I played a 1 1/4C very successfully, and with regular lessons, from 9th grade until just a few years ago, when I switched to a 3C due to a change in approach to the embouchure, which, by the way, was done under the supervision of a highly skilled player/trumpet "coach".
I also would NOT play a mouthpiece like a 1 1/4C without private lessons at the same time.
There are a lot of valid reasons for changing a player's mouthpiece,a student's birthday is not one of them.
There is no correlation between age and mouthpiece size - that an older or advancing student must gravitate toward a larger mouthpiece. That is another so-called "myth" just like the myth that a 7C is a "beginner's" mouthpiece and it is absolutely necessary to change it after a period of time.
So, perhaps it is more a problem of finding a good private teacher than finding the proper mouthpiece?
I really like the mouthpiece advice alleged to have been provided by Doc Severinson when he was asked about mouthpieces. His answer was that he believed players should play the smallest mouthpiece that still allowed them to do all they needed to do on the horn. To me, that makes a lot of sense. So it really all depends on the 'software' you were born with, what you want to sound like, what you're being asked/need to play, and how hard you're willing to work while playing it...
Excellent post. I struggled all through school because I was told to use a Bach 7c. It was the beginners mpc. I always wanted to move up but... , I hadn't progressed enough to change. If you're not very good (or as good as you would like), you'll usually quit and I did for 25 yrs. What type of lips do you have? That is the question that should be asked and what size mouthpiece fits your lips. Just as one size bra does not fit all women, one size mpc doesn't fit all players.
I will go one step further however. As I do not believe that all players are created equal, many have no chance to become "superior" and this makes the discussion about mouthpieces a moot point. The successful succeed IF they have the luck to meet the right people at the right time (yes, opportunities create the environment for success) AND have the drive to do what is necessary. The rest of us need the same things, but will not be able to turn that into "world class". Finding the right mouthpiece is pure LUCK for the weaker players. That luck can be having the right teacher, mentor or the right piece being in the case from the beginning.
Most of the BS posted on mouthpieces here about a 7C not fitting has more to do with the poor playing approach than a technical mismatch. The 7C is not the universal cure, but ANY player with usable chops can play it with no problem.
Blessed are the weak, for they will inherit the mouthpiece invoices.
Last edited by rowuk; 08-07-2010 at 04:48 AM.
Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
Nothing is more contagious or tenacious than music. Once you are exposed it gets inside you and you can never get rid of it. It is also non-discriminating. It can be Ride of the Valkyries, In a Gadda da Vida, the Jeopardy 15 second thinking tune, your most disliked commercial jingle - it doesn't matter. Once triggered, off you go, like it or not.
I found that one of the best things that happened to me some years ago in my approximately 47 years of trumpet playing experience was a change to a more efficient, focused embouchure. Right along with it came a big improvement in tone, flexibility, intonation, and much less wasted and detrimental facial motion.
With that change came a whole lot less mouthpiece sensitivity. Not to say that certain mouthpieces aren't better for me than others; absolutely, but it is to say that mouthpieces that I once thought I absolutely could not play became very possible to play at least reasonably well.
My teacher had me move up from 7C to 3C, but it was not just because I grew older. He is a believer in the Claude Gordon school of thought which advocates more room for your tongue and ability to produce clean-sounding pedal tones. I sound just fine on a 7C, but there was a noticeable difference after I switched to the 3C. This doesn't mean that the 7C is worse, it just has to do with a certain sound philosophy.
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