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A "Sunday morning" kind of mouthpiece

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Joined: 25 Feb 2003
Posts: 5730

PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:11 pm    Post subject: A "Sunday morning" kind of mouthpiece Reply with quote

Funny how what worked great the night before is cumbersome and almost dangerous to use the morning after. If you're like me my chops don't really "break even" until mid afternoon. Then by night fall everything is back to normal followed and evening that seems to get better as the night goes on.

Sunday morning typically is a church job. Else why would I be out of bed? I've found that anything close to the size I used the night before (which would be shallow and small diameter) is like playing the piano while wearing mitten.

Just today was warming up at 9am on my E Flat trumpet to play some kind of fanfare for the bishop. Gave myself plenty of time to get adjusted but I still didn't like the sound. I then decided that since this was an elective Baroque type improvisation that it really wasn't necessary to break out a High F. So I played the thing down a fourth on the B Flat cornet. I have a medium large mouthpiece for that. No problem.

But what if? What if i did have to blow something like that? or even just wanted to stay slightly above the staff. Not blasting the phrase as in Saturday night jazz lead playing but just getting a piece of the note. Control, control, control.

A really small inner rim mouthpiece is too risky for that. Maybe if I could blast away on it I would feel more secure but that would make my tone stick out like a sore thumb. Unwanted attention...

So perhaps what I need is a mouthpiece just for Sunday morning. Same rim contour and my Cass series but in a far wider inner rim dimension. With a bit of an edge to the inner rim "bite" too. A slightly sharp bite on a rounded rim isn't so bad. Not like the hideously sharp bite on a flat Vincent Bach rim.

A sharper bite helps a set of chops play better while "cold". Maynard even talks about that. Said something to the effect "a sharper rim helps a quicker warm up". Not good in an extreme upper register big band gig. But in a more classical situation where softness, flexibility and control are the main factors.

What my ideal for the "Sunday morning" mouthpiece would be something between a 1C and 3C but with rounded, perfect radius rim contour, fairly sharp bite, shallow cup. One piece in standard throat and one in an open throat/backbore combination. Perhaps even with a double cup.

A mouthpiece like that would deliver on those notes between G top of staff and High C.

The "Sunday morning" condition is another reason i often choose my piccolo trumpet. I don't need it for the register but to create more distance between the partials. Easier to slot them.

It would be neat to experiment using a wide inner rim mouthpiece for more continuous Baroque phrases. As an alternate piece for say the Brandenburg No. II. Before or after any possible chop swelling that could occur.

Slightly swollen chops do not affect my jazz lead playing much. May in fact help a little. The two techniques (classical church music vs big band jazz) are a whole different animal to me. Almost like a different instrument with different rules of the road.

Interested in what other people think about these two musical styles. As well as what differences if any you choose when selecting equipment. Mouthpiece and other.
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david mickley
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Joined: 27 May 2009
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Location: Indianapolis, In.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm just an average trumpet player but I usually stay with one rim - a Reeves 42. I use the M series cup for most playing and the C cup to take the edge off of the sound [church and small ensemble]. Sometimes when the rim just doesn't work I use a Hammond 5S. Every now and then the chops just won't work with my usual m.p. I'm sure you will get much better comments from the good players.
Chicago Benge 33XX
Burbank Benge 5X 59XX
Yamaha Flugel 231
assorted other horns
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Dale Proctor
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Joined: 26 May 2005
Posts: 8579
Location: Heart of Dixie

PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sometimes have a problem playing well early in the morning. It happened this morning in church for our pre-service rehearsal. Nothing below a 1st space F wanted to come out of the horn for a while, and I was playing a cornet with a Wick 4B mouthpiece! By service time, all was well, though. I chalk those days up to too much playing the night before, or in today's case, too much outdoor time in cold, windy weather the day before - my lips felt like leather last night when I went to bed...

I'm not a morning person (especially when trumpets are involved), but my best opportunity to sound good in the early A.M. is with larger mouthpieces.
Olde Towne Brass

Brass Band of Huntsville

"Brass bands are all very well in their place - outdoors and several miles away ." - Sir Thomas Beecham
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Dan H
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Joined: 12 Jun 2006
Posts: 76
Location: On the way to the next gig.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I noticed the same problem years ago. My remedy? I get up a couple hours earlier on Sunday (if I played hard the night before) and while still in my jammies, I go downstairs, pull the Bb out, and start playing soft, warm looooooong tones in an easy register. After 20 minutes of this I rest, then come back and perfom slow easy register arrpeggio slurs. Usually low F# up to no higher than G on top the staff. Done.

I go shower, eat, guzzle coffee, dress for the Sunday service. When I arrive at the church I set up, oil valves, etc., and play all 12 major scales slowly in the scale 3rds excercises.


Chops are gently warmed up, loose, and relaxed and ready to play.

Works for me. If you can get out of bed earlier on a Sunday it might work for you.


Of course, I usually get up at 4 am for my day job so 2 hours "early" on a Sunday is sleeping in for me.
Bach 37
Schilke B1
Bach Chigaco C
Yamaha 731 Flugel
Xeno Bb Cornet
1924 Holton Revelation

Simply love to play trumpet. And cornet. And flugel...
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