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Playing lead mouthpieces - a 'paradigm shift'?



 
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16mguilette
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:05 am    Post subject: Playing lead mouthpieces - a 'paradigm shift'? Reply with quote

Hi all, I'm a college player starting to get more serious about my playing.

I'm trying to figure out lead mouthpieces. I'm not concerned about my range. It could be better, of course, but that's not why I'm working on lead mouthpieces - I just want a fatter, more sizzly sound than my regular mpc (1 1/2 B/C) can give me. Or at least, I want to get it with less effort than it takes on the bigger piece.

I have a bobby shew lead, a 3E, and a 7E which I use on picc. I've also played with a jet-tone and the parduba double cup.

On hardly any of these, I've been unable to play even a fourth space E.

A month or two ago my school brought in a pro trumpet player from the twin cities who talked to us about a few things. I asked him about it, and he said something to the effect of "playing lead mouthpieces is almost a total paradigm shift," but we didn't have any time to get further into it.

What is this paradigm shift? I'd ask my teacher but he's mainly a classical guy who, to quote himself, "Swings like a dead monkey".
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deleted_user_680e93b
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:37 am    Post subject: Re: Playing lead mouthpieces - a 'paradigm shift'? Reply with quote

16mguilette wrote:
Hi all, I'm a college player starting to get more serious about my playing.

I'm trying to figure out lead mouthpieces. I'm not concerned about my range. It could be better, of course, but that's not why I'm working on lead mouthpieces - I just want a fatter, more sizzly sound than my regular mpc (1 1/2 B/C) can give me. Or at least, I want to get it with less effort than it takes on the bigger piece.

I have a bobby shew lead, a 3E, and a 7E which I use on picc. I've also played with a jet-tone and the parduba double cup.

On hardly any of these, I've been unable to play even a fourth space E.

A month or two ago my school brought in a pro trumpet player from the twin cities who talked to us about a few things. I asked him about it, and he said something to the effect of "playing lead mouthpieces is almost a total paradigm shift," but we didn't have any time to get further into it.

What is this paradigm shift? I'd ask my teacher but he's mainly a classical guy who, to quote himself, "Swings like a dead monkey".


Paradigm Shift ? Sounds over complicated. You can't get a sound out of shallow lead pieces? what would cause that? think about it for a second.
your fine on your big deep piece but your lips stop working on a smaller shallow piece? Doesn't it sound like too much lip intrusion? your most likely bottoming out. Find a Curry 70M precision piece, its the same id as your 1 1/2 B/C and is cut to help with the bottoming out. But before trying it, Do some lead pipe buzzing ALA Bill Adam School to help get the feel for it. You'll be fine in a short time and i'm sure you'll be able to play that particular piece, It's a shame, i just gave one away too, it could have been yours for nothing. I play 00 ids now so i had no use for it.
good luck !!

tom
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adagiotrumpet
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Playing lead mouthpieces - a 'paradigm shift'? Reply with quote

16mguilette wrote:
Hi all, I'm a college player starting to get more serious about my playing.

I'm trying to figure out lead mouthpieces. I'm not concerned about my range. It could be better, of course, but that's not why I'm working on lead mouthpieces - I just want a fatter, more sizzly sound than my regular mpc (1 1/2 B/C) can give me. Or at least, I want to get it with less effort than it takes on the bigger piece.

I have a bobby shew lead, a 3E, and a 7E which I use on picc. I've also played with a jet-tone and the parduba double cup.

On hardly any of these, I've been unable to play even a fourth space E.

A month or two ago my school brought in a pro trumpet player from the twin cities who talked to us about a few things. I asked him about it, and he said something to the effect of "playing lead mouthpieces is almost a total paradigm shift," but we didn't have any time to get further into it.

What is this paradigm shift? I'd ask my teacher but he's mainly a classical guy who, to quote himself, "Swings like a dead monkey".


Paradigm shift? I don't think so. For the past 45+ years I have had the good fortune of playing both lead and classical music professionally, quite often during the same day. My classical piece has always been a Bach 1C or a close variation. For lead, I have used various lead mouthpieces but with a rim that either was copied directly from my classical piece, or a rim so close, that going back and forth was never an issue. Regardless, I have always been able to play in the low register all the way down to pedal C with any of the lead pieces I have used over the years, although not with the same sound quality as with the classical piece. My suggestion is to start with finding a lead piece that has a rim that is the same or at least similar to what you have been playing on. From what you describe, the lead pieces you have been trying have smaller rims than the 1 1/2 B/C you have been playing on. I have had good luck with Warburton and Giddings mouthpieces for playing lead. For years I played a Warburton 3ES with a KT backbore. You might want to try a Warburton 4S or 4ES since you are currently playing on a 1 1/2 rim. Contacting Warburton directly might be a good place to start.
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Turkle
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One caveat. I was never able to play extremely shallow mouthpieces as I always ended up bottoming out. Sounds to me like you may be having the same trouble. The piece I use for loud gigs is only slightly shallower than my normal piece and has a tighter backbore. Once I stopped trying to play those crazy extreme pieces, my life got a whole lot easier. (Turns out I'm never going to be Wayne Bergeron. Alas.)

So depending on your personal setup, you may not need - or want - one of those crazy "extreme" pieces. A slightly tighter setup could give you the edge on your sound that you need with less work, and boom - you're all set.

I also have found that I need all my pieces to have the same rim if I'm going to switch back and forth. So that might help you as well. (I ended up converting some mouthpieces to the Reeves screw rim so I can always have my normal rim.)

Mark Curry's mouthpieces are inexpensive and his "M" cup is only slightly shallower than his "C" cup but has a tighter backbore. Maybe that would be a good place to start if you're having trouble with extreme lead pieces. I had success on one for a while.

Good luck!
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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't agree that you play a "lead" mouthpiece any different than you play any other mouthpiece. Changing embouchures based on the mouthpiece is an invitation to big problems.

I also don't agree that a "lead" mouthpiece gives you any significant advantage in terms of range or in ease of playing over any other mouthpiece that fits you properly. The key word here is "significant." It might be a little easier but you shouldn't expect much more than that.

A "lead" mouthpiece is usually defined as a shallow mouthpiece. The big advantage of a "lead" (shallow) mouthpiece is that it gives you a brighter sound. A pertinent question is this: Do you need a brighter sound? Maybe you do. Maybe you don't. It depends on the situation and the answer is not the same for everyone.

Many players have a problem bottoming out in a shallow mouthpiece. If you're bottoming out then you need to go to a deeper cup.

You say that you want "a fatter, more sizzly sound." "Fatter" and "more sizzly" seem to me to be opposites.

If you can't play even a fourth space E on a certain mouthpiece then it's not the mouthpiece for you (assuming you can play well beyond that on your 1 1/2 B/C).

There are a lot of preconceived notions in trumpet playing about what you "should" be playing in a given situation. In reality, what you "should" be playing in any given situation is "what works for you." "What works for you" may be dramatically different than the preconceived notion of what you "should" be playing. Just because it works for some other player doesn't mean that it will work for you or that it's even close to the best choice for you.
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Robert P
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Playing lead mouthpieces - a 'paradigm shift'? Reply with quote

16mguilette wrote:
I have a bobby shew lead, a 3E, and a 7E which I use on picc. I've also played with a jet-tone and the parduba double cup.

On hardly any of these, I've been unable to play even a fourth space E.

I have both a Yamaha Shew Lead and a Parduba 5 double cup. The Yamaha Shew is so far my favorite high-note mouthpiece. The Parduba feels too restrictive to me, the inner rim too sharp. Obviously Harry James did okay on his Pardubas.

Previously I played a Jet-Tone T1A for years, which now feels very restrictive compared to the Shew Lead.

However, to clarify - are you saying you struggle to get a fourth space E - as in the higher E on the staff - on any mp or just on these particular "lead" pieces? If you're playing a picc I assume you have at least some kind of range?

If you're struggling with a fourth space E no matter what you play, then there's something wrong that a high note mouthpiece isn't going to fix. Imo you should be able to play at least a high C even on a Bach 1C.

If you mean that it's a struggle specifically on these high note pieces to get a fourth space E...then I believe there's still something wrong with your mechanics. My least favorite, most uncomfortable mp I've tried to date is a Jet-Tone Studio B - it just feels wrong every way a mp can feel wrong, but I can more or less function on it - I certainly can get above the staff on it.

As far as the "different paradigm" comment, I can see why someone would say that. Yes, you put them both on your lips and blow air and make your lips buzz but the resulting sound, the feedback is very different. Yes, the Shew Lead is a totally different experience than playing a Bach 1C. With the Shew you're not going to get the same big, fat resonant low range that you get on the big Bach no matter what you do - the sound of them is different throughout the horn. You're never going to get the "sizzle" that you get out of a lead piece on a Bach 1C.
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Last edited by Robert P on Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Denny Schreffler
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:43 am    Post subject: Re: Playing lead mouthpieces - a 'paradigm shift'? Reply with quote

16mguilette wrote:
Hi all, I'm a college player starting to get more serious about my playing.


A month or two ago my school brought in a pro trumpet player from the twin cities who talked to us about a few things. I asked him about it, and he said something to the effect of "playing lead mouthpieces is almost a total paradigm shift," but we didn't have any time to get further into it.

What is this paradigm shift? I'd ask my teacher but he's mainly a classical guy who, to quote himself, "Swings like a dead monkey".


If you're getting serious, you need a more serious and well-rounded teacher in addition to the dead monkey.

Start with the pro player from the Twin Cities.

That said, once you know how to play lead, the mpc (and horn) become less critical.

If you're not interested in being a lead player -- just exploring the sound -- talk to the pro player from the TC's about shallowish V cups.

-Denny
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gstump
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are getting some really good responses. I always go back to semantics regarding the term "rim" vs the inner diameter of the cup. Rim is that thing between the inner diameter and the outer diameter of the mouthpiece.

I was surprised by your comment regarding the 3E & 7E for pic. If you can play a 7 diameter on pic you should be able to play above 4th space E on a lead piece.

Find the diameter that works for you and stay with it regardless of cup depth and backbore. Not everyone can play a 1 diameter. The monkeys dead or alive seem to not get this. Changing diameters is a "paradigm shift". Kinda' like changing spouses.

And Denny is right. Learning to play lead is a musical journey. I spent most of my early years listening and analyzing how Snooky Young and Al Porcino played 2 eighth notes!
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Brad361
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have a teacher, it shouldn’t matter whether he’s a “classical guy” or not, struggling with a fourth space E on any mouthpiece, as a college player, is an indication of a problem that probably has little to do with equipment. You’re paying this guy for lessons, this is something he should address. If he can’t or won’t, I would be looking for another teacher.

Brad
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cheiden
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe that players vary quite a bit on how much their lips protrude into the cup. Those that don't protrude much probably have an easier time with shallow cups and high alpha angles. Players who protrude more into the cup will likely have a harder time with shallow cups and high alpha angles.

I can play a shallow pieces for only short periods of time before they shut down for me. I've made various attempts to acclimate but eventually gave up.

My advice would be to try less extreme pieces before attempting an embouchure change/paradigm shift.
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Jaw04
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my opinion, playing lead pieces is quite different. You make adjustments, some of them subconsciously and some perhaps consciously. When I started using lead mouthpieces, I wasn't successful until I opened up my lips a bit more and also made some mental adjustments to get used to the sound and response of shallower pieces. If you are having trouble playing fourth space E on those pieces, that seems pretty extreme. I agree with cheiden about the lip protrusion. If you play very big mouthpieces they will cause you to use lip protrusion much more than shallow cups allow.
I used to not be able to play the Bobby Shew yamaha lead worth $%*^ but eventually acclimated to it where I can sound pretty good on it for lead applications if I want to. For me, I am aware that I use less top lip in the cup when I go to that piece even though the diameter is pretty close to my regular mouthpiece.
I also believe that figuring out how to play different mouthpieces can be a beneficial experience for your development as a player, even if you don't end up using lead pieces in real situations. I think it can open up different approaches to playing that my prove to be beneficial if you guide yourself in the right direction. HOWEVER: I agree with previous points about avoiding switching the inner rim diameter. Try to match them up to your 1.5C.
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JVL
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hell & happy new year !
i agree with cheiden & jaw.
one must learn how to play a shallow cup.
i'd practice very soft too with an open aperture, looking for clear clean attacks & sound, not pinching lips, keeping a tonic embouchure.
lessons with a good teacher/lead player will be beneficial in many aspects for your playing and later career
best
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adagiotrumpet
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trying to radically change your approach to playing in order to be able to play on the lead mouthpieces you have could be an exercise in frustration , not to mention, akin to the lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.

Your teacher has admitted that this is out of his wheelhouse. Finding a teacher with commercial experience who can guide you through this is much better. Experimenting with your embouchure, aperture, various mouthpieces, etc. on your own could very well be a fool's errand with long lasting consequences.
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cheiden
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JVL wrote:
i agree with cheiden & jaw.
one must learn how to play a shallow cup.

Rather than going to very shallow cup and trying to acclimate to it, I think a player so inclined would do better to first choose an approach, find a successful practitioner to study with then adjust the gear as directed.

I had a limited number of lessons with a Callet student and only went to a shallow piece after playing my teacher's spare, and buying my own seemed to be warranted.
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adamsa
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:03 am    Post subject: very shallow is over rated Reply with quote

I have basically the same range with whatever cup depth I use. When I started playing again after 6 years off - I weaned myself from a larger 3c rim to as small as I could in rim size (in my case warburton 6 -about .640")

I still play a rather normal depth cup for lead in big band, but better endurance than past years due to rim diameter.

Just another way to get to more endurance and perhaps brighter tone..,
YMMV
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Ed Kennedy
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schilke or Yamaha 14A4a
Reeves 43S
Curry 70M or 70S, or 1.5M or 1.5*
Purviance 9 or 10
Warburton 3SV
Stork Studiomaster 2

Etc.
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EdMann
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to dip my wick into an area that I'm not expert in, but I am charged with a lead book from time to time, and have sat next to dozens of brilliant players, one of whom is posting here. Billy Lamb comes to mind as guy who did everything on a 5A4A and sounded big as a house. The most furious lead player I've heard in recent years was Bill Theurer, Jr., who showed up to a funk gig, I kid you not, with a Schilke 15B. It's like a 3C but with a backbore that makes it play like blowing on a toilet seat. He killed it upstairs all night long.

Me thinks this is technique meets what you want to do. Guys that play on bent dimes can have big sounds, not dark, but BIG. And big mpc's can sound plenty bright. Listen to Arturo's CD Evolution. He plays every cut on the same mpc, a Mt. Vernon 3C with a 24 backbore. It's incrediblem the variance of sound.

ed
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