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Jens Lindemann's mouthpiece rant


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trumpetjens
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 1:37 pm    Post subject: Jens Lindemann's mouthpiece rant Reply with quote

I noticed a recent mouthpiece thread and thought I would weigh in with my own philosophy based upon a letter I wrote in the middle of the night to TPIN a year ago. It has been very slightly modified to reflect my current equipment...I have only made one real change now in about 10 years...and that was subtle.

Date: Mon, 16 Jun 2003 23
:41:49 EDT
From: JLindem96@aol.com
Subject: [TPIN] Jens Lindemann mouthpiece

I have received many e-mails from TPIN members who were at the ITG conference asking the classic "what-mouthpiece-do-you-use" question. I thought I would take this opportunity to give you my personal theory on mouthpieces.

I believe that far too many trumpet players use mouthpieces that are basically too big. IMHO, going larger than a Bach 3C or the Yamaha/Schilke equivalent 14c4 or smaller than a Bach 7C or Yamaha/Schilke 11 should be considered 'specialized' equipment.

We seem to have no shortage of trumpet players out there who would say that very small mouthpieces are considered 'cheaters'. Have you ever seen a Bill Chase mouthpiece? It is about as small as you can possibly get and it served him very well for the type of playing he did. Could he have done that on a larger mouthpiece? Of course, but specialized lead players are artists in their own right. Those who do it for a living are very cognizant of what they are hired to do in the most efficient manner possible so that they can continue to do it for as long possible!

True lead players are also extremely rare. Think about how many people in your own community would be considered monster lead players...specifically the so-called 'screech' players. You would probably come up with a relatively small number in any given city. I can also virtually guarantee you that those inviduals play on more 'specialized' equipment that probably falls out of a standard industry medium. In my opinion, you should only mess around with their type of equipment if you were interested in the type of air velocity that they themselves use for their specific job. Remember though that everything comes with a price. Extremely small, shallow mouthpieces simply do not resonate that well in a section. They may have good 'cutting' projection but try playing softly with a good attack...very risky. Of course, if you never have to play softly with a good sound then you should consider yourself a true specialist...go for it!

By the same token, the great orchestral players use equipment that would hover around a Bach 1 1/2 or 1C or the Yamaha/Schilke equivalent 16-18C4. These individuals should also be considered 'specialists' because they are. Playing in an orchestra requires the ability to blend first and foremost and occasionally lead the entire brass section. But even then, the best players are simply riding on top of overtones being laid down by the rest of the section. They are not trying to 'cut' through in the way that commercial trumpet players might want to sizzle over a big band or rock group.

I just finished playing with the Summit Brass this week. Allen Vizzutti, Allan Dean and David Hickman were also in the trumpet section. Playing with them was AMAZINGLY easy because everyone blended and played in tune and everyone occasionally had the opportunity to lead the section and lay down a style that the others would follow. When the section is in tune and balanced, it is very simple to play for long periods of time without feeling true fatigue.

It is my understanding that the great Bud Herseth began his career on something like a Bach 7C and only switched to a larger mouthpiece (Bach 1X...made for him) after his car accident so that there was greater sensation in his nerve-damaged lips. Obviously, Bud Herseth is one of the greatest orchestral players ever but his own switch to a large mouthpiece (largest ever at the time) was based on an extreme situation for a highly specialized job. However, since most classical players wanted to sound like him, many made the same switch without thinking of the potential ramifications. Specifically, working too hard to find the sweet spot...more on that later. Bud Herseth is one the most efficient players of all time and he was efficient on a Bach 7C for a long period.

Thus, the point of my ramble (I think I'm jet-lagged). EFFICIENCY!!! After starting on a Bach 7C like many of you out there, I graduated to bigger equipment...all the way to a Bach 1 1/4, 24 throat, Schmidt backbore. I love stats...it clears the room of everyone except trumpet players. So, now that we are alone, I can tell you about my realization. Unless I wanted to be Bill Chase, there was little point in playing through a pin hole. By the same token, it also seemed reasonably logical that unless I was recovering from nerve damage and needed to feel more of my lips so that I could play for Fritz Reiner in Chicago, I probably wouldn't need a 1X either.

Allen Vizzutti and I have discussed this often over the years and the simple fact is this, in order to play efficently you must be in the sweet spot of a mouthpiece. A large mouthpiece has a bigger sweet spot and, as with oversized tennis racquets and golf clubs, it helps compensate for our very human ability to miss the centre of the note more often than not. To accomplish the same goal on a smaller mouthpiece you MUST be more efficient or it will back up on you. I describe backing up as basically trying to overpower the sweet spot.

Currently, I am playing a GR mouthpiece which Gary Radtke made especially for me. This will be available very soon (complete with my website on it...the benefits of customization!). For years before that, my own equipment was made for me by a mouthpiece maker in Japan who worked for Yamaha. I don't know the exact dimensions but they are somewhere between a Bach 5-7 C or a Yamaha/Schilke 11. Never measured the throat or the backbore and I didn't really care because it basically got me to where I needed to be. I could pretty much do everything I needed to do in any register I needed to play in with that mouthpiece. Could it have been a more perfect mouthpiece? Of course! Will I obsess about trying to find an elusive solution? Of course not! The answer is fluid anyway due to the fact that my body, lips, dental structure, and vital capacity will always be changing naturally due to the aging process that everyone of us is undergoing as I write this. Now, if your thing happens to be the quest for the perfect mouthpiece, then at least be honest with yourself, it is the chase that you are into and not the solution.

The bottom line is this (again, IMHO) the name of the game is efficiency and flexibility and the best solution for an all-around game is middle of the road equipment coupled with focused, intelligent practise. Have fun experimenting but don't let it be the answer to your problems!

Jens Lindemann
www.trumpetsolo.com
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Derek Reaban
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jens,

Welcome to the Trumpet Herald! I certainly enjoyed your clinic / recital in Denver this summer. Your wonderful sound and sense of humor made for a very memorable experience. Your banter with Allen Vizzutti in the audience was hilarious and so was the spoof on throwing things into the audience in response to his recital the day before.

I’m looking forward to your contributions here. Please remind me when you are coming to Arizona for the masterclass at ASU. I certainly want to find time in my schedule to attend!


Take care,
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Derek Reaban
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jens,

While I’m thinking about it, if you would have time to give an overview of the Toronto Trumpet Symposium that you shared with James Thompson at the end of the summer, I would love to hear about it. I’m sure others would too!


Thanks,
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_swthiel
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jens,

Welcome to the Trumpet Herald!

I had the opportunity to hear you at ITG this summer as well. As a direct result of your presentation, I switched from a Bach 1 1/2C to a Bach 5C, with a great improvement in my sound and endurance. I'm glad to have the detailed exposition of your mouthpiece rant!

For what it's worth, I was double-teamed into making the change. My wife, not a trumpet player, accompanied me to ITG and also heard and enjoyed your presentation. Our dialogue as we left the hall was (approximately):
Quote:
Me: "Hmm, maybe I should be playing on a smaller mouthpiece."
Her: "Well, what size mouthpiece do you use?"
Me: "1 1/2C."
Her: "Isn't that too big? Don't you have a smaller one?"
Me: "Yes, I have a 5C and a 7C at home."
Her: "Well, you'd better switch to that 7C thing."

She actually nagged me for about a week after we got home, until I promised to try making the change. The 7C was too small for comfort, but the 5C was pretty much a home run after about a week of playing.

Thanks, your talk was one of the ones that led to a real improvement in my playing.

Steve
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trumpetmike
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings Jens

Cheers for posting that - I think I might have been the one mentioning your name in relation to mouthpieces (does this mean you can blame me?), I could remember the gist of what you said, but you have a certain way with words that none of us can match.

Hopefully we will see you posting a great deal more on TH
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BinSB
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I, too, enjoyed your presentation at ITG this summer. I clearly recall that your opening line was thoroughly thought-provoking. My boss got quite a kick out of it.
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tom turner
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jens,

Welcome to TH . . . and a great first post! You are a fine player and clinician . . . and your post makes tons of sense!

I too believe that MOST folks are playing on too large of mouthpiece . . . for the same reason that most guys in a bowling alley grab the biggest ball they can pick up. So, they struggle on a long gig in many ways.

I've been playing for about 43 years and have gone the typical medium to huge to smaller route too! My trek was actually Bach 7C to Warburton 2DD (like a Bach 1A) and then finally a Warburton 8M (like a Bach 12). Heck, part of my time as a lead player was on the big, deep Warburton 2DD I special ordered.

There's no reason a player can't develop to where they can focus their chops into the smaller "sweet spot" . . . and stop blowing their chops apart and crashing and burning!

Plus . . . there's a pretty good reason why the mid-sized mouthpieces are best for most folks . . . because they "fit!"

Again, its nice to have you posting here!

Warmest regards,

Tom Turner
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Rich G
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jens.

Wow, what an insightful post!

I won't bore anyone with my personal story - but you validated my move from a Reeves 43.5 to a GR 62.

Like the aging ballplayer who goes to a lighter bat to maintain bat speed, the smaller mouthpiece has allowed me to maintain compression and efficiency to compensate for the normal decline of respiratory capacity that comes with aging.

Please let us hear more from you.
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camelbrass
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I saw the thread topic I was all ready to castigate the person who was arrogant enough to criticise what I thought was a very insightful and common sense article which I had read on TM some weeks ago written by Mr Lindemann.

Got that wrong!!!

Welcome.

Regards,

Trevor
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stef
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HI Jens,

Im not on the right forum, but im intresting about your Carbon-fibre cup mute. Can you tell me the name of the frech maker, im intresting to contact him to buy one.

I hope you'll help me.

Thanks, stef
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riffdawg2000
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome Jens! As others have already expressed ... glad to have another expert to TH!

I agree with others regarding your article ... but ... what are your feelings for folks (like myself) who just don't find the rims of 7C, 5C, 3C, etc comfortable. Heck, even my piccolo mouthpiece rim , Bach 7E, still does not feel right. The bigger rims are better, at least for me.

Thanks!
Joel

BTW, Al Ligotti sends his regards.
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trombapaul2
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome Jens!! What a great and thought provoking first post. I've
recently been on yet another mouthpiece safari and have been giving
the old 3C's, 5C's, and 7C's another go with pretty good success.
There is still something missing so the hunt goes on but at least I'm
starting to realize where I need to be looking.

I've got a Marcinkiewicz E12 Vizzuti model that I pull out for high note
fun but I am in no way a "lead" player. I'm an orchestral player so my
search has always been for the biggest, darkest (for lack of a better term)
sound I could find. I even recently invested in a 1B-24/25 which gives
me the PERFECT orchestral sound IMO. Problem is, I can only play it for
about 20 minutes then the bottom falls out. I always seem to go back to
my old standbys.

Maybe I've always known in the back of my mind that what you said is
true. However, human nature makes it very difficult to go back to
something we once deemed a failure. It also makes it very difficult for
us to believe that the mouthpiece didn't fail us, our own mechanics did.

Thanks for popping in. We all look forward to reading more from you.

Paul
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UsedBits
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 11:56 am    Post subject: Same rim for 30 years Reply with quote

I have played on a Giardinelli 7cw rim since 1974. It would be unwise to change now, wouldn't it?

The rim (and corresponding underparts) was made by Emil Provinger.

The size was determined for me by Dr. Elmer White, retired (I think) trumpet teacher at Appalachian State University in North Carolina. (Dr. White studied and taught the Roy Stephens embochure.)

Today, however, Giardinelli's mouthpiece sizes are considerably different. A 'modern' 5 cup/underpart is deeper than my 'vintage' 1 cup/underpart.

Can anyone help me determine to what Bach or Schilke size my vintage Giardinelli compares? For the 7cw cup, I have 3 underparts: 1 (deep cup), 5 (very shallow cup), and 3c with S backbore (in between cup).
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 11:58 am    Post subject: Same rim for 30 years Reply with quote

Duplicate - sorry!
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Benge Bb, 5x, ml #8162
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Benge D/Eb, ml #6579
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Last edited by UsedBits on Mon Nov 01, 2004 1:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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dan_ostler
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the great things about the Trumpet Symposium in Toronto was that things always became more simple, not more complex. This post is a case in point.

Now that we are about to see the mouthpiece, it would be interesting to hear which horns you plug them into......and who else is using them too.

I think I already know the answers, but find it amusing/interesting/surprising how Yamaha seems to have found the handle wilst all of the usual suspects decided to become one company instead of competing with excellence!

Dan Ostler
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, Jens, ol' buddy.....nice to see you posting here. Nice words, too. (I didn't know you could write so well, ha ha!! )

I know that you are hosting a Destino Day at UCLA for Doc, Mark, and Bernadette Sunday afternoon. Wish I could be there. Be sure and let us all know how it went!

Dave
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2004 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i agree with the post as a whole but disagree on some parts. i don't believe anything bigger then a 3c is specialized. mouthpiece selection has a lot to do with the physical components of the player. maybe a 1.25 is a little big for you, with out sacrificing something else, but for others big sizes are an improvement in every aspect. i can assure you my range is BETTER on the 1.5 B(D) then it is on a 7c. and my range on a curry 3BC is a little better then a plain 3C, just less sizzle. you also assume that bigger mouthpieces have bigger cups. what about roy roman's mouthpiece? it is like a 1F. some players with large lips (who play larger diameters) can't even play a 7c without dropping half an octave. i don't think bud herseth played a 7c, i think it was a 7B. you also say it was the biggest ever, do you mean rim or in total? trumpet pieces have been bigger ex; Claude Gordon. herseth wasn't the only reason for the trend with bigger pieces, orchestras got louder, which raised the demand on big sizes. also some people wanted a dark sound, which some obtain by adding weight, volume to the mouthpiece or the bobby hackett way. mouthpieces have actually gotten smaller( except the rim). back in those days there was no standard throat. Mouthpieces regularly had 20 throats and huge cups/backbores, while the rim stayed in the 7 range. that might also have to do with stuffier trumpets.pops, the guy who has the website on range, plays a diameter bigger then a 1. he is more especialized with lead players, but still plays a big rim. lets not forget byron stripling...Clifford brown played a tiny mouthpiece and was not a range specialist.
in some ways your right, I got a "forget about the mouthpiece" vibe from your post. Which I agree with because some people spend more thinking/talking about pieces then practicing.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2004 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there is a lot of merit in Jens' post, and I would give him much respect as a professional. Clearly, he is much more distinguished than I, a mere amateur and comeback player...

But, I do think that I personally play better on bigger equipment, largely due to 1) my physical make-up, and 2) my long history of using larger equipment, including my use of bigger equipment in my formative and developmental years and private lessons. I was placed on a 1 1/4C when I started lessons way back in 9th grade.

I can play a 3C easily, but I think I have more comfort and control on something like a 1 1/2C. I think the slightly wider diameter and different rim are helpful to me. Maybe it is more the rim contour than anything else...dunno. Some tonal differences, yes, not better or worse, just different. My lips tend to vibrate more freely on the 1 1/2C, and I think I have better overall control. I have no loss of range; in fact, I have much better range on a 1 1/2C than on a 7C, for example. Better and fuller tone also. I find the 7C to be a most unpleasant mouthpiece...
I can alternate between a 3C and a 1 1/2C with no apparent adverse effects, with the primary reason being the difference in tone qualities.

FWIW...
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GordonH
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2004 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have big lips.
I can't get a decent sound on a smaller rim.
I can get away with a back 5 or 6 size for upper register playing where I can get away with a thinner sound, but it has to be a size 1 rim or thereabouts for stamina and sound purposes.
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trumpetchops
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2004 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is hard for me to argue a point with such a great player.

I was always thought that the bigger the mouthpiece the bigger the sound. More lip=more sound.

I have always played a big mouthpiece. Early on I went to a 3c and then slowly bigger. Now I play on a Monette b15m.

When I was in college my teacher wanted me to play a big mouthpiece. He suggested that all the old greats used a big mouthpiece similar to a Bach.

Twenty five years later I am still studying trumpet with a famous symphony player. He also uses a big mouthpiece.
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