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nickchan
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:09 pm    Post subject: Switching mouthpieces Reply with quote

Hi all,

My first post so apologies for any procedural naivety. I'm now 60 years old and have played in big bands most of my playing life, at least from when I struck out from brass bands in my late teens. I've played in the same band in Sheffield, UK, for the past 41 years, so it's been a big part of my life and I've played lead with them for the past 7 or 8 years.

My request for advice probably stems from reaching 60. I basically want to try and make the most of my playing whilst I'm still of an age to at least think I can improve. For my (big) birthday, I got a new horn - Smith Watkins - and new flugel - Conn Vintage One - and I felt that I could get a better sound from the trumpet, so I set to the thing probably most trumpeters dread, switching mouthpieces. I've played for years on a Giardinelli 10S - quite narrow and shallow - and I'm now trying out a Bach 3C. I feel it gives me a much broader tone and more flexibility but of course, it's taking some getting used to, especially in the range dept

My usual practice routine is Caruso's 6 notes, followed by his seconds exercise, then to some octave harmonics, which I manage from about low G to C above the stave, getting quieter as I go up. Then I do some Arban slurs, followed by a couple of pages of scale exercises, then onto playing etudes or some other piece.

I have two main questions: am I setting myself too difficult a task with such a switch? And are there any other exercises which might help me to adjust? I can usually manage a gig on lead but I'd like to be able to do the same after lockdown!

I hope I've posted this in the correct place but please let me know if not.

Thanks!

Nick
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Yamaha 6310Z
Conn Vintage One flugel


Last edited by nickchan on Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Switching mouthpieces Reply with quote

nickchan wrote:
... I've played for years on a Giardenelli 10S - quite narrow and shallow - and I'm now trying out a Bach 3C. ...

-------------------------------------------------
The Bach 3C will likely require some 'lip muscle' training for strength and control, but as long as it fits your lips and teeth I don't see it having any problems once you've used it beyond the try-out period. My guess is that 2 weeks of regular usage doing the routine you mentioned should be enough for you to know whether it is giving the results you desire.

If you are in reasonably good physical condition, your age shouldn't be a problem. I'll be 72 soon, and while 'hard work' physical endurance is on decline, trumpet playing doesn't seem affected as long as I am rested. I did several hours of outdoor work earlier today, and it took a toll on my immediately following practice session. But tomorrow I should be fine again.

Jay
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nickchan
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your prompt reply, Jay, and particularly for the reassurance. The m/p fits me well and seems comfortable. Your point about muscle strength is key I think. With the Giardinelli, I'm more used to my lips sitting on top whilst there's more room for movement in the 3C. I'm enjoying the challenge though!
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hibidogrulez
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Switching mouthpieces Reply with quote

nickchan wrote:
I have two main questions: am I setting myself too difficult a task with such a switch?

That's really hard to say. It seems like what you're really after is a bigger tone in the upper register. Are you sure that this specific mouthpiece is the one that you feel will do that for you? There may be other mouthpieces that'll get you a better sound with less switching effort.

I don't have your skill or playing experience, but I too use different mouthpieces on my trumpet. I've found that the range difference is maybe 1 or 2 notes (0 on a good day) and endurance is something you can (probably) eventually train for. The deeper mouthpiece felt right from the start though and I never felt I'd have to work excessively hard to match my shallow mouthpiece (there's a difference, but it's not huge). If you have to work hard to get a mouthpiece to work for you, you may not have switched to the right mouthpiece to begin with.
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wilder
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, that's a big change. all I can say is stick to the 3C and be patient. don't use the 10S at all anymore. down the road you might want to try having a 3D to switch to in certain situations but for now just bite the bullet and weather the storm. a 3C type mouthpiece is by far the most popular in the world and once you build up the strength, endurance and stamina you will sound great. jw
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Rapier232
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not try the SW ML mouthpiece range, designed to work with your trumpet? The Studio and Lead versions are comfortable and worth a try. And Mike Lovatt knows his stuff.
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Seymor B Fudd
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:06 am    Post subject: Re: Switching mouthpieces Reply with quote

nickchan wrote:
Hi all,

My first post so apologies for any procedural naivety. I'm now 60 years old and have played in big bands most of my playing life, at least from when I struck out from brass bands in my late teens. I've played in the same band in Sheffield, UK, for the past 41 years, so it's been a big part of my life and I've played lead with them for the past 7 or 8 years.

My request for advice probably stems from reaching 60. I basically want to try and make the most of my playing whilst I'm still of an age to at least think I can improve. For my (big) birthday, I got a new horn - Smith Watkins - and new flugel - Conn Vintage One - and I felt that I could get a better sound from the trumpet, so I set to the thing probably most trumpeters dread, switching mouthpieces. I've played for years on a Giardinelli 10S - quite narrow and shallow - and I'm now trying out a Bach 3C. I feel it gives me a much broader tone and more flexibility but of course, it's taking some getting used to, especially in the range dept

My usual practice routine is Caruso's 6 notes, followed by his seconds exercise, then to some octave harmonics, which I manage from about low G to C above the stave, getting quieter as I go up. Then I do some Arban slurs, followed by a couple of pages of scale exercises, then onto playing etudes or some other piece.

I have two main questions: am I setting myself too difficult a task with such a switch? And are there any other exercises which might help me to adjust? I can usually manage a gig on lead but I'd like to be able to do the same after lockdown!

I hope I've posted this in the correct place but please let me know if not.

Thanks!

Nick


Hello Nickchan!

My life time band is a brass band, began 1958.......front row since 1962.
Started out on a Sally Army 1. Which gradually became too small for my lips so 1970 I bought a Bach 1 1/4 C using this for front row as well as lead trumpet in a 13 piece swingband - up to 1981. Years went by. ´Round mid nineties´ I switched to a Schilke 14, had one custom made 14 3D3 which is possible for lead but today a Schilke 14B, still lead in two big bands. I´m celebrating my 78 birthday in December.
But when I (semi)retired I began practicing. Meaning instead of 30 minutes a day to 3x45 minutes a day my chops just died....Overuse. By the help of a pro (my first 18 lessons) I came back on track. Then I found the BE!
(Old folks on the TH now will emit deep sighs......roll their eyes......maybe start cursing).
Why telling you this? My problem when the big bands had gigs was simply an endurance problem. I lasted 13 songs then my chops began to vanish...Was I too old?? Comparing my stamina during the seventies- 4x45 minutes gigs no problem practicing 30 minutes a day - and now... I realized that something radical had to be done. And BE is radical.
Furthermore I found a fantastic lightweight trumpet which really helps me, far more than my old King - Yamaha 6335 RC; my relation to "la Resistance" has changed - in the process learning that this is so personal - resistance of the horn, resistance of the mpc; I´ve tried mpc:s with narrower diameter (16,25, Stork VM6, a fine mpc) but reverted to my lifetime diameter, 17, 2 (9). Rim essential, tried flatter but contrary to the idea this should help my lips just stopped vibrating.
The BE is an ingenious way of boosting aging (and young) lips. Done properly your stamina will grow, the upper register benefitting. During an active season (due to the bl-y covid 19 everything is down)I now can play 2 hour gigs, range up to Eb/E. Lately somewhat higher. That´s good enough for me.
So I suggest that you should do a careful analysis, experiment with equipment, practice a lot more but in a "smart" way - get yourself a new routine. Up to some years ago Charles Colin constituted my main diet; now Laurie Frink´s integrated warm up (https://daveballou.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/AnIntegratedWarmup.pdf) is a big part of it, also Caruso (6 notes), and the BE. The combination of Roll Outs, Roll Ins, compressing not stretching - in spite of the inventors´s name - Smiley) has provided me with better control over my aging chops than I ever had.
It´s never too late to switch to other ways! But you will have to perform a thoughtful analysis, test this and that.
I´m still amazed that I could re invent my chops! And - check "Lionel´s" adventures in this area.
Good luck!
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Dave CCM/SSO
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello!

I believe that there is usually never only one solution for a player when it comes to equipment. Our body's adjust quite well over time to many different designs. That being said, there is usually a range of sizes that work best for each of us due to our physical structure, lung capacity, level of technical facility, etc.

From what I can tell from a quick google search, the change you made is a fairly large change. My only thought is, if you were able to make your previous mouthpiece work for many years, then maybe something similar to that size is the way to go. You can probably get something that is much closer to what you had success with, while also making the small change you're looking for. It may be easier than spending large amounts of time trying to adjust to something so much different.

I'd like to also say that the 3C is a very well liked mouthpiece by many people. It's possible that this piece could work for you very well. It's also probably a bit larger than what most people use for lead playing.

Best of luck!!

Sincerely,

Dave
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theslawdawg
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any mouthpiece change will take a while. You said it yourself:

"I feel it gives me a much broader tone and more flexibility"

What's wrong with that? The range will come, keep going.
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cheiden
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose I'd de-emphasize range for a time while you acclimate to the new piece. Work on exercises that get you lined up so you are playing as efficiently first. I wouldn't hesitate to test your range a bit it should feel like finesse, not brute force.
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Rapier232
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not try the SW ML mouthpiece range, designed to work with your trumpet? The Studio and Lead versions are comfortable and worth a try. And Mike Lovatt knows his stuff.
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nickchan
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:46 am    Post subject: Re: Switching mouthpieces Reply with quote

hibidogrulez wrote:
nickchan wrote:
I have two main questions: am I setting myself too difficult a task with such a switch?

That's really hard to say. It seems like what you're really after is a bigger tone in the upper register. Are you sure that this specific mouthpiece is the one that you feel will do that for you? There may be other mouthpieces that'll get you a better sound with less switching effort.

I don't have your skill or playing experience, but I too use different mouthpieces on my trumpet. I've found that the range difference is maybe 1 or 2 notes (0 on a good day) and endurance is something you can (probably) eventually train for. The deeper mouthpiece felt right from the start though and I never felt I'd have to work excessively hard to match my shallow mouthpiece (there's a difference, but it's not huge). If you have to work hard to get a mouthpiece to work for you, you may not have switched to the right mouthpiece to begin with.


Thanks for the reply. I'm working on the assumption that any mouthpiece change is going to be hard work initially, especially after the honeymoon period, but for sure, there'll be a time when I know if it''s been the right move or not!
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nickchan
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wilder wrote:
Wow, that's a big change. all I can say is stick to the 3C and be patient. don't use the 10S at all anymore. down the road you might want to try having a 3D to switch to in certain situations but for now just bite the bullet and weather the storm. a 3C type mouthpiece is by far the most popular in the world and once you build up the strength, endurance and stamina you will sound great. jw


Thanks and yes, I thought I may as well go for a bigger move initially. The 3C isn't so much wider, it's more the cup depth, but for sure, I'm keeping the 10S in the case for a while!
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nickchan
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rapier232 wrote:
Why not try the SW ML mouthpiece range, designed to work with your trumpet? The Studio and Lead versions are comfortable and worth a try. And Mike Lovatt knows his stuff.


Thanks, I have thought about that. My boy's ex trumpet teacher plays for the Halle Orchestra and Mike L guested for them. We had various tips passed through to us and I'll have a lesson with Mike at some point. Once I've given the 3C a good go to get my chops out of the 10S feel, I might begin a little further exploration. I'm sure the guys at Prozone will help me out, they've always been great.
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nickchan
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:01 am    Post subject: Re: Switching mouthpieces Reply with quote

Seymor B Fudd wrote:
nickchan wrote:
Hi all,

My first post so apologies for any procedural naivety. I'm now 60 years old and have played in big bands most of my playing life, at least from when I struck out from brass bands in my late teens. I've played in the same band in Sheffield, UK, for the past 41 years, so it's been a big part of my life and I've played lead with them for the past 7 or 8 years.

My request for advice probably stems from reaching 60. I basically want to try and make the most of my playing whilst I'm still of an age to at least think I can improve. For my (big) birthday, I got a new horn - Smith Watkins - and new flugel - Conn Vintage One - and I felt that I could get a better sound from the trumpet, so I set to the thing probably most trumpeters dread, switching mouthpieces. I've played for years on a Giardinelli 10S - quite narrow and shallow - and I'm now trying out a Bach 3C. I feel it gives me a much broader tone and more flexibility but of course, it's taking some getting used to, especially in the range dept

My usual practice routine is Caruso's 6 notes, followed by his seconds exercise, then to some octave harmonics, which I manage from about low G to C above the stave, getting quieter as I go up. Then I do some Arban slurs, followed by a couple of pages of scale exercises, then onto playing etudes or some other piece.

I have two main questions: am I setting myself too difficult a task with such a switch? And are there any other exercises which might help me to adjust? I can usually manage a gig on lead but I'd like to be able to do the same after lockdown!

I hope I've posted this in the correct place but please let me know if not.

Thanks!

Nick


Hello Nickchan!

My life time band is a brass band, began 1958.......front row since 1962.
Started out on a Sally Army 1. Which gradually became too small for my lips so 1970 I bought a Bach 1 1/4 C using this for front row as well as lead trumpet in a 13 piece swingband - up to 1981. Years went by. ´Round mid nineties´ I switched to a Schilke 14, had one custom made 14 3D3 which is possible for lead but today a Schilke 14B, still lead in two big bands. I´m celebrating my 78 birthday in December.
But when I (semi)retired I began practicing. Meaning instead of 30 minutes a day to 3x45 minutes a day my chops just died....Overuse. By the help of a pro (my first 18 lessons) I came back on track. Then I found the BE!
(Old folks on the TH now will emit deep sighs......roll their eyes......maybe start cursing).
Why telling you this? My problem when the big bands had gigs was simply an endurance problem. I lasted 13 songs then my chops began to vanish...Was I too old?? Comparing my stamina during the seventies- 4x45 minutes gigs no problem practicing 30 minutes a day - and now... I realized that something radical had to be done. And BE is radical.
Furthermore I found a fantastic lightweight trumpet which really helps me, far more than my old King - Yamaha 6335 RC; my relation to "la Resistance" has changed - in the process learning that this is so personal - resistance of the horn, resistance of the mpc; I´ve tried mpc:s with narrower diameter (16,25, Stork VM6, a fine mpc) but reverted to my lifetime diameter, 17, 2 (9). Rim essential, tried flatter but contrary to the idea this should help my lips just stopped vibrating.
The BE is an ingenious way of boosting aging (and young) lips. Done properly your stamina will grow, the upper register benefitting. During an active season (due to the bl-y covid 19 everything is down)I now can play 2 hour gigs, range up to Eb/E. Lately somewhat higher. That´s good enough for me.
So I suggest that you should do a careful analysis, experiment with equipment, practice a lot more but in a "smart" way - get yourself a new routine. Up to some years ago Charles Colin constituted my main diet; now Laurie Frink´s integrated warm up (https://daveballou.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/AnIntegratedWarmup.pdf) is a big part of it, also Caruso (6 notes), and the BE. The combination of Roll Outs, Roll Ins, compressing not stretching - in spite of the inventors´s name - Smiley) has provided me with better control over my aging chops than I ever had.
It´s never too late to switch to other ways! But you will have to perform a thoughtful analysis, test this and that.
I´m still amazed that I could re invent my chops! And - check "Lionel´s" adventures in this area.
Good luck!


Thanks for all your reassurances! I'm trying to be very analytical, at least up to the point where I might risk overthinking things, and I looked around at various embouchure techniques, particularly Calle. I'm not sure what my 'style' might be called now but comfort plays a big part. I'm refining my practice regime to try and help and I think it is doing, so fingers crossed!
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Conn Vintage One flugel
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nickchan
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Joined: 27 Jun 2020
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave CCM/SSO wrote:
Hello!

I believe that there is usually never only one solution for a player when it comes to equipment. Our body's adjust quite well over time to many different designs. That being said, there is usually a range of sizes that work best for each of us due to our physical structure, lung capacity, level of technical facility, etc.

From what I can tell from a quick google search, the change you made is a fairly large change. My only thought is, if you were able to make your previous mouthpiece work for many years, then maybe something similar to that size is the way to go. You can probably get something that is much closer to what you had success with, while also making the small change you're looking for. It may be easier than spending large amounts of time trying to adjust to something so much different.

I'd like to also say that the 3C is a very well liked mouthpiece by many people. It's possible that this piece could work for you very well. It's also probably a bit larger than what most people use for lead playing.

Best of luck!!

Sincerely,

Dave


Thanks Dave. If I didn't have responsibility for lead, I'd feel under less pressure but I enjoy it and try to respond to the sense of responsibility I feel by keeping on trying to improve. This is my biggest journey in recent years - going from a 6310Z to a new horn included - but I'm enjoying the challenge! Let's hope my body is able to adjust!
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nickchan
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

theslawdawg wrote:
Any mouthpiece change will take a while. You said it yourself:

"I feel it gives me a much broader tone and more flexibility"

What's wrong with that? The range will come, keep going.


Thanks, I've got the bit between my teeth now! I'm not worrying about range yet, just flexibility, but hopefully that'll come too!
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nickchan
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cheiden wrote:
I suppose I'd de-emphasize range for a time while you acclimate to the new piece. Work on exercises that get you lined up so you are playing as efficiently first. I wouldn't hesitate to test your range a bit it should feel like finesse, not brute force.


Thanks. Yes, I'm working most on exercises - thanks to Caruso & Arban! - and a key thing is trying to stay feeling easy. But that's the hard part!
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cheiden
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm seeing that the Giardinelli 10S rim ID is around 0.630" versus the modern Bach 3C is 0.665". FWIW I find the stock Yamaha 4 rim feels fairly 3C-like so if you try any they will feel similar other than ID. The modern 3C feels in the range of the Yamaha 16C4. If that turns out to be comfortable but too big it would be easy to go with a 14C4 or 14B4 which could be a good compromise.

FWIW these are pretty specific recommendations based on my progression from pieces in the Schilke 6A4a range all the way up to a Bach 1.5C, which turned out to be too big and tanked my range in a way that wasn't coming back. A Yamaha size 14 rim gave me all the sound I wanted without being too big.
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Bach 3C rim on 1.5C underpart


Last edited by cheiden on Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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plankowner110
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the Bach 3C feels too large after playing it for a few weeks, try a Yamaha 14B4 or Schilke 14B.
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