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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Mouthpiece Gap in the General forums; Does any one know what the proper mouthpiece gap is in the mouthpiece receiver on a trumpet? And does it ...
  1. #1
    Pianissimo User maine trumpeter's Avatar
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    Mouthpiece Gap

    Does any one know what the proper mouthpiece gap is in the mouthpiece receiver on a trumpet? And does it matter what brand trumpet?
    Thanks Brian

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    Re: Mouthpiece Gap

    GR Mouthpieces Tutorial
    Check out the section on gap under the mouhpiece tutorial.

    Also, Bob Reeves has good info on gap as well.
    Bob Reeves Brass Mouthpieces

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    Re: Mouthpiece Gap

    Quote Originally Posted by maine trumpeter View Post
    Does any one know what the proper mouthpiece gap is in the mouthpiece receiver on a trumpet? And does it matter what brand trumpet?
    Thanks Brian
    Below is what I read 35 years ago as written by the famous Renold Schilke and as is included in the Schilke mouthpiece pamphlets.
    He said that there should be no gap at all, that the end of the mouthpiece shank should butt against the end of the leadpipe inside the mouthpiece receiver.

    On the other hand, other experts on the Internet state that there *should* be a gap and they state exactly what it should be.

    I would like to know the reasoning behind the claim that there *should* be a gap in that place in the mouthpiece receiver.


    -------begin quote-------

    HOW TO SELECT A BRASS MOUTHPIECE

    by RENOLD O. SCHILKE

    ...
    Two serious shortcomings are often overlooked by both teachers and players of brass instruments. The first is when a mouth piece shank is a bit too large: a gap will exist between the end of the mouthpiece and the inside of the tubing, the mouthpipe as illustrated here.



    When a nodal point of a vibration (sound) hits this gap or depression the result is the same as if the mouthpipe had a sudden bulge. Since the most crucial pail of any brass instrument is the mouth piece followed by the mouthpipe. one can see the seriousness when the mouthpiece does not butt against the end of the mouthpipe. This shortcoming can be corrected by turning down the shank a bit on a lathe. One should remember that when a mouth piece is further in the mouthpipe that the pitch of the instrument is raised, this requires pulling the tuning slide a bit.
    Equally serious is the opposite of the foregoing, namely when the end of the mouthpiece is too small and goes inside of the mouthpipe. This can happen if the foregoing fault is over-corrected by turning down the shank too much. Both faults just mentioned are serious and occur frequently on all brass instruments. If you are a discriminating teacher, player, or music merchant, it is most desirable that a particular mouthpiece fit the instrument EXACTLY.
    ...

    quoted from
    www.dallasmusic.org/schilke/How%20to%20Select%20Mouthpiece.html
    also at
    Selecting a Mouthpiece

    ----------------end quote----------------

    - morris

  4. #4
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    Re: Mouthpiece Gap

    A gap tends, (for me, YMMV) to help "lock in" the notes. I have a Schilke trumpet and I once tried a Schilke mouthpiece on it; the notes were all over the map (although I'll admit that I did NOT check to see what the gap "might" be).

    There is no magic number for a gap: it's what works best for YOU with YOUR HORN, it's particular leadpipe and veturi, on the mouthpiece YOU play that has a particular throat/backbore/shank taper.

    For what it's worth I "dialed" in my "numbers" using a dealers' Warburton kit and found that I liked an open horn but with a slightly larger gap (the "B" shank). Once that was done it was "translated" into a GR and I've been a happy camper for 3 years. If I were to change trumpet brands I'd probably have to start "adjusting" all over again but with an Eclipse and a Schilke I don't think that's going to happen any time soon.

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    Re: Mouthpiece Gap

    Quote Originally Posted by screamingmorris View Post
    Below is what I read 35 years ago as written by the famous Renold Schilke and as is included in the Schilke mouthpiece pamphlets.
    He said that there should be no gap at all, that the end of the mouthpiece shank should butt against the end of the leadpipe inside the mouthpiece receiver.

    On the other hand, other experts on the Internet state that there *should* be a gap and they state exactly what it should be.

    I would like to know the reasoning behind the claim that there *should* be a gap in that place in the mouthpiece receiver.


    -------begin quote-------

    HOW TO SELECT A BRASS MOUTHPIECE

    by RENOLD O. SCHILKE

    ...
    Two serious shortcomings are often overlooked by both teachers and players of brass instruments. The first is when a mouth piece shank is a bit too large: a gap will exist between the end of the mouthpiece and the inside of the tubing, the mouthpipe as illustrated here.



    When a nodal point of a vibration (sound) hits this gap or depression the result is the same as if the mouthpipe had a sudden bulge. Since the most crucial pail of any brass instrument is the mouth piece followed by the mouthpipe. one can see the seriousness when the mouthpiece does not butt against the end of the mouthpipe. This shortcoming can be corrected by turning down the shank a bit on a lathe. One should remember that when a mouth piece is further in the mouthpipe that the pitch of the instrument is raised, this requires pulling the tuning slide a bit.
    Equally serious is the opposite of the foregoing, namely when the end of the mouthpiece is too small and goes inside of the mouthpipe. This can happen if the foregoing fault is over-corrected by turning down the shank too much. Both faults just mentioned are serious and occur frequently on all brass instruments. If you are a discriminating teacher, player, or music merchant, it is most desirable that a particular mouthpiece fit the instrument EXACTLY.
    ...

    quoted from
    www.dallasmusic.org/schilke/How%20to%20Select%20Mouthpiece.html
    also at
    Selecting a Mouthpiece

    ----------------end quote----------------

    - morris
    Back in the 1980's I studied for certification as a broadcast technician.
    The physics of a sound wave passing through a mouthpiece receiver might be similar to the physics of a radio wave passing through a wave guide.

    Analogy:
    If a crack in the street is only half an inch wide, your car tire doesn't notice the crack and passes right over it as if it weren't even there.
    If the crack in the street is bigger, such as 12 inches wide, then your car tire does indeed notice the crack and you feel a huge thump when you pass over that crack.
    The determining factor is the size of the crack in the street relative to the size of your car tire.

    Likewise, if the gap in your mouthpiece receiver is small and if you are playing a low note (i.e. long wavelength) then your sound wave should probably pass right over that gap as though it is not even there.
    But if that gap is much bigger and / or the note you are playing is a higher frequency (i.e. shorter wavelength) then your sound wave definitely *would* notice the gap, the short sound wavelength would "fall" into that gap as it passes through.

    I have not looked into it to find out what note on the scale would correspond to a wavelength that would fall into a specific size gap, but I don't think the math would be difficult.

    So I *theorize* that best gap size would mean the maximum gap size that your range of notes would be able to pass over without falling into that gap.
    The higher your range, the shorter the sound's wavelength and thus the smaller the gap that you would want to allow to prevent the sound waves from falling into that gap.

    If anyone proposes that a gap actually *helps* in some way, I would be interested to find out why / how.
    I'm not dismissing such a possibility.
    I'm just saying that I'm willing to learn.

    - morris

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    Fortissimo User Brekelefuw's Avatar
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    Re: Mouthpiece Gap

    I am renting a Courtois Evolution IV C trumpet right now and it has an adjustable gap. I can hardly make the horn play with no gap. I find a gap of about 1/2cm is best on that horn.

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    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Re: Mouthpiece Gap

    Gap like any of the other thousand factors in trumpet design is part of a complete working system. You can design a specific horn/mouthpiece combination to have a lot or even no gap.
    I used to play a Bach 72* with a Schilke 18 and no gap- Schilke cut it down for me. No intonation, slotting or sound problems. I then switched to Monette mouthpieces and immediately had a substantial gap (I don't remember how much it was in 1997). No intonation, slotting or sound problems either. Then my Monette Ajna2 came and it also had a "gap". still no problems.
    Before gap becomes an issue in ones playing, many other things need to be solved first - like body use and breathing. Then your playing is reliable enough to figure out if the difference is "better" or just "different"!
    I have not adjusted the gap on any of my horns since that Schilke experiment in the late 70s.
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

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