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calling all horn players

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by BbbyBld, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. BbbyBld


    Oct 13, 2005
    Meridian, MS
    I've been getting back into playing trumpet.

    I'm still using a 5C mouthpiece from years ago when I played in concert band in school. I also played lead in a jazz ensemble and marching band and my band director would not allow us to switch mouthpieces. Some people would sneak a Shilke 14A4A, but they were confiscated. I was made to believe that they would ruin my playing.

    I still have pretty good range on the 5C, and it sounds really pretty, but I need something with more of an edge, and something that won't wear me out so fast when I'm playing the high stuff.

    I'd like to start playing jazz/blues/R&B. I need help picking a new mouthpiece. There are so many to choose from. Anybody got any advice?
  2. bigthemat


    Jan 25, 2008
    Salt Lake City
    well the 14A4A is the cliche lead piece. I think your band director was dumb to not allow you to use a different mouthpiece for jazz. I do see where he is coming from... getting a lead piece wont suddenly allow you to play 2 octaves higher. BUT, it does allow the range you do have to come out better. And of course the sound is much better.

    For jazz stuff, I use a marcinkiewicz chuck findley model. It works great for me, but not for other people (well, it works for chuck). Other people use all sorts of different things... monette pranas, schilke 14a4a, 10 1/2Cs, 5Es, whatever. And there are people who can scream on like a 3C.

    Go to a music store, and try out a bunch and get what feels right. I can't tell you what magic mouthpiece will work, because no two people have the same lips, teeth, oral cavity, throat, lungs, etc. Just try some that are typical lead pieces. Essentially what you are looking for is a shallow cup (A for schilke style, E for bach style), usualy a wider, flat rim, and a narrow backbore.

    Good luck with the search. It took me forever to find a lead piece i liked.
  3. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    You can really get yourself in a mess with obsessing over mouthpieces. No one mouthpiece will be everything you need and changing from one to another is not for everyone. When I was playing trumpet I got one of the 14A4A (Mike Vax model BTW) after I heard him play with Kenton. A great sound, but well...... sadly, I'm not Mike Vax. So I went to Chicago and got a 13B3B custom cut by Mr. Schilke. It was better and I used that a lot. One time I met Maynard and he had his mouthpiece in his pocket and showed to to me. It was the shallowest thing I've ever seen... but he confessed that he could do with a 7C if he needed to.

    OK, that's all ancient history. What I learned was to find something that was comfortable. I really suggest strongly that you check out the Marcinkiewicz models they are by far (for me) the most comfortable I've found. You'll notice that they are cut a little different than the Bach models. YMMV, actually it WILL vary, but that's OK. Everyone who has pursued this has a different story. Hard luck, hard work and listening to Bill Adam straightened me out.
  4. Tired_Thumb

    Tired_Thumb Guest

    Avoid mouthpiece safaris at all costs. Buying mouthpieces can become an addiction nearing that of substance abuse. If you're comfortable on the 5C, stick with that for awhile in your practice, unless you have pressing gigs coming up.

    Marcinkiewicz is good though. Many studio players use Reeves mouthpieces also, which seem to be what Marcinkiewicz bases their signature line off of, so you can't go wrong either direction. FWIW, I don't play too often, but when I do, I use a Bach 1-1/2C for legit playing and a Bach 3D for lead or soloing over a loud electric band, works like a peach. Many people to this day tell me I should be using different mouthpieces because of this reason or that reason, but I tune them out of my mind completely.

    Also, the simplest approach to playing is usually the best. Don't get caught up in chop-doc syndrome, don't get caught up in equipment safaris, and don't get caught up in any "double C" methods.
  5. Tenma4


    Jan 26, 2006
    St. Louis, MO

    The gods of Dubba C frown upon you... Hehe.

    I use a 3C to get the airflow I want for lead stuff.
  6. BbbyBld


    Oct 13, 2005
    Meridian, MS
    I don't want to go through a million different mouthpieces. They make so many sizes, and I hate to think that there's one out there that would be perfect for me.

    I've been practicing with the 5C for a couple weeks. I found a Schilke 15 (I think it's the same as a Bach 1.5C) laying around. It's a lot more comfortable. I think I'll try it for a while. Neither are very bright sounding. Maybe if I decide which one I like best, that will point me in the right direction as far a diameter is concerned, and then I can pick something with a shallower cup.
  7. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Not a productive attitude for mouthpieces...... worse for women.
  8. ptuckerbass


    Sep 12, 2000
    Orlando, Fl.
    I used a Schilke 14A4A for years and played lead in college.

    A more shallow cup will definitely help playing in the upper register and give you a crisper tone. I would not want to play a long gig with a regular cup.

    For classical I switched to a 15B or 15. The deeper cup will mellow/darken your tone and make it easier to center on the shelves (intervalic leaps).

    Like the others have pointed out, find a source where you can try out different sizes for comfort and the tone you're striving for. Once you made your choice(s), stick with them.
  9. BbbyBld


    Oct 13, 2005
    Meridian, MS
    I appreciate all the advice.

    I think I've found that I like the smaller diameter of the 5C. It seems like the Schilke 15 can move around too easily and doesn't center itself well on my lips if that makes any sense.

    I have a couple of models in mind, but I'm leaning strongly towards the Schilke 12B4.

    Here's question #2 For those of you who switch from symphonic to lead mouthpieces, how does it effect your articulation and attack?

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