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General Guide to Understanding and Choosing Mouthpieces?



 
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mphsound
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:28 pm    Post subject: General Guide to Understanding and Choosing Mouthpieces? Reply with quote

I'm looking for advice on how to evaluate my own needs as a player and what aspects of a mouthpiece can influence these characteristics. In a nutshell, a complete guide to understanding mouthpieces and how they can affect a player. For example, how can enlarging or shrinking the size of a backbore can be a pro or a con. Same with the Cup size, cup type, etc. How can these things influence the overall performance? How do I even properly audition a mouthpiece? Do fleshy or thin lips really play an important role in specific sizes (I remember reading this on a Vachiano book.) I would be most appreciative to be pointed to some links with useful literature on the matter. I would also like to hear from you about your experience and any wisdom you have to share. Specific recommendations including brands and models also welcome.

To put it briefly I'm considering a change of mouthpieces but before I go for it, I would like to learn more and feel I have a better understanding of how this all really works so I can properly evaluate what I need and how to find it. Right now I am playing a Bach 1C. My sound and playing ability don't suffer necessarily at least in the low range up to high C. The best way to describe my problem is that over the course of a practice session I give out unnaturally, as if I am indeed wearing shoes that do not fit and are causing aches and pains from all the walking in them. Also, my high range and its resonance above a certain point drops off like a cliff. At this point I suspect it's not completely due to inefficient playing (over-use of pressure, tension in the wrong places, etc.), something of I am already working very hard to correct and maintain an acute awareness of.
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 3:16 am    Post subject: Re: General Guide to Understanding and Choosing Mouthpieces? Reply with quote

mphsound wrote:
... Right now I am playing a Bach 1C. My sound and playing ability don't suffer necessarily at least in the low range up to high C. The best way to describe my problem is that over the course of a practice session I give out unnaturally, as if I am indeed wearing shoes that do not fit and are causing aches and pains from all the walking in them. Also, my high range and its resonance above a certain point drops off like a cliff. ...

--------------------------------
Is your high range resonance lessened even before your embouchure has become fatigued?
Have you tried any mouthpieces with a smaller rim diameter - perhaps a Bach 3C.

This is an old, but (I feel) reasonable general discussion of mouthpiece explanation and selection -
https://docplayer.net/53874758-The-proper-selection-of-cup-mouthpieces-another-conn-educational-series-publication.html

Jay
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JVL
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hello
when i gone and started studying with Bobby Shew in 1993, he gave me "Understanding the mouthpiece" by Stork, and explained me a lot of things.

Then, 20 years after when i needed to have some custom mpcs made, i saw that all the theory i knew, all the advices i asked to the manufactor and other expert people, had their limits. And they all told me that before.
I needed 2 first attempts to make the right choices, with the same manufactor, same ID, same kind of cup shape, for determinating the right other parameters for me.
So, at one moment, you'll have to experiment in live, with true mpcs. With the thoery you can avoid a lot of mistakes, but you'll always have some surprises.
best
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JVL
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

and i'll add that for instance, in certain contexts, i had to play my lead mpc with piccolo backbore for better and easier result, with my yam6310Z, and since i have the new 8310Z, things are a lot different with this same mpc that is not as adapted for the same contexts as it was with the 6310...
Every day we learn
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zaferis
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not knowing much about you, age, how long you've been playing trumpet, how far you've advanced, what you sound like, etc. etc., advice is challenging.

First of all, "self-evaluation" though important is only as good as your experience. "You gain experience through a lot of mistakes" So, my advice is to find a teacher/mentor that has experience and can guide you toward a better fit.. IF that is what is actually needed. ??

From your brief paragraph, my first inclination is that you're mouthpiece is too big, (great sound but using a lot of energy-fatigue happens) you'd likely benefit with a smaller diameter. I reference this old gem... https://www.trumpetherald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=26763
- if Bach, 3C neighborhood, but I'd also suspect you'd benefit from a different rim contour - maybe something like Curry, Yamaha or Pickett - but would take some experimentation.
Lip fullness, in my experience has little to do with mouthpiece diameter choice, I think it's more about dental structure and the overall shape of your embouchure.

But I'll restate - what we think we are doing, sound like, and need help with (self-evaluation) are quite often off target - this is why we all seek lessons and guidance throughout our trumpet playing lives.
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scottfsmith
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zaferis more or less nailed it there... try a 3C-ish sized piece, and get a teacher because your problem is likely not your mouthpiece.

In terms of readings here are some good things.

Yamaha has a good general tutorial: https://hub.yamaha.com/brass-mouthpieces-part-1-choosing-mouthpiece/

GR has some nice pages on how various parameters change the blow: https://www.grmouthpieces.com/category-s/271.htm.

If you want the longer version here is a PhD Thesis: link
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razeontherock
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to TH!

This is a place where you can read. You've already been directed to some good reading material. I will direct you to start at the beginning: Bach. Vincent started our modern understanding of mouthpiece parameters, and you can find his description on Bach's website!

After reading those basics, Stork is a logical next step. With the caveat that I agree with Zaferis, what they have to say about lips and mpc size I take with a grain of salt. Our dental structure doesn't move, neither does the metal. Our lips are trapped between these hard surfaces, so we need to get a good match. This is refined by developing our embouchure, but that won't overcome a mismatch of the hard surfaces. A great teacher can be of GREAT help with this, and most other playing issues.

We are incredibly fortunate to have a plethora of custom mpc makers, and they are ALL a great bunch of people!! We all have our favorites, (mine is Jim New) but you might find your silver bullet from somebody else. Greg Black's 1C is NOT Bach's 1C, even though it's based on it. And Greg's 1CS and/or 1S are the perfect compliment to it. A 1 1/4 is a BIG step smaller, with a 1 1/2 being smaller yet by the exact same amount. So jumping to a 3C right now would probably feel foreign to you. That size was probably mentioned because it's a good starting point for most people. Eventually you might even find it serves you well.

GR talks about controlled experiment, changing only one parameter at a time. Take that to heart!
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