Update: I’ve been feeling / sounding good on my 7C and am feeling more and more like playing correctly is becoming second nature now–the more time that passes without me backsliding, the more confident I become in that. I started thinking again about mouthpieces, not because my 7C wasn’t providing good sound or I wasn’t happy with my range, but it’s a 7C and I figured I should try to find something with a brighter sound with a shallower cup and/or a smaller diameter rim.
I tried a 3E but it feels too wide, I bottom out / it feels too shallow and I just can’t play on it. I realize in time I might learn how to play on it, but decided to try something else.
Got a 10 1/2C tonight. I had one years ago (30 years ago in high school / college) but don’t know what I did with it.
The 10 1/2C felt good and sounded good right off the bat. I warmed up on the 7C so I could tell how I was feeling / sounding. Then, I started trying out the 10 1/2C and it felt and sounded better than the 7C.
My plan was sort of to start with the 10 1/2C to narrow down the diameter first, then to continue to experiment with similar diameter mouthpieces with perhaps shallower or v-cup shapes to them.
I’m really feeling like I finally get how to play–I focus on the aperture corners as I ascend (oooh). High C for me comes very easy now mostly, especially when I ascend chromatically (i.e. Clarke 1) and stay relaxed and open and try to use minimal movement, etc.
I could be mistaken, but I’m pretty sure I was slotting the double G when doing harmonic slurs without any valves down tonight a couple / few times. I’ve always stopped at the E before, but it seemed like I was able to make it up another slot tonight and even the lower notes (i.e. G above the staff, etc.) seemed to slot easier.
I don’t feel as much like I need to worry about the setup, I just put it on in the middle and blow lightly to see if I can just blow air without a buzz (or note) and with a note (with a little more air, etc.) when I first set it.
The narrower mouthpiece felt a little different after a while, like perhaps I was actively buzzing in the mouthpiece when playing but I pulled the mouthpiece out of the horn and realized I wasn’t.
I think I overdid it a bit screwing around tonight–I’ll probably feel / sound / play poorly tomorrow and will need to take it easy / take a break, but I’m encouraged that I’m narrowing in on a better equipment setup and solidfying this new way of playing.
One thing I’ve come to realize is that I’m not having to move a lot as I ascend or descend into different registers–I remember that I used to push my bell down as I ascended and pull my lower lip in and I think my top lip was kind of coming up / out or away from the mouthpiece (slightly) as I ascended–now I realize how bad that is, as it’s the top lip that (I think) is most important.
Now I think of “going straight through the front door” as I play and ascend and don’t worry about moving, I just focus on the (“oooh”) slightly tightening the aperture corners and making sure my sound is good / resonant (slightly adjusting the angle, but minimal–not anywhere near like before); I pretty much keep the bell in the same spot. I don’t have to push hard either.