Login
Password

Forgot your password?

How to Choose Mouthpieces for Trumpets or Other Brass Instruments

By Edited Jan 16, 2014 0 0

A brass mouthpiece controls the range, tone and playability of a wide range of instruments. The search for a mouthpiece normally starts when the instructor or student thinks changing mouthpieces will improve some areas of the student’s playing. Trumpets, cornets, trombones or any brass instruments use similar mouthpieces that respond to the same influences.

Trumpet Mouthpiece

Trumpet mouthpiece

Generic Mouthpiece

This first brass mouthpiece is usually a one size fits all approach. It allows the player to have a nice range from the lowest to the highest notes, and produces a pleasant tone. After time, the player or instructor may realize there might be improvement with a mouthpiece that emphasizes strengths or improves weaknesses. Then the player will evaluate brass mouthpieces.

The Rim

The player places their lips on the rim to play. A narrow rim gives greater lip flexibility to control the notes better. A wider rim is more comfortable and gives greater endurance, but less flexibility and note control. Manufacturers make mouthpieces with varying rim widths and contours to cater to a wide variety of player preferences.

Sharpness of the Interior Rim

The area where the rim blends into the interior bowl can have a small or large radius. The tighter radius allows hitting notes more precisely and allows the lips more flexibility.

Cup Depth

A deeper cup gives a mellower, richer tone to the instrument, while a shallower cup gives a brighter tone. A deep cup makes better low tones while a shallow cup makes it easier to play high notes. If the player is having trouble playing high notes, a shallower cup will increase the range. If the player does high notes well, a deeper cup improves the tone. A medium cup is a useful compromise between the two.

Cup Diameter

After a student has played for a few years, an instructor often advises them to go to a bigger diameter mouthpiece. This allows more air to enter the instrument and improves the tone.

Throat

The opening at the bottom of the cup is the throat. Normally it is a small diameter. If the player has good embouchure , or lip placement on the mouthpiece, they can consider a bigger throat.

Backbore

The opening at the bottom of the cup is the throat. Normally it is a small diameter. If the player has good embouchure , or lip placement on the mouthpiece, they can consider a bigger throat.

Other Factors

The shape and size of a player’s mouth, jaws and lips influence what mouthpiece is best for each individual player. The type of music played may influence the choice. Considering the variables and the effect it will have on an instrument’s sound is a daunting task, but input from knowledgeable people that know the player’s abilities will be a big help.

Advertisement

Comments

Add a new comment - No HTML
You must be logged in and verified to post a comment. Please log in or sign up to comment.

Explore InfoBarrel

Auto Business & Money Entertainment Environment Health History Home & Garden InfoBarrel University Lifestyle Sports Technology Travel & Places
© Copyright 2008 - 2016 by Hinzie Media Inc. Terms of Service Privacy Policy XML Sitemap

Follow IB Entertainment