Monday, August 24, 2015


There are two kinds of trumpeters in the world: those who excessively and obsessively talk about mouthpieces with other trumpeters, and those who pretend that they don't want to talk about mouthpieces with other trumpeters. Okay, there are three kinds of trumpeters. The third is those who will shamelessly talk about mouthpieces with anyone who lingers too closely for more than a minute or two between meals.
"What mouthpiece are you playing on?"
Mouthpieces is simultaneously a trumpeter's favorite and least favorite sport, er subject. Favorite in that nearly every trumpeter I know is constantly searching for a "better" mouthpiece - those that say they aren't are either lying or far too easily satisfied. Least favorite subject in that many trumpeters are sick of obsessing about mouthpieces and would rather give a kidney than talk about them any more.

Why the obsession? Because playing the trumpet is hard and painful. And to the James Morrison's out there who have "virtually unlimited endurance"*, or the Rashawn Ross's who apparently have the exact same range of every mouthpiece**, all I will say to you is:

What is a "better" mouthpiece? Most trumpeters are searching for a mouthpiece that will give them a beautiful tone without sacrificing too much range or endurance. Some trumpeters, usually the first kind, have this backwards and are searching for a mouthpiece that gives them better range and endurance without losing too much tone or flexibility. This is one of the classic blunders. Learn the difference.

If you really want some advice on mouthpieces, you've come to the wrong blog. I'm one of the second types of trumpeters. This is a much better blog to learn about mouthpieces. Or go ahead and ask me in the comment section.

* With apologies to the actual James Morrison, who is an awesome trumpeter and never meant to offend all of us mere mortal trumpeters with his words of encouragement. The video I posted with James has nothing to do with mouthpieces, but you should listen to what James Morrison has to say because he is right. And getting one of his Schagerl Apredato mouthpieces is on my list. So, really it was just a cheap shot and a shameless name drop.

** With apologies to the real Rashawn Ross, who seems like a really nice guy and
also plays the crap out of the horn. Another cheap shot and shameless name drop, but I am jealous and resentful of anyone who can play a triple high C, nevermind on ANY mouthpiece. And you should be too.

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