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The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentMouthpieces(Moderators: BGuttman, Doug Elliott) How do you guys tell when it's time to change mouthpiece sizes?
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Author Topic: How do you guys tell when it's time to change mouthpiece sizes?  (Read 1684 times)
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BGuttman
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« Reply #20 on: Aug 27, 2017, 10:22AM »

Marsh, you just described the two extremes of musicians.  One is always looking for the perfect piece of gear to make his job easiest.  The other just makes music on whatever he happens to have.  Jack Teagarden was one of the latter.  He could make a garden hose sound great.  I think most of us are somewhere in the middle.  I know my limits are not my equipment; it's my abilities.  So replacing my trombone won't make me play any better.  I think the same applies to most of the kids on this board.  But if they think a new mouthpiece/horn/mute will solve a problem, maybe it will.  There's a lot of placebo effect for those of us not at the top of the heap.  But the important thing about a placebo is that you have to believe it will work.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #21 on: Aug 27, 2017, 10:42AM »

Marsh, you just described the two extremes of musicians.  One is always looking for the perfect piece of gear to make his job easiest.  The other just makes music on whatever he happens to have.  Jack Teagarden was one of the latter.  He could make a garden hose sound great.  I think most of us are somewhere in the middle.  I know my limits are not my equipment; it's my abilities.  So replacing my trombone won't make me play any better.  I think the same applies to most of the kids on this board.  But if they think a new mouthpiece/horn/mute will solve a problem, maybe it will.  There's a lot of placebo effect for those of us not at the top of the heap.  But the important thing about a placebo is that you have to believe it will work.

Thanks for the translation, interpretation Bruce.

For me, sometimes a change of equipment - mpc in this  thread - is not a matter of "make me play any better". Usually it's a matter of allowing me to play more appropriately
in a given situation. Only practice with expert instruction will help me to play better. That, combined with inspiration.

...Geezer
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« Reply #22 on: Aug 28, 2017, 04:31PM »

A couple of years ago, I attended the Alessi Sem in Eugene (as an auditor). For the last few days of the week, Christan Griego was there with his mouthpieces. At the time, I was on a GB 5.5 (I think), which I found a little big. I tried a couple of CG's mpcs on my own - I recall being disappointed in a 55. I finally got Christan's attention and, after hearing my concerns and hearing me play, he handed me a mpc that immediately felt and played much better than the GB.  It was his G-A 4C, which, given its rim dimension and relatively shallow cup, was not something I would have thought to try.

I bought it and played it for a year before a brief flirtation with a Schilke 51 (following a blindfolded Pepsi challenge which served to demonstrate you can distinguish between mpcs easier than you think) and a bit longer with a DE setup. I'm now in a Griego Oft (thanks RMT!) which is similar to the 4C and with which I am very happy (for now).

Moral of the story is, I think, you may have to kiss a lot of 🐸s to find your 👑. Your teacher may or may not be of much help. Guidance from someone like CG or DE can be very helpful if it can be arranged.
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« Reply #23 on: Aug 28, 2017, 10:06PM »

Marsh, you just described the two extremes of musicians.  One is always looking for the perfect piece of gear to make his job easiest.  The other just makes music on whatever he happens to have.  Jack Teagarden was one of the latter.  He could make a garden hose sound great.  I think most of us are somewhere in the middle.  I know my limits are not my equipment; it's my abilities.  So replacing my trombone won't make me play any better.  I think the same applies to most of the kids on this board.  But if they think a new mouthpiece/horn/mute will solve a problem, maybe it will.  There's a lot of placebo effect for those of us not at the top of the heap.  But the important thing about a placebo is that you have to believe it will work.

I have it on eyewitness account that Teagarden was so fussy about his m'pces that he carried a lathe in his car when traveling. He also went through I do not know how many different horns. He was one of the former, not one of the latter.

At one point during his long and fruitful career, he was playing a Reynolds horn with a big "R"-shaped balance weight.



Someone asked him what the "R" stood for, and he answered "Rotten!!!"

Like dat.

S.
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« Reply #24 on: Aug 29, 2017, 01:14AM »

A m/p change may be necessary when playing with a new horn, to help fit it into an existing musical environment. I might consider a change if I could find a m/p that was slightly wider, a little less deep, with a V cup and that had a bigger throat, but with the same rim as my Wick 9BS.

Thankfully I live a long way from music stores and temptation..
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savio

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« Reply #25 on: Aug 29, 2017, 04:37AM »

Mouthpieces can give frustration when we are not sure what we should use. Most of us have been there. I have definetly been there. Its of course important to find one we like and suit our anatomy. Once we find that one its best to stay and develop.

I would suggest to read a little bit in the tread where Sam tell how to choose. Its one of the sticky treads up in front here.

When to change is difficult to say. If it works well and we develop keep it. If you get a new horn its maybe time to look for one that fits the horn. Difficult to say, the answer is in the end inside our self.


Leif

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« Reply #26 on: Aug 29, 2017, 05:36AM »

The answer has to be put in the context of the musical maturity of the OP. Young students can be impatient and are not served well by making a change every time they can save enough money to buy another mouthpiece. At the same time I would not lecture a seasoned pro or even semi pro about gear or anything else really. You can't apply the same answer to every body.
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CJ
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« Reply #27 on: Aug 29, 2017, 08:50AM »

I have been playing around with mouthpieces a bit, and I think it is sometimes necessary when you get a new horn.  I play a 6H but recently acquired new slide for it from another manufacturer.  The same mouthpiece on one was terrible on the other and vice versa.  So, to answer the question I think it makes a lot of sense to change when you're looking to get the best sound out of your trombone.  As a caveat, I would suggest for a young person that they don't change their mouthpiece unless their teacher suggests it.
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Matt K

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« Reply #28 on: Aug 29, 2017, 09:48AM »

I tend to think of changes in equipment as having varying degrees of detriment instead of a +/- scale of better or worse. Or better put, I'm me 100% of the time.  Some horns take away very little of that and some horns take away more of that.  E.g. the Shires I play on that I've spent years assembling parts and mouthpieces for has very little detriment to my playing. The Indian made cupronickel student horn with an off brand 12C has a high level of detriment. But the amount of musical stuff I can do on it is still, say 80%. ---These numbers, of course, being subjective.

I think a lot of players who swap equipment have the same mentality, though they might indicate so in different manners. E.g. Harrison's recent thread on using a shallower cup for solo playing.  They're seeking to have less of a detriment to their playing, not a panacea that will make them sound like player x without practicing.

So realistically, you don't know when is the "right time" to switch because you can't test any alternative scenarios.  In general, if you find something that holds you back less, then by all means use it.  I found that the moment Doug handed me a 104N rim.  I don't know how/if Doug knew that I was 'ready' for that size, but it worked and its still the rim I use to this day for all my tenor playing.

The points about different horns are also relevant in my estimation too.  Every horn I've played wants something slightly different, at least on the bottom (cup/shank).  I match the rim to my face and the bottom to the horn. 
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« Reply #29 on: Aug 29, 2017, 11:50AM »

When Doug Elliott tells you to. :)
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Doug Elliott
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« Reply #30 on: Aug 29, 2017, 12:23PM »

OK Luke, it's time for you to change back to one of mine. Evil
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