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Author Topic: Theory---Largest..or Smallest?  (Read 98446 times)
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Burgerbob

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« 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.
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« 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 :) )
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Matt K

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« 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.
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Doug Elliott
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« 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.
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« 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!!
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Matt K

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« 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.
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« 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
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Slidennis

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« 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...   ;-)
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« 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.
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« 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....
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« 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.
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« 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.
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« 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.
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Doug Elliott
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« 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.
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« Reply #174 on: Oct 21, 2014, 12:43PM »

Thanks Doug.
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« 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
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BGuttman
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« 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.
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« Reply #177 on: Oct 23, 2014, 10:59AM »

Sorry, my eyes aren't what they used to be.
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« 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.
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« 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?????????
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