WindWorks Trumpet Academy Forums WindWorks Mouthpiece Confusion

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    • #16661
      Ronald Carson
      Participant

      When I used to play regularly in high school, over 40 years ago, I could play on about any mouthpiece. Today I play on a Bach 3C, but when I try to play on the Bach 3E the lower register, especially below the staff is fantastic, but top staff E and above is raspy and airy and just terrible. This is the opposite experience I would have found in high school. I would be able to play higher on a 3E than other mouthpieces and the low register and pedal tones easier on the deeper cup. Since I am just playing for the fun of it, I just continue playing the 3C and currently, my range is E above the staff, but I would like to play the 3E occasionally because I like the brighter tone on some pieces of music.

      What am I doing wrong? I don’t want to go back to clamping my lips down when playing the 3E as I played on all mouthpieces in past, because this sometimes leads to a little pain. I know playing on the 3C has improved in tone and range using this course, but not with the shallower mouthpiece.

    • #16927
      Ronald Carson
      Participant

      I went back to the way I used to play and I can play on the Bach 3E and switch to the 3C without much problem. Then I tried going back to my new way of playing and it took a couple of days before I could loosen up my lips. But then 3E is unusable unless I play in the below E at the top of the staff.

    • #16931
      Ronald Carson
      Participant

      I think I have the answer.

      My aperture needs to be smaller on the shallower mouthpiece and tongue arch does not need to be deployed as soon. I taught science before retiring, I think I was not getting a laminar flow. Non-laminar flow is characterized by turbulence instead of a smooth flow where all the fluid is moving all in the same direction. This may have resulted in constantly changing the lips’ vibrations, and impeding vibrations. In a sense, it may have been like overblowing.

      Then again, I may not know what I am talking about.

      I think I will just stick with the 3C. I am just playing for fun and have no performances.

    • #17016
      johnelwood
      Participant

      Thanks for sharing. I never tried a 3E until 2018–I bought one online and tried it out and I can’t play it. Tried again today as I moved from a 5C which I’ve been playing the past few months to a 3C as the rim on the 5 seemed small suddenly.

      I have the same issue when playing the 3E but it feels like it’s too shallow for me, like I’m bottoming out on it especially as I go higher into the upper register–it feels actually like my lips start to touch the inside cup of the mouthpiece and that stops the vibration.

      I’m a comeback player and not a pro and may not be playing correctly, but my range has increased to levels I’ve never had before and I’m able to get a good high C to high F now, so I think I’m on a good track.

      I’m guessing I should try a D cup or try some other shallow / brighter mouthpieces to help when trying to play with a brighter tone / in the higher register.

      But I too will probably stick mostly to the 3C as the tone is richer, darker and (in my opinion) better; I still appreciate the skill of a good player playing high, but not as much as when I was in high school or college. I don’t find myself listening to Maynard anymore, or even Doc for that matter. I don’t aspire to sound like Maynard, and never really did; his power impressed me but I never cared for his tone. I loved Doc’s tone, range and power but I’m finding myself admiring Chris Martin / classical players, Miles, Chet Baker, etc.

      I am just grateful that high C is achievable now; I never even pinched / squeaked it out before 2018 and now it’s a real note for me that I can play musically and have control of, as well as D and E and I top out at F–not yet musical or in control, but I can ascend up to it in a chromatic scale without kicking / straining.

      With how quickly the F came (unexpectedly), I hope double G is not too far away. I squeaked a double G and A out a time or two in 2018 when screwing around, but I’m trying not to do that sort of thing anymore–I’m trying to focus on the process, my tone, ease of playing, relaxing my throat / lips, etc. It would be nice to be able to hit a Double G and eventually perhaps a Double C by the end of 2019. But I don’t think range is actually what I’m after, really. I think I’d be perfectly happy with the range I have now if I could just play consistently and perhaps have better flexibility and dynamic control and maintain a resonant tone up to the F.

      It’s really challenging to try to ascend / tighten the aperture by focusing on pulling the corners in without pinching the lips and tightening my throat. I find myself actually having a sensation now that I’m pulling my lips apart in the middle as I get to high C and above–that seems to help me.

    • #17044
      Ronald Carson
      Participant

      Thank you for sharing your experience. I know I am not alone with the 3E. I agree that it is easy to bottom out. I have thought about getting a 3D as well.

      Like you, I prefer the darker, full tone. There are times, musically, where a brighter tone is warranted. I also agree with you concerning the players. I am not overly impressed with Maynard. As a trumpet player, I can appreciate his ability. Many times, non-trumpet players will ask, “Is that suppose to sound that way, people don’t think that is good do they?” Many think those super high notes are irritating. Chet Baker seemed more musical and Cat Anderson is not for me.

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