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The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentMouthpieces(Moderators: BGuttman, Doug Elliott) Plastic Mouthpiece for 30F Concert... Worth It?
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Triggz
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« on: Dec 04, 2017, 01:13PM »

This coming Friday I am going to play holiday music outside for an hour or so, at 30F. I will be playing my Eastman ETB420 which takes a small shank mouthpiece and I typically play a Bach 5G (small shank on the Eastman and large shank on the Shires). Band director told brass players to use plastic mouthpieces.  Is it worth it to seek out a plastic mouthpiece of similar size, and if so any recommendations? Thanks!
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 04, 2017, 01:24PM »

Kelly makes them, you can order on Amazon.  There might be others.  I don't think Faxx makes one.
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #2 on: Dec 04, 2017, 01:43PM »

I have the pBone 5G and 6 1/2 black plastic mouthpieces (purchased from Dillon's) and find the tone isn't very good.  May be OK for outdoor Christmas Carols, but you may be disappointed with the sound.  Mine are now relegated to buzzing practice in the car.  YMMV.  Good Luck.
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« Reply #3 on: Dec 04, 2017, 01:47PM »

I have a Kelly 1 1/2G that is very useful for what you describe. I also bought a 6 1/2 AL that I use occasionally. For cold weather they are a great option.

I have a friend that loves Kellys and only uses them. No mouthpiece is for everybody, but some people like plastic(Lexan).
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Martin Hubel
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« Reply #4 on: Dec 04, 2017, 02:33PM »

Yamaha also makes a mouthpiece, the TMP-SL, which is a Yamaha 48 but plastic. Really comfortable! I got mine for 10 bucks on eBay. I would use it all the time on that horn but it is not quite as easy to play as my other metal 48s.
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« Reply #5 on: Dec 04, 2017, 08:05PM »

I like my plastic mouthpiece a lot better than I like numb lips on a freezing mouthpiece.
And it's easier than spending every moment doing mouthpiece-warming tricks.
For those who say the tone is inferior: no argument. But for an outdoor gig that's so cold my face is half-numb, I'm not gonna be playing so well anyway.  Don't know


In addition to cold outdoor gigs, I use my plastic mouthpiece for:
* sweaty marching gigs (Lexan is less slippery!),
* any other marching gig (I worry less about knocking my teeth out with a badly-planned "horns up"),
* spare mouthpiece in the car "just in case,"
* buzzing practice/warmup in the car at stop lights,
* buzzing practice when I travel,
* warming up when my horn's been in my trunk all day and my real mouthpieces are still freezing or red-hot.


Is it worth the express shipping you might need to pay to ensure it shows up by Friday? I dunno.
Is it possible you won't find yours as handy as I find mine? Yup. Your gamble.


$0.02
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Matt K

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« Reply #6 on: Dec 04, 2017, 08:10PM »

I purchased a lexan rim from Doug for that every reason in 2011.  I decided to try it out and was hooked from that moment. I rarely play metal rims unless I simply down't own something in that size anymore!  Glad I did marching band, oddly enough, since  probably wouldn't have ordered one otherwise (why fix something not broken!?)
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« Reply #7 on: Dec 04, 2017, 08:11PM »

While 30o F is below freezing, it's not that far below freezing.  You can probably get away with a few tricks:

1.  Put a thin layer of Vaseline or Chap-Stik on the mouthpiece rim.
2.  When you are not playing, put the mouthpiece in your pants pocket.

You might be able to get a plastic mouthpiece at a local music store, although you may not be able to get your size.  While Kelly makes a 5G they also make a 12C and it seems the 12C is much more common.

I did a gig at 20o F and that was a challenge.  Froze the linkage on my trigger (fortunately in the open position).
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #8 on: Dec 04, 2017, 10:40PM »

Wedge does make plastic mouthpieces, but they're on the expensive side ($90) and they come in various sizes for all shank sizes of trombone (even bass) besides the classic 5G for tenor and 1.5G for bass.

In my marching band, I've seen a few brass players use plastic mouthpieces (mostly trumpets), especially when in the fall time, it gets cold here in Michigan.

FWIW, I haven't played on one myself, but considering where I live when the weather gets cold and frigid during fall or winter, I personally find them to be a decent alternative as they don't require to warm the piece but only blow warm air throughout the instrument and push in the tunings slides a bit since in colder times, they'll be fair. 

Just my $00.02
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« Reply #9 on: Dec 05, 2017, 06:44AM »

...

Just my $00.02

Is that in Zimbabwean dollars? Evil Evil
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #10 on: Dec 05, 2017, 08:50AM »

I have two Kelly mouthpieces and I feel the advantage of being able to play V frozen lips is worth it. Also I feel they play pretty darn well! Just to have a warm feeling mouthpiece when starting to play at a rehearsal or a gig after bringing the horn from the car makes getting a set of DE lexan rims seem worth it, but I dont like the stickiness of the material that much. Thats what makes me not want to play on lexan or plastic unless I have to.
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« Reply #11 on: Dec 05, 2017, 01:17PM »

Is that in Zimbabwean dollars? Evil Evil
Actually more like Syrian Pounds! Evil ( ͡ ͜ʖ ͡)
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Ethan Wadie
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« Reply #12 on: Dec 05, 2017, 02:14PM »

I use a Kelly for those situations and it works fine for that purpose. 
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Triggz
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« Reply #13 on: Dec 05, 2017, 06:06PM »

So it seems that were actually performing on December 16 now. Huh. Itll most likely be even colder then. At least I have more time to get the mouthpiece now. Kelly doesnt make a small shank 5G so Im going to get a 6 1/2 AL. I thought that plastic was just a scam but it seems that it really does work for temperature-sensitive situations. I dont expect the same sound as I get on metal but thisll work for what Im doing and with my budget. If I cant get one in time then Ill try putting chapstick on the metal mouthpiece and put it in a glove with a heating pad, the little ones used while fishing. Thank you!
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Matt K

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« Reply #14 on: Dec 05, 2017, 08:44PM »

Note that the Kelly mouthpieces tend to run larger than their specs would otherwise indicate. At least on their trumpet pieces, I can't speak of their trombone ones. The 3C is evidently very close to a 1.5C and I'm told most of the trumpet mouthpieces are basically one size larger.  Sometimes plastic pieces feel smaller than brass ones so that may explain partially why why that is.
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M.R.Tenor

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« Reply #15 on: Dec 06, 2017, 09:36AM »

Keep it in a pocket before you play, and rest your hand on the mouthpiece when you're not playing. Shouldn't need to buy a mouthpiece for one gig. If you're looking to get a plastic mouthpiece for the future, go ahead though. If you're not comfortable with the new mouthpiece, your playing might be better on the old one still, regardless of if it feels cold or not. I find the dry air bothers me more than the mouthpiece. Can't make as long of phrases
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« Reply #16 on: Dec 07, 2017, 02:06PM »

So it seems that were actually performing on December 16 now. Huh. Itll most likely be even colder then.

I've done lots of cold weather playing. Save your money, and keep the brass mouthpiece in your pocket as Bruce advised. It will stay warm enough. The bigger problem is the slide freezing up due to the moisture between the inners and outers. You can keep the slide misted with a water/alcohol mix to combat the freezing, and that will keep you playing, but it will also wash away the slide lubricant.

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Triggz
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« Reply #17 on: Dec 08, 2017, 06:38PM »

I dont want to deal with having to keep metal warm for an hour straight after taking it from a cold case and the local music store had a Kelly 6 1/2 AL and the price was marked down a little from the Kelly websites pricing. Honestly its a much better mouthpiece than I thought it would be. Im impressed! Also comfortable on my split lip. Definitely worth the money (and Im sure Ill need to use it again... I am not playing my Shires in the snow so time to take out the small bore student Eastman, which I use for high school pep band too). Thank you for your replies! Ill bring a spray bottle, cloth, and lubricant for the slide in case it freezes up.
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« Reply #18 on: Dec 08, 2017, 08:14PM »

When I was in the navy band, I used an aluminum Jet-Tone.  Now when it's cold, I just tell them to hire someone more gullible. :)
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