HBM – Mouthpiece Choice

There is no perfect mouthpiece – Brass Bulletin story

Since no two players are alike a mouthpiece will not respond the same for everyone

Imposing similar equipment is okay, but imposing identical equipment is wrong

Two general rules for choosing a mouthpiece:

Classical – huge and dark, use the largest mouthpiece suited for the type of playing and development of the individual

Bigger mouthpiece (diameter and cup depth) tend toward:

1. Fuller sounds
2. Better flexibility
3. Better intonation
4. Quicker recovery time – less pressure used
5. More correct production of upper range
6. Requires more practice

Jazz – use the smallest you can – records better, brighter, louder, easier high and
easier endurance

Vincent Bach – 6, Baroque trumpet mouthpiece

Brass is poisonous to the body, therefore it must be plated or lacquered
Gold vs. silver plating – gold is warmer; must plate silver first (gold won’t plate to brass

Ideal for young players:

  1. Full, pleasant sound
    1. Reasonable high and low range
    1. Flexibilty is good
    1. Comfortable as is practical

Often young players use a cup that is too shallow. Forces low range sharp or even eliminates it, makes tone bright and edgy and may ritard progress in the long run (like Schilke 13A4a, 14A4a or Jet Tone) These mouthpieces are only for very advanced players – range is not the only criteria

Mouthpiece Recommendations handout

When to change:  start splitting notes for no reason, student ask to change (WHY do they want to change), bigger sound

If you think it sounds better, it does

3 weeks to try new mouthpiece

If changing cup depth, keep diameter the same – universal agreement about this because the mouth adapts to the diameter – grooves in lip

Big profit margin – Schilke, Bach, Geyer
Bach quality control is not good (sharpen the reamers; describe how mouthpieces made) – Schilke is excellent
The lack of quality control allows a much wider selection of mouthpieces, but DON’T LOOSE IT!!