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Long time shallow mpc, want to play deeper



 
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butxifxnot
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Joined: 08 Jul 2004
Posts: 2346

PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:10 pm    Post subject: Long time shallow mpc, want to play deeper Reply with quote

I'm somewhat of a comeback player, bringing my chops back. My range is about 70% effective of what it used to be, endurance something like 30%.

I'm looking to incentivise my return to regular playing by updating my equipment as I slowly and steadily bring back old skills and build up what I used to be weak at

Ive played a GR 65ES for something like 10~15 years. It sounds excellent and is the most well-balanced-feeling mouthpiece I've ever played.
The only thing it's always been a little weak on is 1) slotting is more squirrelly than I'd like and 2) It is very difficult to warm/darken if I need a less lead sound and a more generic commercial sound.

I recently picked up a Monette Classic Resonance LT B6LV S1 (blind, I know).
By the numbers, it has a good chance of being what I'm looking for, and I really like the feel of the Gold.

But it's been quite some time since my last safari and could use some tips on what my criteria should be.
The main thing I'm having trouble with is balancing my expectation of ease of sound/range production at the expense of tone (GR wins), VERSUS getting good tone and slotting but with (I think) air support I don't have and never really played with (Monette).

The Monette is harder in the upper register, but it may be worth sticking with to build my air support habits back up. Once I use enough air all my trumpet-knowledge-bones are telling me it should be able to compensate for the deeper cup.

Any validation, tips, or real talk for me?
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Brassnose
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Joined: 07 Mar 2016
Posts: 956
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, biased answer here. I played GR65MS, 65SZ, Monette B4L, B4S S2, B6 pieces on my Bach and while I liked them, I sold (or am selling) them. In general these are roughly along the lines of what you seem interested, at least size-wise.

The reasons for me selling them are: the GR65SZ is very shallow and sounds very brilliant (not what you seem to look for anyway). Lead piece, but I don’t play lead.

The GR65MS produces that pure commercial sound (at least with me at the low tech end) but sounded a little too clean for me.

The B4L sounded great and had a lot of sound and presence but hitting those higher notes was not as easy, even after playing it for three or four years.

The B4S S2 and the B6 were too hard to play for me but may have the sound that you are looking for.

I sold all my Monettes once I had discovered GR. For a hobby player, even with quite some playing experience, Monette may not be the way to go, despite the great sound.

I still play a GR65FL on the flugel but I have found a commercial mouthpiece and a classical mouthpiece that work better for me:

Lotus 3S-N for commercial
AR Resonance MC40/40M for classical

Personal opinion: if you look for medium shallow to medium deep with ease of playing I’d keep looking at GR, if you like them generally. Those are great pieces.

Curry makes some killer pieces (I keep a 7TC in my pouch all the time and the M pieces are in fact not as shallow as one may think), AR Resonance, JK USA models (great quality and price, use them as backup pieces and on my old Blessing beater), or Lotus (their prices have come down quite a bit) are strong contenders.

Yamaha has a good reputation as well but I haven’t played them in a long time.
_________________
2019 Martin Schmidt eXcellence (orchestra)
2019 pTrumpet yellow (travel)
2018 Prisma Bb (bass trumpet)
1992 Bach 43GH/43 (commercial)
1989 Kühnl & Hoyer Model 15 (flugelhorn)
1980 Blessing Scholastic (beater/office horn)
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dcstott
Regular Member


Joined: 09 Feb 2021
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My two cents, for what it’s worth.

It might be worth considering that Monette mouthpieces tend feel quite a bit different (in terms of response and feeling) than more traditional ones. The octaves in my experience tend to feel as though they are close together, in terms of effort, compared to GR/Bach type mouthpieces. Monette has an acclimation guide on their website for just this reason. My guess with the slotting issues are that your habits in the upper register having you putting more air and muscle (appropriate for the GR) than the Monette responds well to. If you love the sound of your Monette mouthpiece and want to commit to going that direction, then I would suggest doing much more soft playing (to encourage relaxed even air flow) on double and triple octave scales, as well as some Arban’s octave and scale interval drills. The big caveat is that you will probably have to accept that the sound you hear on your side of the horn is going to have a much different feel and quality than the one you have developed over the course of your life. If it’s too much to handle, one way to break that habit is to do some practice at the beginning of the day with earplugs in (I use etymotic for louder shows and practicing, I like them) With the earplugs, I find that I only hear the core of the sound and tend to stay focused on that. Things start to relax for me that way and when I take my earplugs out, I am always a little shocked how full, resonant, and sparkly my tone is.

All that said, GRs can be great, and the way GR mouthpieces play can be a better fit for the way you instinctively play. The same concept of practicing with the earplugs to identify the core sound, can help to maximize the mouthpiece. Who knows, you may find you love the sound of piece you’ve always played. If you still don’t love it, I would actually suggest contacting one of GRs mouthpiece consultants to discuss what would add richness and focus to your sound. For me, the price point is too high to try various GRs. One of the consultants can probably help guide you to what you are looking for. The same could be true with the guys at Monette. They might be able to help you get the most mileage from your mouthpiece after a call.

The only other last bit advice was from Boyde Hood when I was at USC. To paraphrase: when trying new equipment, if it’s not an immediate improvement along the lines you are looking for, it’s not the solution for you (at this time).

Your playing may evolve over time and that may change what works for you.
The only piece of additional advice I have is that Monette mouthpieces feel different than GR. I would suggest picking one brand and sticking with it for a duration of time. From there I would switch depths and widths within the brand to arrive at the sound you want.

I don’t know if these thoughts help but I think they are worth considering. Many great players play both of these mouthpieces. So you can make them
do want you want over the course of time. It’s more a matter of which direction you think is best for you.
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B. Scriver
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Joined: 14 Jan 2002
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Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like you may need a little more chop room in your commercial piece. If you like the 65ES rim and cup diameter, have a look at the 65SZ or 65S. A little more room will give your chops space to vibrate freely and should clean up any issues that you have with the ES cup.

Along that same line, if you do like that rim, stay with it for your deeper mouthpiece, and look at 65M, 65C*, 65MX perhaps. What horn are you playing?

Whichever manufacturer you go with, I suggest staying with the same rim for your commercial side, and your more classical side as this makes transitioning a heck of a lot easier. Stay close to what works for you.

Please contact me if you have any questions.

Brian Scriver
www.grmouthpieces.com
grmouthpieces@gmail.com
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butxifxnot
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Joined: 08 Jul 2004
Posts: 2346

PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of good input, thank you all! Lots to chew on and practice and experiment with both here and on the Monette acclimation guide.

<Along that same line, if you do like that rim, stay with it for your deeper mouthpiece, and look at 65M, 65C*, 65MX perhaps. What horn are you playing?>

I do want to mention why I'm moving away from the GR, even though in general I agree with sticking to one rim size across different equipment.

I was custom fit for the GR quite some time ago. It wasn't the result of a safari or experimentation, it just clicked all around when I was fit by the consultant (Bert Truax if y'all know him).
If I'm moving away from this size, I have no reason to believe the GR rim shape itself is one of the magic components of a mouthpiece that I need to stick with. The only component that really felt good was the shallowness of that specific mouthpiece size.

Now I do know there are some mpc rims I dislike.
DW, Curry, and Wedge don't feel good no matter what size I try.
The Monette rims feel nice, and I played one for a year or so, B2S3: it was a different time with different rim size preferences But at the time being a poor college kid it was prohibitively expensive to experiment with shallower depths and the same rim, so I moved away from Monette.

I really do think rn my issue is poor air control and relying too much on the shallow cup to do my work for me. And now's a good time to give it a second shot, being older and wiser and without an immediate need to be performance-ready at all times.

(P.S. I play a Frankenhorn, Bach 43 ML, Larsen leadpipe and Blackburn tuning slide. But I'm also going to be updating to a new horn next TMEA, and I definitely want to be settled on mouthpiece before then because I'm also going in with a completely open mind)
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Brassnose
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Joined: 07 Mar 2016
Posts: 956
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On looking for a new horn: this is a chicken-egg problem. I found the horns first and then the mouthpieces.

I agree on the Wick rims, though.

You may still want to check Klier. Good pieces, good prices, and they also make a wider rim variant if that’s what your after.
_________________
2019 Martin Schmidt eXcellence (orchestra)
2019 pTrumpet yellow (travel)
2018 Prisma Bb (bass trumpet)
1992 Bach 43GH/43 (commercial)
1989 Kühnl & Hoyer Model 15 (flugelhorn)
1980 Blessing Scholastic (beater/office horn)
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