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The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentMouthpieces(Moderators: BGuttman, Doug Elliott) One fits all or one for each' which one is better?
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sirisobhakya
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« on: Aug 23, 2017, 03:22AM »

I recently went to a school of which I am an alumni and visited the school's concert band, of which I am an alumni as well. The trombone instructor comes only seldom, and the underclassmen seem lost, so I decided to give them advice.

As a marching and concert band, the trombonists have to regularly double on baritone. This poses no problem to most of them, since they normally use Yamaha 47-48 or Bach 6.5AL mouthpieces, which is similar in size with the baritone's default mouthpiece (Yamaha 48L). The bass trombonist, on the other hand, uses Yamaha 59 (around Bach 1.5G), but has to change to baritone's default Yamaha 48. Moreover, since they have only 1 capable euphonist, but the competition is coming up, the bass trombonist may have to temporarily move to euphonium, probably with yet another mouthpiece.

I always believe that one should always use the same mouthpiece, or at least that with the same rim diameter, rather than switch back and forth between many mouthpieces. I used 1.5G for 2nd and 3rd trombone, at one time even used it for 1st (but at that time I didn't know anything about mouthpiece size), so at least for me, one mouthpiece can do almost anything in secondary-high school repertoire, be it 1st, 2nd, 3rd, bass, euphonium or baritone. Reading one of the FAQ of Douglas Yeo (https://www.yeodoug.com/resources/faq/faq_text/doubling.html) reinforces that belief, and I plan to advise the bass trombonist to do so. But I see many people in this forum using many mouthpieces simultaneously for different horns, sometimes even one small shank and one large bass mouthpiece.

So I would like to ask your opinion: should I tell the bass trombonist that she should stick to one mouthpiece and use it for all the instruments, or should I let her switch between mouthpieces like before?

Thank you for your response.
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Chaichan Wiriyaswat
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« Reply #1 on: Aug 23, 2017, 04:47AM »

One mouthpiece is best in that age. In fact it is best for all ages.

Leif
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« Reply #2 on: Aug 23, 2017, 06:09AM »

It may or may not be the large one, though.  Different embouchures, different optimum sizes.  You used 1.5 for all parts.  Someone else might need a 12C. 
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sirisobhakya
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« Reply #3 on: Aug 23, 2017, 06:13AM »

It may or may not be the large one, though.  Different embouchures, different optimum sizes.  You used 1.5 for all parts.  Someone else might need a 12C. 

With that sentence I wanted to mean one mouthpiece is enough for me to cover all parts, from 1st through bass and even euphonium. Sorry for ambiguity. I shall edit it now.
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Chaichan Wiriyaswat
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« Reply #4 on: Aug 23, 2017, 07:06AM »

There's 2 very distinct schools of thought here, and I'm in the opposite camp.  I think different instruments respond better with different sized mouthpieces, and that rim size should change according to the instrument.  Sam Burtis converted me to that when he talked about concentric embouchure circles.  I have a really hard time producing a characteristic sound on a small tenor and a bass when I'm using the same rim for both.

Flesh is more flexible than metal, and I don't have any trouble using different rim sizes to compliment different horn sizes.  That was a conscious choice though, after failing to successfully use a single rim for all my playing.

Stan
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« Reply #5 on: Aug 23, 2017, 07:16AM »

I'm in the third camp. I believe that the rim should be exactly the same from alto all the way to bass/euph IF you are a frequent doubler, and the rim should be as large as needed to produce a full range from pedal C to F5 on tenor. But that's the only thing that should remain the same. The cup shape, throat, and shank should all be tailored to the instrument. Shallow cup for alto and small bore, medium deep for tenor, deep for euph (I don't know how to play bass). I wouldn't want to play a 1.5G on tenor. I definitely wouldn't want to use it on alto.

But if you only play one instrument, say for example bass, then perhaps the mouthpiece should be more specific to just that instrument. For example, you don't need to play very high on bass, so a much larger rim might make a lot of sense. If you've got the chops to just switch up rims completely, power to you.
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« Reply #6 on: Aug 23, 2017, 07:30AM »

Some players can switch rim sizes with no ill effects, and others can't.   For myself, one rim size for all tenors works well - that's why I designed my mouthpiece system.
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« Reply #7 on: Aug 23, 2017, 07:34AM »

My 'current' 2 cents.  I regularly play a dbl trigger Bach bass, and 3rd in sev. bands. It came, ca 1999, with a Bach 1G, I've used that size for many years.  This summer, I've been playing in a dixieland group again, (after a sev.-yr gap), using the bass with a 6 1/2 A 'piece - works just fine.
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« Reply #8 on: Aug 23, 2017, 08:39AM »

What Doug said. Some people switch rims effortlessly, and others struggle. I especially like to keep young students on the same rim size (except for changes made to their primary mouthpiece as they progress) for all their playing. As their playing becomes more secure, they can start to experiment to see if they are more comfortable changing the rim or keeping it the same with different cups.

There are great players in each camp - Joe Alessi keeps the same rim for tenor/alto - Michael Mulcahy uses a 15C for his Bass trumpet and a 3G on his Euphonium on the Summitt recording of excerpts for those horns. Whatever works for you.

Jim Scott
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« Reply #9 on: Aug 23, 2017, 08:47AM »

I play euph with a bass trombone mouthpiece.  Let the kid play her 59.  You may actualy like the sound.

The 6.5 AL is a good starter mouthpiece and for many it's all they will ever need.  But mouthpieces are like shoes.  One size does NOT fit all.  I rail at the Drum Corps who insisted that all the players use identical mouthpieces.  Maybe it's a selection tool -- eliminate the players who can't conform.  But if a kid is having problems with a particular mouthpiece that can be traced to the mouthpiece, a change is a good thing.
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« Reply #10 on: Aug 23, 2017, 05:26PM »

One rim size should work with the exception of bass trombone. Of course the cup and shank should be suited to the instrument being used.

Over the weekend I did play a trombone quartet concert in which I played 1st, 2nd, and 3rd on different pieces. I played alto and tenor on the same rim size (different cup and shank), and bass trombone with a Bach 1.5G on a couple numbers which required 2 bass trombones. This was a more extreme case than what you describe, but it did work well for me.
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« Reply #11 on: Aug 24, 2017, 10:31PM »

Use whatever works. At times I played euphonium on one of my bass trombone mouthpieces.

Now I'm dedicated to really simplifying my mouthpieces. One rim for basses and one rim for tenors. I know the approachs I need for each instrument I need to play and have cups and backbores mated to them. This is what's working for me.

I think if she's struggling with the smaller mouthpiece then she should find what works for her. A teacher needs to know all approaches and how and why each work for different people. I know I can't make much use out of even a 5-sized rim, which is popular to say the least with many many players.
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« Reply #12 on: Aug 25, 2017, 04:48PM »

I one of the people who change mouthpieces depending on the horn I'm playing.  On my 3B tenor I use a 7C, on my 88H I've used a Shilke 50 but recently went back to the Remington that came with and like the results, On my bass I use a Doug Yeo replica, and on Tuba I use a Bach 12, on Euphonium I use an old (no longer available) Lehman M mouthpiece (which has a rim similar to a bass bone rim, and a really deep cup).  I even pick up a trumpet from time to time to play taps with a 3C MP.  I find it easy to switch Mouthpieces, but others I've talked to don't.
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« Reply #13 on: Aug 25, 2017, 04:54PM »

A Yamaha 59 is going to be pretty big and unforgiving in a marching instrument, even a euph.

Why not use something a little smaller, but not as small as a 48?

I don't have any issues (so far, at least...) using different rim sizes on different instruments. Going for the same rim just for marching band seems excessive.
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« Reply #14 on: Aug 25, 2017, 07:35PM »

Question: Is she having trouble switching mouthpieces between horns, or is this just a question of "best practices?"
(I don't think you specified--if you did, I missed it)
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sirisobhakya
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« Reply #15 on: Aug 25, 2017, 09:24PM »

A Yamaha 59 is going to be pretty big and unforgiving in a marching instrument, even a euph.

Why not use something a little smaller, but not as small as a 48?

I don't have any issues (so far, at least...) using different rim sizes on different instruments. Going for the same rim just for marching band seems excessive.

For me it is quite a big problem. I mean, I can (or should I say "could", I haven't switch rim size since long time ago) play on different rim diameter, but the "acceptable" sound will not come out until 2-3 hours of playing, and even after that the feeling will be weird for a long time, maybe 1 or 2 weeks.

In between rim size is not available right now at the band. The school does not focus and does not sponsor much about the band, so the equipment is a bit lacking. And in my country wind instruments are expensive, even mouthpiece worth around 10-15% of average salary, so I don't expect the students to buy their own mouthpiece. But I am considering buying one or two as a gift when I go back the next time on new year vacation, maybe Yamaha 51-55 or Bach 4G-3G.


Question: Is she having trouble switching mouthpieces between horns, or is this just a question of "best practices?"
(I don't think you specified--if you did, I missed it)

You did not miss it. I did not specify it.

This is just a question of best practices. Moreover, she did not come on the day I visited when the band practice marching, so I don't know her baritone sound.
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Chaichan Wiriyaswat
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« Reply #16 on: Aug 25, 2017, 11:27PM »

I understand more. Still, the 59 will not be good in the baritone (I assume a Yamaha) or euph.

Will the band be at All-Japan? I may be there with Aimachi Tenrikyo  in December.
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sirisobhakya
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« Reply #17 on: Aug 25, 2017, 11:42PM »

I understand more. Still, the 59 will not be good in the baritone (I assume a Yamaha) or euph.

Will the band be at All-Japan? I may be there with Aimachi Tenrikyo  in December.

My home country is Thailand, but I am working in Japan right now.
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Chaichan Wiriyaswat
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« Reply #18 on: Aug 26, 2017, 12:01AM »

Like Burgerbob is saying a 59 is pretty big in a Euph... besides the fact that it's a lot more work it will also make the instrument way flatter using a piece that big.

If the kid is having trouble with adjusting to a smaller rim size something in the 3G, Wick 3AL or Schilke 53 size would be a good choose... heck even something in the 4G, Wick 4AL or Schilke 52 size range would be perfect too.

My main mouthpiece on bass is my Elliott 114 setup but I've found for me personally that going tooooo big a rim size doesn't work on Euph or Tenor. I like a 2G rim on Euph or tenor, anything larger then that and things start to become a lot of work. You'd be surprised at how fast you can adjust between a 1 1/4G/59 sized rim to a 2G/53 sized rim... they really aren't that much different.
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