Radical Mouthpiece size change

Post Reply
User avatar
dukesboneman
Posts: 211
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:40 pm
Location: Sarasota, Florida
Contact:

Radical Mouthpiece size change

Post by dukesboneman » Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:13 pm

In 1978 I tried my 1st Bach 7C and the world of trombone opened up for me. I had struggled all thru high school and under grad with the infamous 6 1/2AL. last 2 years of college I went to a Schilke 51B. A little better but I still struggled with the rim size. I couldn`t "Grab" the notes the way I wanted. After Graduation, I had Bach make me a 7 with a Bass shank and then I bored it out. That was my go to Large bore mouthpiece until 2016.
2016 I retired and moved. I`m playing more than I ever dreamed . Shows, Big band, combo, Trombone quartet and everything in between. I`m also playing a fair amount of Bass Trombone and Tuba as well as quite a bit on my Bach 42BO.
My 7C was starting to not feel right. What came out the bell was fine, but every once and a while the rim would hurt my chops. On a whim I tried a Schilke 51 on my 42BO and it felt great, nice sound and lots of flexibility. (I eventually settled on a 51C4). I then tried when practicing a Schilke 51B on my Bach 12. NO Pain!! I lost some upper range which has started to come back.
Has anyone else ever experienced this radical change in mouthpiece size? It really shocked me
User avatar
paulyg
Posts: 422
Joined: Thu May 17, 2018 12:30 pm

Re: Radical Mouthpiece size change

Post by paulyg » Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:38 pm

Yup, your face is not set in stone. If your playing demands change drastically, as yours have, chances are you're going to find a better fit in a different mouthpiece than before.
Paul Gilles
Aerospace Engineer & Trombone Player
User avatar
BGuttman
Posts: 2052
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:19 am
Location: Cow Hampshire

Re: Radical Mouthpiece size change

Post by BGuttman » Fri Nov 29, 2019 1:07 pm

Seems like a lot of us play mouthpieces that are too small. Everybody I know who Doug Elliott has recommended a change has gone to a larger rim. I'm sure that this can be overdone. A testosterone crazed kid who decides that he has to play a 1G mouthpiece because it's bigger despite the fact that he can't play anything above the bass staff in tune has gone too far. Then again, that same kid might be able to play a 1G after he has practiced for quite a while and developed a proper embouchure.
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
"Almost Professional"
imsevimse
Posts: 672
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:43 am
Location: Sweden

Re: Radical Mouthpiece size change

Post by imsevimse » Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:27 pm

My personal experience is going larger in size has allways been a quick fix. I'm sure for some it is what they need to do, but to me personally to go bigger and bigger was a dead end. I went from Bach 12C, Bach 7C Bach 4C, 6 1/2 AL to a Wick 6BL. After I had graduated from the Royal Accademy of Music in Stockholm I went back to the Bach 12C and the small bore trombone, and from there I learned to master every mouthpiece. Today I can play any mouthpiece from a Bach 15E on alto to Hammond 20BL on bass and I play all sizes of trombones

/Tom
My profile on facebook with new videos from concerts: https://www.facebook.com/tomas.hillerbrant

My webbpage: https://sites.google.com/site/brazzmusic

"Do your best and then do better" ttf_watermailonman
Redthunder
Posts: 189
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:11 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Radical Mouthpiece size change

Post by Redthunder » Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:41 pm

Yes. I played a 7C and then a 12C exclusively for years in college on a 6H. Alongside lessons with Doug, Dave Wilken, and hours and hours of practicing I slowly and gradually transitioned to larger rim sizes and now I'm on a Bach 4C for small bore tenor, and a Doug Elliott 104 sized rim on large bore tenor, as well as doubling on bass bone and tuba.

My high range and low range, not to mention flexibility and endurance, are all much better now. It's also much easier for me to switch between horns. I also want to note that my rims are not identical for each horn - they just are larger rims relative to what might be considered "middle of the road" for each trombone respectively. My small bore 4C is smaller in the rim diameter than my large tenor DE 104 rim, which is smaller than my Greg Black 1 &1/4G rim for bass bone, which is smaller than my Tuba mouthpiece which is an unmarked G&W piece that feels pretty big (larger than a bach 18, and much larger than my Helleberg 7B). And all of these pieces have cups, backbores, and throats that are well matched to the instrument and the styles of music that I play on them. To me, this approach has worked better than trying to find a large tenor rim but a small bass rim, for example.

And, before it gets tossed out there, none of this is to say that there aren't other players that trend in the opposite direction to smaller mouthpieces which work better for them.
harrisonreed
Posts: 1240
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:18 pm
Location: Yokohama, Japan

Re: Radical Mouthpiece size change

Post by harrisonreed » Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:40 pm

I had played on rims for nearly 15 years that were smaller in diameter than a 5G because that's what I used. For no other reason than that. I used to get jaw pain after playing long gigs and my upper resister was never that good. On a whim I bought a much larger rim mouthpiece. I wish I had done that years and years ago.

No pain and much better playing all around. Rim sizes and the rest of the mouthpiece are two different things.
User avatar
Burgerbob
Posts: 1324
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:10 pm
Location: LA
Contact:

Re: Radical Mouthpiece size change

Post by Burgerbob » Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:54 pm

harrisonreed wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:40 pm

No pain and much better playing all around. Rim sizes and the rest of the mouthpiece are two different things.
This right here.

The problem is that manufacturers equated the two (and still do) for the last hundred years or so, which has worked its way into the brains of too many brass players.
imsevimse
Posts: 672
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:43 am
Location: Sweden

Re: Radical Mouthpiece size change

Post by imsevimse » Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:11 am

Burgerbob wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:54 pm
harrisonreed wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:40 pm

No pain and much better playing all around. Rim sizes and the rest of the mouthpiece are two different things.
This right here.

The problem is that manufacturers equated the two (and still do) for the last hundred years or so, which has worked its way into the brains of too many brass players.
I think it is good we are different. Never tell what works for others. You can only tell what works for you. If you have worked as a teacher and have had every student do it your way and some benefits from this, what about the rest. Are they bad students or is it what you teach that is wrong for them?

To recommend a larger mouthpiece can help someone, but to recommend a smaller mouthpiece can also help someone. It depends on what the problem is.

For me a mouthpiece switch can be a help to tweak the instrument to a context. That's how I look at the function of the mouthpiece nowdays. You could look at the mouthpiece differently, as the extension of you, as an adapter, to make every instrument playable for you with the same feel in your lips.

I can not say one approach is more correct than the other. It seems most think the second approach is how it should be. I considered this to be how to do it for many years but somewhere along the path I changed and nowdays I look at it differently. In my world every instrument could have its special mouthpiece if it helps the context.

/Tom
My profile on facebook with new videos from concerts: https://www.facebook.com/tomas.hillerbrant

My webbpage: https://sites.google.com/site/brazzmusic

"Do your best and then do better" ttf_watermailonman
Doug Elliott
Posts: 958
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:12 pm

Re: Radical Mouthpiece size change

Post by Doug Elliott » Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:31 am

I wrote this reply earlier and forgot to send it...

A 7C to a 51C4 is not a radical size change.
For your medium placement embouchure, both of them are within the range of sizes I would expect to work well. It's not unusual for players of all embouchure types to gradually prefer slightly bigger mouthpieces as they get older. Or maybe it's a matter of finally realizing they've been playing on a too-small mouthpiece all along.
harrisonreed
Posts: 1240
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:18 pm
Location: Yokohama, Japan

Re: Radical Mouthpiece size change

Post by harrisonreed » Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:55 am

imsevimse wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:11 am

For me a mouthpiece switch can be a help to tweak the instrument to a context. That's how I look at the function of the mouthpiece nowdays. You could look at the mouthpiece differently, as the extension of you, as an adapter, to make every instrument playable for you with the same feel in your lips.

/Tom
I think both can still be true. I have the same rim for all of my mouthpieces now. But I have two distinct mouthpieces for my large bore. One is great for large ensemble playing, and the other is good for almost everything.
imsevimse
Posts: 672
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:43 am
Location: Sweden

Re: Radical Mouthpiece size change

Post by imsevimse » Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:15 am

harrisonreed wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:55 am
imsevimse wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:11 am

For me a mouthpiece switch can be a help to tweak the instrument to a context. That's how I look at the function of the mouthpiece nowdays. You could look at the mouthpiece differently, as the extension of you, as an adapter, to make every instrument playable for you with the same feel in your lips.

/Tom
I think both can still be true. I have the same rim for all of my mouthpieces now. But I have two distinct mouthpieces for my large bore. One is great for large ensemble playing, and the other is good for almost everything.
I agree. If you can find one rim that is good for everything then that is good. I use a size 12 Hammond mouthpieces for all classical playing I have 12M for .500, .508, .525, .547 bore trombones but can easy switch to a 12MXL if I need a deeper sound. I use a 12XL on euphonium. On lead trombone I have not found any Hammond to work I use a Bach 6 3/4C but could choose a Bach 11C or a Nils Landgreen Yamaha signature mouthpiece as well, they work with my chops and are all good. The 12M fits a smallbore but the sound of the horn then gets to symphonic for my taste when I play jazz. On bass I use Hammond 20BL or a Bach 2G or a Kurun & Gilbert 0E. It depends on the size of the bass, the part and how the rest of the section sounds. I have about 100 mouthpieces and all work, it just needs time.

/Tom
My profile on facebook with new videos from concerts: https://www.facebook.com/tomas.hillerbrant

My webbpage: https://sites.google.com/site/brazzmusic

"Do your best and then do better" ttf_watermailonman
GMB
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:46 am

Re: Radical Mouthpiece size change

Post by GMB » Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:25 pm

I was on a 5G for ~8 years after being on a 6.5A through high school and beginning of undergrad. I had fewer chipped notes on the 5G but the rim was uncomfortable and physically painful after a while. I'd always had a tendency to miss notes by hitting the higher partial, even while in good shape.

For about a year and a half I've been playing primarily bass on bass mouthpieces. A couple months ago I started practicing tenor (alongside bass) more intensively with a 4G. No pain, no more stupid cracked notes, the range is finally here and for the first time in almost 10 years I feel like I'm playing the best I ever have. What's funny is before getting on the 6.5A 15 years ago I'd been playing on a 4G sized mouthpiece which I had to get rid of because I moved to a place where "the only mouthpiece that exists" is the 6.5AL (and the only trombone is the Bach 42, save for an Edwards).

I'm sure as you age there are changes in your facial muscles that can affect your mouthpiece preference, so there's no guarantee the 4G was the right piece for me back then, but I'm also pretty sure that giving every kid a 6.5AL because every kid has to play on a 6.5AL is just as dumb as playing a Griego-Alessi 1C because that's what Joe plays.
User avatar
dukesboneman
Posts: 211
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:40 pm
Location: Sarasota, Florida
Contact:

Re: Radical Mouthpiece size change

Post by dukesboneman » Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:07 pm

I am finding that my sound is denser and more complex.
More lower overtones.
I`m liking it
hyperbolica
Posts: 1004
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:31 am

Re: Radical Mouthpiece size change

Post by hyperbolica » Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:14 pm

When I moved from a 5g to a DE104 (about 2g-ish rim diameter) on tenor , I stopped cracking as many notes. It took a while (several weeks) to rebuild muscle, but in the end my playing is better for the change.
jorymil
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2019 9:23 pm

Re: Radical Mouthpiece size change

Post by jorymil » Mon Dec 09, 2019 1:46 pm

I got my first bass/large shank trombone (small one; a Besson 10-10) a few weeks ago, along with a Bach 1 1/2G mouthpiece. Almost immediately, I was able to play pedal G and Gb, compared with rough pedal Bbs and As on .525/6.5 AL hardware. Now I'm curious how much of that was the mouthpiece vs the horn.

I've ordered a small-shank Bach 4C from Dillon; will keep everyone posted as to its effects.
harrisonreed
Posts: 1240
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:18 pm
Location: Yokohama, Japan

Re: Radical Mouthpiece size change

Post by harrisonreed » Mon Dec 09, 2019 5:00 pm

It's probably the mouthpiece. It's possible to play pedal C0's even on small bore tenor trombones (like a 3BF) There's a big difference between a bass and tenor ... But not even close to the difference between a trombone and, say, a tuba.
jph
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:30 am
Location: USA

Re: Radical Mouthpiece size change

Post by jph » Mon Dec 16, 2019 2:19 pm

harrisonreed wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:40 pm
I had played on rims for nearly 15 years that were smaller in diameter than a 5G because that's what I used. For no other reason than that. I used to get jaw pain after playing long gigs and my upper resister was never that good. On a whim I bought a much larger rim mouthpiece. I wish I had done that years and years ago.

No pain and much better playing all around. Rim sizes and the rest of the mouthpiece are two different things.
My sentiments exactly. I grew up with the 6 1/2AL and the (5-size) Schilke 51...going to Bach 1 on Bass. Now the main preference (in advanced age) is largely for smaller 3G rims with smaller cups...unless there is a special circumstance. The Bass choice is now smaller (1 1/4) largely because I can not put out necessary air on a sustained basis.
Bruce's comments on some of Doug's comments to him are also reassuring.
Former:
Utility Trombonist, Denver Symphony Pops, 1970's
Student: Crisafulli & Kleinhammer (CSO); Boyd (Clev. Orch.)
Principal Bass: U of Illinois Opera Pit, Begian Symphonic Band

Retired Business Executive (w/Doctorate)
jorymil
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2019 9:23 pm

Re: Radical Mouthpiece size change

Post by jorymil » Thu Dec 19, 2019 12:25 pm

Just got the 4C in the mail yesterday; tried it out on my King 3B and was able to make it down (barely) to pedal F versus maybe an A or Ab with a 6.5 AL. Going to stick with this mouthpiece for at least a month and see how it works intonation- and range-wise.
johntarr
Posts: 88
Joined: Sun May 06, 2018 11:03 pm

Re: Radical Mouthpiece size change

Post by johntarr » Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:14 pm

I’ve had a similar experience although not radical. I’ve been playing on an AR Resonance and just to see, tried my old 6.5 AL. It's slightly wider and a bit deeper. To my surprise, my high range improved and I like my sound better. It also seems to “fit” my lips better. When I visit my parents after Xmas, I’ll try a 5G that I use on my old .547 Minick. I have a vague memory from the last time that I was able get up pretty high more easily than on my (now sold) .500 bore Rath.

I hope to consult Doug Elliott to get expert advice and stop #@&$ing around. Thanks for this thread!
jorymil
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2019 9:23 pm

Re: Radical Mouthpiece size change

Post by jorymil » Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:29 pm

Some follow-up: I'm really loving the Bach 4C on my 3B. It's giving me the nice bright sound I want out of the horn, and hasn't really inhibited my high range. 6.5-size rims definitely inhibit my pedal range, and don't seem to help much, if any, in the higher range.

I recently tried out a Schilke 51 and a Marcinkiewicz 5GW with this horn as well. The 51 just didn't feel right: kind of airy-sounding. The 5GW was a little closer, and might work for more classical-type playing on the 3B, but I'll be sticking with a 4C for now.
Post Reply

Return to “Mouthpieces”