Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

 
Advanced search

1070099 Posts in 70996 Topics- by 18780 Members - Latest Member: ComeBackKid
Jump to:  
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 10 [All]   Go Down
Print
Author Topic: Theory---Largest..or Smallest?  (Read 93153 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
evan51
Guardian of the Sacred Nebulizer

*
Offline Offline

Location: CA Tent City
Joined: Feb 8, 2001
Posts: 22145

View Profile WWW
« on: Jul 12, 2006, 03:56PM »

Kevin Marsh writes of Alain Trudel:

Quote
Lots of modern trombonists , both bass and tenor, play equipment that is AS LARGE as they can get away with. Then they have to practice excessively , to build the necessary muscle mass and physical strength to be able to produce the pitches they require to do their playing. And also to produce the necessary air capacity and air speed to control a mouthpiece TOO LARGE for their needs.
They are practicing too much just to get to the point where they are able to produce music ONLY after they are able to control the brass.


Trudel's theory is totally different---

He plays AS SMALL a mouthpiece as he can because he wants to play MUSIC from the first time he picks up the horn. He is unconcerned with building muscle or muscle mass or excessive strength to control the horn. He plays as openly as possible and with as little pressure as possible.

He inhales- he exhales. Sometimes a trombone gets in the way....at that point he is playing a trombone, otherwise he breathes the same all the time, effortlessly.


This is a very interesting quote and lays out two opposing and common views about selecting a mouthpiece. Where do y'all stand on this? What have your teachers recommended? What have you actually done in approaching this issue (when their backs were turned  Grin ?).
Logged

One life---a little gleam of time between two Eternities.---Thomas Carlyle
Frank B
« Reply #1 on: Jul 12, 2006, 04:01PM »

I just play what's most comfortable and achieves what I wish to achieve from the mouthpiece.

My teacher didn't really say anything about my mouthpiece and choosing one. I had my concussion/contusion earlier in the year when I wanted to switch mouthpieces, the ETW was the first time I'd played in a couple weeks as well as where I got my new mouthpiece. The only comment that I got from him was when I got back to school and my playing sucked, he took my mouthpiece, washed it, played it, washed it, and handed it back to me saying, "Well, it's not the mouthpeice. Thats a very good mouthpiece. It's you."

That's all I ever really got from him before, during, or after.
Logged
2olbones
« Reply #2 on: Jul 12, 2006, 04:56PM »

I'm certainly no Alain Trudel.  If I was I would probably not be spending so much time on forum.  But Frank B. is right.  I kind of evolved to large mouthpieces, which I attribute to having an overly large mouth.  I think it's a mistake to totally discount anatomy when searching for the 'right' equipment.
Logged
Kevin Marsh
*
Offline Offline

Location: The Wilds of Canada
Joined: Jul 25, 2001
Posts: 449

View Profile WWW
« Reply #3 on: Jul 12, 2006, 08:00PM »

I guess that  I started this ugly can 'o worms. I'll short circuit the thread and reduce the number of posts right now by 80%.

Go through the OTJ.
Read it ALL.
Memorize it all.
Get as much professional experience experience as you can so you can detect the red herrings in the threads and get to the truth.

Here it goes, folks:

Why do some principal players in huge orchestras play large mouthpieces?
1. Because they can
2. Because the acoustical tiles on the ceiling destroyed the acoustics and they have to to get a round full sound in competetition with 100 strings and 12 percussionists.Or, the new paint job destroyed the acoustics and they're in trouble with a new conductor.
3. Because they spend 95% of the time counting rests, and they can.

Why do some bass trombonists in large orchestras do the same? See points 1,2 and 3 above.


Heres a fun thing to search for on the OTJ......Van Haney had a nice perfect mouthpiece made for him in '45 and it was copied many many times. It became a cult item in Eastman and copies of it are still floating around...Giardinelli Symphony-T. Remington mouthpiece. Guys ( famous famous players ) played their copies and one day found out at an audition that althought they all bought the same mouthpiece some were 4G size and some were 6 1/2AL size. Poor copy control.

Numbers don't tell even half the story.


Does body shape or oral cavity shape determine your mouthpiece? Personally I have a large oral cavity, within human range...but about one inch longer than normal so I'm flat on most horns. So, do I play a larger mouthpiece? Absolutely not. SMALLER.


I just finished a gig for 2 1/2 hours. Played outdoors in renaissance garb with a brass quartet into the sun drinking wobbly-pops for a crowd of feasting agricultural company reps and their wives. Conn bass bone with large tenor mouthpiece. Did anyone complain? You bet...they complained whenever we stopped playing and they had to knock off the tambourine playing and dancing. Tenor player played a small Rath M.N. S11. Could we have gone on and done another 3 hours . YES.

Did anyone say our sound was "small". Nope.

At one point in my life I used to play 3 -set big band jobs with a Schilke 60. At the end of a night I could taste blood. Next day I was wasted. Stupid? Yes.

I used to play three parades a day in a military band with a Schilke 60. Could I taste blood when I went to bed after I polished my boots? You bet! Stupid? Absolutely.


My last point--- here is my prediction--- the OTJ will have at least 500 kids in Grade 9 discover the horn next school year. And I predict 80% of the kids on the OTJ will be asking the same question.....how "big" should I play? And will Schilke be introducing a Schilke 61 with a shallower cup for me to try?

Now, everybody go re-read the thread that Blast started about the 1 1/2G on the top of this page, and why does it still work....if you let it and are prepared to make the effort to.[/u]
Logged
Sea Dog

*
Offline Offline

Location: Washington DC
Joined: Apr 11, 2002
Posts: 480

View Profile
« Reply #4 on: Jul 12, 2006, 08:06PM »

Trudel is an amazing player, but he is a soloist and can be more individual in his sound. Working as basically an ensemble player requires one to be more conscious of blend with other trombones as well as other instruments. As someone who does play on larger equipment, I do not agree that I have to spend a lot of time building up muscle or that I have to control the brass before I make music. I feel that I always try to make music, I don't like to think that I'm simply "playing the brass". There certainly are trombonists who play on equipment that is too big for them, but that is not the fault of those who do play big equipment for valid reasons.

I like to test myself every so often too, I have been working on this solo that is very high and has almost no rest for about 12 minutes. I've been working on this on my large horn and mouthpiece. After a while I try it on my small bore horn with small mouthpieces of various sizes to see if it makes it any easier. I give each set up a fair shake, and as hard as it is to believe, it's easier for me on my big horn. Now if more people tried this test, they may find that they are more happy on the smaller mouthpieces. I do try this with bigger mouthpieces once in a while too and I'm not going any bigger.

I don't make a big deal about the size of my mouthpiece to students for this reason, as students are impressionable, I don't want to make them think that they need to play on a big mouthpiece to make it. There is also some machismo involved in this whole big mouthpiece thing, like it proves that one is a bigger man for doing it. That certainly is NOT the case. Trudel is a great player for a lot of reasons, but the size of his mouthpiece is not part of the equation. Joe Alessi may play on a huge mouthpiece, but he changes mouthpieces often and will sound like him no matter what size cup he's on.

Listen, learn, practice. Play a horn that is in good working order and on a mouthpiece that is appropriate for your facial structure and concept of playing. And by all means, always make music!
Logged

Lobster - the ultimate white meat
Sea Dog

*
Offline Offline

Location: Washington DC
Joined: Apr 11, 2002
Posts: 480

View Profile
« Reply #5 on: Jul 12, 2006, 08:15PM »

It took me so long to write the previous post that Kevin snuck one in that I feel I should respond to.

I certainly respect Kevin's opinion and if he's happy playing what he's on, great! It does sound like he spent some time figuring out what was a good fit for him, which is something we all go through.

However, I don't agree with his comments about orchestral players necessarily and they certainly don't apply to me as a band player. The horn is on my face for 2 1/2 hours of rehearsals a day, plus my personal practice time and I've been playing a 2 hour musical 7 shows a week. The size of my mouthpiece is certainly not standing in my way.

I do agree with Kevin that when it comes to younger players, the size of the mouthpiece becomes too much of an issue too young.
Logged

Lobster - the ultimate white meat
Kevin Marsh
*
Offline Offline

Location: The Wilds of Canada
Joined: Jul 25, 2001
Posts: 449

View Profile WWW
« Reply #6 on: Jul 13, 2006, 05:29AM »

Quite true, sir. An excellent point. And perhaps one that Sam Burtis has been writing about for many years on this and other forums ( fora?).


Orchestral trombone playing is a hold over from 19th century european "art " music, and as such is almost a historical curiosity. I admit that new music is being composed daily, performed daily and appreciated daily. But the overall "structure" of the symphony orchestra is set in stone.

Need an example? To auditon for a gig there you play excerpts of tunes 150 years old and are judged by how well you can RE-create the past. If you can RE-create the past with 100% accuracy 100% of the time, chances are you'll get the gig, and happily plan your retirement after another 40 years of RE-creating the 19th century.

Band playing? A totally different animal. Totally different gear, different mind set. Different goals. All just as worthy as the orchestral experience.

My personal concern, as someone approaching the end of my playing days in a scant 30 or 40 years from now, is how to make the horn appeal to a huge crop of kids RIGHT NOW! I'd like to see 12 trombonists in every band, three or four on a part, and the really exceptional ones heading over to the euphs and tubas to learn how to double and be really versatile.( Just to drive the "fulltime" euphs and tubists insane when the good trombonists can eclipse them in two hours when they discover that 7-positions equal 7 valve combinations.)

Will the ordinary human being, who will hopefully evolve as a player into someone with a love of music above all, and settle down into a weekend warrior pattern of gigging and rehearsing for their full lifetime, be able to do this on the LARGEST equipment possible?

    I think not. Finish school, whatever level you get to. And then settle down into a lifelong pattern of practicing, rehearsing with community groups and loving it because it doesn't hurt. To do this, you select the SMALLEST gear possible to do the job.

I'll repeat a thread I contributed to previously on the OTJ. Do trumpet players get caught up in the arms war and select huge mouthpieces? NEVER. They love to talk about mouthpieces above all things else on earth, but to a man they're not interested in getting Schilke to produce a model #25, 26, 27 etc. etc.   to get an advantage over the next player.

I predicted in my first post here that I'd short circuit about 80% of the posts to this thread. I'll kill off another 10% right now. Of the players who are happy playing their current mouthpiece, and have EVER  ( I mean EVER , even once, questioned their choice of gear in their mind) or have had a section mate express surprise at their choice of large mouthpiece-- have they ever had another thought that after a layoff of a period of time had mis-givings about the length of time it'll take to get back "into shape".

I'm talking about taking two days off of the horn, and then thinking in their heart " Aaaaaaaarrggggghhhh, gotta practice .Now! Or it'll really be a drag tomorrow, on day 3".

And if you're one of the 80% of the guys who play large equipment and the answer to the above question is " Nah! I NEVER take a day off." then I commend you for your diligence. But eventually you'll have a family, or ***GASP*** a day job and won't have the strength to play 8 hours a day-- or the time. And then playing a nice SMALL mouthpiece may be fun again.
Just small enough to do the playing you want/have to and still be able to take breaks from the horn to take care of daily business without having to worry about the gear.
Logged
bodingus

*
Offline Offline

Location: Hangin' with Dorothy and Toto
Joined: Aug 7, 2004
Posts: 363

View Profile
« Reply #7 on: Jul 14, 2006, 03:21AM »

One of my teachers said "It's too big, too tubby. Try this..."

One said, "They both sound OK."

Another said,"It's too big for me."

A different one said,"That's a bit small for me..."

They all talked about and DEMONSTRATED a good, fundamental sound in all registers. They all spent more time on making music than on equipment. Having taken lessons with a number of guys, and having had the chance to play in ensembles with talented folks of both genders, the usual order of things is to find out what is being used and then get to the important stuff: music.

I know that if I'm talking about equipment with a student that the next thing we'll talk about is air. Air, air, air...then on to music and the fundamentals there-of.
Logged

Bo Dingus
Freelance T-Bones and Tuba
Adjunct Prof., Low Brass
Ottawa KS
MonsterAar
*
Offline Offline

Location: Australia
Joined: Dec 19, 2004
Posts: 2225

View Profile
« Reply #8 on: Jul 14, 2006, 04:37AM »

Quote from: "Kevin Marsh"
I predicted in my first post here that I'd short circuit about 80% of the posts to this thread. I'll kill off another 10% right now. Of the players who are happy playing their current mouthpiece, and have EVER  ( I mean EVER , even once, questioned their choice of gear in their mind) or have had a section mate express surprise at their choice of large mouthpiece-- have they ever had another thought that after a layoff of a period of time had mis-givings about the length of time it'll take to get back "into shape".

I'm talking about taking two days off of the horn, and then thinking in their heart " Aaaaaaaarrggggghhhh, gotta practice .Now! Or it'll really be a drag tomorrow, on day 3".

And if you're one of the 80% of the guys who play large equipment and the answer to the above question is " Nah! I NEVER take a day off." then I commend you for your diligence. But eventually you'll have a family, or ***GASP*** a day job and won't have the strength to play 8 hours a day-- or the time. And then playing a nice SMALL mouthpiece may be fun again.
Just small enough to do the playing you want/have to and still be able to take breaks from the horn to take care of daily business without having to worry about the gear.


No, I've never had mis-givings over time taken to get into shape after a lay-off the horn.  I've had periods of 2 months where I havn't played the horn and it never feels bad first day back, 2nd or third or ever.  It feels perferct for my face, just as it does when i've been practising solidly for months.  

Some people NEED large rims.  Small rims don't work.  I hope Doug Elliott will chime in here to talk about that.
Logged

Luke
LT42AG[XTG103NGG8]
3B[XTG103NCC3]
Omega[XTG103NFF4]
Selman[XTG103NCC3]
Kevin Marsh
*
Offline Offline

Location: The Wilds of Canada
Joined: Jul 25, 2001
Posts: 449

View Profile WWW
« Reply #9 on: Jul 14, 2006, 05:14AM »

Ah, ha!!!

Two more thoughful intelligent posts to this thread. Thank you, gentlemen.

Now, using the Socratic method of asking probing questions and getting answers in an attempt to DEFINE OUR TERMS, we get closer to the truth.

The thread title is "largest" or "smallest".

 We can now further define the thread title as "TOO large" or "TOO small".

Thank you, good sirs, we've just eliminated another 5% of the potential readership. And so we're down to 5% of the OTJ readership. I consider this a great victory, because even 5% of 5000 members will be ....uhhhhhhh..... about 12 players.(??)

I read with appreciation every post of Doug Elliott's. He gets to the heart of a matter and can diagnose a problem like no other. His multitudinous testimonials from legion of professional trombonists here on the forum illustrates two points---

1. He REALLY knows his stuff, and REALLY cares about people, ( not business and the almighty buck) and --
2. The vast majority of trombone mouthpiece manufacturing done in the 20th century was by companies run by trumpet players ( Bach, etc. etc. ) who needed a line of mouthpieces to flog with their horns and throw into the case as a freebie with every horn sold.


21st century?? Rath, Laskey and Elliott and all the other makers who did thousands of hours of play testing. Unlike Bach who took a reamer to a trombone blank and gradually every .5mm added another mouthpiece to the line of products.

Now, unless I'm mistaken, the majority of posts regarding Elliott products I read are all about fine tweeking of smallish gear to make it more efficient for individual players to suit their musical needs and the demands of their gigs. If they want TOO large mouthpieces then those are already available a plenty from the mass produced manufacturers.

Case in point? A kid finding a 5G too bright is likely to go to a 4G or a 3G ( " cuz dats whut Jay Friedman plays on!!!). Someone else may go to Doug Elliott and tell him he finds a 5G too bright with his 88H, and Doug will listen and suggest a different underpart or backbore?
Logged
Slidennis

*
Offline Offline

Location: Europe
Joined: Dec 29, 2003
Posts: 2338

View Profile
« Reply #10 on: Jul 14, 2006, 05:24AM »

I was very happy with my Stomvi 7B on my king 4B, very nice sound when played at my home, where FF means mF in my wind band...

So if I want to hear myself and be heard at my windband (more than 50 windplayers...) I always have to play louder than home, in another kind of place (big old barn...) and the sound of the 4B began to be really nasty...

So now, when I play there I'm more than happy on a Faxx 5G, which is considered HERE to be really big!!!  
I dislike playing this piece when I'm home, but I have to, in order to train for the windband...

I love to play the trombone softly, I'll have to find a band where I can do so!! :shuffle:
Logged

Denis
MonsterAar
*
Offline Offline

Location: Australia
Joined: Dec 19, 2004
Posts: 2225

View Profile
« Reply #11 on: Jul 14, 2006, 06:21AM »

Quote from: "Kevin Marsh"

Now, unless I'm mistaken, the majority of posts regarding Elliott products I read are all about fine tweeking of smallish gear to make it more efficient for individual players to suit their musical needs and the demands of their gigs. If they want TOO large mouthpieces then those are already available a plenty from the mass produced manufacturers.

Case in point? A kid finding a 5G too bright is likely to go to a 4G or a 3G ( " cuz dats whut Jay Friedman plays on!!!). Someone else may go to Doug Elliott and tell him he finds a 5G too bright with his 88H, and Doug will listen and suggest a different underpart or backbore?


What Mr. Elliott does is tries to find a rim that matches you, then recomends cups/shanks depending on what sound you are looking for/problems that may arise.

For me, he asked for photos of my chops while playing, and asked me to do some tests with a tuner.  I was asked to tune up in my normal playing position and then place/slide the mouthpiece to different places.  From this He was able to determine two things:

I need large rims
I needed to move my mouthpiece placement higher.

At this time I was playing on a 4G.  He recomended his equivalent rim (which i believe is slightly larger).

I use this same rim for all my horns and it works wonders - I have never once felt it to be too big - OR too small.  Just perfect.

so, fif someone goes to doug elliott and tells him that he finds a 5G too bright, Doug will listen, ask questions, and may or may not sugest a different rim size.  AFter this, then the subject of cups will come up (with large tenors his 8 shank is the only one he provides now as it is hte absolute best he has come up with so far for large tenor).  Doug may also find that the bright sound is not an equipment problem, but that falls outside the subject of this thread.

I think i remember him saying once that if you CAN play WELL on a large rim, you most probably NEED a large rim.

Keep in mind that not everyone agrees with Doug's views.

So to get back on topic, some people may find it harder to get back into shape with a smaller rim.  I know it would take me month to try and play will on a 12C - not days.  It all depends on the person.

I don't think either of the 'as big as possible'/'as small as possible' camps are correct.  I believe the correct answer is 'what works for you best' which may be big, which may be small, which maybe in between. (I believe Doug once mentioned that the 5 sized rim was the middle size - may be wrong).

This is, of course, my opinion.  Some people will tell you you should use a mouthpiece that works for each horn, which may meen a 12C for small tenor and 4G for large.  These people make it work for them.

Not one thing works for everybody.

Find what works for you and don't listen to anyone else.  If you don't agree with me, don't bother remembering anythgin I've jsut said because it may harm the way you play your horn if you start wondering 'what if...'  Good!

Luke
(A Large rim player)
Logged

Luke
LT42AG[XTG103NGG8]
3B[XTG103NCC3]
Omega[XTG103NFF4]
Selman[XTG103NCC3]
Frank B
« Reply #12 on: Jul 14, 2006, 06:38AM »

Quote from: "Kevin Marsh"
The thread title is "largest" or "smallest".

 We can now further define the thread title as "TOO large" or "TOO small".


I really do not understand what you are attempting to say here.

TOO large or TOO small, how about a mouthpiece that fits, first off, and second has the desired charastics that a mouthpiece is possible of providing?

It's as non-sensical to go deer hunting with a pellet gun as it is to go with a shoulder mounted gernade launcher.

In the spectrum of small and large there are trade-offs either way you swing it.  Some may be desired, some not be. In the larger sizes it is possible to get much more body with the trade off that much more body is much harder to throw around. On the reverse, it maybe easier to throw around the body, but that is because there isn't as much.

To me, these sound like stylistic and performance concerns that have great potential to varry depending on the player and what they want to accomplish. So why then would a knowledgable and well abled trombonist wish to make a blanket claim for everyone that we should tend to only one side of the spectrum?

If we are discussing the ability and growth of students, then when working from a semi-blind position, why not simply attempt to develop them and their abilities to a point where they can function very well on an average, middle sized mouthpiece from which they can choose sizes as they fit both the player and stylistic considerations and abilities?

If this posturing is mostly to balance out the "bigger is better" type theories, there is little need. Often proponents of that theory negate their verbal claims with the physical result of the theory put in motion.
Logged
brucejackson
*
Offline Offline

Location: Irving, TX
Joined: Jan 5, 2006
Posts: 1112

View Profile
« Reply #13 on: Jul 14, 2006, 08:04AM »

Quote from: "Kevin Marsh"
I'm talking about taking two days off of the horn, and then thinking in their heart " Aaaaaaaarrggggghhhh, gotta practice .Now! Or it'll really be a drag tomorrow, on day 3".

And if you're one of the 80% of the guys who play large equipment and the answer to the above question is " Nah! I NEVER take a day off." then I commend you for your diligence. But eventually you'll have a family, or ***GASP*** a day job and won't have the strength to play 8 hours a day-- or the time. And then playing a nice SMALL mouthpiece may be fun again.
Just small enough to do the playing you want/have to and still be able to take breaks from the horn to take care of daily business without having to worry about the gear.


I'm in that boat.  When I was a music major in college I got caught up in the "arms race"  of larger trombone mouthpieces.  It seemed like we could never sound dark or loud enough so we kept going to larger mouthpieces.

Now finding time to  practice is a stuggle so I am trying smaller mouthpieces to find the easiest one to get a good sound with.  I no longer have 3-4 hours to spend  practicing every day.
Logged

Next to being witty yourself, the best thing is to quote another's wit
--Christian N. Bovee
Stan

*
Offline Offline

Location: Louisville, KY
Joined: Mar 2, 2003
Posts: 494

View Profile
« Reply #14 on: Jul 14, 2006, 08:11AM »

I just had a wonderful thought...  It's like shoes.  Mouthpieces are ultimately just like shoes.  You've got your mass produced Walmart shoe, your slightly higher quality shoe available only at shoe stores and your custom, high end boutique shoe.

Now, and here's the time to laugh at Stan, I'm not a really big guy.  I'm 5'3, and I wear a size 6.5W.  Apparently, the strangest shoe size ever.  Now, I can fit my foot into a 6.5 or a 7, but it's that 6.5W that really is the sweet spot.  

Of course, I could wear a size 9..I could probably even squeeze into a size 5.  But, I shop around endlessly until I can find something that feels good, and that's generally around a 6.5W.  

Moral of the story:  lips have many, many more nerves than feet, so why shouldn't they be just as picky?  I could play lead trombone on a 1.5G, or I could throw a 3GS in an alto trombone.  If that feels as right and effortless as good fitting shoes, there's no problem.  But, if I'm playing a mouthpiece that feels way too big or small, and dogmatically marching onward against my mouth's own logic, then I may as well be marching onwards in shoes that are 5 sizes too big.

Stan
Logged
Alex
*
Offline Offline

Location: UK
Joined: Oct 20, 2004
Posts: 1235

View Profile
« Reply #15 on: Jul 14, 2006, 08:29AM »

Quote from: "Stan"
I just had a wonderful thought...  It's like shoes.  Mouthpieces are ultimately just like shoes.  You've got your mass produced Walmart shoe, your slightly higher quality shoe available only at shoe stores and your custom, high end boutique shoe.

Now, and here's the time to laugh at Stan, I'm not a really big guy.  I'm 5'3, and I wear a size 6.5W.  Apparently, the strangest shoe size ever.  Now, I can fit my foot into a 6.5 or a 7, but it's that 6.5W that really is the sweet spot.  

Of course, I could wear a size 9..I could probably even squeeze into a size 5.  But, I shop around endlessly until I can find something that feels good, and that's generally around a 6.5W.  

Moral of the story:  lips have many, many more nerves than feet, so why shouldn't they be just as picky?  I could play lead trombone on a 1.5G, or I could throw a 3GS in an alto trombone.  If that feels as right and effortless as good fitting shoes, there's no problem.  But, if I'm playing a mouthpiece that feels way too big or small, and dogmatically marching onward against my mouth's own logic, then I may as well be marching onwards in shoes that are 5 sizes too big.

Stan


Joe Alessi uses the same analogy in the video with Wycliffe gordon that can be found in the Trombonists section of the forum.

Joe also said something else quite interesting.....he said the reason he plays on the mouthpiece he does, is because he needs to produce a certain sound to fit in with his surroundings. In his case, the surrounding is a symphony orchestra. He also said he looks forward to the day when he can pop a nice small mouthpiece into a Bach 16 (or similar) and play what he wants to play. I know I'm paraphrasing a bit from his actual words, but I think I'm pretty close to what he said.

You can read many things in that comment by Joe Alessi. It could be that his choice of mouthpiece is not one that makes his job easier, but is more like a best fit for the circumstances he finds himself in. It could be that his choice of equipment might not be his first choice or ideal choice....but merely the best combination he can find for him to do his day to day job.
Logged
griffinben

*
Offline Offline

Location: The Wilds of the Northeast
Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 2523

View Profile
« Reply #16 on: Jul 14, 2006, 11:31AM »

As a certifiable mouthpiece junkie (they just fascinate me) I figure I can be one of the twelve maybe?

OK, to start off I have to play a wide variety of styles on a wide variety of equipment in a wide variety of situations...the only non-variable is that the quality has to be top-notch.

Alright, now the main determining factor on mouthpiece rim sizes seems to be:  A person's phyisical make-up.  period.  I mean, people can MAKE anythign sound good, but different rim sizes fit certain people better, while it seems the cup/backbore, etc. seem mainly to help facilitate a person's tone concept or help thier timbre for a given situation.

To wit:  A mouthpiece is a tool that will help facilitate a particular concept, by the physical construction of the mouthpeice accentuating certain characteristics of that concept.

It isn't a substitute for paractice, etc. etc. which every post here seems to agree with.

Anyone that chooses any piece of equipment because someone else plays it is missing the point...i bet they play what other people want to hear all the time and have no concept of their own either.

There are no shortage of small mouthpiece players in here, and no shortage of big mouthpiece players either.  i only hope that they all play what is comfortable and helps them get the job done right.  Too small is just as bad as too big.

In the CG band I play a Bach style t-bone (not my choice, but it WORKS with the section) and a JA 5.75, which is abotu a 4 rim and super deep cup.

In dixie bands i play a 12C sized piece, sometimes a 15C.

In my professional commerical life I play a 6 3/4 sized pice.

In brass quintet, a .525 with a wick 6BS

On bass a Hammond 20BL

All very different, one on the small side, one on the large side, and two floating somewhere in the middle on tenor and a 59 size on bass (which I guess is semi-large).

None are the same in design concept.

Why?

1.) Becuase they feel comfy to my face
2.) They help facilitate the job I'm doing; i.e. they help facilitate my sound concept in those situations.

None take me more than a couple fo minutes to feel comfortable on (except sometimes the 15C if my chops are a little swollen/larger from playing the larger pieces, hence the 12C), and certainly it never takes me long after a couple of days off.

Its about feel, air and sound!.

That's all it should be for anyone.

Pick the mouthpiece that is most EFFICIENT for the job.
Good luck.

-Ben
Logged
Dave Tatro
The Python's Python
*
Offline Offline

Location: St. Pete, Florida
Joined: May 10, 2006
Posts: 4935

View Profile
« Reply #17 on: Jul 14, 2006, 12:10PM »

Quote from: "Alex"
Joe (Alessi) also said something else quite interesting.....he said the reason he plays on the mouthpiece he does, is because he needs to produce a certain sound to fit in with his surroundings. In his case, the surrounding is a symphony orchestra. He also said he looks forward to the day when he can pop a nice small mouthpiece into a Bach 16 (or similar) and play what he wants to play. I know I'm paraphrasing a bit from his actual words, but I think I'm pretty close to what he said.


I have heard here and there that their hall is terrible for the trombonists and that they have to make an enormous amount of sound to project well. Thus, the large mouthpieces. Apparently Gordon Pulis used quite a large piece, a 3G or 2G ,when he was there, and for the same reason. I read somewhere that he switched to a 6.5 later in his carreer when he went to another orchestra with a better hall. Note that this is secondhand, anecdotal information at best, so take it with a grain of salt.

I do know that Jay Friedman has written about the acoustic dryness of the CSO's hall, and their need to create tremendous warmth at the horn to sound good in it. That is probably why those guys are using the very large, open equipment that they are. Jay (and, I believe, Michael) are using Bach 42's with 50 slides and 3G-sized m'pieces. Charley, well... 'nuff said!

I have found recently that I have the opposite issue in the halls that I play in. I like to play larger rims for comfort and flexibility, but in a recent recording I thought my sound was a little too warm and tubby in the hall, even though it sounded great to me at the horn, and to the other players around me. The only time it really approached what I was after was at extreme fortissimo volume levels, so needless to say, that was undesirable.

Ironically, I have switched to the Alessi mouthpieces because I can get a large rim with smaller cup sizes. I haven't heard it in the halls yet but will this coming week. I am hoping it will be the sound I am after. If not, I guess Doug E. will be hearing from me soon!

For what it's worth to this discussion, I can last a little longer in the upper register on a slightly smaller rim, and might pull out my trusty 3G for a really grueling gig, but for me, the overall performance of the larger rim sizes is tough to beat.

Dave
Logged

"He also inevitably discovered the similarities between glass doors and forcefields."- marchingknight
blast

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: scotland
Joined: Jul 26, 2001
Posts: 6874
"Bass/Contrabass trombone, Scottish Opera."


View Profile
« Reply #18 on: Jul 14, 2006, 12:24PM »

The Trudel argument is not about the actual size of the mouthpiece.... it is about a philosophy of playing.... to use the smallest mouthpiece you can.
This may be a bigger mouthpiece than is used by another player trying to use the biggest mouthpiece he can. It is an approach... a way of choosing what you play on. This is a quite common approach in the U.K.  I remember Eric Crees, principal trombone at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and former co-principal of the LSO saying this.
It is the way I am working at the moment.... in order to get the sound quality that I want. I find it more work on the 1 1/2G, but enjoy the results... it's funny, I never had any problems with big mouthpieces... just didn't like the sound.
The other approach is to try the biggest mouthpiece that works for you, and develop that philosophy.
What several people here have said, in effect, is that their biggest and smallest option is in fact, the same mouthpiece, and that is the one place that they will be happy. OK that's fine.
I think most players have a range of sizes that can be made to work on any given size of trombone, and that is where this question really comes into play.
Which side of the size range to go for.
It's mostly a question for advanced players with mature, well developed playing concepts and physique.... they are most likely to have this degree of flexibility and to wish to refine their playing to this degree.
Who is right ?
Everybody who gets exceptional results.
Chris Stearn.
Logged

Still cannot think of anything better to do. Back on an old 1 1/2G again !
griffinben

*
Offline Offline

Location: The Wilds of the Northeast
Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 2523

View Profile
« Reply #19 on: Jul 14, 2006, 01:18PM »

Quote
The other approach is to try the biggest mouthpiece that works for you, and develop that philosophy.


While I have heard the philosophy of playign the smallest equipment you can I have never. ever heard of a philoso[phy of playing the biggest.  

I have heard of people needing a larger inner rim diameter but the bulk of large inner rims are on bigger cups, resulting in a larger mouthpiece overall, which might be more work but is more comfortable to the face and allows more flexibility.

i have also heard of people liking their rim but wanting more room in the cup/backbore for a particular sound or timbre.  But in Large shank not too many 'pieces were available like this and hence they had to shift to a larger overall rim which may have been more uncomfortable on the face but allowed the timbre they wanted/needed.

I've even heard of poepl shifting to larger overall equipment for the sound comfort or anything and having to get used to it.

But I've never heard of get the biggest mouthpiece you can and make it work.  (except from some jive jazzers that couldn't even play to begin with and were looking down at orchestral guys.)

Maybe this mentality was a result of a limited amount of options in the small rim/large cup or versa vice.  But in this age of customizationt that is becoming more widespread, its easier and easier for musicians to find a close to perfect fit for our face and our playing situations.  Its easy to get too caught up in it and too conufsed, but real results that are beneficial to the player can be acheived.  Again its a question of efficiency for the situation and the player.

-Ben
Logged
griffinben

*
Offline Offline

Location: The Wilds of the Northeast
Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 2523

View Profile
« Reply #20 on: Jul 14, 2006, 01:49PM »

Quote
2. The vast majority of trombone mouthpiece manufacturing done in the 20th century was by companies run by trumpet players ( Bach, etc. etc. ) who needed a line of mouthpieces to flog with their horns and throw into the case as a freebie with every horn sold.


OK, I meant to take issue with this earlier...

OK Well specifically about Bach, the original Bach designs are materpieces.  Most still are judging by teir ubiuity amongst many proffessional players that KNOW what they are doing and aren't caught up in any "Arms race".

The original bach catalogue was mroe limited than it is today and the mouthpieces were often developed for specific playign situation and often specifc players.  You had Allie Clarke with the Clarke L and S which would become the 6 1/2AL and 6 1/2A.  Jack Jenny is believed to be responsible for much of the small bore trombone design, I'm sure he had a hand in the mouthpieces as well.  Not to mention the many first rate trombone players of the day which would work with and try different mouthpieces at the factory at the hands of old man Bach himself.

Hardly a the mentality of one just trying to flog a mouthpiece with their horn.

Good New York and Mt. Vernons are great pieces, moreover the focus of the earlier pieces were ont he smaller sized.  How many Mt. vernon/New York Bach 6 1/2 AL/A's and 5G's are there compared to the 12's, 15's, 11C's?  I've seen more Mt. Vernon 14D's than 6 1/2's in my lifetime.  I defy you to try and find a New York Bach 1G.

In fact most of the mouthpiece manufacturing of the early 20'th century centered around these smaller sizes.  Mouthpieces got larger because the medium changed.  The "ideal" sound and style switched from that of a bandsman to that of the orchestral player, where demands are different.

But it just wasn't the early 20th century...if we look at the "freebie's" thrown in with every horn that got sold, you will see that they focus on the smaller sizes!  Bach 42: 6 1/2AL.  New King 3B: UMI 7C.  New King Jiggs: Jiggs 1A (like an 11C).  Even the Bach 36 comes with a 7C.  These are not large sizes and hardly adding to an arms race.  Olds would generally come with and Olds 3, 7C sized.  I do not have information with what Buescher's martin's or Holton were supllied with when they were independant manufacturers, but most I have run across where definately a smaller size (7 or smaller), and the LeBlanc holton came with a 7 C in the small horns.  Student Yamahas come with a 45-12C.  Large bore Yamaha's, a 48D.  Small bore Conn's got either the Conn2 or 3, niether small, and the Remington with the 88H, hardly a "too-big" piece.

Moreover the H.NWhite company which built (Now Conn Selmer) was Made King by a trombone player, and didn't manufacture a cornet until two years after he made the King trombone.  Horns from King were supllied with a M21, which is basically like a 12 with a  deeper cup, and later a king 11M, barley larger.

If you want to take issue with the CORPORATE mentality that allowed several subpar designs to be included with instruments, i will not argue with you.  But this did not appear until the latter half of the 20th century and often appeared only on combined manufacturers that weren't very mainstream anymore.  The latter-day York, Buescher, Holton, et.al were not good designs, but were hardly the norm and certainly not widespreas amongst developing trombonists.  

Meanwhile even in this period Conn and bach, certainly the manufacturers with the greatest market share of large horns continued to provdide quality mouthpiece designs with their large instruments and bach with their small ones.  So high quality were the designs they are still the most played on instruments of ANY manufacture.

If you want to talk schilke, that's another ball of wax, with a long and varied history and no production of trombone models.

lastly, yes the mouthpieces do provide usually only a .1mm differnce between them, but that's the differnce between a 12C and 11C, a 5GS and a 61/2AL..you tell me those feel the same to your face?  The reason for different sizes were for different facial structures and muscaulature just like the afore mentioned shoes.  The orginal bach designs were for a whole, and made the whole of the mouthpeice work.  

In fact, Bach seems to be (until schilke) the only manufacturer to offer a truly comprehensive list of mouthpieces that catered to specific players needs in a variety of sizes.  This, no doubt, has to do with the number of players working with bach and their numerous requests for different things.  Some sizes that aren't used anymore were dropped fromt he catalogue (14D, 9C, etc.)

Now if you want to take issue with manufacturing flaws, general wearing down of designs, etc. fine.  

But most of the mouthpieces manufactured in the 20th century were small.  And most were of high quality .

The difference you are speaking of has to do with a change in overall tonal philosophy specifically related to the change in "ideal" from bandsman to orchestral player that continues to evolve to this day.  It was market driven, not manufacture.

-Ben
Logged
Dave Tatro
The Python's Python
*
Offline Offline

Location: St. Pete, Florida
Joined: May 10, 2006
Posts: 4935

View Profile
« Reply #21 on: Jul 14, 2006, 02:06PM »

Quote from: "griffinben"
lastly, yes the mouthpieces do provide usually only a .1mm differnce between them, but that's the differnce between a 12C and 11C, a 5GS and a 61/2AL..you tell me those feel the same to your face?


If you really want an illustration of just how sensitive your face can be to minute changes of rim size, get two sheets of paper. Place the edge of one sheet vertically across both lips about where your rim sits, on one side or the other. Holding that one in place, slide the other sheet in just outside of it, so that they are tightly together. Now pull the first sheet away from your face. I bet that you will be able to feel the difference in placement.

Lips are sensitive!
Logged

"He also inevitably discovered the similarities between glass doors and forcefields."- marchingknight
Kevin Marsh
*
Offline Offline

Location: The Wilds of Canada
Joined: Jul 25, 2001
Posts: 449

View Profile WWW
« Reply #22 on: Jul 14, 2006, 02:52PM »

These are all excellent thoughtful posts with a commmon thread all pointing in the same direction. Wonderful. So many different ways to say the same thing from so many different people and so many difference experiences.


Lets further refine the "question".

When I started this by saying that Alain Trudel said " Play the smallest mouthpiece possible" I could have added a couple of things. Firstly, for great periods of time Alain does not have to speak english, only french, and he speaks with lots of input from anglophones who add to what he is saying if he is at a loss for a term. So, let me rephrase what alain had to say---- he meant to say----

" Play a mouthpiece that is only as large as necessary to do the job.".

As large as necessary to hit 100% of the notes with 100% accuracy and a perfect sound FOR THE JOB AT HAND. He plays lots of solos, admittedly--- but he also plays a lot of principal bone in a large orchestra work as well. And lots of gigs with an accordianist as well.


So far, most of the personal examples of the folk responding to this thread are centering on example of the Bach 6 1/2AL size. Thats pretty normal. So far nobody has said--- "I'm sitting 11th out of 17 bones in my All-State Grade 10 All Star Band for the summer and the guy next to me plays a 2G on his tenor so I bought a 1G"....that was my biggest fear.


Now, back to the old examples of the horrid acoustics in New York. Perhaps they've always been that way. Perhaps they always are in 4,000 seat halls. I caught lectures with Ostrander and studied with Van Haney. They BOTH said that the toughest thing about playing in the NY Phil in the glory days under Bernstein was the volume necessary. They had to play incredibly loud, so loud that subs were tough to find who could do it , or WOULD play that loud. The orchestra left Carnegie Hall. And at the first  rehearsal in the new hall they found that they could get the same sound and impact with about 40% of the effort and 40% of the previous volume.


Carnegie Hall had lousy acoustics for trombonists sitting in the back row.

And what did Van Haney and Ostrander use for mouthpieces? A handmade thing about the size of a shallowed cup 5G that eventually became the Remington mouthpiece, and a Bach 2G.

As for the "flogging" of Bach mouthpieces.....a bit hasty on my part...but it flushed out the thoughful responses. Thanks for the right answers.

 Lets look at the Bach BASS trombone mouthpiece design post- 1 1/2G.
Double in-line valves came along and everybody cried about the stuffiness....enter the 1 1/4G. Enter the GM larger throat. Everybody still cried......enter the 1G. Any designing done on the 1G?? Any thought go into it? Not a whit. A Bach 1G is just the stock TENOR trombone blank with as much metal removed as possible. And it is still only as large as a Schilke 59.

So, the double valve in-line horns were still stuffy and played badly. Schilke steps up to the plate and starts carving THEIR blanks out to capture market and come up with the Schilke 59 and the Schilke 60.

Thats a problem with lousy horn design, not with the mouthpieces.

Play on, gentlemen. So far its a civil intelligent discussion, and hasn't been hijacked by the Grade 9 crowd.
Logged
Dave Tatro
The Python's Python
*
Offline Offline

Location: St. Pete, Florida
Joined: May 10, 2006
Posts: 4935

View Profile
« Reply #23 on: Jul 14, 2006, 03:07PM »

Quote from: "Kevin Marsh"

Lets look at the Bach BASS trombone mouthpiece design post- 1 1/2G.
Double in-line valves came along and everybody cried about the stuffiness....enter the 1 1/4G. Enter the GM larger throat. Everybody still cried......enter the 1G. Any designing done on the 1G?? Any thought go into it? Not a whit. A Bach 1G is just the stock TENOR trombone blank with as much metal removed as possible. And it is still only as large as a Schilke 59.

So, the double valve in-line horns were still stuffy and played badly. Schilke steps up to the plate and starts carving THEIR blanks out to capture market and come up with the Schilke 59 and the Schilke 60.

Thats a problem with lousy horn design, not with the mouthpieces.


Somewhere on his website, Gary Greenhoe rants about all the things that have been done to horns and mouthpieces in an attempt to make up for the shortcomings of what he considers to be bad valve designs. He then offers his own philosophy of what the ideal situation should be in terms of sound concept, etc. He goes on to say that changes in other areas of trombone design, including mouthpiece design, would be necessary before his valves can really show their full advantage over other designs. I've always wondered exactly what he meant regarding m'piece design.
Logged

"He also inevitably discovered the similarities between glass doors and forcefields."- marchingknight
MonsterAar
*
Offline Offline

Location: Australia
Joined: Dec 19, 2004
Posts: 2225

View Profile
« Reply #24 on: Jul 14, 2006, 03:46PM »

Quote from: "griffinben"
Quote
The other approach is to try the biggest mouthpiece that works for you, and develop that philosophy.


While I have heard the philosophy of playign the smallest equipment you can I have never. ever heard of a philoso[phy of playing the biggest.  


From the bach mouthpiece catalog:
"Professional musicians and advanced students prefer the musical results of large mouthpieces"
and
"the larger mouthpiece produces a clearer, purer tone.  The large cup diameter also allows a greater portion of the lip to vibrate, producing a larger colume of tone, and keeps a player from forcing high tones by encouraging the correct functioning of the lip muscles."

That's all directly from the 'Selecting a Mouthpiece" a section.

Now, from the 'The Cup: Diameter' sections:
"We recommend that all brass instrumentalists - professional artists, beginners or advanced students; symphony, concert or jazz band - use as large a cup diameter as they can endure and a fairly deep cup."
and
"A larger-sized mouthpiece will also offer greater comfort, making it possible to secure a good tone quality even when the lips are swollen from too much playing"
and (more interestingly):
"A small cup diameter does not permit the lips to vibrate sufficiently, preventing the player from producing a righ, full tone.  The lack of tone volume tempts a player to exert more lip pressure and to force more air through the instrument that the small mouthpiece is capable of handling, creating a shrill tone."

They make it sound like you NEED a big rim or you will sound crap.  No wonder so many people think they need a big mouthpiece.
Logged

Luke
LT42AG[XTG103NGG8]
3B[XTG103NCC3]
Omega[XTG103NFF4]
Selman[XTG103NCC3]
blast

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: scotland
Joined: Jul 26, 2001
Posts: 6874
"Bass/Contrabass trombone, Scottish Opera."


View Profile
« Reply #25 on: Jul 14, 2006, 04:06PM »

Ben.... you've never heard of the 'play on the biggest mouthpiece you can cope with' school ??????
I remember hearing a lot of that back in the 1970's. Perhaps a reaction to 100 years of small equipment here in the UK.
Nobody think like that in the US ?? :shuffle:
Nothing to be shy about... it was (and probably is) a valid approach to equipment choice.
It's important to be clear here... by saying smallest, it's not always going to be small in the generally accepted sense, and by saying biggest, it's not always going to be big in the generally accepted sense. It's about how you work within your range of mouthpiece adaptability.
If there is no range, you are drawn to one mouthpiece.
If you are able to work very well through several sizes, a choice must be made.
I think that the changes in bass trombone mouthpiece size in the last 40 years really deserve a different topic all of their own... it's a one way street that is more extreme than is found on any other brass instrument. Why is a good question, but it's not this question.
Chris Stearn.
Logged

Still cannot think of anything better to do. Back on an old 1 1/2G again !
Dave Tatro
The Python's Python
*
Offline Offline

Location: St. Pete, Florida
Joined: May 10, 2006
Posts: 4935

View Profile
« Reply #26 on: Jul 14, 2006, 04:09PM »

I think this is right on the money, as long as larger and smaller are thought of as relative terms. What is small and limiting to one player may be vastly over-large to another. But for any given player, within a given playing situation, and a given reasonable range of mouthpiece sizes, this will probably hold true.

Of course what they fail to mention in terms of clarity or purity of tone is that one reaches a point of diminishing returns when they get to a certain size point, because the sound loses focus. For instance, I can play pretty good tenor on a 1.5G but the sound is not as tight and brilliant as I would like. I tend to suspect that in this instance, when they say large, or larger mouthpieces, they are probably talking about a 6 1/2 AL or maybe a 5G at the most.

Just my impressions....

[EDIT] -AAAK! this is the third post today that was intended to go right under somebody else's with no quote, and somebody else beat me to it!This is in response to MonsterAar's post about the Bach catalog.......
Logged

"He also inevitably discovered the similarities between glass doors and forcefields."- marchingknight
blast

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: scotland
Joined: Jul 26, 2001
Posts: 6874
"Bass/Contrabass trombone, Scottish Opera."


View Profile
« Reply #27 on: Jul 14, 2006, 04:18PM »

Quote from: "MonsterAar"
Quote from: "griffinben"
Quote
The other approach is to try the biggest mouthpiece that works for you, and develop that philosophy.


While I have heard the philosophy of playign the smallest equipment you can I have never. ever heard of a philoso[phy of playing the biggest.  


From the bach mouthpiece catalog:
"Professional musicians and advanced students prefer the musical results of large mouthpieces"
and
"the larger mouthpiece produces a clearer, purer tone.  The large cup diameter also allows a greater portion of the lip to vibrate, producing a larger colume of tone, and keeps a player from forcing high tones by encouraging the correct functioning of the lip muscles."

That's all directly from the 'Selecting a Mouthpiece" a section.

Now, from the 'The Cup: Diameter' sections:
"We recommend that all brass instrumentalists - professional artists, beginners or advanced students; symphony, concert or jazz band - use as large a cup diameter as they can endure and a fairly deep cup."
and
"A larger-sized mouthpiece will also offer greater comfort, making it possible to secure a good tone quality even when the lips are swollen from too much playing"
and (more interestingly):
"A small cup diameter does not permit the lips to vibrate sufficiently, preventing the player from producing a righ, full tone.  The lack of tone volume tempts a player to exert more lip pressure and to force more air through the instrument that the small mouthpiece is capable of handling, creating a shrill tone."

They make it sound like you NEED a big rim or you will sound crap.  No wonder so many people think they need a big mouthpiece.



Most of the Bach mouthpiece manual text was penned by Bach before WW2 when many players in local bands played on very, very small mouthpieces.
I think a lot of it was primarily aimed at trumpet players... but the words now drive players to look at the end of each line of mouthpieces, for that wonder-monster that will solve all their problems. I think if Bach were alive now, he might well change a lot of his comments.
You should read some of the stuff in the early manuals....
Chris Stearn
Logged

Still cannot think of anything better to do. Back on an old 1 1/2G again !
Dave Tatro
The Python's Python
*
Offline Offline

Location: St. Pete, Florida
Joined: May 10, 2006
Posts: 4935

View Profile
« Reply #28 on: Jul 14, 2006, 04:28PM »

Chris, you are undoubtedly right here. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if V. Bach was actually intending his comments to sway players to move from a 15c to a 12c size mouthpiece, or something like that.
Logged

"He also inevitably discovered the similarities between glass doors and forcefields."- marchingknight
griffinben

*
Offline Offline

Location: The Wilds of the Northeast
Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 2523

View Profile
« Reply #29 on: Jul 14, 2006, 05:16PM »

Not only that, but the change overall instrument size was beginning to shift dramaticly from the band instruments of the day to orchestral instruments, while many people (but not to many, if the recent thread in instruments is any judge) .525 is way too small for orchestral playing, it was one of THE instruments, both 36 and more commonly the .522 78H, was a huge leap over .458 and .485 bore insturments.

A larger mouthpiece was neccessary to capitalize on the larger bore size's advantages in orchestral situations.

I agree that there have been bastardizations of particular designs over time.  The bass trombone world is a wonderful exapmle, the bach 1G and schilke 60 made on medium large size blanks with cookie cutter rims, ill-balanced and made to overcome the in-efficiencies of instruments.  But, if dual dependant valves were required to get the job done, i guess a mouthpiece to fully expand upon this new but not fully developed technology was inevitable.  

The mouthpiece had to be unbalanced in order to overcome and unbalanced instrument.  But similar to the oversize crook at the bottom of a Bach 42 to overcome the stuffiness of their valve, some of these larger unblanced design have actually been dealt with and now are considered the standard or norm.  Some people have discovered that a schilke 60 rim is for them!  (even if the cup is waaay big.)  Fortunately, now that instruments', and specifically valve technology, have progressed, we see new lines of bass trombone mouthpieces that are far better balanced and equipped to deal with today's better balanced valves, incorporating different design elements of these unbalanced mouthpieces in a far more balanced package.

Chris, I honestly really haven't heard an "as big a mouthpiece you can play" school of thought.  certainly i have heard the reccommendation of going larger, but not as large as you can play.

The wonderful thing here is that everyone is pretty much agreeing is that one should play the most efficient mouthpiece for their given sound concept/playing situation, which actually lines up with the very post that kicked all this off.  

Kevin said that in his playing situation that his "small" mouthpiece gave him everything he needed.  Excellent.  So does someone else's Allessi 1.5 and another's 6.5 and another's 22cs.  It all depends ont he individual, their chops,  and their situation.

Lastly (for this post) even though the current bach literature may be doing a disservice to those who only look at that, there are several manuals out there published by other manufacturers which are certainly more informative.  i hope that anyone contemplating a change will consult their teacher or someone knowledgable in the subject.  Go Check out Storks take on Mpces, its great.

-Ben
Logged
evan51
Guardian of the Sacred Nebulizer

*
Offline Offline

Location: CA Tent City
Joined: Feb 8, 2001
Posts: 22145

View Profile WWW
« Reply #30 on: Jul 14, 2006, 09:40PM »

Quote from: "blast"
Ben.... you've never heard of the 'play on the biggest mouthpiece you can cope with' school ??????
I remember hearing a lot of that back in the 1970's. Perhaps a reaction to 100 years of small equipment here in the UK.
Nobody think like that in the US ?? :shuffle:

Yes there are plenty. And if not "biggest" then "big enough" in the adherent's mind at least. A friend of mine got his PhD in performance and took lessons from a certain principal in a top 5 US orchestra who told him to play a 3G with his Conn 8H and that he might not "be man enough" to do so. I've heard plenty of "helpers" telling young players to get off their 12C ASAP and into a 7C or 6 1/2 A.L.. Conversely, one of my college student friends playing a Bcah 36 cannot use a 6 1/2 A.L. under teacher's orders but must use a 7C.

In titling this topic, I should have said "smallest and comfortable" or "biggest and yet comfortable," but I thought this was understood?
Logged

One life---a little gleam of time between two Eternities.---Thomas Carlyle
Gabe Langfur

*
Offline Offline

Location: Boston, MA, USA
Joined: Apr 9, 2000
Posts: 4917

View Profile WWW
« Reply #31 on: Jul 16, 2006, 06:25AM »

Quote from: "Kevin Marsh"
Like several other trombonists, Ray Premru etc. etc, the theory behind his mouthpiece is that it is best to play a mouthpiece AS SMALL as possible.


This was from the previous thread that led to this one, but this seemed like the right place to address it...

I studied with Ray for 4 years, and that was NOT his theory by any means.

He played his modified 2G because it was what he knew and was most comfortable on. I think he experimented a little bit with Doug Elliott's pieces, but mostly he got Doug's range of options to offer to his students. The only change he made late in his career was a Greg Black copy of his 2G.

Ray had a very pronounced underbite, which I think contributed greatly to his large warm sound. My understanding of physical variations and how they affect sound and playing facility is rudimentary, but I do know that the players I have met with underbites tend to have big sounds and pretty easy facility in the low register. What I'm saying is, I think Ray's particular facial structure made it easier for him to make the sound he did on a 2G than it would be for me, or others with a more typical jaw angle.

When I started studying with Ray, I was playing a Schilke 60 made for me by Scott Laskey when he was working there. It was quite a bit better balanced than the stock 60. Ray never asked me to change it, but it was really too much for me at the time, so I switched to a 59, and then to a Doug Elliott that was very much like a 59 (112, K). Whenever I tried other mouthpieces, including some smaller but none bigger, Ray would urge me back towards the Elliott.

Also, he often urged (gently but firmly...anyone who knew him will understand) the tenor players in the studio with bright sounds to switch to larger mouthpieces - usually from 5G to 4G. If the sound and facility were what he wanted to hear, he never messed with it, whether it was a 6 1/2 AL or a 3G.

Finally, let's not idealize Ray's sound quite so much. Don't get me wrong - I truly loved the man and miss him every day, and I wish I could sound like him most of the time. But the warm expansiveness of his sound came from a very focused center, and the time and place in which he made his awesome career were very different from today - if not so much in the UK, certainly here in the US. Close up, standing next to him, the sound was NOT huge. It was warm, round and beautiful, but not tremendously wide, particularly in the low register.

Again, don't misunderstand me - I'm not saying wider is better - the width, or breadth if you prefer, has to be one element of a beautifully balanced sound, which Ray certainly had. But here in the United States, in the third millenium, the fashion in bass trombone sounds is wider at the source than what Ray was producing. Good? Bad? I don't know...probably a little of both, like most aspects of evolution.  But it just is.

---------------------------------------------

I'm now playing a much larger mouthpiece than I ever thought I would. My Laskey 93D is noticeably larger than a Schilke 60 at the rim, although the backbore/throat is more efficient and I think the cup is a bit shallower. I've gone down this road for essentially two reasons:

1. I am frequently required to play parts that are stupidly low. I play often for a group called the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (pronounced B-MOP). This is one of the very best, most exciting freelance gigs in Boston, and I love it. But sometimes I have to play music that requires a facility in the extreme low register that I simply could not achieve with the smaller mouthpieces I used to play. Believe me - I worked hard at my end of it, and ultimately had to re-examine my tools.

2. Many of the other players I play with, and particularly the principal in the RI Phil, a fantastic player named Darren Acosta, have very large sounds. I could blend with them with my older, smaller, mouthpieces, but it's much easier with the Laskey. Ditto for the tuba players; I'm lucky to play often with Mike Roylance of the Boston Symphony. He makes beautiful sounds - big and broad, but also very centered and colorful. I have a much easier time getting inside his sound with the equipment I'm playing now than what I was playing a couple of years ago. Incidentally, this same line of change is what has led me towards a yellow brass bell, from the red bell I was playing for years before that - more of the mf warmth at louder dynamics, easier blend with tuba and dark tenor sounds.

As big as it is, my Laskey and yellow bell actually help me to sound more like Ray Premru on his 2G and red brass Holton than I did with smaller pieces and a red bell.
Logged

Gabe Langfur
Bass Trombonist
Rhode Island Philharmonic
Vermont Symphony
Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass

Trombone Faculty
Boston University
Kinhaven Music School
Wellesley College

S. E. Shires Artist
Doug Elliott
Lord of the Rims

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: Mar 12, 2005
Posts: 6441

View Profile
« Reply #32 on: Jul 16, 2006, 08:24AM »

Quote from: "Gabe Langfur"
Quote from: "Kevin Marsh"
Like several other trombonists, Ray Premru etc. etc, the theory behind his mouthpiece is that it is best to play a mouthpiece AS SMALL as possible.


This was from the previous thread that led to this one, but this seemed like the right place to address it...

I studied with Ray for 4 years, and that was NOT his theory by any means.

He played his modified 2G because it was what he knew and was most comfortable on.
...
Ray had a very pronounced underbite, which I think contributed greatly to his large warm sound. My understanding of physical variations and how they affect sound and playing facility is rudimentary, but I do know that the players I have met with underbites tend to have big sounds and pretty easy facility in the low register. What I'm saying is, I think Ray's particular facial structure made it easier for him to make the sound he did on a 2G than it would be for me, or others with a more typical jaw angle.
...


Gabe is absolutely right about bringing this up.  The "pronounced underbite" very often goes along with the embouchure types that require smaller mouthpieces.  And as Gabe said, those embouchures tend to have a huge sound and easy low range without needing big mouthpieces.  Part of the trend toward larger mouthpieces is the result of more people having orthodontic work to "correct" a large overbite, thereby making more people into the jaw configuration and embouchure type that requires larger mouthpieces.  There will always be embouchures in both camps, and they will never understand each other.

I haven't had time to respond to any of this thread, and Luke did a great job of stating my point of view anyway.
Logged

www.DougElliottMouthpieces.com
XT LexanN104,C+,D2, Williams 6, K&H Slokar alto, K&H Slokar Solo .547 open wrap
Kevin Marsh
*
Offline Offline

Location: The Wilds of Canada
Joined: Jul 25, 2001
Posts: 449

View Profile WWW
« Reply #33 on: Jul 16, 2006, 09:48AM »

All excellent points, again.

My fear, probably based in reality from dealing even in a peripheral sense with the local university players is this: That they will read Gabe's post and miss the point.

Gabe made some excellent points: He studied with Ray for 4 years. Undoubtedly he busted his a** 22 hours a day on the horn while he was doing so and achieved some incredible results and given more time and more strength would have practiced even more, knowing how incredibly rare the opportunity to have access to Ray was.

He THEN went on to practice more and get more professional experience, until he ran into an ensemble that performs repertoire requiring stupid extremes of range.

So, in his case he is following common sense: Gabe is playing a mouthpiece just large enough to get the job done. In a professional setting. With fellow professional trombonists in the ensembles doing the same thing.

Gabe, your reputation and common sense stand in good stead here. We all enjoy your posts and you opinions.

I'm more concerned with the other 4,999 of the 5000 OTJ members who do not have decades of experience under their belts, or under their chops as it were, and don't have access to the best teachers.

They're out there. And they DO have access to computers and cash, and the future of the horn depends on them making some informed rational decisions regarding gear.

So, let the debate/ discussion continue.
Logged
caltrombonist

*
Offline Offline

Location: Sacramento area, CA
Joined: Jun 12, 2006
Posts: 77

View Profile WWW
« Reply #34 on: Jul 16, 2006, 10:22AM »

Quote from: "evan51"

... one of my college student friends playing a Bach 36 cannot use a 6 1/2 A.L. under teacher's orders but must use a 7C.


A couple of things should be noted here, which may not have been communicated well to Evan, 1st off that the teacher was not opposed to the 6.5 AL but was opposed to switching between a 7c for jazz with a King 3b and a 6.5 AL with the 36 for classical. Secondly that the teacher is suspected of being a little fickle because another student in the same studio playing a 36 was switching between a 6.5 AL with the 36 for classical and a smaller 'piece with a Conn 100H for jazz, and the teacher had him play a 6.5 AL for both.

-G.L.
Logged

-Gordo

I can't... I have to practice.
Gabe Langfur

*
Offline Offline

Location: Boston, MA, USA
Joined: Apr 9, 2000
Posts: 4917

View Profile WWW
« Reply #35 on: Jul 16, 2006, 10:31AM »

I hear what you're saying Kevin, and I can't completely disagree.

But I don't think it's wise to oversimplify a message just so that it is less easily misunderstood. It's an oversimplifaction to say I play a mouthpiece just big enough to get the job done. I did most of the jobs I do now on smaller mouthpieces for years, but I'm happier with the result now than I ever have been before. That's a testament to how and what I practice just as much as my equipment choices. And my equipment choice to a certain extent dictates the kind of practicing I need to do. I could decide to play something smaller (and I've considered it), but I would then need to practice differently. What I'm playing now seems to fit my practice habits and playing demands pretty well. It's a lifelong journey of discovery.

I can name other players who can do what I do at least as well, and often better, on smaller equipment. George Flynn comes to mind as just one exmple - he plays the absurdly low Lion King book on Broadway on a 1 1/2 G and essentially stock Elkhart Conn 62H. I can't even conceive how he does it.

Ultimately, the equipment matters much less than the thought behind it. Equipment is just a set of tools - you can give me as many sophisticated carpentry tools as you want; I still won't be able to make anything more complex than a simple bookshelf. Give a world-class craftsman world-class tools however, and there's no end to what he can do.

If a player gets the concepts together, then equipment choices become pretty clear. Both in my teaching and in my job at Shires, I advise students to play something pretty middle-of-the-road that seems to fit well, and use that to develop the right concepts and skills. Tweaks can be made later to further refine and fit the equipment to the player and his or her needs.

As I said, I don't think we're disagreeing...but I don't like rules or absolute statements, so I always look for a more nuanced expression of any idea.

So here's one. This is from a sheet Norman Bolter gave me recently, that he hands out to students these days:

Quote
WORKSHEET: Practice Fundamentals
(Things to listen for, to be sure they're always there)
Norman Bolter

RHYTHM
PITCH
TIMBRE

Evenness
Articulation
Dynamics
Phrasing
Style
Ease


This is copyrighted, and probably printed in one of his books. I hope he doesn't mind that I posted it here.

I think this set of guidelines for practicing is also an excellent set of things to think about when selecting equipment.
Logged

Gabe Langfur
Bass Trombonist
Rhode Island Philharmonic
Vermont Symphony
Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass

Trombone Faculty
Boston University
Kinhaven Music School
Wellesley College

S. E. Shires Artist
Gabe Langfur

*
Offline Offline

Location: Boston, MA, USA
Joined: Apr 9, 2000
Posts: 4917

View Profile WWW
« Reply #36 on: Jul 16, 2006, 10:34AM »

Oh no. I've crossed over into "addicted."

I think it's time to go practice  :)

Anybody who finds themselves at the ITF in Birmingham England next week...please do stop by the Shires display to say hello.
Logged

Gabe Langfur
Bass Trombonist
Rhode Island Philharmonic
Vermont Symphony
Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass

Trombone Faculty
Boston University
Kinhaven Music School
Wellesley College

S. E. Shires Artist
evan51
Guardian of the Sacred Nebulizer

*
Offline Offline

Location: CA Tent City
Joined: Feb 8, 2001
Posts: 22145

View Profile WWW
« Reply #37 on: Jul 16, 2006, 11:08AM »

Quote from: "caltrombonist"
Quote from: "evan51"

... one of my college student friends playing a Bach 36 cannot use a 6 1/2 A.L. under teacher's orders but must use a 7C.


A couple of things should be noted here, which may not have been communicated well to Evan, 1st off that the teacher was not opposed to the 6.5 AL but was opposed to switching between a 7c for jazz with a King 3b and a 6.5 AL with the 36 for classical. Secondly that the teacher is suspected of being a little fickle because another student in the same studio playing a 36 was switching between a 6.5 AL with the 36 for classical and a smaller 'piece with a Conn 100H for jazz, and the teacher had him play a 6.5 AL for both.

-G.L.


Thanks for clearing that up, Gordo.
Logged

One life---a little gleam of time between two Eternities.---Thomas Carlyle
blast

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: scotland
Joined: Jul 26, 2001
Posts: 6874
"Bass/Contrabass trombone, Scottish Opera."


View Profile
« Reply #38 on: Jul 16, 2006, 11:43AM »

Gabe, I'm at a disadvantage as I don't do many silly gigs these days. Nothing that stretches me in the low register. What you say about the modern school having moved on is probably true, but is sad nevertheless.
I often heard Ray play in the Philharmonia, and also Frank Mathieson in the LSO, Harry Spain in the Royal Philharmonic, Noel Abel in the London Philharmonic and Dick Tyack in the BBC Symphony.
The playing of these gentlemen formed my concept of orchestral bass trombone playing, which still holds good to this day.
I have heard nothing in recent years that convinces me that there are now better ways to play in an orchestra.... indeed it is quite the opposite.
I recently had a couple of long chats with Denis Wick about this very thing, and he shared some of my concerns.
All this gravitates, however, toward another topic.... that of modern sounds and styles of bass trombone playing, and what we think of them..... which though very much linked with this topic, is not at the center of this topic (I often wish we could just drift but that causes too many problems) so I must finish this line of thought, in this topic.
Chris Stearn.

.
Logged

Still cannot think of anything better to do. Back on an old 1 1/2G again !
Gabe Langfur

*
Offline Offline

Location: Boston, MA, USA
Joined: Apr 9, 2000
Posts: 4917

View Profile WWW
« Reply #39 on: Jul 16, 2006, 12:03PM »

Chris,

I don't particularly care about topics drifting...I'm perfectly happy to take a conversation in whatever direction it happens to go.

I can't say for sure, but I think it's possible that the big difference between the current American and British bass trombone styles may have a lot to do with the orchestras and halls we play in. During my semester in London I heard both the Philharmonia and LSO, and I think particularly the Philharmonia sounded quite different from most American orchestras. The hall they play in (Royal Albert?) is smaller than the homes of most major American orchestras, and it seemed to me the general dynamic level of the orchestra was lower. Again, not a good or bad thing in itself, just the reality. And the way the players in those top orchestras play influences strongly the ways that their students play.

The Boston Symphony trombones play smaller mouthpieces and somewhat smaller, lighter trombones with more soft brass (that sound more different at different dynamics) than their colleagues in New York or Chicago, where the halls are not as resonant as Boston's Symphony Hall. The hall is certainly not the only factor, but they certainly make choices based on their preferences and needs, and their preferences, as elsewhere, tend to influence the choices of their students.

All those British bass trombonists (and Ray  Evil ) sure sounded wonderful, but IMO so do many of the American players playing now on much larger equipment: Doug Yeo, Randy Hawes, Randy Campora, Matt Guilford, Don Harwood, John Englekes, Blair Bollinger and of course Charlie Vernon. I mean no disrespect to anyone I may have left out...this is just quickly off the top of my head.

Concept...
Logged

Gabe Langfur
Bass Trombonist
Rhode Island Philharmonic
Vermont Symphony
Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass

Trombone Faculty
Boston University
Kinhaven Music School
Wellesley College

S. E. Shires Artist
Frank B
« Reply #40 on: Jul 16, 2006, 12:35PM »

Just as an odd thought in here:

Kevin seems to be speaking mostly of beginners to not terribly advanced players, from what I can tell. Not fussing at people that can make it work at a professional level, but speaking about those that might not fully realize the good, bad, and ugly of the equiptment world and still make a headlong jump one way. Am I off here?

In which case, there is an inevitable aspect of human development. Adolescents- teen in peticular- live in a radically changing world. Their bodies are changing, their minds are changing, and how they fit in with the world around them is changing. The physical trend is that of a smaller person comming to ability in larger equiptment of various types.

A small trombone for instance is massive in the hands of a young beginning, say 10 years old. 6th position is a terrible challenge in beginning band. 7th isn't likly to happen.

Yet within a few years time, students can physically move off of their small horn and hoist a cannon on their shoulders- be it large tenor or bass. Suddenly the needed amount of effort to simply hold the horn is greater, the air to fill the horn is more, the mouthpiece that fits better with the horn is larger (a 12c can be hard to fill a .547 on- much less a .562). These all happen not only while they are physically coming into the realm of being able to handel these, but also often as their playing is developing ability- in a sense lnking the two, if only in the mind of the budding trombone-sprout. So then as they want to develop, it almost becomes a quest to develop into  being able to handle a certain size.

Just thinking back about comments through the years of developing players wanting to be able to play larger equiptment, and developing towards that. And it was such a nice and liberating day years ago, when I bought my first hiking backpack, felt it fit like a glove so well even the salesperson was shocked, and saw the lovely size of "Medium" after 30-45 minutes contemplation on the various large packs. It cost me a couple hundred cubic inches of space, but it just fit. And for those that can't make the connection but are after size, there are 7000 cbi packs that are so massive as to make them almost completely impractical.

I wonder if that might not actually be the percieved problem.
Logged
blast

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: scotland
Joined: Jul 26, 2001
Posts: 6874
"Bass/Contrabass trombone, Scottish Opera."


View Profile
« Reply #41 on: Jul 16, 2006, 03:11PM »

Gabe,
Nobody is resident in the Albert Hall, though the BBC Symphony plays the Prom season there. The Albert Hall is huge and boomy. The LSO is resident in the Barbican, which is quite compact and a little bass light to my ears. The other London orchestras move around, all playing in the Festival Hall part of the time.
I wouldn't put it down to halls... more concepts(as you say).
We have a heritage of G bass trombone and brass band playing that is not replicated in the US... in the past that has led to a distinction... though the students that I hear now could often have come from anywhere. Brass Bands have changed in sound concept in major ways in the last 40 years and young players listen more to recordings than live performance... things change.
There is an interesting assumption on this thread... that the bigger the mouthpiece, the bigger and richer the sound. I really don't think that it is that simple, and in fact, the opposite can be true, for some players (though you have already talked of that effect) tenor, or bass.
If comfort at the lips is so critical, why are there not trombone players playing with trumpet rims, and trumpet players playing with trombone rims, if that is their most comfortable size ?
Does not the mouthpiece have to primarily relate to the instrument in which it is played ?
Chris Stearn.
Logged

Still cannot think of anything better to do. Back on an old 1 1/2G again !
Gabe Langfur

*
Offline Offline

Location: Boston, MA, USA
Joined: Apr 9, 2000
Posts: 4917

View Profile WWW
« Reply #42 on: Jul 16, 2006, 03:30PM »

Quote from: "blast"
There is an interesting assumption on this thread... that the bigger the mouthpiece, the bigger and richer the sound. I really don't think that it is that simple, and in fact, the opposite can be true, for some players (though you have already talked of that effect) tenor, or bass.


It's not quite that simple, but you have to admit that generally speaking it's true, at least until you get to the point of diminishing returns at which you have to play so tight for pitch center that the sound closes down - or, converseley, so loose that you can't get around the horn.

I find this effect sometimes when players test leadpipes (particularly if they don't know what they are playing!) - that a middle size will often sound biggest and feel most free to the player, because that's the point at which the resistance is best balanced for the amount of tension that player uses at the embouchure. I think the same thing can hold true for mouthpieces.

Quote
If comfort at the lips is so critical, why are there not trombone players playing with trumpet rims, and trumpet players playing with trombone rims, if that is their most comfortable size ?
Does not the mouthpiece have to primarily relate to the instrument in which it is played ?


Yes and no, dontcha think? I think you probably need to be within a general range of rim diameter that is appropriate to the length and diameter of tubing...but that range can be pretty large, particularly with all the other variables that can be controlled at this point.
Logged

Gabe Langfur
Bass Trombonist
Rhode Island Philharmonic
Vermont Symphony
Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass

Trombone Faculty
Boston University
Kinhaven Music School
Wellesley College

S. E. Shires Artist
Joel Felberg

*
Offline Offline

Location: Oklahoma
Joined: Mar 12, 2005
Posts: 971
"Wonky!"


View Profile
« Reply #43 on: Jul 16, 2006, 04:35PM »

though I have nothing useful to add to this thread, I am absolutely fascinated by it, especially this second page. I'm enjoying it very much and hope it continues!
Logged
Gabe Langfur

*
Offline Offline

Location: Boston, MA, USA
Joined: Apr 9, 2000
Posts: 4917

View Profile WWW
« Reply #44 on: Jul 16, 2006, 05:10PM »

OK, Chris and everybody else, I have another can of worms to open. Maybe you can shed some light and make them scatter ;-) .

Large equipment is sometimes blamed for the physical problems that some American orchestral players have developed (and sometimes called focal dystonia, accurately or not). I'm thinking specifically of Warren Deck, former tubist of the NY Phil. I don't know that to be true in his case, just that it's the speculation that floats around.

But one Boston-based trombonist who never played anything larger than a 5G had to stop playing for that reason, and more recently, Bob Hughes, whom I'm told has always played a 2G, and Stefan Sanders, whom I'm told plays something like a 59.

Maybe they represent cases of true focal dystonia - physiological as opposed to mental issues, although these have ways of intertwining - and it wouldn't have mattered what equipment they played. But maybe, just maybe, their problems have had something to do with hearing and wanting to produce sounds that were larger than what their equipment (or their bodies) would really allow, and the physical contortions necessary for that made playing ultimately untenable.

CAVEAT: I'm speculating here in ways that I probably shouldn't, and if I have any information wrong, somebody please correct me. I mean no disrespect to anybody by raising these questions, and I certainly have nothing but respect and admiration for the players I've mentioned above.

I guess what I'm suggesting is that maybe playing equipment that is too small for your sound concept or your physical structure can be just as damaging as playing equipment that is too big.

I'll also go out on a slightly unpopular limb and suggest that if you want to sound like somebody, if you have a model you want to emulate, trying the same equipment they play isn't such a bad thing to do.

Sure, you will almost certainly need to customize some aspect of that equipment to better fit your body...but that's eminently do-able at this point in history. As long as you are keeping the model in mind in a really specific way, and are willing to change things from what they actually play to get what's coming out of your own bell closer to the sound you are hearing in your mind, then this is a perfectly legitimate starting point for equipment choices.

The trick, of course, is to have a really accurate model in your mind, not some idealized idea that has little to do with what your heroes actually do. That is best learned by hearing them in person and listening very carefully.
Logged

Gabe Langfur
Bass Trombonist
Rhode Island Philharmonic
Vermont Symphony
Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass

Trombone Faculty
Boston University
Kinhaven Music School
Wellesley College

S. E. Shires Artist
griffinben

*
Offline Offline

Location: The Wilds of the Northeast
Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 2523

View Profile
« Reply #45 on: Jul 17, 2006, 06:50AM »

Go Go Go!  I love it.

OK a couple of different things, The first is on Orchestral conepts between English v.s American (death match tongith at 8pm, be there).  I lived in London for about 9 months and tried to go to every concert i possible could've.  I noticed that the overall concept of brass playing (not just trombone playing) was indeed different from that of American brass playing.

The English style seems to go for sweetness of sound and not relying on darkness of sound to acheive it.  Much more chamber like in terms of blend, very balanced yet you can still pick out parts if you wanted to...this is not a bad thing.  Meanwhile the overall American ideal seems to have shifted toward a darker overall sound (Gabe where you are in Boston is one of the last bastions of it doesn't have to be dark to be warm, thank goodness!).  

I wonder if Chris wasn't actually right on the money with hos bandsman statement.  I've said it a little while ago, but the pendulum of darkness has been shifting darker and darker ever since the emphasis of orchestral playing became the ideal and bandsmen have fallen by the wayside (hell, Iplay in a band and we take an orchestral approach!) in temrs of being the ideal kind of brass player.  Since that time equipment and concept have moved further and further away, especially in terms of tonal quiality.  Listen to old CSO recordings, while its a wonderful big, blended, rich brass sound, its no where near as dark as many concept today.

Meanwhile in England, the bandman tradition is upheld and continued to this day.  i wonder Chris, are professional bandsmen looked down upon over there?  i never got that impression, and perhaps this explains some of the different concepts.  And of course these different concepts lead to different equipment.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Alright now onto Gabe's new can of worms....

Focal distonia can happen to anyone on any mouthpiece, any type of equipment.  The C.G's former principle horn player had to retire her position because of it.  Its my understanding that overplayeing is the primary physical cause...over-extending one's chops coninuously beyond a healthy point.  Could over large equipment help this progress, absolutely, but its not the main reason.

So yes to the second point, one might hurt themselves playign equipment too small.  Anytime you take a muscle/group of muscles and force them to do something uncofartable or over extending they will nedd more time to heal/be conditioned/etc.  i think the problems inherent in that are different though, more focusing on a loss of finesse and accuracy rather than physical over extention/ over exertion.  Like carpal tunnel for your face.

Or the smaller equipment just won't let you do it.  I have foudn the main reason for using larger mouthpieces is for darker tone color, wider breadth of sound, and louder broader volumes with those aspects.  we use larger equipment to allow more tissue to vibrate.  With smaller equipment you can reach a point were you can not put any more tissue in the mouthpiece or cannot get the tissue in there to vibrate in that way.  i guess its a preventative measure, lol.

lastly i agree to a point that finding equipment similar or the same as an idol is potentially a good thing.  But more important is to find equipment that is better similar/the same in philosphy.  Deep cup, OK, but if you don't fit into an Alessi 1.5M, there's no shame in say a 3.5.  Its OK to try the same thing, but don't continue if it doesn't work...look for soemthing that has the same ideal behind the design but fits YOU.

Whew, have to run...i could type much much longer on this...i guess tis best i don't

-Ben
Logged
Gabe Langfur

*
Offline Offline

Location: Boston, MA, USA
Joined: Apr 9, 2000
Posts: 4917

View Profile WWW
« Reply #46 on: Jul 17, 2006, 07:17AM »

Part of my assumption with focal distonia is that it is not always diagnosed properly, and my limited understanding is that a pure diagnosis has to do with a physiological, neurological disorder that has nothing to do with fatigue. Sam Burtis has made this point before, but I'll make it again a different way.

Look, all of us, even the very best players in the world, have days when it doesn't feel great. Maybe your chops are tired and a bit overstressed, maybe your valve is leaky and you don't know it, maybe there's a piece of an Oreo cookie lodged in your leadpipe and it's stuffy and you don't know why. Maybe you're playing for a conductor who is so unclear every entrance is a guess, and you get tentative and the timing of your attacks gets off a little.

Maybe you've switched to some piece of equipment - larger, smaller, whatever - that felt great at first but isn't really working out in the long run. Or some demand of your playing, internal or external, has changed such that the equipment that was perfect 10 years ago is no longer well-suited to what you want to do with it.

Too many of these days in a row, and you start to second-guess your own knowledge and abilities and change the way you practice. It can turn into a weird, vicious cycle where the physical discomfort turns into mental discomfort, which just feeds back to more physical discomfort, and so on.

I had a friend go into a horrible cycle where his playing got completely screwed up because of an allergy to the plastic rim he was playing, which he had bought because silver made him break out. The pain from the irritation to his skin changed what he was doing at the muscular level, and nothing was working right. He and his doctor finally figured out that he needed goldplated mouthpieces that never touched any kind of rubber or plastic, but that didn't solve the problems that had developed because of the contortions he put himself through from the pain. Fortunately, he was able to get a lesson or two from Arnold Jacobs, get himself back on track, and now he plays better than ever.

Good thing he never got a FD diagnosis, or he'd probably have stopped playing.
Logged

Gabe Langfur
Bass Trombonist
Rhode Island Philharmonic
Vermont Symphony
Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass

Trombone Faculty
Boston University
Kinhaven Music School
Wellesley College

S. E. Shires Artist
The Bone Ranger

*
Offline Offline

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Joined: Mar 17, 2002
Posts: 969

View Profile
« Reply #47 on: Jul 17, 2006, 07:33AM »

Does anyone have any contact with Bob Hughes, Warren Deck, Stefan Sanders or any other Focal Dystonia victims? It would be great to get their thoughts on these matters. How about Jan Kagarice? As someone who has helped people with this problem, I'm sure she could provide an insight.

As someone who enjoys looking into the physical and mental approaches to the instrument and how they inter-connect, I'd like to hear straight from the horses mouth, as this is all too easy to speculate about. Surely there's a common link between these sufferers, and even if we can't cure Focal Dystonia yet, it'd be nice to know how to prevent it. Maybe there haven't been enough sufferers to easily find this link.

I'm sure Jan could quickly shoot down some of our speculation.

Andrew
Logged
Fuzzy
The most

*
Offline Offline

Location: Adelaide, Australia, fromerly of the Northern Mountains of Lebanon, last seen in Beirut
Joined: Aug 4, 2005
Posts: 1162

View Profile
« Reply #48 on: Jul 17, 2006, 10:36AM »

Mr Marsh, you're hurting my feelings. I'm part of the 'Grade 9' crowd and wouldn't go bigger then my 1 1/2G if you payed me.

Reason being, my new teacher, Andrew, aka Bone Ranger said something wich really hit me.

He said you too often get bass trombonists with too big equipment and mouthpieces who sound weird (blubby, tuba-like noise, like sinking in mud slow motion, you know what I mean, Grin ) and dont get enough bite and growl in a Big Band.

In 30 seconds those words changed my view completely, I was planning on going to the big 1G and now wouldn't even consider it.

If anything, I'm thinking of going to the 2G----(Andrew I'll talk to you about that when (if) I get back from Lebanon.

I play in a youth orchestra with about 60 kids, and wouldn't dare go any bigger lest I knock every viola player in front of me out Evil

So, Mr Marsh, just because there are "go bigger" 9th Graders, that doesn't mean there aren't "go smaller."

 Hi
Logged

Firas el Achkar.

The size of a bass trombone has an inverse relationship with the size of the owner's penis.

Say NO to slide tubas!
PSJ

*
Offline Offline

Location: NW Arkansas
Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 85

View Profile
« Reply #49 on: Jul 17, 2006, 10:51AM »

Gabe wrote:
Quote
Maybe you've switched to some piece of equipment - larger, smaller, whatever - that felt great at first but isn't really working out in the long run. Or some demand of your playing, internal or external, has changed such that the equipment that was perfect 10 years ago is no longer well-suited to what you want to do with it.

Too many of these days in a row, and you start to second-guess your own knowledge and abilities and change the way you practice. It can turn into a weird, vicious cycle where the physical discomfort turns into mental discomfort, which just feeds back to more physical discomfort, and so on.


This is me exactly.  At 47 yrs old, not teaching full time any more and just being a "Part Time" professional musician this is easier than you may think to fall into.  The last couple of years I got way off center from "my sound" and playing feel etc., etc., etc.

Just recently I went back to the middle, (I think Gabe mentioned that earlier) with equipment that I know worked and have been finding I had let proper breathing and just the basics as a whole get lost.  Mostly because of blaming the equipment and the physical discomfort/mental discomfort cycle.

Now that things are back on track for me, I will say don't change for just the sake of change.  Make sure all of the fudamentals are right so you don't get lost in the cycle.  Or at least make the changes on sound reasoning.  Still, make sure the underlying fundamentals are right.

I didn't have Arnold Jacobs to help, but I did have a supportive wife (I think  Don't know) who after a couple of years of "does this sound right, which sounds better, and on and on, slapped me up side of the head and got me to pull something out....... Eeek!  

Paul
Logged

Paul Johnston
Bass Trombone
blast

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: scotland
Joined: Jul 26, 2001
Posts: 6874
"Bass/Contrabass trombone, Scottish Opera."


View Profile
« Reply #50 on: Jul 17, 2006, 01:34PM »

Well Gabe,
Not a can of worms,
more a party bucket.
invite some friends round and feast.
I've been studing these playing problems for quite a while, and
have helped quite a few people.
I've seen Bob Hughes... he is an old friend... so I know what his situation is.
There is no way that I am going to discuss any of that here. No way.
What I will say is that in the years of experience that I have had with these
problems, I have never been able to connect a physical breakdown with the
attempt to make a big sound on small equipment.
Several people have found themselves physically overstressed by the use of
large equipment in situations where it is not the norm.
These problems are most often found in bass trombone and tuba players, and least often found in trombonists who use smaller equipment in non symphonic settings.
I've talked at length with Jan Kagrice about such things, and she is a remarkable and skilled person in this area. Probably the best person on the planet to help with these problems.
Focal Dystonia seems to be used as a blanket term by the medical profession these days, which is not helpful.
The numbers of players suffering in this way is increasing, and to be honest, we have no hard evidence as to what is causing the damage... we can only look and see if specifics emerge as the victims grow.
Back to the big v small thing.... I think it is ever more obvious that there are quite deep conceptual differences between some of us. What I hear as tubby and fuzzy, others hear as big and dark.... we have different ideas of how a trombone should sound.
Personally, I think that's quite healthy.... if we all sounded the same it would be a boring world.
Chris Stearn.
Logged

Still cannot think of anything better to do. Back on an old 1 1/2G again !
evan51
Guardian of the Sacred Nebulizer

*
Offline Offline

Location: CA Tent City
Joined: Feb 8, 2001
Posts: 22145

View Profile WWW
« Reply #51 on: Jul 17, 2006, 02:24PM »

Quote from: "blast"
What I will say is that in the years of experience that I have had with these problems, I have never been able to connect a physical breakdown with the attempt to make a big sound on small equipment.

Several people have found themselves physically overstressed by the use of large equipment in situations where it is not the norm.
These problems are most often found in bass trombone and tuba players, and least often found in trombonists who use smaller equipment in non symphonic settings.

I've talked at length with Jan Kagrice about such things, and she is a remarkable and skilled person in this area. Probably the best person on the planet to help with these problems. Focal Dystonia seems to be used as a blanket term by the medical profession these days, which is not helpful.

The numbers of players suffering in this way is increasing, and to be honest, we have no hard evidence as to what is causing the damage... we can only look and see if specifics emerge as the victims grow.


Thanks for the overall picture, Chris. It helps to see the big picture, as anecdotal evidence tends to be rather confined to individual experience. For example, I can say that the "over 40" crowd generally seems to be moving to smaller equipment, but that ends up being my circle of acquaintances in a relatively small geographic area.

blast wrote

Quote
If comfort at the lips is so critical, why are there not trombone players playing with trumpet rims, and trumpet players playing with trombone rims, if that is their most comfortable size ?
Does not the mouthpiece have to primarily relate to the instrument in which it is played ?


As far a big v. small, I tend to see this as you suggested earlier--that the horn tends to dictate a "range" of mouthpieces. I look for a balance among the horn, the player and the mouthpiece. Again, this is mostly anecdotal, but I find almost everybody sounds good playing a Bach 6 1/2 on a Bach 36 straight horn. I see it as a "core" piece, from which one can move in either direction. A King 3B---a Bach 7C, and so forth. But I agree completely that one uses what works. We have a kid up here playing a Bach 4G on a .500 bore----sounds golden.  Don't know
Logged

One life---a little gleam of time between two Eternities.---Thomas Carlyle
Kevin Marsh
*
Offline Offline

Location: The Wilds of Canada
Joined: Jul 25, 2001
Posts: 449

View Profile WWW
« Reply #52 on: Jul 17, 2006, 03:34PM »

Off topic....


I attended the ITA masterclass in the early 80's where the old NY Phil section was reunited after DECADES and Mr. Gordon Pulis was there to answer questions after decades of having done no interviews.

He was asked what to practice and work on. He said there were only THREE things you had to work on-----   the notebooks and pens came out so nobody would forget what to BUY---he continued:

" Perfect sound, perfect intonation and perfect ensemble playing."


Ooooooooohhhh, so simple. It'll just take every single one of us the rest of our lives to get even 2% of the way there, no matter where we are right now. And thats what makes the horn so terrific and playing such a pure joy. There is always TOMORROW.

Sorry if I've stepped on toes regarding the Grade 9 crowd. I was there once and went down the garden path in the wrong direction--- wrong for me anyway-- every day for about 25 years. I'm converted now, so forgive me for preaching. And as for bass trombonists playing at the age of a young teenager-----man, its tough enough for a huge adult to do it. Physically its a brute of an instrument to play well at any age, if you're really in grade 9 you should be concentrating on drinking your milk and getting 14 hours sleep a day so your bones can hold the horn when it comes time to practice.

When I was in grade 9 I was doing hard time on a monster 4-valve 40 pound old BBb King tuba with a 24" bell and the appropriate mouthpiece, and getting good lessons as well. So, when it came time for me to make the leap to doubling on bass bone at age 17 ( old age to some of the forum members) I was already broken in and found bass bone to be a nice small treat. Boy, was I wrong! Tuba is way easier to hack on.....no cheating on bass bone.

And as for Gabe, in his rebuttal--bless him-- he mentioned the magic words AGAIN--- " PRACTICE" and "PRACTICE HABITS." Beautiful.
Logged
Gabe Langfur

*
Offline Offline

Location: Boston, MA, USA
Joined: Apr 9, 2000
Posts: 4917

View Profile WWW
« Reply #53 on: Jul 17, 2006, 03:38PM »

Quote from: "blast"
I've seen Bob Hughes... he is an old friend... so I know what his situation is.
There is no way that I am going to discuss any of that here. No way.


And no reason you should. I probably shouldn't have brought it up.

He talks about it just a little bit in his interview on Matt Guilford's blog: http://matthewguilford.blogspot.com/

Quote
B.H.: The strangest and the most frustrating thing to happen in my career has been the onset of Task Specific Focal Dystonia. This started about 4 years ago and affected my control on a few low notes. Over about 18 months it gradually got worse until I could hardly produce a sound in the mid and low register. Unfortunately I have recently resigned from the LSO which was a very sad decision to make.
I would like to mention the kind and generous support I have received from all my friends and colleagues, but especially Jan Kagarice in Texas who has given hours of her time in trying to help me overcome this condition. She has a remarkable understanding of problems affecting brass players and her expertise, generosity and enthusiasm in helping players overcome Focal Dystonia is quite remarkable.


Quote from: "blast"
What I will say is that in the years of experience that I have had with these
problems, I have never been able to connect a physical breakdown with the
attempt to make a big sound on small equipment.


Fair enough.

Quote
Focal Dystonia seems to be used as a blanket term by the medical profession these days, which is not helpful.


My point exactly. Overstress may be related, but it seems to me that that's probably its own issue, and doctors simply find a dignosis that looks right and stop there.

And if overstress is its own issue, as I would frankly bet dollars to donuts it is, then overstress stemming from mismatched equipment is another step removed from focal dystonia.

Quote
I think it is ever more obvious that there are quite deep conceptual differences between some of us. What I hear as tubby and fuzzy, others hear as big and dark.... we have different ideas of how a trombone should sound.


But I thought you just got done saying I sounded interesting, not tubby and fuzzy!  ;-)  I think you owe me a beer... Evil

Quote
Personally, I think that's quite healthy.... if we all sounded the same it would be a boring world.


Sure would. And you find big fans of Ray Premru and Bob Hughes on this side of the pond too. As I'm sure you find big fans of Charlie Vernon on yours.
Logged

Gabe Langfur
Bass Trombonist
Rhode Island Philharmonic
Vermont Symphony
Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass

Trombone Faculty
Boston University
Kinhaven Music School
Wellesley College

S. E. Shires Artist
blast

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: scotland
Joined: Jul 26, 2001
Posts: 6874
"Bass/Contrabass trombone, Scottish Opera."


View Profile
« Reply #54 on: Jul 17, 2006, 04:17PM »

Now the great thing is that I am going to be able to continue this conversation with Gabe over some of the best beer in the world, in just three days !
For now we must continue in this less social mode.
The overstress idea would be just great if we could discount every lead trumpet and latin trombone player out there.... just think... these people batter their lips on a regular basis, yet how many Dystonia victims do you know from that group ?
Biggest numbers on low symphonic instruments... what have we got there ?
Alcohol abuse is a good candidate... and can be seen as a contributor on occasion.... but there are too many examples where it is not a factor.
One of my strange ideas is that it may be linked to the quality of modern instruments.... they are so good, so centered, that we can easily slip into bad habits without suffering at the bell end.... for a while... and when we start to be aware of a problem... we are too far down the road to correct it.
The interaction between face and brain is vastly complex and relies so much on automatic response that we can be unaware of the breakdown of the playing system until it is at a point of virtual collapse.
Another idea is that most victims do not work for long periods in the high register.... the toning of the facial structure is not in evidence in these players.
These are just ideas... thoughts thrown out for the hordes to devour !
Let's hope a solution is not far away.
Chris Stearn.
Logged

Still cannot think of anything better to do. Back on an old 1 1/2G again !
The Bone Ranger

*
Offline Offline

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Joined: Mar 17, 2002
Posts: 969

View Profile
« Reply #55 on: Jul 17, 2006, 04:37PM »

Chris,

Please don't think I was asking you to discuss details of Bob's, or anyone else's problems here on the forum. I was merely wondering if anyone would perhaps ask someone of his ilk to chime in here with his thoughts, if they felt so inclined. You've seen some of this first hand, and I can understand how you don't want to disclose details, and I don't want to speculate without the proper knowledge. Speculating about ANYTHING is not my favourite past-time.

Besides, I can understand how a sufferer would not be interested in chiming in here, so it's a long shot. Man, it makes me want to cry thinking about what it would be like to be in that situation. I can imagine discussing it would be difficult.

Not looking for rumours or innuendo. I have my thoughts, too, but I don't think they would be of help.

Andrew
Logged
Gabe Langfur

*
Offline Offline

Location: Boston, MA, USA
Joined: Apr 9, 2000
Posts: 4917

View Profile WWW
« Reply #56 on: Jul 17, 2006, 04:41PM »

Quote from: "blast"
Now the great thing is that I am going to be able to continue this conversation with Gabe over some of the best beer in the world, in just three days !


Can't wait!

Ray used to talk about "low register fatigue," which he would combat by playing a few sfz notes in upper register, say chromatically from F above middle C to C above. Focus to his embouchure was very important to him, but a gentle focus that you can't force to happen.

It is physically tiring in many ways to play for extended periods in the low register. I know that my metabolism speeds up when I have extreme demands there, and I get very hungry in the breaks of the rehearsals.

When I talked with Phil Teele about his long tone routine, he talked about overtraining to become "so strong you can always be relaxed." He also talked about how you need strength not just in your face, but also in the musculature in your neck, shoulders and throughout your back, and how this was all addressed in a very specific way by playing many many long tones.

Maybe, in some cases, when the rest of the body isn't doing the job it needs to, the face overcompensates...

Sounds like a doctoral dissertation in the making.
Logged

Gabe Langfur
Bass Trombonist
Rhode Island Philharmonic
Vermont Symphony
Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass

Trombone Faculty
Boston University
Kinhaven Music School
Wellesley College

S. E. Shires Artist
Doug Elliott
Lord of the Rims

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: Mar 12, 2005
Posts: 6441

View Profile
« Reply #57 on: Jul 17, 2006, 10:40PM »

Gabe and Chris, I'll talk to you guys at ITF about this.  My internet access is not good enough right now to get into it here.
Logged

www.DougElliottMouthpieces.com
XT LexanN104,C+,D2, Williams 6, K&H Slokar alto, K&H Slokar Solo .547 open wrap
Kevin Marsh
*
Offline Offline

Location: The Wilds of Canada
Joined: Jul 25, 2001
Posts: 449

View Profile WWW
« Reply #58 on: Jul 18, 2006, 05:58AM »

" Low register fatigue".

  I complained to my physician about the fatigue after playing and the hunger. He attributed it to low blood sugar caused by the incomplete combustion of the oxygen in the blood etc. etc. etc. etc.


Then he told me to get off my a** and lose 25 pounds because trombone playing is NOT a form of exercise.

I can't recall it all. The answer I got was that I was NOT hungry. It was caused by blowing out too frequently instead of breathing normally and as a result I'd upset some fine balances. Its like getting to the point of fainting, but you save yourself because you're always sucking carbon dioxide from the interior of the horn that collects there from your exhalation. Thats why you don't faint when you play as loud as possible....the carbon dioxide establishes an equilibrium.


This came up again during a coaching course I attended to get soccer coach certification. Haven't got the books to hand but you may look into AEROBIC and ANAEROBIC exercise and the differences.


One of the fun things was to get the various participants in the course to describe activities particular to their sport to illustrate the different bodily methods of utilizing oxygen. The big surprise? BASEBALL. No way to prove any activity in baseball lasted the 30-45 seconds to be aerobic exercise. Longest period of activity they could come up, with as a group of 15 baseball coaches, was about 8 seconds.


So, look into the various forms of exercise to explain the low register fatigue. Seriously, it also explains why --- with 100% scientific validity--- that certain refreshing malt beverages and even the group of foodstuffs knows as lagers and ales  are scientifically the best things to consume in large groups ( and refreshing quantities!!) after a rehearsal or gig to replenish the body as quickly as possible and restore the blood oxygen level back to its normal level.
Logged
Kevin Marsh
*
Offline Offline

Location: The Wilds of Canada
Joined: Jul 25, 2001
Posts: 449

View Profile WWW
« Reply #59 on: Jul 18, 2006, 01:09PM »

This will be even further off topic, then I'll be done.

When the body exercises for periods of just a few minutes ( like a long low blow) lactic acid is produced.

Lactic acid is the same miracle substance to be found in human mother's milk that puts babies to sleep while they are nursing. It is also the same substance, that found in the blood and NOT given an opportunity to be consumed by the large muscle groups, will cause fatigue.

Example-- ice hockey players play in two minute shifts ( bursts) and then return to the bench when they are exhausted. Their legs feel like lead. The bright lights at my coaching course predicted the day when there will be a bicycle like aparatus you can use with ice skates on--- at the bench--- for the leg muscles to quickly consume the lactic acid and resume their normal state....you have to burn it off by "cooling down". Its crazy but it works. You will become fresher by exercising more.

    And so, it is conceivable that the human body, when taxed past endurance by the combination of a requirement to pump 1,000 litres/minute of air through the horn in a Bruckner low brass passage-- combined with the lack of oxygen from the blowing-- will produce to the body a sensation like anaerobic exercise.

No where to burn off the lactic acid, the body gets fatigued. And you feel hungry as well. For your own edification conduct the following experiment: Practice some long pedal tones to the point of feeling tired. THEN do a few push-ups. Or if you're unable to do that, then put the horn down and stand with the feet about 4 feet away from a wall and lean forward with the full body weight supported by the outstretched arms. Do a few "mock push-ups" into the wall to get your arms and legs stretching.

It'll do your practice routine a world of good as well-- I'm pretty arthritic from 5 knee operations so I find it to be very theraputic for a lot of reasons, but for playing purposes is the best.
Logged
evan51
Guardian of the Sacred Nebulizer

*
Offline Offline

Location: CA Tent City
Joined: Feb 8, 2001
Posts: 22145

View Profile WWW
« Reply #60 on: Jul 18, 2006, 01:40PM »

Quote from: "Kevin Marsh"
This will be even further off topic, then I'll be done.

When the body exercises for periods of just a few minutes ( like a long low blow) lactic acid is produced.

Lactic acid is the same miracle substance to be found in human mother's milk that puts babies to sleep while they are nursing. It is also the same substance, that found in the blood and NOT given an opportunity to be consumed by the large muscle groups, will cause fatigue.


I know we're getting a bit far afield, but I can't help thinking that low brass players can be in danger from underestimating the physical demands of playing their instrument---watch a clarinet player during a concert and then move over to the bass bone player. Two valves, one slide, air in and out of the lungs all moving together, left forearm/hand holding up the whole mess while the right arm pumps the slide---we have a perpetual motion machine.

So--are we talking about tweaking a mouthpiece to keep all this together? Sounds like a big expectation.
Logged

One life---a little gleam of time between two Eternities.---Thomas Carlyle
griffinben

*
Offline Offline

Location: The Wilds of the Northeast
Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 2523

View Profile
« Reply #61 on: Jul 19, 2006, 07:21AM »

Quote
Posted: 18 Jul 2006 14:40   Post subject:  

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Kevin Marsh wrote:
This will be even further off topic, then I'll be done.

When the body exercises for periods of just a few minutes ( like a long low blow) lactic acid is produced.

Lactic acid is the same miracle substance to be found in human mother's milk that puts babies to sleep while they are nursing. It is also the same substance, that found in the blood and NOT given an opportunity to be consumed by the large muscle groups, will cause fatigue.


I know we're getting a bit far afield, but I can't help thinking that low brass players can be in danger from underestimating the physical demands of playing their instrument---watch a clarinet player during a concert and then move over to the bass bone player. Two valves, one slide, air in and out of the lungs all moving together, left forearm/hand holding up the whole mess while the right arm pumps the slide---we have a perpetual motion machine.

So--are we talking about tweaking a mouthpiece to keep all this together? Sounds like a big expectation.


Well, you can't blame the mouthpiece for everything; but if you aren't using the the most efficient mouthpiece, or ratehr are using an extremely inefficient mouthpiece for you and the job you're doing you can cause major damage or tire your self to the point of overexertion.

Its like running with a parachute or weights, if you perform, competitively race like that, you ARE going ot hurt yourself.  Also, the face is extremely sesitive, we can feel the width of a sheet of paper as someone so eloquently put somewhere else...if you are using something vastly too big for your physical make up you are going to overextend and possibly really hurt yourself in the long run.

Its no substitute for staying in good physical condition, with a good diet and regular excercise (which can't be emphasized enough!), but a proper mouthpiece choice can help prevent problems down the line in the long run.

-Ben
Logged
ntalarico

*
Offline Offline

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Joined: Sep 16, 2002
Posts: 397

View Profile
« Reply #62 on: Aug 15, 2006, 07:03AM »

I know I'm coming late into the fray here, but since I have just one concrete example, and because Ben G and I traded a related e-mail lately, here goes . . . my main horns are Kings a 1970's 3B and a 2+ year old 2102PL (2B+) -- so small horns.  Up until about 5 years ago, I hadn't played in 25 years!  When I started back in, I was playing only the 3B with a custom Bach gold mouthpiece -- a Bach 3 with a widened throat.  . . and I was attempting to play lead in a big band with this set up (I had done so for a specific reason 25 years ago -- long and dull story).

Anyway, cut to today, and I mostly play the 2B+ using a Mount Vernon Bach 12C, thanks to Erling.  As Ben knows, I've had my doubts about it as I've begun using it regularly -- "can I get enough volume?  can I get enough warmth? is it really that great?  does it fit my face?"  I've discovered if I just relax, move the air, and play with the least pressure possible, the dang thing opens up in a beautiful way.  I'm able to whatever I want and FORGET about the equipment, and just play music.  It's the first mouthpiece I've ever owned that allowed me to do that . . . so the older, smaller Bachs obviously havce SOMETHING right going for them.
Logged

Are you all reet?
Jeff Smith
*
Offline Offline

Location: New York City
Joined: Nov 3, 2005
Posts: 3564

View Profile
« Reply #63 on: Aug 15, 2006, 10:45AM »

I play a Wick 5AL, and with it's 25.73 rim diameter, I find it to be just a TAD small. It fights me in the low tessitura-     to   .

I'm looking forward to trying a Greg Black 5G, with it's 25.80 rim diameter, it might be just what I'm looking for. Either that or the JA 5 series. But that might be too much, with it's 25.95 diameter.

My Wick 4AL has a 26.00 diameter, and I like that, but I lose a little bit of comfort in the upper register, due to the bigger diameter. So, I'm looking to go in between my 4AL and 5AL.
Logged

(customized) Getzen 3062AF - custom Greg Black
(customized) Getzen 1062FD - Greg Black 1.5G
brucejackson
*
Offline Offline

Location: Irving, TX
Joined: Jan 5, 2006
Posts: 1112

View Profile
« Reply #64 on: Aug 15, 2006, 04:03PM »

Quote from: "tbonegeek07"
I play a Wick 5AL, and with it's 25.73 rim diameter, I find it to be just a TAD small. It fights me in the low tessitura-     to   .

I'm looking forward to trying a Greg Black 5G, with it's 25.80 rim diameter, it might be just what I'm looking for. Either that or the JA 5 series. But that might be too much, with it's 25.95 diameter.

My Wick 4AL has a 26.00 diameter, and I like that, but I lose a little bit of comfort in the upper register, due to the bigger diameter. So, I'm looking to go in between my 4AL and 5AL.


Y'know there is a Wick 4.5 AL don't you?  Its ID is between the 4 and 5 but the OD  is the same as a 4 so the rim is a little thicker than either.  Sounds like an interesting mouthpiece.
Logged

Next to being witty yourself, the best thing is to quote another's wit
--Christian N. Bovee
Jeff Smith
*
Offline Offline

Location: New York City
Joined: Nov 3, 2005
Posts: 3564

View Profile
« Reply #65 on: Aug 15, 2006, 09:57PM »

Yeah I know there is a Wick 4.5AL.

I just won't be getting it because there are no cup variants or a small shank version.

With Greg Blacks, there's a small shank version of the mouthpieces I'm interested in, so I can use the same rim when I switch horns.
Logged

(customized) Getzen 3062AF - custom Greg Black
(customized) Getzen 1062FD - Greg Black 1.5G
gsmonks
« Reply #66 on: Aug 22, 2006, 04:06PM »

Quote from: "evan51"
Kevin Marsh writes of Alain Trudel:

Quote
Lots of modern trombonists , both bass and tenor, play equipment that is AS LARGE as they can get away with. Then they have to practice excessively , to build the necessary muscle mass and physical strength to be able to produce the pitches they require to do their playing. And also to produce the necessary air capacity and air speed to control a mouthpiece TOO LARGE for their needs.
They are practicing too much just to get to the point where they are able to produce music ONLY after they are able to control the brass.


Trudel's theory is totally different---

He plays AS SMALL a mouthpiece as he can because he wants to play MUSIC from the first time he picks up the horn. He is unconcerned with building muscle or muscle mass or excessive strength to control the horn. He plays as openly as possible and with as little pressure as possible.

He inhales- he exhales. Sometimes a trombone gets in the way....at that point he is playing a trombone, otherwise he breathes the same all the time, effortlessly.


This is a very interesting quote and lays out two opposing and common views about selecting a mouthpiece. Where do y'all stand on this? What have your teachers recommended? What have you actually done in approaching this issue (when their backs were turned  Grin ?).


Well . . . I use the smallest mouthiece I can find, and where I get my timbre from is by playing all top lip. Doesn't stop me from nailing pedals right into the basement, doesn't make my sound overly bright or hard or brittle, allows me to play effortlessly all day and night with a range up to double high Bb. And I'm a sectional player, not a soloist.

That said, on trumpet I use a Schilke model 24 with a cup diameter of around 18.30 mm, which could well be the biggest trumpet mouthpiece made. Dunno why this works for me, but I've been called a freak more than once for switching between trumpet, trombone and tuba several times during a gig, and using a completely different embouchure on each horn.

I'm tempted to say that it really doesn't matter what you stick on your face, that it's all the same, but I know people who really struggle when they try to switch and in watching them I'm pretty much convinced that it's not all psychological.

I don't know why chops and mouthpieces either work together or don't. It could be magic for all I know.
Logged
trombones O' mayhem

*
Offline Offline

Location: Saint Petersburg/Tampa, Florida
Joined: Dec 9, 2005
Posts: 737

View Profile WWW
« Reply #67 on: Aug 22, 2006, 09:06PM »

i pretty much go for how easy it is,  and how great the sound is. i'd say if one mouthpiece was a bit easier, but if i worked harder on another i'd get a better sound, i'd take the latter. so... i say, not in terms of big or small, but comfyness and sound quality.
Logged

"Think product, not methodology." -Arnold Jacobs
 B.M. in Music Education & Applied Music, and Performer's Certificate, Eastman School of Music, '13
Doug Elliott
Lord of the Rims

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: Mar 12, 2005
Posts: 6441

View Profile
« Reply #68 on: Aug 22, 2006, 09:07PM »

Quote from: "gsmonks"
... Well . . . I use the smallest mouthiece I can find...
A Schilke 24 is the largest (trumpet) mouthpiece you could find, not the smallest...

You don't say what you mean by "the smallest mouthpiece you could find."  Do you mean on trumpet, tenor trombone, tuba, or any of them except trumpet?
Logged

www.DougElliottMouthpieces.com
XT LexanN104,C+,D2, Williams 6, K&H Slokar alto, K&H Slokar Solo .547 open wrap
gsmonks
« Reply #69 on: Aug 22, 2006, 09:53PM »

Quote from: "Doug Elliott"
Quote from: "gsmonks"
... Well . . . I use the smallest mouthiece I can find...
A Schilke 24 is the largest (trumpet) mouthpiece you could find, not the smallest...

You don't say what you mean by "the smallest mouthpiece you could find."  Do you mean on trumpet, tenor trombone, tuba, or any of them except trumpet?


Sorry- guess I should have been clearer. I use the smallest mouthpiece I can find on trombone, the largest I can find on trumpet. When playing tuba I use a very generic MOR mouthpiece.

It's what works for me. I know other guys who use very different equipment in the same horns, who also play horns in all three ranges.

For example, a fellow here in town uses a very small, shallow trumpet mouthpiece, but on trombone, euphonium and tuba he uses the largest mouthpiece he can find.

I can just barely get a sound out of his trumpet mouthpiece, and I can't begin to control his BBb tuba mouthpiece.
Logged
BobCochran
« Reply #70 on: Oct 04, 2006, 04:20PM »

Wayyyyy to much time/energy spent focusing on the hardware.

If a player sounds bad on current eqpt and thinks a change of mouthpiece/horn is the answer, it probably isn't.

More practice is.

If lack of talent is the problem, well....

All right, futz around with all kinds of hardware if it keeps ya happy.

BUT...fixation on eqpt doesn't mean the player is bad.  Carl Fontana was GREAT and he goofed around with different horns and mouthpieces a lot, I guess.

So....never mind!

 Pant  Don't know
Logged
Dubya
*
Offline Offline

Location: Decorah, Iowa
Joined: Jun 14, 2003
Posts: 2337

View Profile WWW
« Reply #71 on: Oct 04, 2006, 05:24PM »

Quote from: "evan51"
Kevin Marsh writes of Alain Trudel:

Quote
Lots of modern trombonists , both bass and tenor, play equipment that is AS LARGE as they can get away with. Then they have to practice excessively , to build the necessary muscle mass and physical strength to be able to produce the pitches they require to do their playing. And also to produce the necessary air capacity and air speed to control a mouthpiece TOO LARGE for their needs.
They are practicing too much just to get to the point where they are able to produce music ONLY after they are able to control the brass.


Trudel's theory is totally different---

He plays AS SMALL a mouthpiece as he can because he wants to play MUSIC from the first time he picks up the horn. He is unconcerned with building muscle or muscle mass or excessive strength to control the horn. He plays as openly as possible and with as little pressure as possible.

He inhales- he exhales. Sometimes a trombone gets in the way....at that point he is playing a trombone, otherwise he breathes the same all the time, effortlessly.


This is a very interesting quote and lays out two opposing and common views about selecting a mouthpiece. Where do y'all stand on this? What have your teachers recommended? What have you actually done in approaching this issue (when their backs were turned  Grin ?).


This sounds A LOT like the philosophy I recently  adopted. Granted, I flip it completely. I like having a relatively larger mouthpiece because I have to squish to get into anything smaller. I find that my lips fit better in/on a larger mouthpiece, and I play more naturally that way.

As far as pitch production, what matters is the ability to buzz the pitch. The trombone is a giant, pretty, expensive megaphone, nothing more. The only difference between a large and a small bore horn is the amount of air required to make it resonate.
Logged

"It has to mean something every time you play."

-Frank Rosolino

Dave Tatro
The Python's Python
*
Offline Offline

Location: St. Pete, Florida
Joined: May 10, 2006
Posts: 4935

View Profile
« Reply #72 on: Oct 04, 2006, 07:06PM »

I think that using the smallest equipment possible to do the job at hand well is a good idea for the most part. The catch is that this will cover a very large gray area which will need to encompass many different players with vastly different performance demands.

Some players can do anything on a 6 1/2 or smaller mouthpiece. High, low, loud, soft, bright, dark, you name it. I am not one of those players. I played on a 6 1/2 from 7th grade until my third year of college, because it came with my horn and I didn't know any better. I always shyed away from trying anything larger because I already had endurance issues. So I practised and practised and beat my chops to a bloody pulp, figuratively. My tone was pinched and I had no low register to speak of. Despite these technical issues, my playing was very confident and musical because of all my practicing and playing all different kinds of music. So I ended up sitting first chair most of the time from middle school through junior college.

When I got to a large university setting, I finally hit the sound wall, and I realized that I was way behind and had to do something about it. By the time I finished music school, I was up to a 5G and things were a bit better. Of course I was playing many hours a day to maintain all the chop contortions that I had to perform to play strongly in all registers on the 5G! After school, I didn't play for about four years. When I came back to the horn, I decided that I was going to throw convention aside and figure out how to really make things work for me. This led me to experiment with many different aspects of equipment and technique, but the biggest and most significant change I made was ending up on a much larger mouthpiece than I had used previously.

My embouchure is of the very high placement type, which in general requires larger diameter mouthpiece rims to function most efficiently. Whereas before, I had to use contortions and big shifts to make the low register speak, now I use pretty much the same setting for everything. (Every embouchure uses subtle shifts, of course. I am talking about consistent m'piece placement.) This makes flexibilty between registers much easier. My sound is also light years from where it once was. It used to be my biggest weakness, and now it is a strength. Some of that is practice and better concept, but most of it is using the right equipment for me. My embouchure is as strong as it has ever been, even though I don't play nearly as much now as when I was in school.

The point of this long rambling spiel is to underscore the idea that one size does not fit all. Not by a long shot. That having been said, I think that Alain Trudel's ideas carry great wisdom and are a good realty check for those players that think that they can buy proficiency on their instrument. But for those of you that have the talent and have the motivation to practice and are still struggling, be aware that you may need to do a little bit of judicious experimenting to find something that works well for you. If you are like me at all, you will not find this by using what "everybody else is using".

Dave
Logged

"He also inevitably discovered the similarities between glass doors and forcefields."- marchingknight
trombones O' mayhem

*
Offline Offline

Location: Saint Petersburg/Tampa, Florida
Joined: Dec 9, 2005
Posts: 737

View Profile WWW
« Reply #73 on: Oct 16, 2006, 08:02PM »

Going back to the original question, I think that a player shouldn't have to feel like the mouthpiece that he or she is using is "the largest" or "the smallest" of whatever limits they set up for themselves, but instead they should feel like it is the most great sound coming out of the horn. I believe that it is much easier (and more enjoyable) to work on endurance and have a great sound to start, and than to have chops all day long, but know that your sound is hurting. To me, conciously trying to pick the "smallest" or "largest" of something sounds silly. If it sounds great, then you've achieved the goal we all strive for, right?
Logged

"Think product, not methodology." -Arnold Jacobs
 B.M. in Music Education & Applied Music, and Performer's Certificate, Eastman School of Music, '13
bigbells

*
Offline Offline

Location: Eastern NC
Joined: Aug 27, 2004
Posts: 637
"When it comes to modesty I'm the greatest!"


View Profile WWW
« Reply #74 on: Oct 20, 2006, 11:25PM »

Regarding mouthpiece size for trombones: It is a prevalent attitude among school band directors to instruct their students to go bigger as they gain in playing experience. I was surprised to hear Ben say that he'd never heard anyone say it.  In my experience what is rare indeed is to hear a teacher suggest a smaller mouthpiece. It doesn't help that many use "12C" and "beginner mouthpiece" as synonyms.  As someone else pointed out, Bach's literature on mouthpiece selection doesn't do anything but cement this crazy philosophy, and a number of other makers use the same kind of blurbs in their literature.  Largest possible or smallest possible? Let's define "possible".  If it means "without errors" then there's no mouthpiece for me. Hypothesis: A 10% improvement in tonal quality and a 3% increase in personal playing satisfaction from behind the horn is worth an increase in flubs from one per 100 notes to two per 100 notes, if those flubs sound 25% less disagreeable and if endurance decreases by 5% or less. (Plug in any numbers you'd like, or refute the assumptions that created the hypothesis.) My take on this is: if I'm thinking of trying a different mouthpiece, I might as well, if I've got another mouthpiece to try.
Logged

Dave Bellware, amateur. Rocky Mount Concert Band and 1st Baptist Church orchestra.
BassBoneFL

*
Offline Offline

Location: Tampa/St.Petersburg,FL
Joined: Aug 31, 2005
Posts: 2260

View Profile
« Reply #75 on: Oct 21, 2006, 08:52AM »

There is a common trend with band directors in this area that I have observed, at a distance, over the past decade or so. I can't even begin to count the number of middle and high school bass trombone players I have seen/heard who have been handed, by their band directors, a Schilke 60 as their 1st mouthpiece. Most of these players switched from small student models and have had little or no time on even a large bore tenor setup. The result is often not pretty, as you can well imagine. When I then suggest they explore an option in the 2-1.25G range, they (and sometimes their directors) act as if their honor has been violated.

Is there not some means to educate the educators on reasonable equipment options for young players? Any "forumites" out there have any ideas? Any journals where one could submit articles?

When I taught brass methods to ed majors at Eastman, I tried to stress the importance of good fundamentals and reasonable equipment choices for young players. I half jokingly told them "I don't want to spend years cleaning up problems caused by your lack of knowledge and information.". Unfortunately, I seem to be doing alot of that.
Logged

Harold Van Schaik
Bass Trombone
The Florida Orchestra

S.E. Shires Artist

"Having Yo-Yo Ma give a masterclass to brass players is like hiring Picasso to paint your garage." - Gene Pokorny
Precious
Omar the Tent Maker

*
Offline Offline

Location: Behind a sewing machine
Joined: Mar 29, 2004
Posts: 3296

View Profile
« Reply #76 on: Oct 21, 2006, 09:02AM »

I read the first page of this topic, and skipped the others, so please forgive me (especially if what I'm posting doesn't fit the current topic drift).

I play what sounds best...and normally that is one of the smaller mouthpieces.

I'm not a big person (most people call me "tiny" in stature after meeting me in person), I have a small face, and would fall into (and probably get stuck) in a large mouthpiece.

I struggle with a 6.5AL, a 7c feels too large sometimes, and my 12c is just about right.

I had a hell of a time finding a mouthpiece I could play on when I played bass a number of years ago.  If memory serves, they found me a 6.5AL large shank to play on, because the 5G nearly swallowed my face.
Logged

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -- WOW--What a Ride!
Dave Tatro
The Python's Python
*
Offline Offline

Location: St. Pete, Florida
Joined: May 10, 2006
Posts: 4935

View Profile
« Reply #77 on: Oct 21, 2006, 09:35AM »

Quote from: "BassBoneFL"
Is there not some means to educate the educators on reasonable equipment options for young players? Any "forumites" out there have any ideas? Any journals where one could submit articles?


This seems to be a very prevalent issue across the board. Band directors who are brass players may not know what to give their woodwinds, etc. Even within instrument groups, their may not be enough specific knowledge to make approriate recommendations. My HS director was fine on trumpet and horn. As far as I know, he never imparted any equipment knowledge to the low brass players.

I certainly don't expect every band director to be equipment gurus for every instrument, but it would be nice if they had some basic knowledge of appropriate choices. I'm sure that many of them do, but we only seem to hear about the bad ones, ie those that mandate S. 60's for every beginning bass 'bonist.

Good idea about the journals, BBFL. In fact, I would guess that a series of articles written by experts on teaching each instrument could be a very positive thing for educators AND students.
Logged

"He also inevitably discovered the similarities between glass doors and forcefields."- marchingknight
zellerbrook
Zach Ellerbrook

*
Offline Offline

Location: Memphis, TN
Joined: Jan 30, 2005
Posts: 224

View Profile WWW
« Reply #78 on: Oct 21, 2006, 11:31AM »

My head hurts.
Logged

Zach Ellerbrook
Navy Band Mid-South
 Bass Trombone - Ceremonial/Marching Band
 Trombone - Contemporary Entertainment Ensemble "Freedom"
Molefsky

*
Offline Offline

Location: Ohio
Joined: Aug 18, 2005
Posts: 1139
"Very old photo..."


View Profile
« Reply #79 on: Oct 21, 2006, 12:20PM »

I think the idea of playing the smallest equipment that allows you to get the sound you want makes perfect sense.  Wouldn't that be the most efficient way to go?  I play a pretty generic Bach 5g on my .547 and a greg black 11c (recently acquired) on my small tenor and alto.  I love it.  I used to match rims for my small and large horns and played a 4g rim.  I wanted to go even bigger.  The thing i found after several mouthpiece changes is that what may feel good at first may not last through the "honeymoon" period.  So i gave up the switching and went back to my rusty 5g and made a decision to stick with it for a year or more and just focus on the human side of my playing(fundamentals etc).   It's been almost two years and i've progressed by leaps and bounds.  I love my sound on all my horns and feel comfortable switching when the playing situation requires it.
        I still have friends that put a lot of stock in the "bigger is better" mentality.  This includes an undergraduate friend that spent a few years playing a Bach 2g on his tenor.  He swore it got the sound he wanted and always attributed his lack of tone focus to a myriad of other factors.  I'm not saying that you can't get a focused tone out of a big piece like that; obviously Alessi does a pretty good job.   I'm just saying i'm not Joe Alessi.
Logged

Molefsky
freelance trombonist
Full-time Environmental Engineering Consultant
Bob Riddle

*
Offline Offline

Location:
Joined: Nov 24, 2001
Posts: 912
"Having more fun every day!!!"


View Profile
« Reply #80 on: Oct 21, 2006, 12:26PM »

I nelieve the 7M is closer to the Bach 7 than a 7C.Deeper cup.
I checked my mouthpiece the throat is an E throat with *5*backbore,whatever that is.
Bob

SORRY! I screwed up and posted this in the wrong place. Embarrassed!
Logged
blast

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: scotland
Joined: Jul 26, 2001
Posts: 6874
"Bass/Contrabass trombone, Scottish Opera."


View Profile
« Reply #81 on: Oct 21, 2006, 05:40PM »

Just to restate where we were in this discussion, at least as I saw it... it is not about biggest and smallest in extreme terms, but is about advanced players, who could play the same material in the same group on a range of different sizes of mouthpiece, choosing to play either at the small end of those choices or the large end of those choices, and the reason for such a selection.
....well that is where I thought we were...
Chris Stearn.
Logged

Still cannot think of anything better to do. Back on an old 1 1/2G again !
CRWV
Boss

*
Offline Offline

Location: NJ, Rowan University
Joined: Nov 3, 2006
Posts: 842
"Makes loud noises"


View Profile
« Reply #82 on: Nov 04, 2006, 10:31AM »

I don't have any set opinions other than that, with string bass and trombone  (my two intstruments) the more i experiment with equipment, the closer i get to the middle.

Anecdote time: I picked up bone soph. year of high school, and bass bone a few months later, first mouthpiece i bought was a 1g. I was stupid. Couldnt play worth a damn on it, or the basss bone, or the bach 42B's the school had (15 year old horns, we weren't thhaat lucky). Went to tuba, forgot about trombone for two years or so. Recently started up again. only horn i had to work with was a small bore conn director witha  (gasp) 7c. after three weeks, i was better than i ever was on trombone, and when i borrowed an 88h and a 5g, my sound is infinitely better.

Rambling is fun...
Logged

Upright Bass/Bass Bone Major @ Rowan U.
100 Year Old Saxon Bass
Kanstul 1662

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." -Einstein
bassbone4sissies
bass trombonist in progress

*
Offline Offline

Location: Mansfield, TX
Joined: Feb 9, 2005
Posts: 987
"I Can't Help It"


View Profile
« Reply #83 on: Nov 19, 2006, 01:36PM »

hmm .. interesting.

i didn't read all of the threead .. please excuse me if i become ignornant, but.. i'd heard both the says "Play the largest equipment you can play easily."  But, I've also heard, "Play the smallest equipment you can."

Meaning, play a or b, too the X or Y size, with = to best sound.
Logged

Brendan P.
Bass Trombone
Back on the horn.. never again will I leave music behind me.
Funbone
*
Offline Offline

Location: Glendale, CA
Joined: Aug 24, 2006
Posts: 323

View Profile
« Reply #84 on: Nov 19, 2006, 02:19PM »

I was wondering if someone could comment on the Bach 7?
Logged
little bone

*
Offline Offline

Location: SW Missouri
Joined: Dec 12, 2003
Posts: 208

View Profile
« Reply #85 on: Nov 20, 2006, 03:46PM »

I was wondering if someone could comment on the Bach 7?

I get a bigger sound out of a 7, compared to a 7C, which has a slightly shallower cup than the 7.
To me, they feel about the same, but 7 sounds bigger.

I'm about to test the "smallest possible" theory and ordered a Bach 15EW for long nights of high lead playing in a big group . . . see if I don't wear out after awhile.
Logged
bigbells

*
Offline Offline

Location: Eastern NC
Joined: Aug 27, 2004
Posts: 637
"When it comes to modesty I'm the greatest!"


View Profile WWW
« Reply #86 on: Nov 20, 2006, 06:35PM »

I'm about to test the "smallest possible" theory and ordered a Bach 15EW for long nights of high lead playing in a big group . . . see if I don't wear out after awhile.
For some, a 15EW would be "smaller than possible". Others have no trouble with a mouthpiece that has an inner rim that small and a cup that shallow. Have you tried something smaller than you're playing now, but not as small as a 15EW, like a 12C? If a 12C is too small, then the much shallower 15EW with a smaller rim diameter would REALLY be too small, unless the wider rim somehow makes it more playable for you.
« Last Edit: Nov 20, 2006, 07:12PM by bigbells » Logged

Dave Bellware, amateur. Rocky Mount Concert Band and 1st Baptist Church orchestra.
sabutin

*
Offline Offline

Location: NYC
Joined: Sep 26, 2005
Posts: 5331
"A professional freelance NYC lower brass player."


View Profile WWW
« Reply #87 on: Nov 24, 2006, 04:47AM »


Largest? Smallest? Or best?

Also...largest or smallest in what categories?

Rim?

Backbore?

Throat?

Cup?

Shank?

To fit what kind of playing?

What kind of horn?

Plus...there IS no "theory."

No unified theory, anyway.

Not even of embouchure, let alone the m'pce(s) on which any given individual's embouchure will best work. ESPECIALLY since any given embouchure changes from hour to hour, day to day and year to year.

For example, people who generally play in louder, more projecting situations and/or use a great deal of fairly percussive fast tonguing at volume need relatively open backbores so that the air doesn't back up. TOO open however, and you lose the necessary resistance...necessary to YOUR stage of embouchure balance, air power/control and strength...that will allow you to play softly or with easy, well controlled flexibility. Similar problems occur when choosing rim sizes, cups, etc., plus every aspect of a m'pce affects every OTHER aspect to some degree.

Is a puzzlement.

On a GOOD day.

So instead of terms like largest or smallest, I would like to suggest "best balanced."

And further, I would like to suggest the following. (A reprint of something I recently posted both here and on my own website.) If you follow these ideas, you will find the right m'pce for you on any given horn at any given time in your career.

The "Goldilocks" effect m'pce.

Not too small...in any dimension(s).

Not too large.

Juuuuust right.

Read on.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There is really only one golden rule about choosing m'pces.

About choosing any equipment, really.

Try everything.

Use what works.

In my extensive m'pce experience...I own easily 100 trombone m'pces in four general sizes (For small bore,medium bore, large bore and bass trombones),  have probably tried 1000 in my time, and at one time altered or had custom made at least 20....a m'pce that is going to work for you on any given piece of equipment will feel and sound good IMMEDIATELY.

First note.

Unfortunately, so will many m'pces that are NOT going to work out.

But a m'pce that does NOT feel good up front never works out.

So it goes.

Y'pays yer money and y'takes yer chances.

Here are some general guidelines that will serve to break down the search procedure a little.

1-Try m'pces and m'pce sizes that have generally been used by great players on the kind of equipment you are playing for the kind of music(s) on which you play that equipment.

2-Try EVERYTHING. Go to stores and be a pest. You play with other trombonists. Try their m'pces. Including the ones they do not use.

3-Try m'pces intelligently. Which means to me, curiously enough, WITHOUT the use of the mind. Do blindfold tests. I cannot tell you how many times I have been surprised by lining up and blindly playing say 6 or 7  m'pces in a general size range, some of which were supposed to be...supposed to be in my own little mind... good high range pieces, others good low range, good flexibility, good sound, etc. After about 10 minutes of switching around, certain of them would recommend themselves in certain ways, others would begin to eliminate themselves...not open enough, weak highs or lows, sound not right...until one or two would clearly be the best. Upon examination of which ones I preferred they were almost  invariably not the ones that I had expected them to be out front.

Relatively small m'pces with a big sound, relatively large ones with a great high range, etc.

Go figure.

Or maybe better...go NOT figure.

4-Then try that/those m'pces in real life playing situations. If they STILL show promise, move to the next step.

5-When you find a m'pce that really seems like it will work...play it exclusively for about three weeks. (This can be very hard to do for doublers. If you CANNOT stop doubling while in this process...make it a couple of months. Exclusively on that particular horn.) There will be an adjustment period...usually for me within the first week or so...where the m'pce sounds and feels TERRIBLE. This is the crux point as far as I am concerned,  the point where most m'pce choices go awry. The temptation is to go back to the old one because you are embarrassed or somehow troubled by what is happeniong. DO NOT SURRENDER HERE. Push on through for another week of two. If at the end of that period of time it still isn't working...well, then, there you jolly well are, aren't you. Go back to your old m'pce until that one feels comfortable again...usually a pretty quick adjustment...and keep looking.

6-Do NOT go from m'pce to m'pce like a hummingbird goes from flower to flower. With no exceptions I have played given m'pces on given horns for at least a year. Most often, as much as 8 years and with a few, as long as 15. For me it takes at about a year to really find a m'pce/horn combination once I have chosen it, and the choosing process itself almost always entails a backward step or two on the instrument. Every equipment change means that you are wasting valuable practice time messing around with equipment and it is in practice and in performance that the real gowth occurs.

Bet on it.

Choose a m'pce and then stick with it until your own requirements change and/or you reach the definitive end of what you can do on it and you want to go further. This goes for ALL equipment changes.

I have played unchanging equipment for as long as 8 years, and individual horns with perhaps one or two m'pce changes for over 15 years sometimes.

Most important of ALL of these ideas?



Yup.

Match the right m'pce to the right horn for what YOU want to do.

Which  about 99% of the time means making fairly common size and style choices. Occasionally you will find special interest players like Gary Valente or Slide Hampton or Charlie Vernon playing very extreme apparent mismatches, but they can make it work FOR WHAT THEY DO, and unless you are really going to  specialize, those mismatches will NOT work.

Get the right tool(s) for the job(s).

You be bettah off.

And...

Have fun.

The sheer joy of progress is inestimable. I have been practicing seriously for nearly thirty years now, and NOT so seriously for maybe ten years before that (I was a bad, bad boy for a decade or so. MY bad.), and I still get up every day and spend 6 hours or more on my axes every day that I can possibly do so physically. (Hard to do when you are working/playing strenuous music. But I try. An hour or two, minimum. EVERY day.) And I do so not for any reason other than it simply feels good to get better. Not for money; not for fame; not for NUTHIN'.

Except that it FEELS good.

Like I said...have fun.

It's all there really is.

Quote
My attitude is never to be satisfied, never enough, never.

and

Quote
I don't pursue anything. The only thing I always answer is my own impulse.

Both from Duke Ellington.

Yup.

HE knew.

Bet on it.



Yup.

Later...

S.
Logged

Visit <http://samburtis.com/>. Lots of information on that site in the form of articles plus a link to my method book "Time, Balance & Connections-A Universal Theory Of Brass Relativity" which includes several chapters of the book.
blast

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: scotland
Joined: Jul 26, 2001
Posts: 6874
"Bass/Contrabass trombone, Scottish Opera."


View Profile
« Reply #88 on: Nov 24, 2006, 12:33PM »

Sam... did you read all of this thread ?

Chris Stearn.
Logged

Still cannot think of anything better to do. Back on an old 1 1/2G again !
blast

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: scotland
Joined: Jul 26, 2001
Posts: 6874
"Bass/Contrabass trombone, Scottish Opera."


View Profile
« Reply #89 on: Nov 26, 2006, 02:57PM »

Sam... did you read all of this thread ?

Chris Stearn.
That might have looked like the invitation to a fight... it is not (I would lose).. just that in light of the previous course of this topic, I thought you would want to relate some of your observations to previously posted ideas.
Following from your post, would you say that the idea of a size range within which a choice can be made is more applicable to the orchestral fields than jazz work, or do you dismiss the idea totally ?

Chris Stearn.
Logged

Still cannot think of anything better to do. Back on an old 1 1/2G again !
griffinben

*
Offline Offline

Location: The Wilds of the Northeast
Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 2523

View Profile
« Reply #90 on: Nov 28, 2006, 11:00AM »

Its been a few months since i took a look at this, so it was interesting to come back and read what has been posted in the interim.

Since originally posting, I actually heard about this theory from someone else, a trumpet player...Dave Trigg.  Those of you who think you don't know him, you do...because he is working all the time and plays on so much that you are bound to have heard him.  long story short, he gets an amazing, rich, fat sound anywhere on the horn...from pedals to high range so extreme that dogs wince in pain.  And he does it on the smallest mouthpiece possible.

Anyhoo, after that i started asking other people and it seems that a lot of people have a theory one way or the other.  A lot don't.

The thing is, amongst all those people, some of them sounded great, some of them didn't.  It seemed to me that it boiled down to one thing:

Use the most efficient mouthpiece for you.

Or more succintly:  use the right tool for the job.

Some physicalities dictate certain things.  i know guys that have played the same thign for years, sound great.  Some poeple that have played something for years, sounded terrible, and later found something that fit them, and then sounded great.  Soem never found it.

the bottom line is results.

If you have subscribed to a theory for years and it doesn't work...drop it.

If you want to try something, through logical progression, research and conlucsion, don't drop it after an hour.

The bottom line is be Smart.

Be in touch with your chops.

That and your gut will lead you a long way.

-Ben
 
Logged
GetzenBassPlayer

*
Offline Offline

Location: Seattle, Washington
Joined: Aug 21, 2002
Posts: 6215
"Learn as little as you have to, as well a"


View Profile
« Reply #91 on: Nov 28, 2006, 11:31AM »

Nice job Ben.
Logged

Pro level? Pro level!  You make it pro, you make it good You make it loved and play nice Then its a pro level horn
Leif

I can justify my position with a trombone in my hands and that's good enough for me
Beware wise men bearing equations  C. Stearn
Slidennis

*
Offline Offline

Location: Europe
Joined: Dec 29, 2003
Posts: 2338

View Profile
« Reply #92 on: Nov 29, 2006, 01:01AM »

Both, for me : largest and smallest : I explain : nearly largest "normal" size on small shank mpc, and smallest "normal" size on large shank mpc...

I'm surely not as experienced as Ben or Sam, but after a (too) long process to find the right mpc for me, my Yammy 697z and my 8HT .525" slide, I chose two 6 3/4 sized mpcs for both, which are the most comfy and most efficient for me and my way of playing : Laskey 50C and Yamaha 47 (lg shank)...

And I tried lots of diff mpcs, in every direction possible, believing I could handle different rim sizes easily, which is not completely true, I'm so at home with a 6 3/4...

On small shank mpc, always looking for the most open feeling, and found it on very few mpcs...  Stork's and Laskey's...

On large shank mpc, I was looking for a responsive mpc that did not break up a FFF...
Not so easy to find at that size...  So, I'd better change of music type and don't have to play too many FFF passage too often... Which I did.

But it seems to me, that careful throat and backbore designs need to be improved drastically, because the vast majority of mpcs I could try was not at all at my liking for this, narrowing my choice to only few of them.

My little take on this... :/
Logged

Denis
mellotbone

*
Offline Offline

Location: Rhode Island
Joined: Apr 23, 2006
Posts: 338

View Profile
« Reply #93 on: Dec 03, 2006, 07:39AM »

Interesting Denis as I too have settled on this size for myself, a Bach 6 3/4c on my 3B and a Yamaha 47 on my 646 (.525). I've actually considered using the 47 on both.

I was wondering how the Laskey 50C compares with a bach 6 3/4c, sound-wise, comfort-wise, etc?

Logged
Slidennis

*
Offline Offline

Location: Europe
Joined: Dec 29, 2003
Posts: 2338

View Profile
« Reply #94 on: Dec 06, 2006, 02:48AM »

I was wondering how the Laskey 50C compares with a bach 6 3/4c, sound-wise, comfort-wise, etc?
I find both Bach 6 3/4 and small shank Yam 47 quite less open than Laskey 50C and Yam 47 Large Shank  And I always tend to favor the openess of feeling and sound...

For the Bach 6 3/4, I found the sound to be very even from low to high range and pp to ff...  But a litlle muffled and lacking character, which the Laskey has a lot : so vibrant is the sound out of it that it takes some time to adjust for pp playing... 

Also because this piece is a little bit more resistant, and if you try to break that resistance too strongly, the sound will pop out too loudly all at once...  Not at all the case with the Bach 6 3/4C

The high range is also very resonant and easy on the Laskey...  The only drawback is that you can be tempted to push to much in the high register just because this mpc allows you to do so, then the exhaustion comes all of a sudden... and you know the rest... Embarrassed!

I also found that the backbore of the Yamaha 47 SMALL SH, was giving a stuffy feeling and sound in comparison to the same in LARGE SH, so I'm playing the large shank exclusively on my 8H/.525"...  The Laskey on that axe gives a too trumpety sound, that even can be shrill...

I now have a Laskey 54M for the 8H (large shank) that I like also very much, but the resistance that is comparable to the 50C, is a bit annoying for the high register sometimes...
Work very well with my King 4B though...
Logged

Denis
SilverPenguin

*
Offline Offline

Location: Amarillo, TX
Joined: Mar 20, 2004
Posts: 370

View Profile WWW
« Reply #95 on: Dec 08, 2006, 03:48PM »

I've been doing some mouthpiece fiddling lately on the tenor and bass, and am centering in on an efficient size.  So far the GB 5G-4G is working great on tenor, but go figure - a 4 (greigo) was too open and the rim was too wide, causing airy tone... a 5 (bach) was too small and the air was "backing up", so go figure, a more comfortable 5 rim size with a nice deep cup to give the air someplace to go... magic so far.

Anyway, the interesting observation I had was on bass: I have a Yeo replica that I was using playing bass in my undergrad's jazz band.  I figured it'd give nice flexibility and immediacy to the low range.  I didn't even try the Getzen 1 1/2 that came with the horn.  Whoops.  I get SUCH a better, darker, livelier, fuller sound with the same immediacy to the low notes with the 1 1/2 (and increased flexibility between partials).  As a doubler, I doubt I could ever practice enough on the bass to use anything bigger than the 1 1/2.  I'm decidedly not an upstream player - I have an overbite and do play downstream.  I haven't practiced bass more than about 3, 4 hours since getting to IU - but still, the 1 1/2 works great.   (note, this is not to say I haven't practiced more than 3 or 4 hours since getting to IU! :-P)
Logged

John G. Shanks  /// www.jgshanks.com

Assistant Professor of Trombone, West Texas A&M University
Principal Trombone, Amarillo Symphony Orchestra
S.E. Shires Performing Artist
JazzPro
Use What Works

*
Offline Offline

Location: Ohio
Joined: Aug 3, 2005
Posts: 162

View Profile
« Reply #96 on: Jan 07, 2007, 06:13PM »

It's really pretty simple.  Instead of trying to keep up with the trends of everyone else, use what works for you.  All it has to do is get the job done.  It doesn't have to be a name brand or expensive.  It just has to work well for you.  Bigger doesn't mean better if you can't play it.  Instead of trying to grow into something (which I think just wastes precious time), find something that works now. Smaller isn't better if it doesn't fit you either.
Logged

JazzPro
Professional Jazz And Classical Trombonist/Educator
Kanstul 1606/Conn 88H/Bach 50B30
Wick7CS/Warburton/Elliott/Ian Bousfield S
Thomas Matta

*
Offline Offline

Location: Chicago
Joined: Feb 12, 2005
Posts: 7150

View Profile WWW
« Reply #97 on: Feb 07, 2007, 03:31PM »

Bass trombone - I think of using the largest I can play and still sound like a trombone. Griego .5 for now.

Tenor trombone - I think of using the smallest I can play and still be comfy as a doubler. Bach 2G for now.
Logged

Thomas Matta
Associate Professor of Jazz Studies, DePaul University
www.tommattabigband.com
AxSlinger7String

*
Offline Offline

Location: Mashpee
Joined: Nov 24, 2005
Posts: 650

View Profile
« Reply #98 on: Feb 20, 2007, 06:34AM »

How does a Bach 9 compare to other mouthpieces? (a 12C is the only thing I've played besides it for more than a few minutes).  What does it mean that there's no letter after the number?
Logged
cotboneman

*
Offline Offline

Location: Tucson, AZ
Joined: Aug 13, 2005
Posts: 269

View Profile WWW
« Reply #99 on: Mar 11, 2007, 07:32PM »

Of late I have found myself playing the bass trombone almost exclusively.  It is just how the calls have been going.  Oh, I'll take my small bore tenor to school in order to play with my jazz students, but I don't consider that true practicing (at least for me). Needless to say my tenor practicing in general has been few and far between (both small and large bores).  The other day I got a call to play a church gig on tenor.  Taking a look at the music, which was not very difficult, I found that my sound began breaking up even in mid-range on my Bach 42BO and Getzen 1047, both normally reliable horns for me.  I normally play a Schilke 53 on these instruments and found that I could not control pitch or tone very consistently.  It was a strange disconnect for me because I have always been able get away with less practice on the smaller bores while concentrating most of my practice time on bass trombone, which I play about 75% of the time.  I had in fact never experienced anything like this before. 

Out of desperation, I dropped my Schilke 59 (what I use on my 1062) into both the Bach and the Getzen tenors and the problems I experienced with the 53 just went away!  I have never been an advocate of playing a .547 with a bass trombone mouthpiece, but at least for this gig that is exactly what I will have to do - until I have time to work my chops back into the 53, a mouthpiece that I have always liked on my large bore tenors.

The biggest concern that I would have with this new arrangement in the long run is projection; that might be an issue if I were playing tenor in an orchestra.  In a small brass trio against a choir on this gig, I shouldn't think that there would be a problem.  I also would not use this arrangement in the brass band that I occasionally play in because I know that I might have trouble blending with the other tenors.  I would think that endurance in the long run might also be a concern.

Practice, practice, practice is the answer, but I was also wondering if anyone else had ever run into this problem while using their large mouthpieces, and if so, how did they work around them, both short term and long term. 


Logged
Bob1062
« Reply #100 on: Mar 15, 2007, 05:49PM »

I find it interesting that your 59 would work in a .547. I love a 1.5G in one, but my 60 has sounded horrible really  :D    I've never played a 59 though, and have no idea how different they may or may not be.

There have been times when I ave considered going back to a 1.5G (mostly because of reading on here!), but I really like my 60. It's super comfortable, and I can change my sound around. To me, I have gone from impossibly almost tenor-bright to annoyingly woofy.
The reduction in my high range is worth the positives that it brings. I would be interested in trying some of the newer huge mouthpieces, but really for what I do   
-NOW- it works fine.






On a related note, I'm fixin' to be a tuba major this fall. I don't think I will playing much bass trombone at all (and likely no tenor, not that I do now). I am pretty much set on going with one of the "cheater" mouthpieces for bass trombone. Yamaha and Marcinkiewicz both make a tenor tuba and bass trombone mouthpiece designed around a tuba rim that were developed by Jim Self and Roger Bobo.



Tuba is going to be my first, second, and third focus  :D  I'm not overly worried about being worse on bass trombone as I am of having the bass trombone mess up my developing tuba skills.
Logged
Burgerbob

*
Offline Offline

Location: Los Angeles
Joined: Aug 12, 2007
Posts: 5293

View Profile
« Reply #101 on: Aug 16, 2007, 02:19PM »

Sorry if I've stepped on toes regarding the Grade 9 crowd. I was there once and went down the garden path in the wrong direction--- wrong for me anyway-- every day for about 25 years. I'm converted now, so forgive me for preaching. And as for bass trombonists playing at the age of a young teenager-----man, its tough enough for a huge adult to do it. Physically its a brute of an instrument to play well at any age, if you're really in grade 9 you should be concentrating on drinking your milk and getting 14 hours sleep a day so your bones can hold the horn when it comes time to practice.

When I was in grade 9 I was doing hard time on a monster 4-valve 40 pound old BBb King tuba with a 24" bell and the appropriate mouthpiece, and getting good lessons as well. So, when it came time for me to make the leap to doubling on bass bone at age 17 ( old age to some of the forum members) I was already broken in and found bass bone to be a nice small treat. Boy, was I wrong! Tuba is way easier to hack on.....no cheating on bass bone.

And as for Gabe, in his rebuttal--bless him-- he mentioned the magic words AGAIN--- " PRACTICE" and "PRACTICE HABITS." Beautiful.

I can relate to the young player on bass trombone. I am 17, with a smaller frame, and I have athsma. Not a good combination whatsoever. Pedal F for longer than a couple seconds? no.

As for the mouthpiece debate...

I play a King 6B. Stock, no modifications like open wraps or anything strange like that. It is a very tight horn, in my opinion, compared to many made today (edwards, shires, etc) with larger valves, open wraps, etc. Because of this tightness, whether real or imagined on my part, I play on a Yamaha 60 to sound larger. With a Denge 1.5G, i can play higher much more easily, i can play low almost as easily, but i sound like a dual-valve tenor. Very bright. Just about the only reason i play with such a large mouthpiece, and it isn't a Schilke 60 (I HATE that rim), is to have a larger, somewhat darker sound. As much as I like to play loud, low, i do have to blend sometimes and this is VERY difficult with my 6B and a 1.5G. I have a similar dilemma with my 4B, as it is just that much lighter than the average 88 or 42, and i find myself compensating with a larger mouthpiece than my SM5 (about a 5G or so).
Logged

Brasslab 50T3, Greg Glack 1G .312 #2
Bach 42B, Wick 3AL
Conn 6H, King 7MD
Yamaha YEP-842S, Schilke 53/59
Yamaha YBH-301MS, Hammond 12XL
Slidennis

*
Offline Offline

Location: Europe
Joined: Dec 29, 2003
Posts: 2338

View Profile
« Reply #102 on: Nov 12, 2007, 02:46AM »

It's been a (too) long time I said to myself and heard the same comments/advices about the 4B :
They like the larger than 5G sized mouthpieces too sound good...
And my lips doesn't like the size for the kind of tenor play I do...

So sold is my 4B....

Another dilemna now for me : endurance and flexibility in the high register : which is better : rather large throated, large rim mpc or the countrary?

I've found myself having lots of flexibility on a Doug Elliott LT99/C/8 on my 8HT, but a kind of choking effect occurs after some time, impeding any sound to be produced above a  , like my lips were progresssively turning in cardboard...  (rim contour that dig too much at the exact starting of the vibration point, if that means something...)

On the other hand : much more endurance on a sligthly larger mpc, much larger throat : Yamaha 51B : still space left to recover for long rehearsals/gigs, but much more air to move in the high register AND worse flexibility... (worse slotting, less pearcing tone, more covered articulations...)

I know, I could use smthg else than my .525" 8HT, but the pieces I'm playing (and the wind band I'm in) are calling for that size trombone...

Any clue where to go from here???
Logged

Denis
MoominDave

*
Offline Offline

Location: Oxford, UK
Joined: Jan 11, 2005
Posts: 3103

View Profile
« Reply #103 on: Nov 29, 2007, 03:09PM »

Here's an alternative way of looking at this that struck me the other day -

The two questions "What's the largest mouthpiece you can get away with?" and "What's the smallest mouthpiece you can get away with?" have the same answer for a given player on a given instrument playing a given repertoire...

A good friend, whose playing I know well, plays on the usual 88H. Starting from small Bach mouthpiece sizes, as he moves larger, his sound grows noticeably rounder and more interesting - until he reaches the 4G. From then on, all that happens is that some flabbiness develops at the edge of the sound, and stamina becomes more of an issue - but his sound on a 1.25G is very nearly the same as his sound on a 4G.

The 4G is both the largest mouthpiece he can get away with in terms of sustained accuracy, and the smallest mouthpiece he can get away with in terms of sound quality.
For me on bass, the equivalent mouthpiece seems to be the 1.25G - 1.5Gs give a noticeably smaller sound, whereas 1Gs are a battle.

I suspect that when people talk about "largest possible" or "smallest possible" mouthpieces, they are simply finding unlikely-sounding and misleading ways to talk about the word "optimal".
Logged

Dave Taylor

(me, not the other one)
blast

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: scotland
Joined: Jul 26, 2001
Posts: 6874
"Bass/Contrabass trombone, Scottish Opera."


View Profile
« Reply #104 on: Nov 30, 2007, 01:29PM »

Here's an alternative way of looking at this that struck me the other day -

The two questions "What's the largest mouthpiece you can get away with?" and "What's the smallest mouthpiece you can get away with?" have the same answer for a given player on a given instrument playing a given repertoire...

A good friend, whose playing I know well, plays on the usual 88H. Starting from small Bach mouthpiece sizes, as he moves larger, his sound grows noticeably rounder and more interesting - until he reaches the 4G. From then on, all that happens is that some flabbiness develops at the edge of the sound, and stamina becomes more of an issue - but his sound on a 1.25G is very nearly the same as his sound on a 4G.

The 4G is both the largest mouthpiece he can get away with in terms of sustained accuracy, and the smallest mouthpiece he can get away with in terms of sound quality.
For me on bass, the equivalent mouthpiece seems to be the 1.25G - 1.5Gs give a noticeably smaller sound, whereas 1Gs are a battle.

I suspect that when people talk about "largest possible" or "smallest possible" mouthpieces, they are simply finding unlikely-sounding and misleading ways to talk about the word "optimal".

Sorry but I disagree. I've played the same trombone in the same professional orchestra with a Bach 1 1/2G and a Schilke 60.... the sound results were different, but both valid in themselves. That represents a lot of room for variation within those extremes. Both mouthpieces felt, and worked fine when I used them... and the middle ground represented, at least for me, the worst of all options.
Chris Stearn.
Logged

Still cannot think of anything better to do. Back on an old 1 1/2G again !
MoominDave

*
Offline Offline

Location: Oxford, UK
Joined: Jan 11, 2005
Posts: 3103

View Profile
« Reply #105 on: Nov 30, 2007, 02:13PM »

Interesting! Do you find the same results when you stick to mouthpieces from a single model line? It may be that the change in the profile of the mouthpiece (*) had a more important effect than the simple scaling of the overall size.




(*) I don't know Schilke mouthpieces to play on at all - I'm talking generally. Please tell me if this is simply wrong...
Logged

Dave Taylor

(me, not the other one)
blast

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: scotland
Joined: Jul 26, 2001
Posts: 6874
"Bass/Contrabass trombone, Scottish Opera."


View Profile
« Reply #106 on: Nov 30, 2007, 03:57PM »

Interesting! Do you find the same results when you stick to mouthpieces from a single model line? It may be that the change in the profile of the mouthpiece (*) had a more important effect than the simple scaling of the overall size.




(*) I don't know Schilke mouthpieces to play on at all - I'm talking generally. Please tell me if this is simply wrong...

You are right to think of mouthpieces as an overall design and it is true that some designs are far better than others... or at least, appear so when linked to particular instruments and players. Having tried far, far too many mouthpieces over the years... I find the large and small bass sizes, in general, to work better for me than the medium size examples... and I generally prefer the sound of the very best (in my terms) small bass mouthpieces.
Chris Stearn.
Logged

Still cannot think of anything better to do. Back on an old 1 1/2G again !
Doug Elliott
Lord of the Rims

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: Mar 12, 2005
Posts: 6441

View Profile
« Reply #107 on: Nov 30, 2007, 05:12PM »

Dave and Chris, in my mind you're both right.  I test people for optimal rim size by moving bigger one step at a time, and hearing the sound gradually open up, then go beyond it, losing control.  There is usually one size that gives the best overall results.  This is the rim size only, keeping the same cup.

Bass trombone is sort of an exception, because of the extremely wide range that must work well.  That can be done on a variety of setups if you're a strong player.  However, with Bachs, Schilkes, and most mouthpieces it's not possible to go one size larger on the rim without being accompanied by a radically different cup, backbore, and throat... so it's not easy to have a fair test the same way.
Logged

www.DougElliottMouthpieces.com
XT LexanN104,C+,D2, Williams 6, K&H Slokar alto, K&H Slokar Solo .547 open wrap
blast

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: scotland
Joined: Jul 26, 2001
Posts: 6874
"Bass/Contrabass trombone, Scottish Opera."


View Profile
« Reply #108 on: Dec 01, 2007, 01:26AM »

Yes Doug, I take your points. It seems to me that there has developed a distinct technique for playing large bass and small bass mouthpieces.... the embouchure is developed in different ways to get the best results from each type... big mouthpiece players having an almost 'trumpet' type setting, whilst small mouthpiece players adopt a more relaxed, 'big tenor'setting. This makes it very hard to move from one extreme to the other.. but also, for me, makes the mid-sizes a waste of time.
Chris Stearn.
Logged

Still cannot think of anything better to do. Back on an old 1 1/2G again !
brucejackson
*
Offline Offline

Location: Irving, TX
Joined: Jan 5, 2006
Posts: 1112

View Profile
« Reply #109 on: Jun 06, 2008, 10:19AM »

Dave and Chris, in my mind you're both right.  I test people for optimal rim size by moving bigger one step at a time, and hearing the sound gradually open up, then go beyond it, losing control.  There is usually one size that gives the best overall results.  This is the rim size only, keeping the same cup.

Agreed that it isn't always possible to just change one variable in the mouthpiece equation since we often change brands and even within brands not all cups are available with all rims, backbores, etc.

Over the last 3 decades I've played mouthpieces with inner diameters from 25 to 26 mm.  When you are going through your test is there really a change when moving up a tenth of a mm?  I think of 25mm as a small mouthpiece and 26mm as huge but the 26mm mouthpieces I used had a much bigger cup and backbore than the 25mm mouthpieces I tried.  When you run this test how large an increment do you increase the size by?

Were I to decide through trial and error what my optimum rim size is would I be able to play everything (bass, legit, lead jazz, and alto) trombone on one rim only changing cup and backbore to ones apropriate for that kind of playing?  Are your customers successful doing this?
Logged

Next to being witty yourself, the best thing is to quote another's wit
--Christian N. Bovee
Doug Elliott
Lord of the Rims

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: Mar 12, 2005
Posts: 6441

View Profile
« Reply #110 on: Jun 14, 2008, 02:09AM »

My mouthpieces are spec'd by inches, not millimeters.  The graduations are .01" (one hundredth of an inch) which is .254mm from one size to the next, if you really prefer metric.

Quote
Were I to decide through trial and error what my optimum rim size is would I be able to play everything (bass, legit, lead jazz, and alto) trombone on one rim only changing cup and backbore to ones apropriate for that kind of playing?  Are your customers successful doing this?

I personally use the same rim on "legit, lead jazz, and alto" and I don't pretend to play bass although I have faked it a couple of times.  The rim I use is bigger than  your "huge" 26mm rim.  I can get away with very limited bass range on it, but I don't practice that so I don't know how it would be if I did practice.   Bass is really a different instrument and needs a bigger mouthpiece to get the sound and response that most players need out of it.  A tenor rim with a very deep cup is OK for occasional use.

I can't really tell you how "sucessful" my customers are with it because I don't usually hear them.  If you want to hear me there are links on my website.

One item of interest:  On this recording http://www.rewindplay.com/airmenofnote/sounds/santa.htm (click on O Holy Night) I was using a mouthpiece about the size of an 11C, my ST 97C2.  I tried it for a whole year as an experiment, and hated it the whole time.  The horn was a Williams 4.
Compare my sound on that with http://www.rewindplay.com/airmenofnote/sounds/blues&beyond.htm (click on Lush Life), which was a much bigger rim and slightly deeper cup, my XT N104D2.  The horn was a Schmelzer 1.
Logged

www.DougElliottMouthpieces.com
XT LexanN104,C+,D2, Williams 6, K&H Slokar alto, K&H Slokar Solo .547 open wrap
Dave Tatro
The Python's Python
*
Offline Offline

Location: St. Pete, Florida
Joined: May 10, 2006
Posts: 4935

View Profile
« Reply #111 on: Jun 14, 2008, 08:34AM »

Doug, both recordings sound great to my ears, but I certainly do hear the diference between the two. I might not have recognized the first as your playing because it does not sound like what I have come to think of as your sound. The larger rim definitely opens things up for you!
Logged

"He also inevitably discovered the similarities between glass doors and forcefields."- marchingknight
SilverBone
Put the Cool in "Coulisse!"

*
Offline Offline

Location: Portland, OR
Joined: Sep 16, 2006
Posts: 3750

View Profile
« Reply #112 on: Jun 14, 2008, 02:36PM »

Beautiful playing in both recordings!  I like the fuller sound Doug gets on the larger rim.
Logged

-Howard

The nastiest fellow I've known
Smashed his trombone and ruined its tone.
There's a simple excuse
For his slush pump abuse:
He was born to be bad to the bone.
bobertthebone
lonleyppl

*
Offline Offline

Location: Home (or at least in spirit)
Joined: Jun 6, 2008
Posts: 488

View Profile
« Reply #113 on: Jun 15, 2008, 03:55PM »

I read the first page of this topic, and skipped the others, so please forgive me (especially if what I'm posting doesn't fit the current topic drift).

I play what sounds best...and normally that is one of the smaller mouthpieces.

I'm not a big person (most people call me "tiny" in stature after meeting me in person), I have a small face, and would fall into (and probably get stuck) in a large mouthpiece.

I struggle with a 6.5AL, a 7c feels too large sometimes, and my 12c is just about right.

I had a hell of a time finding a mouthpiece I could play on when I played bass a number of years ago.  If memory serves, they found me a 6.5AL large shank to play on, because the 5G nearly swallowed my face.

I'm a bit the same way.  I just don't like my sound on a 7 and hate the way a 6.5Al feels for a small shank.  For large shank I tend to play a Conn 5g or a Benge Marcellus, both pretty different mouthpieces.  The Conn is a friends mouthpiece, the Marvellus is a school mouthpiece.  MY lage shank mouthpiece is a Bach 6.5AL that I found on the floor.  I HATE it.  My thing about mouthpieces is play what works and disregard its size.
Logged

To infinity and beyond!
(-∞,∞)
brucejackson
*
Offline Offline

Location: Irving, TX
Joined: Jan 5, 2006
Posts: 1112

View Profile
« Reply #114 on: Jul 10, 2008, 03:44PM »

I personally use the same rim on "legit, lead jazz, and alto" and I don't pretend to play bass although I have faked it a couple of times.  The rim I use is bigger than  your "huge" 26mm rim.  I can get away with very limited bass range on it, but I don't practice that so I don't know how it would be if I did practice.   Bass is really a different instrument and needs a bigger mouthpiece to get the sound and response that most players need out of it.  A tenor rim with a very deep cup is OK for occasional use.

Fair enough.  I always faked bass trombone as well.  I didn't have trouble with the range but I never had the big fat sound I think of for bass trombone.  A mouthpiece with the same rim and a bass trombone size cup, throat, and back bore could help me fake it better though I suppose.

When I was playing my best I was using a Denis Wick 4AL for legit.  At that time of my life I wasn't playing any jazz.  After a 20 year hiatus I'm playing again and I'm not likely to be sitting in an orchestral trombone section any time soon; I'm more likely to play in jazz ensembles.  Wick mouthpieces work well for me but they don't have a mouthpiece with a 4AL rim and a shallow cup.  I found an old Wick 10CS in a box that I don't even remember buying that I've been practicing on.  Since muscians can learn to play trumpet, trombone, or tuba I assumed the minor differences in rim size only mattered for someone with an established embousure and that since I'm pretty much restarting trombone from ground zero that I could get used to whatever rim size I played.

The idea that there is an ideal rim size for each person throws a wrench in my plan.  When I was younger my sound improved each time I went up in mouthpiece size from a 6BS, 5BL (changed to a bigger horn as well), then 4AL.  Since I was changing more than one variable at a time I don't know if or how much the larger rim helped my sound or it was the change to a larger horn or deeper cup.

I guess some day I'll have to start experimenting.
Logged

Next to being witty yourself, the best thing is to quote another's wit
--Christian N. Bovee
62hclslovenian
*
Offline Offline

Location:
Joined: Aug 3, 2008
Posts: 7

View Profile
« Reply #115 on: Aug 03, 2008, 07:48PM »

I feel that there it is not best to play on the biggest or smallest mouthpiece out their unless it fits you best
for my tenor playing, I play on a Bach 4G, which is fairly standard , but on my Bass playing I play on a Dennis Wick 00Al, which is one of the biggest mouthpieces available, but when I was picking out both pieces I tried at least 20 mouthpieces and those were the two that I felt sounded best for me
Logged
sabutin

*
Offline Offline

Location: NYC
Joined: Sep 26, 2005
Posts: 5331
"A professional freelance NYC lower brass player."


View Profile WWW
« Reply #116 on: Aug 04, 2008, 06:59AM »

Larger?

Smaller?

Etc.?

It really makes no difference. Not in the long run.

First of all...lager or smaller WHAT?

Size?

Of what?

The rim?

The cup?

The throat?

The backbore?

The shape?

The weight?

The placement of the weight?

The nearly infinite permutations and combinations of those parameters?

Please.

I go for timbre first. That is the one irreplaceable marker as far as I am concerned. If a m'pce/horn combination has a mp to f-ish timbre that pleases me in the meat ranges of the instrument...a range that differs for me from horn to horn because I specialize my equipment to a pretty fine degree...then I start making my choices. And I have learned that my soft machine...my body...can adapt to quite wide ranges of m'pce measurement. From wide open tuba m'pces right on through 12C-ish tenor m'pces and everything in between in my own case, and I suspect in the cases of most others who are not total specialists in one particular style of playing.

For example, I found an older m'pce recently that was an astoundingly good player through a number of octaves on my .525 Shires. It locked in the high register; its blow was wide open; it was in tune; it was flexible; it played well from ppp right on through to fff ; its rim was very comfortable...in short in many ways it "played" substantially better than the extremely good playing NY Bach Clarke S that I have used on that horn for several years. But the sound wasn't right. Not enough overtones? The wrong formants? Not enough depth of sound? Not enough core somehow? Damned if I know. It just didn't please me. So it lives in my wish box. (My "I wish I could figure out m'pces" collection.)

So it goes.

We are trombone players.

What do we really have to offer in the musical world? What do we really have to offer that is not provided better by other instruments?

Sound.

Dassit.

First...the sound.

THEN the other aspects, starting with rim comfort. (Actually, I have never played a m'pce with an uncomfortable rim...which for me usually means one with a nasty, sharp bite or a big, mushy Rudy Muck-type rim...on which I could produce a good sound. But I suppose it's theoretically possible. I also have never played a relatively lightweight one that I liked. But I do keep trying.)

First...the sound.

I have been simultaneously blindfold testing multiple m'pces...rarely fewer than 4 at once in order to throughly confuse my chops...on every size of trombone for 30+ years, and I have been fooled SO many times...

M'pces w/relatively small dimensions that played larger than big ones during a multi-m'pce comparison test on a given horn but did not work at all on another horn; big ones with outstanding high ranges, small ones...even ones w/relatively small rim diameters...that BOOMED in the lower ranges, etc. etc. etc. etc...

Go figure.

Or better yet...

Go experiment.

Try everything and use what works.

For you.

Later...

S.
Logged

Visit <http://samburtis.com/>. Lots of information on that site in the form of articles plus a link to my method book "Time, Balance & Connections-A Universal Theory Of Brass Relativity" which includes several chapters of the book.
tigerspit
« Reply #117 on: Oct 25, 2008, 07:43PM »

i try to achieve a brilliant, "ping" quality to my sound. it aways blends in ensembles, and is most desireable for solo plying. i find that , for me, the smallest size mouthpiece possible does the trick. more often than not, 1st bone parts are trying to match a middle line with the 3rd trumpet/french horn line, which requires a lot of high end overtones.

i'm not a physics major, but i have found that i try to match these people OUTSIDE of the trombone section MORE than the trombone section itself. and when that happens, i see smiles from the conductor.

i may be crazy, but that's how i approach mouthpieces and the 1st trombone part. please don't be too harsh.

Logged
shiresbone
*
Offline Offline

Location:
Joined: Oct 25, 2008
Posts: 28

View Profile
« Reply #118 on: Nov 09, 2008, 05:07AM »

Well I am sure the major players don't play the largest they can they play what they think sounds best.  I play a Bach 4g and some people tell me its to big but that is what I sound best with if a 5g sounds better than il play that if a 3g is better il play that ect...
Logged
Tromboner7471
*
Offline Offline

Location: Southaven, MS
Joined: Jan 24, 2009
Posts: 10

View Profile
« Reply #119 on: Mar 22, 2009, 08:37PM »

Ok so from what I've read bigger mouthpieces generally lead to darker sounds and a more difficult high range. Well I've been playing lead tenor since sixth grade and right now I play on a Bach 2G. I have a 6 1/2 AL a 5G and a schillke 59(used for fourth tenor in jazz band). So taking into account all that I've read why is it that I have a range from a pedal F to a high D on a 2G? Whenever I try to play on my smaller mouthpieces I can only get about a few steps higher but I can't control partials as well. I'm just curious and was wondering if anyone had an explanation or is in a similar situation. 
Logged
Doug Elliott
Lord of the Rims

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: Mar 12, 2005
Posts: 6441

View Profile
« Reply #120 on: Mar 22, 2009, 09:19PM »

Ok so from what I've read bigger mouthpieces generally lead to darker sounds and a more difficult high range. Well I've been playing lead tenor since sixth grade and right now I play on a Bach 2G. I have a 6 1/2 AL a 5G and a schillke 59(used for fourth tenor in jazz band). So taking into account all that I've read why is it that I have a range from a pedal F to a high D on a 2G? Whenever I try to play on my smaller mouthpieces I can only get about a few steps higher but I can't control partials as well. I'm just curious and was wondering if anyone had an explanation or is in a similar situation. 
I guess you haven't read what I've written on this subject.  Go back to near the beginning of this old thread, and see post #11, 31, and 32 from pages 1 and 2.  There are other places I've talked about it in more detail but I don't know where right now.
Logged

www.DougElliottMouthpieces.com
XT LexanN104,C+,D2, Williams 6, K&H Slokar alto, K&H Slokar Solo .547 open wrap
eugorkrad

*
Offline Offline

Location: Rowland Heights, California
Joined: Mar 26, 2009
Posts: 233
"Music is dead without passion"


View Profile WWW
« Reply #121 on: Aug 07, 2009, 10:40AM »

My band instructor just tells me "which ever is comfortable on your lips" when I ask him about mouthpieces.  I chose a 7C which is getting a bit too small for my lips -I think they're getting muscular :O- and good thing my Yammy came with a 6.5 AL, I needed one.  I can produce a good tone -better then most ppl in my section atleast- with both mouthpieces.  Using my 7C for jazz band, and lead in marching.  And my 6.5 AL for concert season, and practice/sectionals.  My 7C produces a bright tone, as to which my 6.5 AL doesn't.  My 6.5 AL produces a tone that is for symphonic, but not to the point it's flat.  Another thing is that my lips are still not completely trained out of the 12C feel.  I used a 12C for my 1st 6months of playing trombone -I played for 10 months now- as I play VERY sharp on both mouthpieces, needing to pull my tuning slide almost all the way out with both mouthpieces. 
Logged
Farore

*
Offline Offline

Location:
Joined: Oct 19, 2009
Posts: 272
"Am I really that loud?"


View Profile
« Reply #122 on: Dec 06, 2009, 08:04PM »

I went from a Bach 6 1/2 AL straight to a gold-plated Schilke 51D, which people had to admit, sounded really nice. Then I went to a faxx 4G, which isn't a big difference. When I switch to my Olds 3, however, things change.

I would NEVER go the smallest for jazz or pep band. That would be ridiculous. The Olds mouthpiece is possibly the smallest I would go, because the rim is huge and the mouthpiece itself is really shallow. It's really hard to get enough air through the instrument to blow the low notes out without adjusting my embouchure completely, but when I do get those magic moments, it's amazing.

As for a large mouthpiece, I would never go big. As to why people go that big I'm not too sure. My teacher plays on the biggest mouthpiece I had ever seen. A Bach 1G on her Euph. Personally, I find that to be insane considering she did band on that euph. Amazing player, but a 1G? I would never go that big.
Logged

Nothin' says "love me" like being a trombonist.
Slidennis

*
Offline Offline

Location: Europe
Joined: Dec 29, 2003
Posts: 2338

View Profile
« Reply #123 on: Dec 07, 2009, 02:15AM »

I went from a Bach 6 1/2 AL straight to a gold-plated Schilke 51D, which people had to admit, sounded really nice. Then I went to a faxx 4G, which isn't a big difference. When I switch to my Olds 3, however, things change.

I would NEVER go the smallest for jazz or pep band. That would be ridiculous. The Olds mouthpiece is possibly the smallest I would go, because the rim is huge and the mouthpiece itself is really shallow. It's really hard to get enough air through the instrument to blow the low notes out without adjusting my embouchure completely, but when I do get those magic moments, it's amazing.

As for a large mouthpiece, I would never go big. As to why people go that big I'm not too sure. My teacher plays on the biggest mouthpiece I had ever seen. A Bach 1G on her Euph. Personally, I find that to be insane considering she did band on that euph. Amazing player, but a 1G? I would never go that big.
The Olds 3 is smaller than I would ever play, and the 4 G larger...

On all tenors, I remain between 7 and 5 in rim sizes...  mostly 6.5 on everything...

And even not a 1G on the bass... 1 1/2G...
Logged

Denis
MoominDave

*
Offline Offline

Location: Oxford, UK
Joined: Jan 11, 2005
Posts: 3103

View Profile
« Reply #124 on: Dec 09, 2009, 11:03AM »

Amazing player, but a 1G?

I think the relevant part of that quote is "amazing player". A 1G works for her. An excellent euphonium player well known in the South of England, Charley Brighton, plays on a Doug Elliott set-up that is wider and deeper than a 1G. He has a rich, singing tone, with clear articulations. It's so embouchure dependent.
Logged

Dave Taylor

(me, not the other one)
musicmann320

*
Offline Offline

Location:
Joined: Feb 2, 2010
Posts: 45

View Profile
« Reply #125 on: Mar 04, 2010, 10:49AM »

I feel like I need to defend some of us who use big mouthpieces. Bad dog.  No Biscuits.  I use a Schilke Symphony D5.2* and I am not limited in any way technically, nor do I struggle with endurance.  I use a (kinda) big mouthpiece because it is easier to play in tune, my sound is broad, the high register isn't backed up, my articulations don't get splatty, and I have a HUGE dynamic and tone color range to play with.  ALSO anything smaller would not allow me to put enough energy into my horn to get it ringing.  I Choose to play on a (kinda) Big mouthpiece because it sounds good.  not because "Dats whut Jay friedman playz".. earlier in this thread there was a lot of generalizations made about people who use big mouthpieces.  I felt as though I needed to set some issues straight.   Good!  basically one should pick a mouthpiece that you can play in tune, with an EXCELLENT sound and feel good about doing it.  Big and Small are all subjective ideas that we all try to instill in people.  teachers are a very valuable resource when it comes to discussions about gear, mostly because they know your playing more than anyone else and can tell you whats good and bad for YOU, not whats too big or too small for a guy on the trombone forum.  lol  This thread was good read.

 
Logged
John Beers Jr.

*
Offline Offline

Location: Houston, TX
Joined: Dec 8, 2002
Posts: 3524

View Profile
« Reply #126 on: Mar 06, 2010, 06:47AM »

I feel like I need to defend some of us who use big mouthpieces. Bad dog.  No Biscuits.  I use a Schilke Symphony D5.2* and I am not limited in any way technically, nor do I struggle with endurance.  I use a (kinda) big mouthpiece because it is easier to play in tune, my sound is broad, the high register isn't backed up, my articulations don't get splatty, and I have a HUGE dynamic and tone color range to play with.  ALSO anything smaller would not allow me to put enough energy into my horn to get it ringing.  I Choose to play on a (kinda) Big mouthpiece because it sounds good.  not because "Dats whut Jay friedman playz".. earlier in this thread there was a lot of generalizations made about people who use big mouthpieces.  I felt as though I needed to set some issues straight.   Good!  basically one should pick a mouthpiece that you can play in tune, with an EXCELLENT sound and feel good about doing it.  Big and Small are all subjective ideas that we all try to instill in people.  teachers are a very valuable resource when it comes to discussions about gear, mostly because they know your playing more than anyone else and can tell you whats good and bad for YOU, not whats too big or too small for a guy on the trombone forum.  lol  This thread was good read.

You really need to reread the entirety of the thread- the point is that mouthpiece selection is both an art and a science for your average trombone player. Read Mr. Elliott's posts, especially, regarding the experiences he's had himself as one of the premier jazz tenor players in the USA as well as a teacher and mouthpiece manufacturer.

Embouchure type, to some degree, dictates the mouthpiece rim size to which you should congregate. For my part- 4G/S52 and larger mouthpieces (on Tenor, I agree with Mr. Elliott as well in the fact that I need to approach tenor and bass trombones as separate instruments) have always struck me as being a chore to play. I'm much more comfortable, and much more likely to practice the range of my trombone playing with my Greg Black 5G-4G or Schilke 51C4, or my Stork BT1.5 than I am with larger or smaller rim sizes (I have a 6.5AL and a 4G Bach banging around, and one of my best friends is the infamous Mahlerbone who has probably gone through more Shires/Rath/Mouthpiece iterations in 5 years than most people in their lifetimes). I've determined that wide-rimmed "Slightly-Larger-Than-5G" rim size is the ideal one for me.

Now- The D5.2 allows you the full necessary range of your trombone playing, gives you the sound quality you're looking for (or at least a sound quality approaching the one you'd prefer, it's a sad day when my expectations lower themselves to the degree that I'm happy with the way I'm playing). If you were to speak with Mr. Elliott regarding obtaining one of his pieces, he'd probably start you on a rim/cup setup similar to what you have been playing. LT/XT 102/103 with a G+ or H cup, and see what you thought. Based on your feedback, he might make small adjustments from there.

In no way would he send you a 12C sized piece with a tiny backbore and tell you to start with that. It's all about sound, comfort/endurance, and embouchure. Just like he wouldn't send you a Schilke 60 rim and ask you to use that for tenor for several weeks. It's all about finding your comfort zone and putting what Sam Burtis calls the "Soft Machine" to work to perfect things.

For example- look at Doug's post linking his recordings with Airmen Of Note with his two different mouthpiece/horn configurations. In both cases, he sounds beautiful, technical, and musical, with a very similar tone quality with, what seems to be, minor differences in openness and darkness of tone. For his part, the tiny piece drove him up the wall and he never felt comfortable with it for the full year he used it.

Find a baseline that's comfortable and appropriate to your playing/embouchure type, and see where your playing goes from there.

Just for the sake of minimizing my confusion, I'm going to try to find myself a 5G sized rim with a very shallow cup for small bore tenor playing for cheap-ish (Schilke 51B or so, though I'd like to give something equivalent to a 51A a spin).
Logged

"Progress is just another word for making bad things happen faster" - Granny Weatherwax
Slidennis

*
Offline Offline

Location: Europe
Joined: Dec 29, 2003
Posts: 2338

View Profile
« Reply #127 on: Apr 19, 2010, 03:19AM »

For my tenor playing, I try to go the Largest route...  But this is maybe due to my bass playing,

where I try to go the Smallest route.

Tenor : 5GS equivalent

Bass : 1 1/2G equivalent

But

This weekend, I decided to quit playing the tenor.

I like best the only band I will still play, and there, I play bass on a lent instrument, courtesy of this band.
Logged

Denis
svenlarsson

*
Offline Offline

Location: Enskede, Sweden.
Joined: Sep 15, 2001
Posts: 4385

View Profile WWW
« Reply #128 on: Apr 19, 2010, 06:04AM »

Some players sound big on smallish mpc:s. And have a great low range.
Some players have a fantastic sound on very large mpc:s.
A friend of mine always use mpc:s that are 30 mm wide. He is a very good bass trombonist, but use the same size on tenor to.
Sounds great!
And he has very good stamina.

You can not tell what another player use by just listening.
Bill Pearce did sound fantastic on 12C and have outsatnding pedals down to FF.
Logged

Kanstul 1662. Bach 45B. Kanstul 1555. Besson Euphonium. Kanstul 66-S Tuba. Sackbuts in F/E/Eb Bb/A
And several horns I should sell.
PWCom
*
Offline Offline

Location: Wichita, KS
Joined: Oct 18, 2009
Posts: 149

View Profile
« Reply #129 on: Jul 11, 2010, 08:33PM »

Mentally, I do not focus on how large or small a mouthpiece is.  I tell myself:  I can do this on any 'piece, but what will take the least effort and/or give the best overall result?

I started on 12C.  I still play on a 12C with my small bore.  I use in for jazz mainly because I can stay high for longer, and more accurately shift between partials.  This is what I use for jazz trombone (except for special effects, in which I sometimes use a trumpet 'piece for kicks)

On my large bore, I use a 6.5.  I have the same range, and if I felt like it, I can push my sound to the same that I get on my smaller set-up (and vice-versa).  I use this set-up to make a broad sound easily, and for more ease in the extreme lower register.

I don't have a large enough history of bass playing to say definitively what works best for me, but I remember that I used a 1.5.

For trumpet, it depends on the range, and the sound.  Used anywhere from a 1 to a 7C, generally use a 3 now.

For euphonium, I use the same mouthpiece as my large-bore. 

No idea on tuba.  My memory is sketchy on french horn, I can't quite remember what moutpiece I used to use for it.

So really, it is just using the best tool for the job.  But mentally, I never think that I need a piece of equipment to do something, I think that with effort I can play in any range, and change my tone to whatever is necessary (even if I can't).  Just remember, bass trombone used to be played with a ridiculously small bore, and it didn't stop them. 
Logged

Call me Pat.
trombonedemon

*
Offline Offline

Location:
Joined: Nov 20, 2009
Posts: 182

View Profile
« Reply #130 on: Jul 23, 2010, 05:05PM »

Allen Trudel dosn't have to blend in w/2-4 guys and a full orcheastra.  Depends on what your goals are, larger mouthpieces are usally used in orcheastral playing, smaller ones are mainly for jazz or soloing, or for a completely different bore in a trombone.  When it comes down to it, chops are chops, you either have them or you don't.  I think the best of the best can play on any mouthpiece they want b/c they are the best of the best.  Technique and style first then sound.  P.s. The mouthpiece "gap" was kinda bridged when Alessi got his, what bass bone rim with like 5g or 4 cup.  Makes since b/c hes is constantly soloing on CDs.   
Mentally, I do not focus on how large or small a mouthpiece is.  I tell myself:  I can do this on any 'piece, but what will take the least effort and/or give the best overall result?

I started on 12C.  I still play on a 12C with my small bore.  I use in for jazz mainly because I can stay high for longer, and more accurately shift between partials.  This is what I use for jazz trombone (except for special effects, in which I sometimes use a trumpet 'piece for kicks)

On my large bore, I use a 6.5.  I have the same range, and if I felt like it, I can push my sound to the same that I get on my smaller set-up (and vice-versa).  I use this set-up to make a broad sound easily, and for more ease in the extreme lower register.

I don't have a large enough history of bass playing to say definitively what works best for me, but I remember that I used a 1.5.

For trumpet, it depends on the range, and the sound.  Used anywhere from a 1 to a 7C, generally use a 3 now.

For euphonium, I use the same mouthpiece as my large-bore. 

No idea on tuba.  My memory is sketchy on french horn, I can't quite remember what moutpiece I used to use for it.

So really, it is just using the best tool for the job.  But mentally, I never think that I need a piece of equipment to do something, I think that with effort I can play in any range, and change my tone to whatever is necessary (even if I can't).  Just remember, bass trombone used to be played with a ridiculously small bore, and it didn't stop them. 
Logged
bwabbit18
*
Offline Offline

Location:
Joined: Dec 3, 2010
Posts: 1

View Profile
« Reply #131 on: Dec 03, 2010, 04:12PM »

The smallest I play a Bach 6.5AL in marching and jazz band, and the largest is the Bach 1 1/2G in concert band and orchestra...

Then again I use two different trombones, a Bach TB200B for marching and jazz, and a Bach 50B Bass with the 1 1/2G. Excellent power and full tone with both mouthpieces.
Logged
PhantomPhan13

*
Offline Offline

Location: Cary, NC
Joined: Dec 22, 2010
Posts: 81
"Power to the bones!"


View Profile WWW
« Reply #132 on: Dec 24, 2010, 08:25PM »

I use a Monette TT-4L because it fits my chops. Honestly, in my opinion thats what matters.

_________________________________
David C.
Bach Stradivarius 42BO/Monette Prana TT-4L
Amati ASL-601/Bach Megatone 5GS
Logged

_________________________________
David C.
http://euphbone.blogspot.com/
Bach Stradivarius 42BO/Monette Prana TT-4L
Amati ASL-601/Bach Mt. Vernon 12C
Schiller Elite Compensating Euphonium/Schilke 51D
johngsteel

*
Offline Offline

Location: Reno, NV
Joined: Feb 26, 2007
Posts: 1283

View Profile
« Reply #133 on: Dec 29, 2010, 10:05AM »

An accomplished bass bone player uses his old Holten with a Bach 2g.  Anything else, he says is too big.  (Dr. Mack from UNR, professor of low brass, symphonic band, orchestra)

My old friend Tom Bridges worked with old man Shulkie to develop the 60 for him.  When he needs a big sound, he uses the 60.  When he is not focusing on the bottom end, he uses a Mt Vernon (or is it NY?) origional George Roberts.  Anything else is too small.  Tom tries to get the biggest sound possible.  He can make a traditional bore bass sound like a large dual bore horn in debth of sound.  Range?  OMG!

So big or small, large or small, it is all about the musician and the sound they want...

Logged

Kanstul 1662i
- Red brass bell, unsoldered, 24 gauge
- Bronze (rose/gold) outer slide, nickle crook
- Kanstull George Roberts mouthpiece
BrandonB
*
Offline Offline

Location:
Joined: Oct 6, 2011
Posts: 7

View Profile
« Reply #134 on: Oct 07, 2011, 10:20PM »

When I want to make lotsa noise, for short periods of time (football game, peprally) my 5G mouthpeice does the job. When it comes to making music, without as much volume my good old 6 1/2 AL-S does amazing.
Logged
Thomas Matta

*
Offline Offline

Location: Chicago
Joined: Feb 12, 2005
Posts: 7150

View Profile WWW
« Reply #135 on: Oct 07, 2011, 10:51PM »

Yes Doug, I take your points. It seems to me that there has developed a distinct technique for playing large bass and small bass mouthpieces.... the embouchure is developed in different ways to get the best results from each type... big mouthpiece players having an almost 'trumpet' type setting, whilst small mouthpiece players adopt a more relaxed, 'big tenor'setting. This makes it very hard to move from one extreme to the other.. but also, for me, makes the mid-sizes a waste of time.
Chris Stearn.

This is a deep, valuable observation. Well said, Chris!
Logged

Thomas Matta
Associate Professor of Jazz Studies, DePaul University
www.tommattabigband.com
trombonedemon

*
Offline Offline

Location:
Joined: Nov 20, 2009
Posts: 182

View Profile
« Reply #136 on: Oct 08, 2011, 08:24AM »

This is a deep, valuable observation. Well said, Chris!
plus 1

My setup is a something like 2AL for orchestral trombone playing and something a like a 4AL for jazz and or soloing (screaming type playing if you will).  I'm finding it hard to switch back and forth between the two.

The 2AL type, is what my embouchure calls for, but everything gets all fuzzy an non-articulate when switching to the smaller of the two.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't lip structure have most of everthing to do with comfortablility and mouthpiece size?

Reynold Schilke once state in an article on how to choose a mouthpiece, choose as large as mouthpiece as you can tolerate, LOL, my highschool mentality took that to an extreme and found a Schilke 60 to play lead on :D.

Don Lucas fixed that obvious blunder for me :).

But the Canadian virtuoso, Alan Trudel thinks one should pick as small mouthpiece as one can take Don't know.

I'm guessing choosing a mouthpiece is exactly like choosing a pair blue-genes, depends on who, what, when, and where,sometimes why.
Logged
Doug Elliott
Lord of the Rims

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: Mar 12, 2005
Posts: 6441

View Profile
« Reply #137 on: Oct 08, 2011, 08:52AM »

Reynold Schilke once state in an article on how to choose a mouthpiece, choose as large as mouthpiece as you can tolerate
But the Canadian virtuoso, Alan Trudel thinks one should pick as small mouthpiece as one can take
For many people including myself, "the largest you can tolerate" and "the smallest you can take" are the same thing.  Just like fitting shoes, when you finally figure out what size that is, you'll understand.  Until then, you won't.
Logged

www.DougElliottMouthpieces.com
XT LexanN104,C+,D2, Williams 6, K&H Slokar alto, K&H Slokar Solo .547 open wrap
sabutin

*
Offline Offline

Location: NYC
Joined: Sep 26, 2005
Posts: 5331
"A professional freelance NYC lower brass player."


View Profile WWW
« Reply #138 on: Oct 08, 2011, 09:34AM »

plus 1

My setup is a something like 2AL for orchestral trombone playing and something a like a 4AL for jazz and or soloing (screaming type playing if you will).  I'm finding it hard to switch back and forth between the two.

The 2AL type, is what my embouchure calls for, but everything gets all fuzzy an non-articulate when switching to the smaller of the two.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't lip structure have most of everthing to do with comfortablility and mouthpiece size?

I am not totally convinced of that, Mr. Demon. When someone with lips like Louis Armstrong can play a trumpet m'pce brilliantly?



Just sayin'.

In my own experience I have doubled quite effectively on tenor trombone (6.5 AL originally) and orchestral-sized tubas since I was in the 7th grade. I didn't know that I couldn't do this, so I just went ahead and did it. Since then I have put on about over 100 lbs of flesh and bone...I'm not fat, but I am certainly bigger in every dimension. I still feel very comfortable on a 6.5-ish rim, but as a professional lower brass doubler I also play 11C-ish m'pces, 12Cs,3,  4 and 5-ish rims and large bass trombone and tuba m'pces as well.

"Lip structure?"

Well...yeah, if you don't know how to go about using different rims.

It's all about lip mass, demon. Think of our lips as if they are a woodwind reed. (Yeah, I know. Most woodwinds have only one reed. Then imagine a double reed family as specialized as saxophones.)

Woodwind reeds are differently sized for different woodwinds.

Lower?

Bigger.

Louder/darker?

More mass.

Etc.

But...as brass players we can change that size and mass to a great degree. How? By the use of corner strength, m'pce angle(s) and lip roll(s).

Oh.

There is only one "ideal" lip positon?

I don't buy it.

Neither do many other extreme brass doublers, apparently.

Heard Charlie Vernon play bass trombone, tenor trombone and alto trombone? I cannot believe that he is using the same rim on all of them. Heard James Morrison or Trombone Shorty or Maynard Ferguson or or Howard Johnson or Claudio Roditi on lower brass instruments and trumpet/fluegelhorn? Dave Bargeron, Earl McIntyre, Jack Jeffers, Dave Taylor, myself and a host of others on trombones and tubas? I am completely sure that they are using different rims because I have played with them all. Many, many times.

Are these people simply freaks of nature?

Could be, I guess...

Or are they all just doing what they must do in order to be able to learn how to do these things?

Hmmmm....

Quote
Reynold Schilke once state in an article on how to choose a mouthpiece, choose as large as mouthpiece as you can tolerate, LOL, my highschool mentality took that to an extreme and found a Schilke 60 to play lead on :D.

Don Lucas fixed that obvious blunder for me :).

But the Canadian virtuoso, Alan Trudel thinks one should pick as small mouthpiece as one can take Don't know.

And the working NYC brass doubler Sam Burtis says...try everything and use what works. For you.

Stop listening to so many people, demon. Including me. The Zen folks have a saying. "If you meet the Buddha by the side of the road, kill him."

Yup.

The American black freedom pioneer Marcus Garvey also had a saying.

"Do for self."

Yup. Squared.

Quote
I'm guessing choosing a mouthpiece is exactly like choosing a pair blue-genes, depends on who, what, when, and where,sometimes why.

So...do you consult a panel of experts when choosing a pair of pants, too?

Of course not.

You go try some on, choose the ones that seem to fit best and then go on about your business. When you outgrow them or situations change, you go get some others.

Like dat.

Bet on it.

Later...

S.
Logged

Visit <http://samburtis.com/>. Lots of information on that site in the form of articles plus a link to my method book "Time, Balance & Connections-A Universal Theory Of Brass Relativity" which includes several chapters of the book.
Doug Elliott
Lord of the Rims

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: Mar 12, 2005
Posts: 6441

View Profile
« Reply #139 on: Oct 08, 2011, 12:18PM »

I have a gig tonight where I'll be faking bass trombone in a big band.  I never claim to actually play bass trombone.  I suppose if I had the time and desire, I could learn to do it reasonably well.  But I don't even own one - I use my .547 on the rare occasions when I am called to play that part. 

Although I use a quite large mouthpiece rim size on all my tenor playing, which is mostly lead in big bands, latin bands, and smaller groups where I'm the only trombone - as well as a little orchestra playing on both large tenor and alto - I can't, and would not seriously try, to play the bass part on that same rim size.  I will be using my MB 109J9 tonight.  Faking bass trombone, the 109 rim is both "the largest I can tolerate" and "the smallest I can take" at this particular point.

Logged

www.DougElliottMouthpieces.com
XT LexanN104,C+,D2, Williams 6, K&H Slokar alto, K&H Slokar Solo .547 open wrap
savio

*
Offline Offline

Location: Norway
Joined: Aug 10, 2006
Posts: 5011

View Profile WWW
« Reply #140 on: Oct 08, 2011, 03:06PM »

That MB109 is a good choice with a very comfortable rim. Its special because I don't think there is so many other in that specific size. When looking for a size that fit the mouth, this one could be the one for many. Anyway it sounds great, I know. I think your gig will go very OK. Must be fun to do another "role" sometimes?

Leif
Logged

Bass Trombone - Conn, Holton
BrandonB
*
Offline Offline

Location:
Joined: Oct 6, 2011
Posts: 7

View Profile
« Reply #141 on: Oct 08, 2011, 05:36PM »

I am the lead trombone in my highschool marching band, and today I wrote down who was on what mouthpeice, listened to them, and found different mouthpeices for them to try. I have found that only me and 2nd chair can get a good tone from the 5G my dirrector wanted us all on. The biggest improvement I got from this was taking a person off a 5G and putting her on a 6 1/2. She went from almost no tone to a full powerful tone.

Another person got better sound out of a 12c than a 6 1/2.

You can get too big, and you can get too small on a mouthpeice, it all depends on the person.
Logged
BGuttman
Mad Chemist

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: Londonderry, NH, USA
Joined: Dec 12, 2000
Posts: 50234
"Almost Professional"


View Profile
« Reply #142 on: Oct 08, 2011, 05:56PM »

You're lucky your BD wasn't a trumpet player.  We had a report a few years back that the BD decided since a 1C was a nice trumpet piece, the trombone players should all use 1G's. Amazed
Logged

Bruce Guttman
Solo Trombone, Hollis Town Band
Section Ldr, Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orch.
BrandonB
*
Offline Offline

Location:
Joined: Oct 6, 2011
Posts: 7

View Profile
« Reply #143 on: Oct 08, 2011, 07:27PM »

My band dirrector is an amazing trombone player, but that's his problem, he doesn't realise that some people just can't handle large mouthpeices like he can...and I can't immagine anything larger than a 5G, but I like the 5g better than my 6 1/2 AL-S because I can get a lot louder on the 5G. Pep rallys are the only place I can use the extra volume though, I've been known to overpower the entire band at fortismo
Logged
Fishlips
Kiss me, baby!

*
Offline Offline

Location: Missouri
Joined: Oct 1, 2009
Posts: 462
"Fishin' for that 5th position...."


View Profile
« Reply #144 on: Nov 08, 2011, 01:15PM »

If you have a small bore shank, try a 5GS. It's a 5G rim with a 6.5 AL backbore and shank. An in-betweener. Gets a bigger sound than a true 6.5 AL, but not as big as the 5G.
Logged

At least I show up on time!
ssking2b

*
Offline Offline

Location: Chester, VA
Joined: Sep 27, 2011
Posts: 306
"Trombone - the final frontier..."


View Profile WWW
« Reply #145 on: Dec 21, 2011, 11:40AM »

I have found the philosphy of "What ever works" to be just fine.  I also tell this to my students, with some suggestions.  I play both big and little mouthpieces, as well as bass and tenor trombone.  Depending on what type of playing you are doing, mouthpiece size can be relevant.  Horn size, too.  If I show up on an orchestral gig with mt 2B the other trombonists think I'm using the wrong equipment - so I am dismissed as a serious player (I don't really bring the 2B - I bring my 88H or my bass trombone depending on what part I am playing). They seem to have no problem showing up on my jazz gig with a 42B and are offended when I point out that that is not the right equipment for the genre we are performing.  I suspect it is legit horn snobbery when that is the reaction.

Your equipment should fit the job you expect it to do.  In an orchestra I will play big equipment and a big mouthpiece because that is the excepted standard, and the same goes for the 2B on a jazz gig.  I don't like big equipment when it stops sounding like a trombone and starts to sound like euphonium on a stick - and there's plenty of that going around.  I also don't like a small horn sound so brite it hurts.  I try to find the right size horn znd mouthpiece to fit the situation and give me a real trombone sound in the context that I am performing.
Logged

Visit my web site at http://www.pjonestrombone.com 

XO Brass Artist Philip Jones
digitaltrombone

*
Offline Offline

Location:
Joined: Oct 11, 2010
Posts: 53
"Anders Larson"


View Profile WWW
« Reply #146 on: Mar 08, 2012, 12:00AM »

I´d say that playing a small mouthpiece is often more difficult than playing on a large! Since the bore is smaller, the air flow needs to be very accurate in order to pass through effortless. Go for comfort, sound and ease of use, and make sure your breathing is in place!

Small horn+small mouthpiece=good
Small horn+big mouthpiece=good
Big horn+small mouthpiece=good
Big horn+big mouthpiece=good... :-)
Logged

Jazz trombonist / arranger / composer
Founder of:
www.digitaltrombone.com
- about trombone playing!
www.facebook.com/digitaltrombone
@digitaltrombone
Horns: King 2B Silversonic, Bach 36G, Yamaha YSL-682
Slidennis

*
Offline Offline

Location: Europe
Joined: Dec 29, 2003
Posts: 2338

View Profile
« Reply #147 on: Mar 12, 2012, 01:28AM »

Everything's said just above my post!!!   ;-)

I plaid a 12C for 15 years...
I'm now on a 3G...

And I always wanted to play the smallest mpc I could...

I had a very bad range when I played the 12C.
Not the case anymore...

I suppose I worked a lot to improve my playing...  That was the main benefit of changing mp and trombones...   :/
Logged

Denis
Dukesboneman

*
Offline Offline

Location: Sarasota, Fl
Joined: Nov 24, 2003
Posts: 1373

View Profile
« Reply #148 on: Oct 12, 2012, 03:53PM »

As I`ve stated many times before, My mouthpiece of choice is a Mount Vernon Bach 7C. My private teachers in High school put me on a 6 1/2AL with my 88H, which in 1972 was THE Mouthpiece to have. I used it but it never felt very good. I could never really "grab" the notes like I wanted to. College I was put on a Schilke 51B. Cup size felt a little better but same feel problems with the rim.
Started my student teaching and forgot my horn one day, cooperating teachers says " wash out the mouthpiece & use my horn" Bach 34 w/ a 7C. WOW !!!!!!!!   My range jumped , my sound felt more in control and I could suddenly "grab" my notes. Revelation !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Post college ...  Had a Bach7 made with a bass shank and bored it out , still my go to bass shank mouthpiece. Now I only use it on my dual bore 8H.
All my other horns have either 7C or a 7, except my 42 bell/36 slide combo where I use a Schilke 51 bottom on a 7 rim.
Now growing up in Rochester, NY and under the pervasive influence of Eastman, It`s drilled in your head play the biggest mouthpiece possible and always get an orchestral sound. So I went over the years thru just about every major manufactorer looking for THE mouthpiece.
One day it hit me, who cares what other people think I should play on. I can play from a pedal F to a double A with a good tone. So I quit the mouthpiece of the month club and really focused on the 7C`s. It`s been about 8 to 10 years now and I`ve seen a huge change in my playing for the better. I should also mention that My teeth or not straight and I have a jutting front tooth so the 7C/7 is about the largest and most comfy I can go.
And also realized that what works on college when you have all the time you want to practice and the REAL WORLD are too different animals.
 
Logged

RETIRED
ssking2b

*
Offline Offline

Location: Chester, VA
Joined: Sep 27, 2011
Posts: 306
"Trombone - the final frontier..."


View Profile WWW
« Reply #149 on: Oct 13, 2012, 10:01AM »

"...what works on college when you have all the time you want to practice and the REAL WORLD are too different animals."

AMEN to that.  When you are n the real world playing for a living, or just for fun, you have to use the equipment that suits the job and works for you.
Logged

Visit my web site at http://www.pjonestrombone.com 

XO Brass Artist Philip Jones
Slidennis

*
Offline Offline

Location: Europe
Joined: Dec 29, 2003
Posts: 2338

View Profile
« Reply #150 on: Oct 28, 2012, 05:44AM »

I went all the way from a Bach 12C for 15 years to a Denis Wick 2NAL...  with my Bass.
When the muscles of the lips and the belly are sthrengtening, I think that the mpc will be the one that suits the trombone and not your face any more...  (Sabutin - Sam Burtis - says so...) Excepted for the size of the rim, maybe...  3G for me at the moment...

And if you like large rims with fairly shallow cups and large backbores, the only way to go is custom...

Doug Elliott and the likes...  (Warburton, Stomvi, etc...)

My take on it...
Logged

Denis
artillero31

*
Offline Offline

Location: Chicago
Joined: Nov 7, 2012
Posts: 85
"one of my mouthpieces"


View Profile
« Reply #151 on: Nov 28, 2012, 04:01AM »

I play on my personal custom mouthpiece large rim, double cup, small shank best mouthpiece I've had
Logged

David Mendoza
Mahlerbone

*
Offline Offline

Location: Newington, CT
Joined: Nov 16, 2002
Posts: 3493

View Profile
« Reply #152 on: Nov 28, 2012, 04:38AM »

I get the most benefits when I play on the largest mouthpiece I can handle.  So I've moved from an Elliott XT 104 to a SB 105. That's basically a 3G rim to a 2G rim. My sound is now more consistent in all ranges, articulations are improved, low range sounds more full, and I can still get a solid high D and Eb when I need it.

On bass I've been experimenting with a Laskey 93 with very good results. That's supposedly even larger than the Elliott 114 rim that I have.  When my new bass setup comes back from Shires I'm going to try a 1D and 1MD.
Logged

Shires T00NLW, 1YM8, 1.5Y
Edwards T396-A
Shires B62LW, BI 2G, Bollinger tuning slide, dependent Trubores
usafband1976

*
Offline Offline

Location: Parkersburg, WV
Joined: Mar 15, 2012
Posts: 75

View Profile
« Reply #153 on: Dec 26, 2012, 06:03PM »

I use a rim that allows me to slur from low B flat to high D, with freedom and a resonant low register.  Some do this with  a Bach 15, some a rim the width of a 1 1/2 G.  It has to do with the length of your top lip, Whether you play more on the top lip or more on the bottom.  It also has to do with how your lips line up on your teeth.  Would Kai Winding play on a 3G just given his embouchure?  I doubt it.  And I would not think that Mr. Alessi would use a 12C unless he were playing an alto trombone, check out the length of his top lip.  Short of it?  it is like shoes: find one that fits your face and allows you to get around the horn without having to move your mouthpiece all over your face.
Logged

"Tongue and blow, kid . . ."
discus nerd

*
Offline Offline

Location:
Joined: May 15, 2012
Posts: 180

View Profile
« Reply #154 on: Dec 27, 2012, 05:16AM »

Fitting your face is something that was never discussed back in the day. Using a Bach 5G I spent most of my undergrad years trying to achieve the correct embouchure. I had limited range and flexibility. I never quite got it "right" until many years later when I started playing the tuba. Then as if by magic my embouchure with a Wick 1XL on tuba looked correct, my range actually increased, and lip trills were no longer an issue. Who knew... Don't know
Logged
CG2198

*
Offline Offline

Location:
Joined: Nov 28, 2013
Posts: 42

View Profile
« Reply #155 on: Nov 29, 2013, 08:34PM »

I am in no way an expert on the matter, but I recently upgraded my mouthpiece from a schilke 51 to a Griego-Alessi 3F and can play high on the much larger mouthpiece. Also my tone and intonation are much better on the 3F, so really it depends on the player.
Logged

There is always more you can learn.
Matt K

*
*
Offline Offline

Location:
Joined: May 6, 2010
Posts: 6805

View Profile
« Reply #156 on: Nov 30, 2013, 11:38AM »

I am in no way an expert on the matter, but I recently upgraded my mouthpiece from a schilke 51 to a Griego-Alessi 3F and can play high on the much larger mouthpiece. Also my tone and intonation are much better on the 3F, so really it depends on the player.

Back in HS I played bass bone in the jazz band but I was mostly a tenor player.  I was working on a cello suite, the prelude to the first one, which has a low C in it.  It was hard for me to hit that C with my 6.5AL on my Xeno, so I used a 1.25G.  I forgot my other pieces one day and just had that one.  My director didn't know what change I had made but told me he'd never heard me sound better and insisted I use whatever I was on that day.  I thought he was nuts being in high school. Turns out, he was right, I sound much better on a 1.25 or 1.5G than a 5G/6.5AL... I just wasn't aware enough at the time myself to notice the timbral change as being good or bad.  It took me a few years to find out that I need at least an XT104 (Doug's size) rim to get the best results.
Logged

What's in a name? that which we call a tenor-bass posaune
By any other name would smell as sweet;
Graham Martin
Purveyor of 'HOT' Jazz

*
Offline Offline

Location: Redland Bay, Queensland, AUSTRALIA
Joined: Nov 5, 2000
Posts: 11313
"Dixieland/Mainstream/Big Band"


View Profile
« Reply #157 on: Nov 30, 2013, 04:55PM »

It is so nice to see an old post from Evan resurrected so many times. Originally 2006!  Eeek! Evan started by quoting Kevin Marsh writing of Alain Trudel. Evan himself thought it was as much a case of matching the horn as the player. I know because he loaned me a Schilke 47B so that I could play my 2B like TD. Way cool
Logged

Grah

"May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay......forever young."
Kuprion Ken

*
Offline Offline

Location: Milwaukie, OR
Joined: Mar 19, 2013
Posts: 14

View Profile
« Reply #158 on: Apr 04, 2014, 06:56PM »

I agree with that the "bigger is better" philosophy seems to be prevalant in the mouthpiece selection these days.

My main blow is a Bach 42B0 and listening to the babble about big air and la-de-da- I tried Bach 5G up to 3G, and comparable Shilke's, and keep going back to the Bach 6-1/2A that came with the horn!  I have more range, more lip endurance, more control, and can play longer phrases without breathing constantly!

So there! Clever
Logged
dezignstuff
« Reply #159 on: Apr 04, 2014, 07:13PM »

I don't like extremes - I believe the truth is somewhere in between. The bell curve or goldilocks concept - the sweet spot is most likely to be in the middle, under the big part of the bell, not at the extremes, where the curve is low. I got caught up in the "bigger is better" back in the '80s, and decided it wasn't for me. But with that said, I've settled on a relatively big rim (Elliott XT 104 because it fits my face most comfortably)and a slightly small cup (F) for 547 and 525 playing. I do like a big sound, but not a woofy sound.

Bass boners seem to be disproportionately represented here, which may be part of the reason for the tendency toward big stuff.
Logged
Burgerbob

*
Offline Offline

Location: Los Angeles
Joined: Aug 12, 2007
Posts: 5293

View Profile
« Reply #160 on: Apr 04, 2014, 07:35PM »

I have moved to larger mouthpieces (1 1/4 size). My high range is not as high, but it is also better all around. Everything is better all around.

A tenor player here just changed from a 12ML (5G size) to a 10ML (3G) and sounds tons better.
Logged

Brasslab 50T3, Greg Glack 1G .312 #2
Bach 42B, Wick 3AL
Conn 6H, King 7MD
Yamaha YEP-842S, Schilke 53/59
Yamaha YBH-301MS, Hammond 12XL
bigbassbone1

*
Offline Offline

Location: melbourne, australia
Joined: Sep 7, 2012
Posts: 847

View Profile
« Reply #161 on: Apr 04, 2014, 07:57PM »

I disagree with the idea that people are thinking "bigger is better" when it comes to mouthpieces, at least where I come from and from what I read on this site. Fortunately most of the major trombone teachers around here are very into advising students in the "whatever works for you" attitude. I have had a few major long term teachers all of who rolled their eyes when they found that the size I like most tends to be comparable to a schilke 60 size. However in every blind test I did for them they always would pick the larger piece over a smaller size even though all played between 1 1/2 to 1 1/4 sizes themselves. One even said he liked a schilke 60 with tuba shank mouthpiece I have best!(I dont use it anymore though I think that is too big for almost anyone! Haha :) )
Logged
Matt K

*
*
Offline Offline

Location:
Joined: May 6, 2010
Posts: 6805

View Profile
« Reply #162 on: Apr 04, 2014, 08:18PM »

I disagree with the idea that people are thinking "bigger is better" when it comes to mouthpieces, at least where I come from and from what I read on this site. Fortunately most of the major trombone teachers around here are very into advising students in the "whatever works for you" attitude. I have had a few major long term teachers all of who rolled their eyes when they found that the size I like most tends to be comparable to a schilke 60 size. However in every blind test I did for them they always would pick the larger piece over a smaller size even though all played between 1 1/2 to 1 1/4 sizes themselves. One even said he liked a schilke 60 with tuba shank mouthpiece I have best!(I dont use it anymore though I think that is too big for almost anyone! Haha :) )

I completely concur with everything here.
Logged

What's in a name? that which we call a tenor-bass posaune
By any other name would smell as sweet;
Doug Elliott
Lord of the Rims

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: Mar 12, 2005
Posts: 6441

View Profile
« Reply #163 on: Apr 04, 2014, 09:00PM »

Everyone should use the smallest size that works well all over the horn.

For a lot of people that size just happens to be on the big end of the spectrum.
Logged

www.DougElliottMouthpieces.com
XT LexanN104,C+,D2, Williams 6, K&H Slokar alto, K&H Slokar Solo .547 open wrap
harrison.t.reed
*
Offline Offline

Location: Colorado
Joined: Apr 5, 2007
Posts: 2244
"Spartan Brass Band!"


View Profile
« Reply #164 on: Apr 14, 2014, 02:18PM »

I think a lot of people use massive mouthpieces on a tenor trombone as a shortcut to get a big sound. However this often comes at the expense of losing some of their own voice/sound that they might have had on smaller rims. If all you care about is an open sound with no character, then play on a mouthpiece that is way too big for you...

You have to be careful about grabbing a mouthpiece that is TOO big, even if it helps you soung "big".

I think that everyone has an ideal mouthpiece size out there but finding it is really the trick!

Of course for Bass trombone bigger is better!!
 Evil
Logged

"My technique is as good as Initial D"
T-396A - Griego 1C
88HTCL - Griego 1C
36H - DE XT105, C+, D Alto Shank
3B/F Silversonic - Griego 1A ss
pBone (with Yellow bell for bright tone)
Matt K

*
*
Offline Offline

Location:
Joined: May 6, 2010
Posts: 6805

View Profile
« Reply #165 on: Apr 14, 2014, 08:41PM »

I think what you're describing can be attributed to the the fact it seems like most mouthpiece makers increase cup depth and change the shape as the rim size gets bigger.  Maintain a consistent shape/depth of cup while expanding the rim and you end up with a totally different situation.

Moreover, it seems to me like it's much more prevalent for people to choose a piece that's smaller because it's easier to play high without proper mechanics.
Logged

What's in a name? that which we call a tenor-bass posaune
By any other name would smell as sweet;
savio

*
Offline Offline

Location: Norway
Joined: Aug 10, 2006
Posts: 5011

View Profile WWW
« Reply #166 on: Apr 15, 2014, 03:33AM »

My own thoughts is it have a lot to do with learning your equipment. If we can make an interesting sound, make music, it's probably right. I have done lot of stupid things in my trying to find both my own sound and right equipment for me. Listen what experienced and good players tell me is what helped me. The strange thing is what my teacher told me 35 years ago I didn't listen. I could for 30 years not understand it. 5 years ago Chris Stearn told me exactly the same thing as my first teachers. That makes me an extremely slow learner.  :/ Also Doug Elliott told me the same thing.

It makes me believe that we sometimes should listen the experienced people, the really good teachers and players. There is many ways to Rome. It can be different ways for all of us to achieve the same goal.

It's human to go wrong but don't wait 30 years to learn  :/

Leif
Logged

Bass Trombone - Conn, Holton
Slidennis

*
Offline Offline

Location: Europe
Joined: Dec 29, 2003
Posts: 2338

View Profile
« Reply #167 on: Apr 21, 2014, 04:33AM »

My own thoughts is it have a lot to do with learning your equipment. If we can make an interesting sound, make music, it's probably right. I have done lot of stupid things in my trying to find both my own sound and right equipment for me. Listen what experienced and good players tell me is what helped me. The strange thing is what my teacher told me 35 years ago I didn't listen. I could for 30 years not understand it. 5 years ago Chris Stearn told me exactly the same thing as my first teachers. That makes me an extremely slow learner.  :/ Also Doug Elliott told me the same thing.

It makes me believe that we sometimes should listen the experienced people, the really good teachers and players. There is many ways to Rome. It can be different ways for all of us to achieve the same goal.

It's human to go wrong but don't wait 30 years to learn  :/

Leif

Yes to that...

Growing up is not a question of going from 12C to 1G...

Sticking with one equipment to do one job and learning how to use it right is the key...

I made the same mistake for so many years myself!

And yes, another thing : equipment is always a compromise, there will always be something "missing" at some point, and to get it right with another equipment, you lose something else elsewhere, so this can be a neverending story as the one of this man looking for the "perfect" woman to be with, and changing every three years for whatever the reason...

Try and love the imperfections of your equipment and yourself, then you'll be happy with what you are and what you have, and...  both will magically improve with time...  how so...  I dunno...   ;-)
Logged

Denis
MCHS trombone
*
Offline Offline

Location:
Joined: Aug 9, 2014
Posts: 42

View Profile
« Reply #168 on: Aug 10, 2014, 12:47PM »

I would go somewhere in the middle.  You don't want to have to work yourself to death but you also want the best possible tone.
Logged
trombone1211

*
Offline Offline

Location:
Joined: Aug 11, 2014
Posts: 8

View Profile WWW
« Reply #169 on: Aug 15, 2014, 02:52AM »

At the risk of repeating whats already been said it's all about "Horses for Courses" 

I play tenor and my old teacher Nev Roberts said I should use a Bach 4G. At the time I was playing mainly orchestral gigs (the instrument was and still is a beautiful Elkhart Conn 88H). This mouthpiece in combination with the Conn was perfect for Orchestral work with a majestic sound.

Then I got the job of Solo Trombone with the (sadly now gone) CWS Manchester Band. (For those too young to remember they were a world famous Champion Brass Band who did a good few world tours) - This entailed playing solos on every gig and always in the 2nd half of them and this was combined with playing lead (and in Brass Bands the thing is NEVER off your lip) so although the sound was great with the 4G I switched to a Denis Wick 5BL (slightly smaller) but I had it bored out slightly - This gave me I reckon 95% of the tone but made getting up the top end and playing very high lip slurs and trills in solos in the 2nd half of gigs much easier..

I now find myself playing mainly Big Band gigs on lead and having to play even higher. I am managing ok on the 88H and 5BL but I'm really having to stay bob on in practice (as we say in the UK) to be able to maintain the high stuff (again mainly in the 2nd half) - so (call me lazy) I'm in the process of looking for slightly smaller instrument, maybe a Yamaha 651 or similar for this job and I'll probably use a 6 or 7 mouthpiece (probably 6) for this work.. (Immediately reverting back the the 88H for B.B. or Orchestral work)

It's all about what you're comfortable with, for me playing higher consistently means go smaller for comfort - (isn't this why trumpets are smaller than trombones ;-)) - BUT not everybody is or should be the same....
Logged

Playing Maynard Ferguson's 'L Dopa'.
Elkhart Conn 88H for orchestras
Yamaha YSL 651 for Big Band work
“NEVER LOOK AT THE TROMBONES - YOU'LL ONLY ENCOURAGE THEM” - Richard Wagner
CircusBandMan

*
Offline Offline

Location: New Orleans
Joined: Oct 10, 2014
Posts: 64

View Profile
« Reply #170 on: Oct 20, 2014, 06:55PM »

I was in the Ringling Bros. Band from '79 to '81. We played 13 3 hour shows a week on average, and I think there were maybe 100 bars of rests total in all the tunes in the whole show. We played a LOT. So stamina could be an issue. I was in good shape when I started, coming off a period when I practiced 40 to 50 hours a week, but my lips still used to get a little puffy sometimes on a 3 show Saturday, time to pull out the old preparation H. When I joined the band, I was still playing my beloved 88H with, if I remember correctly a Bach 6 1/2 AL. As soon as I had the chance I bought an Urbie Green Martin and switched to a 12C. No more puffy lips on a Saturday night after that. Can't say much about differences in sound because I changed horns when I changed mouthpieces, but I did seem to have more stamina with the smaller mouthpiece.
Logged
sabutin

*
Offline Offline

Location: NYC
Joined: Sep 26, 2005
Posts: 5331
"A professional freelance NYC lower brass player."


View Profile WWW
« Reply #171 on: Oct 21, 2014, 10:21AM »

I was in the Ringling Bros. Band from '79 to '81. We played 13 3 hour shows a week on average, and I think there were maybe 100 bars of rests total in all the tunes in the whole show. We played a LOT. So stamina could be an issue. I was in good shape when I started, coming off a period when I practiced 40 to 50 hours a week, but my lips still used to get a little puffy sometimes on a 3 show Saturday, time to pull out the old preparation H. When I joined the band, I was still playing my beloved 88H with, if I remember correctly a Bach 6 1/2 AL. As soon as I had the chance I bought an Urbie Green Martin and switched to a 12C. No more puffy lips on a Saturday night after that. Can't say much about differences in sound because I changed horns when I changed mouthpieces, but I did seem to have more stamina with the smaller mouthpiece.

I concur. My real "equipment trip" started with a BBb tuba at about 8 years of age and progressed steadily up in range...and eventually down in size...from there. When I came to NYC as a young pro I was playing a .522 bore 76H w/a 6.5AL m'pce...fairly large as far as the jazz, latin and studio scenes of the time were concerned...and also a sterling silver bell King 3B (smaller but quite dark) w/the same m'pce. Over the years, I found that endurance issues...especially in latin and circus work...required me to go smaller and smaller. (Brighter and brighter too, in order to blend with my betters.) I had to learn how to do so, but I am now quite comfortable on any size rim from a large tuba m'pce up to a 12C-ish rim and on horns right up though tuba to .485 bore trombones and pretty much everything in between. Besides stylistic differences, timbral/attack differences and range tendencies, the most important change during this long trip has been improved endurance in the high/loud ranges that are very important to latin players and also to lead trombonists in large ensembles. The endurance difference...for me...between playing a really strenuous gig on say a 6.5AL or larger m'pce mated to a .508 or larger horn versus say an 11C or 12C-ish m'pce mated to a .500 or .485 bore horn is consistent and quite serious. Not only do I get through the gig playing better, I also don't suffer the next day from any sort of swollen lip syndrome nor do my playing and endurance steadily decline during a week of that kind of work.

Just sayin'...there are people who can do work like that on bigger rims, but they are few and far between. For well over 100 years the vast majority of players who have played those idioms have used smaller rims and equipment. They weren't dummies, to say the least. Check it out.

Learn from the masters.

I did.

Later...

S.
Logged

Visit <http://samburtis.com/>. Lots of information on that site in the form of articles plus a link to my method book "Time, Balance & Connections-A Universal Theory Of Brass Relativity" which includes several chapters of the book.
cb56

*
Offline Offline

Location: Taylorville, Illinois
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
Posts: 858

View Profile
« Reply #172 on: Oct 21, 2014, 11:10AM »

Everyone should use the smallest size that works well all over the horn.....

Doug you've told me I can go smaller with my mp. I was on a 6 1/2 sized piece and since switched to a 7c and after about a 3 day period of getting used to it, it is working pretty good.
Does your statement mean I should keep going smaller until I find something that just doesn't work then move up one size to the last one that worked?

****************************
Edit for more info:
Here's what I'm liking on the 7c so far over the 6 1/2 (48)
Better flexability, more focused tone, High range that I have is the same but a bit easier to get there, still has nice tone in the low register down to low F.

This is of course on my .500 bore horn. I've put the large bore away for awhile to concentrate on this since most of my gigs (If not all) will be jazz/Danceband gigs with some big band (lower parts) sprinkled in.
Logged
Doug Elliott
Lord of the Rims

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: Mar 12, 2005
Posts: 6441

View Profile
« Reply #173 on: Oct 21, 2014, 12:25PM »

Yes, for your embouchure you can move down in size until it affects your low range negatively.

Exactly the opposite of the other downstream embouchure, which can move up in size until it affects range, focus, or endurance negatively.

There are potentially other details, but that's the basis of my approach.
Logged

www.DougElliottMouthpieces.com
XT LexanN104,C+,D2, Williams 6, K&H Slokar alto, K&H Slokar Solo .547 open wrap
cb56

*
Offline Offline

Location: Taylorville, Illinois
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
Posts: 858

View Profile
« Reply #174 on: Oct 21, 2014, 12:43PM »

Thanks Doug.
Logged
cb56

*
Offline Offline

Location: Taylorville, Illinois
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
Posts: 858

View Profile
« Reply #175 on: Oct 23, 2014, 09:46AM »

BTW Doug,
I'm starting to see some improvement in my high range. I can play up to high D   without straining or doing anything weird with my chops. That's actually higher than I need to go ever. My goal now is to get secure in that range by practicing in that range everyday. Without over doing it of course. There is a difference between playing a high Bb and playing a jazz riff in that register.

BTW I have a used 12c on the way to check out.($13  :)) I'm feeling pretty good on the 7c  but I'll see if the 12c is an improvement or not. Then I'll worry about what to do about the large bore. Still using the yamaha 48 on that.

Edit for corrected note
Logged
BGuttman
Mad Chemist

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: Londonderry, NH, USA
Joined: Dec 12, 2000
Posts: 50234
"Almost Professional"


View Profile
« Reply #176 on: Oct 23, 2014, 10:41AM »

Erm, that's an F you cited.  D is 

Still, for most playing the D is more than sufficient.  I've only seen 2 F's in symphonic music, and the parts are really intended for alto trombone.
Logged

Bruce Guttman
Solo Trombone, Hollis Town Band
Section Ldr, Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orch.
cb56

*
Offline Offline

Location: Taylorville, Illinois
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
Posts: 858

View Profile
« Reply #177 on: Oct 23, 2014, 10:59AM »

Sorry, my eyes aren't what they used to be.
Logged
ssking2b

*
Offline Offline

Location: Chester, VA
Joined: Sep 27, 2011
Posts: 306
"Trombone - the final frontier..."


View Profile WWW
« Reply #178 on: Apr 03, 2015, 07:21AM »

IMHO your equipment should be something suited to the gig you are doing.  Why play a .547 bore horn on lead in a big band, or something huge as a mouthpiece if you are in the upper register constantly?  you have to be able to handle a range of horns and mouthpieces that give you the desired effect for the ensemble and music you are playing.  What ever gives you that, and gets you hired back, must be it! 

That being said, we all get different sounds, etc. out of different combinations.  In the end, we are all looking for what works.  I don't think there is a single "silver bullet" out there that works for everything and everyone.  We can make suggestions to our students, but for them , too, it remains what does the job, sounds right in the context of your playing, and feels good to you...that is what we should all be looking for.

Like Sabutin, I double on a number of horns, and the bores and mouthpiece sizes are all over the map...I use what works for me and gets the job done right. I don't really expend any worry over what should I be playing on...short of making sure my equipment suits the context of where I am performing.
Logged

Visit my web site at http://www.pjonestrombone.com 

XO Brass Artist Philip Jones
Dukesboneman

*
Offline Offline

Location: Sarasota, Fl
Joined: Nov 24, 2003
Posts: 1373

View Profile
« Reply #179 on: Apr 03, 2015, 09:41AM »

I need to play on a rim that is around a Bach 7/7C size. That`s what works for me.
Last June at the ITA conference, I bought a Doug Elliot for my large bore, because he seems to be the only one that will do a set-up with a 7-ish rim (his 98) and a 5G-ish cup, which is what I wanted and needed.
Why is it that you have  to play a big rim to get s deep cup?????????
Logged

RETIRED
ssking2b

*
Offline Offline

Location: Chester, VA
Joined: Sep 27, 2011
Posts: 306
"Trombone - the final frontier..."


View Profile WWW
« Reply #180 on: Apr 03, 2015, 10:06AM »


Why is it that you have  to play a big rim to get s deep cup?????????
[/quote]

With a system like Doug Elliot's, you can mix and match to suit your needs.  Other mouthpiece makers are either cookie cutter or the dredged "special order".  If you need or want something that isn't cookie cutter you are just stuck.  Doug offers you the mix 'n match, as well as excellent suggestions!
Logged

Visit my web site at http://www.pjonestrombone.com 

XO Brass Artist Philip Jones
Doug Elliott
Lord of the Rims

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: Mar 12, 2005
Posts: 6441

View Profile
« Reply #181 on: Apr 03, 2015, 11:33AM »

IMHO your equipment should be something suited to the gig you are doing.  Why play a .547 bore horn on lead in a big band, or something huge as a mouthpiece if you are in the upper register constantly?  you have to be able to handle a range of horns and mouthpieces that give you the desired effect for the ensemble and music you are playing.  What ever gives you that, and gets you hired back, must be it! 

That being said, we all get different sounds, etc. out of different combinations.  In the end, we are all looking for what works.  I don't think there is a single "silver bullet" out there that works for everything and everyone.  We can make suggestions to our students, but for them , too, it remains what does the job, sounds right in the context of your playing, and feels good to you...that is what we should all be looking for.

Like Sabutin, I double on a number of horns, and the bores and mouthpiece sizes are all over the map...I use what works for me and gets the job done right. I don't really expend any worry over what should I be playing on...short of making sure my equipment suits the context of where I am performing.

I wanted to hear what you sound like so I visited your website.  All I found was one plunger solo and another with your bell buried in a microphone.
Logged

www.DougElliottMouthpieces.com
XT LexanN104,C+,D2, Williams 6, K&H Slokar alto, K&H Slokar Solo .547 open wrap
ssking2b

*
Offline Offline

Location: Chester, VA
Joined: Sep 27, 2011
Posts: 306
"Trombone - the final frontier..."


View Profile WWW
« Reply #182 on: Apr 04, 2015, 05:17AM »

There are many more recordings of me on my site than just what you found.  If you look a bit further, you will find a vast set of recordings.  And yes, in performance we don't always have the luxury of doing things just the way we want to.
Logged

Visit my web site at http://www.pjonestrombone.com 

XO Brass Artist Philip Jones
Geezerhorn

*
Offline Offline

Location: PA
Joined: Feb 9, 2012
Posts: 5213
"Lego My Trombone"


View Profile
« Reply #183 on: Apr 04, 2015, 05:29AM »

I certainly didn't have any trouble finding clips of you playing. I think you are a remarkable performer; very talented and a great entertainer. I have your site bookmarked for future reference. Thanks for sharing your work, thoughts, information and rants on your site! I thought your rant on mpc sizes fit right into the topic of this thread.

...Geezer
Logged

ssking2b

*
Offline Offline

Location: Chester, VA
Joined: Sep 27, 2011
Posts: 306
"Trombone - the final frontier..."


View Profile WWW
« Reply #184 on: Apr 04, 2015, 06:01AM »

Thanks Geezer!  Just to make it easier for Doug  - here is a link to a youtube sound track of me with the Michael Treni Big Band "Boys Night Out"  - one of the soloists on this track    https://youtu.be/kz9tVjx3mY0

And another youtube sound track from a recording by the Somers Dream Orchestra - a feature written for me on "On The Street Where You Live"  https://youtu.be/DH7CWUhLVnQ

I hope y'all enjoy these!
Logged

Visit my web site at http://www.pjonestrombone.com 

XO Brass Artist Philip Jones
Geezerhorn

*
Offline Offline

Location: PA
Joined: Feb 9, 2012
Posts: 5213
"Lego My Trombone"


View Profile
« Reply #185 on: Apr 04, 2015, 06:22AM »

Nice! I love the way you play with attitude. That's inspiring.

Sounds to me as though you have solved the "mouthpiece dilemma" a long time ago and have your sound zeroed in on the perfect size mpc for you. Nice cherry-poppin' sound; nice edge; nice articulations; nice range. Kinda reminds me of a cross between Rosolino and Green - on steroids. :) :) :) :) My opinion.

...Geezer
Logged

ssking2b

*
Offline Offline

Location: Chester, VA
Joined: Sep 27, 2011
Posts: 306
"Trombone - the final frontier..."


View Profile WWW
« Reply #186 on: Apr 04, 2015, 09:21AM »

Thanks again Geezer!  I must admit that I haven't always played the same mouthpieces  on my horns.  On jazz bone I played a modified 11C for about 21 years, until I made a change to improve a few things.  I played a Greg Black custom mouthpiece based for about 3 years, then settled on the Marcinkiewicz ET 1.7 I play now.  Been on this one for 5 years, and it looks like I'm staying, as it gives me what I want.  Same with bass bone - played a Bach 1G for almost 30 years, played around with a few mouthpieces for 2 years, then went back to the 1G.  Tried the Marcinkiewicz 105 about 4 years ago, and stuck with it since.  IF I am getting what I want to get, that's the ticket!

Thanks for the ref to Urbie.  He has been my hero since I was 14!  A lot of my playing was influenced by him!  And, of course, Rosolino was just in his own class.  I just want to make masic and have folks enjoy it - like they did!
Logged

Visit my web site at http://www.pjonestrombone.com 

XO Brass Artist Philip Jones
ssking2b

*
Offline Offline

Location: Chester, VA
Joined: Sep 27, 2011
Posts: 306
"Trombone - the final frontier..."


View Profile WWW
« Reply #187 on: Apr 04, 2015, 09:22AM »

Now...if I could learn to spell...
Logged

Visit my web site at http://www.pjonestrombone.com 

XO Brass Artist Philip Jones
Roscotrombone
*
Offline Offline

Location: Bonnyrigg,Scotland
Joined: Dec 10, 2014
Posts: 68

View Profile
« Reply #188 on: Mar 09, 2016, 12:40PM »

I haven't read all of the replies to this thread so I may be repeating what someone else has said.

I moved from tenor to bass when I was at the Royal Military School of Music Kneller Hall. I started on a  Bach 4G,3G then finally a 2G and I was happy. In the last few years I've gone a bit crazy with buying mouthpieces,all 1.5 or bigger. Schilke 59, G&W Karif,KH 20BXL to name but a few. Yet I always gravitated back to the 2 and I felt "at home". I just couldn't settle on any of the buckets. I use a 1.5 for brass band as in that environment it's a "louder the better"at times. I think the huge mouthpiece phenomen has come from you guys across the pond (no offence intended!) and if someone prominent turns up with a new piece then folk jump on the bandwagon

Now I went for a lesson from a freelance bass trombone player recently and he uses a 2,as do a lot of other orchestral players in the UK. I know of lot of brass band guys use the big guns but at the end of the day how loud do you really need to go? Yes they help with the bottom register but I can rattle out pedal F's and E's without too much trouble and I've managed Mahler on a 2. Yet to many folk a 2 is a transitional piece. It's all about making it work.

I've given up on the idea that I need something bigger and my bank balance is happier for it! As is my sanity!!

Logged

Trombones are for life,not just for Christmas
BGuttman
Mad Chemist

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: Londonderry, NH, USA
Joined: Dec 12, 2000
Posts: 50234
"Almost Professional"


View Profile
« Reply #189 on: Mar 09, 2016, 12:50PM »

Actually, the crossover is a 3G.  The 2G has been successfully used as a bass trombone mouthpiece, especially for embouchure types that favor the smaller sizes.  One great player who used one was Ray Premru, and nobody questioned his versatility.
Logged

Bruce Guttman
Solo Trombone, Hollis Town Band
Section Ldr, Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orch.
MoominDave

*
Offline Offline

Location: Oxford, UK
Joined: Jan 11, 2005
Posts: 3103

View Profile
« Reply #190 on: Mar 10, 2016, 02:27AM »

I haven't read all of the replies to this thread so I may be repeating what someone else has said.

I moved from tenor to bass when I was at the Royal Military School of Music Kneller Hall. I started on a  Bach 4G,3G then finally a 2G and I was happy. In the last few years I've gone a bit crazy with buying mouthpieces,all 1.5 or bigger. Schilke 59, G&W Karif,KH 20BXL to name but a few. Yet I always gravitated back to the 2 and I felt "at home". I just couldn't settle on any of the buckets. I use a 1.5 for brass band as in that environment it's a "louder the better"at times. I think the huge mouthpiece phenomen has come from you guys across the pond (no offence intended!) and if someone prominent turns up with a new piece then folk jump on the bandwagon

Now I went for a lesson from a freelance bass trombone player recently and he uses a 2,as do a lot of other orchestral players in the UK. I know of lot of brass band guys use the big guns but at the end of the day how loud do you really need to go? Yes they help with the bottom register but I can rattle out pedal F's and E's without too much trouble and I've managed Mahler on a 2. Yet to many folk a 2 is a transitional piece. It's all about making it work.

I've given up on the idea that I need something bigger and my bank balance is happier for it! As is my sanity!!

I just have an inkling that the tide is turning in UK brass bands right now. One or two notably large mouthpiece players giving smaller stuff a try.

As I recall, what drove the move to big stuff was the ever-increasing demand for volume from the seat from some top level MDs in the 80s and 90s, coupled with an increase in low register writing. Freed from the constraints of the G bass, we went a little bit mad with the freedom of it. But the sometimes caricature levels that this direction has taken us to are I feel falling out of fashion - you hear some players these days playing big mouthpieces, but being basically inaudible in the band sound, which is wasting their time and energy; the logical step from there is to recapture some of the character of the sound by going smaller. Of course you do also hear some players totally dominating the band sound when they let rip on their huge equipment still. But as you point out, you can do this on smaller stuff with more tonal nuance - it's just harder work to do so.

Apropos of not much, after years of playing a VB 1-1/4G and slightly larger variations thereof, I bought a Josef Klier 3AL a few weeks ago in a moment of clarity; it sounds like a 2G, but plays like a 1-1/2G, I would say by way of comparison. It wasn't the mouthpiece I'd gone into the shop thinking that I'd buy, but listening to myself play various mpces in a small room, the removal of all flabbiness from the sides of my sound I found irrestible. Using it on Gregson's 'Essay' for the Area contest at the moment (an old-fashioned bass part without any shouting below low Eb, and requiring crisp articulation), and I'm hopeful that it'll still prove suitable for more beastly parts. If not, I have other options, but it would be nice to be able to retain this approach.
Logged

Dave Taylor

(me, not the other one)
Doug Elliott
Lord of the Rims

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: Mar 12, 2005
Posts: 6441

View Profile
« Reply #191 on: Mar 10, 2016, 03:06AM »

The U.K. brass band scene is really unlike anything over here in the US.  With its wide spectrum of brass sounds, the bass trombone needs to fit in its particular place above the bass and contrabass.  Here in the US, in most situations I would say it is expected to fill a lower role in the sound spectrum in addition to adding a more accessible lower range on the horn... and more volume.

In the context of the different kinds of playing, both approaches make sense.
Logged

www.DougElliottMouthpieces.com
XT LexanN104,C+,D2, Williams 6, K&H Slokar alto, K&H Slokar Solo .547 open wrap
patrickosmith

*
Offline Offline

Location: Boston
Joined: Feb 7, 2014
Posts: 973

View Profile
« Reply #192 on: Mar 10, 2016, 03:17AM »

snip

Apropos of not much, after years of playing a VB 1-1/4G and slightly larger variations thereof, I bought a Josef Klier 3AL a few weeks ago in a moment of clarity; it sounds like a 2G, but plays like a 1-1/2G, I would say by way of comparison. It wasn't the mouthpiece I'd gone into the shop thinking that I'd buy, but listening to myself play various mpces in a small room, the removal of all flabbiness from the sides of my sound I found irrestible.

snip
If not, I have other options, but it would be nice to be able to retain this approach.

The mouthpiece definitely needs to match the horn (and players mouth). I enjoy listening to Ray Premru on recordings with the PJBE. I believe his horn was a Holton 169. I'm curious ... what mouthpiece did he use?
Logged
Doug Elliott
Lord of the Rims

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: Mar 12, 2005
Posts: 6441

View Profile
« Reply #193 on: Mar 10, 2016, 03:28AM »

I think when was in London he was using a 2G, but during his later years when he was teaching at Oberlin he used my SB 106 and a J cup, if I remember right.
Logged

www.DougElliottMouthpieces.com
XT LexanN104,C+,D2, Williams 6, K&H Slokar alto, K&H Slokar Solo .547 open wrap
MoominDave

*
Offline Offline

Location: Oxford, UK
Joined: Jan 11, 2005
Posts: 3103

View Profile
« Reply #194 on: Mar 10, 2016, 03:30AM »

The 169 (or at least my 169) will work happily with mouthpieces of all sizes. Somewhat ironically, only the week before buying that JK, I'd been trying out using my Rath B1 M.F. in it, which isn't much smaller than a small tuba mouthpiece - it makes things like Schilke 60s and Bach 1Gs look like thimbles. It was hard work to keep as focussed as I like at lower and mid dynamics! But it definitely works with the trombone.

I've only ever heard of Ray Premru playing a VB 2G. Somebody who knew him (I didn't) may well know more than that.
Logged

Dave Taylor

(me, not the other one)
Tanner hunter
*
Offline Offline

Location:
Joined: Apr 12, 2017
Posts: 6

View Profile
« Reply #195 on: Apr 16, 2017, 09:32PM »

I started playing bass trombone on a 60 schilke, which was a massive shock to my embachure. Then a couple months later I switched to a 58 schilke. I can certainly
    testify that playing the 58 was a total breeze, and sounded amazing.
Logged
blast

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: scotland
Joined: Jul 26, 2001
Posts: 6874
"Bass/Contrabass trombone, Scottish Opera."


View Profile
« Reply #196 on: Apr 17, 2017, 03:22AM »

I went back to the beginning of this topic to see what it started out as....
WOW.... eleven years ago the quality of debate was SO high... I was gripped by the twists and turns !
All these years on I will add one thing...
This academic year two lads turned up at the RCS with very similar equipment... and it was very like that played by the bass trombonist in the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra... a stunning player who anyone would want to emulate.
The problem was that these two were playing so much better when they auditioned almost a year previously, and had swapped to very large mouthpieces, like that used by the BBC player. They simply could not cope at all. They have now swapped onto much smaller equipment that suits them well at this stage of their development. The BBC player sounds great on his big mouthpiece... but that is him... and I know it is a good fit, because he was also a pupil of mine and I put him on that mouthpiece.

Chris Stearn
Logged

Still cannot think of anything better to do. Back on an old 1 1/2G again !
bonenick

*
Offline Offline

Location: Antalya, Turkey
Joined: Nov 29, 2016
Posts: 734
"Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely."


View Profile WWW
« Reply #197 on: Apr 17, 2017, 04:08AM »

When I started learning symphonic repertoire on trumpet, I believed in the largest possible mouthpiece thing. But with the years I found the the smallest equipment that ensures the normal function of your embouchure you get best result with minimum effort. There are very few exception to this rule, on bass tbone it may be different. never tried.

IMHO you get better result in getting different timbral colour by changing the shape of the cup, backbore and the size of the throat.
Logged
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 10 [All]   Go Up
Print
Jump to: