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Is anyone using this model Schilke 6a4a



 
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JAM393
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Joined: 02 Nov 2005
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Location: Saint Louis, Missouri

PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:07 pm    Post subject: Is anyone using this model Schilke 6a4a Reply with quote

Hi,
I am thinking about giving this mp a try? I currently play a Schilke 12 and 14a4a on a regular basis. I have not tried a mp that is this small. Is anyone playing this mp and in what settings? Thanks for your time.
Joe
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LeeC
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 6a4a is the Schilke copy of the Late Bill Chase's Jettone screamer mouthpiece. What we call a "Signature mouthpiece".

Bill's exact words about it were: "I like a mouthpiece with no sharp egdes". Circa 1972. Yep, I've been around a while...

I asked him more about whether I use should use a smaller mouthpiece or a larger one.

He replied: "Know which direction in music you are going".

Over the years I have understood that comment as meaning:

Classical vs. Jazz lead (high note) trumpet playing.

The 6a4a Schilke mouthpiece is a valuable piece for some players. Most won't like it simply because it IS so much shallower than what they are used to. That and because they are prejudiced thinking "it takes a big mouthpiece to get a big sound".

Not always true.

And while the 6a4a isn't my first choice to play the second movement of the Haydn is can still do a lot of general work in the right hands.

Lastly: Just because a mouthpiece helps you with high notes doesn't mean you should practice these notes too often. The real "secret" of making a shallow mouthpiece work is practicing it in the middle register a lot.
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batsomh
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only people I know who do/would use a 6A4a are those that constantly play extremely high lead parts in jazz for long periods of time, or for people with high notes and extremely weak or thin lips. Generally, the 6A4a is not a piece most I know can use effectively. The sound usually crosses the line from bright and edgey to thin and annoying. Of course, this is not always the case, but I would definitely not recomend this mouthpiece except to some special cases.

Do you have a private teacher? What does he think? If you don't have one... GET ONE!!! Pros are the best resource in selecting equipment, especially mouthpieces. Let them get a feel for how you play, and they can probably give good advice on what might work best for you.
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amazingmoris
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 5:29 am    Post subject: Re: Is anyone using this model Schilke 6a4a Reply with quote

JAM393 wrote:
Hi,
I am thinking about giving this mp a try? I currently play a Schilke 12 and 14a4a on a regular basis. I have not tried a mp that is this small. Is anyone playing this mp and in what settings? Thanks for your time.
Joe


==========

I tried it 35 years ago.

If you look at the chart from the Endsley book reproduced at
http://www.dallasmusic.org/schilke/Schilke%20Mouthpieces.html
you'll see that it is frustrating that not all Schilke "a" cups are the same depth.
The Schilke 6a4a has a depth of .371, which is quite a bit shallower than the Schilke 14a4a which has a cup depth of .428.
The Schilke 11a has an "a" cup depth of .483, which is actually deeper than the alleged "c" cup of the Schilke 11, which has a cup depth of .455!
The reason: Schilke would copy another brand's mouthpiece at a celebrity's request and then give it a Schilke name, so the 6a4a and the 14a4a had 2 different sources / inspirations and so ended up with 2 different cup depths even though they are both called "a" cups.

The Schilke 6a4a is for high register and cannot be used for anything else.
So it is perfect for some people who play lead trumpet all the time, but is a lousy choice for people who play a variety of music.

I can't imagine how you would go back and forth between a Schilke 6a4a and a larger mouthpiece on a regular basis.
When you switch momentarily from the Schilke 14a4a to the 6a4a your lips won't want to vibrate at all in the smaller cup.
Then when you try to switch back to the Schilke 14a4a you will have much less range because it feels like a relative elephan't's leg that you are blowing into.
It drives my lips crazy to the point of not being able to play at all when I try to alternate between mouthpieces where the difference is much smaller, such as Bach 7E and Bach 3E.

So the Schilke 6a4a might be right or wrong for you.
Depends on what your needs are and what music you play all the time.
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silverhorn
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Schilke 6a4a and a 14a4a in my collection but I don't use either regularly. Both for me are comfortable to play on but i get the worst sound out of both mouthpieces. I know other posters here have said that some players can sound great on a 6a4a, but for me there is a definite tone quality difference between my Mt Vernon Bach 3C and a 6a4a no matter how "musical" i try to make my 6a4a play.
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ljazztrm
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The last 'a' on the 6a4a is the backbore size. The 'a' backbore is really tight. The 6a4a cup is quite shallow too. Such a tight backbore, with such a shallow cup, might be too extreme for most players to use for anything but lead work. Try a Laskey 30*....This is a little deeper with a more open backbore. Also, something like a Warburton 8S or a Curry 10.5DE (if you want to go a little bigger in diameter) could work well but won't get you that 'lead sizzle' that the 6a4 cup has. Of course you could get a Warburton 8ESV or a Curry 10.5XS for your lead stuff...Or, in Laskey, a Laskey 30S* (maybe now it's called a 30ES). If you're lucky, you might find an old Bill Chase jet-tone made by Bill Ratzenberger....I've found them to have a great sound...I like the sound much better than a 6a4a. I've also heard that the stock 6a4a is not what Bill Chase played. All the best, Lex.
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ljazztrm
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, I think Mark Curry may have a scan of the old Bill Chase jet-tones.
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LeeC
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is an alpha angle issue with the 6a4a cup. Or so I'm told by Terry Warburton. Warburton claims that all Schilke "a" cups have high alpha angles. Says he won't make these in his standard stock pieces.

My guess is that he does this because the high alpha angle will create a tendency to bend notes sharp or flat too easily.

So an experienced solid trumpet player would be a better candidate to effectively use the Schilke 6a4a in concert work. Someone whose ear is well trained to pitch that he could solidly recognize the correct tuning of a given note. That and with a very strong set of chops suited for shallow mouthpiece playing.

Learning to play a shallow mouthpiece like the 6a4a can take a while. It's like learning to "double" on another brass instrument if you're used to more medium or large pieces.

All that said the 6a4a probably is a good choice for some intermediate and beginner players. Why? Because it allows more endurance from both the rounded rim and the shallow cup. I wish there were some real stats available, but it is my guess that the average beginner would more quickly excel on a 6a4a than say a Bach 7C. Especially if he was under 16 years of age or so.

What to do if you really want to give the 6a4a a go?

Again: Lot's of Clarke Technical Studies played softly and exactly as directed by Herbert L. Clarke in his book. It's just common sense.

Then my other thought is to bore the mouthpiece throat out to at least a number 24 rod. Better yet go down to a number 19.

A larger throat will eliminate much of that tinny "kazoo" sound a shallow/high alpha angle mouthpiece creates.

The other way to get rid of the edginess is to practice a whole hell of a lot.

Other thought: A Schilke 6a4a might have potential in helping a player LEARN the extreme upper register. The muscles used in playing a really high note like the High G (fourth ledger line above treble clef) are the same as with a large mouthpiece. However if carefully applied the 6a4a will allow a lot less stress in reaching these high notes. Thus it will allow more "flight time".

And the player who can practice more in the upper register (without hurting himself) is the one who learns to blow high notes more quickly and easily. This is true regardless of what mouthpiece he uses.

Case in point: I have a couple mouthpieces similar in size to the 6a4a. (the Al Cass ones I'm always on a soap box singing the praises of to sheer boredom here).

OK with these really shallow pieces I was able to try an embouchure experiment a couple years back and REALLY learn to blow some loud FAT High A's and better without significant arm pressure. Also the wind required to blow them was far less. Over-all a much easier ride.

So now, just two years after starting a MAJOR embouchure change I've got some scary scary sounding high notes on a young and somewhat immature embouchure. Still keep my regular set-up too by the way.

The shallow shallow mouthpiece allowed the CONSTRUCTION of this newer embouchure to occur at a far quicker pace.

Kinda fun actually.
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richardwy
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jam,

How's the comback coming? You're about 16 months in or so? I'm behind you by 2 months. Hope all is well.

What did your trumpet teacher at the university say about the Chase mouthpiece?

It is a mega-specialized piece. Any luck at blowing on one at a music store nearby?

All the Best,

Richard
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JAM393
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard,
Hi, The comeback is going well. I am really enjoying playing again. I just found a great horn, which has really increased my practice time....I guess this is the honeymoon period. My only reason for this mp question is I have always wanted to try one and wanted to get some thoughts on it before making the purchase...TH is a great place. I am taking a break from the lessons for awhile, just not enough hours in the day. I would also like to try a Reeves mp that is similar to the Schilke 12 that I play. Any suggestions on what would be close?? Thanks!!
Joe
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chase1973
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 1:27 pm    Post subject: Is anyone using this model Schilke 6a4a Reply with quote

I know this is a much older thread but, I wanted to post some new insights regarding the Schilke 6A4a. It's true Bill Chase never did play a stock 6A4a. Initially, in early 1972, Bill brought Mr. Schilke the Jet-Tone piece that Ray Amado (NOT Bill Ratzenberger) had made for him way back around 1963. Schilke made a copy for Bill and I got to "buzz" on it and it was labeled Schilke-Chase. For a period of a year or so, Bill would re-visit Schilke to have the piece "tweaked" here and there and in early 1973, Schilke gave Bill about 4-5 prototypes of the 6A4a for Bill to try on the road.

These models differ greatly from what would be released to the public that same year. The stock 6 has a .630 I.D. the Chase pieces have a slightly wider .633 I.D. with a medium-sharp bite. There is also more of a drop off below the rim bite, not an undercut through. The cup depth is still .671" on Chase's pieces but the throat entrance begins at a #24 and quickly drops to a long #28, longer cylindrically than most throats. The backbore begins as an "a" then expands to a Schmidt and is not beveled but a special reamer Schilke designed is used on the ass end. These changes are the differences which, INMHO, makes this piece playable. It is now available from the Schilke Co. as a custom piece only.
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