no choice but to play the weekend's gigs on the 14A4a. The first night was pretty rough, but by the end of the second, I had figured out how to play on the smaller mouthpiece so that I wasn't falling into it - mind you, I still wasn't kicking any tail on it, but I wasn't failing altogether either.

    So, from that night, I went cold-turkey to the 14A4a whenever I was playing Latin Band. I quickly got to where I could play either mouthpiece at will and my life got a lot easier up on the bandstand. Keep in mind, I didn't get any magical extended range by using this piece, it just made what I was already able to do a lot easier, although I did (and still do) suffer a little loss of control with the shallow mouthpiece.

    That was back in 1997. I'm no longer playing in any Latin bands, but I still use that same Schilke 14A4a when I play with the rock band.

    My suggestion to you if you really want to go with a smaller mouthpiece is to first call or email Brian Scriver at GR, or Bruce Lee at Northern Brass, to see what would be a suitable lead mouthpiece for you. Then, when you get it, start slow and soft - do long tones and articulation stuff and don't try to step on the gas from day 1. Your chops have to get used to playing a more closed setting with less lip in the cup, or else they will collapse into the cup and you will have the same problems that you have been having.

    Good luck! :)
    Patrick Gleason

    "What we do in life echoes in eternity"
    "At my signal, unleash hell."
    - Maximus Decimus Meridius

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    with a lead mouthpiece, you don't have a big dark sound. you will generally get a bright lazer like sound. That is why I switch back and forth between mouthpieces. you don't have to play on one mouthpiece the whole time. Also, Lead mouthpieces are made differently from eachother. There is no particular mold. So, my suggestion is to try out different ones. I love my W46. It is a very comfortable mouthpiece without having to have one made just for you. Call Jerry Callet, and he can help you out.


    JGW
    Jonathan Wright

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    Thank you all for the great suggestions, I think I will contact some of the people mentioned. I think ultimately it will be worth the heartache. I guess sometimes when you sound terrible when you make a change, the first instinct is is to bail out. Maybe I just need to stick with it a bit longer. I will let you know my progress should there be any......thanks again for your input.....

    Jon

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    Utimate User trickg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trickg
    So, from that night, I went cold-turkey to the 14A4a whenever I was playing Latin Band. I quickly got to where I could play either mouthpiece at will and my life got a lot easier up on the bandstand. Keep in mind, I didn't get any magical extended range by using this piece, it just made what I was already able to do a lot easier, although I did (and still do) suffer a little loss of control with the shallow mouthpiece.
    Sorry to quote myself here, but I thought that I would add a little side note to the comment that I made up above.

    EVENTUALLY, either playing on the shallower piece, or playing Latin Band did seem to force a bit of a change in my playing. My endurance on ANY mouthpiece got better, and eventually my upper register got quite a bit easier, and a side result of that was that my upper register increased a bit and got stronger. Mind you, I'm still not knocking walls down, but now I'm able to pretty consistently "hit" up to a G above high C (notice I say "hit" and not "play") whereas before, I could really only consistently "hit" up to about an Eb with a usable range just under high C. Now, I'm pretty consistent up to an Eb and I have much better endurance than I had prior to playing in the Latin Band.

    I'm not sure if playing the smaller mouthpiece forced my chops to "deal with" a smaller mouthpiece and therefore making my embouchure more efficient, but that is how I remember it working.
    Patrick Gleason

    "What we do in life echoes in eternity"
    "At my signal, unleash hell."
    - Maximus Decimus Meridius

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