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Author Topic: Theory---Largest..or Smallest?  (Read 97046 times)
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ssking2b

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« 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!
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« 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.
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ssking2b

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« 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.
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« 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
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ssking2b

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« 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!
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« 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
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ssking2b

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« 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!
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« Reply #187 on: Apr 04, 2015, 09:22AM »

Now...if I could learn to spell...
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« 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!!

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« 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.
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« 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.
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« 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.
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« 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?
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Doug Elliott
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« 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.
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« 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.
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« 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.
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« 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
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« 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.
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« Reply #198 on: Jun 29, 2017, 06:09PM »

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.

If I was to have a very small oral cavity, what kind of mouthpiece would best suit me?



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« Reply #199 on: Jun 29, 2017, 06:24PM »

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.

If I was to have a very small oral cavity, what kind of mouthpiece would best suit me?






How do you know how big your oral cavity is in comparison to the rest of the human race? Is there an internet test you can take? Or have you viewed a large pool of oral cavities of other people?
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