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Author Topic: Mouthpiece Confusion  (Read 61387 times)
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ncmike1
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« Reply #60 on: Feb 05, 2011, 10:45PM »

This question may have already been asked somewhere in this vast forum, but I couldn't find it.
Regarding major professional trombonists (Alessi, Dudley Bright, Jay Friedman, etc.)...does anybody know if these trombonists (I'm mainly interested in tenor trombone) use the same mouthpiece for playing all music, or do they change mouthpieces depending upon the piece they are playing?  Just curious.
I play in different groups from jazz to concert band, and find when I'm playing 1st I can hit the high notes better and with more ease when I use my 11C, and when I play lower parts, I use my 6 1/2 AL.  It seems natural to do this, but I want opinions.
Also, can someone give me an opinion of the small bore 5G.  Someone told me it was a good, all-round mouthpiece, but I know nothing about it.
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« Reply #61 on: Feb 05, 2011, 10:50PM »

If you are playing a very virtuosic piece, you have to play very low notes, and very high notes.
You need a mouthpiece where you can do both.
I am only saying this because I used to do this and it does not really help your playing especially with ever increasing difficulty in music.
Also I am a bass player so I know nothing about the 5g =(

Hope this helps
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« Reply #62 on: Feb 06, 2011, 12:45AM »

A 5G is like a 6 1/2 AL with a deeper cup.  More of a C shaped cup versus V shaped like the 6 1/2.  I played on a 5GS, a version with a shallower cup, but still a pretty big piece.

IMO, the mouthpiece to be used depends on the horn and the player.  Some horns just like certain mouthpieces.  Everyones face is different, so I doubt those listed play the SAME piece.  Although if they play a common size like an 11C, they might.  IMO 11C is among the better choices for .500 horns.  A 5GS / 5G is better on 0.525 type horns IMO.  Although I tried the Kanstul 1606 pea shooter in 2007 and it could make an 11C feel like a 1 1/2G.

At the moment I use a G&W Harry Waters.  It's kind of, if a 5G and a 6 1/2 AL and an 11C had kids.  It's kind of V-ish like the 6 1/2AL.  Kind of comfy like the 5G.  And kind of small rim wise like the 11C.  It's what I wish I played on when I was in the Army Band, playing a 5GS.  The V-ish shape makes it mildly harder to play accurately, but also lets you play the low notes with some ease on a relatively small mouthpiece.  Small for me anyway, I have a big mellon.  Physical dimensions anyway.  Even though I have an arsenal of pieces I stick to the G&W Harry Waters for almost all things.  About the only time I change is if I'm having an off day.  Trouble with the high end, 11C.  Swollen lip or other woes, 5GS.  Or if I'm trying out horns, I'll take a variety pack with me.  Some horns just like some pieces which may not be the one that you're using most of the time.

As a general rule of thumb, if you are going to be switching mouthpieces as part of your thing.  And it's not something drastic like Tuba or Trumpet.  You want to keep the inner rim size roughly the same as what you are most comfortable with, or most familiar with.  Of course if that doesn't match the horn in question, by all means choose what does better match the horn.
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BGuttman
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« Reply #63 on: Feb 06, 2011, 04:48AM »

Mike, if you dig really deep into the posts on this board, you will find that the answer to your question is "yes". 

Some pros use only one mouthpiece because all their playing fits that one mouthpiece.

Some pros use only one mouthpiece because they can do all their playing with that one mouthpiece even if it means some kind of adaption at the fringes.

Some pros use a variety of mouthpieces tailoring the choice to match the playing involved.

But I'm not aware of any pro who will change mouthpieces on a gig for different pieces.  Once they select a mouthpiece they use it for a gig.

Size?  All over the map.  Again, it is a matter of finding a mouthpiece that allows YOU to play the MUSIC most efficiently.  If you look at the "artist lists" of many makers, you might find the "average" mouthpiece might be a 5G.  But most of us aren't "average".
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #64 on: Feb 19, 2011, 06:59PM »

While we're on this topic, I need some help. I currently play the 48 that came with my Yamaha, and both my teacher and band director

agree I need a new one. They said I need one to help me get more up into the high ranges. What size do I need? Also, does brand matter?

Bach? Schilke? Rath? Any help is much appreciated  :)
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BGuttman
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« Reply #65 on: Feb 19, 2011, 07:08PM »

At this stage I recommend going cheap.  While Doug Elliott makes great mouthpieces, you need to have an idea where you are headed before you go out and spend $200 a copy for a mouthpiece.

The Yamaha 48 is comparable to a 6.5AL (Bach size).  Your teacher and band director have told you they want you to buy a mouthpiece to help you play higher? Amazed

There are smaller mouthpieces and they might help you play higher.  Generally what happens is you lose sound in the lower part of your range.  And even if you were to buy the same mouthpiece Tommy Dorsey used (an Altamont; about a Bach 22D), you still won't be able to play as high as he did; at least not without a lot of practice.

Normally you would buy a mouthpiece for the low register and do rangebuilding exercises to get the upper register.

Having said that, if you want a mouthpiece to facilitate your upper register, a smaller rim and shallower cup will help.   There are lots of them, but Faxx mouthpieces are inexpensive compared to everything else.  You might want to look at a 7C, 11C, or 12C size.  Bach makes a 6 3/4C which is closer in diameter to the Yamaha 48 but is shallower.  Yamaha makes a 45, which is equivalent to a 12C.  A little more expensive would be a Wick 10CS.  Have your teacher help you select a new mouthpiece if at all possible.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #66 on: Feb 19, 2011, 07:58PM »

While we're on this topic, I need some help. I currently play the 48 that came with my Yamaha, and both my teacher and band director

agree I need a new one. They said I need one to help me get more up into the high ranges. What size do I need? Also, does brand matter?

Bach? Schilke? Rath? Any help is much appreciated  :)

You need to be having this conversation with your trombone instructor. Coming to the internet to get advice on a mouthpiece would not be my first choice for information, especially when there is a person who knows my playing more intimately who I can talk to face to face. Information given here, while being correct generally, may not be correct for you as an individual.
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« Reply #67 on: Feb 20, 2011, 05:32PM »

I have / had a 48 (or was it 49).  It's a mouthpiece.  If you'd want to downsize it to facilitate a high(er) end, I'd say 7C might be a best first guess.  The yamaha piece is just kind of bleh to me.  It's not hideous, it just doesn't float my boat.  It doesn't make anything particularly easy (or hard).  It really depends on you and your horn.  Or at least your target horn.  If you have horn X, but want to be on bigger horn Y, I'd say 5G-ish as the next one.  If you're talking a straight jazz pea bore, the 48 is way too big IMO.  It was a little big for the YSL-684G I used to play that came with it.  Just checked my drawer.  48 is what I have.  Just a hair bigger (but noticeably bigger) than a 7C (bach).  So I guess it depends on how big of a change YOU want.  Are YOU wanting to go bigger or smaller?  How does that compare to what your teacher wants?  It's your time / money / comfort level when it comes to playing.  By all means consult with experience.  But you're the one who has to live with the consequence.  (less money in your pocket, and potentially a piece you don't like and may never use.)
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« Reply #68 on: Jun 10, 2011, 10:40PM »

Also, can someone give me an opinion of the small bore 5G.  Someone told me it was a good, all-round mouthpiece, but I know nothing about it.

I have a small shank Bach 5G. In general, I've found it to be good, although I've found it's not all that great for higher registers (on both my old 607F and my 2B+; I've only had the 2B+ for one day so the sample size is low).

To add to the overall discussion--mouthpieces are not a "one size fits all" deal. True, there are some standard sizes and conventions, and many trombone teachers will make recommendations, but in the end it's all about what works best for a particular player for a particular application. Much of this comes with experience and playing around with different sizes.

Some guys may find they only need one or two sizes to play everything they need on every horn they own. I only use a 5G on my 88H and feel no reason to get anything different. I do use both 6.5 AL-S and 5G on smaller instruments (my new 2B+ and my retired 607F, which I haven't really used at all since high school), but that's about the only time you'll see me switch between sizes. I've tried other mouthpieces but find it's best to stick with what works best and develop through exercise and hard work on them. (I will say, however, that I prefer a Megatone 6.5 AL to a standard but have both on hand).
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« Reply #69 on: Jun 23, 2011, 09:36AM »

If you are playing a very virtuosic piece, you have to play very low notes, and very high notes.
Yup.  For those recital-type pieces that cover big ranges, I find it much easier to go a little bigger on the mouthpiece to cover the low register, then condition the chops to play higher on that mouthpiece, than it is to try to go lower on a small mouthpiece.  I played all of my college recital stuff on mid-size mouthpieces though.

I've seen players who could get a lot of sound in the lower tones with relatively small mouthpieces.

John Gohl, a college section mate and current Air Force trombonist, played bass trombone in the jazz ensemble with a Bach 6-1/2 AL.  He could get a very impressive low C in triggered low 7th position on his Yamaha .547, and access it in pretty fast passages.  I tried to match what he was doing and never could though my equipment was similar.
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Bob Cochran
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« Reply #70 on: Dec 01, 2011, 04:12PM »

No you can't interchange them--they will fit sort of, but not totally. 
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« Reply #71 on: Mar 27, 2012, 11:36PM »

Some of the best advice I was given came from one of the forum moderators.  His name is ....oops, we are not supposed to name names according to the rules page.  Anyways he suggested I stick with my 6.5AL Conn 8H combo and practice getting the best low notes I possibly could, but to really go for it on the low range.  In other words not to rely on the mouthpiece for low notes but to work on proper technique.  Once that is accomplished (a work in progress) THEN I might want to think about switch mouthpieces.
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« Reply #72 on: Mar 29, 2012, 02:02PM »

I'm getting back into the trombone after playing very little over the past four years. My bass trombone playing is just terrible right now, understandably. I've thought about going back to the 1 1/2 G until my chops get stronger, but my double trigger range is just non-existent on that size mouthpiece. So I'm not sure what to do.
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« Reply #73 on: Mar 29, 2012, 02:25PM »

I'm getting back into the trombone after playing very little over the past four years. My bass trombone playing is just terrible right now, understandably. I've thought about going back to the 1 1/2 G until my chops get stronger, but my double trigger range is just non-existent on that size mouthpiece. So I'm not sure what to do.

How is your range above the bass staff on your normal large mouthpiece?

Some people can play 1 1/2 G sized mouthpieces (like me) and others can't.  When I haven't played Bass for a while I go back to my Marcinkiewicz GR or 3 and play that for a while.  When I'm playing a lot and my bass bone chops are back I go back to my Doug Elliott setup (shown in my profile: LB112/L/L8).

If you really can't play something as small as a 1 1/2 G, just use your larger mouthpiece and work the long tones.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #74 on: Mar 29, 2012, 03:07PM »

How is your range above the bass staff on your normal large mouthpiece?

Some people can play 1 1/2 G sized mouthpieces (like me) and others can't.  When I haven't played Bass for a while I go back to my Marcinkiewicz GR or 3 and play that for a while.  When I'm playing a lot and my bass bone chops are back I go back to my Doug Elliott setup (shown in my profile: LB112/L/L8).

If you really can't play something as small as a 1 1/2 G, just use your larger mouthpiece and work the long tones.

I can play a 1 1/4G sized mouthpiece and still sound rich and full.  When I get to the 1G-sized range, then my sound gets really tubby.  I have a Griego 1.25 and a Laskey 85MD, they're both really nice.  The Doug Elliott setup that i have, an LB112/K/K8 is just a little bit too big and I start to sound tubby on that.  I should just pick between the Griego and the Laskey and stick with one of those.  I like them both equally, although they both have different qualities.  The Griego is easier for me to center the pitch and the Laskey sounds more colorful to me, but harder to slot.  So I don't know.
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« Reply #75 on: Apr 08, 2012, 03:40AM »

I can play a 1 1/4G sized mouthpiece and still sound rich and full.  When I get to the 1G-sized range, then my sound gets really tubby.  I have a Griego 1.25 and a Laskey 85MD, they're both really nice.  The Doug Elliott setup that i have, an LB112/K/K8 is just a little bit too big and I start to sound tubby on that.  I should just pick between the Griego and the Laskey and stick with one of those.  I like them both equally, although they both have different qualities.  The Griego is easier for me to center the pitch and the Laskey sounds more colorful to me, but harder to slot.  So I don't know.

Just an update - a friend helped me compare the Griego 1.25 Deco and Laskey 85MD, and the Laskey was the winner for me.  The Laskey had a more even sound throughout the range of the instrument, and is also more versatile, being lighter than the heavier Griego Deco piece.  So I'm going to stick with the Laskey for quite a while.
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« Reply #76 on: Apr 08, 2012, 05:56PM »

The only difference between my 6 1/2 A and 6 1/2 AL is the former has a large shank, and the latter has a small shank. If things have change in 35 years, I can accept that. The rim, backbore etc seem to be the same to me. My mouthpieces are as I describe them.
I don't mean to be disagreeable but I've been using a 6.5 AL since the mid 1970s, and I've got my original 6.5 ALs from the 1970s in both Shank sizes, so I don't believe the diferences in 6 1/2 A and AL were the Shank sizes.
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« Reply #77 on: Apr 08, 2012, 06:04PM »

I don't mean to be disagreeable but I've been using a 6.5 AL since the mid 1970s, and I've got my original 6.5 ALs from the 1970s in both Shank sizes, so I don't believe the diferences in 6 1/2 A and AL were the Shank sizes.

The difference is weird and confusing. The 6.5 A large shank is most similar to the 6.5AL small shank, but they also now make a 6.5AL large shank and, presumable, a 6.5A small shank. Small, but noticeable, differences... apparently.
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« Reply #78 on: Apr 08, 2012, 07:28PM »

The difference is weird and confusing. The 6.5 A large shank is most similar to the 6.5AL small shank, but they also now make a 6.5AL large shank and, presumable, a 6.5A small shank. Small, but noticeable, differences... apparently.

The 6 1/2 AL of small or large shank is identical (except for the shank of course). The 6 1/2 A large shank has the throat and backbore of a standard Bach bass mouthpiece (like a 5G) while the 6 1/2 A small shank has the throat and backbore of a standard Bach tenor mouthpiece (like a 7C).
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« Reply #79 on: Apr 17, 2012, 04:02PM »

Ok, so I figured I'd just stick this in here. I've run a few searches and wasn't able to find info on the throat sizes of Schilke mouthpieces. Specifically the 51 and 52 series mouthpieces. I can find plenty of info on the rim and cup characteristics, but no real specfications on throat sizes. Does anyone have this information? I'm looking for alternatives to my usual Bach and Faxx 5G mouthpieces that I play on my Large Bore instruments. I've got a Yamaha 51C4 but I believe they are a bit smaller than the schilke's of the same name.

Also, what is the deal with the symphony series mouthpieces? They look like they are just more expensive variants of the 51 and 52 series. I can't find much info on what exactly makes them so different though.
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David Sullivan
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